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S3K's Affiliate Marketing Journey

Discussion in 'Follow Alongs and Online Journeys' started by s3k, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate

    Hey guys, S3K here.

    Decided to start a progress thread here for 4 main reasons:

    1. Document my progress
    2. Organize and analyze my thinking process
    3. Keep myself accountable
    4. Get feedback from others

    Anyways, to start off I'm a raw noob at affiliate marketing.

    Meaning I've never ran an offer from a network or anything.

    However, I do some of the skills needed for affiliate marketing.

    I can copywrite decently well (freelanced for a while), basic photoshop, landing page creation plus optimization (can't code though, just using drag n drop builders), basic SEO, and know how to buy domains and setup hosting.

    In fact I use those skills at my full time job which is as an in house marketer for a leading health site (not "in house" literally, as I work from home actually).

    I've actually beat the original sales pages conversion rates our company used for a few products when we split tested them, and now they use my sales page variations :)

    So, I feel my natural strength is in copywriting and landing page creation as I have a gut feeling of what converts and what doesn't (although I believe you should always trust the data over intuition).

    Anyways, enough rambling about my background. So far I have:

    1. Signed up for a few CPA networks and looked at offers. I want to focus on mobile, specifically app installs, antivirus, and sweepstakes.
    2. Signed up for a few traffic sources likewise.
    3. Purchased a landing page builder (PureLander).
    4. Signed up for a tracker (Kintura) - it's quite new so I really can't find many resources on it. There's like 2 videos on YouTube and that's it. If anyone else uses it hit me up.

    What I want to get accomplished over the next few days:

    1. Learn to use my tracker
    2. Buy a domain
    3. Make some landing pages and ads
    4. Run some traffic and analyze data

    I'll keep this thread updated when I have time/as often as I can.

    I realize this is a slow game and therefore I'm going to be patient -

    My first goal is to hit $50/day clean profit consistently within 6 months.

    And I'm willing to burn through $3000-5000 to reach this point.

    Anyways, if other noobs want to connect with me, feel free to shoot over a PM.

    Also I really appreciate if those that have reached success can give me advice as I go along.
    JonathanB, ClickWD, tyoussef and 2 others like this.
  2. CPA Evolution
  3. game333

    game333 Moderator moderator affiliate

    Keeping yourself motivated is more important than your work tracked!

    Good luck!
    tyoussef and s3k like this.
  4. thetrav

    thetrav Affiliate affiliate

    Copywriting is a must in marketing and its good you have skills for this. Also, don't be afraid to switch from drag&drop coding to a simple programming language like ruby or python, you won't regret it. Automation can save you lots of time in marketing.

    Good luck with the journey!
    s3k likes this.
  5. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate


    Here's a summary of what I've been up to lately:

    - Fixed a tracking issue from the network side. However the tracking still isn't working with the traffic source (PropellerAds). I can't see which zones conversions are coming from, only visits and clicks

    - Made some more landing pages for a sweep offer using PureLander (It's only $25 for 6 months so was a good start for me. However I'm realizing it's a bit limited so will probably move on from that once I get AdPlexity)

    - Ran some traffic to test different landing pages for the sweep offer I've been focused on. Started using SmartCPM instead of normal CPM for bidding also.

    - I tested the same offer on another network and the conversion rate was actually lower than the original one, along with the payout being lower - $0.22 vs. $0.27) So I'm exclusively focused on the original network's offer.

    - Made a profit & loss as well as cash flow spreadsheet. Been 2 years since I took intro to financial accounting in university but I still remember enough to get by!

    Also made my first conversions - 4 in total.

    So far I've spent $173.93 on campaigns (doesn't just include the above offer but multiple that I just blew money on direct linking).

    Self Criticisms:

    I realized I've spent a bit too much on traffic though - not because the offer doesn't have potential (it does and is performing quite well according to my AM and the network stats), but because I've kept it running while tracking is still broken (I can't see which zone ID's are converting in Propeller).

    Everytime I think I've fixed tracking I run about $20 of traffic and once I check the stats my campaign budget has dried up and the tracking still doesn't work properly (did this several times). So I'm going to stop running traffic until this is fixed for good and be more diligent in setting up tracking properly before starting new campaigns.

    Also, at the moment I'm basically shooting in the dark not using AdPlexity or similar tools. While I think a few of the landing pages I made could have potential with more tweaking and testing, it's not worth the time and feeling of uncertainty when I could use AdPlexity instead. I will buy it in the next couple days after I get paid from my full-time job. Getting it will make my job easier for sure.

    Anyways, once I've got AdPlexity and fixed my tracking issues, and then proceed to run traffic on some ripped landers it should be a step above what I've been doing so far.

    Just a bit worried about the technical side of things, like fixing up ripped landers and modifying things to fit my offer/angle/etc. I'll put some time into reading the tutorials here and see how it goes.
    game333 likes this.
  6. Certified

    tyoussef Moderator moderator Certified Vendor Service Manager affiliate

    really cool @s3k.

    don't forget to post the stats like this:
    day number: x
    ads spend : x
    conversions : x
    revenue : x
    net profit : x

    also if you have adplexity you may still need to have PureLander because we have a feature where you can import landing pages of adplexity to purelader and modify them there, and add the other features to it.

    have you posted the issue in the forum, because if you did, we will help you about that, and you will not loose that much time and money.

    PureLander will help you solve that man, we have import landing page feature check what you can do using that features:
    JonathanB, game333 and s3k like this.
  7. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate


    Thanks for the reply!

    I will include the stats on my next update and also have fixed the tracking issue :)

    I have bought adplexity yesterday and tried the import lander feature, didn't spend too much time testing it but will give it more time soon.
  8. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate


    So I finally bought adplexity several days ago and have ripped some landers for offers I'm running.

    Since I already know some HTML & CSS it wasn't hard to change the more basic landers so I tested a couple of those which have been converting better than the stuff I've made by myself using PureLander templates so far, but still having tracking and technical issues.

    I also hired a web dev assistant on upwork to work on the more complicated landing pages with JS and PHP as there's stuff there that might be a bit malicious.

    Quite cheap for me and it's easy work for him so win-win.

    I get to focus on brainstorming angles/strategy, analyzing data, and cultivating relationships in this industry instead of scratching my head.

    He's fixed a couple landers for me which I'm going to test soon, after I implement my bot tracking script (waiting for my tracking support to get back to me.)

    Anyways, I have a couple questions:

    1. Is my level of click loss normal? Pics here:

    Network Stats:

    Traffic Source Stats:

    Tracker Stats:

    As you can see, traffic source reports 10,414 impressions vs. 4814 visits on tracker, and network reports 234 clicks vs. 545 from the tracker.

    Over 50% difference in both measures. I've discussed this with my tracker support but they've told me it's normal. Not sure if it's alright to have such a difference though, let me know what you guys think.

    2. Does anyone else's {cost} token in PropellerAds not work?

    I've set the cost to auto in my tracker but it doesn't work even though I have the {cost} token in my URL. FYI I'm bidding with SmartCPM.

    It's not sending any cost data, so I'm trying to figure out how to update the cost with CPM, CPC, or CPA to accurately analyze data.

    However that's not really working, so I'm still just looking at the PropellerAds stats to analyze the cost side of things.

    Anyone that has experience with this kind of problem let me know.

    Anyways, seems I have to handle these problems before I continue running traffic. Burnt quite a bit more than I would've liked, so definitely would be nice to handle these issues before I start ramping up on the spending and mass testing different landing pages and offers.

    In the meantime, I'll keep ripping and fixing up landing pages, as well as finding different offers to test.
    game333 likes this.
  9. Graybeard

    Graybeard Well-Known Member affiliate

    What type of ads are you using?
    scale=3; 234/10414
    is that 2.2% in WHAT network?
    If they are popup ads you should see that ad served to 70% or more (95% was my best delivery rates seen so far) to the actual clients (users, browsers) -- that is a obvious pad (skim|time lapse discrepancy on the client end?) I have seen in every ad network I have tested so far. I get these numbers from MY server logs -- they are 100% right.

    CPM, native or other display; is another matter -- if you are not hosting the creative (image) for the ad; any stats you are given is very questionable IMHO.

    Your only measure that matters is the EPC or possibly the CTR reported by the offer (assuming they are not shaving -- that is all too common). I don't mean to be cynical but over the years I have reached this conclusion.

    As an affiliate your EPC is your only definite and REAL measure for comparison.
    game333 and s3k like this.
  10. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate

    I'm doing popunder ads on propellerads.

    Actually it should be 234/545 for clicks and 4814/10,414 for impressions.

    So basically more than half of the clicks and impressions aren't registering in my tracker!

    I will keep EPC more in mind now, mostly been looking at CTR and CR... thanks for the tip
  11. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate


    So I haven't posted here in basically 6 months, because I migrated(lol) to another forum (the $99/month one - not sure if I can mention the name here).

    Learnt a lot, tested a lot, had a few big campaigns (at least for my standards for now - $100-200 profit/day). Currently red again and testing a bunch of stuff.

    Anyways, just wanted to post here to commit myself to posting here again every so often as this forum has some really good stuff, and letting you guys know I'm still active in affiliate marketing (if any of you care)...

    Will be browsing here more often hopefully and contributing more as well
    JonathanB, abdellahi and T J Tutor like this.
  12. Graybeard

    Graybeard Well-Known Member affiliate

    What was the conclusion of the wide variance for propeller ads -- did you find a solid reason for the difference?
  13. s3k

    s3k Affiliate affiliate

    Didn't end up finding out as I switched tracking software soon after...
  14. Certified
    T J Tutor

    T J Tutor GM Administrator Certified Vendor Dojo Master affiliate

    We all care!...............................
    mindxaker likes this.