Starting your first campaign


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When you believe you're at the stage where you've done your homework and are ready to start your first affiliate marketing campaign, there's a lot to think about. However, the most common mistake is to over-think things. Affiliate marketing often results in the best outcome when you think outside the box and don't follow a set guideline. You have to have that winning mentality and if you think you're going to make money overnight, you’re wrong!

It takes a lot of hard work and testing to make it in this industry. The more you fail, the closer you are to achieving something right. With that being said there's some very rough guidelines you can follow to ensure you get off to the best possible start. It always depends on what angle or vertical you take. But, if you follow these steps, they will ensure you have the best starting point.

Do your Homework
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Before you dive head first into your first ever campaign, it's best to get some knowledge of what you're doing. As you may have read, it's good to know a little bit about what you're doing before you even apply to a network. Spend some time reading and researching affiliate marketing and the models behind it.

Join a Network
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Pick a network that suits your standard of affiliate marketing. Don't go applying to the exclusive networks if you're new to marketing. Ask around on the forum and find out what networks are the best fit for you and your plans. View some affiliate networks here. We recommend you start with:
Talk with your Affiliate Manager
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Upon being accepted into your first network, I'd advise reaching out to your affiliate manager. Introduce yourself via email or instant messenger and ask any questions you may have regarding the network and look around yourself. Read up on what affiliate managers can do for you.

Find an Offer
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I would always suggest asking your affiliate manager what offers are "hot right now" and if you're new to affiliate marketing, what offer you should start with. This comes hand in hand with picking a traffic source. But, make sure you pick a vertical and niche you know about. Read up on affiliate offers here.

Pick a Traffic Source
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Some offers only allow a certain type of traffic, so always check. But, you want to marry your new offer with a traffic source. Again, check with your affiliate manager and see what they suggest. Try to stick to that source until you have it mastered. Several types of traffic sources can be found here.

Research Demographics
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If you're using paid traffic, you need to research your target audience and their demographics. You will need to know what type of people to market to and common traits they share. This will help you drive traffic to those most likely to convert. You can read about demographics and targets by clicking here.

Make Sure You Are Compliant
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Now more than ever with the large presence of the FTC, is it important to make sure your campaigns are compliant? It's very important to keep up-to-date with the latest laws and to make sure when you start building your landing pages and creatives that they are within the laws. Keep up-to-date here.

Build Your Pages
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It's now time to build or have someone else build your websites, landing pages, creatives etc. Depending on your traffic source and offer, you will need to build your pages and funnels before you start driving traffic there. Learn about landing pages here and how to build your very first lander.

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Install Tracking
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Tracking is the key to knowing what does and what doesn't work on your campaign. The sooner you learn the art of tracking, the better. Make sure you install the correct setup on your landing pages and links and double-check they're working correctly. You can read about tracking here. We recommend you start with:
Push Traffic
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Once everything is set up and tested depending again on your source it's time to start pushing traffic. If using paid methods, start small with multiple tests and be sure to track everything. Different platforms can offer different traffic, so it’s up to you to test different traffic sources. Take a look at the most popular here.

Optimize
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Once you've gathered enough data from tracking your campaigns, it's time to optimize. If you can see the campaign is not going to work, then let it go. However, if it has potential you need to optimize for more testing. There are lots of different ways to optimize your campaigns you can see some suggestions here.

Scale
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If your campaign is lucky enough to be profitable, then it's now time to scale it up. Scaling is the art of trying to get the most out of your campaigns whilst you can. On paid traffic, campaigns don't always last too long. So, try to scale profitable ones quickly. Here's some scaling tips.

Rinse and Repeat
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Once you've found a winning formula, it's time to try it with different traffic, offers, funnels and so on. This is a full time job and takes a lot of hard work. So, when you've found something that’s winning, make some minor changes and repeat it in a different way. Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. Track your data and use it wisely.

I once heard the quote "Affiliate marketing isn't magic, it's math", and that's often true. Once you've worked out the above you will quickly learn that it's not always about the best looking landing pages or highest paying offers. It's all about testing and making a formula work, then scaling it. Always try to find an angle and be original.
 

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