Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

The Affiliate Summit West Party You Won’t Get In To – Omnesia

omnesia

A party so exclusive you’ve only heard whispers of it on the internets. While you’ll be busy playing penny slots and catching glimpses of cheap hookers pass by, the “Who’s Who” of what’s left of the affiliate marketing industry will be at Omnesia on Saturday night.

Now you may be like…”Waahhh, Barman, why can’t I get in?” Well it’s probably because you’re a piece of shit no one respects. Maybe you’re an industry pariah that whose only contribution to the industry is soul-sucking gossip? Maybe you starred in a half-baked porno? I don’t know. I really don’t. I didn’t plan the party and I’m not even sure how I got on the list.

There’s no invite or anything. This is just to rub it in your face.

Prepare your weapons.

tarded

tarded-2

TrafficVance and Other PPV Tips

This is an article with some PPV (pay-per-view) tips. Some of these tips refer to Trafficvance, which is a relatively high-quality traffic source for pay-per-view traffic. As far as PPV goes, TrafficVance is one of the best, if not the best, for actually delivering you legitimate people to sign-up and buy shit with decent volume.

Before you ask: No, I will not be your TrafficVance referral.

So if you are a PPV marketer and / or TrafficVance user, these tips below may help with your campaigns.

1. Pausing Campaigns Glitch

This is something that made me “Wtf” for a long time, then today I realized why this was happening.

I have a habit of “Pausing” targets that don’t work. Over time it becomes my little collection of targets that might work for another campaign. Rather than deleting them and losing them forever, I pause them in the campaign.

Obviously the smart thing to do would be to keep them in a text file anyway, then delete them from the campaign so this shit below doesn’t happen ….

1) You pause a campaign, spend some time changing shit on your landers THEN you change your tracking link. This triggers a “review” from TrafficVance. If you change your tracking link in any way, shape, or form, it has to be reviewed again.

2) When the campaign passes review and is “Active” again, all of those “Paused” targets are “Active” again too.

Fuck! For quite a while, I’d be looking at stats and thinking to myself, “I swear to god I paused this target many times before…. what the fuck….”

3) Nothing really happens if you just pause and unpause your campaign. I’m not sure what happens when you change the tracking link on a live campaign (nothing as far as I can tell)

So the pro tip: Don’t change the tracking link on a paused campaign if you have a bunch of “Paused” targets in it. They will all go live again. Change the tracking link with live campaigns only, or unpause the campaign first then change the tracking link.

This can obviously become a problem because you’re wasting money on targets that you already know don’t work, and if they are high-volume targets you’ll spend a pretty penny before you realize it. I don’t know if I’m the only one who has run into this problem before, but if this happens to you, now you know why.

Don’t leave paused targets in a campaign. Export them out and delete them.

2) The Power of Multiplication, or Stop Bidding Like a Dumbass

I’m starting to thing that affiliate marketers don’t know basic math.

PPV has been hailed as some miracle traffic source because “A view is only a penny!” and “You can bid by as little as 1/10 of a cent!”

It’s not some miracle traffic source. You have to make the shit work just like any other traffic source. Just because bids are a penny doesn’t mean you can disregard them and throw them in the air like Andrew Wee.

Let’s take a look at PPV pricing in the real world. The minimum bid for most PPV traffic is $.01 and some are $.015. Per 1,000 impressions, that’s a $10.00 – $15.00 CPM. That’s an atrociously high CPM when compared to media banner advertising.

Then let’s say you have a landing page with a 10% CTR (Clickthru rate). Out of that, 1% of people will convert on your offer. For shits and giggles, the offer pays out $20.00.

For every 1,000 people you send to that landing page, 100 people will go to the offer, and 1 will convert into a lead (1,000 x 10% x 1% = 1). So you spent $10 to make $20. Good job bro.

Now let’s see what happens when you’re competing with people. Every 1/10 of a penny increment essentially increases your cost by $1 (when you think of it in terms of 1,000). If you’re both being aggressive, within a few increments the bid might be $.018 or $.021. “Whatever, I’ll keep increasing the bid because it’s only a tenth of a penny!”

Wrong dipshit! A tenth of a penny is a $1 in terms of 1,000, and when you multiply it by hundreds of targets then its many dollars. It’s the power of multiplication and the reason why small changes have a massive effect on your campaign.

There are only two things I think when I see stupidly high bid prices for a target- 1) “This person must have a ridiculously high converting page or offer” or 2) “This person must be a fucking idiot.”

Usually, it’s the latter.

Learn to Share, or be the First Loser

If you get into a bidding war, you can win but most times you’re both better off sharing. It’s basically a game of chicken. Who will give up first?

In order to win, you must know your boundaries. In the example above, $.02 is your break even point. Go any higher than that, and you lose money. Get close to that ($.019), and your margins are slim as shit. Ideally you want the bid to be as low as possible (no shit huh?)

So you win if the other guy gives up and you’re left with 1st place. Half the time this happens (Victory!), but the other half of the time is when it doesn’t….

Managing bids with PPV is a pain in the dick. There are two reasons why you won’t win a bidding war, or don’t even want to win:
1) Managing the bidding takes up far too much time, especially if you’re going back and forth with someone else who apparently has nothing better to do. At some point its just not worth it.
2) You’re playing against automated bidding software.

In these 2 cases, the time spent adjusting bids is better spent working on another campaign, taking a shit, or reading a book. This is especially true if its a low-volume target. Why spend so much time trying to score a 18 more views a day?

Learn to Share – The best resolution in a bidding war is to share. That means matching the bid to the other guy and splitting the 1st place traffic 50 / 50. You’ll get less traffic, but it’s better than increasing the bids to the point where no one makes money (except the ad network.)

Be the First Loser – If you don’t get the joke: Being the first loser means 2nd place.

Sometimes matching the bid of the 1st place guy is impractical, especially if the bid price looks like Exhibit A:

I don’t know what this guy is smoking, but that’s almost a 3 cent difference in bid price. For every 1,000 views, that’s $30. Basically this guy is paying $30 more per 1,000 views when it could only be $1 (lowering his bid to $.013 and still keeping first place)

In these cases you want to be second place. Using the original example, you’re making money in 2nd place with a $.014 bid. The 1st place bid might be $.022, where you’d be losing money. Even though its less traffic, it really doesn’t matter because you’re making money- not losing it because you want to be an aggressive dickhead.

Don’t Hit the “Make My Bid the Highest” Button

Josh Todd at InsideAffiliate wrote about this a while ago.

When I first ventured into PPV, I noticed that someone would always outbid me by $.005. I thought it was a script or software, and I always got pissed because it just meant paying more to match him or go over. And when I went over, low and behold, he’s back in 1st with a $.005 higher bid….

The race to being unprofitable was swift.

It turns out that it wasn’t some script. It was just some tard hitting the “Make My Bid the Highest” button. Since I never used that button before, I didn’t know what it did. I always assumed it’d go a 1/10 of a penny over the next highest guy. Nope, it’s half a penny.

I guess some people like to pay $5 (per 1,000) for their 1st place position instead of $1.

Nobody but the ad network wins when using the “Make My Bid the Highest.”

Reset Your Bids Once in a While

I don’t use any automated bidding tools. Generally I am able to leave my bids alone and not have to give too much of a shit about the bidding. I start a campaign and bid up until my “break-even” point (or what I think it is at that time), then just let it run.

With some targets, you want 1st place and are willing to pay for it. You might get into a bidding war at first, win, and not touch your bids for days or weeks. Over time, the other bidders have lowered their 2nd place position to a bid much lower than yours.

TrafficVance doesn’t tell you the bid price of people lower than you. So you could be paying $.03 for a target when the guy in 2nd is only paying $.011. In this case, you’re over-paying for 1st place. I have a really ghetto way of remedying this, which I like to do every few days. Really it’s just a “bid cleanup” and it helps to lower your overall campaign CPM.

Managing hundreds of targets individually sucks. This method will leave you with a few competitive targets that you can manage by hand.

1) Reset all your bids to $.01 (minimum)
2) Sort by bid position. The most competitive targets show up at the top (for example you’re in 20th place because 20 people are bidding on the target)
3) Select every target that’s 2nd place, 3rd place, and higher. Make their bids $.011.
4) This knocks you into 1st for many targets where its just you and someone else (and the other person is bidding $.01). It increases your bid position for targets that are more competitive than just two people.
5) Keep repeating the process, but each time take a careful look at the bid positions. If you’re 2nd place with a $.012 bid and 1st place is $.021, there’s no point in going any higher (incrementing to $.013) to pay for the same amount of traffic.

Deselect the ones where there is no point to increasing, and increase the bid to $.012.

6) Keep repeating the process until you’re left with a small number of competitive targets where you can manually bid.

This post has gone on a lot longer than what i originally intended it to be. Thanks adderoll!

Traffic Source Attention-Deficit Disorder

This post is based on a reply I wrote in the PPV Playbook forum. I really like the quality of PPVPlaybook’s forum because its a closed community, and people are more willing to share than on a public forum. Despite being an overall scumbag on the internet, when it comes down to it I like to help people when I can (unfortunately, there is no e-book coming soon from PPC.bz. Or ever.)

This isn’t an affiliate link. PPVPlaybook is legit.

Now, I know I’ve been a little hard on the newbies lately. I realize that we’ve all been in that newbie position, and when someone can post something helpful it usually doesn’t go unnoticed. Maybe this post can also help some people who are not necessarily newbies, but are struggling to figure out paid traffic.

The problem some internet marketers have is Traffic Source Attention-Deficit Disorder. This is the act of jumping to and from, back and forth, to all the traffic sources out there. Rather than focusing on one thing and getting it working, they think their problems can be solved by finding a different traffic source and getting it working there. And when it doesn’t work at the new traffic source, they repeat the steps… forever and ever until they give up and have to get a job at McDonalds working for Nick Throlson. (Just kidding Nick, I love you in that ‘you make me laugh but you’re oblivious as to why’ way. Enjoy the traffic.)

“I can’t get this traffic source to work, which one should I try next?”

Anyway, someone had a question that went like this:
“When do you move over to other traffic sources like social media or PPC when you can’t get PPV to work? How will I know if PPV isn’t for me? How and when to scale to other traffic sources?”

While this question seems like a “How do I scale to other traffic sources?” kind of question, it’s not. It’s more of a “I can’t get this traffic source to work, which one should I try next?

My reply, although modified quite a bit for this post, is below.

Every Traffic Source You Jump into Needs to Become Your Bitch

Scaling means taking a successful campaign, and moving it into another traffic source. There are few times where a campaign can be ported over to another traffic source without any changes. Most of the time it will require a few hours or days to understand the new traffic source and adjust accordingly. PPV traffic is the least strict, Facebook has its own rules, and Adwords has very defined rules on what needs to be on your landing pages.

The problem is many newbs give up on traffic sources too early. They blame it on the traffic source “It doesn’t work!”, but don’t blame the fact they are still poor marketers. If you know how to market your product, if you really know how to sell – you can make almost any campaign work on any traffic source.

When I say campaign, I don’t mean some $5 a day direct-linking campaign. I mean campaign like you’re taking this shit seriously. You took the time to setup landing pages, maybe an autoresponder, the bells and whistles. Something that is your “property” that doesn’t depend on one offer going down (meaning it’s non-dependent on any offer- such as, you’re collecting leads yourself, or your target niche is big enough to have sufficient offers for switching out.)

Some people preach “Don’t depend on one traffic source.

While that’s true in a some instances, newbies tend to take this too literally. They move around blaming the traffic, but usually its because they don’t know the fundamentals of marketing and salesmanship. When you spread yourself around to many traffic sources, you might be thinking “I’m covering my bases in case this traffic goes down!”

That’s true, and its a necessary strategy, but it only matters if your campaigns are making money. If you’re consistently unsuccessful, then there really is no point to diversifying garbage.

There are very few chances of your business going down because of the traffic source kicking you off. Adwords is the huge exception to the rule. Otherwise, traffic sources will modify their rules to make it harder on affiliates, but if you have that traffic source mastered, you learn to weasel into the nooks and crannies. (For example, Facebook’s consistent changes to their guidelines.)

While you can take a direct linking campaign and spread it all over the web, success doing this is mostly sheer luck (you would have been much luckier 3 to 7 years ago.) Still doable, but not as easy as it used to be.

Why not just create your own luck? Master one traffic source with one or a few campaigns. Make that traffic source your bitch. Once you have a real winner, move onto the next traffic source. Don’t stop until its profitable there. Rinse and repeat. If you’re doing it right, this process will take a while to “key” your ads on every source of traffic, but its well worth it.

Tweaking your sales funnel is an on-going process. The work never stops on that. But moving to a new traffic source requires getting over the learning curve. That can take an hour, many hours, or many days.

Every traffic source has its own technical details you need to learn. At the same time, you need to understand where the traffic is coming from. Not all traffic is created equal.

Credit Where Credit is Due

I can’t take full credit for this wisdom in my post (if there is any.) The idea of “focus on one traffic source” really didn’t solidify in my brain until I listened to some stuff from Scott Rewick at Media-Mentors.com. Specifically, it was an interview with Jason at A4D Affiliate Network, aka Smaxor, that brought the point home.

I don’t remember where I heard the interview, but if you can find it, definitely listen. The main point from the interview was that Smax doesn’t jump into shit like a pansy. He will spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to make this work on that traffic source. All successful affiliates have the same mentality- if the traffic is there, and your offer seems like it should work, then there’s no reason why you can’t make it work.

Sometimes an offer on certain traffic just won’t work, no matter what you try. That’s just a fact of life. Maybe that traffic is all junk. Maybe the offer isn’t hitting home with the traffic. But you will be far more successful in the long if you take the “I’m going to make this traffic my bitch” approach, rather than the “I hope this shit works. Oh it didn’t work. Let me try something else… rinse and repeat” approach.

One approach is wishing for success. The other approach is forcing success.

The Fundamentals of Selling

It all boils down to salesmanship. If you don’t know how to write copy, then you’re at a huge disadvantage.

Even if you’re strictly doing direct linking, you still have to be able to write tiny ads, whether its small POF and Facebook Ads, slightly larger Adwords ads, or bigger creatives for media display. Even the ads on your shitty blog can always be written better.

You just can’t escape this. If you’re doing affiliate marketing, you need to be a marketer. It’s in the goddamn name. What’s fucking wrong with you?

If you want to be a better marketer, read these books.

Understanding Where Your Traffic is Coming From and Scaling

Each and every traffic source has its own nuances, and they all take a little while to learn. PPV traffic is different from MSN’s sponsored listings, which is different from Facebook’s social traffic, which is slightly different from Plenty of Fish’s traffic.

Assuming you have a decent grasp on copy writing, the next step is understanding the traffic source.

Technically, they are all different. By technically, I mean the actual processes of setting up campaigns, targeting, reporting, rules, regulations, and all that. Then you want to understand where the traffic is coming from: how and when do they see the ads and who sees the ads.

Pay Per Click Search – Adwords, MSN/Yahoo, and everything else. Pay per click is fairly straight-forward to understand. Someone is searching for a keyword, you display an ad. Relevance is most important.

Most people have difficulty figuring out the technical aspects of pay per click: Bidding strategies, finding keywords, and keeping their landing pages within certain guidelines (like Quality Score bullshit.)

Scaling PPC is also fairly straight-forward too. Once you understand how PPC works, you can scale it up internally (sticking with Adwords for example, but adding new sets of keywords) and / or moving to another PPC platform (moving your MSN campaign to Google.)

Pay Per Click Content Networks – Google’s Content Network, for example. You create ads, text, image, or flash, that get displayed on all of Google’s Partner’s sites. Technically, it’s not too tough to figure out, especially once you get familiar with a platform (Google’s Search to Google’s Content Network is nearly an identical process).

You need to consider how people see these ads though. They’re not searching for anything specific. The ads are displayed on websites that are relevant to your keywords. Your goal here is to distract people from what they’re doing. Strong offer and strong call to action are a must.

Display Media Buying Networks – Adblade, Burstmedia, Pulse360 and tons of others. Display media is for more plentiful than what Google’s Content Network can come up with. People “see” these ads the same way as Content Network: They are displayed alongside relevant content, if the ad network lets you target directly or by keyword. If you don’t target directly, then its an optimization process. Show your ads everywhere, then start eliminating the stuff that isn’t working.

The biggest technical difference from Adwords is that you’re dealing with a person.

In most cases, you’re dealing with an account rep. While the traffic works nearly the same to Google’s Content Network, personal relationships are a key factor. You’ll never talk to anyone at Google (well, 99% of people), but most media buy platforms give you an account rep. Sometimes, you might meet that account rep at a conference like Affiliate Summit and they hook you up, rather then you finding them first.

I’m far from a media buying expert, so I’m not gonna ramble on here too long. I just want to point out the difference between traffic platforms that require more dealing people, and those that have no people. Its something you have to consider when scaling a campaign from PPC to media, or media platform to other media platform.

It takes some negotiation skills. They have all this inventory and you want some. What you’ll pay for it will depend on how good your hustle is.

Pay Per View – Technically, it’s simple. Bid on shit, pop. The questions you need to ask yourself are: Is it pop up, or pop under (massive difference in how you have to create your ads.) What do I do with the landers? Since you’re not creating ads, your landing page is going to be your make it or break it point. How does the platform get their installs to pop their ads?

Who is looking at these ads? This is going to vary greatly depending on your targets. Some people do the simple ‘find super-relevant targets to this offer and pop’. Still works, but since everyone else does that, it gets competitive. If you’re doing it right, you’re more focused on either demographics (collection of sites that a demographic visits) or high traffic targets.

Focusing on a demographic means scaling is easier because you’re always able to add related targets. Then you can move it to another PPV platform. Or you can modify your offer / landing page to pertain to different demographics.

You can also focus on a high-traffic target which you could spend a significant amount on per day. The work involved there is a massive amount of testing to key your ads, that is, if you can ever key them. In some cases its just a matter of rotating offers and keeping the one or few that work.

Social Traffic – They display like tiny search ads, but nobody is searching for them. You have to get highly creative and relevant (by hitting the right demos). People aren’t looking for shit- they’re playing games and looking at party photos. How are you going to talk them into clicking on your shit?

Shit Traffic – Last but not least, there is some traffic you just can’t get to work because the traffic itself is garbage. This traffic comes from various nether-regions of the internet, but the point is that it will take a lot of money to figure out, or will never work at all.

Earlier in this post I wrote “You can make almost any campaign work on any traffic source.” That’s true when you stick to the major, well-known ad networks out there. Here’s a list. Don’t believe buying 50,000 hits to your website for $9 on DigitalPoint is going to get you very far.

Stay Focused – Master Something

There are a ton more types of traffic. Some traffic combines variations of the above, some are completely different. I won’t even touch on email traffic, mobile traffic, and network syndication.

The lesson here is that each and every traffic source is different in its own little (well, massive) way. It might be easy to port a PoF campaign to Facebook, but it will be much harder to port a PoF campaign to TrafficVance. Try taking a PPV campaign (usually very lax rules) to Google (very strict rules on what needs to be on your landing page) and you’ll soon see the work involved.

Always Be Improving Your Funnel – You funnel can be simple landing page to a complex email capture and followup campaign, all the way up to your own offer. You should always be improving your sales funnel so the revenue goes up. Switching to a different traffic source will require some changes to your initial contact with the visitor (changes to a landing page based on a new demographic, which creatives to use, etc), but most of the time your end goal for the visitor remains the same.

The Traffic isn’t Going Anywhere – Stop worrying that Facebook or Google will dry up. They won’t. There’s more traffic out there that anyone can buy.

Winning Campaigns FTW – Once you have a successful campaign, you have two options.

1) Take this campaign to other traffic sources. Port a PPC campaign over to another PPC platform. Or modify a successful PPV campaign to work on a Social Network platform.

2) Scale Internally – A winning PlentyofFish campaign can be scaled to different demographics on PoF. A winning PPV campaign can be scaled to a slightly different set of targets. Or, you can create a new campaigns entirely on the traffic source you’re using (as long as you’re seeing the light on how this type of traffic works.)

The point is that a winning campaign gives you motivation. At some point, it just clicks. It’s easier to modify something that’s already working, then to try to continuously create something successful from scratch.

It takes time and money to master paid traffic. If you spend a few hundred bucks on a traffic source, give up, and move on to spend another few hundred bucks at a new traffic source, give up, you’re going to be worn thin. Many newbies wonder why this happens, but the writing is on the wall. You’re wasting your time and resources looking for that golden nugget, when you should be creating that golden nugget (or magic bullet lolz) yourself.

Saving “FML America” – Finch Guest Post

Barman Note:Normally I don’t do guest posts (since I never ask anyone to do it. But if you want to hit me up. It should be either good, funny, or full of drama if you want it posted)

Finch put out a “tweet” yesterday asking to guest post on peoples blogs. Out of all the people begging for his writing-love, he chose me!

He chose me! :: swoons::

Anyway, Finch is a blogger / affiliate marketer / drunkard from across the pond. Read his blog if you’re not already it’s kind of good. On to the post…

Saving “FML America”

This is a post about building trust in an industry where most of us sold the only ounce of it we had when we took our shoes off at the door.

I know what you’re thinking. Trust is so 2003. Who needs the fickle fancy of a returning customer when you can just scam his entire family and exploit the anorexic goddaughter in to an overdose of berries while you’re at it?

Trust is important, that’s why

And yet the only thing you can trust in this industry is that most people think you’re a lying, scheming, money-grabbing son of a bitch. Also referred to as an “affiliate marketer” by those who like their shit to smell of roses.

Affiliate marketing capitalizes on what I like to refer to as “FML America”. We’ve erected small empires of fortunes out of convincing people that they need to lose weight fast, that they need a girlfriend tonight, that they need to reverse the unnatural effects of age.

If you want to make a change in your life for the better, there’s a good chance we can sell you something that’ll change your life for the worse. But something has happened in the last year. What do we know about niches like dieting, teeth whitening, bizopp and muscle building?

1. There’s a demand to cure FML America. People want to lose weight, have whiter teeth, work shorter hours. You probably bought your last motor on the back of this demand.

2. There’s a lot of negative press associated with the solutions on the market.

Like an oil spill that’s slowly dirtied the waters, affiliate marketing has slowly but surely pissed off the consumer massive. No longer does Mary-Jo want to fit in to her new dress in time for summer. She simply wants her money back and 3 rounds with the bastard in Delhi who keeps cutting her off over customer service.

These people had dreams and through a combination of misleading advertising and their own retarded expectations, they’re still no closer to them. But FML America will learn to buy again.

You can get these people on your side. You can get them buying from you. All it takes is a little trust and some strategic reputation building.

There’s a huge gap in the market. How many people do you think *actually* achieved their goals with the acai berries for example? Not many, right? That means they’re still out there. They’re waiting for the next offer to arrive on their doorstep that’s too good to be true. The market hasn’t shrunk, it’s just been burnt.

This is where I’d recommend that it’s time to engage in a little reverse engineering. As affiliate marketers, we have access to almost every trick in the book. In the same way that we can piss off the general consumer public, we can become the darling voice of truth that helps them to avoid another canceled credit card. If we wanted to be.

I had a conversation not too long ago with a girl who was keen to try one of the notorious “home income bizopp” courses. She’d been sold the pipe dream, which is quite awkward to witness first hand I can assure you. Obviously I reintroduced her to her senses and talked her out of such an investment. And just like that, I instantly had her trust.

I could have probably recommended any other online bizopp course to her and she’d have snapped at the bait. Because I’d saved her from something she knew nothing about. I didn’t, I’m not that much of a dickhead. But it’s a perfect illustration of how your affiliate experience can be used to work the classic bait and switch in your favor.

STEP 1 – Find a product in Niche X that actually works. Something worth it’s value.

STEP 2
– Find lots of products in Niche X that leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

To earn respect and trust, you simply have to build a site that targets the pissed off, the cynical, the angry and the downright “Never Gonna Be Scammed Again I Dun Goofed” Mary-Jos of the world. These people were naive once, and they know it.

You can become the messiah of the FML America masses, simply by exposing the bullshit that goes on in affiliate marketing and offering a solution that actually works. I’m not talking about becoming Dennis Yu. The “offering a solution that actually works” is key.

Let’s think practical examples. PPV is pretty hot, right? Why not dump a pop-up on every single acai LP and ask people to opt-in to read about why the acai berries will lose them money rather than lose them love handles. This trick has been used already. But most people simply bait and switch to….another acai offer. You might as well just kill kittens for a living.

Instead, why not educate your audience on why the acai berry diet is the biggest scam under the sun. Rub it in their faces that YOU saved them from that canceled credit card. Build up their trust, before hitting them with weight loss offers that actually stand a chance in hell of working.

Most affiliates will continue to promote bullshit offers because bullshit offers are more rewarding in their pocket. But they only last as long the voice of discontentment stays quiet. If you take a look at the various consumer complaint forums on the web, you’ll get a first hand view of the false promises and the shattered dreams of these misguided mopes who’ve been lead astray.

Can you imagine the trust you’d have gained instantly with Google Money Tree users if they’d been able to read your blistering expose before they plugged their credit card details in to the system? I’m willing to bet they’d opt in to any list you threw at them simply on the back of you being an expert in your field.

There’s no easier way to build a list of potential customers than by shepherding them away from potential scams. You can become the guru of gurus. The first choice authority in your niche. And it’s all thanks to being aware of the bullshit that goes down in our industry.

Closing Thoughts

Oh hey it’s Barman again.

I have a few gripes with this post. First off Finch, aren’t you from England and shit? What do you know about FML America? Don’t you know Americans love being abused and coerced into false hope? It’s hope you can believe in!

I also have a gripe with this being “easier said than done.”

Step 1: Find a product in Niche X that actually works. Something worth it’s value

You can certainly play the “this is a scam angle” and make people believe you’re the messiah. And you can certainly get a lot of people to come to your site or join your list. But what the fuck are you gonna sell them? If it’s not an affiliate offer, then what is it? Truth About Abs e-book in diet? Have fun with 9 cent EPCs!

If there was an affiliate offer out there that worked awesome for the buyer AND it payed affiliates a shit-ton, then wouldn’t we just be promoting that in the first place?

All kidding aside, good post and this ploy can work well IF you actually do have something better to offer these customers.

That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it.

I love you Finch.

Does Your Domain Name Matter for PPC?

This is a pretty common question. Some newbcakes will ask, “Will my domain name affect my PPC campaigns? Is spending $500 (or a lot more) on a short-tail and / or brandable, domain name worth it? Or should you just spend $9 on a non-generic, “who gives a fuck” domain name?”

If you know anything, then yes, absolutely everything you do in PPC will have an effect on something else, including the domain name.

For the most part gurus talk out their asses when they give advice, so how about we post some cold hard data? PPC.bz drops the knowledge once again.

Read this Case Study on Improving CTR with a generic domain name by MemorableDomains then stop asking stupid questions.

Do Your Ads Make Sense for Your Landing Pages

This might be Newbie 101 shit but I’m writing it anyway. This article is geared more towards actual marketing, rather than those playing the numbers game of copying peoples ads on Facebook. With cheap enough traffic you can pretty much do anything and profit, but when margins aren’t huge and clicks are expensive, squeezing those pennies out of your campaign like a shifty jew can make or break it.

I don’t remember where I picked up this “catchphrase”, but I think it was in the book Always Be Testing: (great book by the way. The book actually has to do more with split-testing practices than Google’s Optimizer. Go buy it and make me 3 cents through my aff link):

Follow the Scent

Now what the fuck does that mean? Well, every online marketing campaign has its main components: traffic source -> ad copy (whether image or text) -> landing page -> offer. Any half-assed affiliate marketer will split-test the offers and networks, the landing pages, the ad copy, etc… but sometimes we forget that there’s an actual path taken by the visitor. You’re looking at your campaign front-to-back, back-to-front, upside-down, while the visitor is taking a path laid out to them. We might change something on an LP and completely fuck up conversion rates because we broke the “scent.”

So when you’re split-testing and creating campaigns, you have to carefully look what you’re doing so you can separate things into changes that will effect the path (example: headline), and changes that are isolated from the path (example: color of a call-to-action button). Of course there’s crossover, but most changes will lean to one side or the other.

“Follow the scent” implies that a visitor has intention when they click your ad. They read your ad, like what you’re saying, and expect to have their curiosity answered on your landing page. So if your ad has nothing to do with your landing page, or your landing page has nothing to do with your ads, then you’re not providing a very “followable” scent, are you?

Sometimes you have to step back and look at your overall campaign. We tend focus on the individual components to squeeze more CTR, or conversion rates out of our shit, but we may not realize that one change is fucking up our “scent”

Of course, most marketers won’t make this mistake and will provide some relevance. But most times you can be even more relevant, like the color theme of your ads can match the color theme of your landing page. That’s just an example, and it’s not a hard-and-fast rule either. Always be testing because what you think will work has a chance of not working when applied.

You want to minimize roadblocks on your conversion path. Roadblocks in our situation are things that will confuse, throw-off, or distract your visitor. But mostly it’s because you’re not providing the visitor what they wanted (or expected) when they clicked your ad.

How Good Campaigns are Made

Some campaigns are made by throwing a bunch of shit on the wall and seeing what sticks. You set-up a 10,000 keyword (which i would never actually do) and over time see that 50 are profitable. That’s good, but not good enough.

When you want to squeeze the money out of a keyword campaign like this example, you would start creating a highly-relevant landing page for each keyword. Improve the conversion path to improve the end result: conversions motherfucker!

You can take this route, or you can plan ahead and build your campaign in a way that provides relevance from the beginning.

Relevance is Right?

Fuck! Was Google right the whole time when they were ramming “relevance” down our throats? Basically “following the scent” is relevance. Creating relevance is an ass-ton of work, but that’s why the hardest working people are making chedda.

Minimizing Workload for Building Out and LP for Every Situation

So ideally you need a landing page for each situation and every type of visitor. But this sucks because it takes a lot of work.

If you wanted perfect relevance, there would be a different landing page for every type of visitor, keyword, ad, etc. In the real world, no one is going to do this shit, but you can find a middle ground. Every minute of planning you do will save you many more down the line.

I read a blog post that inspired this article. I was only going to post the link, but decided on babbling on instead and wasting a few hours of my day. Blogging sucks. Anyway, the post is this: Landing Page Planning and Strategy

That’s a really good read, and definitely something worth considering. When you plan out a new campaign, ask your self the tough questions. Who are my visitors going to be? How did they get here? What do they want? So on and so on.

If you’re feeling sassy create yourself a little chart like that so you have a road map, or at least a general guide line of what will work and what will probably not work so you don’t waste time doing it.

How Does it Apply?

How does the Landing Page Planning article apply to your situation? Goddammit why do I have to spell everything out for you newbcakes?

  • Media Buy
    • You have a rough idea of who visits the site you’re buying traffic from because you read this article. Make your landing page relevant to those types of visitors.
    • Or make your offer a “special offer” for that website’s visitors. The now-suspect “Welcome Facebook User!” graphic on popular IQ test offers makes those visitors feel warm and fuzzy inside!
    • While you’re at it, try making your image ad look like its part of the site. It’s worth trying to confuse the shit out of someone to see if CTR improves
  • Adwords Search – If you aren’t aware that Google loves relevance then you should slap chop yourself.
  • Image Ads
    • Does your banner lead to a landing page that has no relevance? Well, what the fuck? A great example from Always Be Testing: Client had image ads with the Gieco Gecko (if I remember correctly) that lead to lead form with a different color scheme and a woman’s picture. “What does this page have to do with the Gecko?” thought the visitors.
    • Can you split your ads and landing pages to be more relevant to males and females? For example image ad with chick leads to landing page with chick. Ad copy reads more to women’s interests.
  • Spamming – I don’t spam for shit, so fuck me if this is right. But see if spamming for relevance works over spamming for traffic… for example spam video game forums with video game sites, not just to get traffic to a bunch of random sites

Use with Caution

Like I said, these aren’t hard and fast rules. Everyone’s situation is different, so always test and track your shit. With cheap enough traffic you can ignore all of this horseshit I just spewed and still be profitable. And sometimes being completely irrelevant can work better than providing a scent to follow.

But you’ll never learn what tends to work and what tends not to work if you aren’t tracking and testing everything.