STMBKK, Neverblue Roadshow & Other Travels

May 16, 2014 in Conferences, Travel

*shhhh* .. quiet… Do you hear that? That’s right.. that’s a tumbleweed you hear whooshing past the FitAffiliate blog. Ahem, allow me to dust off some of the cobwebs from my keyboard and provide you all with an update. It’s been a while.

I know you missed me, people have been bugging me to update my blog like crazy (not really). My life as of  late has been a mixture of traveling, networking, building relationships in business and researching cultures and markets internationally.

I dipped off to Asia for quite some time to attend several conferences and to get familiar with foreign cultures in countries I plan to extend my marketing efforts to. Oh and to sightsee, of course.

I met a tonne of awesome fellow affiliates and created some solid connections & friendships along the way. In short, it was awesome. I love our industry. I love the people you meet. I love the opportunity, freedom, creativity and the diversity of individuals in this business.

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Some Industry Friends (Nate & Alex Tao)

It’s always amazing to meet and socialize with those who share a similar drive, mentality and ambitions. I first started my journey in Malaysia where I got to meet and hang out with friend of mine, Dan, who’s a well versed, highly experienced affiliate with an excellent foundation of knowledge. I learned a lot from him by just being in general day-to-day conversation and was incredibly inspired by his efforts in business. Dan is someone who doesn’t play around, has built himself a team and is definitely in a position which I aspire to. It is indeed, conducive to surround yourself with successful individuals with similar passions and goals in order to keep you motivated and inspired.

My next move was into the politically unstable capital of Thailand, Bangkok, for what would be the most epic of all meetups to date.

STMBKK

STM Bangkok is the largest meetup I’ve attended to date. Affiliates from all over the globe came to the capital for a 3-day event, followed by a relaxing wind-down in Koh Samui for further networking opportunities and fun. For the uninitiated, STM stands for StackThatBaht StackThatMoney, which is a community of serious affiliate marketers from all walks of life, operated by some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry. There were several hundred people (approximately 300) who attended the official conference, which involved speeches by numerous people in the industry, covering topics such as Motivation, Outsourcing, Mobile Marketing, Legal Mumbo Jumbo and more.

One of my good friends Josh Mayne (Maynzie), of whom has been a moderator over at STM for quite some time, had the chance to talk, where he covered the all important topic of maintaining a positive mind-frame, a drive for success and never giving up on the dream. As he himself is a big part of why I was able to push through many of my darker days as an affiliate, I suggested that he use ‘case-study’ examples in his talk, and to briefly mention the many people he has helped along the way and where they came from to where they are today.

Sitting in the conference, Josh approaches the podium to begin his talk, and not too far into his speech a big photo of me was plastered on the large projected screen behind him. I sat there a little embarrassed as the photo used wasn’t the ‘manliest’ one, but at the same time, I felt quite honored to be a big part of his speech. He truly is a mad dawg.

Josh’s speech was entertaining and motivational to say the least.

speeches

Others who spoke included Mr Green, Jordan R, Besmir, Benjamin Yong, Nicky Cakes, Caurmen, Tal Itzak, Tim Tetra and I believe a few others (apologies to those I left out).

The speeches were then followed by mingling at Ocean club that night where we all battled the stinking Bangkok humidity and wore pants (yes, pants!) in order to please the bar owner. The party was awesome, I had a great time meeting and greeting all the lovely people and of course, getting my drank on.

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Me, Alex T, Nate T, Eric S, Mike C, Dan G

The next parts of the itinerary I simply didn’t have the energy to include myself in. Some attended a Muay Thai fight and also the weekend markets, but my battered, hungover soul couldn’t make it out.

Thankfully I was able to conjure up the energy for one last sh’bang at Octave bar – an awesome Rooftop bar at the Marriot, before heading off to Koh Samui the next morning.

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Octave Bar – Marriot – Bangkok

Not a lot to be said about my short stay in Koh Samui, other than, I will for sure be back to visit as it’s an awesome island. Great for partying & relaxing. This part of the trip was basically an extension to the Bangkok leg, where, interested affiliates were out there to socialize in a non-formal environment. Non-formal socializing is, in my opinion, much more effective for building lasting relationships with people in the industry on a more interpersonal level which then further increases your chances of forming solid business relationships.

Pro-Tip: Be on your game and don’t get too comfortable. Some people, especially after some liquor, have a tendency to spill all their beans and give away too much. This isn’t high school, popularity doesn’t matter.

Moving on, I only got to spend around 3 nights in Koh Samui as I had to visit Hong Kong for some business. This was my least favourite stop of all. I found the locals to be very uninviting, unwelcoming and rude. Luckily I was only there for 3 nights.

After the snooze-fest in HK, I made my way off to Japan where I hopped from the Northern region of Hokkaido, down to Tokyo and finally to Osaka. One of my best friends from Canada joined in for some travels in Japan, Cambodia & Vietnam. We spent a few days snowboarding in Niseko during the day there but unfortunately missed out on the fresh snow since the season was coming to a glorious end. We still got to catch some good runs though and I’ll definitely be back mid-season to catch some fresh POW!

Mt. Yotei in the background is a dormant Volcano

Mt. Yotei in the background is a dormant Volcano

I met and mingled with affiliates who were living in Japan on extended visas and was able to do a bit of my own research on their advertising and mobile market, coming to this fine conclusion: “Good Luck!”… Japan is definitely not an easy, nor a cheap market to break into. Banner blindness is rampant. Advertisements are plastered from head to toe on nearly everything and it’s incredibly difficult to stand out.

I can’t imagine it being much easier to break the mould Online or on mobile devices, as the world the Japanese are accustomed to is dominated heavily by product advertisements. These advertisements are ridiculous and outrageous at times. I wish I had some examples. Some of the most creative and hilarious marketing I’ve seen came straight out of Asian countries, namely Malaysia and Japan. In regards to culture and food, Japan tops it at #1 as one of my favourite countries. Most respectful, friendliest people in the world and the food is awesome. Make sure to check out Dotonbori in Osaka, try some Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Yakitori (my favourite).

My next move was into Cambodia to do a little bit of exploring there and to gain some insight on where the country stood regarding mobile devices and their culture. My conclusion on this is that, whilst they do indeed have decent 3G connectivity (as tested with my iPhone 5), I didn’t notice a large amount individuals who owned smart-phones, rather, predominantly the older style “feature phones”. All in all, it’s still quite a developing country and will need several years before more and more people  have affordable access to smart phones.

Outside the entrance to the main temple-grounds in Siem Reap

Outside the entrance to the main temple-grounds in Siem Reap

The next leg was Vietnam, where I visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. I made an effort to head out to Halong Bay whilst there as it’s a must-do touristy thing, but I also made sure to study their surroundings and see what advertising was like as well as mobile-device presence. Vietnam is a much more established, developed country and advertising isn’t as crazy as Japan’s is, however, it’s still regarded as third-world.

I also found that smart-phones were more common than other south-east Asian countries I’ve visited. Vietnam seems like a much more appropriate market to approach with mobile campaigns as it’ s definitely a growing market and the economy seems to be a bit better than other countries in the region (not including Singapore). I’d definitely keep it on my radar.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay

My next move was on to Singapore, where I would catch up with a childhood friend of min, and also have an industry friend meet up for some shenanigans.  Myself and Genji met some other affiliates based in Singapore and had a great time talking and making potential future business allies. One thing to note,  and i’m sure most people are aware, is that Singapore is an incredibly established & wealthy country with some of the worlds strongest banking and impressive buildings. Singapore is possibly one of the best places to have your business centralized, however it is seemingly getting harder and harder to get set up there. All this comes with a high-price tag, unfortunately, as is an incredibly expensive city to reside in, but if in Asia, and within your budget, it is definitely worth the visit.

Marina Bay Sands - Amazing Building

Marina Bay Sands – Amazing Building

Afterwards, I made my way back into Thailand, where I spent some time in Phuket, meeting other fellow affiliates and getting some tailor-made shirts so I can look snazzy and sharp for all my future meetings. I had a little bit of time to kill before the Neverblue Roadshow in Bangkok where one of the largest names in the industry, Charles Ngo, spoke for several hours and dropped some “Ngo Bombs” on us. Whilst I found a lot of the topics and content I was already familiar with and had some decent knowledge on, there were definitely some golden nuggets dropped by Sir Charles and I would highly recommend his talks to anyone fresh in the industry.

Myself and Charles Ngo

Myself and Charles Ngo

All in all, a great trip all round, definitely happy to be back to my desk to get some new campaigns and ideas in action and glad I took the time to make it out! Thanks to everyone who organised the meet-ups!!

PS: I noticed a lot of fellow affiliates had their fair share of curiosity about fitness & getting into shape. Since I have been a natural-bodybuilder for the past 12 years, I have learned a thing or two and could definitely point people in the right direction. If this is something that would interest you, drop a comment below and if enough people show interest, I’ll start posting about fitness!

Thanks for reading.

#STMBKK from STM Videos on Vimeo.

Optimize You CPVLab Pt.2

September 30, 2013 in CPVLab, Optimisation, Simplifying Life, Tracking

Hi Guys,

Yes, it’s been a while, I’ve been moving around a lot, and frankly haven’t been all too inspired to post anything lately. I have a lot I can share with the AM community, but since it’s full of blood-thirsty money-hungry dishonesty, I gotta be careful and keep some goodies to myself.

Enough of the B/S – Here I provide you with some tips to keep your CPVLab DB running a little smoother.

First thing you will need is SSH access on your server. Don’t know what that is? Then this is probably too advanced for you. However, if you’re on a managed server, I’m sure your hosting company can have a techie help you out with this one.

After digging around I found some recommendations and these settings seem to have improved performance for me. You’ll want to pay attention and ensure that these settings are ideal for YOUR server, as every server is different, especially given the different RAM allocation. My *new* server that I am currently moving to has 5gb of RAM allocated so my innodb_buffer_pool_size is equal to 2gb (or 2048M).

Tweaking InnoDB Settings

These are just the settings I’ve discovered so far to help speed things up. Feel free to add your findings in the comments.

Firstly, you’ll need to edit the following file on your server: “/etc/my.cnf”

Once logged in via SSH:

  • Type “edit /etc/my.cnf”
  • Add or Change the following settings (Just be aware, these are settings that I USED for my server. Speak with your hosting company if unsure on which settings to use or do some of your own research. Typically, the one you should be most concerned with is innodb_buffer_pool_size
[mysqld]
thread_cache_size=16K
table_cache=128M
local-infile=0
innodb_file_per_table=1
max_connections=100
key_buffer_size=16M
join_buffer_size=1M
query_cache_type=1
query_cache_limit=4M
query_cache_size=128M
max_tmp_tables=1
default-storage-engine=MyISAM
innodb_buffer_pool_size=2048M
innodb_flush_method=O_DIRECT
low_priority_updates=1
concurrent_insert=ALWAYS
tmp_table_size=128M
max_heap_table_size=128M
  • Restart MySQL
  • /etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql restart

 

Automate Defragmentation via Cron & Bash

This next step is going to automate defragmenting your tables which can help speed things up also.

Firstly, you’ll need to create a new “bash” script on your server to be run via Cron later.
Lets name this file “dbdefrag.sh”

Type: “edit dbdfrag.sh”and paste the following code, modifying the user/pass for your DB accordingly.

#!/bin/bash

MYSQL_LOGIN='-u USERNAME  --password=PASSWORD'

for db in $(echo "SHOW DATABASES;" | mysql $MYSQL_LOGIN | grep -v -e "Database"$
do
        TABLES=$(echo "USE $db; SHOW TABLES;" | mysql $MYSQL_LOGIN |  grep -v T$
        echo "Switching to database $db"
        for table in $TABLES
        do
                echo -n " * Optimizing table $table ... "
                echo "USE $db; ALTER TABLE $table ENGINE=INNODB" | mysql $MYSQL$
                echo "done."
        done
done

 

The next step is scheduling with cron.

Steps:

  • crontab -e
  • Go to the end of the file and add the following line (note it runs at 4am every day)
  • 0 4 * * * bash dbdefrag.sh
  • CTRL+X to exit then hit Y to save
  • Alternatively, you can set up a cron job via cPanel

 

Disclaimer

Please consult your server admin before making any of these changes to yours. I take no responsibility if you mess your server up. Perhaps do these changes on an experimental install or server first before making the changes to your live one.

If you’re looking for further PPV Guidance, the guys over at PPV Playbook know their shit. Great community of experienced marketers from around the globe.

Can’t Decide Tracking Software?

Often I get asked which tracking software I prefer to use for tracking my campaigns. I used to be a p202 fanboy and use it exclusively, until I set my eyes upon CPVLab, which is now, to date, still my preferred method of tracking. You can get CPVLab here >> for less than $300 .. any serious affiliate marketer will know that good tracking is a worthy investment!

Optimize Your CPVLab Database!

September 30, 2013 in CPVLab, Optimisation, PPV, Tracking

I’d like to apologize up-front for the sheer lack of attention to this blog as of late. I’ve been lazy, but mostly busy, and in transit quite a lot this year. I’ve finally returned to my home soil to get a bunch of work done, relax, and plan my return to the Canadian Rockies for some more adventure (and other traveling of course!). In the year that has just passed I’ve spent most my time living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and have had the pleasure to visit Bangkok, Phuket, Tokyo, Osaka, Vancouver, Montreal, Las Vegas,  The Grand Canyon, Miami, Anaheim, Hollywood, San Diego, San Francisco, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Colorado, New York & The Bahamas and do a bunch of crazy-amazing stuff during that time (Including ASW and ASE!)

What I’m trying to get at is.. well.. I’ve been BUSY!

Enough of my personal life and onto the meaty stuff, eh?!

Recently I’ve had a lot of performance problems with my CPVLab installation. I’ve had my server upgraded, both hardware and software, but just wasn’t happy with the results. On top of that, I knew that my database was getting WAY too bloated for it’s own good, but I was afraid to cull my stats without a backup!

Unfortunately that led me to have problems logging in today and so I decided to fix the problem myself and would like to share how I did it so that others can enjoy a more reliable and speedy CPVLab! Anyone that runs a decent amount of PPV traffic (or any traffic really) will know that the data builds up relatively fast and can bloat your DB into performance-hell.

Here’s some simple steps on how to fix it!

Step 1 – Backup Your Data

  • Log in to your phpMyAdmin console (usually via cPanel on your server)
  • Find your CPVLab database (usually named _cpvlab) in the left-hand panel. Click on this.
  • Click on Operations
  • Under the panel listed as “Copy Database to:”, you’ll see a text-field. Enter an appropriate name in here. I chose, _cpvlab-bkp-dd-mm-yy
  • Hit Go

Step 2 – Clean Your Clicks Data

  • Log into your CPVLab and navigate to Settings >> Stats Management
  • From here, either select the campaign you wish to cull clicks from, or select “All Campaigns”
  • Select the date range from what you wish to cull (I do anything over 3 months old, and 1 month for campaigns with lots of data).
  • Click Save

Step 3 – Advanced Optimization

  • Within phpMyAdmin, go to your _cpvlab database once again as mentioned in Step 1.
  • In the right-hand panel, you’ll see a list of tables (affiliatesources, alerts etc..). Find the table names clicks and well.. click on it.
  • Go to Operations
  • Down the bottom left you’ll see “Table Management”
  • Click Defragment
  • Don’t click anything else. I tried to use the Optimize function and it messed with my DB.

 

This should help speed up those cluttered DB’s and hopefully improve your ROI!

 

- Andrew

If you’re looking for further PPV Guidance, the guys over at PPV Playbook know their shit. Great community of experienced marketers from around the globe.

Can’t Decide Tracking Software?

Often I get asked which tracking software I prefer to use for tracking my campaigns. I used to be a p202 fanboy and use it exclusively, until I set my eyes upon CPVLab, which is now, to date, still my preferred method of tracking. You can get CPVLab here >> for around $300 .. any serious affiliate marketer will know that good tracking is a worthy investment!

PoF CTR Competition

September 30, 2013 in Optimisation, Plenty of Fish

So,  Ben from PoF hosted a competition on the STM forum (if you’re not a member, you’re missing on some wicked  info - http://stackthatmoney.com/forum/).

The competition details were (paraphrased from Ben himself)

“You have to use your own pictures to advertise a dating offer on POF. Everyone targets the same demographic and whoever gets the highest CTR, wins $200 credit to their advertising account. The winner must out their ad at the end of the contest “

So I decided to participate but take it a little further and split test a few things which yielded some interesting stats. Feast your eyes on some interesting data.

First things first, I split tested both ad-sizes 110×80 and 310×110 just to see what effect it had.

Spent: $28.43
Lifetime Impressions: 129,241
Overall CTR: 0.044%

Here are the ads  I used.. (the ad copy was a template provided by STM) ..  Also, I put a “watermark” on the images for obvious reasons.

results

What I found interesting from my above tests were:

  • Shirtless pic didn’t do so well
  • The mirror “MySpace” pic and snowboarder/adventurous pic performed the best.
  • Changing the word Astronaut with Snowboarder helped CTR.
  • Cartoonifying myself helped CTR (in Photoshop: Gaussian Blur->Fade Gaussian Blur, Darken, Posterize)

The colour test that Maynzie did recently gave me the idea to test out purple as it was the best performer amongst women (apparently purple represents sexual frustration too!).

In both tests (border/background colour), it got better CTR.

Now onto the 110×80′s which performed significantly worse (hint, try 310×110′s if you already aren’t!).

I skipped a couple tests here, one image got denied because it had no border and looked like it was a white BG.

The other is the border-split test which I somehow forgot to include. Nevertheless, here are the results!

 

results2

I found it strange that the images didn’t perform the same in the different ad dimensions, but then again, 5k impressions is probably not enough to be classed as significant data.

Hope you take away something from the above tests.

Happy Hustlin’

- Andrew

PPV Landing Page Tips

April 1, 2012 in PPV, Scripts, Simplifying Life

First off I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts on the blog lately, I’ve been slacking and haven’t had much inspiration lately to write anything as I want every post I make to be as useful, relative or entertaining as possible (not so true with the post on ASW… to some extent )

Since I’ve shifted my focus for the next month to diversifying by building out 1 or 2 profitable PPV campaigns to run alongside some other profitable campaigns I have running at the moment, I’ve come up with a few things that I think will make lives easier and potentially help with landing page CTR (not verified to be true, but worth a test in whichever niche you promote).

Removing TLD from targets

First of all, an idea I came up with recently was that it would potentially look more trustworthy to present the user (as long as the offer you’re promoting allows it) with the name of the website, minus the TLD.

Now this only works if your targeting domains in the first place, so if you’re not, separate the campaign into two so you can have separate landers for different targets types (keywords and domains).

Basically, if your target has a “.” anywhere in it, it’s going to split it up. This isn’t flawless, especially if you’re targeting subdomains.

This will work for simple url targets such as:

something.com
something.org
something.net

It’ll also capitalise the first letter..here’s the code:

if(isset($_GET["keyword"]))
{
	$target = $_GET["keyword"];
	$tmpArray = explode(".", $target);
	$sitename = ucfirst($tmpArray[0]);
}

For the above examples, something.com, something.org and something.net

$sitename will be equal to “Something” for you to use on your pages:

Dear <!--?php echo $sitename ?--> Visitor,

Unique color scheme’s to match the target URL

Now, this is an easy way to develop color schemes for your landers with a tiny bit of PHP and CSS.

Using the above code, you can also assign classes to the main container which you are using for the site, be it the body tag or a centrally aligned div.

All you need to do is use this code on your container tag, for this example I’ll assume it’s a div:

<div class="<?php echo $sitename; ?>">
.... something goes here
</div>

Within your main CSS stylesheet, you can now style entire pages to use different colors quite easily.

This is something you would do with your top, high volume targets if you would like to test whether or not the color scheme helps CTR).

Lets assume you have your top five targets:

  • google.com
  • stackthatmoney.com
  • imgrind.com
  • facebook.com
  • mrgreen.am

Now lets open up our stylesheet. Using the above HTML, let assume we want to have a different color border for each of these sites, however you want the same color border for google and mrgreen, the same for imgrind and facebook, and stackthatmoney can have their own.

This the CSS code you could use to achieve this:

div.google .border,
div.mrgreen .border { color: #0C0; }
div.imgrind .border,
div.facebook .border { color: #06F; }
div.stackthatmoney .border { color: #06F; }

I’ll be running some split tests with this idea on my current campaigns, perhaps I’ll follow this up with a case study.

- Andrew


If you’re looking for further PPV Guidance, the guys over at PPV Playbook know their shit. Great community of experienced marketers from around the globe.

Can’t Decide Tracking Software?

Often I get asked which tracking software I prefer to use for tracking my campaigns. I used to be a p202 fanboy and use it exclusively, until I set my eyes upon CPVLab, which is now, to date, still my preferred method of tracking. You can get CPVLab here >> for around $300 .. any serious affiliate marketer will know that good tracking is a worthy investment!

ASW12: The Hangover

January 13, 2012 in Conferences, Travel

As I depart Las Vegas from a lengthy 12 day stay spanning over the new year, the ASW 2012 Summit, and part of the CES conference which I was able to get access to for a day, I wonder what it is that brought me to sin city and put a noticeable dent in my wallet. As far as my energy levels go, I’m burnt out and glad to be heading back to my current place of residence, Calgary Canada. ASW and Vegas have both left me encouraged, inspired and ready to take affiliate marketing to a new level in 2012, especially because I have to recoup my Vegas related expenses rather rapidly!

NY2012 Las Vegas Strip

NY2012 Las Vegas Strip

After spending new years eve partying at the Cat House in the Luxor (summary: bad venue, cheap liquor instead of top-shelf and no coat-check, wtf?) and watching the fireworks on the strip, I spent a week attending shows and finding things to fill the day as I awaited ASW12 to start. The shows I got to see were Penn & Teller (awesome), David Copperfield (decent), Marc Savard’s Comedy Hypnosis (hilarious, awesome), Absinthe (amazingly good) and KA (Cirque du Soleil, impressive display, but not  my kind of entertainment). Additional to this I was able to go Indoor skydiving, hit up the rides on the Stratosphere and ride the rollercoaster at New York, New York.

Meeting Penn Jillette

Meeting Penn Jillette

What I learnt from Vegas is that it is a very effective money-sucking machine. One thing that caught my attention was for those who aren’t sure how to gamble, there’s a good chance your hotel room TV-set had a channel dedicated to educating those not familiar with the rules of certain games such as Craps – well play Vegas, well played…

Additional to this, Harrah’s had a ‘fake’ slot machine on the street – if you won (90% of the time you did), you’d get a fake $50 bill that would lure you into their casino to use on one of their ‘fake money’ slot machines – most likely in an attempt to give you a taste and start a new addiction. After all, it was Vegas,  where all over the place you notice tactics to have you empty your wallets amongst the allure of bright lights and a luxury lifestyle.

Vegas at Night

Vegas at Night

Moving on, I was able to attend Affiliate Summit West for free thanks to StackThatMoney forums! I was given one of 2 silver-passes as part of a competition they held. On the 8th I started my day off by attending the newcomers conference (albeit, a bit late due to getting my all important caffeine fix) and then attending the meet-market at 12pm. The meet-market is one hell of a noisy place, but allowed me to get introduced to my Affiliate Managers who I’d never met in the past and discover networks and traffic sources which I’d never heard of before.

ASW Registration Sign

ASW Registration Sign

It amazed me to see some networks had hired absolutely clueless models to promote their company and sign people up, instead of someone with actual knowledge on the company or industry. For example, one network had hired two blondes, placed them in JumpSuits and had them register affiliates on their network for a chance to win a trip to Aspen. When I asked what the company was and what they did, I got a reply that went along the lines of: “well basically, if you have a website and someone clicks on our link, we get paid and you get paid”. Nice, it’s that easy huh? Good lord Adperio, get your act together.

ASW Silver Pass

Afterwards, the night had begun with plans to attend the STM meetup, the AffPlaybook meetup and partying with w4 and Ads4Dough at Club XS. I made it to the STM party (and consumed some Grey Goose) but left after a short while as I had received an invited to dinner with some of the EWA crew, to which I was able to meet Ryan, Harrison, Jared, Matthew and several others over a meal and some more Grey Goose. It was a great start to the night, to which I made it to XS just on time to meet up with the A4D crew and begin the onslaught of liver-damaging alcohol consumption. I partied with w4, consumed some Grey Goose, partied with Ads4Dough, consumed more Grey Goose, and before I knew it, my legs were failing me and I had texted my AMs to let them know “I’m getting the fuck outta here before I die“.

AffBuzz & STM Cake

AffBuzz & STM Cake

Somehow I made it to the Bellagio and hung out with Harrison, Jared and a few others from EWA for about an hour, before passing out slightly and realizing I had to get back to my hotel ASAP. The stumble back was quite entertaining after being offered a “quick blowjob” from a sketchy looking girl wearing a hoodie. I sincerely believe she wanted to stab  me, steal my wallet and never deliver on her original offer. Luckily I wasn’t THAT drunk :-)

XS at Encore

XS at Encore / Partying with A4D

The onslaught of that night had caused me to miss most of the next day and a bunch of parties that night due to a incurable hangover. I got a decent sleep and made it to the conference the next day to attend the exhibition hall and meet some more companies, hang out with my AMs and grab a few meals.

Overall, it wasn’t as productive as I’d originally hoped, but I did make some good connections, establish stronger relationships with people I work or worked with and generally feel like I’m in a solid industry that’s not going away for a very long time.

Resubmit POF Ads with Ease – Greasemonkey Script

December 15, 2011 in Greasemonkey, Plenty of Fish, Scripts, Simplifying Life, Tools

POF Approval Team got you down?

400 of your ads get declined because of a landing page issue?

Hate seeing this after a hard day of uploading?

Frustrated that there’s no simple solution for resubmitting ads in batch that were declined?

Want to turn the above into this with less effort?

As we all know, inconsistent reasoning or landing page issues can cause mass disapprovals and it just plain bites having to reupload everything.

Usually good ole’ Benjamin helps me sort it all out and I’m good to go …

After my recent frustration of submitting banners of all different IAB dimensions, for all different age groups using the lovely POF uploader (www.mrgreen.am) and manually configuring the target country (new countries not supported by uploader at this point in time), I really didn’t want to do the whole process over again after all my ads were declined.

I was fed up, decided I would test out my coding ability and my lose my Greasemonkey Virginity, and decided to whip something up today that should hopefully provide a simple, not-so-elegant solution to my 1st world problem.

It may have taken up a good chunk of my day but it should save a lot of time down the track.

YOU MUST HAVE
-Firefox (i’m using 8.0.1) - http://www.firefox.com/
-Greasemonkey plugin - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir…/greasemonkey/

INSTRUCTIONS

After installing the above, you’ll need to snag my script from here (make sure the plugin is enabled.. top right hand corner, icon should look ‘active’).

http://fitaffiliate.com/downloads/po…mitter.user.js

How it works:

DISCLAIMER:
PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND MAKE SURE THE SCRIPT IS DISABLED AT ALL TIMES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RESUBMITTING DECLINED ADS ..

The reason I mentioned this above is because, if you don’t want to deal with pop-up boxes every time you navigate to a campaign with a declined ad or two, then you’ll leave it off until the time is right.

How to enable?

Well, once you are on the right page “ManageCreatives.aspx”, where there’s a declined ad/bunch of declined ads, it should show up in the drop down list.

Once you’ve enabled it, you can go ahead and open all your campaigns in a new tab and let it run on each one.

The way it works is, it goes through all ads marked as “Declined”, triggers the Edit button, hits submit without changing anything, and repeats the process until all declined ads are resubmitted.

It takes about 3 seconds to kick in once the page as reloaded (a timer had to be used so that page elements were rendered out before attempting to automate everything).

Known Issue
Sometimes, it may not resubmit all the ads due to slow loading times on the page..Try to keep it to 4-5 at a time, depending on your PC speed and internet connection speed..Firefox is known for being a memory hog so take it easy on the tabs!

Simple workaround for this is to just refresh the page if there’s still declined ads on it.

Hope people find this useful!

How the people of Thailand hustle like affiliates.

October 24, 2011 in Sales, Travel

As I depart Bangok to head to Phuket for some more fun-in-the-sun, I had a slight realisation about how the majority of “businessmen” and women in Thailand have a similar hustle in real life that can be related directly back to affiliate marketing. Stepping off the plane at Suvarnabhuni airport, we were immediately hustled into a “tour of the temples” with an English speaking guide. The price was attractive and it was something which sounded interesting, so we took up the offer.

Exiting the air-conditioned airport and hitting a wave of thick, somewhat unbearable humidity, we hopped into a cab and headed to our hotel (Legacy Suite Bangkok – recommended). The next day we were greeted by our dedicated “tour” driver, Paul, who drove us to the first Temple, the golden Buddah where we were greeted by our tour guide Pen.

 

Golden Buddah Bangkok

Golden Buddah Bangkok

Now, not to misunderstand my opinion of Pen, as lovely as she was, she was a conniving businesswoman fishing for commissions. Her business model was similar to the likes of a co-registration path or a surge of emails to someone on your email-list. To be honest, I actually admired how elaborate it was and it really reinforced the importance of up-selling, cross-selling, and generally bombarding your sorry-ass with offer after offer, even if they’re unrelated. The chances are, something’s gotta stick. But there’s a downside to this too, which can negatively affect your sales.

We were offered other tours that might interest us (such as the floating market), taken to a tailor, several jewellers, a “tour-office” and an underground counterfeit watch and bag shop (very convincing replicas). In-between the temples, we were up-sold on nearly everything that Thailand has to offer. Kudos to Pen for her skills in sales too, as everything she offered us almost always came with a special and exclusive price if we went through her for the sale.

Needless to say, I knew her agenda, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was helping out someone less fortunate than myself on top of getting “special prices” for everything. Pen was quite skilled at pre-selling. It worked on us, more than once. We refused quite a lot of her offerings, but we did take her up on the special 450 baht per hour massage from an exclusive masseurs (there’s always a catch – 2 hour minimum!), a  sky-hotel dinner buffet, a replica watch and a leather bag. I truly wonder what margins she was working with. One taxi driver informed me that some of the Tailors pay out a commission of 35% to the taxi-driver if they drop off a paying customer, which equates to about 2,000 baht (about $60 AUD).

On top of that we left her and the taxi driver with a healthy tip to show our gratitude for whoring us out around town in order to make some cash.

So, what my experience teach me? Not a lot that I didn’t already know, however, it reinforced ideas and tactics that I had learnt in the past.

Here’s what I took away from it and how it can help with any future affiliate marketing campaigns that involve a sales-funnel of some sort:

  • Pre-selling is damn important, as a “massage” wasn’t good enough to make the sale as we knew we could get a good price and a massage practically anywhere in Bangkok. The angle in which this was sold was unique in that apparently the masseurs were strong, experienced professionals and from the official massage school in Bangkok.  On top of that we got a special and exclusive price through our tour guide. After all that, we were sold, she mentioned during her “sales speech” that it was 450 baht for an hour (about $13 AUD), which was followed up with a “2 hour minimum” condition attached to it.
  • Be elaborate and creative in how you chain together offers. I found that bombarding us with a shit-storm of offers was quite annoying and really, if I had the choice to, I would have ended the tour then and there after the 2nd or 3rd attempt at selling me something I didn’t want. For instance, the jewellers we were taken to, both of which she was obviously affiliated with, were more targeted towards females. Granted I am travelling with a female friend of mine, wouldn’t make sense to take strictly males to. You’re going to effectively piss your potential clients off to the point where any future sales attempt is going to be quickly dismissed due to lack of trust and frustration.
  • Networking is vital to “offer” accessibility/expanding your reach. If you know the right people, you can offer what others cannot, which inevitably means less saturated markets. I’ve also heard an interesting case where, in certain parts of Thailand, an entire shopping district uses colour-coded plastic bags to indicate the type of consumer the person is, such that, other shop keepers can tell whether or not you’re a sucker and will pay anything or a bargain hunter and hustler which will give the shop keeper a hard time with prices.

Pen wasn’t the only one attempting to make a buck however, nearly every taxi and tuk-tuk driver in town has some affiliation with local businesses. The basic rule of thumb I found was that if it’s too cheap, be suspicious. If you get offered a taxi ride “anywhere” for 5 baht, the driver has an agenda.

This experience has motivated me to put more time and effort into list-building and pushing offers via the list as it’s something I don’t take advantage of enough in my current campaigns.

Hopefully this post has stimulated your mind into how real-life hustlers can translate into an effective affiliate marketing campaign and provided you with some ideas.

-Andrew

New To Internet Marketing? Take a Step Back and K.I.S.S

October 4, 2011 in Facebook, Motivation, Plenty of Fish, Simplifying Life

We have all been there before, the newbies of the IM world. There is so much information available today for the new marketer, but it seems that the fundamental prophecy written by the gods of affosphere has been lost in translation and newbies are just being ‘pwned’ left, right and centre – killing their motivation to succeed.

And what is this prophecy?

The K.I.S.S  factor!!!!

Now before I explain what it is, grab a marker and write this on your forehead – “Keep it Simple Stuipid”. Now every night before you got to bed and in the morning it is subconsiouslly embedded in your mind.

I can not tell you the amount of times someone has come to me, lacking motivation because their landing page suited to black women with pink hair, who are single moms and want love in Alaska was not working for them….

Or they jump into PPV and spend days on end trickling in 100 views a day because their targeting is so tight and they kill their dreams from 27 cent losses.

If you wanna make some money you have to K-I-S-S!

The first step for the new marketer I would say is jump on social traffic, particularly Facebook and Plenty of Fish.

Forget making custom landing pages, and go into your network and you will see 100′s of offers dedicated to niches, pre-tested by the advertiser to convert!

And you know what? They do convert and they convert well.

So if you are struggling still to make a profit online, even your first $100/day take a step back and leave those ultra mega guru tips to the professionals and build your base with the easier platforms.

Forget wasting hours on end tweaking a $5 campaign and go all out and dominate Plenty of fish’s niche targeting with the pre made niche offers available on your networks :)

I hope this helps somewhat and if anyone needs some more help on what I’m trying to convey here, drop a comment, drop an email and myself or Andrew will get back to you and help your poor newbie soul can get on the right track!

~Maynzie

Number 1 Mistake New Affiliates Make.

October 1, 2011 in Motivation

Yo there, Maynzie here.

Just briefly wanna touch on a point, that when I try and tutor people the game of IM so many get stuck on, hopefully this can clear up some of that.

What I find, including myself when starting out are people are damn scared of losing money, even complaining about $3 losses on a $13 revenue campaign.

You are *NOT* actually losing money, but more, buying yourself an online education, just like with any other profession, you must learn first.

Now, before we move on lets take a look at a few of these numbers.

Now in Melbourne, Australia a civil engineer goes to uni for about 5 years.

Now the cost of the university degree to become qualified will cost about $60,000

Not to mention the cost of your time, involved into going to university as it is basically 4-5 days a week.

And when your out? You earn say $50k-$100k, but working 6 days a week and 10 hour days.

How about those exclusive surgeons and doctors?

Hmmm… 7-15 years of tertiary study at a whopping $100k-$400k? No thankyou.

Now onto IM.

I personally, have spent I believe not even $3000 in the past 15 months on an education, and yet am in a better situation then most professionals in the workforce, working double the hours for ‘the man’.

So the math.

Say 6-12 months of proper work will get you pretty far into the IM world.

You’ll probably end up making quite a large profit, with no loss over that year.

Years to come? $100k-$200k-$500k-$1m?

These other ‘elite’ professions would be dazed!

So now that I have cleared the air you may realise that ‘losing’ money in the beginning, is not losing, its an education and if your not going to do internet marketing, your probably going to do the same, 100 fold times worse doing a university degree!

So what you going to do now?

You will STOP reading blogs and forums all day, you will open your wallet and spend those dollars, buying the brighter future of the affiliate lifestyle.

Get in the Trenches and best of luck!

Peace