Super Panel: How to Hit $50k+/day with Affiliate Marketing | AWasia 2016


What’s going on guys? Welcome back this
panel we’re gonna discuss how to hit 50k a day as an affiliate. This question is
one we get asked a lot, so we brought some heavy hitters here to talk about it
but before we get into that, I need your help for a minute okay? So you guys
included, who here has hit 50k a day in revenue as an affiliate? Okay, I see a few
hands, keep holding them up, keep holding them up. Without cloaking? Without running
nutra? Without finding a loophole on some self-serve? In USD? I see some of the
hands started to drop. Okay, so these guys are gonna help us understand how you
could get to these volumes without being a shady affiliate. Maybe a little shady.
You know, kind of on the border but anyway, so let me introduce them real
quick. So Rishan has an interesting story. He’s an actuary. So he’s very involved in
math and statistics. He went into a professional poker playing and from
there he went to affiliate marketing. This is a story I heard quite often that
professional poker players are able to transition into affiliate marketing. Oded
started with the Israeli army, learned how to be, you know. I’m Jewish, pretty much.
Okay, so he’s Jewish but besides that he started in web
design, moved into affiliate marketing, and now he manages a team of 15 media
buyers. Alex started at 13, which is kind of, Alex is right there, sorry my notes are a
little out of order and at 16 he decided to start in affiliate marketing and
performance marketing and now he manages 47 employees across four continents,
which is pretty amazing and you did this pretty quickly, in just a few
years. And Daniel was a power seller for eBay. Like I remember those days.
That’s amazing and now he’s getting into lead gen. He has offices in three
countries and you run a startup, kind of, you invest in small startups?
Alrightm cool. Alright, so the first question is before we even get
into how to get into 50k a day, what is the biggest mistake you’ve done and like
how much money have you lost trying to get to 50k a day in one day? Because
everyone has. Mine is like 7k because I was an idiot and didn’t set up tracking
properly. So that’s mine, I want to understand how important it is to have all your bases covered before you
start scaling to 50k a day. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve done and what was
it and how did you fix it? So we’ll just start on my right.
It was definitely server downtime like with a campaign that happened
during the night. So I was not awake not one of my server guys was awake. It was
just spending money on Facebook for like six or seven hours straight and that
cost 5-figures. I want the precise number. Around 15k.
Perfect. Moving on. For me it was I had a specific buyer. I got really nice
payouts there and I really pushed hard. I wanted to scale very strong and it
turns out that this spy went dark. So that was actually pretty heavy hit there.
Yeah. Did you ever collect? Partially but not much. And what was that? Was like 75k damages.
Ouch! Alright. Let’s keep going. Yeah I think it’s a combination of server
issues and yeah, fantastic buyers who then vanished. Well and then you know, trying to catch a
bird, inside joke to whom people know what I’m talking about but if you’re
talking about the figure, I’d say like yeah, I hear someone laughing in the
crowd. I think like 35k something like that. These numbers are only escalating.
Let’s go, I’m enjoying this tremendously. We’ve obviously had server issues too
but one interesting one that happened this year actually. Most of the stuff
is managed by my team the media buys but with one particular client, I went to the
manager myself, it was a big deal and he was close to me anyway and it was a Sunday, I
decided to go watch a movie, in the middle of the movie I guess, the SSL
certificate on our sales page expired. So we weren’t able to pass any that day. They
weren’t able to make any sales. Ye-yeah he easily ran somewhere. I think
around $12,000 – $13,000 in traffic during that movie, until I got
out and looked at my cellphone. It was inundated with messages. So pretty
rough one. So what I’m getting is before you guys think about going to 50k,
make sure to have everything covered. Your technology stack needs to be on point. You need to have fail-safes for
everything. You need to monitor your landing pages, make sure they don’t go
down. SSL. I would never catch that. Your domains
don’t expire, Make sure nothing goes wrong because once you start getting to
these levels, just as much money as you could make, you could lose even more. So
let’s talk about another question here. So be you ready to lose the money of
course. Yeah be ready to lose it. Make sure you
could afford to lose that money, alright. So another big question that we get when
I say 50k we’re talking about top-line revenue, for now right. Like 50k profit is
obviously possible but I think for most affiliates that don’t have a large
company, 50k a day in top-line is very impressive. I want to ask,what do you do
when you’re starting to hit 50k a day in terms of ROI?
What kind of ROI are you shooting for? What do you consider successful
ROI? Do you focus on ROI or are you just focusing on total volume?
I mean, definitely as the volume increases, the ROI decreases. It’s just a
fact. There’s nothing you can do about it. For us, I think total revenue is
important. If you’re thinking about ever selling your company right because
that’s a big deal when a company is valued. So since that’s probably not in
the near future, for our plans it’s a bit more of a focus on ROI.
I mean yet the other thing is you’ve got to look at the boundary conditions of
your traffic source and stuff. So if you can increase the volume substantially
and decrease the ROI, as a result of that but make more money. In
other words, the traffic source allows you to do that. There’s enough of a
market and there’s enough of an audience and the traffic source, probably going to
do that because it makes more money but a lot of the time, the amount of volume
available in the traffic source isn’t that much. So you’re focusing on ROI and
maximising what you’re getting out of that. You guys have anything else there?
The initial reaction would be to always maximize profit but the reality is
really that it depends on many variables right. So and if you aim for higher
profit, it could be that your margins get thinner. So it really depends
if your company setup can support this amount of float and this amount of cash
flow and so this is one thing and also, it really depends on caps on your buyers
for example, to manage it accordingly and as Rishan said, how much volume is
available on the traffic source itself. The initial instinct would be
profit but it really depends and you need to adapt it according to each new case. Actually for our media buyers, their goal is to achieve a 30% of ROI. Why that
number? That’s what we picked and eventually.
Actually you mentioned 30, I operate at 30 as well. What do you guys shoot for?
Perfect, great minds think alike. Yeah it depends a lot on the
scalability as well. What Daniel just said like, if you have an offer and you
know there is a gap either limited by the traffic source or by the offer
itself and you know you can hit that gap Assuming on cap, I need a number. As a cap number, what would you shoot for? As a
successful ROI. No, I I don’t mean it like that, it’s more that, let’s say if there’s 50
sales per day or 100 sales or 500 sales per day, it doesn’t really matter
it’s it depends like do you have a cap and do you are you able to hit it? Yes or
no. If you know you can hit it for sure and you should optimise an ROI.
Gotcha, gotcha. Oded, so you mentioned you have a team
and you pick this number. So how do you manage your team? So pretty much
everybody here has a team. So let’s talk about management of this team. If you
don’t mind sharing how you structure payment because a lot of affiliates tell
me, I don’t want to hire anybody because they’re gonna steal my campaigns. Which
is a very short-sighted way of looking at things. You have to create a win-win
situation for your employees and for yourself to be able to get to these
kinds of numbers. So how do you just set up your team and how do you compensate them?
Alright, so short answer, we compensate them very generously. In addition,
when you have employees, I mean, when you’re a sole of affiliate you
think like the only thing you care about is making money, money, money, money, money,
but for most employees they want to work at a steady 9-to-5 job for example
and don’t want to have the risk for example, that
the server goes down and they’re losing 15k. Money I think is only number
three. They want to feel like they’re a part of something and they’re building
something. Because we had a media buyer was truly a monster and his goal was to
make enough money, so he can buy an apartment without of mortgage and once he
achieve that, you can see his performance
going down and eventually quit. So that’s one of the things and how we manage them,
well that’s a panel by itself actually, but basically one of our supporting
thing is reporting that’s easy to see what everyone else is doing. What
we do is daily calls and when I’m not in the office and when I’m there like,
frontal everyone giving their own issues, what problems. So basically what we
have is like a few superaffiliates working in the same space, sharing
information, how it happened. I guess it’s a bit of luck. Does anyone else have
anything to add about hiring and dealing with people in this business? Well first
of all, while hiring, I mean personality is a big thing. So usually you can
already feel that out in the interview and how trustworthy that person is, how
motivate he is, and how likely he is to take off and so that’s the first thing. The
second thing is you want to build a team atmosphere where he really feels part of
it and it’s like really like a soldier in an army you know what I mean,
like he really wants to be work together and be part of it. He we would never even
think about leaving or something. Please notice the two Israelis mentioned soldiers in army. Keep going.
In addition to that here’s the thing, even if the worst case comes to reality
and somebody takes off and steals your campaign I mean, like it’s just part of
life and it’s just part of business and you got to accept that and always
keep in mind that until that point you’ve greatly benefited from that
employee as well. So at the end of the day, the ROI on it is most of the time very
and positive. Just to add another thing about the Israeli thing. So we
have a team in Israel, we also have a team in a different country and
basically they’re both working on the same procedures, the strategy for you to
optimise and Israel is just better. I guess it’s a
personality thing. They’re aggressive, especially because what run are or not
are considered like high-CPAs like over 40, 50 and that’s small leads for two
to three bucks and you have to be aggressive when you’re running those
offers. So yeah it’s an Israeli thing. Someone found that funny. Alright. So on
that topic, let’s talk about verticals. Okay so, before we even dive into
verticals, I just want to know yes or no. Do you think you can hit 50k a day running
as a pure affiliate through an affiliate network, not your own offer, not your own
host and post just pure affiliate? Do you think it’s still possible, let’s say next
year? Just in order. With or without a team? With and without. Go ahead.
Just get your opinion on that. I think with a team is definitely possible because
then you can focus on multiple low cap campaigns at least that would be my
strategy, I think that way. Without a team, I would be very, very surprised. No,
It’s definitely possible I believe but it’s definitely not sustainable on the
long-run. I mean you can hit like a one time wonder here and you can hit it
maybe multiple times a year but it’s definitely not something that will
go on for the long-term. Also just that psychologically, I think that the
pressure on somebody who sits really at home alone and just works by himself to
hit those numbers, it puts a lot of pressure on you and it’s tough. You
need help and you need support and you have a lot of weight on your shoulders.
I’m a very optimistic person, everyone that knows me can vouch for that. I
believe everything is possible. It could happen but eventually even if you’re a
solo operation working by yourself, then eventually it comes to the question, what
do you want? Do you want to make a quick buck for example, I make $1 million
then go invest in your dream restaurant or whatever or if you want to build a
business because eventually, even if you’re doing those numbers then
what you have is a high paying job. You still have to work all freaking day, a
lot, ruining your F5 key. So I think a team is essential, if you want to build a
business of course. Yeah, so I agree. It’s 100% possible. I think Daniel hit on a
very important point though that it’s seasonal right. Different offers do
better at different times of the year. So sometimes one year it’s gonna be easier
than others. It’s definitely possible without a team, I know many
people who’ve done it without a team. It just gets the point where you need to
live a life too right and you need to pass on some of the work and you need to
get rid of some of the stress, hand it off to other people. So if
you’re new and you’re getting into it, you’d probably want to do it by yourself
initially, so that you have a proof of concept and then you are able to teach
people. Makes no sense to shell out money to build a team without having proof of
concept, without knowing what you do. That’s a good point. So you mentioned or
Oded mentioned that he runs high paying kinds of campaigns. So let’s dive into
verticals again and the kinds of offers that you choose to run, why you chose
them, do you approach them with the idea that this can be a 50k campaign? And let’s
just kind of go in order and tell me your methodology in choosing offers and
understanding if they’re a candidate for this kind of volume.
So my first really big vertical, which was years and years ago was actually
dating and I’m even willing to say that they also did a little in casual dating
and the reason why those type of offers were interesting for me is because back
then, you could still run it on a lot of different traffic sources and I won’t go
into detail, if it’s always allowed or not but at least it was possible back
then and there was just a huge range of offers available as well with high
payouts. Like for example in the Nordics or in Norway, you could easily get a
payout of $25 for just having someone sign up to a dating website
and as soon as you then have like what Rishan said as well, a proof of
concept, it’s easily scalable to multiple countries. So it was dating and
first and then dating died off a little bit because just called really hard to
find the good spots to actually buy the traffic on plus advertisers became
smart and actually started advertising on the same traffic sources
as well. So then I started looking for something that also appealed to like a
large audience and I feel like that’s that’s a key part at anytime, that it
applies to a large audience and that was well obviously, sweepstakes. What I
just talked about as well. You want to talk a little more about sweepstakes?
Sweepstakes, sweepstakes, sweepstakes? When I look for an offer, I usually
look for something that is compatible with my skill set and so for example, I
believe that I’m very good with leads. Selling leads with maximising revenue
per lead, so that just makes it easy to always look first for offers
that are in this space and also I know which traffic sources I’m good at
and with traffic sources and not so good at. So I also usually look for an offer
that is compatible and compliant and with the traffic sources that I’m
running. In addition to that, it should have broad appeal. It’s really
important for scalability as well as internationa, that it’s an international
offer so I can scale it better and according to those factors I usually
pick the offer. So yeah, when I mentioned high CPA is okay,
basically three years ago, we were running leads and as I said, small
payouts. Now if you want to achieve 50k it’s not gonna come from
one day basically, you have to work for a few weeks. So optimise etcetera and with
leads, it’s pretty hard because a lot of times you’ll be optimised out. I’ll put
a little sign up for example, if running high paying leads like solar and refi, it
might be a bit different but for example we were running dating, also casual
dating, which is a nice thing to call it. And then we found we reached
15k and then we get optimised out, and also when you’re sending leads
you’re pretty much trusting the optimisation, the ability to read the
data of the company you’re sending leads. For example if you send 15k worth of
leads and for them they just see like 5k sales in the first one or two, three
days then they optimise you out. Even though a week later, it might become
super profitable. So I would pick, if you want to be stable, offer credit cards. So
credit card submit because if you keep providing credit cards, legit credit
cards obviously, to the advertiser, fantastic keep running. So that’s what
I’m looking for. I guess mine is a little different, when looking for new
verticals and new offers, I’m looking at what’s working right now, what are people
doing big numbers at and just go into it with the assumption that if somebody
else is doing that, we can learn to do it better kind of thing. So we look at what
what people are pushing in, you know what are the big verticals, what are the big
offers, try to get those as close to direct as possible and try to
use those same traffic sources. Do it better than them and once we’ve got that
working, what we know already works, then we’ll try to use
the other traffic sources, the other skills we’ve built to expand it
out more that way. Okay, so everyone here mentioned traffic sources. So I kind of
want to dive into that obviously, in most countries, Facebook and Google are the
two largest. So let’s talk about it, is it possible to hit 50k without working with
those? Do you want to make sure to have them and your portfolio, traffic sources
you’re working in? What are your thoughts about it? Yes, absolutely.
I would agree as well but I’m curious to hear if you think there are other ways
to hit those kinds of numbers without trying to access these major, major platforms.
I mean, sorry Daniel, even with just a big direct by, a single direct by,
you could easily hit those numbers. I don’t know if you classify that
as a traffic source because it’s not a DSP or it’s not an easy log in, you know
know something when you click a button but with just a direct buy, you could
easily hit that without using any specific platform. The RTP platforms
out there, which basically acts as almost any inventory there is, you know, like you
can generate tons of volume there and also there are native ads, which is not
Facebook and Google. Well what would you say besides Google and Facebook, cause a lot of
affiliates have problems with these traffic sources, in terms of getting
accounts, getting account reps, you know, getting things approved, what would you
say the next top three traffic sources in terms of volume that you would
recommend for people to exploit? So for me, me it’s MediaMath and AppNexus. It’s a
monster really and other than that there’s Outbrain out there, Taboola out
there like native ads are generating tons of volume nowadays. Anybody else would
like to add? Definitely native, I think yeah. Natives definitely the third one.
I second native. Definitely natives for sure and I think
it’s just a brilliant ad format. We’ve all clicked a native ads, those ten
celebrity is how they looked and you know what I’m talking about, it’s just
even South Park has an episode about native ads
because it’s such an unintrusive format not like a banner blinking to you on the
right. So yeah I think natives. Yeah and don’t forget about one more, which is
email marketing like do you consider it as a traffic source?
I mean it’s also very, very possible with that to hit the bigger
numbers. Okay the the next big topic that a lot of people ask about is
sustainability because the truth that matter is when you go from 1k
to 50k, it can happen but being able to sustain that, build a business around it
is very, very difficult. So I just want you to share what you did to make sure
it’s sustainable. Was it making sure you’re running multiple traffic sources,
multiple offers, is it a testing regiment? What do you do to ensure
you’re able to sustain large volumes and not get that
dreaded down to zero a day, day? So what we do, we run several traffic sources and
as well. If you look at the how the revenue breaks down, we’ve got like
one advertiser of course, also has a few offers so let’s that does like let’s say
40-50% of the revenue sometimes 60-70% but then you
have the other offers that are doing like 5k, 2k, 3k and that’s how
it looks list for us. Yeah I’m with Oded here. Really the key
here is to diversify and really spread your traffic and spread your risk,
have many smaller campaigns maybe instead of one big campaign and that way
you have less variants and really because variants in a business is a
growth killer in my opinion, and if you spread it and you have more
sustainability, you can just make smarter business decisions. Also for the long run
and it keeps your business healthy. I think they hit the nail on the
head, you’ve got to diversify. The challenge of diversifying is it takes a
lot of energy and the only real way I’ve found to do it at least, is to have team
members do it and have a leader that does only our Google, only our Facebook,
only our native kind of silo it out. Yeah that’s the real practical way to do it.
Diversify and have people specialise in specific traffic sources. You mentioned
having people that specialise on traffic sources but there’s a lot of synergies
that happen across traffic sources for example, retargeting on AdWords, from
users that click-through, from Facebook. So you guys want to talk about any kind
of synergies that help get even more value from your media buys and your
activity? I think the data is the big one for us. AdWords provides the most data typically on your campaign and you can extract
that data and use it on Facebook just for your demographic targeting, you can
use it on native if they’ve got the same placements or you can even just go
direct a lot of the time, to the placements that Google was showing your
ad on. Go direct to them and try to pitch them on selling you in ad spot and a
great placement straight up. It’s been going for us. It’s a perfect answer,
I have nothing to add. Okay, alright. So the other thing I want
to talk about here is self-serve versus managed media buys versus CPA kind of
buys. Can you tell me what your breakdown is with that and just your opinions on
where people should focus to really kind of scale out initially to that 50k level.
I honestly haven’t done managed media buys in a while anymore but when I
was doing it, I was doing that mainly with pops and back then it would be
highly beneficial if you could make it work,
to pay them on a CPA basis but usually what happens is you first have to prove
your worth. Build up the relationship then go for
the CPA but CPA is pretty much risk-free as an affiliate. So if the opportunity is
there, always go for that in my opinion. So for me it’s self-serve all day
because really I believe that my team has more almost better insights and
better media buying skills as those employees that work at those traffic
sources. Honestly, otherwise they wouldn’t be
employees at those traffic sources, you know, I believe that after all those
years of experience, we really know some nuances and we know how to exploit
certain things in ad servers and we know how to to media by better than them. So
for me, it was always self-serve that I prioritised. Yes, self-serve all the way
because I see the standard model of affiliates they’re arbitraging pretty much.
If the traffic source will be fully efficient and basically and the CPC that
you’re generating is 40 cents and you should buy the traffic for 40 cents.
So as affiliates, we find those gaps in the markets and that’s how we do our
margins pretty much. So yeah, you can do CPI, I guess buy relevant inventory or
whatever to do an extra boost but yet to do them a margin and real
profit and full serve and yeah do the arbitrage. We actually haven’t ever touched CPAs be honest. I’d love to be able to,
if you could teach me, so we would buy the traffic to a self-serve and
going back to the idea of diversifying, once you’ve got the traffic, we can try
out different verticals and stuff like that. So
for direct buy for example, we can buy for the month maybe nutra works some
parts the month, maybe or sometimes in the day, whereas maybe solar will work or
mortgage refinance. So we buy direct or self-serve, pay CPM or pay-per-click and
take it upon ourselves to figure out what offer converts for that traffic as
best possible. Since a lot of you mentioned self-serves, I’d like for you
to tell some people here some of the tricks and some of the loopholes you
found in the past that maybe are dead now, that doesn’t matter if it’s out
there. Like, I mean for me very simply on Facebook back in
the day, you just launched thousands of ads. It just didn’t matter, I mean just
cleaning up. Super easy, super simple but if you want to share other techniques
that may have worked for you just to kind of spark people’s ideas, I think it would help them out. I actually you don’t have a lot of those stories unfortunately, because I heard
like crazy stories of Facebook had some problems their API and I made 150k in a day
after spending a thousand. Unfortunately we weren’t that lucky. We did have one
traffic source that apparently allowed you to upload animated GIFS and it
technically worked. So the CTR was explosive for like two, three days but it
died pretty quickly. So yeah, even if those loopholes happen, so yeah, it’s like
cash for like a day to but that’s it. It’s not something sustainable.
I wish I had more of those. Does anybody else have any more? I mean, I think it’s
temporary when it happens. So it’s not something you plan for, it’s not
something you can count on. I guess interesting things we’ve done in the
past is manipulating pixels. To try to target the correct
subset of an audience either within Facebook or Google and that’s a thing of
the past unfortunately, since they’ve changed change the way those work. Next
thing I want to talk about is technology. We mentioned in the very beginning how
all of us got burned because of a tech issue but let’s talk about, do you think
an affiliate could really scale just using off-the-shelf software? Or do you
think you need to build your own to kind of give you that competitive advantage
and really dominate the market? So you know, start again to my right. I mean in
terms of trackers, for example I think there are companies out there right now
whose sole focus is just tracking and it if that’s like your sole focus, I don’t
think it would be wise to try to invent the wheel again because they’re
specialised in it. Again but to answer your question, I am a strong believer
that you should always focus on what you’re good at yourself and if you’re
good at yourself at the actual media buying part, then you should focus on that and the best, at the
same time I do think that you should always get the best tools available out
there and don’t be too cheap about it, because that you will actually already
give you a competitive advantage a lot of the time. I think it’s definitely
possible with off-the-shelf products but the thing is once you get to those
hemispheres and you have a really high revenue, suddenly every small
optimisation that you can do equals a lot of money and it’s worth a lot of
effort as well. So I think that once you get to 50k a day in revenue plus and really
you should start coming up with custom solutions for your specific needs or
have developers putting that into place and it becomes really profitable that way. Well first, I agree with Alex. I mean if
you’re good at creativity, be creative. Even though I’ll put a stipulation cause
it’s the easiest thing to reap but if you’re good at coding then go with
technology. If you’re good at networking and social skills then be a good
negotiator, be a good networker. If you’re good at none of the above, I don’t know
make money online blog but I think once you get into those volumes, then you
start to have needs that you don’t find without all the box solutions.
For example like I was saying about reporting, especially if you have a team.
You need something that will help you, otherwise the guys will spend two hours
a day every day and just doing reports. Plus it’s impossible for you as a
manager to look at the entire company structure if it’s all based on excels or
or whatever. So even if it’s possible, I would invest in technology. I think it’s
a time management bandwidth kind of issue. I would ideally like to have
everything custom, you know, work the way I like it but it’s just really not
practical given the amount of time and bandwidth I have. So I think probably 70%
of the stuff we use is off-the-shelf and the other 30% that we’ve had to do is
mostly out of necessity functions that we need to be done that just aren’t
available or they’re not efficiently available, cost-effectively available. So
it’s out of necessity, not necessarily a growth strategy or a USP. One tool
that you guys haven’t mentioned yet that a lot affiliates seem to love and I see
a lot of companies being built around, is spy tools. Can you please talk about it and how you feel about it? “Research tools.” Have you used them? Do you use them? How do you use them? Do you think that’s gonna help you hit that 50k or is there
waste of time? I hate them because every time I look at them, it’s all our ads.
Literally if I search for a keyword, so I personally hate
them but they’re useful, generate ideas, see what other people are doing,
sometimes we’ve even noticed new verticals actually that have worked for
us, through spy tools. So they have their value. Research tools, as Oded said. Research tools. Uh yeah, I hate them as well
because we should have changed trackers more often because it’s embarrassing
when people just put our domains and they see everything, but yeah, I mean I
hate and love them. I mean, sometimes they do help you to prospect and see
something that’s starting to pick up for example we found this offer
that was starting to do very well and we saw like this huge spikes in
all the research, spy tools and then we try to contact the advertiser
himself and he told us, sorry I want exclusivity on those traffic sources. So
we pretty much went to the advertiser rework and cloned the offer, pretty much,
and destroyed it for three months. So they have their place. Think competitive
intelligent tool right, that would be a proper naming for this. Potato, potato.
Yeah, so yeah and we use them a lot and I think they are great to be honest,
because I think in order to get to high revenue and high profit numbers, you need
to constantly test new verticals. You can never really relax and just focus on one
thing. So it’s a great way for you to actually get your feet wet in a way
because you can get initial ad copies, initially landing pages really quick, for
a quick and dirty test, kind of to measure the potential and once you see
potential, we actually really go in there and come up with our own stuff
and approve upon it and so, it’s very important for our business in a way. I
think I’m the same as with Rishan and Oded that that I have like a hate love
relationship with spy tools. I still use them myself too and we
usually do it when we get into a tunnel vision. So we have like a certain
amount of verticals that we run but some angles is going to make
the difference or scaling higher or higher and I think it’s almost
impossible to constantly come up with new angles from your own creativity
without getting some ideas elsewhere. I think especially when you’re running geos, countries that you don’t live in. A lot of the time the angles
I’ll see on these research tools are things that are happening in the media
in another country that I just would not have known about. I’ll see the angular
research it and see what the thought process behind it is.
We found a lot of value in doing that for sure. You guys mentioned
international just now. Can you talk a little bit more about the importance of
that to getting to 50k a day? I know a lot of affiliates, we’re all from various
countries but you tend to run in your own country because that’s where you’re
comfortable but can you mention about going international. How you approach it?
How you get things translated and kind of walk us through that process
localising your advertising for various markets. So yeah, I mean, yeah
course the first tier is like a big chunk of the revenue but we do
international and we don’t even translate. I mean we just like to buy in
bulk because it makes traffic cheaper than if you’re just targeting, if it’s from the
sources we’re buying and yeah we don’t translate. I mean we found that it’s not
worth the time. I mean the incremental improvement, at least from our experience that it does, and from the products we’re promoting,
it’s not worth it. So you’re running everything in English.
Pretty much. I’m lazy, we’re lazy, I guess. No, no I’m kidding. We’re running everything
in English but as I said most of the revenue comes from the first three
countries. So it’s basically English anyway and the second tier like Nordics
and whatever, they all speak English anyway and France, Spain, whatever. Never
really worked for us. Maybe because it’s in English. Maybe but I don’t think so. There may be some other reasons
there. I’ll second that. When we split test certain geos it doesn’t matter if it’s English or localised. Yeah.
Anybody else wanna add? Yes so we always almost always translate actually and
just a little tip here for everyone like, we stopped using One Hour Translation a
long time ago, it’s just very sloppy. Especially if you run big numbers. If
there is one or two typos, it really affects it so what we did is we
just, almost in every language, we have a guy on Upwork, even a bunch of them on
standby. So they actually do the translation and then we send it to
another one to proofread and in addition to that and it’s a really good tip here,
as well for people running Facebook. You can have and use them to moderate
your comments. It really helpful there. That’s a great tip, anybody else want to
talk about international? We translate everything like Daniel said. It didn’t
even occur to me to try to advertise in English. Such a perfectionist. Where
the language isn’t English, we do it all through One Hour Translation for what it’s
worth. We’re probably probably like the one of the top ten because the customers.
We get everything translated and then proofread afterwards by them, also. Yeah
it just never occurred to me to try English. Yeah same here,
like and we also translate everything. Maybe Oded got it figured out. Small hack.
As you grow as an affiliate, eventually you need a little bit higher
margins to start hitting 50k a day. So you’re gonna go direct to advertisers,
try to build your own offers, do these kinds of things. Do you want to talk
about that part because I think for a lot of affiliates, they’re a little
bit afraid of going out there to talk to bigger companies and kind of work with
them directly. Do you have a way of contacting them? How do you recommend
people go about this when they’re finally ready to escalate their business?
I mean, if it’s a smaller affiliate like you hinted at, I think a big part is
managing the expectations of the advertiser when you’re negotiating the
deal, their CPA. Managing expectations in terms of volume right. In terms of
getting in contact with them, I mean you’re gonna have to get creative, shows
like this are awesome for that a lot of the advertisers come here.
Advertisers in different verticals have conventions that they go to and you know,
you can infiltrate those, meet them there, and that’s about it. I mean I’m not a big
fan of if we find an offer through a network just for the future business
relationship of that network, we’re not a big fan of then ever going direct with
that advertiser. We would either try to find an advertiser in a vertical we like
or if we’re running through a network to a specific advertiser, we’d continue to
do that. Just long-term. Best bet I think.
Yeah I don’t remember last time actually I sent to a network, and maybe
if I’m testing out a new vertical, I’m trying out something but I see a lot of
big strength of mine is to build out my own office and I’ve been doing that ever
since. So LinkedIn is your friend obviously and shows like that really
helped to find and get the right people and when you have a little trouble
getting your foot in the door, they’re secret is always and it
almost always works, is just to send them a free sample. Nobody says no to
free leads, like I never met somebody that didn’t want them and then once they
see that it’s legit and quality is good, you already have a foot in the door and
you can start working with them directly. Yeah.
I think it’s also really important over here again, to build up your network of
affiliate friends as well. If an offer is hot in the industry and it’s being run
a lot and you have your own network of people, who you can ask these kind of
questions to, like it will one give you some sort of credibility, knowing if the
company is legit and that you will get paid because at the end of the day, you
probably will be floating quite some money opposed to working through network,
and second you’ll get your foot in the door with with the right person. So for
me personally, I got hardly ever got a contact by Googling or looking on
the website but it was mainly just an introduction by email or or Skype. Yeah,
we prefer not working through networks and even the few times that we did run
through networks, it might have killed for three or four days and then pretty
much died because every other affiliate has access to that offer and are set up on
that network. So it’s pretty much you have no edge. So I prefer working direct
and prefer working with the people we know. I’ve been working for a while, so if
there’s also a trust factor of them not screwing us. So yeah always direct and
yeah, like Rishan said by the way, like mitigating the hopes of the
advertiser. For example, if the advertiser has a call center and he needs a steady flow
of inbound calls or leads so his call center can pick up the phone, you can’t just
screw him and shut the traffic for two days because he has people sitting on
the line and that’s it another thing I want to talk
about, because this is a big deal when you start hitting these kinds of numbers
is cash flow. So you know affiliates sometimes overlook it, they’re just
so excited that they’re growing and they overlook this really important thing
because it could come back and really bite you. So can you guys talk about how
you manage cash flow and how you kind of manage that risk and how you evaluate if
it’s worth continuing pushing an offer? So actually, I love that subject.
So once you’re hitting high numbers, life is great
because actually you have got leverage and on both sides because the
traffic source is happy, because you’re sending them a lot of clicks and you’re
giving and you’re spending a lot of money there and the advertiser is happy,
because hopefully they’re making a lot of sales because of you. So now with this
newly gained leverage. You can first of all, go to the traffic source and you can
ask for better payment terms and it really, at premium traffic sources
monthly net 30. It’s something which is very common and they give it to you
pretty fast. The only problem is that it’s often capped at the credit line. So
this is something you need to work out and so one of the ways to do it is to
send them documents about your yearly report, showing that your company is in
healthy financial standing and basically increasing the credit line and that way.
Also just nudging finance team on a regular basis until they give you a
better credit line and then you go to the advertiser and you kind of really
need to feel out now, is the advertiser really desperate for traffic? Or does he
have an overflow of traffic? If it’s desperate, you can go up to him and you
kind of give him a demand where you say, look I cannot float this
amount of money. If you want to keep receiving this kind of traffic, you got
to give me a better payment terms. You either got to prepay me or you could
switch me over to weeklies. If it’s not that desperate you can just offer him a discount depending on your profit margins for a
better payment. So now you fix the problem half way from both sides, you
know but with the credit with the increasing credit line and with the
better payment terms, usually I’m out of trouble there, and in addition to that
there’s also sometimes a best-case scenario, where you get prepaid and you
have an open credit line and then you just have money sitting there that you
can use for your campaigns and help cash flow over there. So it’s really like
there’s there’s a lot of things that you can do in order to optimise it and get
out of trouble there. Yeah, I mean pretty much what Daniel said. I mean, for us from
our experience, for you to reach those numbers, you’re a big spender
for traffic source as well and a lot of them will be happy to give you a credit
line and then the advertisers can pay you once a week, even twice a week,
and if they usually like the traffic sources willl invoice you net 30. So
it’s fantastic. So for us it’s just easier once you’re a big spender to talk
to the ad networks and they will give you a nice credit line. Nowadays the
barrier to entry into affiliate marketing is a lot lower, like I remember
when I think most of us got started, you know tracking was an issue. Now you have
tons of great products out there. So the barrier to entry is getting lower and
lower. What keeps giving you the competitive advantage over everybody
else who is coming into the market and competing with you directly, oftentimes
have access to the same traffic, and the same offers? I think it’s technology and
relationships. So relationships with the advertisers directly. You get better
payment terms like you mentioned, better payouts, they’re willing to hold on maybe
when your traffic is down for a day or two before handing it out to somebody
else that’s a big deal, and technology-wise, being able to serve your pages very
quickly for mobile is a very very big deal. Having some kind of combined way of
reporting for us to analyse and for our managers to look at, gives us an
advantage instead of having to log into multiple accounts or whatnot. We can pull
reports easier. I mean, I think those are the two biggest things.
Probably the relationships with the advertisers is the hugest one. I know
earlier when we were talking about employees, you mentioned them running
away with your campaigns or whatever and that’s never been a concern for us
because they’re not going to be able to negotiate the same deal, they’re not
going to have the same leverage with that advertiser. So even if someone were
to do that, it’s not realistic that they could steal our business
for any significant period of time. Yeah, I’m gonna say something that we’re doing
right now. We didn’t do it till now. So basically a proper backend. So if our
advertisers are paying us almost a 100% of their frontend sale,
it means that they’re making at least a 100% on the backend. So if you
have your own product and your own bundle and your own back and your funnel,
then you’re just destroying the game. So I think if we’re talking about mistakes,
before I think our mistake is we didn’t do it quicker, sooner and I think that
just gives you a huge edge and that’s pretty much it. Yeah I just wanted to add that what
Rishan said about the relationships. It’s something that I feel that’s very
undervalued by a lot of people, also by the ease of communication that is
available of just sending a Skype message or just chatting with people but
actually picking up the phone and talking to people and meeting them
face-to-face is actually how the relationships are being built and I
completely agree that I feel like that’s the biggest edge of getting to a
higher level. If you were gonna try to guess or let me rephrase this, if
somebody’s trying to hit 50k, they’re an intermediate affiliate, they’re doing well
but they’re having a hard time. What would you tell them to focus on in 2017
to finally be able to hit those numbers? Don’t try to reach 50k and well, I’ll
tell you what how we work, we have a lot of campaigns and most of our campaigns.
I wouldn’t say hundreds but 150, 200, 200 plus campaigns over different traffic sources
and that’s the way we work. Basically that’s what gives us stability.
I mean, we have campaigns that’s been running for six months. Of course, you
need to refresh the creatives once in a while, remove bad pubs but they have been
doing 500 bucks for six months steadily. So I would first say, you know,
try to create a few campaigns that do the two, three figures a day. Start from
there. Don’t think about the 50k and also don’t have this perception that
you can have one campaign, which means one traffic source with one targeting,
it’s gonna do a 50k and even if it does, it will die within within a week. It’s
burn rate will be huge, at least from my experience in the past year. I mean, now
starting out, new trying to get to that number. I would just add, mentally prepare
myself. Throw the idea of living a balanced life out the window and get on
the grind. Test as many things as humanly possible, keep your ear to the ground,
listen to what other people are making work and as soon as you find something
that does well, just you know, do your best to dominate it and scale it as fast
as possible. I mean, you just got to throw a lot of stuff around until you find
something that wins and then scale it as fast as possible. Yeah, I also think that
the advice for 2017 is probably the same advice we would give in 2000,
just and be persistent, keep executing every day. Get up, get out there,
and really try out everything you can. Trial and error is the key and don’t be
afraid of failure because with failure, you gain experience and every time you fail,
you learn something new that you can apply in the future. So
that would be what I would advise and maybe treat it like a business right,
like mentally prepare yourself. This is a business that requires some kind of
investment, we’re gonna lose money testing all these different campaigns. I
feel a lot of new affiliates I speak to just don’t have that mindset, you know,
they’re very afraid to test and lose money. Yeah that’s why I think I like the
original title of this panel, which was the “No BS Panel” 50k sounds more
like a biz-op. So yeah, it’s a mindset kind of a thing because most affiliates
come into this game and they think like yeah, I have 500 bucks I’m gonna turn to
half a million within six months, which maybe in 2008, when you can run flogs
and rebuilds and Adwords maybe, but today and you know, as you can see,
AWA is growing from year to year and you have more competition. Then treat it like
a business and in a business you need to invest money. You’re not gonna take those
$500 and turn them into 500k, you have to lose before you make some
money. If you’re lucky to make money. Do any of you guys have plans? I know Rishan
mentioned he doesn’t have it but do any of you guys have a plan of an exit? So
are you trying to grow your business in a way that you want to exit? Is it
something you keep in the back of your mind? You know because at the end of the
day, yeah you could run 50k and put money in the bank but maybe you have bigger
ambitions. Is that something you consider well while trying to scale your business? Personally, I’ve always seen affiliate
marketing like how we’re talking about it here right now. It’s like a cash cow
and invest the money actually, in all our businesses, which are
easier presented to sell. I still feel to this day that I could, yes, I could step
out of the entire affiliate business but still, I’m like a big
part of the success of it as well. Just of like the vision and all that. So I know
others are only working for the exit, I just considered it in a different way as like
a cash cow to invest and other things. Yeah, we’ll definitely consider it.
Obviously if the price is right but what I have to say is that in the recent
years, the industry really changed a lot. I mean and now you got those huge
companies being public and such, and they are in desperate need for a revenue here.
So actually, media companies are actually very interesting for them
for our purchase. So it is definitely the subject but obviously for me,
personally, it needs to be worth it but I would consider it, yeah.
We treat it as arbitrage as we do it as fuel, pretty much, but let’s look at it
like this. Let’s assume you’re doing $3-4 million profit a year, which
is most respected. Then you’ll need ten years of that steady to $240 million. Or
you can invest in technology or whatever and then sell your company for a $100
million within two, three years. So we just treat what we’re doing as fuel. Of
course, we are building technologies on that and they’ll be sold one day
but yeah if you really want to make the quantum leap, you
can’t just rely on arbitrage. Okay so this panel is called the no bullshit
panel. So I’m just gonna ask upfront because this is the no bullshit panel.
Did you make 50k a month or a day at one point? A month? Or? A day, sorry.
Yes. Yes, you did okay. Did you? Profit or revenue?
Well revenue with a profit, like I don’t know. Points don’t count.
Yes. Okay. 50k a day? 50k a day? So like $1.5 million a month. Yeah. Yeah. Okay great.
Yeah of course. Yes of course. Alright. So, I mean, I would ask for you to show
me like some pictures or some proof, you know because I really don’t buy it. Well
actually I think we got something cool. Do we have something? That’s one day? Photoshop? Obviously. I
think we have another one, no? Yeah, we got more. I’m not using Voluum by the way. How do you make sure Voluum
doesn’t take your campaigns? Just kidding. Wait do we have another slide? No? No, that’s it.
Sorry, thought we had more proof. Was that combined? If you want, if you want, I
bought 3G. So you can come and I’ll show you live stats if you want. He
showed me the other day when I called him out. You ran away, that’s why I want to show you more.
Alright, sounds good. Anyway, thank you guys. I think this was a
pretty insightful panel. At the end of the day, everyone here is taking their
business very serious. It is possible. It’s possible as a solo affiliate but
it’s going to be very, very hard and unsustainable. So these guys have been
able to do huge volumes without having to do tricks or cloaking or doing
anything that would ruin their business long-term. So thank you again and enjoy
the rest of the show. Thanks.

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