Let me be blunt. Affiliate Marketing and PPC advertising have a mixed relationship. Does it work? Sure, it can. Many people have made hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars combining Affiliate Marketing with PPC. But, how realistic is it to succeed by using PPC for your Affiliate Marketing business?
Recently, I have taken on a new project. I have been given the opportunity to work with a business as their sole affiliate marketer. Unfortunately I can’t reveal who they are here, but it’s a very exciting opportunity. This service, in particular, is a CPA (cost per action) type of setup. In other words, someone just needs to fill out a form and I earn $10. No purchase has to be made.
My most successful method of Affiliate Marketing has always been building up high quality websites with great content that brings in a lot of free search traffic. However, building up a website that gets a lot of traffic takes quite a bit of time. We want to see some immediate results and I believe Facebook PPC ads will be a good route, but so far, we have actually LOST money on the campaign. This is par for the course, and I’d like to explain why.
PPC Is About Failing Until You Succeed
When it comes to PPC advertising, whether it’s for Affiliate Marketing or for any other type of business, you are going to fail more than you succeed. Large corporations have a huge advantage here. If Microsoft loses $1,000 on a PPC campaign, they don’t even feel it. For sole proprietors and small businesses, $1,000 blown on a PPC campaign hurts.
What these big corporations do is they create literally thousands of ads and run them all at the same time. Sometimes, the only thing that makes one ad different from the next is the image they use or a sentence that is worded differently. All they do is blast those thousands of ads out into the public, determine which ones are giving them an ROI, and throw away the rest. Then, they simply spend more money on the ads that already work.
Running thousands of ads and getting enough data on all those ads to know if they work or not costs a TON of money. How much? Well, it depends, but only the type of money that major corporations have. In essence, large companies are able to get past the TIME barrier because they can afford to do mass testing extremely quickly. Even if they lose 10’s of thousands of dollars on the testing, they will easily make up for it by finding ads that work.
We don’t have that luxury. So, how can we possibly succeed?
How To Realistically Succeed With Facebook Ads For Affiliate Marketing
You can realistically succeed in Affiliate Marketing by using Facebook ads. No doubt about it. With that said, you need to understand what you’re getting into first. By getting involved in any type of PPC advertising, you are essentially gambling with your money. In order to fail enough times that you finally find an ad that works, you may need to spend thousands of dollars in failed ads. That’s just the nature of Facebook. I am unfortunately at that stage now with my current Facebook ads. I’m losing money, but I am fine tuning until those ads become profitable. It’s all just part of the process.
I do have a few tips, though. For most services, I’ve found that only promoting an ad to desktop users works best. If you’re promoting something like an iPhone app, obviously you will be the opposite, but I have found most people who make a purchase prefer to do so on a laptop or desktop. This trend is starting to finally shift, but not enough for me to pay for mobile ad clicks. Also make sure you run two ads at the same time. After you get enough data (about 50 clicks), keep the better performing ad, get rid of the other ad, and create a new one. Repeat that process until you have an ad that is performing really well and you can’t find another one to perform better. And finally, keep track of your ads, who you’re targeting, and the landing pages you’re sending them to. All that data can be used to create future ads.
How To Realistically Succeed With Google Adwords, Yahoo, And Bing
Most affiliate marketers prefer to advertise on the Yahoo! and Bing advertising network. While those sites get far less traffic than Google, the Yahoo and Bing ad network typically costs less per click than Google. Realistically, however, it is very tough to succeed with Affiliate Marketing by using Adwords or Yahoo / Bing PPC. Reason being, the cost per click is normally just way too high. If you do find an ad that performs well, you have found gold! However, just like with Facebook ads, you need to be ready to spend thousands of dollars before you succeed, and even then, there is hardly a guarantee. It’s a gamble.
Some Final Thoughts
Succeeding with Affiliate Marketing by using PPC is one of the most rewarding ways to make money online. When you find an ad that works, you have basically built yourself a money machine. The more you put in, the more it spits out. Who hasn’t dreamed of having a money machine?!
With that said, you need to go into this realistically. Understand that you are essentially gambling. Just like at the casino most people lose money, the same holds true with PPC advertising. However, PPC is more like the game of blackjack rather than the slots. No matter how good you get at playing a slot machine, you’ll never push the odds in your favor. With blackjack, you can get better at it through skills such as counting cards, possibly even pushing the odds into your favor a little bit. Advertising with PPC is similar. You need to play the game and lose some money before you can figure out how to beat it. Fortunately, if you make money with PPC, everyone is happy and there’s no pit boss to come toss you out. The PPC company is happy, you’re happy, and your affiliate partner is happy.
So, is it worth experimenting with PPC advertising as an Affiliate Marketer? Absolutely! But there is a time and a place. Make sure you are willing to risk the money. Many times, there is a better place you can spend the money (such as outsourced content creation), but experimenting with different PPC campaigns can definitely turn into a profitable venture.