How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing & Paid Traffic

Starting out with paid traffic can be confusing.

There are countless combinations of traffic types, sources and verticals possible.

At the end of the day, it sounds more complicated than it is.

The only thing that matters is getting started.

Right now there are not that many viable options for new guys out there anyway.

The competition is tough and its getting tougher as we speak.

You cannot run media buying as a hobby anymore.

Be a professional or don’t do it at all.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you won’t be around for long.

However the upside for the guys making it is still huge.

What to do and how much money you really need

  • 0-1k budget. Paid traffic ain’t for you. Go work and save some more. Or do agency work.
  • 2-5k budget. Look into mobile pop & display traffic. It’s still good to go. You can hit x,xxx/days within 3-12 months. However, mobile pop traffic is already in a later part of the life cycle. The times of easy killings are over. Running sweeps on Popads won’t do the trick anymore. Right now adult content, antivir and smart links are doing well on pops and display. Go to the big forums and check out what everybody else is doing, then do the opposite. Find an unsaturated vertical, traffic source or GEO. On many pop sources you can run banner advertising as well and hardly anybody is taking advantage of it.
  • 5-20k budget: If you have a decent budget and some experience, look into Native traffic. It’s still early on in the life cycle and you can do big damage. x,xxx-xx,xxx/days are regularly seen. Desktop traffic on the main sources like Revcontent and Content.ad is getting very crowded. However there is plenty of native traffic available for mobile. Focus on high payout offers. Nutra, Bizzop, Casino are going strong. Selecting the right GEO & vertical combination will make the difference between spending 20k without any results or becoming profitable within 5-10k.
  • 10-50k budget: If you’re looking for a longterm opportunity, eCom on social is still hot. It’s getting crowded, but there is plenty of room to play in unsaturated niches and outside the US. Starting with eCom and transitioning into your own branded or digital product is a great way to reduce dependency and rock bigger margins.

Just get started

No amount of reading or wondering can replace the experience of simply launching an campaign.

For every hour you read you need to take at least 10 hours of action.

Your first campaigns won’t make you money anyway.

Procrastination will only delay your initial investment into the future, it cannot avoid it.

Better start right now.

Learn the ropes and build momentum.

  • Buy a tracking solution
  • Sign up to some affiliate networks and traffic sources
  • Do some ad intelligence and reverse engineering
  • Gather informations about offers, landers and campaigns
  • Set up some campaigns
  • Run traffic
  • Learn to spot and differentiate winners and losers
  • Optimize the camps with potential
  • Repeat

Focus on the macro instead of the micro

Forget about nights of campaign optimization.

Forget about improving campaigns from -90% to +30%.

Forget about grinding it out.

Focus on high leverage tasks.

Find an offer that nobody else has access to.

Find an unsaturated and emerging GEO.

Find a new traffic source that is not saturated yet.

High leverage tasks can move the needle a big way in a short amount of time.

You won’t make it without insider information

You can tenfold your odds by picking the right battles.

Time is your most valuable asset.

You don’t want to spend it figuring things out by yourself.

You need to get insider information where the action currently is.

  • Forget about mastermind groups. 10 newbies won’t make an expert
  • Forget about forums and blogs. They are great to get basics down and network, but you won’t find reliable infos about trends and opportunities there. If the word is out, its already too late
  • Look for Joint Ventures and free work / internships. Work for an experienced media buyer for a couple of months. You will learn more than stumbling around by yourself
  • Buy your way in. Pay somebody to short cut your learning curve. Money you can always make back, time is gone forever
  • Network like a madman. Talk to experienced affiliates. If you’re good at something, offer your help for free. Be an asset instead of an liability. Never ask for help, never waste time
  • Talk to reps and account managers. Your account managers have all the data and see lots of trends. Easiest way to build a good relationship with them is buying or sending lots of traffic

Play for the big money once you have the basics down

Once you know what you’re doing and you’re profitable, play for the big money.

Even if you end up reaching only 10% of your goal, you will be better of than playing for peanuts.

Buy on the biggest traffic source in your niche and make a play for the big GEOs.

Switching strategy from unsaturated to competitive will be a big challenge.

You will have to step up your game by a lot.

It won’t be easy.

Don’t risk all your money.

Don’t operate reckless.

If it doesn’t work, pivot early enough and run an extra round or two in an smaller GEO or traffic source.