This is a guest post by Paul from uberaffiliate.com. He shared this story with me privately and after I verified everything he said he was doing I asked him to post a summary for shoemoney.com
If you’re truly an uber affiliate marketer, you’ll have the ability to see a new opportunity, exploit it as much you can, and walk away a lot richer in a short period of time. About a week ago, I blogged about Facebook opening up their CPC advertising via Facebook Flyers Pro. Aside from my stupidity of posting about it and letting the world know, I started thinking about how I could take advantage of this new system and use it to profit. I’m going to walk through my entire process of thinking, testing, and exactly how I used Facebook to profit pretty well for working on it for a few days. I was peaking out initially at around $10,000-$15,000/day, and then that rapidly declined as Facebook started catching on (as I’ll post about). If you have the ability to realize and properly exploit a new market, you can make some nice coinage before saturation and rules set in.
Step 1: How Does The Network Work?
I had no idea how the Flyers Pro network worked, so I did the best thing to do: tested it out. I put up an ad for ringtones I think it was and looked at all the targeting options I had :
I chose to target all people in the United States ages 16-28 I think, used no keywords, bid $0.05, and set the max budget of $50. I refreshed the stats after about 5 minutes, and I had already gotten about 20k impressions…crazy! My CTR was horrible but that didn’t matter because I was getting really cheap clicks and a lot of impressions. This campaign ended up profiting nicely. Although I noticed that after about an hour or two, my impressions just completely died. I also realized when I tried to create another flyer, it wouldn’t let me because the maximum daily budget for the account is only $50 (weak). So I had to stop and think for a minute, because my traffic died and I couldn’t spend any more money.
Step 2 : How to Get Around the System
After thinking for a few minutes, there were two possible ways to get around this obstacle :
1) Create another Facebook account and make a flyer for it.
2) Delete that flyer and make a new one.
I found out that you can delete the flyer and re-publish it, and you’ll be able to spend over your daily limit as well as get that initial surge of insane traffic.
Step 3 : What Would Really Convert?
Ok so at this point I had a system that gave me crazy amounts of traffic for a really low cost, but I wanted to think of something that would convert really well and was targeted to my audience. Facebook used to be a college-only network, and is now for the most part a younger age network. So that got me thinking education offers. Next, college kids like a few things, including booze and free things. I’m not sure if there’s a beer affiliate network out there (hmm maybe wine would have worked well…), but there are plenty of “free” offers out there. So I have to find an educational product that offers something free. College scholarships? Ding ding ding. These offers give college kids a chance to sign up (for free) to win a college scholarship. They pay out on the first page submit, and were just what I was looking for. So I deleted and recreated some scholarship ads, and I was doing really well with it.
How to Make it Convert?
So now I had an offer that was targeted and converted well. When I first started running the offer heavy, I had no targeting at all on (hence my bad overall conversion rate in the stats I’m going to post). Once I changed targeted to match kids only in college, and ages 18-24, conversion rate tripled. Here’s some stats for just the scholarship offer at it’s peak day :
That was just my biggest offer with a couple networks, not total earnings. I had about 6-7 offers running with different networks. Now you know what I made with it, now we’ll get into the real juice on how I really exploited it.
How to Act Like an Uber Affiliate
This all happened in a matter of a few hours. By this point I had
-found out that Facebook was rocking
-found how to continually get high traffic surges and beat the $50/day limit
-found a niche that was targeted and converting
Now I had to really exploit it. I’m not a programmer or anything, and I did this all without any programming knowledge. There’s a FireFox plugin called iMacros, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen at that point in time. This really goes to show how networking can help a lot, as it was a friend who told me about it. What iMacros does is, records an action that you do inside FireFox, and then can replay those actions whenever you want it to. If it sounds confusing, you’ll understand 100% in a minute.
So from my thoughts on how to initially take advantage of Facebook, one of the things was making multiple accounts. More accounts = more flyers = more money. It would take a while to go to Facebook.com, click the signup link, fill out the info, confirm the email, go to Flyers Pro, create the flyer, submit the flyer, enter the billing information, and then logout. Here’s a screenshot of what iMacros looks like :
Here’s what I did :
-signed up for an account manually and was taken to the welcome screen.
-from here, I pressed the “record” button on iMacros.
-went up to the browser bar and typed in http://www.facebook.com/flyers and loaded it.
-created my flyer, clicked to continue, filled out my billing information, placed the order.
-clicked logout, then once logged out clicked “sign up”.
-filled out the information to create a new account. for email I just had it type “@mydomain.com” (which was one of my domains).
-hit STOP on the iMacro. the signup screen now looks like this :
Ok now we can reflect on what I just did. I’ll clear a couple of points first. The iMacro can’t do two of the things in the signup process: dynamically insert an email address, and break the captcha code. You need to enter a different email address for every account. Instead of setting up 1,500 gmail accounts, let’s think smart and simple instead. Just take one of your domains, and redirect all emails to that domain to your gmail account. Then you can enter email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc and they’ll all work, and all the confirmation letters are sent to 1 email.
So all I had to do when the signup screen loaded was enter a number before the @ sign in email, enter the captcha, and click signup. I had gmail in the other tab, and I’d just click on the confirmation URL, and that takes you to the welcome screen. Click to play the iMacro and watch it do it’s thang. I had account creation down to about 30 seconds which isn’t bad.
Exploiting Step 2
New account creation was doing fine, I made 50 accounts in about 30 minutes. But I also knew that deleting and re-uploading a flyer gave it that initial surge of traffic. Here’s how I used iMacros to get on top of that and make things even easier then creating accounts :
-start at the Facebook.com homepage, logged out. hit RECORD on the iMacro.
-login with my information.
-go to http://www.facebook.com/flyers
-click on “my flyers”
-click on my flyer, and then delete it.
-click “create flyer”
-make the exact same flyer, continue, place the order.
-logout – STOP the iMacro.
What I just had the macro do is login to one of my accounts, delete my old flyer, reupload it, and then logout. Sweet, so I have this thing refreshing my account with new flyers, now let’s have it refresh all 50 accounts. Ok, I’ll just have to record myself going in and deleting and creating new ads for every account…WRONG. That would be a waste of a couple hours. Instead, click on the “Edit” tab in iMacros, and click to edit the re-uploading macro you just made. It’ll open up in Notepad or something. Copy the code starting from logging in, ending with logging out. Paste that 49 more times. Now every single email will say “firstname.lastname@example.org”. The only work you have to do is go and change them to go from 1 to 50. Save the macro.
With 1 click of a button, the iMacro will cycle through all 50 of your accounts, login, reupload the ad, and logout. You can now refresh every 30 minutes-hour and get that initial traffic surge over…and over…and over.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
So I now had a system that would semi-auto create me accounts, and fully auto upload ads. What did I do now? Exploited the hell out of it! I was bidding $0.50 in the beginning and getting my clicks only at $0.10. I tested different offers, ads, targeting options, anything I wanted to. If I wanted to change my bids, all I’d do is edit the iMacro, and do a simple find/replace. I’d replace “0.25″ with “0.50″, and all 50 accounts would be updated with the snap of my fingers.
Facebook Starts to Realize
All good things must come to an end. Facebook started to catch on to all this, and started doing many things. They started disabling ads, and then turning off all accounts. Now even if you create 1 account and reupload an ad, they’ll disable it all. They’ve also started banning keywords like “ringtones”..and “scholarships” hehe . It’s still possible to make money with it, but they also started banning affiliate URLs, so direct linking is even hard. In the end I had about 500 Facebook accounts all banned.
Although I was able to make a nice quick buck, I did make a couple mistakes in the process :
1) HUGE mistake – blogging about it and forum posting about it. When I first heard the news about Facebook flyers, I just thought it would make a good blog post on recent news. I also posted about it at Wickedfire and asked if anybody had messed with flyers. That turned into a pretty big thread and got a lot of people working with them. Learn this lesson : if you discover something that you can exploit : keep your damn mouth shut until it dies.
2) Careless mistakes. I was caught in the moment and wasn’t thinking, just wanted to do as much as possible. For a day I was promoting scholarships to the entire network, not thinking that you have to 18 and in college to actually complete the offer.
Overall, the experience was well worth it. I stayed up until 5am every night and set my alarm to go off in a few hours so I could get up and refresh all my accounts. I looked like a complete bum, stubble, unclean, that whole deal…I was in my office dungeon for many many hours with no rest. But hey, I made a pretty nice chunk of change from it and learned a lot.
I hope you guys enjoyed the article, maybe sparked your mind for some ideas. The point of the whole thing is that if you’re on top of the industry and a smart thinker, you can have some pretty nice success in the affiliate field. I did all of this myself, no programmer, just some thinking and turning those thoughts into actions
Take care and good luck,
UberAffiliate – Paul Bourque