How To Choose A CPA Affiliate & My 2006 Regrets

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This is the featured advertiser on ShoeMoney. Put your company here!


When dealing with CPA affiliates it’s easy to get wrapped up in the higher payout accounts, but how low do you normally go? I see some down around $1, but I am trying to figure out if it’s actually worth it. What’s your method of determining which affiliates to work with?

Thanks
Chad

Great question. I get this one a lot. Good to point out that you can be fooled by higher payouts. The best advice I can give is to just run a small test and let the numbers speak for themselves. This is can be frustrating if your just starting out but a lot of ppc engines now have coupon codes for free money (50-250$) so really NOW IS THE TIME for testing.

My approach is to build organic traffic to a niche and test different affiliates. Then when I find something that works I will put a lot of PPC money behind it. This is not the popular way to do it though because a lot of people will not put in the time and effort that it takes to build a organic site that will stand the test of time (not spammed to crap) and they want overnight millions. it just is not so.

The bottom line is that the money will speak for itself.. You can try anything and if it doesnt make as promised then switch back. Analytics are your friend and really there is no magic numbers… they are all at your fingertips.

You talk about your dumbest ideas and stuff like that but do you have any regrets in 2006?

On a personal level – Well the by far biggest thing I regret was get in on the Google funds terrorism story. The real story was the AIT click fraud. The story was CLICK FRAUD and there is some pretty good evidence on that but everyone jumped onto the possible relation to Google funding terrorists. Ya …. Including me. That was definitely the toughest and the first time I realized the whole with power comes responsibility… I think when my phone started ringing off the hook the next day it really hit me that I screwed up. I need to think about the impact of things before I write about them. I have a lot of friends at Google and unlike most companies they feel a mark on there company is a mark on them. That is something I have never felt and that aspect just never occoured to me.

Then only 3 days later I was on forbes.com and the reporter basically said I run a network of cloaked meso websites … ya… I tried to explain here but… blah

I make no excuses for either of these… experiences learned. I just looked like a jackass… It happens.

On a financial level – I wish I would have been more prepared for this winter. We killed it last summer but lost a bit of momentum after I had my first baby. We are really ramped up now though and look for 2007 to double 2006 profits.

Each Monday I am going to try to take some questions asked to me in email and here on the blog and answer them. I call the answer part the “Shoemoney answer� mainly because I do not know if its right or wrong but its what I think based on my experience so far.

23 thoughts on “How To Choose A CPA Affiliate & My 2006 Regrets

  1. Matt

    Wouldn’t you say for guys that aren’t SEO gurus, that running a small PPC campaign on an offer should come before building organic traffic to it?

  2. KFleming

    In a way, it’s good to hear that you regret the Google funds terrorism ordeal, I was always a big critic of that whole “story”, in fact I caused quite a stir in WMR chat trying to dispute it, because once you said it, everyone seemed to jump on the bandwagon…

  3. Lee Bandoni

    Do you find that by researching future trends, creating mini sites around them, doing basic SEO and leaving them to mature is a way in which you can get an early indication of when the niche is about to explode ?

  4. CPA Affiliates

    for SEO you don’t need to be guru… heck just read Aaron Walls Blog and you will gleam enough to get ranking. While you can run straight to PPC but to do this you need more money up front(or do such small test cases it is harder to tell whats working)… but with building an organic first you know what is bringing traffic and converting… then you throw all the money at it to make more. IMO PPC should be an addition to SEO.. but if oyu got the money and don’t mind losing some to make it you can go straight PPC.

  5. Chris Felton

    Nice post Shoe. Can you explain this a little more, “a lot of ppc engines now have coupon codes for free money”. Are you saying adding “coupon”, “deal”, “bargain” to regular keyword phrases?

  6. Chris

    Eh, that got parsed weird – anyways he means the free $10 and $100 offers for new sign ups to AdWords, Overture, and AdCenter. I was trying to make a joke above but everything after the second carrot was cut off…

  7. ShoeMoney

    I think you might be a bit confused. I never actually had any details on the terrorism link… I linked to search engine journals story that was several hours older. SEJ is also included in google and yahoo news so I doubt I broke the story by linking to a news source ;)

  8. T

    Just read the searchfeed post. And…well, sorry Roger ;) I promise to write in notepad 100 times, “I will not spam ShoeMoney’s blog any more.”

  9. michael webster

    There is an interesting sidebar to the Google terrorism story.

    In late 2005, a click fraud Ponzi called 12Dailypro was shut down by the Feds. The subsequent receiver’s investigation showed that approximately $500 million was transferred in the program, with 60-65% of the money originating in Indonesia. Further, there was no big money winner in this scam. Hmm, sound like money laundering?

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  14. finance ninja

    I think just advertising with links within your blog specialty does the trick. There is no reason to just do adsense because half the time it isn’t even relevant to your blog. I think having pop up amazon links when clicked on (say if you are a tech, food, music) blog then most likely if your readers love you then they’ll think whatever you do they want. i’m blown away all the time when i go to simple finance blogs that are boring. they all say the same crap, though they are making $100k a year. the fact is if you are a normal blog and you write well you’ll probably reach more readers and be able to sell more affiliate links relevant to more readers. that’s my input.

    -finance ninja
    http://financeninja.wordpress.com

  15. finance ninja

    I think just advertising with links within your blog specialty does the trick. There is no reason to just do adsense because half the time it isn’t even relevant to your blog. I think having pop up amazon links when clicked on (say if you are a tech, food, music) blog then most likely if your readers love you then they’ll think whatever you do they want. i’m blown away all the time when i go to simple finance blogs that are boring. they all say the same crap, though they are making $100k a year. the fact is if you are a normal blog and you write well you’ll probably reach more readers and be able to sell more affiliate links relevant to more readers. that’s my input.

    -pauly

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