1
Apr

March 2009 Affiliate Earnings Report – First 5 Figure Month

Hopefully this month’s affiliate earnings report will give a little inspiration to those that may have been watching their earnings go down instead of up. That’s what had been happening to me for the last 3 months and culminated in last month coming in at only $1,500 in earnings which as been the lowest amount I’ve earned as an affiliate since starting this blog. However, that all turned around in March as it was my first five figure month in affiliate income with total earnings coming in slightly over $10,500.

The big difference this month came from promoting Clickbank and CPA offers through ppc marketing. I have to give the credit to PPC Coach for the pay per click skills and attending the first Dot Com Steak Out and talking with my buddy Kiley Lenstrom for an attitude adjustment. I don’t know what it was for sure about hanging out at the Dot Com Steak Out, but a switch just went off in my head after being around some serious money makers in this business. Really, your attitude makes a huge difference in how much you can make in affiliate marketing.

Total revenue produced in March came to $12,298.65 with expenses of $1,726.88 which made for a total net income of $10,571.77. Everything breaks down as follows:

Google Adsense – $1,479.20
Commission Junction – $418.35
EPN – eBay – $205.32
Meal Planner Ebook – $187.00
TripAdvisor – $113.26
Clickbank – $567.73
Neverblue
Market Leverage
& Azoogle
CPA Offers – $9,070.73
Amazon.com – $158.17
Other Affiliate Programs – $98.89

Total Revenue – $12,298.65

Total expenses – $1,726.88

Total Income – $10,571.77

I had no idea this month’s income would increase by over 7 times from February’s income and double my previous record for earnings, but that’s the beauty of affiliate marketing. One month you may think it’s over and the next you end up making enough to carry you for several months. It can happen anytime so don’t ever give up on your affiliate career. Keep working, keep trying new things and keep learning, because you never know when things will turn around.

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

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28
Mar

Making Money Without Even Trying

Traffic and sales patterns on the net never cease to amaze me. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try you just can’t get something to work, even if you keep tweaking it and keep turning the dials. On the other hand when you have enough going on in your affiliate business, there are times you can make money without even trying. I love it when that happens.

As an example, I’ve been working on a system that gives a better focus to my ppc marketing where I can just find a good traffic source, then find an offer, plug in a few keywords and there’s another campaign working. About one out of every six or seven of these campaigns really make any money. But the other day I had one that I just knew would work. If you’ve been in affiliate marketing for any length of time, you know those ideas I’m talking about, the ones you are sure will generate lots of income.

Well, I worked on this ppc campaign for several day and sent over 2,000 clicks to the merchant at 5 cents per click or less and didn’t get a single sale. I was shocked to say the least because in my mind, it was a near certainty this campaign would work. But it didn’t generate even one cent of revenue. However, the same day I decided to let this one go, in came a sale from an old site on air compressors I hadn’t touched in more than a year. My commission for doing nothing was $40.

This is bizarre because stuff like this happens more often than you would think. Having enough niches out there generating a trickle of traffic to each site brings in additional commissions from furniture sales, chandelier sales, home decor, fitness equipment, travel and more. Probably 3 or 4 times a year I get a check in the mail from ReserveBranson.com for between $30 and $50. It’s not a lot, but it’s really nice when you’ve forgotten about it and you’re not expecting it at all. We usually take that money and go out for a nice dinner or something and celebrate that we just got paid for doing nothing.

Of course, you do realize you’re not really getting paid for doing nothing, it just seems like that. Over the last 4 to 5 years I’ve built up enough sites in enough niches that these unexpected, make money for doing nothing sales and checks are showing up more frequently. If you keep persevering in your affiliate career, this will eventually happen to you as well and you’ll get a check in the mail someday you weren’t expecting at all.

No matter how much money I go on to make in affiliate marketing, it will always be a beautiful thing when an unexpected $35 check shows up in the mail.

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23
Mar

Economic Collapse Is Coming – Working Towards Self Sufficiency

I believe we are headed for an economic disaster in this country that will be bigger and worse than the Great Depression.  After spending some time reading the Generational Dynamics website I am fully convinced of this. The site has a terrible design, but has a wealth of information and research on stocks, economics, politics, culture and historical events through the flow of generations. If you spend some time at GenerationalDynamics.com you will be shocked at how accurate and repeatable the trends of history are and the trend we are presently headed for.

In light of this, my wife and I have started growing our own food, composting, getting our finances in order (we’ve been doing that for years though), and generally working towards self sufficiency because we don’t want to have to depend on a system that is failing. That’s also why we have our own businesses, because we want to be in control of our income, time, vacations and lives as much as is possible. Self sufficiency in our income will come when my affiliate marketing earnings are enough to support the both of us.

With looming economic problems on the horizon, what can you do to make sure your affiliate business has the best chance of surviving? You know that being an affiliate marketer takes a lot of personal initiative, but that is even more important today. Being able to spot trends, figure out things for yourself and become innovative will be critically important with a radically changed economy. When people’s spending habits change, we as affiliate marketers will have to be able to figure out what they are buying and why they are buying it even more so than we do now.

The kind of products that will sell will be things that help people become self sufficient themselves, get out of debt, grow their own food, do something with the home they can’t afford to live in any more, work for themselves, stay secure and on and on. There will be a much greater opportunity in the near future in helping people solve their serious problems than there will be in putting products in front of them that give them pleasure and make life fun. Products of necessity will replace products of enjoyment.

Affiliate marketers that can’t think out of the box and in an innovative way, will be in a heap of trouble and those that expect to be held by the hand and led through every step of the money making process are in for a rude awakening. If you can’t innovate in your affiliate business, you very well may have to dig ditches or stand in a soup line.

I received a comment here on Affiliate Confession a few days ago where the individual was hoping I could lead them to an affiliate program featuring a web site that was already set up, that already had programs in place, that were making money and all they had to do was plug into the system. While it is understandable someone would want that kind of a system, anyone that has ever made a dollar on the net knows that just isn’t how affiliate marketing works. People that think they’re just going to plug into a system without having to do a heap of work and be innovative, may as well grab a number and take their place in the soup line.

Learning To Be Innovative

Even though tough times are coming and those that can’t adapt will suffer, you can learn to recognize opportunity, adapt sufficiently and innovate in your business. But, as anything else, it requires work. If you love to read, you’ll have no problem, if you don’t, then start. It is a good practice to consistently take time away from your computer and go to the library or Barnes & Noble and read something other than whatever niche you’re working in. At least once a week I’ll head to B&N and spend from 2 to 4 hours reading about technonogy, business, economics, franchising, business management, motivation, and anything from Seth Godin.

I want to know what new gadgets are coming to market and how the manufacturer is doing that, how businesses are run, what people are doing to innovate, how entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, why consumers buy the things they do, what new businesses are starting up, why companies succeed, why companies fail, what people did to overcome adversity and multiple other subjects. I’m not smart enough to come up with that much on my own, so I read about how other people have done it and then try to think like them.

But being innovative also involves taking risks. You have to see what works for you and what doesn’t. I spent a whole lot of money dabbling in the world of pay per click marketing without showing much profit before I found PPC Coach and completely turned that around. By watching all the videos and reading everything I could about how successful people at PPC Coach had made money I was able to almost immediately make a decent amount of cash and then come up with a system that’s working like a charm since I started it a couple of weeks ago.

Going through the lessons and reading the forums at PPC Coach taught me to see beyond the usual help files at Google Adwords and info on blogs and learn how to innovate and see what I hadn’t been able to see previously. But even then I didn’t just follow along and not try things on my own, I’ve taken the lessons and put them into practice to see what works and what doesn’t and then put together my own system. And that’s what’s going to be required in the coming months and years as the economy works itself out and we experience changes not seen in 70 or 80 years.

We are facing touch times no doubt, but it doesn’t mean the end of civilization just yet. Every affiliate marketer that succeeds in the coming collapse of the economy will have to be able to rely on innovative thinking and the initiative to implement their ideas.

Sorry to sound a little doomsday here, but I don’t want it to be said that I didn’t sound an alarm. Get prepared.

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6
Mar

Remember, Your Affiliate Business Can Change In A Single Day

Ending yesterday’s post about my February Income Report, I reminded everyone that your affiliate business can turn around in a single day. Well, because of a kickin’ ppc campaign that started running yesterday morning and a big sale from one of my vacation sites through a CJ merchant, that’s exactly what happened.

Yesterday was a record day for my affiliate earnings and brought in more than half as much profit in a single day as I earned in all of last month. The total affiliate earnings for the day was just over $800 after expenses and a majority of that came from just one pay per click campaign through Google Adwords. Funny how things happen, you’re just trudging along trying to make something work on the affiliate roller coaster ride and boom, like magic you find a winner.

Check out the screenshot from Market Leverage below:

ML PPC Campaign

But it’s not really magic, it’s because I kept hammering away at it until I dug up a winner. Initially I had some good success with PPC Coach in working small campaigns involving email and zip submits with payouts of around $1.25, but was hesitant to move on to anything with bigger payouts because that usually involves spending more money per click. The best I had done in the past with anything that pays over $10 was only breaking even or earning $30 a day or so, until this present campaign.

I had slowed down on working ppc because it’s pretty intensive and needs constant attention and I had other projects and previously good earning sites that needed more attention. But because of the potential of ppc marketing, I would occasionally throw some mud at the wall and see if something would stick. But it wasn’t just random junk, there is a plan behind the whole thing, and here’s what I’ve been doing:

One of the tricks I gleaned, or at least deduced, from PPC Coach is to look for a traffic source as the first priority. I know that may sound strange to get your brain around, but if you think of major sources of traffic first and then pair it with an offer, instead of thinking about that acai berry pill nonsense and how you’re going to get traffic to it, amazing things can happen (I know, some guys are making bank on acai berry scams, but most aren’t).

I log into Market Leverage, Neverblue and Azoogle almost every day and just look at the offers to get familiar with what’s there and at least once a week or so, I spend a few hours in each affiliate interface to look at payouts, EPC, network earnings, landing pages, creatives and more so I’m pretty aware of the kinds of things I want to run. I don’t salivate over something with a $32 payout, I just want to know what’s there that fits my business.

And then every day, or multiple times a day I head over to Google Trends and see what the top 100 searches at Google for that specific hour are (Trends is updated every hour). When you click on an individual keyword phrase, you can also see what other related terms are hot as well. It doesn’t happen but a couple times a week, but every now and then it all clicks and there’s something that could be a hit.

I’ve been sending traffic directly to Amazon and various offers through the CPA networks using this method and the great thing about it is, even if your campaign is a loser it doesn’t cost very much to do because most of clicks cost less than 10 cents each. Do a search on most of the hot keywords at Google Trends and you’ll see that sometimes there’s not even one advertiser bidding on them. Can you say, 1 cent clicks?

The point is to be familiar with the kinds of offers that fit your business and a couple times a week you’ll identify a big source of cheap traffic that will fit an offer you’ve already identified. Most of these good campaigns don’t last that long, but sometimes because these trends get picked up and blogged about frequently, the life cycle gets extended and you can continue to earn a little, or a lot, for a decent length of time.

I don’t work this system that hard because I don’t have time, but if you wanted to dedicate some serious time to following Google Trends, I’m sure it would pay off even bigger than what happened yesterday. Hopefully that campaign will last for a few weeks.

Never forget, your affiliate business can change in a single day.

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5
Mar

February 2009 Affiliate Income Report

In every affiliate’s career there are good income months and bad months. February was a bad income month for me for a couple of reasons. I spent another $800 on 100 articles for content and article marketing and did some advertising that just didn’t pay off. Also, the eBay Partner Network was way off for me this month.

One of the ppc campaigns I ran this past month, that was one of those, “This will definitely work” campaigns, has drained me of over $200 without a single conversion. Almost the same thing happened with Facebook as well when I spent about $120 to earn a mere $36. Luckily the merchant getting traffic through the ppc campaign has a 45 day cookie so it might just pay off. The reason I spent so much on that campaign is that a single conversion could erase all the losses because were talking about $2,500 products with a 10% payout. Hopefully it will be worth it because with pay per click marketing, things can turn around in a single day.

So in effect, I spent about $1,100 this month that brought zero return so far. The articles however are producing some decent seo results for one of my BANS stores and if nothing else, this site should produce some decent Adsense revenue once I add it to all the content.

Total revenue produced last month was $2,825.57 with expenses of $1,317.14 that gave me a net income of $1,508.16. Everything breaks down as follows:

Google Adsense – $1,319.10
Commission Junction – $225.56
EPN – eBay – $186.99
Meal Planner Ebook – $187.00
TripAdvisor – $110.59
Private Advertising – $105.00
AzoogleAds – $288.00
Amazon.com – $187.58
Neverblue – $27.00
Other Affiliate Programs – $188.75

Total Revenue – $2,825.57

Total expenses – $1,317.14

Total Income – $1,508.16

You never know what’s going to happen month to month. All you can do is keep plugging away and focus on the things that work and trash the things that don’t. Forward is the only direction to go in the affiliate marketing game. Remember, things can turn around in a single day, or even just a few hours.

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