Newbies to internet marketing get inundated with advice and it can be hard to sort though. It's tough to know what is good advice and what isn't, so in this post I want to address something specific that people teach to newbies.
Before I get to that, let's talk a little about newbie psychology. As a newbie, you're first instinct is to look for something that's ‘easy to get started with'. Seems logical enough – why jump into something that's complex and will take a lot of time and money to learn if there's an easier way? This is the psychology ‘gurus' use to sell you a course – ‘hey, I can show you an easy way to get started..'.
That last point might seem logical, but it's actually a flawed way of thinking. Affiliate marketing isn't quite so black and white like that. Yes, there are techniques that don't require as much technical knowledge than others but there really isn't such a thing as a ‘great newbie traffic source'.
Here's an example – Somehow people started saying that 7search was a great source of traffic for newbies. The logic was that the clicks are cheaper, it's easier to get things approved, and once you move on to another traffic source like Microsoft adCenter. In my opinion this is terrible advice for numerous reasons.
First, a traffic source like 7search is not good quality traffic. If you tested offers there, you would probably throw away some potentially profitable campaigns. The reason is that 7search traffic just doesn't convert that well. You might have a campaign that gets 0 conversions on 7search but does great on adCenter (the opposite is pretty unlikely but possible). Newbies taking the advice to start on 7search are probably throwing away some good campaigns without even knowing it. If they do move on to a traffic source like adCenter, they probably wouldn't try that offer/niche again because they already tested it and it didn't work.
Second, 7search doesn't have the ability to scale. I honestly don't know one big affiliate who runs on 7search and the main reason is because you can't do much volume there. Now, the argument would be ‘yeah but 7search is just to learn on, then you move on'. Again, that sounds logical, but is a very flawed way of thinking. Yes, 7search is PPC traffic just like adCenter, but it's still a very different traffic source. Even if you got a campaign working on 7search, you would be starting from square one when moving over to adCenter. Starting your campaigns on 7search really doesn't teach you anything that wouldn't be better to learn on adCenter.
This is why I don't teach anything about 7search, Clicksor, or any other low quality traffic sources on the forum – I see it as a waste of time for affiliates. If anything, you should expand to those traffic sources after you get something scaled as far as you can on a quality traffic source. I've worked with, and known a ton of successful affiliates and they all share this viewpoint.
Again, this isn't to say you can't make any money on a traffic source like 7search. It's more about why it's better to put your focus somewhere else. To sum this up lets compare 2 affiliates starting at the same experience level.
Affiliate 1 starts off on 7search. Over the course of a couple months, he tests lots of campaigns and has a few small successes but trouble scaling campaigns. When he decides to move onto adCenter – suddenly he has to learn everything over again. The campaigns that might have done ok on 7search aren't doing well on adCenter. He's confused about quality score, ad position, keyword slection and just basically how to get the most out of adCenter. None of his 7search experience is helpful here so it's back to the drawing board.
Affiliate 2 starts off on adCenter. Over the course of a couple months, he tests lots of campaigns and finds a few with potential. With a few months of testing under his belt, he knows quite a bit about adCenter and works at scaling his successful campaigns.
Both affiliates started at the same time, but affiliate 2 is already scaling successful campaigns on a traffic source that could net him into the 5 figures per day while affiliate 1 is pretty much starting from scratch.
I see this a lot on the forum, and talking to other affiliates. The ones that succeed are those focus on traffic sources that have quality traffic and potential to scale.