What is Affiliate Marketing?

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Much of my personal online story revolved around my experience working in the affiliate marketing industry, but without knowing what affiliate marketing is, it’s hard to grasp what I was saying.

Here is affiliate marketing, explained through the story of John and Dave.

John owns a company that sells diet pills that cost him $50 per bottle to manufacture, and that are sold for $100 on the market.  John has a great product, but he has no idea how he can market it to people and make sales.  John decides that his efforts are better put into improving his product, rather than learning how to sell it.  This is where Dave comes in.  Dave is a master online salesman.  John tells Dave that for every bottle of GetSlimNow that he sells, he’ll give him $10.  Dave is all for it, as all he has to do is sell the product, without having to worry about payment processing, fulfillment and customer service.  John loves this deal as well, as he can focus on his product and process, while still making $40 profit for every sale that Dave makes for him.  It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Pretty nifty, right?  It is.  

There are 1,000,000 different twists that can be put on this model, but this is essentially what all affiliate marketing revolves around: someone selling someone else’s product for a commission. 

Bidding – Yes, People Are Competing Against You

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Competition in online marketing can be brutal.

You’re rarely going to be the only affiliate that wants to buy traffic on a specific ad spot or search term.  Due to this high demand, advertising networks like Google AdWords and FaceBook utilize a bidding system to determine who will receive the most traffic.

Bidding metrics vary in complexity from one traffic source to another, but they’re all based on the same core principle:  the more you bid, the more traffic you get.

While this general idea should always apply, sometimes ad platforms reward people based on their budget, history with the source, and consistency of their spend.  For example, AdWords would give preference to a large corporation spending $10k/day everyday over the affiliate that wants to spend $11k/day once a month.

Furthermore, your bid on an ad placement also determines the ad rotation of that spot.  This is a key concept to understand, because it explains why sometimes bidding higher will actually garner a higher conversion rate and be more profitable than a lower bid.

Below is the bid table for a premium spot on the most popular adult site in the world.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 6.02.59 PM

This screenshot just shows the top ~10 bids for this ad, there are hundreds more below them that are receiving negligible amounts of traffic.

As we can see, the top two affiliates buying traffic on this spot are receiving almost 1/3 of all of its traffic.  What isn’t shown in this table is the ad rotation, and that the high bidders are getting their banners seen before the rest.

Banner blindness kicks in after a few refreshes of a page, and having your ad be the first shown to a visitor will dramatically increase your CTR.

This is why higher bids can often yield higher ROIs, despite the cost increase.  Your CPM can be 5-10% higher, but if your CTR jumps 20%, then you’re in the clear.

Of course, split-test with all kinds of bids to find out what is working best and throwing the highest EPC.

Be very careful when you’re testing.  I don’t even know how many times I’ve set a sky-high bid and forgot to lower the budget, blowing hundreds of dollars on a fruitless test.

TL;DR – You’re not the only person that wants traffic from huge sites like Google and Facebook.  In order to keep things fair, these sites allow you to compete against other people.  Higher bids usually get more traffic and convert better.  Test your bids as you would test banners, ad text etc. and see what works for you.


How I Got My Start in Internet Marketing

Chad Willis Life 1 Comment

Something like September, 2011.  Spending Sunday night over at a family friend’s house, we decided to pop in a movie.  The Social Network came up on OnDemand, and it piqued everyone’s interest.  In short, this film literally had my jaw on the floor, speechless and completely enamored with how a website could not only generate so much money, but change society forever.

Some background. I was pretty into technology as a kid.  I wouldn’t have classified myself as a full on nerd, I just liked computers and was interested in the latest, greatest processors, graphics cards and other miscellaneous tech products.  Played way too much Call of Duty in middle school.  Other than that, I was a pretty normal, active kid who played baseball, loved hanging out with friends and going to school everyday.

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Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

What if I told you you’ve been lied to your whole life?

Your friends, parents, teachers and coworkers may have told you that “knowledge is power”.

This is false.  A fallacy.

Knowledge is not power.

Applied knowledge is power.

I love that you’re reading my blog right now.  I spend hours writing these posts and sharing what I know about affiliate marketing, and I love every second of it.

You could read my blog and every other bit of information about marketing on the internet, watch every YouTube lecture, burn through every guru’s eBook…

Yet, if you don’t take action and apply what you’ve learned, you’ll never make a dime.

Don’t wait around, start now.  Your first campaign will most likely fail, but at least you will learn from it (at least I hope you will).

My newbie days were plagued with this problem.  I would read and read and read, trying to find that one last bit of key information that I needed to construct the perfect campaign.

It doesn’t exist.  You’ll never feel ready, you just have to do it.

Your first campaign won’t and doesn’t have to be perfect.  Like I mentioned in my post about drowning in opportunity, you will learn more from your failures than you will your successes.

Free yourself from being attached to the outcome of your campaigns, don’t be scared to lose money.

You lost $500 on your first campaign.  But, using what you learned from that loss, your next campaign ends up profiting $1,000/day.  Do you still associate the same negative emotions with that lost $500?  Most likely not.

The examples I use in this post mainly relate to affiliate marketing, but these same concepts can be applied throughout your business and personal life.

If you’re a content creator and want to start a YouTube channel, don’t be deterred because you don’t have studio quality equipment.  Use an iPhone and learn how to market your brand.

The more time you waste pussyfooting around and postponing achieving your goals, the harder it’s going to be when (if) you actually do start.

Set goals.  They can pertain to money and revenue figures, but they don’t have to.

  • Launch my first campaign this week
  • Optimize my current campaign to profitability
  • $50 profit in a day
  • Scale campaign A to a new demographic

Time is the most fleeting asset that humans have.  Don’t waste it.


The Power of Discounts in Marketing

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Humans do many stupid things.

As affiliate marketers, we can exploit these dumb behaviors and convert them to cash in our pockets.

In this post, I’m going to talk about people’s powerful desire to save a quick buck and how affiliates can utilize this to improve their campaigns.

People will cringe at the thought of giving away money for nothing.

How about giving away time?  They don’t even bat an eye.

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Pre-sell Pages: What, Why, and How

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Most people won’t buy something if it’s simply thrown in front of them, they need to be “warmed up” to the product and persuaded to purchase it.


If you go to a Porsche dealership, the salesman isn’t going to point you to a 911 and leave, he’s going to try to sell you on the car by telling you why it’s awesome and how it would fit oh so perfectly in your garage.

Landing/pre-sell pages function like a salesman for your offer.

The flow looks like this: Your ad > Landing Page > Affiliate Offer

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“EPC” Explained and Why Offer Payouts are Irrelevant

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

EPC. Earnings Per Click.  Probably the most important metric to keep track of for affiliates, beginners and advanced alike.

Let’s define it and give an example.

EPC = total revenue / number of clicks

You’re advertising a product that pays $50/sale on Facebook Ads.  Your ad gets 1000 clicks, and from those 1000 clicks, 4 converted to sales.  In this test, your EPC would be $.20 ($200/1000).

Tracking and effectively utilizing the Earnings Per Click metric is essential to success in affiliate marketing.

Without it, it’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that one offer is performing better than another, simply because the payout is higher.

Payouts don’t mean shit.  EPC does.

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“Quality” Traffic?

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Quick note:  traffic = people/visitors/users that are sent to a website

Throughout the online marketing industry, especially in affiliate marketing, advertisers and affiliates alike put a massive emphasis on sending quality traffic to their products.  So, what makes some traffic “good” and other traffic “bad”?

There are a myriad of factors that go into determining the quality of traffic, but the answer to one simple question will sum it up: does this traffic benefit everyone involved?

As we all know, people get into affiliate marketing to make money.  Advertisers don’t run charities, they’re not just doling out money to any affiliate who can fire their conversion pixel, they need a return on their investment.

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Affiliate Networks Explained

Chad Willis Marketing, Uncategorized 0 Comments

We’ve established that affiliate marketing is where someone sells a product or service for someone else in exchange for a commission.

An affiliate network is essentially a business that has a tracking system that houses thousands of offers from a variety of advertisers, and provides affiliates access to their platform so they can promote their offers.  Think of a network as a broker between the affiliate and advertiser.

A relationship with only two parties involved, an advertiser and a publisher, is known as a direct relationship.  While this may seem like an optimal situation, affiliate networks can often provide value to affiliates that improves their bottom line, making working with a network more profitable than going direct with an advertiser.

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