I haven't been to this forum since early this year. At that time I was occasionally posting my revenue & expenses in the second big thread about the Arbitrage Conspiracy course (my net income was almost always in the red during that time). That thread seems to have disappeared, so since we're at the end of the year now, I'm going to post my current update in this new thread...
I have made almost exactly $400k in revenue since I started affiliate marketing in Jan 2009, and my profit has been just over $100k ($110k to $120k - I'll find out the exact numbers when I do my accounting update next month). I have much higher goals for next year
$100k in annual profit is very far from where I want to be, but since I think I've made a lot more than most members of this forum, perhaps I can offer some useful advice. Below, in no particular order, are some things I did that I think helped contribute to the "success" that I've had so far, as well as some other random comments:
I did NOT spend my time on forums where 99% of the members don't make any real money doing affiliate marketing, and who instead make a bit of cash selling products and services teaching affiliate marketing to other members of the forum. Hint, hint!
I did not take advice from anyone who wasn't consistently making a very large amount of money doing PPC to CPA affiliate marketing.
I WAS very persistent, constantly optimizing and testing new techniques, and cutting out campaigns/ads that could not be made profitable.
I learned far more by actually DOING affiliate marketing and making mistakes than I did by taking courses or reading forums or blogs.
IMO the AC course sucked in a lot of ways and I don't recommend it because I'm sure there are far better courses out there. But I'm glad I took the course because it got me started in affiliate marketing and since it was a 12-week course it helped keep me on track during that time. But I don't recommend any AC course. Almost all the techniques I have been using to actually make a profit were not covered in the AC course.
Because PPC to CPA marketing is so complex, I DO recommend taking some kind of course to help you get started if you're brand new. There's probably a lot more to learn than you think. Some guidance when getting started can be very helpful.
When I started doing affiliate marketing this year, I was not making enough money at my day job to pay my rent, and I my net worth was in the red by about $40k (I had a lot of debt). Now I don't have a job and am feeling comfortable
I do not promote rebills or mobile offers because I think that 99% of them are very unethical. I don't promote email/zip submit offers either.
If you start PPC to CPA affiliate marketing, I think you should expect to lose a few thousand dollars before you start making any profit, and I think you should be able to put in at least 5 solid hours a day for at least a couple months before you consider quitting. IMO if you're going to quit after losing $500 or if you can only put in one or two hours a day, you'll almost certainly fail so you shouldn't bother starting.
I'm never going to try to sell you a product or service about how to make money doing affiliate marketing.
I don't do any type of coaching or mentoring so please don't bother asking.
I spent almost $300k on buying traffic this year, and only about $20k of that was on Google. There's a huge world outside of Google
Affiliate marketing is not passive. It is extremely rare that you can just let a profitable campaign run for months on end. There is always work to do.
IMO the following three qualities are required to succeed with affiliate marketing: creativity, an analytical brain, and incredible persistence.
I think that this quote applies to almost all areas of life, but it applies especially to affiliate marketing: "The reason you are not successful is because you have not failed enough. You need to fail more and faster." (I'm pretty sure it was Robert Kiyosaki who said that.) So are you not successful yet? Well then get off the forums, stop listening to people who don't know anything, and TAKE MASSIVE ACTION and never stop until you make it.
...I step down from my soap box.