I have read BHW for years and this is my way of giving back. While the covid-19 pandemic has forced a lot of people inside this side of the internet has figured out ways to make money online.
The best time to make money online was 10 years ago but the second best time is right now.
I have personally gone from $0 to consistent money making months in the last 12 months and if I can do it anyone can. I have also witnessed others hit 3 figure profit months in a matter of 45 days during lockdown. With that said there’s a lot of snake oil salesman in this industry so this is literally the most transparent step by step guide that gives you no excuses NOT to make money online with affiliate marketing.
Now unlike most of the internet let me openly address the benefits and negatives of affiliate marketing.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing?
1. You can make money in your sleep with as little as a $10 investments 2. Your only mandatory business costs are advertising so there’s very little risk 3. You build real transferable skills (online sales) to apply to your own business 4. You obtain location independent income
What are the cons of affiliate marketing?
1. You don’t own the product or brand so you can’t make any event based income. With e-commerce or dropshipping you can build a brand that sells for 4-5x your annual profit. This is not the case in A.M as no one is willing to “buy” unguaranteed marketing campaigns 2. It is harder to gain consistent revenue vs other business models. This is the real reason you see so many “guru’s” make courses. Even for the legit guys who genuinely make 6 figure monthly profits, there is always the grind of testing out new offers. 3. Not everybody is cut out for it. You need to get competent at very different skills I.E copywriting, coding and data analysis.
It’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into and make an informed decision based on facts not emotion.
Are you still with me? Great
These are the minimum requirements to take this seriously:
-At least $200 in disposable income every month for traffic -Willingness to lose I.E invest money while you learn this skill -Ability to use google to fill in knowledge gaps (I wish this was a joke) (Optional: $200 a month for tools e.g. automation and spy software) I am not selling a course so I have no reason to lie to you. If you don’t meet the minimum criteria you’re better of getting a part time day job. There’s no shame in that and I have done that myself in the past.
Okay so you know the pro’s and cons of affiliate marketing and the bare minimum requirements… how does it actually work?
You pay to place an ad in front of a visitor in a traffic source (e.g. Facebook or Google Search), who then clicks on your landing page (optional) before going onto the Offer page which belongs to the person who owns the product or offer that you’re marketing.
Once the visitor pays for the offer page’s product or completes a desired action e.g. gives their email this get’s tracked as a conversion and you get paid – Simple! Now the reason why the tracker is so important is that it gives you data that you can use to become more profitable. E.g. Samsung users are x2 as likely to convert on your offer so by cutting apple users you have halved your spend and increased your profit margin.
For tracking software the go-to platform for beginners is Bemob. They’re 100% free for up to 1 million events which is more than enough for most beginners and unlike other “free” trackers you get full support too. You may struggle getting set up if you aren’t that technical but you’ll get there by spending hours getting to grips with it or alternatively outsource the work and begin setting up campaigns.
What is the best affiliate marketing set up as a newbie on a low budget?
You want a traffic source that is cheap, works well with offers that convert quickly and easy to run and maintain so that you don’t waste time on building landing pages or setting up servers. Traditionally newbies to affiliate marketing started with PPV (pay per view). This is the pop under or pop up traffic that you will see after visiting specific websites. The traffic can be super cheap e.g. $0.002 per view however it is known for bot traffic. There are “bot” tests that you can use to counter that.
If you want to avoid having to bot test and just use high quality traffic I would highly recommend “Propeller Ads”. I use them myself (no affiliate link) they have been around for a long time and their traffic converts. They do have a minimum deposit of $100 so if you’re on a budget you can try Popcash instead that has a minimum deposit of $5 but the traffic quality isn’t as good.
Before you could easily direct link profitably but as the space got more and more competitive affiliates created landing pages to “pre-sell” their visitors and make more profit. Now the issue with landing pages is that you either have to learn how to code or buy a landing page tool. If you opt for the latter I would recommend purelander but you need basic coding knowledge to get the most out of it.
What people aren’t sharing openly is that even in 2021 you can still make money direct linking to an offer page. This is perfect because it means you don’t need to spend time coding or spend money on software to make your first few profitable campaigns. Now the way you do this right is to pick highly converting offers with attention grabbing landing pages that sell themselves. Which raises the question… Where do you find good offers??
Finding good offers
You want offers that are proven to be converting well. Most of you will get offers by signing up to affiliate networks that will act as middlemen between vendors who own the offers and affiliates who advertise them. The best way is to ask your affiliate manager or support to send you a revenue list of their offers. The issue with this approach is that many networks don’t send this to beginners and will instead recommend random offers that are hit and miss.
The solution is to sign up for Mobidea and Monetizer.
These platforms let you see exactly what offers are converting so you don’t waste your traffic on dead prospects.
Monetizer has a similar tool under their insights tab and ideally you should cross reference the data to pick the best campaigns.
This deserves a whole post on itself but in short focus on healthy amounts of revenue, with high conversion rates from specific: carriers, browsers, operating systems and devices. Also focus on offers that payout at least $0.5 otherwise it’s harder to sustain profitability.
Another reason to opt for these sites is because they accept beginners; they have quick payout terms (Mobidea is weekly) and cheap payment thresholds (Mobidea pays you after hitting 50 euros or equivalent). This lets you pump back money into your campaigns and scale a lot more easily without cash flow constraints.
So in summary your flow should be: PPV Traffic Source (Propeller Ads or Popcash) > Direct Offer Page (from Monetizer or Mobidea) > Conversions (Profit).
Super simple strategy that works and lets you find profitable winners quickly rather than wasting time on coding as a beginner.
Running profitable campaigns
Once you have the data on what offers are working well you need to compare it with the cost of traffic from your traffic source. If you find the CPM (cost per impression rate) is cheaper than the ecpm (earnings per impression) than you can try a test. Also make sure that you have enough volume in the traffic source to make it worth your while too. E.g. a country with 1 million impressions available is more desirable than 100,000 because you can run it for longer before it gets saturated and caps out.
When testing some stop losses you implement to make your budget work well for you is to spend x10 of your offer payout and x1 payout per zone ID.
E.g. $1 payout would mean you spend $10 on the campaign maximum and try and test a different offer if you don’t get at least -35% roi in your initial test
You would then only spend $1 per placement ID which is the sites that the traffic source has got your traffic from. If the budget is really tight you can even be more aggressive and cut zones by 0.5x payout which in this case would be $0.5
I would strongly recommend automating this process with something like The Optimizer. However if you’re on a tight budget propeller ads offers simple rule features too. It isn’t the best though so you will have to manually check in on your campaigns rather than let it run on autopilot.
As a last tip for running profitable campaigns I would avoid tier 1 countries like US, UK, Australia etc. when starting out. Their traffic is a lot more expensive and harder to make money from as the audiences have already been inundated with ads. “Tier 2” countries are better like South Africa and Egypt for example as well as many other Geos that I’m not willing to mention. To find them just look for geos with lower competition and cost in relation to their offer payouts.
This is one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. With tracking you can pinpoint what websites in your traffic sources are most profitable, what times of day you should run campaigns and get even as granular as what web browsers, devices and operating system versions are best to target.
These tools used to be up to $200 – 300 a month but costs have dramatically reduced with time. My recommendation and industry wide consensus of a great starting option is Bemob.
It’s free for up to 1 million events a month and they have live support. A relatively new alternative is Kintura although they offer no support for their free plan they do have machine learning features.
Another good option if you have the budget is Voluum but their limited starter plan is priced at $69 a month.
This warrants another post on setting up your tracker and if you scour online there are ways you can learn how to do this..
Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Conflict of interest is rife in affiliate marketing so you have to be careful where you get your information from. By piecing together information from different sources you can get a clear unbiased picture of what it takes to succeed. As this business works on referrals some of the most commonly “recommended” things aren’t the best… They just have good referral programmes.
A classic example is “clickbank university” that teaches people how to make money off Clickbank. In reality Clickbank products are not the best quality and the U.S market is quite saturated but you still see a ton of Youtube videos advertising it because they have a great recurring commission programme.
Another example include traffic sources that encourage you to spend $50 a day on testing a campaign because that’s how they make money but a mentor will guide you to spend 10x the offer payout. Why the difference in advice? Conflict of interest and incentives. Getting the right information
Forums Speaking of mentors and conflicts of interest, forums are the way to go in order to understand what is working right now however not all forums are created equal. BHW is a great and free place to start but do your research on others too
Go on an active forum and write a follow along to take consistent action and eventually the big players will notice and give you solid advice.
With that said this isn’t a magic bullet and you’ll still need to put the work in yourself. Take action 90% of the time and seek advice 10% of the time.
Courses are optional but they can speed up the learning process. If you do insist on getting a course seek a successful affiliate who offers useful free content and has a monthly model for his course. This is because it means they believe in it and know you will stick around. $9,999 one off courses by bank deposits with no paypal are obviously a complete no go. Bonus points if it’s his first or 2nd product because it means they’ll spend more time and effort and likely “over-service” you because they’re building their brand.