Why Affiliates Love Justin Bieber
The Night Owl vs. The Early Bird vs. The Office Chimp
My Split Personality On A Monday Morning

Why Affiliates Love Justin Bieber

Oh yes, they do.

There’s nothing the affiliate world loves more than a good fad to ride all the way to the bank. Justin Bieber encapsulates the affiliate marketer’s wettest dream, and that’s a dangerous sentence if ever I wrote one.

There are tons of affiliate offers that can be spun and peddled using Bieber’s bandwagon of fans – some that directly use his name, and others that need only be implied. It’s not the most reputable marketing tactic in the book, to monetize a brand that’s not your own, but we’re not the most reputable marketers in the first place. It’s going to happen.

Besides, the landing page H1s just roll off the tongue.

“How much do you know about the Biebs?”
“Pick the right answer for a chance to meet the Biebs”
“Lose half your body weight in 28 days to look attractive… to the Biebs”
“Sign up if you’re a BBW whale and like meeting rich men… like the Biebs”

Some niches may be more suitable than others, obviously, and that sentiment becomes even more relevant when you’re talking about traffic sources. Facebook and Google aren’t the best places to parade Justin Bieber as your CPA’s fake celebrity ambassador. Indeed, it’s not sensible to portray a relationship to any degree.

But for PPV, this kind of marketing bait and switch has become the norm for drawing eyeballs to offers that are hyper targeted to a certain demographic. One of the things that makes Bieber such a marketing hero is the immense loyalty he receives from a never ending pool of fangirls and floppy haired pretenders.

It’s the loyalty that should hold your attention. This is what we should be pursuing.

Click prices are rising across most demographics on most traffic sources, but there will always be opportunities for the marketers who are skilled at monetizing the Under 16 demographic. I’m using Justin Bieber as an example, but to tell you the truth, he’s probably not the best case study. While his army of fans continues to grow, so does the number of advertisers who are keen to jump on the monkey – and not just affiliates, but commercial brands too.

Looking further afield, it doesn’t take too much market research to pinpoint the names and shows that are exploding in popularity with the Under 16 market. How can it be? These are some of the most loyal followers of any demographic, and can be found posting their shit on Twitter 24/7.

There are huge opportunities for affiliates to jump on these trends. It just takes a little creativity, where affiliate offers don’t already exist, to match them to suitable campaigns.

I hate to use the phrase, but “like taking candy from a baby” springs to mind.

A regular pet project of mine is to snatch up domains for fansites of these young stars, turn them in to very basic blogs, then to simply splash the shit out of them with gaming ads and quiz offers. You may think the competition level from crazy eyed fans is too high to make a decent return, but in reality, you only need a tiny slice of the market when the market is so huge. And if you’re smart, you can convince the hardcore fans to work for you by seeding these projects with their own devoted content.

Sinister, right? I’m going to Hell? As long as the Devil crosses Baby off his playlist, that’s perfectly fine by me.

I remember when Michael Jackson died, there was a similar explosion of MJ themed offers. For the dirty scumbag affiliates of the world, it was easy pickings. Lock and load, and help yourself to some commission. I did just that, and I’m sure many other affiliates did too.

Where will the next craze emerge from? He or she is out there now, slowly accumulating an army of fans that will one day reach a tipping point when Ca-Ching – the money rush begins. Better get your ears to the ground!

These opportunities to reach huge demographics of highly concentrated users don’t appear every day, but when they do, you’ve gotta cash in.

Recommended This Week

  • If you’re looking for a good place to seek out Justin Bieber offers, look no further than EWA Network. EWA is clearly no stranger to the Biebs. “Bieber” Web Assets has been a running joke of regular hilarity on WickedFire. Remarkable physical similarities aside, Ryan Eagle is running one of the best houses in the industry for an affiliate to get his tracking links from. Sign up now for a peek.

  • Lots of Ads is the latest service to offer spying capabilities over Facebook’s most profitable ads. The great appeal for me is the ability to spy on International markets including France, Spain, Argentina, Brazil and many more. Save time on translations and tap in to the most lucrative markets on Facebook. Definitely a worthy addition to your toolkit. First 20 customers only who use code FINCH11 will receive 10% off their lifetime subscription. Enjoy!

  • If you’re a new reader, please add me to your RSS. Also follow me on Twitter Love you long time. Thanks for reading.

The Night Owl vs. The Early Bird vs. The Office Chimp

There are 8760 hours in a year, and the average employee spends exactly 2000 of them at work. I won’t scare you with the total number of hours you are expected to work in a lifetime but rest assured, it’s a lot of bloody hours.

Small business owners and self-employed professionals can rightly claim to lose many more hours outside of the set Monday to Friday 9-5 routine. Personally, I would bet that I spend up to 50% of my 8760 hours thinking about work. If I’m not brainstorming business concepts, I’m going over accounting figures in my head. And if I’m not daydreaming, I’m battering my keyboard as I speak.

This post is about stereotypes. That means understanding them, acknowledging them and hopefully becoming more productive by living up to them. I’d like to introduce you to my three furry friends, Mr Office Chimp, Mr Early Bird and Mr Night Owl.

Office Chimp, Early Bird, Night Owl

Consider them your new messiahs.

There’s a question I get asked a lot – usually by my friends – that relates to staying productive while being my own boss, and it goes simply, “When do you find it easiest to work?” Usually followed by “Or do you not work?” Followed by the snap judgment of my unshaven face and pizza beard “Christ, show me how you make money. It can’t be that hard…

For the longest time, I thought it was cool to reply that I worked whenever I felt like it. And in essence, it was true. But whether you believe it or not, routine is one of the great gamechangers in the productivity equation. We are designed to function better when there is routine in our lives.

Routine doesn’t have to be the recurring disgust of wedging your face in somebody else’s armpit on the tube, and it certainly doesn’t have to be the sight of the same fake plastic faces at the watercooler during lunch. Routine need only be an environment lavished with the correct ingredients to bring out the best of your working habits.

Mr Night Owl, Mr Early Bird and Mr Office Chimp sum up, quite suitably I think, three very different professional personas that I have encountered.

I often jest that Night Owls are online sleazeballs and bohemian graphic designers, the type who make money in darkened basements while scattering cheesy wotsits over their boxers.

Likewise, I love to ridicule the Early Birds for being psychomaniac marathon runners, the type you catch whizzing past in the park at god knows what hour because they have to get back to their squeaky clean apartments to do some fucking life consulting on why I’m such an unhealthy bastard.

And then there’s the Office Chimps. Those who arrive at their Macbooks by 9:01am with a large cup of Starbucks and the desire to ‘touch base’ over some useless corporate shit, always worth sacrificing a lunch break over, in the distant hope of success while they plan the only two week vacation of their year to Benidorm on a second minimised browser.

Am I stereotyping? Probably, but fuck that, right?

My point is (yes, there’s a point), that it doesn’t really matter which of these personas you choose to adopt for your professional career. What matters is that you embrace the necessary challenges and learn from our three furry musketeers. Take a peek below to work out what the hell I’m talking about.

The Night Owl Lifestyle

He who works between 9pm-4am.

The Night Owl enjoys a working environment of less distractions, less interruptions and more late night Channel 5 porn. He doesn’t have to answer the phone every 5 minutes, but he does have to contend with Ryan Eagle announcing on Twitter in 17 minute intervals that he’s still awake, and still got a bigger dick than you.

Unfortunately, being a good Night Owl requires a perfect knack for balancing your social life with those late surges of productivity. It’s not healthy to lose every Friday night to your work, but then neither is it healthy to batter your liver in to submission while your latest project gathers dust.

Doing it wrong:

Following the Night Owl work routine while courting a demanding girlfriend is a recipe for your balls to look like mashed potatoes by the end of the first week. Be sure to spend a lot of time with friends, family, loved ones and pets in the afternoon hours when you’re not working.

You must be able to distinguish between Night Owling for the right reasons (it’s your most productive working period) against finding a simple excuse for your insomnia. If your problem is that you can’t sleep, work is not the answer.

Doing it right:

If you’re going to be a night owl, you have to embrace the lifestyle and remain in bed until at least 12pm. It’s not feasible to expect to be working at your full potential in the early hours on little or no sleep. If you choose to ignore this advice, please allow me to recommend a local business that can probably serve you well. Just search… crack dealers in *my town here*

On a serious note… maintain a healthy diet, avoid reliance on caffeine stimulants, and use proper lighting to avoid blitzing the retinas of your eyeballs with chronic monitor glare. Working in the dark, every night, is really fucking stupid.

The Early Bird Lifestyle

He who works between 6am-1pm.

The Early Bird sums up a lifestyle I have never quite managed to embrace. The last time I was up at the crack of dawn, it was to retrieve a bag of Argos cutlery from an apartment I was running away from. Long story, but clearly such early activity has never come naturally to me.

I guess it’s the way forward for those who enjoy a good pre-breakfast workout, love the smell of morning dew, and don’t like late night Channel 5 porn.

The great appeal of getting work done early is to be able to enjoy the rest of the day. This may require a streak of independence, since most of your friends are likely to still be working when you’re finished!

Doing it wrong:

If you’re going to be a professional Early Bird, stick to your guns and obey the cut-off point in the day when work becomes secondary. The Office Chimps will be trying to badger you in to conversing after their 3pm pub lunches, but don’t be having any of it. If you become the pushover who is first in to his home office and subsequently last to close down Outlook, you have to question the merits of your lifestyle.

I always feel a little pissed off when I see that even the Americans on my Twitter have finished work, while I’m still plugging away in the UK. Thankfully I don’t have the fist in the balls of knowing I got up at 5am to add to the bitterness. Take note, Early Birds.

Doing it right:

The smooth sophisticated Early Bird doesn’t just do it right, he looks like he’s doing it right. These are the kind of bastards you see chipping on to the 16th green at 2:30pm because their work is dealt with and they’ve already maxed out the MuscleBlaster.

The successful Early Bird wakes early with a fresh mind, plows through the to-do list and crucially manages to maintain the momentum until his work is done. A fake Early Bird, a Finch in Disguise, may start off brightly at 6am. But when 9am comes, he’s such a virgin to the sudden rush of distractions and attention stealing emails that his best laid plans crumple and fail. He retreats to his natural environment and far from having the golf clubs out at 2pm, he’s drowning in a mug of caffeine and wondering where the morning went.

To be an efficient Early Bird, you need concentration levels of steel, Ivan Drago-esque discipline and the ability to give me those snotty looks as you sprint past in your sweat stained jogpants.

I admire you, Early Birds, but I hope the sunrise swallows you whole.

The Office Chimp Lifestyle

He who works between 9am-5pm.

If there was a God, the Office Chimp would clearly be his projection of how employment should proceed. Right from an early age, we are nurtured in to a routine that for 95% of the suckers on this earth, will become ‘The Routine’ for the rest of their lives. Monday to Friday, 9-5, with the occasional token gesture of holiday to avoid a certain mental breakdown.

The Office Chimp is scoffed at by those of us who are no longer constrained to the traditional work day, and yet many of us choose to work those conventional hours regardless. Oh, but we carry our work through the evening and the morning too. So who is laughing now? Just us unfortunately.

The Office Chimp is encouraged in all of us from an early age. There’s no shame in working to the tune of a lifestyle that regularly brings out the best in our performance. Unless it doesn’t, of course.

Doing it wrong:

As effectively as we are trained to work during the 9-5 grind, we are just as seasoned in the art of wasting time. Most of us have nurtured the skill through years of dossing around at school, pretending to be hard working students and browsing Facebook while the boss isn’t looking.

I can plead guilty to all of the charges above. But the moment I started my own business, the old adage became true. The only person who paid the price of those crimes was the idiot who was guilty of them. Procrastination is like masturbation, you’re only ever fucking yourself.

Adapting your work ethic to that of the Office Chimp requires that you be prepared to immerse yourself in the traditional work day. The phone will ring, emails will arrive and there’s bound to be that annoying queue in Tesco to separate Man from his Meal Deal. Can you stay focused?

Running your own business and still managing to waste time means that you’re definitely doing it wrong. But hey, at least you still have that sense of camaraderie with your fellow chimps. It’s always somebody’s fault but never your own, right?

Doing it right:

The successful Office Chimp is distinguishable by the fact that he looks like everybody else, but he’s a lot richer, a lot happier, a lot healthier and spends a lot more time basking in the sun on vacation. But how does he do it?

The tale of the successful Office Chimp is usually told with a recurring detail, and that detail is hidden in the actual nature of his work. Unlike most chimps, he will choose to only devote his energies to work that is high-value. You’ll never find him processing spreadsheets of meaningless data entry, or ‘touching base’ on matters that could be solved in an instant with a little common sense.

He starts his work at the conventional hour, and just like you and I, he finishes in time for an early evening drink. The difference is simply the value he places on his time, and thus the value he generates from his work.

You won’t catch the Office Chimp galloping through parks at a ridiculous hour, and you probably won’t see him covered in cheesy wotsits in the recess of the night. But just like with these other critters, there is method to his madness.

So which are you? And more importantly, are you doing a good job of being him?

Recommended This Week:

My Split Personality On A Monday Morning

A true affiliate marketing badass knows how to prioritise the importance of his work above the droves of distractions that are guaranteed to come his way.

We work in an incredibly intrusive environment. Some affiliates manage it better than others. I can’t for the life of me understand how any of you achieve more than a sustained migraine by logging in to AIM, or by relaying your every thought to Twitter.

For all the productivity tips in the world, I have three simple commandments that cut straight to the chase. Oh and a split personality, to hold myself accountable.

Don’t… log on to a computer out of boredom.

Don’t… open your emails if you don’t plan on replying to them.

Don’t… sit down to work without a tangible target of what you plan to achieve.

When I look back at my failed projects – and I’d need 20/20 eyesight to see to the bottom of the list – there’s a recurring trend that sets the losers apart. That trait is a lack of vision. The sheer indifference towards thinking about them every day.

So after flicking through my Analytics account yesterday, I guess you could say the skies parted and a lightbulb flashed above my head. One of my dearest old websites, and very first affiliate project in fact, was about to get the chop.

The website receives a small trickle of hits. On a good week, it’ll even turnover a few sales. But the site is about learning French (among other languages), and as most people who know me can confirm… mon francais est a petite bit shit, merci beaucoup.

To invest any more energy in to establishing a website where I have no reputable knowledge, and no vision for how I could make it work, would be like Wayne Rooney sitting down and attempting a crossword. There’s just no point.

This takes me back to ‘Don’t Number Three’ from my commandments above.

I can guarantee that if I sit down at my desk without a clear vision for what I hope to achieve, I’ll end up sodding off for an early lunch having achieved what I started with – absolutely nothing.

Why bother to enter your office if you don’t have an objective? This is the type of mistake that I would compare to jumping in the middle of the ocean on a raft without an oar. You’re never going to control where you end up, and you’ll probably just exert a lot of energy to end up where you started.

How many affiliates have felt that at the end of the day before?

A useful exercise, which I believe every affiliate should swear by, involves a month of keeping accurate records.

I know it’s not cool to keep a journal. But for the purpose of evaluating your own productivity and potential, go ahead and spend a month recording exactly what you work on every day. Don’t get sloppy. Record every last meaningless task you devote your energies to.

In an additional spreadsheet, record your daily earnings and match the income to the corresponding tasks that were responsible for generating the money.

Be prepared for a reality check. I predict that 20% of your time spent working will be responsible for 80% of the income produced.

That’s probably not surprising to many of you. But where the reality check becomes necessary is in justifying the merits of the other 80% of work that occupies our schedules during the month.

Look closely at the tasks that swallow 80% of your time. Which of these projects do you have a clear vision for, and which are simply helping you to stay busy?

Scrap whichever projects are making slow progress, little money, and perhaps even more importantly – the projects that you don’t see yourself being involved with 3 years from now. The “do I truly give a shit about this niche?” question has always been my great acid test for whether I’m going to see a project through to the bitter end.

If my answer is no, the likelihood is that I’ve spent too long logging on to my computer out of boredom, and not enough time setting goals that I’m likely to achieve.

Here’s a suggestion for you. Next Monday morning, pencil in some appraisal meetings with each of the projects in your Analytics account. Take on the split personality of an overbearing boss who cares little for sentiment and everything for results.

Now interview your project manager (Yep… that’s you again), and ask some deep searching questions.

“How do you think you’ve performed over the last six months, little affiliate site?”
“Where do you see your earnings this time next year?”
“Are you capable of reaching your targets or are you full of bullshit like Finch’s french?”

Now let the boss in you decide the fate and credibility of those answers. You wouldn’t hire a professional to do a bad job, would you? So why excuse your own poor performance?

Cut the crap and optimise your business like you would with any lucrative affiliate campaign. There’s money to be made, and time to be saved!

Recommended This Week

Copyright © 2009-.