Targeted Traffic -> Landing Page -> Capture User Info -> Build Relationship and/or Send to offer
This is the basics of all affiliate marketing and while there are subtleties of it that constantly evolve, the basics are still the same.
The three big 3s of any profitable CPA campaign:
1. Profitable OfferProfitable Offer
2. Targeted Traffic
3. Test, Test, Test
Even the best publishers have a hard time making money with campaigns that simply aren't working. In order to make your CPA career, you'll make it 1000x easier on yourself to begin with profitable campaigns. Your affiliate manager is pretty wise in this so don't be afraid to ask. Aslo, every CPA network allows you to sort offers by EPC (Earnings Per Click). Find out what is working for other successful publishers and duplicate it. There are exceptions when a campaign becomes saturated and is no longer effective or a new campaign does not yet have enough data. However, the easiest way to be a successful publishers is to model what other successful publishers are doing and simply duplicate it.
Not all traffic is created equal. Targeted traffic, ie people who have a prior interest in your offer, are more likely to convert. For example, if you have built a mailing list of video game players, the demographics of that list will be predominantly young males. As a result, a mortgage offer probably won't convert for them like an offer for a free xbox. Many people have a tough time because their traffic doesn't match up with their offer. You sell your 'make money ebook' at the WF and not at a forum about dog training. You'd rather have 10 prospects see your offer than 1000 untargeted people.
There are only so many ways to get traffic:
Pay for it
i) PPC - Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Youtube.
ii) PPV - Media Traffic, Traffic Vance.
iii) Private Advertising Deals - Many people overlook going out and making deals for your own banners with sites that aren't not currently looking for advertisers. You'd be surprised how cheap you can get traffic from related sites, especially adsense sites, by just asking.
iv) Solo Email Ads - Many people will let you send an email blast to their mailing list for a set fee.
i) Targeted Forums - Never spam, just be useful and your signature will get visibility.
ii) Free Classified Sites - Craigslist, Backpage, Kijiji. Most CPA offers will frown on this traffic directly but if you send it to your own landing page first and do some quality filtering, it can be a great source of traffic.
iii) Article Sites - Ezine Articles, GoArticles, ArticlesBase, etc. There are some rules on affiliate links for these. If you combine them on Market Samurai with easy to rank keywords, you can usually start getting steady traffic almost immediately.
iv) Related Blogs - If you make a useful comment on high traffic blogs, people will often follow through to your signature.
v) Social Bookmarking - If you gain traction on some top sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, etc, it can result in lots of traffic. This works best when you use bookmarking to bring visitors to youtube videos with a sponsored CPA link.
vi) Youtube Videos - Good videos are a great way to get traffic to your offer. Prominently display the link in your description and watermark your video.
vii) Social Media Groups - Joining some related groups in Facebook or Linkedin are great places to start promoting your offer. You can also add friends from these related groups who you know have a predisposition towards your niche and then promote to them. Find people on twitter with certain keywords is also useful.
viii) Answer sites - Yahoo answers, AOL answers, etc. You would be surprised at how many people are not only ready to be sold products but how many of them will ask questions like "where can i get..." or "where can i buy..." product abc. If your provide a useful answer without just blasting your sales agenda, you can get direct traffic and these tend to rank well for long tail keywords as well.
ix) Email marketing - Never forget to capture your target prospect's email address so you can keep promoting related offers to them.
x) Offline - Many people forget about basic business cards, offline flyers, etc. If you can target a group of video game players by say putting an approved ad up at your local video game store, do it! This is one of the single most untapped resources today.
Test, Test, Test
You can never test too much. You should always be testing multiple ads, multiple landing pages, and multiple offers. Only once a campaign is fully optimized is it ready to be scaled up.
Three simple tips that are working for us right now:
1. A good landing page is extremely important. You have to give your user a reason to sign up and provide adequate proof that what they're going to get is worthwhile. You also need to accomplish this in the shortest possible time period. A good landing page is concise.
2. Use PPC to test first and then PPV and organic traffic once that's working. There are some competitive PPC keywords that are near impossible to make money with so you may lose money on it. At the same time, it can provide valuable insights on what's working on what's not.
3. Use Google alerts to find new people just waiting to see your offer. For example, sticking with the xbox thread. If we had a "free xbox offer", a good Google alert might be "where can i get a free xbox". While you will get some junk mixed in there, you'll find real people on forums, social media sites, and Q&A sites just begging to be promoted to.
What I recommend is simple, use PPC for 24 hours to test what offers are working for you. At the end of the 24 hours, take massive action and use as many free tools as possible to promote that offer. You'd be surprised how quickly this can snowball with massive action.
Let's make this a sharing thread. What's been working for you lately and why?