This is getting crazy.
I’ve been contacted by people from all of the world that want affiliate marketing training. Some offer to pay me. Some offer a percentage of their earnings. Some offer their first born child. I’ve turned them all down.
Maybe you’re one of them. If so – please read this because it answers every question you asked.
There Are 3 Types of New Affiliates
Here are the three categories I’ve come up with for the new people I talk to:
The Researcher has never launched a campaign. He spends hours per day reading blogs and forums. He’s very active in forums, mainly asking questions.
He even bought some eBooks and video courses on how to do affiliate marketing but has never used them.
The Scientist did very well in school, he’s very smart. He heard there are a lot of guys that are dumber than him making a lot of money online and thinks he should do it too.
He will spend the next 4 years developing the perfect scientific formula which he will use on his first campaign – that will never launch.
The Quitter really wanted to be an affiliate marketer. He even had a campaign one time. He got everything set up and spent $20 but he didn’t make any sales.
He decided that affiliate marketing doesn’t work.
Today I’m Going To Talk To All 3 Of You
My goal is to tell you three things:
- How I avoided becoming one of those 3 guys
- Why you’re all screwed if you don’t change your ways
- How you can take action and become an affiliate marketer in the next 7 days
First – Let’s Start With Me
Maybe I lucked out in my experience. Because when I started doing this – I didn’t know about any affiliate marketing blogs or places to go for advice.
- I knew one affiliate manager
- I knew about one forum that I checked out once every few weeks
- I had zero affiliate marketing training
I was hungry from the beginning. I spent all of my time launching campaigns and trying things. Things were crazy. I didn’t sleep much. Things went wrong all the time. I learned lessons every day by making mistakes.
But I had balls. Any time I heard a good piece of advice on a forum or from my affiliate manager I would give it a shot right away. Most of the time I didn’t really know what I was doing – I just went for it.
For example – here’s what happened one night at Affiliate Summit West.
Affiliate Summit West 2009
By January 2009 I was in my third month of affiliate marketing. I was running a single Adwords campaign.
The first month was awful – I lost so much money I almost quit. Thankfully things turned around in month two and by January I was just starting to make some cash.
So I Decided To Go To Affiliate Summit West.
I didn’t know a single person in the industry. I had been talking with 2 affiliate managers on IM only. One of them invited me to a mansion party during the conference and I sheepishly agreed to go.
At the time I had major social anxiety. I was 6 months sober and still trying to figure out to socialize without alcohol, a task I’ve always found to be very hard. So agreeing to go to the party was a big deal. I dreaded it the whole way there.
Walking Into The Party Was A Nightmare
The party was on the second night of the conference in this gigantic futuristic looking mansion somewhere way off the strip. As I walked up to the house I could hear loud dance music, guys screaming, glasses breaking.
The place was packed with drunk affiliates. I almost left. But I decided to stay – so I texted the affiliate manager and told him I was outside.
We met in the kitchen and he introduced me to the guys he was with. There were three of them. All of them were very drunk. We introduced ourselves… and the conversation quickly turned into business talk.
One guy put his arm around me and drunkenly said “So you’re a new Adwords guy hu?” I nodded yes. I guess my affiliate manager told them who I was.
“How many keywords are you using?” he asked. I said “Eight”.
He started laughing and proceeded to tell me some insider information I could use to totally explode my campaign. I typed it all down on my phone as he talked.
I stayed about another hour. We all exchanged contact info. I left.
I Was Excited
By the time I got back to the hotel it was probably 2:00am. I immediately sat down, pulled out my notes and took action.
I implemented the strategy he gave me right then and there before I went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I stumbled over to the laptop and checked my stats.
I was shocked to see that I’d made enough money to pay for the entire trip to the Summit. Plane, tickets, hotel, everything. And then it really started rolling.
It happened that fast.
I told him the next day and they all freaked out that I’d launched it that quickly. It became part of my reputation – and I still work like that to this day.
So Why Does This Story Matter?
I’m telling you this story to try to drill into your head the importance of taking action right away vs reading forums and asking people for training. If I hadn’t acted right away I may have missed the window of opportunity completely.
The strategy he gave me is no longer allowed on PPC networks. So if I hadn’t done it right then – the opportunity would have been gone forever.
Want Some Affiliate Marketing Training?
Here you go:
Step 1: Launch a campaign as fast as you can
Step 2: Learn from your mistakes live, as they happen
Step 3: Repeat Step 1
That’s it. The most important skill for a brand new affiliate to have is Taking Action. The rest will come later.
Here’s What You’re Probably Doing:
- You’re trying to set up a perfect affiliate marketing strategy
- A perfect process
- A perfect system that guarantees you won’t lose money
Here’s What You’re Worried About:
- How to hire Outsourcers
- How to build a business
- Where to rent office space
F#ck All That
I doubt that any super affiliate in the world today had a perfect system in the beginning. In fact – most of the guys that I know didn’t have a system at all when they started.
They just started.
I’d bet that during their biggest days they were unorganized, had filthy desks, didn’t sleep well and made mistake after mistake whlie the traffic came pouring in on top of them.
There are people that have been dabbling for years in affiliate marketing without launching a paid traffic campaign. They say they’re researching – But that’s mainly BS. They’re scared.
Example: My New eBook
Here’s another example of how I take fast action. I’ve just created my first eBook. It is currently available to my newsletter members. If you’re not on it – Click here to sign up.
I’ve never created an eBook before. I did it in a few days, with no idea what I was doing and with no tools to work with. I just made it work.
I could have spent a month researching best practices and learning new software. I could have bought a $297 video course on “How to Make an eBook”.
But I used the tools I had and made it happen fast and now it’s done.
Now Let’s Talk About You
Let’s take a moment and assess your current situation.
- How many campaigns have you launched?
- How many blogs do you read?
If the answer to #2 is higher than the answer to #1 you could be in big trouble.
The question is: Are you even interested in doing this? Or is affiliate marketing something you enjoy reading about?
If it’s just a fun thing for you to read about then by all means read to your heart’s content. There are plenty of mid-level affiliate bloggers who post oceans of out of date advice that you can read.
But if you’re serious about doing this for a living. And want to make enough money to quit your job. I suggest you get started and you get started right now.
What Your First Campaign Will Look Like
For the record: If I was reading this. I would print out the next few sections, place it on my desk and start crossing things off one by one.
- Get a website and some hosting. Avoid shared hosting – you don’t want your website going dead while you’re paying for traffic.
- Sign up for an affiliate network
- You will have an awkward phone conversation with your first affiliate manager. They will ask you about your business. You won’t know what to say. They’ll probably approve you anyway.
- Sign up for an ad network
- For beginners I’d recommend a self-serve platform that allows you to sign up online and is affiliate friendly. This is very important because you’re going to need their help.
- Choose an offer that you know converts well on that ad network
- Don’t go in blind. Ask your affiliate manager to recommend an offer that is doing very well on the ad network you’re going to use. That way you have a good chance at making a profit.
- Set up a tracking system
- This is crucial and could take a few days to setup and test. Invest the time. A good tracking system can make or break your campaign.
- Make a landing page
- Take a look at the ads running on the ad network you’re going to advertise on. See what kind of landing pages other people are using and do something similar. Then, innovate.
- I use Dreamweaver for landing pages. If you don’t have it – Google ‘Free HTML editors’ or something like that. There are a million of them.
- Make some ads
- Look at the ads running on the network and make some ads that are similar. Then, innovate.
- I use Photoshop for ad creation. There are free editors as well Google ‘Free Image Editor’. I think GIMP is a good, free option. Use Microsoft Word to make your ads if you have to (I know guys who have) just make some ads.
- Launch your first campaign
That’s what you are going to do. And it should take no more than a week. I don’t care if your landing page sucks and the campaign has a budget of $5 a day. Get something live and do it as fast as possible.
Give yourself a deadline of 7 days from today to have your first campaign live. Because you’re never going to understand how this works until you go through the process yourself.
Specific Instructions and Gear Recommendations
If the above list wasn’t enough for you. Here is a list of the gear I use and networks I recommend. Links are included. Use them and get started.
- Get a domain name and hosting
- Get approved at an affiliate network
- Sign up with an ad network that likes affiliates
- Get some sort of tracking system (required)
- CPVLab (recommended) this is the tracking software I use. Most serious affiliate use it. It makes deploying and changing campaigns ridiculously easy. If you have problems they offer great support.
- Prosper202 – This is the old school favorite. It gets the job done and it’s free. I don’t think it’s updated or supported anymore. So if you use it, you’re on your own.
- Teach yourself how to use it (Google it) or watch the CPVLab demo video
- Get a conversion pixel from the ad network
- Place the pixel on the affiliate offer (or ask affiliate manager to do it)
- Create a simple landing page and some ads
- Launch the campaign and start gathering data
- It sounds obvious – but check all of your links before you launch. Make sure everything is working correctly before you push GO.
- Improve results as fast as you can
- Expect to lose some money on your first few days. But remember, you’re not losing money, you’re paying for some data that will help you optimize your campaign.
- Example: Plenty of Fish has killer demographic data (age, gender, etc). If by day 2 you see that 60+ year old men are using up all your budget and not converting – you can turn them off in the Plenty of Fish system. The next day – your results should improve.
- Have a blast
What to Expect
Your first few weeks will be messy. Especially if you’re new to design and code. Be prepared for a whirlwind of excitement, fun and chaotic disasters.
What Might Happen
- You’ll put in the wrong url and send all your traffic to an error page
- The tracking pixel won’t work, then you’ll fix it
- Your ads will get disapproved
- You’ll make your first conversion and have a heart attack
- Your website will crash while you’re asleep
- You won’t be able to sleep
Embrace the Chaos
In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
– Carl Jung (Tweet This)
Think of the next 6 months as your Chaos Period and embrace it. Accept it for what it is. A trial by fire.
You can spend the next 8 months planning out your perfect system. And maybe that will work for you. But like I said earlier, I don’t know anyone that had a perfect plan before launching their first campaign.
The majority of us went balls out – with barely a clue of what we were doing. We figured it out along the way. Affiliate marketing is a hands-on game. You will never understand how it works until you do it for yourself.
It Will Get Better In Time
You will develop a system and a strategy over time. You will tidy up your desk. You may even hire a few people to help you. You’ll get a maid to do your laundry. You’ll get a proper amount of sleep.
But Not In The Beginning.
The beginning is your Chaos Period – and there is no affiliate marketing training that can save you from that. I swear I’m not trying to be an asshole by telling you this. I’m telling you this because I want to help you understand what to expect.
Think about it: If you walk into chaos expecting chaos – you’ll be able to deal with it a whole lot easier.
I’ve given you every bit of help I can here. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, or better yet – if you’ve been dragging your feet for a long time – this is the action plan you need. Like I said, if I read this as a beginner I would print the list of to do items out and start checking them off one by one.
The person that does that – is the kind of person that is going to make it work.
In cased you missed it I told you:
- How I Got Started (Fast action)
- Why You’re Currently Screwed (Reading, planning, wasting time)
- How You Can Get Started (7-Day Launch Plan + Chaos Theory)
Set your timer. 7 days from today you can have a campaign live on Plenty of Fish. If you’re not live – you should be at least trying to get it live.
- Print this out
- Take Fast, Massive Action
- Embrace The Chaos
A Few More Resources My Earlier Posts
P.S. This is the closest thing to affiliate marketing training I will ever offer. So read it carefully and get to work.
Questions? Fire away in the comments.