First time out as an Affiliate Marketer - The Good, The Bad, The Faceplant!

30 replies
Hello everyone,


Ive recently broke into the affiliate marketing arena and have tried my hand at SoloAds. I am curious if my assessment of my first attempt is correct. So if you will indulge me, Ill share with you what I have done and my results, as well as, my thoughts on the matter. Then, if you would, please give me your feedback.

Here we go.

Firstly, I understand it may be WAY TOO SOON to really get a feel for things. However here is the timeline:

12/23/16 signed up as an affiliate for a product that was claiming 74% conversion according to the JVZoo stats

12/24 12/30 muddled around trying to get set up with an autoresponder. (I had let my AWEBER account go a couple of years ago so I signed up with GetResponse, but right out of the gate there was trouble with them sending me a verification code)

12/31 Purchased Landing Page Monkey and ordered a SoloAd Package. Started my campaign offering a free EBook that would then put the subscribers through a funnel with the affiliate offer.

1-2-17 Still no response from the SoloAd provider, so I sent them an email. I assumed that the holidays would slow things down. However, the provider did respond and I assume fixed the issue because according to LPM I was getting impressions to my Landing Page.

As of today, this campaign shows 371 Impressions with only 4 people clicking on the first button and ZERO actually signing up for the book and therefore no one getting on my list or going to the offer page.

Conclusion so far?

  • I have a bad front end offer
  • Its a bad SoloAd provider (although I think he was recommended on one of the Warrior Forum Threads)
  • I stink at this.
  • All the above.

Not to give up or quit, I try again. Although my budget is limited.

1-3-17 I design a new campaign, scrapping the free ebook on Online Business, and design a landing page that hints at the affiliate offer. (I still want them to subscribe to my list). Once they subscribe, it goes to the offer funnel.

I also use a different SoloAd provider based on a recommendation in the product that I am promoting.

Results as of today:

102 Impressions, 9 Clicking through to the email optin page. Of those 9, 6 opted in. None have purchased yet. There stats are as follows:

1 US
1 Egypt
2 Morocco
2 Indonesia

This particular SoloAd provider also offers stats. According to them I have received 96 unique clicks. I assume that means 96 people clicked through my link on the email to my landing page.

Of those 96
50% or 48 clicks are from the US
4% or 4 clicks are from Egypt
3% or 3 clicks are from Indonesia
2% or 2 clicks are from Morocco

Conclusion:

I have no idea, if these are good stats. What I do know is I have paid $7.50 per subscriber from this second campaign. If you add both campaigns together, I have paid $16.33 per lead/subscriber. These are not the numbers that I have seen in all the testimonials. Surely there is a better way to build my list. Or maybe I am being too impatient. But I cannot keep spending $50 - $100 here and there without seeing some sort of results.

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#affiliaate #affiliate #bad #faceplant #good #marketer #solo ad #time #trial and error
  • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
    you cannot continue with that kind of result.

    It does appear you are getting traffic but my guess is that the traffic is almost 100% NOT INTERESTED in what it is you are promoting. I would have to know more about the traffic source.

    For solo ads - what you are trying to do on the front end is pay for the solo ad. Nothing more. If you can break even on the front end, then any back end sales at all are pure profit.

    As I said before - the traffic coming to your page has almost ZERO interest in what you are showing them. Thats your problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randy McLean
    Well, kudos for trying. At least you took action.

    I have had the best luck finding sellers in the Facebook group Solo Ad Testimonials. There are over 30,000 members and it's pretty transparent there because no one wants a bad review.

    Sometimes it is in your best interest to email the solo seller first and ask what types of offers work best for his/her list. You can even show them your funnel.

    The sellers will work with you. I even message for lower prices.

    Regarding your page - I haven't seen it but the most important thing to keep in mind is your headline.

    It should include these 3 things:

    1. A promise
    2. Simplicity
    3. Curiosity

    And it should solve a problem. That is why offers for things like software don't convert as well with solo ads.

    Most people want to make money in their sleep and want a quick and easy way to do so.

    It doesn't really matter so much how you deliver your gift. It could be a video, PDF, email course etc.

    At some point you want to introduce your first offer to try and make your ad spend back. You can use a redirect or bridge page for this.

    Make sure what you're selling is related to the topic of your squeeze page.

    Keep testing until your get your page converting at 50%.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Of course you want to get off to a fast start and break even with a few sales.

    But dont always be short sighted if it doesn't happen.

    If you have good Follow Ups it can easily be balanced out


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Keep it up, it can be hard to crack into this world.
    I would try a different traffic source than Soloads to start (such as Facebook Ads, Bing, PPV, etc)
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    I'd hold off on the "I suck at this" option, unless you count your timing.

    You may have picked one of the worst times of the year, especially if the offer you want to promote is in the IM/MMO arena. From your post, I'm guessing that it's some sort of BizOp.

    I don't use solo ads, myself, but some of the principles apply to paid advertising in general.

    The purpose of your ad is to get the right people, people who might be interested in your offer, to raise their hands, and get everyone else to ignore you.

    Your landing page should continue the sorting process. Prospects should opt in. Everyone else should leave.

    Your list will sort itself into three basic categories.

    > Hyper responsives, who will jump on your offer because it's exactly what they're looking for, and continue to jump on whatever you offer them.

    > Warm prospects, who want the result you offer, but aren't ready to pull the trigger yet.

    > "Dead weight", mainly people who signed up to get the freebie or people for whom the offer is not right but are too lazy to unsubscribe. You want to drop these people periodically, or move them to a separate list to whom you send a variety of offers to see if you can activate them.

    In addition to contacting the ad sellers, as has been suggested, contact the product vendor and ask for help developing an effective funnel - what kind of traffic sources, lead magnets, etc. helped get that 74% conversion.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      ... From your post, I'm guessing that it's some sort of BizOp....
      No, the first campaign I offered a free book on building an online business, if the offer was accepted they would be sent to a thank you page that would ultimately redirect them to an affiliate offer of a course on how to make money online.

      The second campaign, I just gave them a glimpse of the affiliate offer and scrapped the free book. Once they opt-in it takes them to the WSO itself.

      I had "better success" with that, but I don't know if it is due to the change in my offer or the change in the Solo Ad provider. Maybe both.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by ClarkeFamilyBiz View Post

        No, the first campaign I offered a free book on building an online business, if the offer was accepted they would be sent to a thank you page that would ultimately redirect them to an affiliate offer of a course on how to make money online.
        Like I said, some sort of BizOp.

        I'm not saying this is bad, just that it's a lousy time of year for it. Wait another month until the Christmas bills start coming in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
    It's difficult to judge these results without looking at the squeeze pages but here is my 2c

    I used solo ads quite a lot a few years ago. I even sold solo ads for a short while and helped another marketer with a much larger list manage and sell his solos.

    What I saw happening in the solo ads community back then kind of explains the bad results people are getting now.

    Recently I tested 2 solo ad vendors against "real" email traffic...that is, I asked a marketing pal whose list is made up of people grabbing his free offers and customers of his paid tripwire products.

    They all sent through to the same squeeze page.

    First I ordered 250 clicks from a "reputable" vendor.
    I got 297 clicks but only 10 subscribers. Ouch.
    Never...Never has that happened before.

    Then I ordered 100 clicks from another vendor.
    I received 115 and got 27 subscribers.

    Now I have been putting squeeze pages together for years and I have never had less than 35% conversion.

    Both solo vendors claimed that their lists contained "buyers" and was super responsive.

    I was beginning to think I was going mad.

    Then, the real traffic.....
    My friend sent 105 clicks and I had 47 opt-ins

    I really suspect that is not your offer or your squeeze page but it was the traffic that stank.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourBizAid
    Most solo are sellers these days offer tons of junk, extremely low quality traffic you can find in this space. Most of them are after the money they can get from you without thinking about giving you equivalent value in return.

    So I advise you to try out another solo seller or just purchase the traditional traffic with is a bit more expensive but more targeted and easier to convert.

    You're just starting out, so trash the "I suck at this" part. Experts in all areas of life sucked at it at one point - which is the learning phase. And that's where you are at right now.

    Best of Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author cjsparacino123
    i started affiliate marketing as well, it's interesting, i'll give you my timeline sorta

    12/10/2016 - realized all affiliate marketing is, is getting people to click on a link

    12/23/2016 - bought a hosting service set up a wordpress blog

    12/24/2016 - blogged & fb promo

    12/28/2016 - blogged & fb promo

    12/30/2016 - blogged and FB promo

    1/1/2016 - blogged and fb promo

    1/3/2016 - blogged and fb promo

    results:
    lots of comments on facebook, people love what i am writing
    no opt ins, no sales

    action plan:
    learn SEO, work on site, fail a bunch
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  • Profile picture of the author cjsparacino123
    motivation and some things i learned that i wanted to share!
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  • Profile picture of the author mdallen
    Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Don't give up. Readjust your sails and try a fresh approach if what you are doing does not work. It is possible to make money online. You could be one of those people if you keep trying and adjusting your methods. It might help, if you can afford it to work with a mentor. I do not do this service nor do I have someone specific to recommend. Sometimes a coach can help see what we are too focused to see. I think sometimes it is about the ad or sales funnel and sometimes about the people selling you traffic. There are a lot of people who send bot traffic. Your numbers go up and nothing. You have to make sure to check out solo ad testimonials on FB. You can see which sellers are getting results. Sarah Chew is the best if you can afford it...
    Traffic Tutor: Top 10 Trustworthy Solo Ad Sellers
    All of those have great reviews and were the top ten solo ad sellers of 2016. I hope that helps so that you can stop throwing good money after bad. Before you buy you should see if your funnel is set up right. Join a group that can give you feedback on your landing page and thank you page. FB group Friends of Freedom is a great group to start with. There are 500+ marketers all willing to help. I don't think there is a place on here where you can post your landing page, I am unsure about that though...
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunybb
    Hey there


    No offence but just reading your thread hurt my brain!


    Your overwhelmed and you lack focus, but also it looks like your getting really BAD solos!


    When your still learning this game I would stay away from solos at first!
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    • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
      Originally Posted by shaunybb View Post

      Hey there


      No offence but just reading your thread hurt my brain!


      Your overwhelmed and you lack focus, but also it looks like your getting really BAD solos!


      When your still learning this game I would stay away from solos at first!
      How is keeping track of stats lacking focus? You will never get where you are going if you do not know where you are.

      I appreciate your feedback, but can you explain what you mean by "You lack focus"?
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    Vendors hype up their conversions for launches so more people can promote it... it's a fact.

    With solo ads you have to do a lot of testing and tweaking until something hits. A lot of times you won't get a home run right out of the gate.
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  • Profile picture of the author besttargetmedia
    I think you should keep trying. Your beginnings sound great, and you are doing the right thing to ask all the resources out there that are available to you. There is a huge learning curve and a zillion routes to take. Sadly for me I used to do real well in affiliate posting, copywriting, and freelancing for several companies until the commissions kept getting stolen on the revshares % AND the workload got to be more with paying less. The stealing of revshares used to be called "shaving" which is the equivalent to skimming, however now the hacks just take the whole basket. So while the commission is there, the key is not to allow it to be tampered with. I apologize in advance as I am not sure if this applies to you, but just so you know, the learning curve is great, and only works with a winning product, service, feature.....I'd hate to have you see everything tumble in one fall swoop. Having a product or feature that no one can take from you, is always best. Find and statistically know where your wins are and clone those same principals. I honestly believe the more creative and motivated a person is, the more they can press on until they find a successful niche and how to drive the paying traffic. If it is costing a fortune and not getting results, the whole formula and system either needs to be redone or scrapped.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I'll tell you why you've failed.

    You're a dreamer.

    You found a bunch of fake traffic (bot impressions) and thought you would get rich by doing nothing. You've purposely bought what you thought was real random traffic. You didn't stop for a second to think and/or comprehend that random traffic (If it was real (it wasn't)) would never convert into sales.

    Wake up.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I'll tell you why you've failed.

      You're a dreamer.

      You found a bunch of fake traffic (bot impressions) and thought you would get rich by doing nothing. You've purposely bought what you thought was real random traffic. You didn't stop for a second to think and/or comprehend that random traffic (If it was real (it wasn't)) would never convert into sales.

      Wake up.
      Wow. You don't know me. If I was an expert at this I would not be posting here. I am looking for advise.

      What I did was purchase ebooks, wso's, audio and video training and did what they said to do. I followed the advice of people that I thought knew what they were doing and was being honest about it. People who sell products on this forum and who get rave reviews from everyone else on this forum.

      Then when I purchase their stuff and do what is taught, it seems to not work. So I think, maybe it's me and I try again.

      Finally I show my vulnerability and post on the forum looking for advice and asking if what I am experiencing is normal. You see what I find? Most that have responded have told me not to mess with Solo Ads. The opposite of what the WSOs that I purchased said.

      Then you respond by insulting me and telling me to wake up and insinuating that I just want a quick score.

      No. I guess I was just foolish enough to believe the hype.

      I am a top earner and Local Sales Director for a national company. I have won many sales trips and Sales Management awards. I believe that I have the skills to succeed in the IM world, but I am somewhat of a newbie when it comes to the how. I have the skills, I just don't know how to implement them in the IM world.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paleochora
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I'll tell you why you've failed.

      You're a dreamer.

      You found a bunch of fake traffic (bot impressions) and thought you would get rich by doing nothing. You've purposely bought what you thought was real random traffic. You didn't stop for a second to think and/or comprehend that random traffic (If it was real (it wasn't)) would never convert into sales.

      Wake up.
      I don't think you read his OP properly.

      He bought traffic from whom he believed to be legitimate sources and sent the traffic to a simple funnel the likes of which almost every online marketer uses in some way or another.

      He naturally expected that the traffic would match up to the claims made by the seller and would not be "random" but would be made up of people genuinely interested in the type of offer he was promoting.

      The fact that the traffic was junk is not in his control. I'm sure there are still a few solo sellers out there who i) Have and will send from genuine lists ii) Will be honest about whether an offer will convert before accepting payment.
      Unfortunately, this guy didn't find one of those, increasingly rare, people yet.

      I feel that you are being unnecessarily harsh in your opinion on this occasion.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    I remember my first time out over 6 years ago. I was and still am but I was an affiliate for Google running adsense ads. First week out the gate I started earning around $400 per day. That lit a fire under me and I never turned back.

    Since then my life has changed big time.... I'm free and my time belongs to me not some employer...
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  • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
    To clarify my thoughts.

    I am not whining. I am not having a pitty party. I am not passing blame. I am not giving up. I am not a failure.

    I am simply trying to better myself. I hesitated posting here because I knew I would be showing my weakness.

    But this I know. I will not always be a newbie. I will not always be struggling. And there will be a day that I will be able to take what I have learned and help someone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author naviown
    I think IM niche is too much saturated...hundred of thousands people are in IM niche promoting same products and without giving true value to subcribers in the first place, people are tired of products, they want honest advices, info which really works... I think affiliate marketers who promoting offers via list should care more about the people in their lists and NOT about MONEY. If you honestly will help people, money will come after.
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  • Profile picture of the author naviown
    Also OP, maybe you could show you squeeze page, so people could improve it or tell opinion. I think its not only about the bad solo ad provider and traffic, the problem is also in squeeze page too.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
      Originally Posted by naviown View Post

      Also OP, maybe you could show you squeeze page, so people could improve it or tell opinion. I think its not only about the bad solo ad provider and traffic, the problem is also in squeeze page too.
      Am I allowed to show my squeeze pages? Do I just post a screen shot or the links?
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  • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
    This is the funnel or method I was using...

    Save
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by ClarkeFamilyBiz View Post

      This is the funnel or method I was using...

      Save
      The method is one that has worked for many and still works, so that isn't the main problem.

      Start by looking at the decision points in the process.

      > Are you making the right offer?
      > Are you making it to the right people?
      > Are you standing out from the crowd, or does your ad/offer look just like the other 50 in their inbox?

      With your experience in sales, you should be able to suss out the answers, and those will point you in the right direction. People are still people, whether you connect online or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by ClarkeFamilyBiz View Post

      This is the funnel or method I was using...

      Save
      Thanks, that's fairly sufficient.

      But those email campaigns are a little bit off, for me at least. Taking swipes from WSO ??
      Articles ??

      I guess that could work and maybe it could be semantics but I am more inclined to write Emails that are personable emails not articles.

      Writing and letting my Subs learn more about me and conversely learning more about them.

      I will talk about different ways I can help them and their problems but I will mix things up a little.

      Talk about the weather, about your current situation in your personal life, infuse some humor about how your wife hit you over the head with an iron skillet etc. etc.. things that are interesting to them and takes it to a level where they begin to trust you .

      ....Trust you because they know you are an ACTUAL REAL Human being not just some charlatan trying to hawk product

      That's a very important stage in he relationship building


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author ClarkeFamilyBiz
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        ...
        But those email campaigns are a little bit off, for me at least. Taking swipes from WSO ??
        Articles ??

        I guess that could work and maybe it could be semantics but I am more inclined to write Emails that are personable emails not articles.

        Writing and letting my Subs learn more about me and conversely learning more about them.

        I will talk about different ways I can help them and their problems but I will mix things up a little.

        Talk about the weather, about your current situation in your personal life, infuse some humor about how your wife hit you over the head with an iron skillet etc. etc.. things that are interesting to them and takes it to a level where they begin to trust you .

        ....Trust you because they know you are an ACTUAL REAL Human being not just some charlatan trying to hawk product

        That's a very important stage in he relationship building


        - Robert Andrew

        Thank you for the sound advice. I may have worded my email campaign incorrectly.

        As to swipes, the seller of the WSO that I am providing offered swipes to send to our list. I took those swipes and kept the core idea, but edited it to reflect my story and/or personality. I did not make any claims that were not true for me. For instance, in one swipe the seller had verbiage that would have made it sounded like I have been doing this for years and that the prospect could learn from my experience. Obviously that would not be true. So I changed it, and told the prospect that it is possible to learn from others' experience. Then told them to click the link to find out how.

        Regarding articles: I purchased some PLRs to get a starting point. Most were junk. But of the few that I liked, I took and re wrote them into a series that also intertwined some of my own experience in sales. However, as you mentioned, I probably could have been more transparent on a personal level.

        Do you think that what I described above is ok?

        -- My desire is to be an ethical and honest marketer, even if it means I do not land the "Big One".
        Save
        Save
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by ClarkeFamilyBiz View Post

          Thank you for the sound advice. I may have worded my email campaign incorrectly.

          As to swipes, the seller of the WSO that I am providing offered swipes to send to our list. I took those swipes and kept the core idea, but edited it to reflect my story and/or personality. I did not make any claims that were not true for me. For instance, in one swipe the seller had verbiage that would have made it sounded like I have been doing this for years and that the prospect could learn from my experience. Obviously that would not be true. So I changed it, and told the prospect that it is possible to learn from others' experience. Then told them to click the link to find out how.

          Regarding articles: I purchased some PLRs to get a starting point. Most were junk. But of the few that I liked, I took and re wrote them into a series that also intertwined some of my own experience in sales. However, as you mentioned, I probably could have been more transparent on a personal level.

          Do you think that what I described above is ok?

          -- My desire is to be an ethical and honest marketer, even if it means I do not land the "Big One".
          Save
          Save
          Try this...

          Compile your whole email sequence into one document, then read it from beginning to end like you would a novel.

          Look for points of disconnect or confusion. Is there something that interrupts the flow from "tell me more" to "here's my credit card"? Are there contradictions?

          Blending customized vendor swipes with articles and (as Robert mentioned) your own personality can be a winning formula.

          Your goal is to create a "greased chute" with a pleasurable landing that makes the buyer want to take another ride with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    when it comes to solo ads you could learn a lot from marketers Justin Brooke


    I recommend you watch his short soload playlist on youtube. Just search "Justin Brooke Solo Ads" on YouTube.

    Best of luck,
    Ike Paz
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