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Diary of The Worlds Lowest Earning Full Time Affiliate Marketer

Discussion in 'Follow Alongs and Online Journeys' started by captain47, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    Hey folks,

    I am the used to be the worlds lowest earning full time affiliate marketer but I wont be for very long. So this is me starting a thread to document my online journey. Join me and share your feedback as you please.

    I am open to all your suggestions, feel free to speak your mind and think out loud.

    The Who:
    - My first notable achievement online was a tech blog that I started in 2006.
    - Back in 2008 when SEO meant directory links and automated blog comments, I used to promote affiliate products through my blog and made a sum that was pretty decent in those days.
    - Soon turned into web development and worked as a WordPress developer with some major clients. This was 2009
    - Co-founded a digital marketing company in early 2011 and had a good run until I got out in 2013.
    - Traveled as much as I wanted to and figured out what I wanted to do in my life.

    The Why:
    Earlier this year I made a list of career choices that I would like to pursue. Each of them was big enough to help me check out my entire bucket list. Having tasted the fruits of affiliate marketing already, I decided to go with it. I know if I make it in affiliate marketing, I can have all my dreams.

    The What:
    Short term major goal: Make 30k$ profit by March 2015. I started on September 1st 2014, so thats 7 months.
    Short term minor goal: Reach 100$ a day profit by January 1st 2015. [April.2015]
    Short term nano goal: Reach 20$ a day profit from the campaign I am running now (details will follow) by Nov 7th 2014. [25.March.2015]

    The When:
    Focused efforts started on: September 1st 2014.

    The How:
    Mobile. Because its the "new" and because I like its complexity. I am hooked!

    Preparations:
    - I have a set budget to test out offers and get started.
    - I live a frugal life and spend only what I have to.
    - I have paused my clients and turned off all distractions to help me focus.
    - I have a routine life and I stick to it as much as possible.
    - Affiliate Marketing is my only focus and I am determined to make it.

    The Process:
    The process I follow now has evolved since I started. I stuck to one traffic source (Decisive) and 3 offers for my first month. I was testing ad copies and banners daily but it turned out to be something I cant afford at the moment. This is my new process:

    - Launch upto 3 campaigns a day.
    - Spend 10$ on each campaign and see what works.
    - Anything that has a -50% ROI or more, work on it until its breakeven.
    - Scale at breakeven.
    - Test a new traffic source in the scaling process.

    Affiliate Networks:
    - Mundo Media
    - Matomy Media
    - F5 Media
    - Above All Offers

    Progress so far:
    Campaigns Tested: 8
    Total Spent: 300$
    Total Earnings: 27$

    Current Campaign Details

    Vertical: Mobile App Install - Utility App
    Payout: 1-2$
    Traffic Source: MobiCow
    Total Spent: 15$
    Total Earnings: 18$

    Currently I am testing Landing Page variations and trying to further improve conversions. Also trying to come up with a plan to scale. MobiCow doesn't have enough traffic to scale this one. So my possible next steps are:

    - See if I can find the same offer for other Geo's and expand to them. Currently its limited to one country.
    - Pick a new traffic source and test the same offer on it. Air Push and BuzzCity are on my list.

    Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks for following me so far.

    *Captain bows the brave*
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
    nctymission, jakon, Leif W and 8 others like this.
  2. internalsoul

    internalsoul Moderator moderator affiliate

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    Your Journal looks promising captain. Good Luck.
    Subscribed to your success :)
     
    captain47 likes this.
  3. blackbeard

    blackbeard Affiliate affiliate

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    I will follow along. All the best mate
     
    captain47 likes this.
  4. lrs1995

    lrs1995 Moderator moderator affiliate

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    Subscribed. Good Luck mate! :ninja:
     
    captain47 likes this.
  5. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    Thanks people!

    @internalsoul - I am following your CPA journey as well :)
     
    internalsoul likes this.
  6. danielcohen

    danielcohen Affiliate affiliate

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    good luck! would check BZ only if they got nice reach and only after enough IP data
     
  7. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    I have been hearing that people are getting conversions on the same vertical. Already got some cash loaded up, so I am gonna test it out for the hell of it.

    Appreciate the feedback mate :)
     
    danielcohen likes this.
  8. danielcohen

    danielcohen Affiliate affiliate

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    for sure! im excited for you! making me motivated-BZ was my first profitble campaign. just when i tested for the first time IP targeting
     
    captain47 likes this.
  9. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    Oh man, thats so good to hear! Go get them tiger!
     
    danielcohen likes this.
  10. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    Ahoy!

    The first traffic source I tested was Decisive. It came highly recommended and looked easy enough and I went for it. Decisive turned out to be highly competitive and all my campaigns lost money.

    But here is something I learned on how to get access to premium traffic on Decisive: Basically, Decisive wants branded campaigns for its premium traffic.

    - Include the Logo of the offer in the banner
    - Include the Brand name and the offer name.
    - Include the type of offer or give a sense of what the offer does. Like if its an app install, let the user know that he is gonna install an app.
    - Neatness of the LP
    - Similarity of the LP to the offer page. Basically say the offer name and include a logo.
    - All banners in one campaign must follow these guidelines to be accepted for premium traffic.

    In my experience, premium v/s non-premium didn't make much of a difference in terms of ROI. But I was told that game campaigns work better with their premium traffic.

    If you are testing Decisive, good luck. I have paused it for now.

    *Captain sips his rum*
     
    seeqer and internalsoul like this.
  11. amigous

    amigous Affiliate affiliate

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    Yes, Decisive works best for game app install offers.

    Good luck to your journey!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2014
    seeqer and captain47 like this.
  12. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    *Captain decides to ramble*

    Landing Pages Down:
    So my Host has been down for about 24 hours now. All my Landing Pages are paused for now. What a shame. ( HostGator Peer Support Forums - Oct. 29 02:00 : Emergency maintenance : All reseller servers. )

    What if this happened while I was spending say 1000$ a day and the page goes down in the middle of the night and I am asleep?

    I am already using Pingdom. On another thread - How Do You Know When Your Server Is Down? | Affiliate Marketing Forum | AffiliateFix Luke recommended Uptime Robot: Uptime Robot which is completely free. I need to check that out.

    Maybe in the future I should get multiple VPS accounts and monitor them closely. And have a team member be online when I am asleep to monitor its status and take necessary action.

    Another note to self: Double check that the user goes to the intended Landing Page and that I am accepted into the offer before I run the campaign.

    When I ran my first campaign, I sent users to a page that I thought was the link to the app store but was actually a landing page. Not good.
    Yesterday I ran a campaign where I thought I was in, but I wasn't actually in until I double checked with my aff man. Wasted a few bucks and a days worth of testing time. Not good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014
    jakon, seeqer and internalsoul like this.
  13. internalsoul

    internalsoul Moderator moderator affiliate

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    Hey captain,
    Thanks for pointing out the issue we might face with server downtime. I will test out uptimerobot too.
    Best wishes for your journey mate :)
     
    captain47 likes this.
  14. sleenirvana

    sleenirvana Affiliate affiliate

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    Yup from experience of my friend, when he hit a huge campaign. His server ,explode. He had million clicks coming in. He lost 6k in one night. But the next day he moved to liquid web. That turned out to be one of his biggest campaign.
     
    captain47 likes this.
  15. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    I think one feasible solution is to host the landing pages on two servers and find a way to redirect things to the second server when the first is down. Or spread it over multiple servers and split it in Voluum. That way, even if one server goes down, you wont loose all traffic.

    They restored my pages, but some of them are missing. Sucks for me, but hey when going gets tough, the tough gets going, right!
     
  16. jonmic2k

    jonmic2k Affiliate affiliate

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    Promising thread since I'm a newbie myself..

    Kinda contemplating if I should create my own follow along..but my campaigns have all been in the red so nothing to shout about.

    Anyways, subscribed!
     
    captain47 likes this.
  17. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    Go for it man, create one of your own. As long as you have progress to show, go for it. And thanks for subscribing :)
     
    internalsoul likes this.
  18. captain47

    captain47 Affiliate affiliate

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    So after two months of testing, I had my first profitable campaign last week. That got me excited, gave me a new wave of motivation and I started testing Landing Page variations and almost made one that was converting well.

    Then my server went down. I have been using HostGator since 2009 and they never had any major downtime in this period. I was so happy with them. But they just had to be down, not just for an hour, or a day, but for an entire week at the time I needed them the most.

    And the worst part, their latest backup is 2 days before I created the page, so that page is gone now. I remember how the page looked like and am trying to make one like that, but the exact words that made the conversions are gone.

    I feel like Jordan Belfort on his first day on Wall Street as a licensed stock broker when the markets crashed on the Black Monday of 1987.

    I have to say, I was hit by that quite a bit because this meant all my pages for two campaigns were now gone. Vanished. And my clients on my resellers needed my time to bring their sites back up. And my sisters engagement party was coming up (which was on Nov 2nd) and I had very little time in my hands.

    Sylvester_Stallone_Quote_Rocky.jpg

    Kicking Back Up

    But on the bright side, I got a taste of how things can go wrong in your campaign and how it can be so out of your control. This is the POA:

    - I am switching from HostGator reseller to a new VPS soon. I am looking at options, if you have any suggestions, please do.
    - I am shutting down my Reseller hosting business. It wasn't making much money, and so its not worth the time. Also it doesn't fit in with the direction I am heading.
    - Added my sites to Uptime Robot
    - Created a process to backup my sites on a daily basis and store the backup outside my server
    - Moved all landing pages to a new domain.

    So lessons learned. Moving on.

    *Captain moves his butt cuz it hurts*
     
    jakon, seeqer, sleenirvana and 2 others like this.
  19. jonmic2k

    jonmic2k Affiliate affiliate

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    That sucks dude but lessons learned! And congrats on your first profitable campaign. I'm still looking for mine :)
     
    captain47 likes this.
  20. internalsoul

    internalsoul Moderator moderator affiliate

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    That sucks mate. It really hurts. This is what i do in case of back:-
    1. I always keep a copy on my HDD. I still save a copy on my dropbox, just the way its saved on my HDD.
    2. While making small tweaks and variations, I copy the original folder and name it little differently(for example if my old folder is named as LP1 then my new folder will be like LP1.1).This helps me to check what variations i have made so far since the start of the campaign. Every small details help.

    BTW congrats on your 1st profitable campaign. Keep up the good work. Looking forward for more stats.
     
    seeqer and captain47 like this.

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