Media Buying for
JUMPSTART Your Income Today!
Table of Contents
Introduction: What IS Affiliate
f you are reading this book, the odds are that you too are interested in the
literal wealth of opportunities available to you today online. As an Internet
user, you have probably seen hundreds and thousands of ads pop up, and you
may have even clicked on a few to be diverted to another website, where you
could book an airline ticket, purchase a Christmas gift, or even sign up for a new
car insurance premium. This is just run of the mill affiliate marketing…
So what is affiliate marketing exactly, and how can it benefit you in your online
At this point, you may already have gotten your feet wet in setting up affiliate ads
to promote products on your own website or in other advertising networks,
where you will receive a cut of the sales from a customer when they click on your
ad to purchase a product from another company. In essence, you are the
middleman promoting a company and receiving a monetary payoff for your hard
Otherwise, you may be completely new to the world of affiliate marketing,
which is why it is a good thing that you got your hands on this book. We are
going to teach you everything - literally everything - that you could possibly need
to know about successful affiliate marketing so that you can finally work from
home, pursue your passions, and earn a steady and increasing stream of income
off of the Internet. Who’s going to argue with that?
As a first word of caution, this is not a “get rich quick” scheme by any means.
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business
opportunity that takes skill, hard work, and
long-term commitment, yet it will pay off
in the end. In fact, if you have been
approached online to make quick and fast
money from home, and it sounded too
good to be true, then it probably was.
When affiliate marketing is handled
correctly with the right technique, it will set up a business model that you can
control yourself to create a solid financial future that you will be proud of.
Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to the point! What is affiliate marketing? In its
most basic form, affiliate marketing is a practice where a business will reward
affiliates for each customer that they bring back to their website to make a
purchase. This is normally based upon a commission percentage, and the affiliate
marketer will use basic Internet advertising methods like search engine
optimization, pay per click advertising, display advertising, and e-mail marketing.
Search Engine Optimization: This is commonly referred to as SEO, and it is a
tactic of optimizing a website for certain keywords so that it will naturally
appear higher in the search engine results.
Pay Per Click Advertising: These are paid ads that are often taken out in the
search engine networks like Google and Yahoo, where targeted ads will be
visible when specific keywords are searched for. The ads will then be clicked
on by the customer to be taken to the affiliate website to purchase products
E-mail Marketing: This is a method of affiliate marketing that uses a series
of e-mails called autoresponders to market affiliate products via e-mail to a
list of customers. These customers will normally willingly provide their e-
mail addresses through an opt-in form on a website to receive more
information about a product or service.
Display Advertising: Display advertising is a method of advertising that
appears as web banners on numerous pages on the Internet. The ads will
then again be clicked on by the customer to go to the affiliate website to
purchase products or services.
In essence, affiliate marketing works by using one website to bring traffic to
another, with the middleman website being rewarded with a portion of the sales.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of affiliate marketing is that you don’t
have to invest in creating your own product, purchasing inventory, or even
employing a staff to sell products online. This is vastly different from setting up
your own e-commerce business, and affiliate marketing can often be done as a
one man show, where you are responsible for all of your advertising tactics, and
therefore, you will receive every penny of your hard-earned income.
For this reason, affiliate marketing is one of the most established and powerful ways to
start your own online business, and the best part of all is that becoming an affiliate is
Of course, you will need to pay for your own website, domain, and hosting, and
you will also have to generate income for an advertising campaign to bring in
more affiliate sales, which we will outline in detail in this book.
Affiliate marketing is vastly different from other forms of online business, starting
with the example we gave above of having an e-commerce website. If you wanted
to set up your own e-commerce website to sell skin care products, as an example,
you would be responsible for purchasing inventory of a product line, setting up
your website, marketing your website, filling orders, making sure all of the orders
ship on time, and hiring a staff to provide customer service. This can become
incredibly time-consuming, especially if you are not making an income initially.
Affiliate marketing is also quite different from online network marketing, where
you serve as a representative for a larger company, and you try to sign up
interested prospects to sell products or services underneath you to receive a
commission of their sales. Network marketing is quite a difficult industry to be a
part of since you must market yourself as a representative for another company
and have interested prospects come to you, sign up under you, and promote
products and services on your behalf.
As you can see from the above examples, affiliate marketing is a much simpler and
more strategic business opportunity to make money online. You simply step in as
the middleman, redirect people to a company’s website, and take a percentage of
the sales made. It really is that simple.
Of course, to see any kind of success as an affiliate marketer, you need to become
well versed in the world of media buys. So how do media buys relate to affiliate
Media buys are, in essence, a way to purchase
advertising space in any type of media venue. The
traditional approach to a media buy would be in
newspapers, television commercials, and nowadays, in
banner ads on websites. These media buys on
websites are primarily what we will focus on in this
book. How you select media buys has much to do with
the affiliate products that you are promoting, your
targeted demographic, and how you can make yourself
visible to them for the lowest advertising cost.
For all of the major advertisers and large companies out there, they can display
their ads in the big media venues, like television. They still have the same process
of making sure that their television commercials are shown during the right shows
to the right demographic at the right time, etc. Smaller businesses may purchase
media buys in magazines or local newspapers, and you as the affiliate marketer
are primarily focused on media buys in banner advertisements and text ads on
popular websites so that they will be easily visible to your customer demographic,
who will then visit your website and purchase products or services through YOU.
Media buying is also called Display Advertising, where you
purchase a banner advertisement on a website, network, or
through an ad exchange. This is a powerful resource that will
offer you a generous stream of traffic, making it the logical
next step for an affiliate marketer if you want to make
money. And don’t we all?
The truth is that there is more than enough traffic out there to
support a generous income.
Media buying is the sole method used by top affiliate
marketers with six-figure incomes, yet it is often not talked
about… which is why we are here today. You will be able to
find out the step-by-step process of a successful media
buying campaign so that you are earning just as much
money as the top affiliates on the market. We do encourage
you to implement and put every step into practice, even if
you are skeptical. Many of these methods are cutting-edge
and little known, and you will be surprised at the results that
they bring you in traffic and sales!
To give you a quick example, to the right is a screenshot of a
media buy banner at Alexa.com, a website with exceptionally high traffic. The
advertiser has purchased this banner as a media buy, and if you click on the ad,
you will be directed to their website to sign up for this online diet program.
As a tip, if you don’t have the money off the bat to make larger and more
successful media buys, like the above example, joint buys are a viable option,
made possible through networking. This is precisely why it pays to become active
and get to know others in affiliate communities online so that you can virtually
rub shoulders with your peers, make business connections, and potentially start
up partnerships for joint media buys.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing thrives on
successful media buys, here is a complete glossary of terms that will be used
throughout this book. Most of these terms are commonly used in Internet
marketing, so as you start your venture as an affiliate marketer, they are a must to
know. These are also common terms that may be used by an account rep when
you make a media buy, so knowing them will help you to look like you know
exactly what you’re talking about when making your first buy!
CPA: Cost per Acquisition. This can refer to an opt-in to a newsletter, sale of
a product, or a lead generated. If you know your CPA, you can target an ad
network to optimize to that number.
CPC or PPC: Cost per Click or
Pay per Click. This is a method
that is used to buy ads on some
networks, where you will only
pay when the ad is clicked on
instead of when it is displayed
on a webpage. This can be
beneficial to control your
advertising costs initially since
you will only be paying when an ad is clicked on. You can check out PPC-
Coach.com for more information.
CPM: Cost per thousand impressions of an ad, which could include a banner
ad, text ad, or e-mail ad. This is a standard for the industry that helps you to
compare costs from one ad campaign to another.
CPS: Cost per Sale. This is exactly what an affiliate program covers since you
will be paid a commission after a sale has been made.
CPV: This is Cost per View, although it is often incorrectly called PPV (pay
per view). This refers to contextually displayed pop-ups, pop-unders,
interstitial ads, and other ads based on a search or website visit. You can
check out CPVCoach.com for more information.
EPM: Earnings per thousand impressions. This is a number you can compare
to your CPM to see if you are in the black or the red to ensure that you are
paying less than what you are earning.
Frequency Cap: This is how often you want your ad to be shown on an ad
network or website to a user within a certain timeframe. An example is that
3/24 means that a user will see your ad 3 times at the maximum within 24
IO: Insertion order. This is a contract that you make with a site owner or ad
network directly, which will entail the terms and conditions and date of the
Out Clause: The out clause is found in the insertion order to state when
your contract can be canceled, normally within 24 to 72 hours. Keep in mind
that once exercised, the ads can still run for the length of the out clause
after it is exercised.
Remnant Inventory: This is the amount of traffic that a network or website
has available but has not yet sold. It can often be purchased for cheaper
than regular traffic, and it is ideal to use to test your campaign.
ROI: Return on Investment. This number is calculated by taking your profit
divided by your costs, multiplied by 100. This number will measure the
effectiveness of your time and money spent.
RON or ROS: Run of Network or Run of Site. This is the cheapest traffic that
you can get from a website with your ad appearing on every page or every
website in a network. It does not display to targeted traffic.
Squeeze Page: This is also called the landing page used to gather the name
and e-mail address of a website user before you send them further
information about your products or services. This is the ideal way to build
an e-mail list for a future autoresponder e-mail campaign.
Solo E-mail Ads: These are e-mail ads that you can purchase that are sent
on their own, where your website or product is the only one advertised
with no competition. This can be a very lucrative advertising method.
So there you have it! This is the
basic understanding that you need
to get started on your venture as an
affiliate marketer, and we are happy
to be here to walk you step-by-step
through the process. In the next
chapter, we will give you a detailed
guide for how to get started as an
affiliate marketer. Ready to begin?
Chapter 1: Get Your Feet Wet in
N ow that you understand the concept of affiliate marketing, where do you
go from here? We’re glad you asked!
The very first thing that we ask you to do as you begin in affiliate marketing is to
write down a goal. If you don’t have a goal in sight, then you are aimless in your
business strategy as a fact. We want you to see your affiliate marketing goal as a
carrot dangling in front of your eyes to spur you on to go, go, go and make that
You can begin by setting a goal of making a minimum of $2000 of profit per day over
the next 90 days.
Believe us when we say that anything less than that will not be worth your time.
This goal may shock some people initially, but you still need to go for it. For other
driven entrepreneurs out there, this goal may be way too small, so you can adjust
accordingly. Just make sure that this goal is written down, posted on your message
board, or even set as your screensaver so that it is constantly visible to you during
Just remember that nothing less than $2000 per day is acceptable!
So how do you get there?
Step 1. Choose your niche.
And what is a niche exactly? A niche is a concentrated
area of the market where you can target your
advertising efforts. The truth is that if you spread out
your advertising campaign too thin and too broadly,
you will not see success. This is why it is necessary to
choose a niche market, do a little bit of research, and
tap into a steady stream of traffic that you can promote
affiliate products to.
Examples of broad niches include real estate,
computers, health, beauty, sports, video games, and
golf. The odds are that there are probably thousands of
other affiliate marketers promoting in these broad
niches, which is why it pays to break it down into
subcategories. If you delve further into the health industry, for example, you will
find weight loss, supplements, vitamins, acne treatment, insomnia, and even hair
loss. You can dig further into a micro-niche to find an even more specialized
market, such as fat burning supplements, weight loss supplements, low carb
supplements, sports performance supplements, and even green tea supplements.
These are even more specific products that people are searching for online.
The truth is that there are thousands of untapped niche markets to offer you endless
opportunities and steady streams of traffic, but you need to know where to look…
Here are few questions to ask yourself to determine your niche market:
What is your passion/area of expertise? You don’t necessarily need to have
a PhD related to your niche market, but you do need to have some
knowledge and interest, or at the very least, be willing to learn. Part of
establishing yourself as a successful affiliate marketer is creating credibility
by becoming an expert in your field. This means you need to have an
interest in the products that you promote so that people will be likely to
purchase from you as opposed to other affiliate websites. This also indicates
that you may not want to choose a real estate niche if the real estate
industry is completely Greek to you, while sports may be a better fit.
Who is your competition? This is why it pays to dig deeper into micro-
niches where there is interested traffic but not overwhelming competition.
If you choose a very broad niche, like sports, there are probably tons of
affiliate marketers to compete with, and your advertising money may not
be well spent. You want to look for a micro-niche that has demand and a
moderate amount of competition.
On the flipside, if you choose a niche
market that has absolutely no
competition, it may be for a reason.
The odds that you are the first
person to newly discover an
untapped niche market are very
slim, and it may have no competition
because people simply aren’t
looking for products in that market.
Which leads us to…
Is your niche profitable? Like we said, you don’t want to start an affiliate
marketing career based on a niche that is not in demand. You definitely
need people interested in purchasing your products or services, so you can
evaluate your niche by plugging your keywords into Google Adwords to see
how often they are searched globally and locally on a monthly basis.
Here is a screenshot example:
As you can see, when you plug in “supplements”, you will find that it is searched
over 2 million times globally each month, which is definitely too broad of a niche
market. Perhaps you could become a bit more specific and focus on “colon
cleanse” at 673,000 per month or “hoodia” at 823,000 per month. This is a perfect
example of narrowing your niche market to become more successful as an affiliate
As one last tip, if you want to tap
into truly hot products that have
just been introduced to the market,
you can use the search engine of
Twitter to do so. Twitter is a search
engine by the people and for the
people, and it records what people
are talking about in real-time. On
the sidebar, it will list the top conversation topics, which time to time may include
new products that people are searching for. If you keep tabs on the most buzzed
about conversation on Twitter, you may just get a product tip off that will help you
greatly in your affiliate career.
Keywords are synonymous with your niche market since keywords are what people
search for to buy products or services. Basically, as you choose your niche market,
you will be basing it upon keyword searches and their search volumes, like we had
detailed above. As a general rule of thumb, you will have better results using
keywords that are searched less than 500,000 per month so that you will have a
greater chance of targeting customers interested in your product that are not
already overwhelmed by your competition.
Step 2. Set up your website.
You may already have a website, but if you don’t, you will need to buy a domain.
A domain can normally be bought for less than $10 per year, or you could use a
resource like GoDaddy.com that will offer you both the domain and hosting for
one low price. After you have everything set up, you can now embark on the fun
task of building your website. You can use something as simple as WordPress.com
to set up your website and blog, and it is absolutely free. There many different
themes that you can download that relate to your niche market, and it is also easy
to optimize your WordPress website for the search engines. The thing to keep in
mind is that WordPress is entirely user-friendly, so it is perfect if you are new to
From there, you will need to add content to your website since content is what
makes the Internet go round. Content is recognized in the eyes of Google to rank
your website for specific keywords, and it will also make your website more user-
friendly so that customers are likely to purchase products through you. It is
imperative to stress that content is so important in the Internet world, especially
with the heavy competition that you may have. You can’t simply load up your
website full of affiliate links and expect to make sales; you need quality, unique,
and compelling content. If you have any qualms about writing your own content at
all, please hire a freelance writer to do this for you.
Another central point of your website will be your landing
page, also called your squeeze page. This is the page that
customers will land on when they visit your website, which
will sell your product or service and entice them to buy
from you. Again, you may want to hire a freelance
copywriter to write stellar web copy for you to improve
your sales. It is important that your landing page clearly
explains the benefits of your product and entices the
customer to buy with an opt-in form or a call to action.
Here are the components of a successful landing page:
Start with a compelling headline. You can thank the customer for visiting
your website, or you could also start with a question that plays upon a
problem that they would like a solution to. Example: “Want to lose weight
and get more energy?” Most people would likely say yes to this question,
but you do want to make sure that your headline targets your niche
Clearly explain the product benefits. This is best done in bullet points so
that the visitor can plainly see what your product has to offer them.
Ask for minimal information. If you are asking for a customer’s information
for your e-mail list, less is more. It is best if you only ask for a name and e-
mail address since many people are reluctant to give out their information
online. If you are redirecting a visitor to another company’s website to
purchase a product, explain the clear call to action on your landing page by
asking them to “Click Here to Buy Now!”
Internet these days, it is no wonder that people are reluctant to buy from
numerous companies. To set yourself up as a credible and trustworthy
to your website feel secure.
Follow-up with your customer! If they have provided you with any of their
personal information, make sure to send follow-up e-mails to your
customer to thank them for their purchase and entice them to buy again
from you. This is the ideal way to cultivate a loyal customer base.
Here is an example of what we’re talking about:
After you have created this landing page, a common question that you might have
is whether or not your advertising banner should be pointing to your landing page
or to a merchant's website. This is something that can be achieved through split-
testing, where you will direct one stream of traffic to your landing page and the
other to the merchant's website to see which converts the most sales. This is
something that we will discuss in further chapters.
When in doubt, it is always best to test it!
This will give you further insight into any questions you may have about your ad
campaign. In general, it is helpful to presell with the landing page if you want a
customer to pull out their credit card instead of having to go through a labyrinth
of information to find a product to purchase.
Step 3. Choose your affiliate program.
After you have all of the above components in place, it is time to choose an
affiliate program to work with. There are numerous affiliate programs that you
can partner with, and you can also browse through specific merchant and
commission details after you have joined a program. An affiliate program will
provide you with banners and links that you can place on your website, which will
give you foundational tools to start on media buys for the future.
You must choose affiliate products that are related to your niche market, so if you
are in the health industry, then you should be promoting health products or
weight loss programs that relate to the keywords that you have already
Here are some of the most popular affiliate networks to consider:
5 Start Affiliate Programs
Once you have established your affiliate
marketing foundation with the steps
above, it is important to have a better
understanding of ad networks for media
buys. An ad network is the website
that has all of the traffic and shows
your ads. Ad networks are comprised of
anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 sites, or
you can also buy directly from
When you buy directly from an individual site, you will have better profit margins
and won’t have to use a rep to optimize your campaign. When starting on direct
buys, it is important to find websites that are visited often by your demographic,
where you can then test their remnant inventory (impressions).
An ad network will connect you as the advertiser to websites that want to host
your ads. The ad network works as a common ground between the websites and
the advertiser (you), and the advertising network will serve advertisements from
its ad server in the form of an advertising banner.
Google image ads are part of an ad network, and they are graphic ads that display
within network sites. These image ads are quite powerful because they use
graphics and targeted keywords to entice your customer to purchase through you.
The image ads are targeted to the content on a page so that they will be further
optimized to your demographic on any of the websites in the Google Display
Network, like The New York Times, About.com, and even the Food Network.
Once you begin to place media buys through these ad networks or direct
websites, you will put your landing page into action based on the tips that we
mentioned above. It is essential that your website has a landing page to show all
visitors that they are in the right place, clearly grab their attention to explain the
benefits of your product, and give them a call to action to make a sale.
In some instances, you may only use this landing page to create an e-mail list that
you can market to further by retrieving visitors’ information through an opt-in
form on your website. You can then direct visitors to a company's main website to
purchase products or services, where you will receive a cut of the sales.
As a note, it is important to have a beefed-up website full of content if you are
promoting ads directed to that website on Google. This content could include
through generic templates online. When you are using direct site media buys, you
don't need this detailed of a website, and you can often direct your ad traffic to
one landing page that will presell your offer.
Google content ads are a fast way to launch and test campaigns over a diverse
number of sites, while direct sites will take longer for you to set up and launch
your campaign. As you can see, both of these methods have their advantages and
The most important point to take away from this introduction to affiliate marketing is
that there is no easy way for you to make money legally.
Yes, once you get your affiliate business going, it will start to generate a steady
stream of income on its own, but you do need to put all of the points in this
chapter into practice to get your business moving forward.
There is no way that you will be able to make money without investing your own
time and money, yet when you use our techniques to make the right media buys,
you will see a true return on your investment!
We also encourage you to take the time to do your homework and research the
subject at hand so that you are entirely prepared as you start your career as an
affiliate marketer. However, the GOOD NEWS in all of this is that if you have a
basic understanding of the computer and the Internet, you can get started in
affiliate marketing right away!
Affiliate marketing is no longer only reserved for the top dogs and experts in the
industry because we are going to teach you the same tactics that they use to
generate serious income through powerful and effective media buys.
It can be done!
In the next chapter, we are going to discuss how to seriously boost traffic to your
website through using the best tactics in media buys. Let's begin!
Chapter 2: Increase Your Traffic
through Media Buys
fter you have set up your website and have chosen your affiliate
market, media buys are your next logical step if you want to get traffic
to your website fast.
When it comes to media buys, you will find that an ad network is more expensive
than a direct buy since the ad network is working as the middleman. You will also
have to use a bidding system with an ad network to compete with your
competition in your niche. Traditional ad networks will normally require you to
have a bigger budget, and they should only be considered if you want to scale an
already profitable campaign to a broader audience.
To begin with, it may be best to use self-service platforms of PPC advertising, like
Google Content, Plenty of Fish, and Facebook. This will give you the chance to
start out by spending around $100 or so to see what works for your market.
If you are ready for the higher dollar ad networks, here are the top 10 US ad
networks as of January 2009:
It is important to understand that you don’t need to spend billions of advertising
dollars to see results in online marketing. You can still purchase successful media
buys with a smaller budget, but you do need to make sure that you are working
wisely and efficiently as you do so. The way to maximize a small budget is by
ensuring that your money is spent well and working with websites or ad networks
that will give you as many extras as possible in your ad campaign.
Your conversions are really what matters, which is why it may be best to work with
a smaller amount of websites that can offer you a concentrated demographic, as
opposed to a watered-down and wider group of users. If you work with an ad
network or website that is able to reach targeted users, then your smaller budget
will go a longer way by generating more conversions for you.
This will guarantee that your advertising dollars are not wasted in your media buys.
As you start out, it pays to buy directly from a website since it may have less
competition than other ad networks. You will often be able to negotiate price,
placement, and terms, especially if the webmaster is inexperienced in selling
advertising space, meaning that you could get a better deal. You must start out by
finding sites that are relevant to your niche market, with perhaps 20 potential
websites to begin with. It helps to have this big of a list since many webmasters
may not get back to you at all. It is also essential that these websites have less
than 20,000 to 30,000 unique visitors per day if at all possible.
You can start out by searching on Google for sites relating to your niche market,
where you can then check their traffic on Alexa. One of the easiest ways to do this
is by choosing sites that rank high for your converting keywords to approach them
directly and cut out the middleman.
Another clever approach is to target forums since many forum owners don’t
know what to charge for their advertising. This can often help you find very
cheap banner advertising by searching for some of the most popular forums
within your niche market on Big-Boards.com. When you are searching for active
forums, it is again important to focus solely on your demographic since a forum
related to extreme sports may have users interested in vitamin and health
Lastly, you can contact the individual websites, bearing in mind that only a small
percentage of the webmasters will get back to you. You can first check on their
website to see if they have a link for advertising, and if not, then you will have to
contact them directly. Again, you may need to e-mail several times to get a
response, where you can then negotiate the price based on how many
impressions of your ad will be seen monthly.
One effective and often neglected area for media buys is on large social
networking sites. You are probably well aware that 1 in 14 people worldwide have
a Facebook profile, which is an astonishing number. The cold hard facts are that
thousands and thousands of people use social media on a daily basis, making it a
legitimate resource for media buys.
Of course, there are many more choices out there besides MySpace and Facebook
that also have millions of users. Additionally, social media websites provide the
benefit of being able to target your demographic, get cheap CPMs, and promote a
number of products and services.
Any campaign that you have seen run profitably on Facebook can also be repeated on
other social networking sites using media buys.
Below is a look at the numbers for the top social networking sites as of January
Other social networking sites that you can buy traffic from can be found on this
extensive list of social networking websites on Wikipedia:
To conclude this chapter, here are the Top 10 Media Buying Myths to prevent
some serious mistakes on your part:
1. You must be a huge advertiser or affiliate to even consider media buys.
This is not true! You can definitely start out small in media buying, just don’t
approach an ad network right away and offer a sales rep $10,000 to
optimize your campaign. Direct sites should come first, and ad networks will
come later when you have a little bit of lining in your pocket.
2. You need $10,000 to even get started in media buys.
Again, not true! There are hundreds of places that you can buy traffic from
that won’t require you to pre-pay $10,000. Some sites will allow you to get
started for around $500 or less.
3. You have to lose money to make money.
Nope! There are many methods that you can use to reduce your risk so that
you don’t have to shell out $10,000 to build data for your ad campaign to
see if it will work. This is again why you should buy from direct sites and not
CPM networks because it is less risky yet will offer you bigger volume. You
can often see profit from one tenth of the money that you would have
4. Media buying is complicated.
Yes, it may be difficult to make thousands of dollars each day with media
buying because it requires determination, focus, and cash flow, which will
not happen overnight. But, believe it or not, the process is actually quite
simple, and many of these techniques can be applied to thousands of
different websites and CPM networks once you have a basic understanding.
To give you an example, Facebook, MSN Search, and Google Content are all
considered to be PPC networks, yet they are all vastly different from one
another. They each have their own strategy necessary to see good traffic
volume. With Google, you will need to build an extensive website to get a
good quality score, in MSN Search, you will need to bid on broad keywords
to see any volume, and on Facebook, you will need to resubmit hundreds
of disapproved ads each day and build macros to automate.
Doesn’t that sound complicated? Media buying is nothing like that. Buying
traffic on a CPM basis with your ad server is straightforward and not nearly
as complicated as the above examples.
5. The only types of offers that have a chance at profit are high payout $40+
Again, not true. Once you start testing low pay out CPA offers, you will find
that any niche can be profitable with media buys. With a highly tested
banner, you may be able to get clicks for as little as $0.05.
6. The only place to do media buys is on CPM Ad Networks.
While ad networks will definitely offer you high volume traffic, they are also
risky to start with. A common rookie mistake is taking an untested landing
page to an ad network, paying $10,000, running run of network traffic on
15,000 sites, not split-testing well enough, not using an ad server, and
hoping that your rep will optimize your campaign to reach your CPA goal.
You will ultimately end up bailing out on the campaign after losing a few
While ad networks can be
profitable, they are risky and have
a low success rate if you don’t
have experience. There are more
than 5,000 other places that you
can buy traffic from that don’t
pose such a risk, and you can move
on to ad networks when you are
ready. Ad networks are best used
for scaling strategy for an already profitable campaign, not as a starting
7. An ad server is optional and/or too expensive.
It is not smart not to use an ad server when purchasing impressions via
CPM. An ad server will manage and maintain your banners for a number of
websites, as well as track and report all of their usage statistics. This will
help to further target your ads to your interested demographic since it is
exceptionally difficult to see any success in your campaign if you are not
targeting, testing, tracking, and testing some more.
8. Media buying is too competitive, and I will lose all my money if I fail.
Some traffic sources are highly competitive, but there are thousands of
options that will offer you huge volume. On some traffic sources, you may
find zero competition and be able to promote a highly competitive niche.
The truth is that the vast majority of impressions on CPM networks and
websites will go unsold, meaning that there is more than enough room for
you to make your money. What a relief!
9. Media buying is getting clamped down, and verticals are getting banned.
Even if a few large traffic sources have banned a vertical, it doesn’t matter.
Media buying is vast, and no one organization can create hard and fast rules
that will impact the entire industry online. There are thousands of options
for you to buy traffic, and each site will have their own rules/policies to
offer you a safe environment. This is massively different from search
advertising since there is no monopoly in online media buying.
10. Once you make a profit, you can scale and spend $20,000 per day easily!
It takes serious effort to scale a media buy. It is not easy to spend $20,000
per day, but it is much easier to do than with PPC. Still, it is important to
understand that you can’t simply “strike gold” and start making 10 times
more money than ever by scaling to infinity. It will still require consistent
work and determination on your part.
With all of this information in mind,
we’re sure that you are just waiting to
sink your teeth into the nitty-gritty of
media buys! In the next chapter, we will
tell you exactly how to get started with
tips that you can put into practice right
Chapter 3: Let's Get Started!
s you embark on starting your first media buy, you will find that there are
two main ad networks to choose from. We already briefly discussed
Google image ads and small direct buys, yet each section has their own
technique and ad network for you to use.
So where do you begin?
If you already have a Google account, start out with Google image ads. If you don’t,
start with small direct buys.
We will work through many other ad networks together that you can use to draw
even more traffic, and as you learn the ins and outs of each of these ad networks,
they will offer bonus sources of traffic as you work your way through this book.
However, even if you don’t yet have a Google account, it still pays to learn more
about Google image ads for your further reference. As a small tip, Google has
recently decided that they do not like registry cleaners, so we do not recommend
using those for Google. However, you can use them on other ad networks and
quite easily with small direct buys.
We are going to begin instructing you on your first media buy with a
We would love you to start out with a clean slate, so forget about the banners that
you have seen on the majority of websites. These banners are mainly for branding
purposes, and the people managing the banners are nowhere near as meticulous
about their performance as you will be after reading this book. On top of that,
those banner advertisers are not spending their own money since they are
normally posted by campaign managers that work for
Fortune 500 companies.
That is not to knock branding advertising since it has its
own place and value, but the nature of branding
advertising makes it impossible to track the ROI in the
short term. Media buys are not about branding, they are
about direct response advertising that is much more
meticulous and requires practice and skill.
Important Tip: Affiliate Marketing = Direct Response
Advertising. We may refer to ourselves as direct response
advertisers from this point when we talk about traffic, and we also don’t tell
publishers that we are affiliate marketers. We say that we are an advertising
agency that specializes in direct response advertising for our clients, which is a
true statement. We are working to promote our clients through an affiliate
network, yet it is not something that publishers need to be aware of since it often
has negative connotations.
Firstly, it is important not to rely 100% on the creative set given to you by an
advertiser since they are normally billboard style advertisements with low CTR. It
is recommended to either outsource your design or create your own through
Photoshop, paint.net, or MS paint. Even though some of these tools seem
incredibly simple, you would be surprised at how well simple banners work!
Banners come in a wide variety of sizes, and Google content allows you to test 8
In typical media buying, you normally won’t use all of these sizes, but for Google
content, you can test all of the sizes in every ad campaign. Since you are always
split-testing 2 different banners, and there are 8 sizes available, you will need to
use 16 banners for every Google content image ad campaign. Test, and test again!
Media buy placements will normally focus on 728x90, 300x250, 160x600, and
120x600 exclusively. These sizes customarily run at roughly 80% of the inventory
on high-traffic websites and CPM networks.
Now that you understand the basic banner sizes, what should you put on them?
A quick and easy starting point is to utilize a text ad that is already performing well,
and put it on your banner.
As an example, you can type a keyword related to your niche into Google, and find
a top ad (normally in the top 3) that has been performing well to use.
You can then take the text ad and create your own banner by adding a few images
or numbers to attract more clicks:
When you create your banners, it is important to test vastly different ad copy,
which is the text that you use on your banner. This will help you to see which ad
copy performs best. To clarify, testing two different banners with the same text in
two different colors is not an effective split-test when you first launch your ad
campaign. You need to test WILDLY different ad copy side-by-side to see which
message attracts your demographic, and then you can start to split-test new
banners based on those that are already performing.
Wide Tests = Wildly different ad copy variations to use at the beginning of
Narrow Tests = Small tweaks in the campaign after it has become profitable
to improve ROI.
To measure the performance of your banners, you will normally look at:
Cost per Conversion
Click through Rate
Quality ads will definitely make money, so the most important thing to measure is
your cost per conversion, also called cost per acquisition (CPA). This is how much
money you are spending on a specific ad to create a conversion. As an example, if
your CPA is $10 on an offer that creates $20 in sales, that is a good thing. You are
doubling your money with a 100% ROI.
As a note, in media buys, the term CPA is used most often across the board. Ad
networks may ask you what your CPA goal is, and you would say $10 according to
the above example. However, Google refers to this as cost per conversion, but it is
the same thing.
It is also important to know your banners’ CTR, with industry standards ranging
from 0.2% to 0.3%. If your banners have a CTR below 0.2%, you will need to do
more split-testing with varied ad copy and style to change that, or you may be
advertising to traffic sources that are not relevant to your products. As an
example, you would not want to be advertising male acai supplements on a
website geared toward fashion for women. In this case, your CTR will always be
low no matter how good your ad copy is, period.
Another rule of thumb is the bigger the ad size, the higher the CTR.
However, you cannot base your ad campaign results solely upon your CTR. Here’s
a quick example:
300x250 Banner A - CTR 0.25%, Cost per Conversion $10
300x250 Banner B - CTR 0.32% Cost per Conversion $11.50
You may think that Banner B is performing better, but a high CTR does not always
guarantee you more money. Banner B may just be a flashy ad that catches
people’s attention slightly more, but Banner A is pre-selling more effectively to
make you more money. For this reason, Banner A is a better choice because the
cost per conversion, or CPA, is lower than Banner B, meaning more money in your
The lower the cost per conversion, the better profit margins you will have.
As you start to create and outsource your banners, you need to focus on two
Get the click
In order to get a solid CTR, which will increase your chances of a lower CPA (cost
per conversion), it takes practice, time, and skill. Although we said that the
industry standards for banner CTRs are from 0.2% to 0.3%, don’t aim so low! We
encourage you to aim higher at 0.4% to 0.8%, or even more. There’s no reason for
you to be satisfied with the industry standard; you must challenge yourself
throughout the entire process if you want to see any fruit from your ad campaign.
To take it a step further from simply split-testing different ad copy and banners,
you must also split-test your headlines. Testing different headlines and sub
headlines is imperative because it can quickly change your ad message so you can
determine whether or not your headline is creating a difference in your CTR/CPA,
not related to the design and color of your banner.
Besides split-testing your headlines, here are some of the top tips to use when
testing and tweaking your banners:
Use shocking imagery.
This is your time to push the limits and truly grab attention with shocking, gross,
and ugly pictures on your banners, which will catch the eye of a customer every
Underline your call to action in blue.
People are attracted to blue underlined text, which is naturally associated with a
link to generate a higher CTR. This also adds a dash of ugliness to the ad, which is
actually a good thing since it will help it to stand out from the many pretty banner
ads on the Internet.
Play on negative emotions.
The truth is that pain = action, and tapping into negative emotions like pain and
fear will push people to action much more effectively than anything else. It is
quite powerful to use this to your advantage by integrating fear into your banner
advertisements to catch the attention and get a click from a customer.
Test an ad variation with a white background.
You may have tried many different variations with fun and colorful backgrounds,
which often have a high failure rate but could possibly do well. Start out with a
white background at the beginning of your testing, and then continue to branch
out when your ads become profitable.
Show your customer “What’s in it for me?”
This is the question burning in the minds of all of your customers, so advertise to
them the benefits of your product or service and not the features. You can often
play up on one single benefit of your product to skyrocket your CTR as opposed to
discussing the features and functions of your product or service.
Use pictures of people in your banner.
People relate to other people, and when you show more skin on a person, it
automatically generates a higher CTR. If you’re running a weight loss banner, using
a glimpse of a flat, smooth stomach in a before and after shot will kill in your CTR,
although you do have to stick to publisher’s rules and conditions. Try to push the
limit as best you can, and the worst a publisher can say is no.
Blend your banners with the website you advertise on.
This works quite well with advertising direct by incorporating the design elements
from the publisher’s webpage into your banner. This can include the style of font,
size, color, bullet points, link colors, etc. Try to push to the limits, and the worst
that will happen is that you will be denied by a publisher. This works quite well
because your banner appears less like an ad to increase its credibility. Even better,
if you do blend your ad on a trustworthy website, like CNN.com, this credibility will
transfer to your banner advertisements to yield better conversions and higher CTR.
Remember to use your common sense and not breach any terms or conditions
with your publisher.
Use statistics and numbers.
People are absolutely fascinated by numbers, especially unrounded, uglier
numbers, like 97 times, 41 pounds, etc. You can also mix numbers in with the fear
approach above to see the greatest results.
Use only text.
This is a helpful blending technique since the customer will be forced to read the
ad because it stands out. If it has no borders, it will further help to blend the
banner so that it becomes a part of the advertiser’s website.
Use blinking arrows with 0.5-1 second transitions.
This will help to improve your CTR but may not benefit your ROI, although it is
always worth a test.
Transform your banner into 2-3 ads.
Using different headlines and different images
may bomb but will other times provide
serious results. This is something not allowed
on the Google content network, but many
publishers may approve this advertising
Use customer testimonials.
Testimonials are definitely a proven strategy evidenced by weight loss landing
pages and television infomercials. You can find a testimonial on the landing page
of your product or service company site and then incorporate it into your ad
banner with some images.
Split-test font color and size.
Try a variety of colors, like orange, red, blue, etc. This should be saved for your last
test after you have finalized a rock solid ad copy, leaving you time to test the small
Test out messages from your competition.
**DISCLAIMER: This can quickly become a legal issue, so this tip is for educational
purposes only since we are not legal experts.**
You may notice different tactics used on television commercials that can be
incorporated into your ad campaign. If it is something done on television, then it
is probably working. Example being that eHarmony has testimonial after
testimonial, which is a technique that you can try out for your own campaign.
Taking inspiration from other advertisers will help to get your creative juices
Below is an ad copy that we borrowed from Geico, which we wouldn’t use in an ad
campaign since it is so similar, but it provides a great example.
Test different background gradients.
You never know which background color, style, and gradient will do well, so you
can take your best performing white background ad, and try a few different
gradient colors to see how it performs.
Now that you understand what it takes to create a successful banner, we can delve
further into the ad networks that you will get started with!
Adbrite.com is a recommended ad network that is often used by affiliate
marketers, but most do not see results because they do not manage it properly.
Adbrite.com has 218 million impressions per day on over 100,000 sites, which is a
serious amount of traffic for you to tap into and take advantage of. Unfortunately,
much of this traffic will not be right for your advertising campaign, so you do have
to weed out the bad from the good.
Overall, Adbrite has a serious amount of traffic for CPM or CPC ads with many
different variations available. Beginners to media buying will also find that this ad
network is very easy to use. However, if you do target a specific channel of traffic,
you will have to lose some money in order to test out the bad sites so that you can
find the good. Adbrite will also require you to photocopy your driver’s license and
credit card once you reach a certain budget point.
Adbrite Best Practice
It is recommended to use channels or topics instead of going run of network with
Adbrite. It is also essential to go into every single campaign knowing exactly what
your target CPA is. When you hit your target on a site, either keep the ad or pause
it if it has not yet produced any conversions for you. Overall, you can expect to
pause 95% of the sites within a typical campaign.
If you don’t have a third-party tracking system, it is important to use their
conversion pixel since it will help you to clearly see all conversions.
Try the registry cleaners on Adbrite right away. It is important to manage your
account vigilantly and pause any poorly performing sites as quickly as possible,
which is the only way that you can optimize your campaign for profit.
To give you an example, it is best to start by split-testing 2 to 3 banners per SIZE as
you start to use Adbrite. It is important that each variation is different from one
another instead of only making slight changes. As a daily frequency, it is best to
use 3/24, which will signify 3 views per 24 hours for each unique visitor. The max
CPM that you decide on will depend on how high the payout is and how well it
converts. It is best to start slightly higher at .50-$1.00 CPM to get your campaign
going, and then lower it gradually. An ideal daily budget would be a minimum of
$50 per day, although you will probably only be spending half of your budget the
majority of the time.
If you are not seeing any impressions, it is normally because it takes 24 hours to
get the ball rolling, and/or your bids may be too low.
Adsonar.com is another highly recommended ad network, also called AOL
Sponsored Listings. This is perfect if you want an ad on a mega website like ESPN
by putting a sports offer in to see very lucrative results.
Adsonar.com also offers the following categories:
Arts, Entertainment & Hobbies
Autos, Boats & Cycles
Family & Relationships
Finance & Business
Health, Beauty & Fitness
Home & Garden
Society & Culture
Sports & Recreation
Travel & Lodging
This basically means that you will not have to worry about a shortage of traffic, a
shortage of diverse niches, or even a shortage of serious money.
Adsonar does offer much more traffic than you could ever buy, allow for CPC text
ads, have numerous categories, and is quite easy to use. Basically, this ad network
is similar to Google Adwords without all of the strict rules. However, you do need
to be prepared to spend and lose some money before you make any profit,
although not to the degree that you normally would with Adbrite.
Adsonar Best Practice
If you’re going for a big website like ABC News, make sure to dig deeper into the
sub categories of the website for better relevancy for your ad campaign. The more
targeted approach that you used to purchase your traffic, the better that it will
match up with your offer. The traffic available on this ad network is huge, and you
don’t have to worry about the Quality Score like you would with Google.
Additionally, this ad network is much easier to use than Adwords. However, it is
still important to use your preferred third-party tracking system when working in
this ad network.
Start out by trying the registry cleaners on AOL Sponsored Listings right away. It is
also an excellent idea with any ad buy, banners or text, to watch the sites you are
planning to buy on for several days in advance. This will help you to see the type
of ads that normally appear there so that you can have a better perspective on
how you can make money faster.
Since Adsonar is a product of AOL, all of the ads are text only. This is a self-service
ad network that is quite similar to the Google content network in many ways.
However, the advantage is that the placements stretch across many large news
sites, have a pricey inventory, and offer many “almost below the fold” placements,
which will make CTRs lower with some of their inventory.
Adsonar is not a platform for beginners since there is a potential to spend well
over $10,000 per day.
Now that you understand the ad networks, it is time to get your ad server setup!
We recommend using the ad server called Adshuffle, although you are welcome
to use any ad server you would like.
Here are the steps you need to make it happen:
1. Setting up an advertiser.
Start by logging into Adshuffle, reading their reference guides, and watching their
videos before beginning the setup process. From there, go to your Dashboard.
After that, you will click on “Create an Advertiser”, which is you. You can fill out all
required information on that form, and click on “Add Company”. You can also fill
out your mailing and billing address, but the other information at the bottom of
the form is not necessary.
2. Setting up the media plan.
Start out by right clicking on your advertisers to add a media plan, or you can click
“Add Media Plans” on the main screen. You will need to create the name of your
campaign for your reference and add the start and end date of your campaign.
After entering this information, you will click on “Add Media Plan”. You may be
prompted to install Microsoft Silverlight, which you need to click on to install and
restart the browser afterward. Your dashboard will then list your media buys by
date, impressions, clicks, spending, and conversions.
3. Setting up the publisher.
In this step, you will add your publisher information by right clicking on your
advertiser in the menu. You can either assign or create a new publisher, which is
the publisher that you are doing the media buy with. You can change the default
insertion order if you are creating the insertion order, but if the publisher is
creating the insertion order for you, then that information does not need to be
changed. You can enter in all detailed information into this section for your
reference. You will then click on “Add Publisher” and assign the publisher to finish
4. Setting up the package.
To start, click on your pub link, and add a package. The package is what you are
sending to the advertisers to put on their network, so you can name it whatever
you would like. You can change the pricing method (normally CPM),
service/flighting method (normally General/Daily), and whether or not you have a
landing page group. You will also enter your rate, total cost, and spending cap with
the advertiser, and AdShuffle will calculate the quantity for you. Finish by clicking
on “Add Package”.
5. Setting up the placements.
Start out by right clicking on your banner package to “Add Placement”. Your
placement name will normally be your banner size. You also need to add your
start date, end date, creative type (Graphics), ad size, and delivery method
(iFrame). You will then select the service/flighting method (General/Daily), landing
page optimization, and spending cap (Daily). Under serving options, you will
normally choose to serve but not count toward spend when end date is met.
Finish by clicking on “Create Placement”, and then click on “Add Creatives”. In this
section, you can choose the creative type, upload your files, add your destination
URL, and finish the process by clicking save. You can add as many banners as you
want in different sizes linking to different destinations for the purpose of multiple
split-testing. It can be helpful to upload the same banners going to different
networks to see which offers are generating the most income.
6. Setting up the optimizer
You will need to start out by enabling the optimizer by clicking on “Disabled”.
According to Adshuffle, it is best to optimize in the green as a rule of thumb for
the highest percentage a creative can be served, the lowest percentage a creative
can be served, and how fast an optimizer should adjust creative weightings. When
you start out, you may want to optimize in the middle of the green scale. You can
also set your factors by basing them on conversions (recommended by AdShuffle)
since that is where you make your money, and conclude by saving all of your
7. Setting up the pixels.
At the bottom of your main screen, you can click on “Add Pixels”, which you will
name to create. Set the pixel type as conversion tracking only, set the page
security, and click on “More Options“. You will need to set the pixel location and
your offer value, and finish by saving. After that, click on your pixel to view, and
You will then provide this code to the ad network that you are working with. You
must make sure that a pixel is place for every offer you do, or else AdShuffle will
not know when a banner click has converted to optimize for you. To optimize, you
will click on your specific banner, click on the optimizer, and change the weight to
100. The optimizer will now be based on whether or not the pixel fired, reflecting
if you got a sale. You will need to make these changes in each of your banners.
8. Setting up traffic placements.
Start out by right clicking on placements and going to traffic placements. You can
download the HTML, save it to your computer, and send the whole page to your
These complete steps will make it more than easy to start your own ad campaign
by using your own ad server. You can pat yourself on the back because you now
have some very exclusive knowledge that is difficult to get anywhere else without
weeks, months, and years of trial and error! Once you have your ad server set up,
your pixels place, and your optimization set, it is pretty much hands-off from that
point on. You definitely need to monitor your ad campaign, but once you start
making money, it will simply show which banners are performing best based on
This is truly the missing piece in your media buying puzzle that you can’t make money
But all of this wonderful information would not be complete or even profitable for
you without - you guessed it! - an Insertion Order Tutorial.
An Insertion Order is also called IO, which represents the binding contract
between you and the publisher regarding your media buy. Everything that you
discuss over e-mail or verbally must go into the IO, which has to be signed and
faxed to your publisher before your ads go live.
Here are a few typical items included in the IO:
CPM Rate: The price you pay for inventory.
Countries to Target: The country or countries you want to target in your
Demographic Targeting: If you are
purchasing premium inventory, or if
your publisher allows targeting for no
additional cost, you can specify by
including the gender and age range
you would like to target. The ad server
will only automatically display your
ads to this demographic, and the ads
will not be visible to any demographics
outside of this range.
Out Clause: It is best to have a 24 hour out clause, with 48 hours being
acceptable, and a 72 hour out being the absolute maximum. In a 24 hour
out clause, this indicates that any time within the campaign, you can
exercise your out clause on any business day by e-mailing your publisher
and asking them to pause your campaign. Your ads will then be paused
within 24 hours. In a 48 hour out clause, it will take 48 hours for the
publisher to pause your campaign after you have requested it.
Even Delivery: This clause prevents publishers from upping your impression
volume for no reason. You want to be in control of your impression volume
to prevent the worst case scenario, such as a publisher pushing out millions
of impressions to deplete your budget immediately after you exercise your
out clause. Although this is unethical, it is allowed unless you have an even
delivery clause to protect yourself.
Frequency Cap: A frequency cap will limit how many unique visitors view
your banners within a period of time. If you test with a low frequency (1/24
to 3/24), it will reduce your risk of losing money when testing out a new
Bill off Your Ad Server: When this clause is in the IO, publishers will bill off
whatever your ad server (AdShuffle) shows for the period of time that your
campaign is live. You can configure AdShuffle prior to the campaign and
specify the CPM rate of any placement, and it will track the exact costs. You
can also create an additional AdShuffle login account for your publisher to
have limited access and only see impressions and spending for a particular
campaign by itself.
Spending Cap for First 5-10 Days: This is an additional safety precaution
that you can add to limit your spending for the first X amount of days to a
certain amount that you feel comfortable with.
Understanding these basics in an Insertion Order will not only make it much easier
to communicate a contract between yourself and a publisher, but it will also
protect you from any unfortunate circumstances regarding your media buys. And
always make sure to read all contracts well so that nothing is overlooked or added
without your permission!
Last but not least, we will wrap up this entire introduction to media buys by
helping you better understand direct media buys. You can begin by doing media
buys directly from websites to promote a very broad offer, which will help you
better reach your profit goal of $2000 per day.
We already discussed that the two major
places to do media buys are through:
Ad Networks: Made up of anywhere
from 2,000 to 20,000 websites.
For a very broad and popular niche like Male
Acai, as an example, you must begin your
campaign wisely to reduce your potential for any large losses by going with direct
sites. Buying traffic from direct sites is much simpler compared to purchasing
traffic from ad networks.
To help you better understand, a media buy from a direct site is like a PPC search
campaign using only one keyword. However, media buys on large ad networks are
search campaigns that target more than 15,000 keywords. Which of these options
is cheaper and simpler to build significant data and optimize? Wouldn’t it be the
campaign using only one keyword? However, your chance of choosing one
powerful keyword in a PPC search campaign to convert with serious volume is
very low, yet when you advertise on one direct website that matches your
demographic perfectly, you still have a very solid chance of conversion.
Like we said earlier, when you purchase directly from one website, you will have
better profit margins and won’t have to rely on a rep to help optimize your
campaign. YOU will be responsible for optimizing it 100%. The rep will only be
your point of contact to negotiate terms and upload your third-party ad server
tags, making a direct site a much easier option for media buys. It has fewer
variables, requires a smaller budget, and can be quite profitable.
Ideally, you should find websites that are predominantly visited by your demographic.
In the example above of male acai, it would be men, so you would want to look
for websites visited by 70% to 85% men. You can then test their remnant
inventory, which are the excess impressions. This is the inventory of a website that
isn’t being currently sold and is probably monetized through ad networks, like
Adsense and others. If you have already advertised on the Google content
network, then you were probably using remnant inventory from your publishers
(although that is not always the case). This means that you may already have
experience with it without even knowing it.
On the average, the majority of a publisher’s inventory will fall into remnant
since they can NEVER sell 100% of it, much less 50%. This remnant inventory is
no different than premium inventory, other than it is not guaranteed, and you will
not be able to target a specific demographic. Since the impressions are not
guaranteed, they will also vary slightly on a day-to-day basis.
So why test their remnant inventory?
You may have a few choices in the type of inventory that you would like to buy
from a publisher. You can start out with premium inventory that will target gender
and age range, but the more that you target, the higher that your CPM will
normally be. If you are promoting an offer for men, like male acai, and you buy
from a publisher who has 50% males and 50% females, then you may want to
target your demographic, although it could cost you more. However, if you choose
a site that is already visited by 80% men, you can buy their remnant inventory for
much cheaper to purchase already male traffic. This means that instead of paying
for premium inventory targeted to males at anywhere from $2-$5 CPM, you can
find websites that are already visited by men to purchase their remnant inventory
at $.50-$2.00 CPM.
The result is very similar traffic at a fraction of the cost.
Please continue to reread the above paragraph until this fantastic reality sinks in…
With all of that in mind, testing a publisher’s remnant inventory isn’t the only way
to go, yet it is a quick way to test how their traffic will convert inexpensively. This
is usually the first method that you can use to test, especially if the regular
inventory is ridiculously expensive.
However, here are a few downsides of remnant inventory to keep in mind:
If a website is already selling their male inventory to someone, then the
remnant inventory is what’s left over, meaning that it will be mostly female
traffic. However, most forms of direct advertising have a frequency cap,
which means that the exposure is limited, and it is very rare for someone to
take 100% of a certain demographic.
If you are running a campaign on remnant inventory on a certain website
and doing well, another advertiser could step in and purchase premium
inventory for your demographic so that your ROI and banner CTRs take a
Using Alexa, find 20 publishers within the Alexa 5000 that match your targeted
demographic (18-34 year old males for male acai) and e-mail them right now to
ask for a small test buy. This test buy is a media buy for a short duration, like 4 to
10 days. Relevant websites to your demographic, like fitness and gym sites, are the
ideal choice, but don’t limit yourself to only these types of websites.
Anywhere you can find your demographic is where you want to be.
Here is a sample e-mail to begin with:
Hi, I'm a direct response advertiser and would like to scale one of my campaigns and
test on your inventory directly. I'd like to do a test buy as soon as possible. Can we
discuss this in more detail today?
<fax> (get one or use efax.com)
Send this e-mail out to as many publishers as you can, and expect only a 20% to
50% response. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the website, the more likely that they
will be to respond.
Next, make sure that you are already signed up for an ad server with the
information we provided above. Use our tutorial to set up your banners and
landing pages through AdShuffle or another ad server, and review your landing
pages to make sure that they are entirely effective.
Once a publisher gets back to you, give them a call to further discuss the test
buy. A phone conversation will truly go a long way in the age of the Internet,
where you can ask them for the smallest minimum buy if they are willing to
comply. It is normally difficult to get a buy below $1000, although it is possible
with excellent credit. Ask the publisher how previous direct response advertisers
have done in this vertical and other verticals, and make sure that they comply
with all IO terms we already mentioned. It would be ideal to build off of
AdShuffle, but not all pubs will be okay with that. Please bear in mind that this is
something that you have to negotiate politely to work out the best deal on your
behalf. It is definitely not a deal breaker if a pub does not accept billing off of
AdShuffle, although it is much preferred.
Once you have signed and faxed an IO, you will want to send your publisher your
codes linking to your banners that we discussed above.
After your campaign has gone live, traffic will begin, and you can start to
monitor your performance. You will optimize it the same way you would a Google
content image ad campaign by gathering your split-testing data and determining
what ads to keep and what ads to pause.
And don’t forget to rinse and repeat! Committing to researching, e-mailing,
reaching out, and negotiating direct buys again and again and again will be the key
to your success in the long term.
To go back to the male acai example, it is important to understand exactly HOW
to find the right site to do direct buys for your targeted demographic.
Firstly, there are advantages to choosing such a broad niche market as male acai.
It has a massive profit potential at more than four figures a day, it is currently an in
demand niche, and if you have the ability to target a saturated niche on
unsaturated traffic sources, it is a big plus. When you go for remnant inventory off
of direct sites, you are doing just that with potentially explosive results.
Additionally, most Internet marketers can relate to the 18-34 male demographic,
so this may be a much easier demographic to market to than others.
The next plan of attack is to figure out exactly how you
are going to market this niche successfully. You can start
out by purchasing inventory directly off of publishers
frequented by your demographic without using ad
networks. Do the testing on their remnant inventory that
we described above to ensure that a site will be
profitable for you. If you are wondering to yourself
exactly which sites to target, it is important that they are
frequently visited by males within your demographic age
group and that they post relevant content, such as
fitness or health articles related to this niche.
However, we must emphasize to you that non-relevant websites can work just as
well as long as they are frequented by your demographic. These non-relevant sites
will still be worth testing no matter what content they post.
Relevant content is a plus, not a requirement.
To further choose effective sites for direct buys, you must think like your
demographic. Who are they? What are they looking for? In this example, male
acai often appeals to men in the college age group because they want to get in
shape quickly to impress the opposite sex and/or boost their confidence. These
are important factors to keep in mind when you’re creating your banners and
landing pages since you can throw in some shocking images or images with less
clothing to catch their eye and generate a click.
If you are worried that a niche like this is too tough and competitive, it is time to
adjust your thinking. We want you to run with the big dogs based on the
information in this book, and the more saturated that a niche is, the easier it is to
make serious profit every single day and beyond. This niche is not too competitive,
yet it is a high demand market for young men who are hoping to get in shape
The more desperate that a demographic is, the easier it is to sell to them.
That is precisely why the weight loss industry is booming since so many people
will do almost anything to lose weight and improve their appearance as quickly as
possible. The only issue you may run across with saturated markets is that the
obvious traffic sources are highly competitive and may have slimmer margins. Still,
if you buy from 1 to 3 sites that are in the top Alexa 5000, the competition with
direct publishers is normally quite low.
Here are some sample angles you could use to promote this male acai niche in a
Get ripped quickly
Attract the opposite sex
Gain more confidence
Get a six-pack
Get a body like an MMA fighter
This is the thought process that you need to use for EVERY direct buy to make the
most out of the money you invest in your ad campaign. When you put yourself in
the shoes of your demographic, you will be able to have insight and clarity as to
what type of advertisements that they are willing to click on, meaning much more
success in your ad campaign in the long run.
Now that you understand the basics of media buys in ad networks and using direct
buys to get you started, we are going to explore the best methods to use to get
HUGE traffic in the next chapter…
This is something you DON’T want to miss.
Chapter 4: Get Ready for HUGE
y this point, you should have gotten your ad server based on the
information we provided in the previous chapter. We then encouraged you
to put all of the steps that we detailed into practice to start small direct
buys to progress into larger media buys from the ad networks listed in the
Once you have some of these basic techniques mastered, you can move on to
using even more productive ad networks to generate a steady stream of traffic to
your website right away.
Another top ad network we recommend is Adpepper.com, who is also the owner
of the Webgains affiliate network. This network is based in the UK with a focus on
UK traffic, yet it will also offer traffic from the U.S. and other European countries.
Brand protection with "SiteScreen"(not really of our concern)
Lead Generation with their "iLead" program
Afffiliate Marketing with "Webgains"
E-mail marketing with their "mailpepper" program
Again, this is a booming ad network that is not short on traffic or a huge selection
of niches to help you to make serious money.
Adpepper has variety in what they do and offers a wealth of information for
regular media buyers. They have lead gen, CPM, and e-mail traffic sources for you
to utilize, and you will find that many of their account managers are in line with
the concepts that we have detailed in this book. The only drawback to Adpepper
is that their main website can be quite confusing, and you have to dig deeper to
find the right area for you.
Adpepper Best Practice
We recommend that you join several UK networks and promote UK offers to UK
traffic sources. If you are new to affiliate marketing, this is an ideal place to begin
since it is a prime market that may have a beneficial exchange rate, depending
upon if you are in the US or Canada. Also, remember to use your preferred third-
party tracking system with them.
Register for webgains and buy.at in the UK, and pick an offer that you can get
started on. Many basic niches will be much more profitable than you anticipate
since their products and media buys work on a pay per sale basis. The bottom line
is not to limit your mindset to only United States oriented CPA offers.
AdDynamix is yet another top company to purchase traffic from. A direct quote
from their website states: "With roots in performance-based advertising, Los
Angeles based AdDynamix has evolved into a full-spectrum interactive provider
delivering ad management, video and digital media services to agencies,
entertainment clients and direct marketers."
They have also worked with:
Additionally, a great benefit to AdDynamix is that they will let advertisers spend
less than $500, which is perfect for testing campaigns before you go big-time.
AdDynamix offers a diverse mix of 16 different verticals for you to choose from,
Unfortunately, AdDynamix is in a very competitive market where they are not the
biggest contender. This may seem to be a disadvantage, but it can also work as an
advantage if you can get your ads on some websites that other networks don’t
AdDynamix Best Practice
This network is ideal to use within your typical CPA niches, and make sure to use
your preferred third-party tracking system with them.
Sign up for wotogepa.com, choose their debt help offer, and put it on the finance
vertical. Use your own landing page to effectively presell this offer, which will
work well in this and other related verticals.
How to Use Google Image Ads
Google Content image ads can offer an excellent source of traffic, and this basic
tutorial will get you started in your campaign. From there, you can get more
creative and add your own spin on things after you gain more experience. With
the proper testing and usage of this campaign, it can become profitable fairly
The way to achieve a profitable campaign is through split-testing.
The number one problem in creating a successful campaign is that most
affiliates don’t split-test enough, especially their landing pages. They also often
do not take the time to build statistically significant data. They will normally panic
and pause ads after only spending $50, but with our tutorial, you won’t have to
make those mistakes.
Please use this same setup in every campaign that you create, and your success
rate will DOUBLE or even TRIPLE.
For media buys, this is how you must create your campaign structure initially,
before you spend any money:
Split-test 2-4 very different banners for every banner size available
Split-test 2-4 very different landing pages*
Split-test 2-4 similar offers
*As a note, you can direct link instead of using a landing page, or better yet, test a
direct link versus a landing page as the most effective option.
Next, you will rotate all three variables (banners, landing pages, and offers) evenly
at the same time until you have statistically significant data. To give you more
detail, here are the ideal performance metrics you are looking for:
Banners: Lowest Cost per Conversion (Normally the highest CTR but not
Landing Pages: Lowest Cost per Conversion (Normally the highest CTR but
Offer: Highest EPC (This is found in your
affiliate network stats)
Keep in mind that testing three different variations of
everything will take more money. To keep things
simple from the start, you can begin with two
variations for every banner and two different landing
pages. Google Content image ad campaigns and
media buys are not much different in terms of
becoming profitable. You will be rotating different
variables, like your placement, banners, landing
pages, and offers, until you have a good sample of
data. You will then pause or remove the least
profitable variables. This method has a very good success rate, but the only
downfall is that it will take more time to set up.
For your initial format, you can use the formula below. It is similar to the above
setup, but it is more designed for Google Content, and you won’t have to spend as
much money building data because there are fewer variations to test:
Split-test two very different banners for every banner size available
Split-test two very different landing pages (provided below)
Test only 1 offer at first
Here is an example to help you begin:
Offer: 2insure4less Auto Insurance Quote, pixel fires on page 4
Country to target: US only
Affiliate network: Wotogepa.com
Budget to allocate: $100-$300
Traffic source: Google Content
Ad groups: 10-20 ad groups only
Keyword per ad group: 1-15
Banners per ad group: 16 (2 very different banners for every size. There are
8 sizes available with Google Content.)
Build this campaign by hand using the Adwords editor, and do not use any tools to
build the campaign. This is a highly important point that I must emphasize again:
do not use any tools to build the campaign.
Every ad group will have 16 of the same banners in each:
(Quantity) (Ad Size)
You can take some banners from your wotogepa.com account, and you will need
to make the rest.
To promote this specific niche, you must track it with Google’s conversion pixel;
this is nonnegotiable. Google’s pixel offers an excellent way to track conversions,
and you can start out by first going to Google Adwords. Click on Reporting >
Create a new action for leads, and name it whatever you would like. The
revenue amount is also not important, and once you create it, you won’t need the
code. Instead, look for the area where it tells you your Google ID, which will be a
long digit number. This is your “GID” for your affiliate links. You only need one link
for everything, and you won’t need to create a new pixel for every campaign or
After that, go to your affiliate network to the area that you add campaigns, and
make sure that all of your links are in this format:
“xxxxxxxxx” will stand for your Google ID that you located above, and it must be
inserted in each campaign for each affiliate link to effectively track your
Testing Ad Groups
After you have that conversion pixel in place, it is time to follow the ad group
structure that we outlined above. However, it is not necessary to use the
keywords that we provided because they are only examples. There are an
unlimited amount of ways that you can test ad groups and methodologies in
Google Content. Our technique is not necessarily an absolute rule, but it has
worked to produce high-volume, so it is worth considering.
It is best to start out by building your content
campaigns by hand and only begin to automate
after you have successfully started the building
Step 1. Come up with 10 individual themes for your
niche. These themes can be 1 to 3 keywords long
and contain both specific and broad keywords. It is
best to have a combination of broad, medium, and narrow themes for a wide test.
You will be picking themes based on which website or page you want your ads to
appear on in the Google Content network.
As an example, if you have a theme on spyware, ads about “Speeding up your PC
with registry easy” will appear on sites or pages that mention spyware. Although
spyware isn’t 100% on-topic, it doesn’t matter because the demographic visiting
these websites are people who are worried about their computer and want
something fixed. You might as well speed up your PC while you’re at it, right? We
are choosing keywords, but we are really targeting a certain demographic
indirectly by building ad groups with these keywords.
If you were to make ad group themes on “Dell computers”, what kind of
demographic would visit these sites, and what would they be interested in
buying? If they are interested in buying a new computer, is it because their current
computer is slow? There’s no need to obsess about keywords, but instead, think
about the demographics behind these keywords.
Go one level deeper than the average affiliate in the way that you approach your
However, you can’t just pick random ad groups because Google has a restriction
called Quality Score, where your ad groups will have to be relevant to the
keywords found on your landing page. You need to find the perfect medium
between these two variables by balancing your demographic with Google’s
Quality Score restriction. Media buying is much more direct and simplified, but
this is a technique that requires the same approach.
For our registry cleaners example, here are the keywords we have chosen:
Registry Cleaners: narrow
PC Cleaner: medium
Windows Speed: medium
Windows XP: broad
Software: very broad
Spyware: broad, off-topic, but still relevant
Registry Errors: narrow
Step 2: Take each of your themes and expand them into ad groups with 5 to 15
keywords per theme using Adwords Editor. Build by hand using Adwords Editor,
and if you get stuck, use the Google Keyword Tool for more ideas to help expand
your keyword list. Here is an example:
download registry cleaner
clean my registry
free registry cleaner
best registry cleaner
clean my pc
best pc cleaner
free pc cleaner
download pc cleaner
top pc cleaner
increase windows speed
make windows faster
microsoft windows speed
how to make windows faster
fix microsoft errors
why microsoft errors
remove microsoft errors
stop microsoft errors
software to speed up pc
internet explorer spyware
(Blue Screen of Death)
blue screen of death
fix blue screen of death
remove blue screen of death
blue screen of death fix
blue screen of death cure
blue screen of death remover
fix registry errors
remove registry errors
errors in registry
windows registry errors
microsoft registry error
Step 3. Now, take your original list of themes, and make them into 1 keyword ad
group by themselves. It is perfectly fine to repeat keywords since no keywords
truly exist in Google Content, only themes. As you re-create similar but different
ad group themes using similar broad keywords, it will result in a cohesive
campaign. Here is the final list of ad groups that we will use. Everything in
parentheses is its own separate ad group.
(Registry Cleaners 1 KW)
(PC Cleaner 1 KW)
(Windows Speed 1 KW)
(Microsoft Errors 1 KW)
(Computer Help 1 KW)
(Software 1 KW)
(Blue Screen of death 1 KW)
blue screen of death
(Registry Errors 1KW)
download registry cleaner
clean my registry
windows registry cleaner
free registry cleaner
best registry cleaner
clean my pc
best pc cleaner
free pc cleaner
download pc cleaner
top pc cleaner
increase windows speed
make windows faster
microsoft windows speed
how to make windows faster
fix microsoft errors
why microsoft errors
remove microsoft errors
stop microsoft errors
software to speed up pc
internet explorer spyware
(Blue Screen of Death)
blue screen of death
fix blue screen of death
remove blue screen of death
blue screen of death fix
blue screen of death cure
blue screen of death remover
fix registry errors
remove registry errors
errors in registry
windows registry errors
microsoft registry error
Now we have a good set of themes to test! We are using a wide range of broad,
medium, and narrow keywords, and we are testing a wide selection of ad group
structures using 1 keyword ad groups and 10 keyword ad groups. As a note, this
information can also be applied to text ads, but we normally see better volume
using 20 to 40 keywords per ad group with text ads, whereas image ads tend to
get better volume with less keywords per ad group. As you test, your results may
vary, but we encourage you to try this method first and then test your own ideas
It is important to do this all on your own because you won’t effectively learn
unless you set up this campaign by hand. You can use this same technique in any
niche targeting any country using Google Content.
After you have 10 to 20 ad groups built into Adwords Editor, you will need to add
your ads to these ad groups. However, you will only be using image ads, not text
ads. It is a good strategy to put ALL of your banners in every ad group. Test two
sets of banners at one time, and since there are eight different sizes in Google
Content for image ads, two very different banners per size will yield 16 banners.
Place the exact same 16 banners in every ad group.
You can always test three different banners for every ad size, but your budget
required to build data across your campaign will increase considerably. Two
banners per size are ideal to start with for Google Content, but just make sure
they are very different from one another in the beginning. You will increase your
chances of profitability using wide tests versus narrow tests. Once your campaign
is profitable, you can continue to test wide variations, or take your best
performing ad copy/banner and start more narrow tests, like testing font size and
If you are wondering how much data to build for your campaign, here are the
minimums we recommend:
Banner: 50-100 clicks minimum
LP: 50-100 clicks minimum
Offer: 100 clicks or 15-30 conversions, whichever comes first.
This means that after 500 clicks total from your campaign, costing you around
$250, you will have solid data across your variables. Every budget does differ, and
if you happen to have a more flexible budget, you can let the campaign run to 500
clicks on your offer. If you do find a profitable banner in an ad group with 16
banners, you don’t necessarily need to wait for 1600 clicks on the entire ad group,
although it helps. You can just pause everything except for the profitable banner if
you want to see a positive ROI sooner. You will definitely have to pick your battles
when it comes to choosing where you want to let your data build up since each
individual’s threshold for risk will differ.
So what is the lesson that we have learned today, folks? Although some of these
image ad guidelines may seem complicated, here are some parting essential tips
for your success on this topic:
Most of your image ads will lose money. After 2 to 4 days of running the
campaign, 90% of your ad groups will not be profitable, and 90% of your
image ad sizes won’t make money. You will end up pausing everything
except maybe 1 to 3 ad groups. Then, within those few ad groups that are
left, you will end up pausing all of your ad sizes except 1 to 2 of them. Don’t
sweat it; this is entirely normal.
Ignore Quality Score with Google Content. The numbers shown on the web
interface and Adwords Editor correlate to Google search and carry no
weight on Google Content. Our biggest performing ad groups that received
up to 50,000 clicks a day had a Quality Score of 4, go figure. However,
Quality Score does exist, but it is not visible at the moment with Google’s
Treat each Google Content ad group like you would a keyword on Google
search. Try not to mess with the keywords within the ad groups, or else you
may alter the theme of the ad group by doing this. If all of the images
within a particular ad group aren’t profitable based on statistically
significant data, then pause that ad group. Try to have only high CTR ad
groups left after optimizing since Google loves a high CTR.
DO NOT make emotional decisions on insignificant data. This includes
pausing ad groups, pausing the entire campaign, changing your bids, etc.
We all struggle with this on some level, but you need to push through it and
be willing to lose a little bit of money to build data. Then and only then can
you make decisions based on statistically significant data. Push those
negative emotions and fears of losing money to the side so that you can
focus on what your data is telling you to do.
As soon as the banners get approved,
which takes two business days at most,
start checking which referring URLs your
clicks are coming from. Prosper202 does
this easily with their spytab. This will help
you to make sure that the sites are
relevant and not junky. After you have
built up enough statistically significant
data with 100-200 clicks, you can choose
to either exclude a site from your
campaign with Google’s platform or keep it.
If your image ads aren’t approved in two business days, you can either
wait or contact Google support via live chat. Feel free to notify Google if it
has been over two business days, and you would like your ads approved. It
will normally happen very quickly after that. Take note that some people
believe that it is a bad idea to contact Google as they may “look” into your
account, so this is at your discretion.
If all of this information is over your head, you are not alone. We
encourage you to reread everything 4-10 times, and it will start to sink in
eventually. The key to your success is taking action and trying it out since
you will learn 10 times faster through practicing! After that, feel free to
research, ask questions on forums, and reach out to people who can help
you. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Based on the above tips, you may be asking yourself the important question as to
when you should start killing image ads if they are not performing? If you happen
to see thousands of impressions with no click, it is still important to wait 24 to 48
hours of getting impressions before you start trimming your ad groups that have
low impressions and very low CTR. After that time frame, you can get more
aggressive if you want to cut down low CTR ads at your discretion.
We encourage you to wait for at least 10,000 impressions to give you an accurate CTR.
Remember, you are optimizing on conversions, not CTR. This means that if you
happen to have two banners, one at 0.2% CTR and the other at 0.4%, you still
need to wait until you have an accurate cost per conversion and optimize based
As a note, even though this is a time of training, using this split-testing
methodology with image ads on Google Content in various niches can earn you
your daily profit goal of $2000 per day if you practice enough! Google is only used
for testing as a cheap traffic source, where we will then take our campaigns to our
REAL traffic sources for legitimate media buys.
Which leads us to…
How to Use Flat Rate Direct Buys
One of the best ways to begin media buys is to buy directly from websites versus
ad networks, as we have discussed previously. However, instead of buying from
just any website, it is important to target lower volume, under monetized
websites using a FLAT RATE buy instead of purchasing on CPM. On smaller
websites normally run by one webmaster, you will typically be able to secure this
arrangement, and it will offer you an exceptionally high ROI.
This is a perfect plan of attack to use if you have a smaller budget and don’t want to
risk losing $1000 at a time.
Flat Rate Buy Benefits:
You only need a small budget. You can expect to spend anywhere from
$50-$300 for the entire MONTH of advertising.
You will get insanely high ROIs. If you spend $50 for one month of
advertising, it is very possible to generate $2000 in income. This is an
incredibly hard ROI to achieve using CPM buys.
You will have a lower risk. Since you are investing a small budget with a
very high ROI potential, your risk is minimal.
It offers an easy diversification strategy. As an Internet marketer, you need
to spread out your income to protect yourself, which is why flat rate buys
are the perfect choice. Instead of using SEO and waiting for free search
engine traffic, you can use this technique to build a stable foundation of
You will see long-lasting payoff. Since the profit margins are so big, there is
little wiggle room and margin for error. These lower volume campaigns are
able to churn out money with little attention, and they will become more
and more low maintenance to generate income over the long term.
Choose an offer from your favorite CPA network. High EPC offers are an
excellent place to begin, but make sure to talk to your affiliate manager and
find the top three for 2 to 3 different verticals.
Make banners for the offer. We like to create 2 to 4 very different variations
per banner size to test. You can start with 300x250, 728x90, 160x600, and
120x600 sizes based on the banner tutorial we provided in the previous
Research the demographic for the offer. This can easily be done by taking
the offer landing page URL and inserting it into quantcast.com. Quantcast
will offer you a rough estimate of demographics that normally visit that
page, which should be taken with a grain of salt. The assumption being that
since the majority of the traffic visiting that domain is profitable, the top
age/gender/income type according to Quantcast (image below) will give
you the starting point you need to target your demographic in your
Find 15 to 20 lower volume sites that receive less than 50,000 unique
visits per day.
In order to find these sites:
o Use Google/MSN/Yahoo, and enter very targeted search terms
according to your niche. The more targeted the
content/demographic, the better. Look at the organic results, and
check out those websites. If a site is directly related to your niche, it
can work perfectly. If the site is about a related niche with the same
demographic, it will also work well.
o Use Google Ad Planner, input the demographics and/or search terms
according to your niche, and filter the results. It helps to sort the
results by “Comp Index”, which are the highest relevant sites based
on your search criteria versus the highest volume sites. It is often
tempting to only aim for higher volume sites, but after a while, you
will realize that you need balance between the traffic volume and
your targeted demographic. The higher the Comp Index, the more
targeted the site is based on the filters that you have set in place for
demographics, sites visited, search terms, etc.
o Use Alexa.com and search by each keyword or category. Pick
categories based on your demographics, not just topics related to
your offer. As an example, choosing a Gardening category (image
below) could seem boring, but it is full of older females who often
sign up for and purchase offers online. If a site is visited by your
demographic, don’t overlook these related categories!
After you compile your list of sites, e-mail them all to ask to advertise directly on
To give you a dose of reality, you should only expect 10% or less to reply, which is
entirely normal. Getting a reply back from these small websites is the most
difficult part, but that is where it takes work, and many people quit. Of those
websites that reply, negotiate a deal to buy an entire spot, like a 300x250 or
728x90 banner ad for the entire month.
The great benefit to this is that there is no CPM and no ad server needed. You
can purchase 100% of the impressions for the month. Cubestat.com will give you
another rough estimate of how much ad revenue a particular website could
generate in a month, so use this resource to get a general idea of what to offer.
Below is a Cubestat screenshot for enature.com, a website targeting the older
female demographic in the Gardening niche:
If you are nervous about a direct buy like this, try asking for a one week test at one
quarter of the monthly amount.
As you begin to work with some of these smaller websites, you may find that
they often don’t use IOs or even know what they are! It is important that you ask
for something in writing about your rate agreement, or at the very least, negotiate
that you pay after your ads have been posted. You could also negotiate weekly
payments, but if you don’t have an IO, it is not safe to pay everything up front.
Again, we have to emphasize that we are not attorneys, and this is not legal
advice. To avoid dealing with this type of back and forth with inexperienced pubs,
simply e-mail an IO based on the terms that we described above, and send them
payment after they have agreed to the IO. Even small buys should not be casual,
and using an IO every time will protect you from losing money in the long run.
If you are approaching a publisher to advertise for a flat rate, it may seem
confusing at first to determine what rate to offer them. Your general monthly
price point should be mainly based upon impressions and how many unique
visitors frequent the website per month.
On a social networking website, for example, the impressions per unique visitor
are quite high at anywhere from 20 to 30 impressions per one unique visitor. This
will dramatically decrease the quality of your inventory, which is why traffic from a
website like Facebook is $0.30-$0.60 versus other websites that are not social and
You will need to come up with a dollar amount based on $1 CPM and offer 50% of
that ($0.50 CPM) as a starting negotiating price. Of course, the oldest negotiating
trick in the book is to start either very low or very high, depending upon which side
of the table you are on. You will want to start with a very low and almost insulting
price for your monthly rate since the webmaster may bite. From there, you can
continue to negotiate until you get a price that you are comfortable with. When
you are negotiating, it may be scary to shoot for a very low price, but this is
something that webmasters and account managers who know how to negotiate
will expect from you.
If you don’t negotiate, they will only assume that you are new to the business.
Please bear in mind that certain traffic, like adult, social, gaming, and torrent, is
often much cheaper when compared to mainstream websites, like large news
Remember, it is all about baby steps! You have learned some amazing
information so far, and as you put it into practice, you are going to build up your
advertising muscle and see some serious return from your campaigns. Speaking of
campaign, the next chapter is when your campaign blitz begins… Finally!
Chapter 5: Your Campaign Blitz
N ow that you have all of the information that you can handle on using ad
networks and direct buys, it is time for us to show you how to CRANK UP
your earnings using a campaign blitz. We are going to reveal to you two
exceptional ad networks, Collective and Undertone, which will both make you a
lot of money when used correctly.
Collective is another excellent network to get traffic from, and they also have
innovative data analytics technology for you to use. Here is more information
from their site: "In 2005, Collective started the quality ad network revolution with
the Collective Network; the original transparent advertising network for brands.
Because premium brands want to be associated with other premium brands, the
Collective Network contains only the highest-quality content brands such as A&E,
Babycenter®, Esquire, National Geographic and Food Network. Lots has changed
in the online advertising ecosystem, but the flight to quality has remained
Is the second fastest-growing US ad network in the top 10 in 2009
Is #1 in high income adults (over $100,000)
Has a huge technology audience
Has a large sports audience
Collective has a link on their main page called “What’s Working”. When you click
on it, it leads to case studies that other brands, like IKEA, Acura, and Autodesk,
have used. This area shows their ads and a few statistics on them, which is helpful
when you are creating your own ads. Collective offers five different verticals you
can get into, which include:
19 million people in the auto market
8 million new home buyers
73% of all dieters
71% of all Gap Shoppers
70% of all Verizon customers
Collective’s focus is large companies and big branding campaigns, so you will be
the minority when you work with them. This means that you will also have to
explain what you do in detail to their account managers since affiliate marketing is
not their forte.
Collective Best Practice
Auto insurance quotes, gap e-mail submits, and mobile offers seem to work very
well on this network. Please also use your preferred third-party tracking system
Check out as many auto insurance, gap, and mobile offers that you can, and rotate
them all to find the best choice. This ad network should produce great results
when using those specific channels.
Undertone is another good ad network to buy traffic from. Here is further
information posted on their site: "Undertone executes and manages online
advertising campaigns for leading advertising agencies and the marketers they
serve. We take the time to listen to your goals and provide a comprehensive suite
of products and targeting capabilities that help you best achieve your online
marketing objectives in a brand-safe environment."
Has 100% above-the-fold inventory
Does not have user-generated content sites
Does not have social networking sites
Does not have ad exchange inventory
Does not use network-to-network brokering
Undertone has a helpful eCPM calculator that is available for free at
http://undertone.com/ecpm/. This can be helpful when executing preliminary
planning for your campaigns. However, Undertone says that showing on high-
quality sites is a good thing, and we slightly disagree. It seems that they could be
underestimating the “ugly” factor of marketing. This is again because most of
their clients will be branders and not direct response marketers. Undertone also
lists very few of their channels on their website before you login.
Undertone Best Practice
You can use all of their rich media features and add full-page and half page ads
along with your standard display ads. Make sure that you use your preferred third-
party tracking system with them.
Undertone seems to have more news type sites, so you will have to do some
spying/research to find out what offers to try. You can start by building a small
campaign, finding out some of the URLs that your ads are appearing on, and
spying on them to see what is working before you launch a larger campaign. You
can also talk to your account manager to ask what other companies are using
Your Campaign Blitz
Now that you have gotten experience buying direct, it’s time to take it one step
further. Instead of only testing one offer, we are going to test 5 to 10 offers and
utilize direct linking. If you haven’t already noticed, landing page click through
rates can lower with media buys as opposed to when targeting PPC traffic since
the point of sale is further away. Direct linking will help with this issue, and it is
quick to set up and test.
As marketers, we are constantly in the mindset of launching a specific campaign or
offer. However, with direct media buys, your mindset needs to be on monetizing
the publisher’s traffic as profitably as possible as opposed to testing only one
offer. Can you see the difference?
Once you have built a campaign for one publisher, you can reuse the same creatives
and offers on every pub that you test.
If you are having issues with publishers denying your previous offers, this strategy
will help since these offers are very brand friendly yet work across many different
demographics and traffic types. The most difficult part about this technique is
gathering all of your creatives for the first time and loading them into your ad
server. After that, you can reuse this test campaign with any new pub you test!
This should be your default activity when you start a direct buy to test any and all
offers you have.
It helps to choose a well-rounded portfolio of offers that cater to a wide selection
of demographics and have a big EPC potential. This will maximize your chances of
finding an offer that converts profitably.
Here is an example set:
*Male Acai or Bizopp
*Works best with landing page, but testing these offers is optional.
These offers are by no means set in stone, but they are brand friendly for picky
publishers, have good payouts, have many advertisers per niche, and can be
profitable with direct linking! You can also test the advertisers’ supplied creatives,
along with your own, since you are testing so many banners. If you pick five of the
above offers and split-test three creatives per banner size, that will give you 15
creatives for every banner size. This will take a slightly bigger budget to test
thoroughly since you will need a few hundred clicks per creative to have a better
idea of whether it will convert or not. Once you find an offer that converts, you
will then need to optimize the creatives for that offer based on conversions, which
requires more data.
Since you are testing a wide range of offers that can work with many different types of
audiences, numerous publishers can be used.
It is typically best to look for $0.75-$2 CPM remnant inventory, but don’t always let
price be your deciding factor as to whether you test a pub or not. It’s literally
impossible to predict actual banner CTRs, and they vary drastically based upon the
unit placement and audience. Try to find pubs where you can get at least 500,000
impressions each day or more. To determine this, you must simply ask the pub
what to expect in terms of volume based on a $X CPM versus solely using
quantcast.com, compete.com, or alexa.com for your research.
This technique works well on cheaper remnant traffic since you are in essence
throwing a bunch of offers against the wall to see what sticks. The offer or offers
that end up the most profitable are almost always a surprise.
When it comes to setting everything up using AdShuffle, you can place all of your
offers for 728x90 placement within one tag, create and place an AdShuffle pixel in
every offer, and then turn the creative optimization on so that you can manually
see which offers converts best. After you have several conversions, you can move
the weights around so that the most profitable offer is shown 70% to 80% of the
time, and keep the remaining traffic for less profitable (lower eCPM) offers and/or
Here are the basic steps to follow:
Find a large hub and set up the smallest test buy that they will allow.
Load up your ad server with 5+ offers, and use your affiliate network EPC
reports to find the best offers they have.
Use a combination of advertiser supplied creatives along with your own
creations based on our banner tutorial.
Place an AdShuffle pixel for every offer with your affiliate manager.
Launch your media buy, and wait for data!
Adjust weights of ads based on eCPM. Take the highest performing banner,
and weight it at 80%+. Weight your second highest banner at 10%+, and use
the remaining traffic for new offers/banners.
At this point, AdShuffle doesn’t show eCPM automatically, so once you have
several conversions for every banner, you will need to calculate your top banner’s
eCPM with this equation:
(Total Revenue / Impressions) * 1000 = eCPM
To get you started on this exciting task of building your campaign blitz, here are
quite a few banners for you to use for credit reports. All of the creatives have been
de-branded so that they can be used with ANY credit report offer. You will have
many creatives to choose from, but begin by picking 3 to 5 per size for each offer
to start. Happy campaigning!
Chapter 6: Newsletters, Your Next
n this next step of your business strategy, it is probably 5 out of 10 in its
level of difficulty. However, it can get much more complex if you take the
extra steps that we show you in this chapter.
The amount of time involved in newsletters is hard to estimate since it can
depend upon negotiating with the newsletter owner or vendor. If you are going
to build a few landing pages with e-mail captures, which we recommend, it can
take 2 to 5 hours, depending upon how many variations you build and how
elaborate you want to get. Also, it will definitely take longer if you outsource this
Your ultimate goal is to buy banner spots and/or text links in newsletters for whatever
niche your offer is in and make a profit - of course!
Before getting started, you will need to find an offer, and then search for a
newsletter or newsletters that match your offer demographic. It can be tedious
to find these newsletters, but it is possible. Sometimes you must get creative with
your Google searches in order to find them, like plugging in “subscribe to our
newsletter” or “advertise with us” after your keywords. As an example, if you are
doing a diet/weight loss offer, you would search for:
dieting tips “subscribe to our newsletter”
It is important that you get creative with your keyword searches on Google since
there are hundreds and thousands of newsletters out there. You can even try to
contact an e-mail broker and ask them if they have any newsletters that you can
advertise in. Finding a handful of good newsletters will definitely make your
year. You CAN direct link with this technique, but your conversion rate and
success rate will be higher if you use a landing page or two instead. If you can get
away with it, try to get the name and e-mail address of each subscriber with a
program like aweber or icontact so that you can build a future e-mail list without
having to pay the newsletter owner.
Newsletters are a wonderful traffic source that many people don’t consider, yet
they offer instant results as soon as the newsletters are sent. With newsletters,
you can buy repeat spots or one spot to test initially, which is an excellent way to
test headlines if you are doing text ads. Start out by searching websites related
to the demographic that your offer targets. As an example, if you are promoting
a product for children, you will want to search heavily through online parents
magazines and websites to find their newsletter promotions. Next, you will
Google (using our example above) keywords like “parents newsletters
advertising” to see what the search results bring you. You can also search directly
for “newsletter brokers”.
At that point, you will make contact with a website or newsletter broker to ask
them if they are willing to advertise your offer. Ask specifically if a newsletter
broker or webmaster has newsletters or e-mail channels that would suit your
offer best. As you negotiate your terms, you will again need to use an IO to
protect yourself in this transaction.
When you are ready to prepare your ad for the newsletter, it is so important
that you use a redirect to the affiliate site instead of a direct link. You will need
to use the redirect code below for any links that you provide to a newsletter for
Always check to make sure that your redirect links work before e-mailing them to
the webmaster or newsletter broker. You can then take some of the advertising
text from the affiliate’s creative to write your own advertisement for the
newsletter based on the specifications given to you in the IO.
The most important thing to remember with any campaign is that it requires
testing and tweaking. You definitely may have some duds using this method, you
will have some newsletters that break even, and you may have some that offer
explosive results. We encourage you to stick with it and not give up if one
newsletter doesn’t work for you.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the key to success is failing a lot! The more you
fail, the more you will succeed in the long run.
Tweaks to Consider for Your Newsletter Campaigns:
1. Try to get the subscriber’s name and e-mail address into your own
autoresponder. This will help a losing campaign to ultimately profit because
you will be able to send out your own future e-mails FOR FREE!
2. Try to serve the banner ads from your own ad server so that you can rotate
several at once and let the ad server optimize for
3. Get the historical stats of the newsletter list
before launching or setting up an IO.
4. Ask if the newsletter is HTML or text. If it is a text
newsletter, and they are selling image ads, you are
totally out of luck because most images will be
turned off by default. If it is an HTML newsletter,
then you are fine.
5. Use your own landing pages that offer more than
one product or service. With the above example of
promoting a children’s product, you could also
have the top three selling girls and boys toys on the landing page as well.
Adding in offers related to that niche will give you as many chances as possible
to make a commission.
6. Ask if you can pay per impression when using your own ad server. This can
save you a TON of money and skyrocket your ROI. Just because the newsletter
says 1.5 billion e-mails went out doesn’t mean that they all went through
properly. When you serve from your ad server and only pay for impressions,
you will only pay when the ad is served!
7. Rotate your banners and offers if you can. This will increase your chance of
finding a winner.
8. Do a repeat buy after making some tweaks if your campaign is close to
profitable or is profitable. Newsletters go out daily, weekly, or monthly, so
Buying ad spots and text links in newsletters expands your advertising universe
Once you find a good newsletter, keep advertising in it! If you happen to find a
dud, don’t worry; just don’t buy there again. The hardest part is finding them, but
once you get a couple in your arsenal, it’s not that difficult to make them convert.
Make sure that you read through the “Tweaks to Consider” guideline again and
again to apply those principles to your own campaigns. This way, you will be able
to skip loss or breaking even altogether so that you can get right into profit.
Now it is time to take action! Start making a list of offers you would like to
promote, and then search for newsletters that match those offers. Apply what
you have learned here, and definitely do this more than once! So many people try
one newsletter buy, have it fail, and claim it doesn’t work without giving it several
tries to see results and profitability. Hardly anyone hits a homerun their first time
at bat, so keep going until you do!
We encourage you to implement this newsletter media buy technique by adding
it to your existing business model. If you already have a solid PPC campaign
going, then add media buys via direct site buys, add media buys via Google
Content network for images, add media buys with larger sites via an ad server,
and now add in newsletter traffic buys. It is just one more component to an
already strong business strategy!
As one last tip, some of your current publishers probably have newsletters in
addition to their website, so make sure to ask them about their availability. If you
don’t ask, they probably will not bring this advertising opportunity to your
Newsletters are a way to scale your current campaigns and expand from there.
In the next chapter, we are going to help you go big-time. That's right - we are
taking it to the social networks, so stay tuned!
Chapter 7: Take It to the Social
T his is the time that we are going to reveal to you a very, very high traffic
volume way to do media buys via social network traffic. If you have been
struggling to set up direct buys or implement any of the other principles in
this book because you are not getting a lot of traffic, the wait is now over.
Social networks have more traffic than they can ever sell.
The advantage is that with most of them, you can specify your demographic. For
those that have already done MySpace or Facebook ads, think of it like that, minus
all of the ridiculous ad disapproval and need to build 500 ads that each target a
One very neglected place to buy media is in large social networking sites. There
is a whole other world out there besides Facebook and MySpace that hosts
millions of users at a time. With social networking sites, you can target precise
demographics, get very cheap CPMs, and promote a huge selection of offers. Any
campaign that you have already seen run profitably on Facebook, whether your
own campaign or other campaigns that you saw consistently, can be repeated on
social sites with media buys. BUT it will be without all of the disapproved ads and
the headache of unstable self-serve platforms.
We already posted the top 25 social networking sites for your reference in chapter
2. Right now, you can dive right in and start advertising directly on these sites
using the large ad network methods that we already taught you and rotating a
number of offers. As an example, you could start with Dating, Gaming, and even a
Health related campaign if you wanted to. One of the benefits to social offers is
that they are more likely to work with simple direct linking, so building your data
is much faster since 100% of your clicks will be going to the offer.
Here is a sample offer that you could start with:
Younger Demographics (get cheap CPMs <$1 or international for better rates)
300x250 - 3 Mobile IQ banners, 3 Dating banners, 3
728x90 - 3 Mobile IQ banners, 3 Dating banners , 3
1. Create pixels for all the offers, and configure each one with the appropriate
payout to place them on the offer.
2. Get the campaign live, and put a spending cap on for whatever amount you
can risk daily for the first 10 days.
3. Run the campaign with creative optimization turned off, and after roughly
500,000 impressions for each banner, start
moving the weights to the banners with the
highest ERPM according to AdShuffle.
4. Once you have a banner with a higher ERPM
that is holding after 4 to 5 days, you can move
it to 80% to 90% of the weight for the
placement, and keep the second most
converting banner below.
5. Keep adding in new offers with the remaining
10% to 15% of the traffic.
6. Remove any frequency capping you have, which will increase your traffic by
2 to 5 times and will also take down your banner CTR slightly.
As a note, AdShuffle shows what we have called eCPM as ERPM, and the eCPM
metric shown in AdShuffle’s dashboard is actually the RATE you are paying for the
inventory. For this reason, focus on banners that have the highest ERPM, which
stands for Revenue per 1000 Impressions.
If you want to play it safe, you can start with PlentyofFish.com, where you will
find less ad disapprovals than on Facebook. You can launch your campaigns with
their self-serve platform, where you can narrow down your demographics to do
your initial testing. Once something starts to convert, even with a low volume, you
can take this data and use it to your advantage when scaling with media buys. Use
the same ad copy and type of image you were using, and simply port them over to
the traditional IAB banner sizes of 300x250, 728x90, 160x600, etc.
Here are the targeted demographics on PlentyofFish.com:
PlentyofFish.com and Facebook are great places to begin to start learning
demographics and how to tweak your ad copy, landing pages, and offers.
Otherwise, you can jump right in and start spending more money with the top 25
social networking sites.
Here is a small example for you:
The above is a modest example of some of our numbers from a previous
campaign from one of these sites, which we found from advertising on Google
Content. We weren’t spending that much money each day, but we were at a
consistent 200% to 300% ROI without much competition. The CTRs were around
0.4% to 0.8%, and the CPMs were $0.40 to $0.45, which yielded a very good ROI.
This screenshot was taken from Google Ad Manager, which publishers use to serve
and track banners. We were forced to use this because the publisher wouldn’t
allow third-party tags so that we could not use AdShuffle.
This campaign was run at a 3/24 frequency cap on three countries (US, Canada,
and the UK), each on a separate line item so that we could track individually with
4 to 5 banners per size. We were only using the 728x90 and 300x250 banners in
this campaign for a dating niche.
Once you master the principles above to successfully take your campaign to the
social media networks, here are a few more successful ad networks to consider for
If you want to advertise your business on hundreds of top branded websites, like
BusinessWeek, PC World, and Kiplinger.com in key verticals that include business,
finance, information technology, human resources, education, and real estate, this
is the perfect ad network to begin with. Best of all, you will only pay for
Marchex has good targeting options where you can target by site, category,
subcategory, or keyword. This gives you much more control over where exactly
your ads are placed, which is great for optimizing. They claim to have exceptional
support, and you can also opt-in to their Reach Network for even more traffic.
However, Marchex tends to cater to small, medium, and large business branders
more than anything, which is typical of most ad networks. This just means that
you introducing yourself as a direct response marketer may confuse your account
manager if they are new to the game.
Marchex Best Practice
Like all other ad networks, make sure to dig deeper into the subcategories to find
better relevancy. The more targeted that you buy your traffic, the better that you
will be able to match it up with your offer. On this network, the traffic is huge, and
since you don’t have to worry about Quality Score, it is actually easier to use than
a program like Adwords. Remember to use your preferred third-party tracking
system with them!
Try some finance offers, like auto insurance and debt, right now. It will also help to
take a good look at their Education category for placing edu ads. One good step,
which should be used in any text or banner ad buy, is to spy on the sites that you
are planning to buy on for a few days or a week to see what type of ads are
appearing to help you make money faster.
If you’re hoping to reach an audience interested in a variety of niches, like Games,
Music, Film, Sports, and Community, then you have found the perfect marketing
vehicle that will get you there fast. At least, that is what the CPM Star website
advertises! Here are the types of advertisers that they have had the most success
If you are promoting gaming offers, this is the network to put them on. This is a
network that is 90% focused on the gaming demographic, which makes it easy to
figure out which of your offers you should use. In some cases, this gaming
demographic can be a bit more difficult to convert since they are more Internet
savvy. This can be a problem for offers that are not appealing enough.
Since this demographic is Internet savvy, you may find that zip/e-mail submits may
not work. In this instance, you may want to try the old-school and effective
approach of Cost Per Sale offers through eBay, Amazon, Commission Junction,
LinkShare, etc. to catch the eye of your demographic.
CPM Star Best Practice
Go to websites like offervault.com and affspy.com to find all gaming offers. You
can test a variety of offers on this network, and make sure to use your preferred
third-party tracking system.
Try some gaming offers, like zip/e-mail submits, Clickbank gaming guides, and
Console offers, right now! As we have already advised, make sure to spy on the
sites you are planning to buy on in advance, which will help you see which ads are
appearing there so that you can make money faster. This should be a no-brainer
since the demographic can easily be matched to the target, which is the gamer
crowd. Overall, this network is definitely a diamond in the rough if you take action!
Understanding media buys on
social media networks is just the
next step in creating a concrete
and foolproof business plan for
the future. In the next chapter, we
are going to take it yet another
step further and talk about finally
conquering the ad networks!
Chapter 8: Finally Taking on the Ad
T he time has finally come to talk about tackling the ad networks, which you
are probably on the edge of your seat to find out more about by now! With
all of the step-by-step information we have provided in the previous
chapters, you should now be familiar with handling direct sites, and all that you
have learned, read, and done so far can be carried over to use successfully on the
ad networks. Additionally, since you have experience by now with AdShuffle, it
should be a smooth transition for you.
This may have been information that you were looking for at the beginning of the
book, but it doesn’t make sense to throw you in without any foundational
knowledge when you would basically get chewed up and spit out due to the high
minimums and high volumes of traffic. But now you are ready to begin…
By now, we have laid down a solid foundation about direct buys to prepare you for
the bigger and better things, which are the ad networks. You may have been
chomping at the bit to start your media buys in ad networks, but it is important
that you follow along in our process since ad networks will definitely offer a bigger
volume, but they are also much more expensive and pose a larger risk to you.
Luckily, it’s simpler than you think.
We are not by any means trying to intimidate you when it comes to ad networks
because they are actually quite simple. An ad network is a collection of sites that
normally ranges from 2,000 to 15,000 sites. A niche ad network may contain less.
These sites are normally broken up into segments that are called channels, which
are websites grouped together based on similar types of content. Examples would
be news, entertainment, health, etc.
Overall, ad networks are not dramatically different than Google Content in
principle, although Google Content is a self-serve platform. Display ad networks
are actually quite similar, but they require a bigger budget, and your rep becomes
extremely important. The biggest differences between the two are that you will
be using an ad server with a display ad network, and you will also have a rep
optimizing certain parts of your campaign. The truth is that you are probably
already familiar with ad networks on some level due to the basic principles that
we have already taught you.
CPM: If you have been buying direct, you
will be familiar with this model. You will pay
per 1000 impressions.
dCPM: This is a dynamic CPM, and the
actual CPM may fluctuate based on
competitors’ bids and the performance of
CPA: On some ad networks, you can start
with CPM/dCPM for one to four weeks, and then transition into a CPA
model, where you only pay for conversions. This lowers the risk for you and
makes the ad network more money.
As an example, if you have a CPA of $10 and are converting near that number,
your dCPM will stay high, which will give you more traffic. However, if you are
converting less, your dCPM will lower, and your bid will drop to adjust for the lack
of conversions. This example shows how easily the numbers can fluctuate.
Ad Network Placements
Channels: Pick 2 to 5 channels based on your DEMOGRAPHICS. When it
comes to choosing your channel, it is imperative that you focus on your
demographic. As an example, if you are trying to promote a weight loss
offer, you may want to check out the Gardening channel since it is viewed
by mainly women. Choose channels based on their relevancy, and if they
are not relevant, then choose based on their demographic.
RON: This runs your campaign everywhere on the network for a cheap
price, and it will get optimized down to only the sites that convert. More
money needs to be lost to get this to work. Once you get data from running
across the entire network, you can start to trim out the sites that don’t
work to fine-tune your campaign.
Exchanges: This taps into any ad exchanges that the network is a part of,
which requires a larger budget, like a RON campaign. Much of the exchange
traffic is blind and riskier since you don’t know where it is going, but it can
still bring serious traffic.
How Does an Ad Exchange Work?
To give you a small example, if two ad networks, Ad Network A and Ad Network B,
both use the same ad server, which we will call MegaAdServer, that ad server has
the functionality/system for an exchange. This allows both networks to share or
sell each other their impressions.
As an advertiser, this will allow you to access Ad Network B’s banners while you
advertise through Ad Network A.
However, you are not given the level of transparency to know that you are
advertising on Ad Network B since you only know that you are working through an
exchange. The entire process is blind, which is an issue for many advertisers. Yet if
you are advertising with a profitable acquisition, then you will be happy regardless
when working as an affiliate. Now, instead of just two ad networks, it can be
dozens or hundreds of ad networks and publishers.
To dive in even further, using the example above, Ad Network A and Ad Network B
will both have a “seat” in this exchange when there are only two ad networks. In
reality, there will be many ad networks on the exchange, and they must partner
with each other in order to sell each other their traffic in most cases. If you use the
MegaAdServer example from above and add in 50 more ad networks, there will be
webs of partnerships. This will allow you to tap directly into their MegaAdServer
exchange and access it from multiple ad networks without seeing an overlap in
Note: Line item refers to a single campaign within the ad network system.
1 line item: Only for 3 channels from their direct publishers
1 line item: Only for the exchange they are a part of
You can segment the campaign by countries into different line items or by
different parts of the ad network. Each line item needs its own budget. If you are
working with less than $2000, use only one line item.
Your first campaign will run across three channels, which you can then duplicate
and use in the ad exchange. This allows you to pick more than one area of the ad
network to target at the same time, but bear in mind that each campaign will
require its own budget.
The Most Important Metric: CPA
For affiliate campaigns, the most important metric between you and your ad network
rep is the CPA, or Cost per Acquisition.
The CPA is how much money you are spending to create one conversion. This is just
like the CPC, or Cost per Conversion, you will see in any PPC platform.
If you want a 100% ROI on your campaign, then your CPA goal should be roughly
half the payout of your offer. As an example, if your dating offer pays you $5.00,
you want a CPA of $2.50. This means that you will spend $2.50 for each
conversion, potentially doubling your money. Your ultimate goal when talking to
an ad network is discussing your CPA and how you can bring it down to a
profitable level to truly see an income from your campaign.
Simply put, how much you are paying for conversions is what makes you money.
Tracking with Ad Networks
Make sure to always utilize the ad network’s pixel. Without it, the campaign will
almost NEVER profit. This is similar to doing a PPC campaign and not tracking with
subids, which is absolutely crazy. If you are not tracking your campaign, then you
are flying blind and will not be able to see profit. If any ad network wants you to
buy traffic from them but doesn’t offer pixel tracking, walk away. This is the best
decision that you will ever make in your campaign.
The offers that we are currently using on ad networks will have at least two pixels,
one from the ad network, and one from your ad server (AdShuffle). You can
actually put as many pixels as you want on one offer, and it won’t affect anything.
However, the bottom line is to make sure that you do this every time.
It’s All About the Rep!
It’s important to go with the ad network whose rep you like the best. It is the rep,
or representative from the ad network, and their team (if it is more than one
person) that does the optimizations. This is one of the most critical aspects of
choosing whether or not to go forward with the media buy because the rep is the
most important person in the process besides yourself, since you are spending the
The ad network rep is responsible for:
Communicating the performance and status of
Scaling the campaign
Understanding the campaign’s requirements and
Go with the network with the best rep!
You want someone you like, who speaks your
language, and who you can trust with your campaign.
After your initial conversations with the traffic rep, it is important to test them
on their knowledge to see if they are the right fit. If they can’t answer your
questions accurately and confidently, you need to move on to a different rep or a
new ad network. Again, to re-emphasize this point, you must choose ad networks
based on the rep NOT on how many billions of impressions they serve monthly.
ALL ad networks serve billions of impressions, which is not nearly as important as
the quality of their inventory and their ability to optimize and deliver your CPA
goal as quickly as possible.
Here are crucial questions you need to ask any rep you are considering:
How much of your experience has been focused on direct response
campaigns and for how long?
What experience do you have with “X” vertical?
How does “X” vertical perform on your network?
What verticals for affiliates are performing very well right now? How many
leads/sales per day are they doing?
Would you recommend US or international traffic for my offer, and why?
With a CPA goal of $X and spending $500-$1000 per day, what time frame
would you expect that I can hit my CPA goal in?
With the above questions, there is no right or wrong answer, but you do want to
know that your rep is experienced and knows what he or she is talking about.
Your rep should be able to immediately provide you with the numbers for all of
these questions, including which verticals are performing well on their own
network. To answer the last question of hitting your CPA goal, your rep will most
likely tell you that each campaign is different and give you an estimate of
anywhere from a week to 10 days.
This may seem scary to you if you are spending $1000 per day, but you can often
see immediate conversions and reach your goal within 48 hours to 72 hours.
There really is no concrete answer to the question of when you will meet your
goal, but you want to know that a rep is truly working with you and not giving you
a scripted answer.
As a note, if you’re having a difficult time approaching ad networks via e-mail, it
may be because many ad network reps dread dealing with new prospects since
they often don’t end up spending money and only waste their time. The bigger
the ad network is, the more of an issue that this becomes. This means that you
will often be left for the new reps to deal with, which is not who you want to work
with in your campaign.
To avoid this issue, try to call directly and say that you have $XXXX budget and
would like to do a test tomorrow. Also specify that you have tested creatives and
landing pages that are ready to go, which will spark the attention and interest of
Another important question to ask your rep is out of all of the impressions that
their network serves, where does the inventory come from? Which part of it would
they recommend you try based on “X” vertical? This could range from exchanges
to direct publishers to brokering other ad networks. Typically, the most valuable
real estate an ad network owns will be direct publishers, and if all they do is tap
into other ad networks, their inventory is very marked up in price and not as
valuable. Exchanges are not necessarily a bad thing since they can be massive and
very profitable, but the visibility becomes more and more diluted and is riskier,
although the traffic volume can be quite high.
It is important to ask your rep outright if your vertical does better on direct publishers
or exchange networks.
How Optimizations Work
Optimizations happen in two areas:
YOU optimize the creatives, landing pages (if you are using one), and offers
using your ad server, AdShuffle.
The AD NETWORK optimizes the specific placements (websites) that are
delivering a profitable CPA (Cost per Acquisition).
Make sure that you discuss in detail with your rep how and when optimization is
going to happen.
Your Ad Network Campaign Timeline
Call, don’t e-mail, a handful of ad networks to speak with a rep.
Pick the network to use based on the best rep!
Ask your rep for an IO that includes all of your terms, CPA goal, pricing, and
geo-targeting. Print, sign, and fax this agreement.
Load your ad server with your creatives.
E-mail tags to your rep.
Place ad network pixel and your ad server pixel on your offer.
Send any required funds (credit card or wire).
Ask the rep to e-mail you when the campaign is live, and begin looking over
the incoming data on your ad server.
Communicate with the rep every two days. AIM/phone is ideal for updates.
Even with all of the expert guidelines we have given you throughout this chapter,
it is still easy to make simple mistakes out of ignorance or oversight to completely
derail your campaign. Don’t let that happen to you!
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
Expecting a RON (Run of Network) campaign to be profitable within the first
Using creatives/offers you have not tested before.
NOT using your own ad server.
Choosing an ad network because they are “big” and have tons of
impressions. Remember that size is not as important as how dedicated and
experienced your rep is. It is also essential that the ad network you choose
has a history of doing well with your vertical, based on the questions you
asked your rep above.
Not split-testing your creatives, landing pages, and offers enough! 2 to 4
times each is usually sufficient as a minimum. With creatives, you can often
test up to 5 per ad size and potentially up to 3 landing pages. You can also
split-test several offers per ad network. You need to split-test every variable
that there is, including the offer!
How to Reduce Your Risk
If you’re concerned about the money involved in an ad network campaign, it is
important to do everything within your power to reduce your risk and protect
Start with offers/creatives you already have working on direct sites or in
Go with a niche ad network that focuses on one demographic or one
vertical. This will pose much less of a risk to you since the traffic is not as
blind, and you will know what demographic you are targeting.
Get the smartest rep, and quiz them with your questions! You want a sharp
rep who has the answers and is hungry to make you profitable in your
Be careful of RON on big ad networks since it will take more money to get
Use your ad server! When you become comfortable with AdShuffle, you can
control the optimization of your offers by running them at the same time
and choosing which has the best ERPM. You will need to ask your ad
network whether they would like all of the creatives within one tag or split
up into different tags for their own optimization (as seen in the example
below). The latter will offer your rep more insight into which creative is
doing well, which is what they may prefer for the campaign. If your rep does
not have a preference, the first option of keeping all of the creatives within
one tag will be easier for you to manage and optimize on your own.
With all of that food for thought, here are a few more top ad networks to get
This is another ad network we recommend, known for their huge website at
autotrader.com. This is the world’s largest automotive marketplace that has
created a premier network of websites with high quality content and an engaged
audience. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! For advertisers, it is an excellent way
to connect with car shoppers outside of autotrader.com as they participate in
their everyday activities online. Publishers will find an efficient way to generate
more website revenue by tapping into the largest ad revenue category. Although
this ad network is very niche specific, there are several profitable offers that will
work well here.
AutoTrader Access is the leading automotive website on the Internet with over 15
million monthly viewers that are looking for a new or used car. You can target by
geography or demographic, and they also offer great customer service and an
attractive online interface.
AutoTrader Access Best Practice
There are many different ways that you can use this website to your advantage.
The best way is to advertise auto insurance based on geography and demographic
in your ad copy. This is similar to how you would treat a Facebook campaign with
numerous ads targeting cities and demographics.
Find a solid auto insurance offer or auto related offer, and get to work! This is auto
traffic at its finest, and numerous geographic and demographic specific banners
will work quite well on this network.
Fairfax Digital Essential Baby Network
Here is some information about Fairfax directly from their website:
"What is the Essential Baby Network?
This new Network will tap into the strength of our existing parenting community
on Essential Baby. Essential Baby has established itself as one of the largest and
most engaging Australian parenting communities, providing information from
conception to toddlerhood, with almost 150,000 members and generating an
average of 10,000 posts per day. The new Essential Baby Network of sites will
further develop this offering for consumers, while providing advertisers with a
unique way to reach this unique group of women"
This ad network is Australian focused, but that is not an issue since many
networks have Australian offers on them. If not, you can join some of the larger
Australian only networks, like Commission Monster.
Fairfax focuses on growing their network, which means even more traffic is
available to you right now. Their online interface is quite attractive, but it is not
the best that we have seen by far. Some may feel that only Australian traffic is a
disadvantage, but it can still be quite lucrative when targeted correctly. Don’t let a
certain geographical region limit your mind in this business!
Fairfax Best Practice
List building works well with parent and baby websites since you can send your
subscribers coupons for diapers or anything else baby related. There are many,
many baby related offers out there to choose from.
Choose a bunch of diaper coupon offers, put together a squeeze page, and start
building a list of parents who want diaper coupons. Depending upon the size of
list that you build, this could be one of your best moneymaking offers of all time.
All of this information on how to use ad networks is definitely something you
need to sink your teeth into, to say the least. We encourage you to read this
chapter again and again, as often as it takes to fully comprehend everything there
is about using ad networks for media buys. We want to see you approach this
successfully, and we definitely want you to avoid taking risks and losing serious
money in the process! To reiterate, ad networks are not scary nor are they
complicated, and when you approach your
media buys correctly, ad networks can
generate quite a lucrative ad campaign.
In the next chapter, we will discuss an
introduction to scaling to make sure that
your campaigns are working as profitably
Chapter 9: Introduction to Scaling
n this chapter, we are going to discuss scaling, which focuses on two major
If you took anything away from the previous chapter, we hope that you
understood that you don’t use exchanges to test; you use small networks to do
that. Smaller networks are used to scale your campaigns to the max to determine
that they are working. To do so, you are probably going to need some credit,
which we will talk about in detail in this chapter. It’s not as difficult as you think!
Exchanges are one of the most complicated areas to advertise in, as we described
in the previous chapter. They are not as transparent, they are more unpredictable,
and they are definitely an expensive place for you to make mistakes. However,
their reach is much farther than any one ad network could possibly be, so
scalability in this situation is BIG.
There are three main ad exchanges:
AdECN: Owned by MSN
DoubleClick Exchange: Owned by Google
Right Media Exchange: Owned by Yahoo
In our affiliate world, whenever you hear about someone advertising in the
exchange, the chances are that it is the Right Media Exchange since it is one of the
few places that allow all of these continuity offers. Remember, you can access the
exchanges from a number of different ad networks, as we detailed in the previous
Check out this list of the top 25 ad networks since most of them are part of some
The most important thing to remember is NOT to start your campaigns with
exchanges, only SCALE with them. Your budget and your wallet will thank you.