I can’t believe it, but the Aff playbook Forum is officially 5 years old. When I first started it, I had no idea it would grow into what it’s become.
I’ve had a blast running the forum for the past 5 years! It’s truly been a life changing experience for me, and for many of you. In the past 5 years I’ve had a unique position where I get to see lots of affiliates on the road towards success.
This has helped me refine my own approach to my business, and also learn how to help members reach success themselves.
I’ve seen people make the same mistakes over and over, and I’ve seen people push past those mistakes to become very successful. It’s been really interesting, and taught me more than I could have imagined.
In this post I’m going to share the top 5 ‘secrets’ (although there really aren’t any) that I’ve learned by watching thousands of affiliates come through the forum.
1. You can’t be afraid to spend money
Everyone would like to find success right away, but that rarely happens. One thing that keeps people stuck more than anything is a fear of spending money. I’m still not 100% sure why, but people get locked into this idea that they’re ‘losing’ money when they don’t make a positive ROI on their campaigns. This is the exact opposite of the mindset you should have.
The successful members I’ve seen come through here aren’t afraid to spend money. It doesn’t mean you need a $10k budget to find success. It means you can’t worry about spending $25 on a campaign and not getting a conversion. It means you have to look at this as building a business.
If you went to college, you would pay a lot of money for classes but you wouldn’t expect to make money from your degree until you graduated. Similarly if you opened a pizza joint, you wouldn’t expect to make money until you rented a storefront and spent money getting the business up and running. Why should affiliate marketing be any different? This is a business, not a get rich quick scheme.
Instead of saying you ‘lost’ money, say that you invested in your education and your business.
The people that really embrace that philosophy have a much easier time on their road to success. If you’re constantly worried about losing money, you’ll go nowhere fast.
2. Follow along campaigns pay off
One thing many of our successful members have in common is doing very detailed follow along campaigns. It’s not just posting though, it’s their approach to it.
Instead of just asking for advice and posting stats, they use it almost like a personal journal. They talk about what worked and what didn’t. They analyze what they’re doing and if it’s working or not.
They aren’t posting and just waiting for answers/responses, they’re really journaling their progress. Of course, they get advice along the way I’m just saying that’s not their sole reason for posting the thread.
Posting your thoughts like that might not seem that magical, but it really can be. There’s something about getting your thoughts out of your head and onto the screen that let you view and analyze in different ways.
So it’s not just posting a follow along campaign, it’s posting a very detailed journal. Check out some of the threads in the hall of fame section to see what I mean.
3. Most people don’t put in effort
Affiliate marketing is hard work, and most people simply just don’t put in the effort required. What’s interesting is it doesn’t always take a lot more effort than people are putting in. Here are a few examples:
– Throwing up a landing page and spending 2 minutes writing a couple bullet points of copy vs spending 20 minutes really thinking about who the audience is and figuring out how to ‘sell’ to them.
– Spending 10 minutes scraping some keywords or targets vs spending an hour going the extra mile and finding some great keywords. Most affiliates are going to go for the most obvious keywords, so why not put in a little more effort and put yourself ahead of 90% of affiliates out there? It doesn’t take a lot of effort to do more than most people are doing.
– Not researching your niche vs spending a few hours reading blogs and message boards to find out who your audience is and what they respond to. This is something almost nobody does, and it’s such an important step.
Do you know why people want your product/service? Do you know what their major concerns are? Do you know what emotional triggers get them to take action? If not, spend a few hours researching, it will put you so far ahead of other affiliates you wouldn’t believe it.
4. You have to be consistent
Successful people are consistent with their work ethic. Don’t confuse what this means though – it might be different than you think.
They don’t work 12 hours per day every day. Some people have the idea that successful people sit down and are productive for hours on end. The truth is successful people work smarter not harder. I know successful people who only work a few hours per day, but it’s VERY focused.
It would be better to work a smaller number of hours consistently every day, than try to do crazy marathon work sessions and get burnt out.
Another interesting thing is that you don’t have to be super motivated or love what you are doing all the time. I used to think that successful people were super motivated, jumped out of bed every morning excited to make money, etc, etc. Some people might be like that, and that’s great, but the majority of successful people just do the work whether they feel like it or not. They don’t want until they’re motivated or excited, that’s a secondary thought. Whether they’re motivated or not, they sit down and work.
The difference between amateurs and professionals is this – professionals do the work no matter what they feel like. Amateurs sit around waiting to get motivated and squeak in a few hours here and there when they are.
Successful people don’t always love what they do. I’m not saying you should do a business that you hate, but every job has parts people don’t like – affiliate marketing is no different. So don’t feel bad if you’re not loving every second of what you do – focus on the outcome. You like money right? So focus on that – “Ok building this keyword list might be boring, but it’s not boring spending the money I’ll make from this campaign”.
So don’t think you need to be some ultra productive, enthusiastic person to be successful. You just have to do the work – put in consistent effort. Even a little bit pays off over the long run.
5. Networking is crucial
Lots of affiliates are introverts, and don’t socialize that much. It’s easy to sit at home by yourself and you can make good money doing it. If you really want to get to the next level, you have to network. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to do it.
Talking and getting to know people through the forum is one way. Attending our virtual meetups is another. There are industry shows like Affiliate Summit where we hold meetups just for this purpose.
Networking gives you people to bounce ideas off of, share ideas with, or partner up with. There’s only so far you can go by yourself, so don’t be afraid to do this!
There you have it! 5 of my observations from coaching thousands of affiliates. I would love to hear what you guys think of these!
In my 10+ years doing online marketing, I think I’ve been told some traffic source or niche is ‘dead’. When I started out I was doing something that people kept saying ‘the glory days were gone’. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them, because I went on to be one of the most successful affiliates in that niche, quit my job, and build my business.
I wanted to share one of the recent success stories in the Aff Playbook Forum. Forum member jamtal has been a member for one year, and just posted his success story of making $50k/month. I asked him if I could post it here, because I think there are some great takeaways from his post. Success doesn’t always come as fast as we want. People think they’re a failure if they aren’t profitable in a couple months. The reality is that it takes most people months or even years to find success. Are you going to give up because success isn’t coming fast enough, or will you stick it out no matter how long it takes. Jamtal’s story is a great example of someone who knew he would succeed and kept sticking with his system regardless of how fast success was coming.
This story is also a great example of the fact you can make a lot of money with ANY traffic source. There’s always some ‘hot’ thing the industry is chasing after, but that doesn’t mean everything else is dead. I know affiliates doing great with PPV, PPC, Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Mobile, and more. Don’t listen to people that tell you something is dead, or doesn’t work as well as it used to. Sometimes it’s actually easier working with those traffic types or niches, because everyone else is focused on something else.
A big congratulations to jamtal, and thanks for letting me post his story.
I have a feeling this is going to be one long post so please bear with me. I definitely feel obligated to post my success story and clear few things for our fellow newbies and even some experienced affiliates who are struggling.
It still feels unreal, $50,000+ revenue in October, I’m literally speechless. Good news is that this isn’t “hit and run”, in August and September I’ve hit 5 figure revenue also and it keeps increasing. Hopefully I can reach 6 figure revenue/month by end of this year.
It all struck me this June, when I made about $2500 for whole month, things simply clicked. From there I gradually started earning more and more until I hit my 4 figure p/day revenue and rest is history.
You’re probably wondering, What Is My Secret?
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there isn’t one. It didn’t happen over night, I don’t cloak, all my landing pages are strictly following guidelines of PPV networks 100%, I don’t run any kind of special/direct offers, I don’t use special trackers or exploits and I don’t scam people. I’m just a regular guy promoting offers from well known CPA Networks on well known Traffic Sources you all are probably using.
I simply work harder and smarter than your average John Doe. (freelancer experience)
 It Takes Time
I’ve joined APB in 2013, first week was “information overload”. I started launching campaigns, most were dead ends but with each campaign I tried something new: maybe new type of lander, different targeting, many angles etc. Eventually some campaigns picked off. I was stoked when I was making my first $30-$50 per day of revenue. I never really thought it was possible.
As a beginner you encounter these things and it’s normal:
- Offers Die – It happened, a lot of times, you learn to deal with it over time.
- Bad Lead Quality – Another important lesson, you learn about copywriting and how not to “bullshit” visitors. Keeping advertiser happy is also very important, that’s how you develop good relationship with them.
- Fierce Bidding Wars – Updating Bids every 10 minutes? Loosing Money? Waking up in middle of night to update bids? Yeah, I’ve done it all, for days and sometimes weeks.
- Spying – Good, Bad and the Ugly – Does it work? Sometimes, yes, but remember that all guys who push a lot of revenue add their own twist and modify existing campaigns. Everyone can fully steal someones campaign, it’s a dead end.
- Stolen Campaigns – I’ve had my campaigns stolen also (karma). At first I was pissed. But then again, I did that too? Who am I to whine? Suck it up and move on. These days, it doesn’t bother me a bit.
- Fear of Spending – Been there also. You set fixed budget, It doesn’t work? You move on. These days I’m a lot more flexible and it doesn’t bother me. Stop being afraid of spending money!
- Crappy Network/AM – Also been there. Slow/unresponsive affiliate managers are the worst.
See those points above? Make it your “check list”.
If you haven’t experienced those things above, you haven’t really done much in Affiliate Marketing. Now I’m not saying that to offend you in any way but to make you eagerly wait for those things above to happen to you! It has to happen sooner or later and when it does, consider that you’re on the right path.
In a way, you want to fail because you learn far more from your failures than successes.
 Be Realistic, Patient and Polite!
I’ve seen so many members joining and eagerly wanting to make their own $100 or $500/p day as soon as possible. If you have absolutely 0 knowledge do you really think it’s possible? Do you think if you read 3-5 books on stock market and trading that you can go tomorrow and work on Wall Street and earn millions per year?
You start of small: $10 per day, then $50, then $100 and so on, baby steps people!
The key word is to be patient. Sucess doesn’t happen over night and if it does, it might only last a night! (a.k.a you got lucky)
Treat your networks and AM’s with respect and be polite! Sure, it’s their job to “guide you” but why would you bore you affiliate managers with questions like “How to install tracker?” or “Where to buy hosting from?” You have answers to all those “newbie” questions in here.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a newbie, don’t try to hide it, but don’t be lazy either. Instead of asking your AM to help you out with your tracking invest that time in to tackling their brain on offers, what you could potentially run on XYZ traffic source, what they recommend and so on and so on..
I don’t look at my AM’s as just managers, I speak with them daily, we exchange ideas and generally talk about everything. They are human beings too, respect their time, test their advice/tips and don’t be an asshole.
 Work Hard – Invest Smart
In order to achieve 3, 4 or 5 figure revenue per day, you just need to launch campaigns like there is no tomorrow. I’m not saying to launch 20 campaigns every day but don’t launch 1 campaign per week either. My motto is quality over quantity. I’d rather launch 10 really good campaigns this week with their own twist, a lot of angles and landers instead of 30 crappy ones. With those crappy ones I won’t learn a thing but with those 10 I’ll get to test out new angles, new landers and improve my copywriting. It’s a win-win situation.
It would be absolutely devastating to start earning some decent money and then to go and blow it all away in clubs and such. Remember, key word here is patience. There’s time for new houses, cars, crazy parties and expensive things.
Invest all your earnings in to more campaigns, maybe hire someone to help you with campaigns, test new traffic sources, pay off your debts or w.e but invest wisely, don’t blow your money on stupid shit!
 Thanks to APB
You are already here, everything you need to succeed is right here! Information you have here at your disposal is precious, take advantage. There are so many good case studies (even if they are old, read them!), tips, scripts, angles, landing pages on this forum. Not to mention active member base who always help you out and brainstorm ideas with you.
Even if no one replies, be sure David will, that guy won’t leave anyone hanging.
If you’re reading this congratulations and thank you! You’ve made it to the end, I could write till tomorrow but essential things have been said.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank David for creating and maintaining this awesome forum, ctrtard for his awesome scripts, Dr Manhattan for awesome tips and threads, Mateen (Goku) for awesome follow alongs, Miser for inspirational posts.. I could really go on forever, it just shows how great this forum.
Thanks again and Have a nice Day!
Ctrtard just released a mobile advertiser intelligence tool inside the forum!
This tool is powered by Adbeat and will return ads found on the mobile web. (In other words, it does not cover in-app advertising).
Use the dropdown to select from Android, Android Tablets, iPhone and iPad. You’ll see the exact creatives advertisers are using, what network they’re running on and how many days the ad has been running. Right now this is limited to US traffic but we hope to add international soon.
This tool is an awesome addition to the Aff Robot family of tools. It goes great with our mobile LP builder bot, so you now have everything you need to create a winning mobile campaign!
The APB affiliate contest in September just ended, and I want to congratulate Mateen on winning! He has a great blog over at Aff Engineer so check it out.
I’m doing another contest for October. This one is straightforward, and all about cash! This contest is open to new and existing affiliates, and is based on the number of new referrals you send.
The affiliate who sends the most new referrals gets $1,500 cash.
The affiliate who sends the 2nd most new referrals gets $500 cash.
The affiliate who send the 3rd most new referrals will get $250 cash.
Inside the forum, I’ll be posting a leaderboard so you can check where you stand in real time.
Learn about the program, and how to get your affiliate link.
Let me know if you have any questions, or need anything to help you promote the forum. Good luck!
The APB affiliate program is now open to all forum members. I pay 50% recurring revenue for life. Because of the high retention rate, that means every person you refer could be worth hundreds of dollars. I have a number of people doing exceptionally well with the program. Read more details about the affiliate program.
Currently the program is only open to forum members. I do this because I want people promoting the forum who know what a good value it is. Plus, as a forum member you know what selling points to talk about. We have successful member who promote the program and can point to a success story thread they made, or a case study they wrote. This is one of the many reasons the affiliate program converts and retains so well.
The forum will be 5 years old at the end of this year, and I’m going to be doing some contests (and adding more awesomeness) leading up to the 5 year anniversary.
To start things off, I’m announcing the first affiliate contest. As a forum member, you’re already an affiliate. Read how to get your affiliate link here.
This contest is open to new and existing affiliates. I’m calling this a ‘contest’ but it’s really a contest and a bonus opportunity. Here’s what you get:
1. For affiliates who have never promoted the forum OR affiliates who have no active referrals
Get 100% commission for 1 month on the first 3 affiliates you refer. This offer is only good for the month of September. After that, the commissions on those affiliates will be at the normal commission rate. This is a great way to jump start your affiliate promotions!
* You must contact me anytime in September if you’re taking part in this so I adjust your payout accordingly.
2. This bonus is open to all affiliates and applies to new signups
Refer people and get a one time bonus!
Refer 1-5 people get a 10% bonus
Refer 6-10 people get a 20% bonus
Refer 11-20+ and get a 25% bonus
3. Top prize
– The affiliate who sends the most new referrals will get a $1,000 cash bonus
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I’ll be posting updates throughout the month on the forum letting you know how people are doing (I’ll keep it anonymous though).