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From Zero to Profit on Mobile CPA, Follow my Journey

Discussion in 'Follow Alongs and Online Journeys' started by artie7, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    Hi Y’all,

    This is gonna be my personal journal through my AM immersion adventure, first some basic background: coming from an IT “penguin mechanic” role, which have allowed me to feed my family; we have moved 3 cities, and 2 countries. Mexican native I’ll consider myself successful from the classic way of thinking my generation was thought, you know those study hard, get 8-5 job, work hard, repeat, and hopefully you will get into 65 to retire and die, classic! until one day on past July I found myself alone for almost 5 weeks! then I thought this will be a good time to start a new internal project for my employer, loose some weight, etc, etc… but I did not!!! I found some interesting articles on the web about AM, and I thought well let’s see what all this is about. Long story short I spend 2 weeks reading like crazy (I have to admit I’m not that 20 year old guy who could learn too fast)… and then started to take some actions, little actions every day. This is the reason I’m gonna document my journey here and on my personal blog, to give other’s some insights, learn from people, and find out if AM is still a good industry for newcomers.

    AM and CPA basics: I found the following blogs, articles the most inspirational, useful throughout my journey so far:

    Start Here - CharlesNgo.com
    http://blog.peerfly.com/2013/06/03/affiliate-marketing-terms-explained/
    My Affiliate Marketing Journey 05 - Holy shit -
    About I Am Attila | iAmAttila
    Servando Silva - The Perks and Pains of being a Mobile Marketing Affiliate
    Cash Money Affiliate - Affiliate Mobile Marketing
    The Web Dash - Dissecting the Online Marketing Monster
    And last but not least: www.affilaitefix.com


    All the information on those sites have provided me the basics, and take-actions to continue on this journey…

    Now into action!!

    After reading the first couple of weeks, I had an urgency feeling to start doing something. To start on this world, I followed some guides and basically have an initial setup as follows:

    1. I bought 2 domain names, one for my tracking system and other for my blog/company name.
    2. I used Google Apps and got one email account working fast for me to start using my own domain name. This is important because you want your own personal domain, I think it will help you to denote you are real on business especially when applying to CPA Networks.
    3. VPS Server. I chose a 1G RAM Ubuntu flavor and installed Wordpress on it, this is being used primary for my blog. Originally I wanted the server to host my landing pages as well, design them though some WP plugins but ended doing it on a different way (more on that later). Then a second server, same specs, CentOS installed. I downloaded and setup Prosper202, freely available. I spent some time setting a WP theme, and getting couple of posts there to make the site live.
    4. I opened an account on clickbank, this is the easiest network to join… no validation other than you email. Then I found an offer on the diet niche.
    5. Opened an account on 7search, got $75 initial deposit.

    All of this happened through some days, I don’t recall exactly how many… since I’m doing it on my free times at work, and then hours later at home.


    My First campaign ever!!

    I didn’t know how to apply all the info I read and make it reality, I mean, yea you read about a bunch of stuff but ultimately until you actually start doing it, is when it gets clear. I had my initial deposit on 7search, and an account on clickbank like I said… I setup a quick direct-link campaign in prosper and started a new campaign on 7search to the offer from CB, I remember it was a Sunday afternoon. Next Morning my surprise:

    I had my first conversion!! This was real! (At least on the screen)
    Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.58.04 PM.png

    Of course this was just good luck, I just wanted to experience the campaign setup process on 7search and ended up having a good conversion, well... all hands on this!!

    Next Mission: CPA Networks Approval

    After having the excitement on my first AM attempt, I got to continue my journey. I needed some newcomers-friendly Networks, and started with peerfly, (I read almost entire Luke's blog) unfortunately until this day have not heard of them (I got in touch with them, and they simply said they are late on handling new approvals). I waited around 3 or four days and realized I needed another network, then decided to give MaxBounty a try: after a couple of days I was accepted!! Just followed an honest interview with one of their AMs, provided honest answers to his questions and got my approval. I spent a good amount of time browsing offers, just to get related with the interface and the process. After a few days, I got approval from other network as well.

    OMG, this is gonna be complicated... need to focus on one type of CPA offers and niche

    I found people giving good advices on what's trending, this is when I decided to focus on only one type of CPA offers: MOBILE!... with an increasingly numbers of devices being used, and people browsing from their mobiles, aside from the fact that the increasing number of ad-blockers on people desktops I decided to go for specializing on mobile offers. Then the niche: still trying to figuring out!!.. but, I needed to start with something, so I'm trying on the sweepstakes/vouchers niche. By this phase, I realized I needed new and specialized direction, I decided to invest on cashmoneyaffiliate and bought his Mobile Immersion access... Spend few days reading and watching his tools and strategies. Then I realized I needed the full-stack tools that top-affiliates are using, and ended adding the following:

    1. Replaced my prosper tracker and got access into adsbridge. Spend time learning the tool, and got convinced this was a good move: good price, support, and LPs hosting on the same deal.
    2. Bought access to mobileadscout to get an idea of what is working on mobile. Have to say that I don't plan on continue using this tool anymore, I think is quite immature and will try on whatrunswhere for my next move.


    At the same time I was doing all of this, I setup another campaign on 7search with my old prosper tracker and spend $50 trying to promote a desktop auto-insurance offer from MB, this was total loss (or total learning invest):

    135 Clicks $0.00 $0.00 Conversions (I tried to upload an image, but not sure why is not working).

    On my next post I'll describe my next steps... Follow my journal here!!

    Cheers!!
     
  2. monetizer
  3. sickness

    sickness Affiliate affiliate

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    Why don't you run the campaigns you found on mobileadsscout on mobile networks? I mean you did pay for that and cashmoneyaffiliate's guide so put both of them into use ;)
     
    artie7 likes this.
  4. bibbler

    bibbler Affiliate affiliate

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    Congrats on that quick first sale man! I'm just about ready to get started with Mobile as well and will follow along. Hope you keep updating :D
     
    artie7 likes this.
  5. Maxin

    Maxin Affiliate affiliate

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    Hey @artie7 --you are off to a great start. I started with ClickBank and continue to market CB products to this day. The great thing about many of their offers is that they pay $25 on up..one of my best affiliate campaigns, running for years now, is a CB offer in a weird niche that pays $37/sale with on going monthly payments..find those kind of offers if you can.

    Getting conversions on CB offers I find to require much more pre-selling work than surveys, lead gen, sweepstakes, downloads, etc.

    Joining MobileImmersion was a great move I think. You will get dialed in much faster than I am on my own journey because I am experimenting more to figure out my own path. Might jump on mobile immersion next month though..

    Good luck on your journey!
     
    artie7 likes this.
  6. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    Next Campaign

    Once I had access and spent good time learning mobile techniques, browsing offers from my networks sites, time researching ads on mobilescout for different countries I had the feeling of going nowhere: too much information, just too much. There where days where I felt really disoriented, I tried to keep calm and focus on one thing at the time, but man!, one thing gets you to another and so on... Finally after some more days, I had my plan for my next steps: Signed up for the most recommended traffic source for mobile campaigns (I planned to start with redirect/pop kind of traffic source) then follow the AM-Affiliate relationship asking him for offer's report based on EPC, once I got the list I focused on only one kind of offer/country, searched for "working" ads, and started my design LP process.

    Now I had picked an offer, and started the design for it, I remember I spent good amount of time during one weekend to find the tools/techniques to get my LP created (I started with Muse, then jumped straight into PhotoShop, there's a way to "Save for Web" your drawing and sliced it up, PS will create a html file with the sliced images for you. Once I had this prototype I uploaded to one of my VPS server and I felt I was ready... first LP: Done!

    Traffic Sources = PITA

    Parallel to all of this, I still had to open an account and fund my second traffic source... I took a list from the Mobile Immersion recommendations and started my research... Again, too much to digest... I was to the point again where I felt I was getting nowhere, and I made my first big mistake, I chose one from the list based and fund it: exoclick... I did it, and just about when I fund $200, I started to read more about the network just to find out that this network is really good to promote adult offers, dang!!! My offer had nothing to do with this... anyway I still have my account/fund there ready for the future!...

    Next, read and read again... and applied into ZeroPark, apparently a lot of affiliates use it for testing 'cause is cheap traffic... well, I got my first surprise: APPROVAL DENIED!! you can read my post here

    I couldn't believe it!, well, I felt discouraged but I continued with the list, this time I used DNTX like I mentioned on that post. I funded the account and was ready to start!!

    BUT!!!, at the same time I was dealing with all of this, I got a shout from the network: "My offer had expired". All the time on the LP and I couldn't test it. Okay, time to go for another one, and do it quickly: got in touch with AM and ask him for recommendations on country/offer. Got 3, picked one quickly, I felt I was on a rush!! I needed to start ASAP!!

    Anyway, I followed the same process: had an idea of a good LP, got my ass to work as fast as I could and finished with my LP hosted, setup my campaign on the tracker, and followed a quick campaign wizard on the traffic source. I was ready!!! This was afternoon after work, and now I just needed to wait for the traffic source to approve my ad.... time to go to sleep...

    TIP: My offer was allowed only on Asian Country. My hosting is US based, I heard some terrible news of speed problems, then I decided to CDN my LP... (this was fast, good to have some good IT back).

    Next morning:

    I got approval from the traffic source some time on the night, and the campaign started, on the morning I got this:

    ScreenShot1.png


    Good news!!! My first conversion on a CPA offer!!
    Bad news!! Again... offer died!!... I got an email again stating this offer will die in 24 hrs... okay, I stopped the traffic right away...
    Obviously, my ROI was red numbers, but I felt good to advance on this Journey...


    Moving quickly to the next one!

    I already had the list from the AM, the top recommendations from him, so I went directly into the next on the line, another Asian country offer. Since I already have my LP, the offer was promoting pretty much the same, I just made some updates here and there, synced up my links, CDN, etc... tracking ready, new campaign on the traffic source... and I was ready!!...

    Today I have stopped this after almost 4 days running. Now I have a better understanding on the traffic source, I was able to sync the costs into the tracker, better bidding, BUT!.. there's simply not enough traffic for the country:

    Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 12.02.18 PM.png


    Today is Friday, I'm planning on my next move, will update once I have something good enough to share... meanwhile:

    Cheers!!
     
    thehuffman, seeqer, K and 1 other person like this.
  7. Maxin

    Maxin Affiliate affiliate

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    Action packed progress! I have used PPV but without much success so far..at least you are getting conversions! Also good news that you are able to switch out offers so quickly. My format of campaigns takes me several hours to even a few days to create a campaign and lander that can get through approvals. Going to work your method next week!
     
  8. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    I guess that worked only because the offers was on the same niche, promoting almost the same product.. that's the reason I was able to make it work so quickly... on the other hand, for the next offers, I'm still on the "design" process... I don't know how long is gonna take me... hopefully I'll have something sorted out soon!...
     
    thehuffman, Maxin and seeqer like this.
  9. Maxin

    Maxin Affiliate affiliate

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    You have the seed of a great idea and one that I am using a lot: use the same landers on several different offers or even types of offers.
    If we can get away with it, this method of creating general purpose but unique landers that are easy to tweak for different campaigns keeps our time investment low. That way we can test a lot more offers.
     
  10. seeqer

    seeqer Affiliate affiliate

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    What is CDN?

    Good progress by the way.
     
  11. game333

    game333 Moderator moderator affiliate

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    Content Deliver Network
    Similar to CloudFlare, which it's a cloud host that hold your file, and take charge of delivering the content instead of the content being delivered from your hosting.

    CDN was used to save bandwidth, somehow it will speed up the image/video loading.
     
    seeqer likes this.
  12. seeqer

    seeqer Affiliate affiliate

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    Thanks!

    I was not aware of the awesomeness of cloud for content delivery and saving bandwidth. Definitively something to keep in mind.
     
    game333 likes this.
  13. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    Weekly report

    I don't know why I didn't get an email with the thread updates, but thanks for the people who ask/answer questions while I couldn't do it. From now on, I'll post weekly on this thread with advances, lessons learned, or anything else I can share with all you guys!!

    From Friday last week when I stopped the last campaign, I spend some time during the last weekend browsing on my networks mobile offers, also spend good amount of time seeing what's suppose to be working for other affiliates on mobileadscout, and decided to go for one sweepstake leadgen offer on tier1 country.


    "I'm sure I'm making huge mistakes during this journey, if you note something I'm doing wrong, I'll appreciate your sincere feedback on the thread, or you can reach out to me directly"

    By Sunday, I had some idea of the LP I'll start my design from, and started to get some initial design. Next I realized I needed a better approaching domain name for the offers, then I got a new Domain Name specifically targeted for this kind of offers, setup my CDN and was ready on this side. By next morning I needed to fund my DNTX account, I put $200 and was working on my LP.

    As soon as I felt my LP was ready to test, I made what I think was my mistake: launching with only one LP design (I did it because I base my design on what I thought was a solid LP, and I felt I needed to do something ASAP, it was 3 days already with everything stopped). The campaign started and by two days I got the following:

    Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.11.46 PM.png

    The upside was that I had some conversions and I spend time following the traffic source statistics, the tracker reports, and started to see some small things that I could optimize. The downside?? Two days after running this I realized my design was not too good, I felt I needed something else, then I surfed again on mobileadscout and found some other ideas. By this time I got a lot of questions, how do you decide how long and how much to test an offer?? and the best one: how often do you apply changes to your LPs? How long do you test those changes?

    While all of this was happening I started to realize another issue: there was a considerable discrepancy on the total Visits from my tracker, to the ones on DNTX. At first I didn't put too much attention to this, then I noticed it was not only the total visits, but I was getting some visits/clicks from different Countries that I was targeting on. I spend some time with AdsBridge support, and MIP as well... then I read some good article on the MIP and applied to YTZ, where you can redirect all the traffic which is not permitted on your offer. The process was quick and straight forward. I figured how to setup them up as a network in AdsBridge, then created offers accordingly to the type of traffic (redirect, pops, etc).

    By this time, I decided to base my next LPs as much as possible on the designs founded on mobileadscout, however I spend some time to apply significant changes and have ready 2 designs to start.

    All of this helped me to understand how rules work for campaigns within AdsBridge, I setup 2 different LPs, the YTZ offers for all traffic NOT permitted on my offer, and I was ready to roll: I raised the daily spend on DNTX to $50, and started... few minutes later I had visits, and noticed ALL of them where redirected to YTZ!! Dang!!! failure right there, I paused the campaign and found I forgot the following:

    TIP: If you have multiple rules on your AdsBridge campaign, make sure those are ACTIVE!!

    Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.32.02 PM.png

    All right, I fixed that "problem" and was running again, I left the campaign running, and this morning I got the following progress:

    Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.34.20 PM.png

    I have spend some good time digesting statistic data, and made some changes already:
    - Targeted specific Mobile OS
    - I noticed one of the LPs had doubled the conversions from the other one, so I changed routes and now I'm only running that one. I also updated some images on the LP.

    By now, by daily budget is gone. I'm planning no not making anymore changes and get more data until I had $0 on DNTX. Next I'll plan what to do next...

    Cheers!!
     
    K, seeqer and Maxin like this.
  14. Maxin

    Maxin Affiliate affiliate

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    Good work on adding multiple landers, getting tracking and redirects working on Adsbridge. You are seriously close to getting profitable. Wonder if you bumped up the payouts by running different offers that get over $2 per conversion, you would be super close to getting a positive ROI.
     
  15. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    Thanks @Maxin You are right, If I could find an offer which would pay above the $2 threshold I'll definitely be near to profit... I guess that's part of the game here, learn this kind of stuff, all the ifs and how's is what really makes you take the right decisions to take your campaigns into profit.

    What I've realize this morning, is that too many changes in short periods of time, changes on your daily traffic sources budgets and changes on the duration of your campaigns is what needs to be learned and mechanized. I've been thinking and reading about this, and most people will agree that the people who has been able to make a living on this industry is the people who have learn and mastered the "testing" and "scaling" part of a campaign. I think that in order to do so, they have found explicit work-flows they attach to, and they strictly follow those processes, they don't "guess", they must have documented all the processes and have most probably people helping them on some parts of the process.

    The sad part, is that no one will share their internal process, it just doesn't make sense to do it. Although there's a lot of people who claim they will "share" everything they know, just because they like to return the favor, or just because they like to help others achieve what they have, I think this is just BS... just look at it, people like NGO, the MIP owner, or even the ones running this forum, do you think they will share all his internal work-flows to you? for free? forget about it... and even if they offer a "paid" help, they will just give you some general guidelines they follow, you will need to find your own, based on what you learn from them.

    Well, enough of this, I think that once you have a good understanding of the tools required, the general CPA flow, have invested enough time reading other people advice, the best thing we can do is document, follow, and adapt our own work-flows: we need a detailed and specific plan, attach to it, learn from it, and adapt it though the time. In Software Development, there's a technique called TDD (test driven development), other called BDD (Behavior Driven development), which have been developed by people who have understood the most common slugs on SD processes and have develop their own, I think that's the mission for every new people trying this industry... came with your own recipes, attach to them, learn from them, and adapt them...

    Just a general thought...
     
    jsid1008, thehuffman and seeqer like this.
  16. seeqer

    seeqer Affiliate affiliate

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    People who have an incentive to share their secrets would do it. For instance, an affiliate manager who earns a commission on each conversion you make would have a reason to share some of his tricks.

    Look for affiliate managers if they are willing to share some tips with you. If you win, they win and their network win and the company that you are helping win. Everyone win. The problem not every manager has the time to help or his part of a network that help the newbies.

    Look around, try different network and different managers. That to is part of the process.
     
  17. Morticai

    Morticai Affiliate affiliate

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    A few things.

    First the payout of an offer doesn't matter... The EPC does.

    Far as you making changes thus far... I've made a video that might help you out.

     
    Ganoaffiliate, K, lrs1995 and 2 others like this.
  18. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    What I originally meant with my comment was general affiliate marketers, however you have a good point, I didn't realized that until now... and now being on 3 different networks, I can feel what you meant by helpful AMs... Again, thanks for the tip...
     
    thehuffman likes this.
  19. artie7

    artie7 Affiliate affiliate

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    I simply will say: Wow!! what a good explanation... That's exactly what I was talking about this morning... you mastered the internal work-flow, the inner parts of split-testing, and share it to the public!!... Now, what I have in mind is to document all of this, you gave a very good follow-path: monthly budget.

    What I'll do now, is look for more information regarding the EPC as you said... basically, if I'm understanding this correctly, the point to take into consideration to decide if A element performed better than B element, is NOT the profit, but the EPC obtained from the paid data, that's something I have not look at it... Again, Thanks for making this explanation!!
     
    thehuffman likes this.
  20. Morticai

    Morticai Affiliate affiliate

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    Not a problem!

    The only way to get an accruate EPC is from your own data. Never reliey on network EPC or anything like that.

    Every one will have a different EPC but as long as your EPC is better than your CPC you're in profit!
     
    seeqer and artie7 like this.
  21. seeqer

    seeqer Affiliate affiliate

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    I spoke about affiliate managers because they are the ones who have an incentive to help you. Affiliate marketers are your competitors. Your competitors will want your secrets but they will not share their secrets unless it is beneficial for them. Affiliate managers are often affiliate marketers but they are paid to help you and earn a commission on your sales as well (at least from what I have heard).

    They are your best bet. You do not have to worry about being send in the wrong direction or being taken advantage. They will not sell you expensive crap. They will not screw you because otherwise, their affiliate network will lose their reputation and their good affiliates which can bring down the affiliate network and make the bad affiliate manager lose his job.

    Affiliate marketers want your winning campaign and winning strategies but will very rarely share their winning campaign and their winning strategies for free.

    Affiliate managers wants you to win. That is why they should be your first go to people for the affiliate secrets and affiliate strategies.

    I should of explained that in my earlier post. I am sorry. I was in a hurry.
     
    artie7 likes this.

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