Newb Guide Pt 8: Taking Over The World
This is the final part of Nickycakes’ Newbie Affiliate Marketing Guide. If you have not read the other parts, go read them.
So, you did it. You set up tracking, got approved on some networks, picked offers, made landing pages, set up campaigns, and optimized until you started making some profit. Good for you. You might not be mentally challenged after all. But now what?
Chances are, if you’re making good money, you’re likely spending a good part of your day testing and optimizing, as well as coming up with new stuff to promote. At some point, you won’t have much time left to do anything else, but may still have a desire to expand. This is when you might consider hiring outside help. You’ll probably need actual office space for this, which can be surprisingly cheap compared to what you’re likely making if you’re having any decent success to the point where you need to hire. There are plenty of places to find employees but your best bet is going to probably be local universities, especially if they have any kind of work study type programs where they can’t afford to quit the job or screw you over because their credits rely on them staying at the job. You may try craigslist too. Be careful, though, because in this industry it’s easy for a newbie to learn enough information to make it on their own and then just jump ship to do just that. Teach them exactly what you need them to do, and nothing more. If you’re hiring them to manage your campaigns, don’t even tell them what an affiliate network is, etc. Just show them exactly how to manage the campaigns, and how to create ads, etc.
Start a Network
What most people don’t know is that a good number of the bigger affiliate networks out there were actually started by affiliates who wanted to expand into other areas. Honestly, it doesn’t take much more than a directtrack license and a list of affiliate friends to get off the ground. It definitely requires hiring though, especially if you get big. You will likely need a full staff after things get rolling. Also, unless you want to give shitty payment terms to your affiliates, you better have a decent bankroll saved up.
A big misconception is that running a network runs almost no risk. Totally untrue. There is so much fraud going on right now it’s crazy, and the network is the one who ends up on the hook for that. Add this to the fact that you’re floating a lot of money while waiting on getting paid by the merchants and things could be disastrous if you’re not extremely careful who you let on your network. If you DO decide to go this route, please read this post if you want to stand out from the other thousands of identical networks out there.
Your Own Offers
You won’t find much info about this out there. Why? Because the barrier to entry is high and the people doing it already don’t want you to have a piece. At Affiliate Summit West this year, there was a table at club XS that ordered 30some bottles of Crystal…acai merchants. Setting up your own offers and doing it right, especially for a physical product rebill type offer can be HARD WORK and VERY RISKY. If theres anything legally wrong with what you’re doing, you get sued. If the customers aren’t staying on your rebill long enough for you to be profitable..you lose your ass. A million things can go wrong, especially the credit card processing, which needs to be rock solid, and even then if you fuck up at all, they can hold your earnings for months and months forcing you to close up shop. High risk for potentially very high reward. If this is something you’re interested in, good luck to you. You’ve got a long road ahead, but there may be lots of lambos and shiny stuff at the end.
Don’t be a dick. You know you’re promoting shady diet rebill offers. Please give some money to a worthy cause. Yes, it’s a tax writeoff. No, you shouldn’t be doing it just because it’s a tax writeoff. Cakes has a soft spot in his heart for drug and alcohol treatment centers, and likes to contribute to those, but just pick something that you feel is a worthy cause and contribute some money every year. That is the sign of a true balla in cakes’ opinion. Honestly, which one of these statements sounds like you’re rolling in dough: “Yo I just dropped $100k on a watch.” or “Yo, I just fed thanksgiving and christmas dinner to every poor person in the city.” You got it way better than most people, so don’t forget where you came from.
What NOT to do
Don’t start a blog. Unless you love writing and are doing it because you love helping people and making friends, then just don’t. It’s rarely profitable for anyone.
Don’t share your secrets with anyone. Yeah, you’re excited that you have your first $1k a day campaign, now shut the fuck up about it for as long as possible. Someone will eventually see your ads everywhere and catch on and copy you but you can make plenty of money before that happens if you keep quiet.
Don’t be an asshole to other affiliates. There have been plenty of reports lately of affiliates reporting other peoples ads, or merchants calling the FTC about other merchants offers. If you do this kinda stuff, you’re a total douche who can’t make money in an industry where money pretty much grows on trees. Congrats on that. Be respectful of others or you will get shunned in this industry really damn quick. News travels very fast.
This will likely be the last part of this guide. Hopefully it was helpful.
Keep it real.