Monday, January 12, 2015

Affiliate Marketing on a Limited Budget

One of the most common needs for many beginning affiliates is to have the knowledge to be able to start up a successful advertising campaign with a tight budget. Not everyone has a line of credit to fund their new business, nor does everyone have stacks of cash in order to make it happen at all costs. If your funds are limited, how can you still become a successful affiliate?

Understand What You Shouldn’t Be Doing In the First Place

This is critical for any affiliate that’s set up for success. You simply have to know what you should avoid and what might be worth giving a shot. Many so-called “gurus” really try to overcomplicate this, so let’s take a look at it with a more simple approach.
  • Don’t think that you’ll be able to achieve overnight success. It’s just not realistic. You’ll lose some and win some, that’s simply just part of the equation.
  • Don’t choose offers based solely on how well it pays. Payouts don’t tell you whether or not it’s going to be a way to stack your cash easily.i
  • Don’t think that the cheapest clicks will give you the best conversion rate. Sometimes the more expensive clicks convert the best, it just depends on the niche you’re targeting.
  • Don’t rush into launching an ad campaign as this could hurt you when you don’t have the money that you can afford to lose. Focus on launching the highest quality ad campaign possible. Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to do just that.
    • Are the links properly set up?
    • Are your clicks being tracked accurately? This is on both ends, your affiliate account as well as your tracking platform.
    • Are you targeting the right people for the offer that you’re promoting?

Now that you know what to stay away from, you’re ready to get deeper into how you can advertise with limited funds at your disposal.

Harness the Power of Priceless Opportunities

Affiliate marketing is about opportunity. Every single day you see it, promises of how you can work at home and be comfortable while making decent money, promises of spending more time with your kids (if you have any), and promises that this is simply one of the best jobs in the world. It’s not some big secret that opportunity is what drives this industry.

Keeping that in mind, there are many priceless opportunities that you can use to your advantage when you have have a limited ad budget. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Build Slowly While Using Persistence

You can’t create the most profitable advertising campaign in the world by doing it quickly. The old saying “good things come to those who wait” proves true, especially in this case. You don’t have to wait forever, but you do need to take your time to assure that your campaign covers everything that it needs to and that it’s rolled out in a manner that isn’t going to blow all of your funds at once. Build slowly, and don’t give up. That’s the true key to being a successful affiliate even when the funding may be on a smaller scale.

With that in mind, this also means that you need to plan your ad campaign just like you’re about to roll out a million dollar marketing project, but while keeping a daily budget that allows you to prolong the longevity of your campaign. By doing this you’ll be able to test without wasting hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars for little or no results.

Use the Ads of Competitors to Your Advantage

By keeping an eye on your competition within a particular niche, you’ll end up being able to see what works as well as what doesn’t work. Go ahead and make a mental note (physical if you have to) about the ads of your competitors and what they’re doing to ensure a successful marketing campaign. Once you’ve gotten an idea about what your competition is doing and has done, think about how you can do it different but with a better approach.

An Ad Voucher Can Save You Money

Google and Yahoo! are two advertising sources that provide advertisers with a free voucher that give you a certain amount of advertising funds in the form of a credit. This is a great way to get your ad campaigns rolling without large amounts of money.

If you wanted to take it one step further, just set up a few different ad accounts so that you can use more than one voucher. You could easily turn that into over a thousand bucks worth of advertising funds.

Ask yourself, “is there another way that this campaign could work?”

Many people get disappointed when they don’t see their ads producing results for them. Instead of thinking about how they could make it work, they just throw the idea in the trash and start over again. The most successful people in this world found other ways to make things work and this has been proven to work time and time again.

Do What Nobody Else Does

There’s one big problem that’s been lingering around the affiliate marketing industry for the longest time. Too many people spend their time and energy trying to “copycat” someone else’s ideas. Just because someone claims or seems to be successful doesn’t mean that you have to go and copy what it is that they’re doing. Instead, get ideas from it and do something that nobody else does.

One Word Leads to Success When Bootstrapping: Simplify

When you overthink something, you’re honestly limiting your potential. There can’t be any better way to sum this up than to follow the K.I.S.S. principle, “Keep It Simple Stupid.” Go about things in a simple fashion and you will quickly see exactly how your life has become less stressful and more beneficial while your business reaps the benefits of simplicity.

Evaluate Your Options for Traffic Sources & Use the Best Ones

It’s important not to limit yourself to just one traffic source, many affiliates have seen their demise by doing so while others have reached phenomenal levels of success when they embraced diversification within this particular part of their advertising campaign.

When you go about finding various traffic sources, try to get to know what each one has to offer and what audiences they’re best at targeting. Make sure that you run offers that will be beneficial to the reach that you get through a traffic source. More about your options when it comes to traffic sources is available as you get deeper into this guide.

Take Your Campaign to the Next Level & Make REAL Money

When you start seeing success with an advertising campaign, you’ll quickly be able to see which ads have the most potential to earn you more money and which ones just might not work for creating an income for yourself. Take the strongest ones and scale them to even bigger campaigns that target a much wider reach towards the people within your targeted demographic. This is just one part of how you can go from being a beginner that barely makes an income to one hell of a money-making affiliate that networks will scramble to in order to win you over.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Understanding Split Testing

The word split testing is dreaded by a lot of affiliates, especially the beginners simply because it’s a process that’s more often over-thought than not. This is something that must come to an end. Right here, right now. Let’s go about split testing in a simple way that’s to the point so that it’s much easier for everyone to understand.

The Essence of Split Testing

The whole purpose of split testing is to weed out crappy ads and landing pages from the ones that perform the best. You don’t need to let your emotions get in the way when split testing or it will turn out to be a completely ineffective task. Ending with being nothing but a waste of time, energy, and your thought process. There are two main types of split testing used by affiliates today and those are:
  • Website Split Testing - This is also known as split testing landing pages. The purpose is to try out different approaches in order to see which approach works best for the traffic that’s being driven to it.
  • Ad Campaign Split Testing - This is where you take variations of one advertisement (it could be using a different picture, headline, etc.) and test out which one gets the most interaction.

Is split testing for every affiliate?

Absolutely, while many may not think they need to split test, it’s essential for any marketing campaign. If you don’t test out different ideas and approaches, you won’t be able to uncover the gold so to speak. Affiliates can’t afford to ignore what split testing has to offer, and this is honestly something that can’t be stressed enough.

What do I need to get in order to split test?

Just some sort of reputable tracking software like CPV Lab or Prosper202 (which is free by the way) will work. All you need is something that allows you to track the results and see which test is performing the best. It’s nothing too overly complicated.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with a whole bunch of cool ideas to test at once!

Ideally you only want to make one change per split test that you do. This could mean changing the picture in the ad, headings, call to action etc. The reason for this is that too many changes can actually hurt you in the long run, one simple change is all it takes to make a difference.

Understand That Split Testing Takes Time

You have to be able to have good ground to work from when you go about doing split testing. This means that you have to be patient to get results that can produce you with the data that you need to come to a logical conclusion. A general rule of thumb is to let the ad be live for 2 days, or for as long as it takes to generate around 20 or so clicks.

Wrapping Up Your Split Test

Alright, so you’ve got your testing done, now it’s time to sum up your results and see what really works and what needs to be thrown in the trash can for good (or just modified to see if it’s just one little thing throwing it all out of whack).