I know this is long overdue but trust me, there's a good reason why!
I've been under a rock lately because I had literally found a GOLD MINE on the internet and was spending every waking minute capitalizing it. I've been bragging about teespring for a while now but most of what I was doing previously was sending Google traffic to my teespring campaign(s).
This was ok but at my peak it was bringing in about $200 profit per day for a few weeks. Pretty good for the average affiliate but nothing amazing.
While promoting via Google, I was using the profit to test like CRAZY on FaceBook. I'm relatively inexperienced with FB so I knew I had a lot to learn to get things working. Especially with a traffic source that has SO many variables.
50 campaigns, (none tipped), later, I stepped back from it all.
Some of my FAILED Designs
Now what's wrong with these?
Design: There's nothing that really stands out from the designs. Yea, maybe the concept for some of them were cool or funny but if the shirts aren't wearable because it just looks too plain, you usually won't sell!
Targeting: This is probably one of, if not THE most important part of making something work on teespring. You're looking to target an audience that, upon seeing your ad, will react spontaneously. I try and picture an audience that will be like, "OMG that's me!", when they see this shirt. They should feel like this shirt was designed ONLY for them. Like the name, age, occupation, designs you see constantly topping teespring discover. How more personal can you get then a name?
Now days when I think about making a shirt, immediately I think about who I can target it too and if that audience is as passionate enough about the subject to actually buy a shirt and wear it outside. This clearly wasn't the case before, (zombies design above lol).
Much of these realizations come with experience. It's not about getting it right the first time. I've said this before, be PERSISTENT. Try something 50-100 times before making a conclusion on it. If I had stopped at 20 and moved on from teespring I wouldn't have made the ~90K above.
A Designer That I've Grown To LOVE!
After accepting the harsh reality that my designing skills sucked, I attempted to find a dedicated designer. I've had some decent experience in outsourcing things as I've outsourced website and phone app development/design through odesk/elance, I knew what I was looking for.
When you're looking for someone to work for/with you, the most important thing you need is, clear, concise communication skills. I've had so many of my project drag on simply because I couldn't get my point across as clearly as I wanted. When someone that spoke very fluent english, had experience working with communication/design firms and was relatively new to odesk I snapped him up quick smart.
He makes my designs, sets up my Teespring campaigns, makes my Newsfeed ads and recently has been coming up with his own ideas that, I think, are ingenious. That's the cool thing about working with someone who you can communicate well with. They can come up with their own creative ideas based on what you give them.
Anyways, the point is, for teespring campaigns to work you need a GREAT design & LASER targeting. Remember that formula and apply it to your campaigns.
Short campaign life
One thing that's getting frustrating to deal with is that campaigns on FB seem to have a much shorter campaign life then what I was doing previously. A campaign that does well exhausts its demographic after about 1-2 weeks. It reaches a frequency of about 2+ and sales/CTR start to drop drastically. When this happens I'm back to square one: find another campaign that works.
Sometimes I feel like I've just created a job for myself but the only benefit is I can work when i want. I still need to spend a good 2-4 hours a day maintaining and building campaigns. I might look into something more long term in the future.
The Formula For Huge Profits
I always wondered how the big guys were making 5K+ profit in affiliate marketing. After this months experience it started to click. I also remembered reading a lot of case studies before where top affiliates would write about 'monetizing high volume targets/keywords'. I never looked much into this but it's starting to make sense.
High Volume + High Profit Margin = Lots of $$$
This is true for the case of Teesping & FB. FB is a HUGE traffic source in terms of traffic volume. Teespring gives me $10-$20 per sale I make, (usually). When you combine the two and make them work, you get some REALLY profitable days which is what happened this month.
Using the same formula I might try media buys or finding the top targets for specific niches in terms of traffic volume and attempting to monetize them. This is also the reason why many experiences affiliates tell you to stick with good quality, high volume traffic sources like google, FaceBook, 50OnRed, TrafficVance, LI, etc.
Random negative days
Much of the success of this month came from one concept of T-Shirt designs just scaled 100 fold. When this started to die down and sales started to drop, I had to rush around trying to find new concepts I could scale. During this I had over 100 campaigns running which were getting very difficult to maintain. It took me almost an hour each day just working out the profit/loss for the day lol.
My focus was more on building campaigns then worrying about little holes in my campaign set up here and there. This method, overall, was more time efficient for me.
You can't monitor everything, sometimes you just need to apply the 80/20 and work on scaling what's giving you the best return on your time investment.
Look For Concepts Not One Shot Wonders
It's a great feeling when you hit a profitable campaign but when you hit on a 'concept' that leaves you buzzing with other ideas, you're in a much better place. For this reason I avoid doing designs that I think I can make money off just once off. I try and look for a concept that is scale-able. The name designs are a perfect example. Whoever realized that first must have minted it for a good while till FB got stricter with Custom Audiences.
The month of April has been much slower. I expected this as last months results wasn't a permanent thing. Like I said before, much of last months profits were made from a single concept that was VERY expandable. I'm finding it difficult to find profitable campaigns these days although my success:failure ratio has gotten better. 1 out of 5 designs are working for me so I'm definitely happy about that.
I'm aiming for 5k profits this month but that could all change if I find another gold mine so you never know!
Future guides/tutorials/blog direction
I'm being bombarded with questions from a lot of people so am thinking of making a tutorial section to this blog. Maybe put some detailed videos of how I set things up etc and some case studies of my successful campaigns and how/why they worked. If anyone has ideas on what they would like to see, comment below.
I'm also going to slow things down a bit. My time at the moment is better spent building campaigns and learning new things about affiliate marketing. This blog is really just a mind dump and I'm starting to feel obligated to continue posting which is getting annoying. I'll drop in for monthly reports and the occasional post here and there. Subscribe to my email list, I don't sell things, I just email out when I make a new post.
Join me on AffPlayBook and Going Forward
I hangout here more then my blog. I actually started a 150k+ profit follow along thread which has started to become VERY lively. If your not a member yet, I suggest you join if you're serious about hitting numbers like these. I drop more intricate tips there and others who have had similar success to me drop hints too. Join Here ($20 Off Discount Link).
Going forward, I'll be slowing down my paid affiliate marketing a little, hoping to stabilize at 5k-10k/month. This month was an exception because I just landed something that was really profitable. I'm hoping to take what I've learnt from that experience and use it to better my business. I'm also going to be investing more time into long term assets. I know I've been saying this for a while but it's still a little annoying seeing negative ROI days and I still need to do a substantial amount of work to keep this stuff going.
There's no easy way to all this. It's just a lot of hard work, repetition and grinding grinding grinding. If you feel stuck, don't be afraid to take a step back and ask WHY things aren't working. Read some case studies and hit it again with a different approach.
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