So I've been thinking of making this post for a while now. Firstly, to see for myself what my thoughts on the topic are and secondly to share some knowledge I've gained through out my own experience with affiliate marketing for the last 3-5 months.
When you first start affiliate marketing, there's just so much to learn and so many ways to go about doing it that you'll often find yourself stopping and reflecting on your progress. I've done this numerous times and asked myself if what I'm doing is the 'right thing to do' or not. If others who found success did what I'm doing or if others that are currently making an income via affiliate marketing are doing what I'm doing!
After a good 4 months in, doing this somewhat-fulltime, I've come to realize there is no right way to go about this with affiliate marketing. It's a frustrating thing to hear, particularly for the 'strategist' type person like myself but it's true. The fact is that everything I did in the early days played an integral part of what I know now. From the ridiculously poor -10 Quality Score landing pages that I tried promote on Google to losing $100's of dollars testing PPC with no conversions at all, it all allowed me to see what was needed for me to become successful at affiliate marketing.
To illustrate this better, let's compare two phases of my affiliate marketing career. One, the, 'Let's pump out as many campaigns as I can' phase and the 'Concentrate on one campaign till I run out of ideas' phase
'Let's pump out as many campaigns as I can'
I did this a lot at the start, particularly after reading some of the success stories on affplaybook. There seemed to be a correlation between pumping out campaigns and seeing success. Dr.Manhattans success story particularly stood out to me. For those of you's that aren't on affplaybook, here's the link to his interview with David,
There are some Pros and Cons that I've experienced with this method which I'll highlight below,
- You very quickly become proficient at using the tools and programs necessary to pump out campaigns. For me these would be GimpShop, (Similar to Photoshop), Filezilla, Prosper202, Talking to Affiliate Managers, general HTML and PHP, etc.
- You condition your mind to work through tedious tasks.
- The process of campaign building becomes almost second nature to you
- Target or URL hunting will become easier
- As you see a conversion here and there, you'll start to focus in on where your target market may be
- You can burn through a lot of money this way
- You may end up with too many campaigns to manage, stretching your focus too thin
- Although setting up a campaign will become pretty easy at this point, your knowledge of how to expand the campaign to more profitability might be limited.
- Although your chances of success may increase due to this 'quantity' focused approach, you might not spend the necessary hours researching your target market to see what URLs or targets are more likely to convert.
'Concentrate on one campaign till I run out of ideas'
This is what I applied in much of October which resulted in an overall $1k+ profitable month. Here is where I learned a whole new part of affiliate marketing, other then just throwing up campaigns. I really had the chance to focus in on one campaign, increasing it up to an almost $250 profit day! I still believe I can get it up to a $300 profit day which will be one of my goals for January.
- You learn a lot about campaign building, expanding to other traffic sources and what it actually takes to make a campaign profitable
- You'll learn little tricks and tips that can be applied to other campaigns. I found myself revisiting some of the other campaigns I couldn't get to convert and ended up getting conversions this time
- You'll have mostly profitable days
- You'll learn which elements of landing pages better contribute to CTR's
- The thought of making a career out of this will become a reality
- You'll feel so awesome that you'll want to write a success story on affplaybook :p
Cons, (I actually had a hard time thinking of some)
- Your offer can be pulled at any minute, (which is a normal AM hurdle)
- You might spend too much time and money on a poor offer
I'm sure there are some more pros and cons for these approaches but for now this is all I can think of. If money isn't an issue I would start with just pumping out campaigns as you'll learn a lot about the initial campaign building process. Sure, losing money can be intimidating but it's all part of learning. Have a $ loss budget per day your willing to just throw away. Any conversions or revenue that comes out of this should be seen as a bonus and nothing else.
Once you're more experienced you should start coming across campaigns + angles that show some sort of promise. Once I get to this stage I set aside a good 1-2 hours per day just researching and trying to expand the campaign. I try and push past my limiting beliefs of 'this campaign at best will only do $50 per day). Making a follow along at this point on affplaybook is a great idea at this stage.
Like I mentioned at the start, there really isn't a right or wrong way to go about things as we learn a lot about our mistakes making them a necessary part of our learning.
Hope this helps!