In this guide you will learn all the basics you need to get started Affiliate marketing with paid ads. Paid Ads like Facebook, Google Adwords, Native (Taboola, Outbrain), Push from Zeropark and more are one of the best, high quality methods of getting visitors to the offer you are promoting as an affiliate marketer.
You might have heard about Search Engine Optimization and building niche sites to rank them on google; but the profits that come from that method are tiny compared to the money you can earn as an affiliate marketer that leverages paid advertising platforms.
Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Attila O’dree. I have been an affiliate marketer online since 2008. I started by doing SEO and later switched to paid ads and never looked back.
Offervault has been a paramount part of my life when it comes to finding the latest offers to promote. I wrote this article to help everyone that is interested in learning about affiliate marketing and how to start.
This is a very basic guide that teaches you the foundations you need to get started. For more information, I recommend you follow my blog that I’ve been updated every week since 2013.
Ready to get started and learn affiliate marketing with PPC? Here are a few things you need to have to get started.
Table of Contents
- First of all you need to join an affiliate network
- You need to pick an Offer
- Buying a Domain and Hosting
- Get a Spy Tool
- Ad Tracking Software
- Optimizing – Crafting Profitable Campaigns
#1 First of all you need to join an affiliate network
If you want to earn money by promoting affiliate offers you need an offer you can promote. To get an offer you need to join an affiliate network.
There are a bunch of affiliate networks you can choose from so you need to know your niche or what product or service you want to promote.
The easiest way to find affiliate networks is by visiting OfferVault.com and searching for affiliate networks.
You can search for offers in any category and see which networks are running those offers.
You can filter offers by country, network, device type etc. And of course you can browse through networks as well.
There are many good affiliate networks that have been around for ages and we have very good experience with them. They always paid on time and have some of the top affiliate managers working and they are very nice and helpful.
Some of the best Affiliate Networks we are working with:
Supremedia – Financial lead gen offers
TopOffers – Dating offers
ClickDealer – Mobile content offers
Verve – Ecom offers
Everest Media – Nutra offers
AdCombo – Health and wellness offers
#2 You need to pick an Offer
You can find affiliate programs for literally anything, there are many products and services you can choose from.
For beginners I always recommend starting out with products or services that you know, or have some level of passion for.
Because if you know and like the product yourself, it will be much easier to promote it and your marketing message would be much better as well for sure.
You can also start with products you have experience with. It’s a big plus too because you will be able to share your honest opinion and experience, which will add credibility to your message.
However you can start with products that you have no experience with, you just need to do a proper research.
Also keep in mind niched products are always much better because you can sell them easier. If you go broad it will be much harder especially if you are a beginner.
#3 Buying a Domain and Hosting
You will need a domain and hosting where you can upload and host your landing pages. There are countless websites where you can buy domain and hosting.
One of the best out there is namecheap.com
So let me show you how to get one for yourself.
Go to namecheap.com, select the Hosting tab from the top navigation bar, then click on Shared Hosting.
Then choose your hosting plan (I highlighted the one I recommend)
Next you need to choose a domain name and connect it with your hosting plan
Then confirm your order, select a payment method and that’s it.
If you buy your domain and hosting at the same time, just like we did now, the domain will be automatically connected to your hosting plan so no further actions needed.
#4 Get a Spy Tool
One of the secrets to being successful in affiliate marketing is to start out with testing offers that are already proven to work.
That’s why having a Spy tool is super important!
Spy tools will let you spy on your competitors and see how they are running their campaigns, from traffic sources to creatives, landing pages, offers and many more useful stuff.
Using a spy tool also allows you to see which ads, landing pages, offers and combinations are converting wee so you will have an idea what you should run.
Our favorite spy tools is Adplexity, it’s a very powerful tool used by the TOP affiliate marketers today.
Let me show you quickly how easy it is to use Adplexity to find the best ads and landing pages with it.
Just by logging in you will see a bunch of ads that are running right now. By default you will see the most recent ones.
If you have no idea yet on what you are going to promote, you can spend some time scrolling and spying on what others are running.
If you see a specific offer (or a specific vertical) appear many times, that means it’s probably doing very well, otherwise they would not run it.
We use the following strategy to find the best performing ads/landing pages:
In the left sidebar locate the date filter, and select last 7 days or last 30 days (it depends on how popular the niche/offer is.
Then in the top right corner you will see a drop down menu set to ’’Nrewest’’ by default. That’s what you want to change to ’’Received most traffic’’ and basically it will sort the ads based on receiving the most amount of traffic.
To spy on specific verticals/offers only you can use the search box and search for a query on the landing pages or in ad texts
You can also search for specific offers names or offer links, if you select ’’By adveriser’’ in the top navigation bar
To find the landing pages simply click on any ad, then on ’’Show more’’ and click through the redirect chain.
You can also download any landing page simply by clicking on the ’’Download this landing page’’ button after you click on show more.
IMPORTANT: These landing pages might have malicious scripts hidden in the source code, and these scripts can steal your traffic. When a visitor clicks on your landing page the script will automatically redirect the visitor to another website.
If you are not an experienced coder it will be very hard to find these scripts since they are hidden by expert coders so you need to hire someone to clean the landing page for you.
We always hire Banners&Landers to clean our landers, we have worked together for many years now, they are fast working professionals, so I highly recommend contacting them before you start sending traffic to your landing pages.
They can also create custom landing pages and ad materials for you, you can show them examples of the best performing landfers you see in Adplexity for example, and they will create a custom LP for you.
After that you need to upload your landing pages to your server, you can do it easily with a free software called FileZilla.
#5 Ad Tracking Software
If you want to promote affiliate offers and create profitable campaigns, you can’t skip this step. Ad Trackers are extremely important (one of the most important things you need) to be able to track your campaign’s performance.
With a tracking software you will be able to see which Ads, landing pages, placements, device types etc. are performing well, and you can also split test (A/B Test) langin pages, offers etc.
Without this information you won’t be able to optimize your campaigns correctly and you will end up losing money.
The best ad tracking software out there is RedTrack.
It has a bunch of advanced features that others don’t have, and it’s easy to set up, and it will save you a lot of money.
To set up Redtrack you need to add 4 things before you can create your tracking campaign. these are:
-Offer source (affiliate Network)
-Traffic Source (where you buy the traffic)
To add your offer source, click on Offer Sources in the top navigation bar, then +New.
Redtrack has a bunch of bulit in templates of the major affiliate networks so find yours and click on Add.
To add your offer, select Offers and +New
Then type in the name of the offer, select the offer source and add the offer URL.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that your offer URL has the click_id parameter included, otherwise the tracking won’t work properly. Ask your affiliate network rep to help you set this up correctly, it’s different for each network.
To add your landing page click on Landers and + New
Then name your landing page and put your lander’s link in the URL section.
And lastly to add a traffic source, click on Traffic Sources, and + New
Just like in the offer souce section, there are pre build templates for Traffic sources as well, so all you have to do is to find your chosen traffic source and click on the Add button.
When you have all this you can create the tracking campaign. So click on Campaigns and + New
Then name your campaign, select the Source (traffic source)
And then you can add your landing page, your offer and build your funnel.
You can add multiple landing pages and offer too, and split test them.
When it’s done click save and your tracking campaign link will appear in the Click URL box
and that’s the link you are going to promote on the traffic sources.
Launching Your First Campaign
I recommend starting with a lower budget at first until you get the hang of the traffic source. Also when the campaign is approved and starts getting traffic and clicks, the first thing you need to do is go to Redtrack and make sure that everything is good and you see the data coming into Redtrack.
To double check this, go to your Redtrack campaign and click on the Reports icon
Then click on Subs in the navigation bar and go through the subs and make sure all the data comming in (Target id, Creative id, Campaign ID, etc.)
If everything is good, you should see something like this:
If you don’t see anything there it means something is wrong and you need to pause your campaign immediately, because without this information you won’t be able to optimize your campaign.
When you set the bids in your campaign, you can start with the default bid that your traffic source recommends, or you can bid a bit higher and go for better quality traffic right away.
If you are targeting multiple device types like both Mobile and Desktop, ALWAYS create separate campaigns for them. One for Mobile only and another for Desktop only.
The bids are different for all device types and you don’t want to overpay mobile traffic for example, that’s why it is so important.
This also applies for GEOS too. If you target multiple Countries, create separate campaigns for them, and the reason is the same, the bids are different.
So if you want to target 2 Countries and 2 Devices types you need 4 different campaign, for example:
#6 Optimizing – Crafting Profitable Campaigns
The secret to profitable campaigns is knowing optimizing correctly.
When you launch a campaign it’s almost 100% that it’s not going to be profitable right away, so you need to optimize it until it becomes profitable.
Optimising basically means taking out small parts of the campaign that are spending your money without bringing good results.
These small parts are in different Sub ids you can see in Redtrack (Source ids, Target ids, Creative ids etc.)
When you are optimizing you are testing different parts of the campaign and tith each test you learn about your audience.
First you need to keep the campaign running until you get enough data to be able to start optimizing. By enough data I mean, you need to see a significant sign in data that tells you one thing is doing better than the other.
You should start this with your creatives and landing pages.
For example if your LP1 got 20 conversions while LP2 got 6 or something, it’s clear that LP1 converts better and you can cut LP2 out of your campaign.
But if LP1 got 20 conversions and LP2 got 19 conversions, that’s not a significant difference so you need to keep both.
You should also pay attention to LP CTR (Landing Page Click Through Rate). If it’s low that means your visitor doesn’t click on your landing page, so they are not interested in the offer after seeing your LP, so you need to improve it, or test another lander.
When you are a beginner there are 3 most important variables you need to focus on:
- Split testing offers
- Split testing landing pages
- Testing your ads
After that when you gain some experience with optimising you can start focusing on other carriables as well like:
- Site IDs / Placements
- Week Parting
- Bid prices
When you find and craft your winning campaign you should work on scaling.
You can start scaling by slowly increasing the daily budget and see if it helps or not, then you can do the same thing with the bids.
Try to bid higher and see if you will get more profitable placements, or slowly decrease the bids and see if it makes any improvement or not.
Another great way to scale is launching new campaigns with your winning Ads and Landing pages on new traffic sources, they might work well too.
Most beginners are jumping around different traffic sources and verticals too early, because they don’t see profits immediately, and this is a huge mistake, don’t do this.
Instead stick to a proven offer for some time to learn, optimize it, and try to squeeze as much profit out of it as possible.
This way you will master much more skills.
Affiliate Marketing with PPC is a very lucrative way to make money online. Unlike MLM here you can really earn a very nice income if you work hard and follow the tips above.
Offervault has been at the forefront of affiliate marketing for many, many years and serves the industry as the go to resource for the latest offers to promote.
We hope you enjoyed this article by me; iAmAttila. if You want to learn more about affiliate marketing methods and read tutorials be sure to check out my blog.