The Shit I’ve Learnt Not To Do On Facebook
Acai Berry Flavoured Shit Hits The Fan In Illinois
Is The Warrior Forum A Pyramid Scheme?

The Shit I’ve Learnt Not To Do On Facebook

One of the first blogs I read before moving in to affiliate marketing was a Facebook piece over on Nicky Cakes. It explained how and why I was such a retard for failing to make money with Facebook.

I realize now, about two years too late, that Facebook Advertising was the genuine shit back in the day. Right before the guidelines started warping in to something resembling an affiliate hate list. You could put in a half day’s work and see an enormous mountain of cheap clicks. Clicks that produced conversions. One thing Facebook hasn’t lost over time is the quality of it’s traffic.

It’s a shame we can’t go back to 2007 and jump on the gravy train as if we’d seen it coming. I’d have jumped on some acai berries while I was there. But the reality? It’s 2009 and advertising on Facebook requires some actual marketing knowledge. You can go and read over Nicky Cakes’ Facebook tutorials, but as relevant as they may have been at the time, this industry swallows up profitable tactics fast.

Anyway, if you want expert advice on how to get rich using Facebook – don’t be looking at me. It’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve managed to troubleshoot my way out of the red and get some profitable campaigns on the burn. I’m currently in the process of scaling my campaigns and I’m quite happy to see them doubling my money.

But having thrown a festival sized tank of shit at the wall in the hope that a marketing strategy would stick, I can hopefully offer some advice for what NOT to do. This could be a long one.

Don’t advertise on Facebook with the Google mindset.

I don’t think enough people talk about the difference between marketing on various search engines, let alone the change in dynamics that comes with marketing on a social media site.

I was traditionally a search guy for a long time. All of my income came from search based PPC. When I decided to shift a campaign across to Facebook for the first time, it tanked embarrassingly.

This is how it goes for most people, whether they’ve got the modesty to admit it or not. Makes sense when you think about it, though. It’s much easier to reach the right demographic of people on Google. Christ, you’re bidding on keywords that consumers are actually hammering in to their browsers. If you can’t find the right audience there, well, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board.

Facebook is entirely different. You’re not bidding on keywords that people are actively searching for – rather you’re serving your ad to a certain demographic and hoping that they bite the bullet. Vague targeting is punished with a high CPC and impressions that have dried up by dawn.

My first mistake was in spreading the net too wide and advertising to as many users as I could filter in to my campaign. This, obviously, ended in tears and a very low clickthrough rate.

Sample size: 800,000
CTR: 0.05
Impressions: Not many without breaking the bank.

If you’re using Google, you get in to the mindset of trying to reach as many people as possible with your relevant keywords. Perfectly fine on Adwords. But if you try to target everybody who *might* match your demographic on Facebook, you’re going to collect a lot of wasted impressions.

I only started achieving success on Facebook when I reduced my ad target sizes to under 50,000. I’ve managed to scale upwards, but even now, I don’t like advertising to groups larger than 100,000. You need close control over the keywords that your profiles are matched to.

Do your research before you start bombarding the damn interns. Head on over to Microsoft Adlabs and put the tools to use. The Demographic Prediction tool is excellent for laying down the first building blocks of any well targeted Facebook campaign.

Enter the URL of the offer landing page (at the advertiser end, not your own), and you’ll be presented some nice starting points for targeting your campaign.


This gives you a rough idea of the demographics that are already visiting the advertiser’s site. Never a good idea to judge success on patterns as flimsy as this but we’ll take it as a starting point.

One of the areas where I see a lot of marketers failing is in taking the bigger percentage. Acai berries as a prime example. How long did it take for some of you to catch on that it wasn’t just women who were searching for acai? I’d be seeing landing pages everywhere with twenty something chicks showing off their new flat stomachs. How many of those banners featured guys? This despite the acai market having a 30/70 guys to girls split according to some networks. You might run with the 70 percent, but the 30 percent is pretty fucking significant when you’re talking about a billion dollar booming industry.

With Facebook, in particular, it’s possible to find a niche within a niche just by targeting the smaller crowd of users that everybody else ignores. A bit like Canada. Why oh why did I spend 4 months scratching around with doomed USA-based Facebook campaigns when I don’t need 13 million fucking conversions to get rich?

Anyway, moral of the story. Get to know your target market. I mean, really well. Take whatever keywords you can relate to your product and plug them in to the filtering system. This leads on to probably my most expensive mistake.

Your message has to be consistent on Facebook.

All pieces of the jigsaw have to come together. You can quite easily drive traffic to your site with a headline like “These Acai Berries Are Free”. But if your landing page headline says “Well, actually they’re not. But now that you’re here…”

This is expensive because it’ll get you a lot of clicks but a distinct lack of conversions in the column that matters. Whatever advert you place on Facebook, you have to realize that people clicking it are CHANCE clickers. They didn’t search for your shit. You threw it in their face with a headline that caught their attention. You’ve gotta make your landing page instantly sell whatever x factor it was that brought your average Facebook junkie to the party in the first place.

Facebook traffic does convert. We all know that it converts because people have built a living and a future on this one single damn platform. But you have to keep your message consistent.

Specific keywords used to filter users.
Ad title.
Ad image.
Landing page content.
Final offer page content.

They all need to have something in common, or you better know your demographic like it’s your best friend.

Facebook is all about trial and error. You’ve probably heard this so many times that it’s lost it’s meaning. And no, it might not be as easy to make instaprofit as it was a couple of years back. But the industry moves on and we all roll with it.

I’ve established some successful campaigns on Facebook over the last few months that have kinda made me reconsider the most profitable ways of marketing online. I might add a few posts of useful tips I’ve picked up along the way. I might not. Just remember that it only takes one successful Facebook campaign to pay for the dollars you’ve lost on the shit that never worked out.

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Acai Berry Flavoured Shit Hits The Fan In Illinois

Another day, another dose of acai berry backlash in the press.

I was taking a read over Wickedfire when I caught sight of this thread. It seems that the Attorney General in Illinois has decided to take firm action against acai berry floggers. This news is particularly significant as it involves both the advertisers and a couple of well known affiliates.

Read the article here: Attorney General Madigan Files Suit Against Acai Berry Companies

Now there’s a bunch of issues that come to light from this news. Firstly, you’ve got the whole drama of fake celebrity endorsements.

Not to criticize fellow affiliate marketers too heavily, but if you buy a domain with Oprah’s name attached – and promote a rebill as if it fell out of her fat ass – you deserve all the trouble you get. I’ve invented my fair share of sales stories, but I’ve stopped short of imaginary Hello magazine endorsements. It’s just a legal minefield. I’m a pretty strong advocate of aggressive marketing. But that’s not aggressive marketing. It’s barely even marketing.

If Viagra Plus posted my smiling face and promised the world “As Seen On Finch’s Bedside Table”, I’d be pretty fucking heartbroken. Somebody else’s business is somebody else’s business. Sure, half of America is dumb and willing to buy anything Oprah shills on her talk show. But you can’t go sticking your wang in other people’s pies. Fake celebrity endorsements are the sort of harmful and misleading advertising that are ultimately gonna come back to haunt this industry. For some, clearly, it already has.

The second issue raised in the lawsuit – and arguably the bigger problem for most affiliates – is the action threatened against flogs. Most media publications have been pretty slow to “get” what a flog is all about. But in the latest round of lawsuits, the AG Lisa Madigan has gone out of her way to directly implicate these kinds of websites.

No doubt, widespread legal action against floggers would dump the cat amongst the pigeons. Not just because the acai berry market is so dominated by this kind of marketing, but because it’s spreading so rapidly to other niches and verticals.

Flogging for bizopps, flogging for anti-ageing…Christ, even flogging for dating (Try it, you’d be surprised!). If this form of marketing becomes a process of walking the legal tightrope, we’re going to see a lot of movement and a lot of top earners rethinking their marketing ways. Personally, I see that as a good thing. A flog, when you break it down, is pretty basic and doesn’t require much “level of entry”.

So what are we going to see next? If advertisers get hit for using fake celebrity endorsements – where does their next logical step take them?

How about…ACTUAL celebrity endorsements?

It’s happening already. I got a tip-off from one of my affiliate managers today about a muscle-building rebill that is apparently enjoying quite a lot of success on Advaliant. The catch? It’s genuinely endorsed by Stephan Bonnar. If you don’t know, Bonnar is a hulked up dude from UFC who looks like the sort of wet dream the target market for the offer would have.

Most of the top advertisers can afford to pay for a genuine celebrity endorsement. And I think this is what we’re going to start to see in the future. The celebrities don’t have to be A-List. As long as the name rings a bell in the consumer’s head, that’s all that matters. Credibility only has to be subtle to be effective.

Affiliate marketers have been running wild with fake celebrity testimonials for as long as I can remember now. The best way to sustain the tactic in the long term is to take the method and make it legit. Pluck a C-List celebrity out of obscurity and create some consumer trust.

If you’re sitting there now, scouring Google Image search for Oprah pics to throw in to your flog, stop for a second and think about the long term repercussions of what you’re doing. You’re not really marketing. You’re making up bullshit lies to sell a bullshit product. I can live with the bullshit product. But trademark infringements and slinging on somebody else’s rep – that’s no way to skin the cat.

Good luck to those affected by the latest round of lawsuits. I’m kinda anticipating a scapegoat to be made at some point in the near future. Best to comb your facts from your fiction to make sure that scapegoat doesn’t become you.

For clarity, I do not use Viagra Plus.

Is The Warrior Forum A Pyramid Scheme?

I could be convinced.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve stumbled across this hell hole of an Internet Marketing forum and actually posted there. Not for long admittedly. As far as messageboards go, this is the shit that George Orwell pissed his bed sheets over as a small child.

Here is a board that thrives on the principle of getting nowhere in Internet Marketing. Let me correct myself. Nowhere beyond the actual confines of The Warrior Forum.

It amazes me that this place sustains a stuttering eco-system of guys and girls who make money on the SHEER PRINCIPLE of making money. I can’t imagine they make more than the odd ebook sale – but it’s still mind boggling to understand that this shit is happening. Real time. As we speak.

Every other member has a link slinging an ebook. You know the kind? Probably hand-picked from a collection of 72,000 in a Demonoid torrent. These people strike me as the sort of hob goblins that spend 6 months researching key terms for a soon-to-be-hot niche, only to roll out an acai berry blog in 2011.

It’s plain as day that the best performers in the Warrior Forum marketplace are making their money from selling crap to…fellow Warrior Forum members.

Okay, fair dos. You get the odd smattering of urchins from Bangkok looking to send 5000 visitors to your site in 24 hours – but as far as quality services go, I can only assume that these guys have accidentally homepaged the Wayback Machine and forgotten how to close the window. A brief glance over the latest threads and you’ll see questions like “Am i being geolocated?“, “How does this blog know where I am?” and my favourite of all time, “Does posting links on Google work?

Now, I’m not trying to knock too heavily on the happy go lucky community of The Warrior Forum. I’m sure they’re all hard working mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. Christ, they better be hard working. But I’m writing this to anybody who’s new and getting started in the business. Anybody who reads some ridiculous sig link and is already on the phone to jack in his day job.


I spend day after day searching over new tools and systems that are allegedly going to make my life easier as an affiliate marketer. If I worked 365 days, I’d probably only stumble across something worth paying for on 5 of them.

When you get good at affiliate marketing, you become a good judge of the scam artists and the guys who are actually rolling out a quality service. I’m using the Warrior Forum as an example – I don’t hate the place – it’s just a terrible breeding ground for poor marketing. It’s like walking in to a fully immersive flog and personally, I come away from the place feeling just a little bit creeped out by the smiling avatars.

There is no magic recipe for success. And if there was one, it wouldn’t be sold on WF – or on any forum.

No successful affiliate hits the jackpot and then decides to sell it for $27.95 in an instant download. These guys seem to have established a mini circle jerk to pay the bills. I’ll buy your book, if you get three retards to buy mine. And so the madness spirals out of control.

I do a lot of work on traffic sourcing strategies that receive hardly any coverage across the many affiliate marketing blogs. Christ, most of my money is made from traffic sources that I haven’t even hinted at once during the lifetime of this blog. That’s just how it works.

You can go on Affbuzz and read to your heart’s content – you’ll get absolutely nowhere without action.

No secret worth knowing is handed to you on a plate.

Time and time again I’m getting contacted by guys who want a hint there, a nudge in the right direction here…but what can I say?

When you uncover a marketing tactic that works – you’ll appreciate the value of shit not getting saturated. If you’re new and fresh to the affiliate marketing business, you need to grow some thick skin when it comes to sales talk. The reality is that the best tool you have for this industry is Notepad and your keyboard. Time to get skeptical about everything else.

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