I spend most of my days helping affiliates and advertisers become successful. And with that comes being able to communicate the things that have made me successful as an affiliate in what I’ve done. It’s often said that doing and teaching are two very very different things. In doing you do a bunch of trial and error then in instinctively and eventually learn to do what you do. So to extrapolate that out into an easily repeatable formula to train other affiliates with isn’t so easy. The more I talk with affiliates the more i realize it’s not about the “How” as much as the “What” goes on in your head and how you approach things.
As your time goes on in your affiliate career you’ll realize your ideas change. When you first start in this business you just want to find anything that will work and make you some of that affiliate cash. And as you begin to progress along the affiliate path you’ll stop caring about things that just make a couple bucks. You’ll find that it can sometimes take just as long to get a campaign profitable with little potential as is does to get one profitable that has next to unlimited potential. If you’re doing a full test on a new campaign that can include mulitple presells each with optimization tech as well as spending a ton of time writing different copy and multi-variant testing. Then there is creating and testing text, flash and banner ads. Point being if you’re going to “Truly” test a campaign it’s a very deep involved time consuming thing. If you haven’t exhausted different colors, pictures, layouts, copy for landing pages and creatives you have no idea if you’ve even really tested it. You might have dipped your toe in the water but you could have been one step away. Don’t start testing unless you’re truly going to test. Think about weight loss or business opportunity, both of those campaigns are unprofitable if you run direct rather then through a presell page. Imagine how much money you could be leaving on the table not fully testing.
There are two major parts to creating a campaign at the highest level. Of course each of these things have many parts but sometimes it helps to break things down at their highest level first.
- Proof of Concept
Talking to affiliates often I find most smaller affiliate don’t think of things as a proof of concept for something much greater. They’re just testing something out. Well if you don’t plan on it making you over $1,000 a day profit from the start, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
When starting have your scaling plan laid out before you start. You should have a few traffic sources you’re most comfortable with. The should allow you to test with smaller amounts of cash and risk, these are your proof of concept traffic test beds. We have these types of traffic divided into two sections
- Keyword driven traffic
- Demographic driven traffic
We divide things into these two categories because they’re two totally different trains of thought and scale in two separate ways. We group content network into demographic driven because I believe that’s how it really works. All the quality score crap with keywords and related content is lumped into the keyword driven section. ( on a side note no real marketing has QS, it’s mearly finding the audience and demo that likes your product and advertise to them ) We do all our testing to see if the concept will work on either of these or both sections.
As we get good or bad data back from the proof of concepts we have a whole plan of traffic sources laid out for each section to scale out the campaign.
In a nutshell I think the major theme here is that you need to be planning the campaign to scale before you even start it. So as you now begin to start you new proof of concepts have a plan laid out as to how you’re going to scale it up and line your pockets with green.