The Beginner’s Journey: How a PR Manager Started Affiliate Marketing. Part 3. Getting Everything Prepared09.12.2022Reading Time: 7 minutes
Hi there, super affs!
That’s PR-fire Vi again. Let’s give my affiliate experiment a follow-up! In today’s post, I’m gonna tell you about the offer, creatives, and traffic source I’ve chosen for my first ad campaign.
Also, I’ll share some tips on selecting a proper vertical/offer/creative material/traffic source for beginners that I’ve found out while looking for the best choice that will work for me. Some observations were pulled from my experience in the niche.
Choosing a traffic source
I’m going to start affiliate marketing with RichAds, our longtime partner, with whom I had my first marketing collaboration a couple of years ago. Since then, we’ve been united by our activities together: webinars, articles, mentions, expert opinions and ideas. Moreover, this summer we’ve met and had a lot of fun at AW Europe Barcelona! And now there is a new venture on the way: with their active support and training, I’ll start working with push advertising. I’m sure it’ll be fascinating!
Tip: A source of traffic should be selected depending on the kind of offer you are going to promote. If your choice is Adult, then you have to forget about many native advertising networks; and it’ll take you a lot of effort to pass moderation on social medias (creativity parade usually begins here). As an alternative, you can opt for networks that focus on adult traffic.
Beauty, weight loss, and anti-aging products sell nicely in sources where you can visually show the effects of their use, such as TikTok. There, you can advertise products for free, but longer, or you can pay for the ad and get results faster. Native advertising and organic traffic are also suitable for such products. Note, in this case you’ll have to work carefully on the content and text of the ad. As for organic traffic, there is a need to thoroughly select keywords, as well as get rid of irrelevant ones. However, you can try to do this without spending money.
But it’s likely that you’ll have to use paid services to search for keywords (for greater efficiency). Native advertising is a costly source.
So, newbies can try push advertising or advertising in social networks (it’ll be your first strength test), anyway, I recommend:
- Studying the allowed products and the ad platform’s policies;
- Making white/black lists to create your own recipe for effective combinations of vertical/offer + advertising platform + advertising format (if several);
- Communicating with managers of both affiliate network and advertising network (if any). They are interested in helping you, and also have experience and statistics, which will help you make the right choice.
Choosing a vertical
It’s better for a beginner to get in contact with their managers, so that actions can be more structured. You can search for information yourself, collect opinions, but still discuss them with your manager before doing something.
* Beware, a lyrical aside is coming. * If you do not know how to swim, but want to learn, you go to the pool. Probably the one with an instructor. But when you get there, you start splashing around in the water, because you’ve read something about swimming, but it still doesn’t work. The surprised instructor is standing next to you offering help, but instead, you completely ignore him/her, harming your progress. There is a more productive option: you can tell him/her about your desired plan and then together build a strategy for your learn-how-to-swim goal. The instructor won’t only show you how to stay afloat, but also keep you from drowning if something goes wrong.
The principle of the manager’s work is exactly the same: both the instructor and the manager want to bring you to your goal. Everyone benefits from it.
A simple thought that is often lost in minds.
But that’s exactly what I followed. To find out what vertical would work for me, I requested the top verticals from my manager Valeria at RichAds, who was helping me learn the basics of promoting a push campaign. At the same time, I asked her to share the most popular GEOs in RichAds. Yes, it’s possible to try something non-trivial, but for a newbie it’s better to start with something simple, complicating goals step by step.
Among the options offered, I liked Adult Nutra. They recently dropped restrictions on all Adult, so there is another opportunity to get adult traffic.
The only thing left was to select a GEO: Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, or Argentina.
Selecting an offer
In order to decide on the GEO and the offer, I turned to the managers of AdCombo. We found a suitable offer in Argentina –  Sex UP – AR, pills for potency.
That’s how I found my first offer, using recommendations from two managers.
But before we move on to the next stage, I want to draw your attention to the mistakes that beginners make when picking out an offer.
Here, I can’t avoid mentioning the most important mistake new affiliates make at the beginning – expectations. There’s no offer that can bring profit without effort by the affiliate. Every campaign needs to be handled. And yes, if the affiliate doesn’t get a money pool, like the one Scrooge McDuck has, after launching a campaign, that’s OKAY. There’s no sense in expecting that as soon as you launch a campaign, even for a cool offer, a wave of money will flood your account balance; and by the evening there will be so much money there that someone on Forbes’ list will get nervous. Affiliate marketing requires consistent steps, patience, and continuous learning. Even top guys have to learn something, because the affiliate marketing niche is very dynamic, so what can I say about newbies?
What offer isn’t suitable for a beginner
- Affiliates shouldn’t pick an offer, focusing only on a high payout. Such offers most likely require either a great experience or a budget. But even if a beginner has money, it’s better to spend it sensibly, step by step. However, you must shell out money for tests of sources, creatives and offers, but within limits. Yes, you have to set them, though;
- Coming almost as an extension: you don’t have to pick offers for Tier-1 countries. If only you have a huge budget to waste and won’t regret about it;
- Affiliate needs to find a balance between the demand for the offer and its over saturation with traffic. A manager can help to find it. I don’t suggest that a newbie chooses a specific sub-vertical, as the offer may not be noticed. You shouldn’t take a very popular offer with enormous competition, either, since a beginner is unlikely to be able to compete equally;
- A little more about competition. It is not advised to select an offer by high EPC – Earnings Per Click, i.e. the average earnings per click from all sources of all affiliates working with the offer (the indicator can be found in the Offer list in affiliate network). Therefore, the higher it is, the higher is the chance that the offer is oversaturated with traffic and the newbie will face serious competition.
Deciding upon a creative
Now all that’s left is to get the creatives (so far, the landing and pre-landing page) and the first stage of preparation is over.
The easiest way is to use the affiliate network’s ready-made landing/pre-landing pages. If you want a more complicated way – you can pick the ready-made page and modify it a little.
I decided to start by taking the ready-made AdCombo’s materials and chose what I liked. My goal was to find seductiveness and marketing value in the creative material. It should evoke the right mood and desire with its content, but also be informative. The user, moving to the order form, should understand why they need the product, and why exactly that one.
I preferred the landing page –  Sex Up – BlueLand – AR and took it.
Then I wrote to Valeria (the RichAds manager) and asked her to check the page for violations of RichAds advertising policy. Yeah! It passed the check.
We decided to use it alone. Although Valeria also suggested that we could test two options: pre-landing + landing pages and solely landing page to compare results afterwards.
Tip: This is a good option to determine your converting strategy. Tests are always a good idea. To get accurate data, you can also do A/B testing with different landing and pre-landing pages, banners and find the best pair(s) for yourself. This works for those who want to be a little independent in the beginning (although even the creative materials fro tests can be chosen together with the manager).
An easier way is to ask the manager for the best creative pairs (either landing + pre-landing pages or a landing page only). But keep in mind that more than one affiliates will use such creative materials. In general, this is true for ready-made creatives for the offers too. But I wouldn’t dare to make changes to the landing page now.
By the way, what to do if you don’t like anything from the suggested creative materials of the affiliate network, and you don’t have your own ideas either…
How to get a creative?
- You can look up the idea and structure in the creatives offered by the affiliate network, but make your own original version (or amend one of the affiliate network);
AdCombo has a built-in translation service that adapts text for creatives into any language. The text is translated by native speakers, not a machine. At a discount. So there shouldn’t be any linguistic barriers or awkwardness;
- Use a spy tool to do the same thing, but to look up other affiliates. There you can also find examples of banners for advertisements;
Here are some free spy services:
- Ask your manager for assistance.
Tip: When designing or refining your creative, studying the preferences of GEO residents is useful. It helps either emphasize the landing page or design the pre-landing page in the style of popular sites. For example, it’s better to pick photos of GEO residents or other nationalities that are often used in images in that GEO, if there are such.
It’ll also be possible to find out whether it’s necessary to highlight a natural composition or discounts. There may be an interest in the natural composition among Saudi Arabians, who use halal cosmetics, or Indonesians, who prefer traditional medicine and value natural ingredients.
That’s all I can share at this point of my preparation. Do you have any ideas or recommendations to add to my notes? I’d be happy to read them in the comments!
In my next post, I’ll talk about setting up and launching a campaign. See you around!
What was your first affiliate experience like? What did you learn from it? 🤔
- Studying the allowed products and the ad platform’s policies;