Angle Creation: How to Juice Your Campaigns
My 2 Weeks in New York City & Indianapolis

Angle Creation: How to Juice Your Campaigns

Affiliate marketing is all about creating angles. It’s about playing cupid between merchant and customer, finding the common ground where the two parties can be brought together in profitable matrimony.

Creating angles is the part of affiliate marketing that I enjoy the most. It’s the brainsplurging stage where I sit down with a blank whiteboard, scribble the offer in the center, and then force myself to concoct dozens of incentives and selling points for that offer.

In my opinion, one of the main reasons for offer burnout is plain uninspired thinking. If 1000 affiliates choose an offer and run with the first angle they think off, there’s likely to be a bottleneck where most people lose.

If, however, you take the time to venture beyond the tried and tested angles, you can come up with some creative takes that will prolong the lifetime of your campaigns – and therefore your sanity.

What Makes a Good Angle?

Not all angles are created equal. Some have better hooks by nature when it comes to producing a desired action.

If you’ve ever read Ca$hvertising, you’ll be aware of the Life Force 8.

The Life Force 8 consists of eight very basic human needs that are hard-wired in to each and every one of us. They don’t need to be sold to us. They exist by default.

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
  4. Sexual companionship.
  5. Comfortable living conditions.
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.
  7. Care and protection of loved ones.
  8. Social approval.

A campaign angle can consist of just about any hook you can imagine. But to really get under the skin of your target market, the angle should embrace one or more of the Life Force 8 factors.

These aren’t wants. They are needs.

Let’s use my favourite example, RichMen.com, to show how angles can be constructed out of thin air.

Now, I’ve trolled the RichMen dating offer. I’ve spied thousands of ads, read hundreds of different ad copies. Through it all, I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I think most affiliates ‘phone in’ these ads. They rarely get their creativity out of second gear.

The default angle used by most affiliates is broody gold-digger seeks wealthy fancypants. While that may be a perfectly viable take on the offer, it’s also a bottleneck waiting to happen.

I’d say 80% of affiliates scramble to make coin from the same 20% of ideas.

They enter new verticals and go for the lowest hanging fruit, not appreciating that there’s a crush in the market because every other beginner is working on the same Plan A.

When you brainstorm your angles, it’s often a good idea to discard the first 2 or 3 ideas that come to mind for popular offers. Why? Because your first 2 or 3 ideas are going to lead you in to that bottleneck, in to the crush.

How to Easily Source New Angles

So, going back to RichMen.com, assuming we avoid the original gold-digger angle, how can we come up with new and exciting angles that other affiliates haven’t already beaten to death?

An easy method is to take your offer and stack it up against the Life Force 8.

Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.

“Joining Rich Men… gives you the chance to meet a man who will get you out of the rat race, let you retire early, let you enjoy the peace and freedom you’ve earned for yourself.”

Enjoyment of food and beverages.

“Joining Rich Men… is your ticket to be wined and dined. No more scoffing takeaway with a derelict Stella swigger who answers you only in grunts. Drink the finest sparkling champagne in the city with a mouthwatering date!

Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.

“Joining Rich Men… removes your fear of living from pay check to pay check, of wondering who is going to pay your 13 year old daughter’s University bill. Rest easy with a man who can take care of you!”

Sexual companionship.

“Joining Rich Men… will put the spark back in your bedroom. These men are confident passionate winners and the only thing bigger than their wallets is, well…”

Comfortable living conditions.

“Joining Rich Men… is a commitment to the life you’ve always wanted and deserved. Does this mansion look big enough for you? Can you imagine the walk-in closet space? Find a man who has room for your shoes.”

To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.

“Joining Rich Men… is a statement that you only settle for the best. Imagine the look on your colleagues’ faces when you introduce them to Mr. Right. That’s your Mr. Right.”

Care and protection of loved ones.

“Joining Rich Men… will give your child the best possible upbringing, and the best chances in life. It’s tough out there. Meet a man who’s already made it. You only deserve the best.”

Social approval.

“Joining Rich Men… will finally put an end to the smug gloating of your married friends. Bag a Prince Charming, fall in love, and watch how green it turns them! These guys are IMPOSSIBLE to find elsewhere.”

Now, some of these examples are a little crude, offensive, sexist, whatever. But my point is that by keeping the Life Force 8 in mind, you can easily brainstorm and stretch an offer in to multiple different forms.

Once you’ve chosen an angle that you’re happy with, you can then worry about getting the pitch of the copy right, not offending anybody, and adjusting your voice to the style of the market. That’s the difficult part, but it’s usually the step that comes before success.

Plug in Your Eyes and Ears

I often say that the many niches of affiliate marketing are trapped in the vision of a male twenty-something scumbag. That’s the typecast demographic of the average affiliate marketer, and we tend to see the world through our own eyes – for better or worse.

Most landing pages look and read as if they’ve been written by… well, the kind of person we’d expect to have written them. For dating offers aimed at 25 year old horny men, that can be a good thing. For parental offers aimed at 40 year old single mums, it’s definitely a bad thing.

So, this is an important point:

Angles exist outside your own mind.

Yes, they do. Some of the greatest selling angles known to man (or woman) are foreign to us because we are in radically different life situations.

For example, an affiliate marketer who has been sitting on his arse for 4 years, never having to commute, never having to engage in office politics… is going to slowly disconnect from the professional lifestyle. He’ll forget what it felt like to be struggling in that day job. It’s one of the reasons, in my opinion, why so many affiliate marketers start in the bizopp niche and then move in to new verticals over time.

How many blogs have you seen from ‘Warriors’ looking to make money by posting about their journey to make money? Some of them are relatively successful, because if a Warrior knows anything, it’s how to struggle for a living online. And that struggle sells. It’s not the shit they post about that drives the comments and sales, it’s the shared struggle of we’re in this together.

It’s easy for me to sit here and judge. But the reality is that just because a Warrior Forum moneymaking angle is alien to me, that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. Okay, it probably is less valuable. But the insight in to people is not.

It’s the same for all the Work at Home Mom blogs. I find them to be pretty weak imitations of the better marketing blogs out there. But then I have to bring myself back down to reality and remember that it’s not the marketing advice that’s being sold. It’s the lifestyle. It’s a shared sentiment that has no relevance to me, but is powerful nonetheless.

The WAHM gimmick is an angle that exists outside the scope of my own mind, until I wake up enough to focus on it, to view the market conditions from outside my own life situation.

You can’t afford to trap the world in your own eyes. Your eyeballs need to be hanging vacantly in the middle of the street, soaking up conversation and watching the shit out of people. You need to be listening to their needs, acting on their desires, and transmuting that information in to a body of work that smells less like the aforementioned twenty-something scumbag in disguise.

Good angle creation is rarely about agreeing with something, or holding any kind of positive or negative sentiment towards it.

It’s about spotting the way people see themselves and living vicariously through them for a few sweet seconds. If you can translate their least public thoughts in to ad copy and images on a page, you stand a good chance of controlling the next move.

Recommended This Week

  • Make sure you grab your copy of the newly released Premium Posts Volume 5. It’s the perfect tonic for anybody wanting to crack this industry on a shoestring budget.

  • Also be sure to check out Adsimilis, the official sponsor of Premium Posts Volume 5. Adsimilis is one of the most effective networks in the world for a CPA marketer to sink his teeth in to. They are particularly dominant in the dating vertical, with industry leading payouts. If you are a dating affiliate you need to be on Adsimilis. Simples.

My 2 Weeks in New York City & Indianapolis

Some thoughts, observations and brainfarts from my most recent trip:

NOTE: I actually wrote this post a week ago, but I’ve been trapped in bed ever since with fevers, migraines, hacking coughs and all kinds of nastiness. I feel like I’m finally recovered enough to sit at my desk and hammer the publish button. But, I’m not gonna lie, some grapes or a massive outpouring of public sympathy would be nice. I’ve got a hell of a lot of catching up to do in my inbox when I finally get back to work.

  • New York City really does feel like the center of the world. You can be walking aimlessly while stumbling in to celebrities, faces and events that are usually reserved for Hollywood and TMZ. There’s an incredible vibe in the city. I’m not sure I’d want to live in Manhattan, but I can imagine how inspiring it must be to work there.

  • New York also has the aura of people ‘making it happen’ at the height of their professions. Everybody is walking somewhere with purpose, you’re never more than a stone’s throw from some good hustling, and the city reeks of opportunity. If I lived in a small town in America, I would move here like a whippet to give myself the best career chances.

  • Visiting the 9/11 memorial is a surreal experience. It’s tough to bridge the disconnect between seeing the terrible events that unfolded on a television, and imagining them happening on the ground you’re standing on. I’d drunk multiple cocktails over lunch before getting to the memorial, but I sobered up almost instantly on reaching the entrance. There’s an aura to the site that brings you crashing to your senses as soon as you enter.

  • Tipping in New York City is messed up. I’m sorry, but it is. This made me laugh though:

    Tipping in New York City

    Wait, you’ve got a problem with our tipping? Then get the f- out, you limey prick!

    My problem with tipping in New York City is simple. It’s a massive pain in the balls. Should I tip 18%? 20%? 30%?

    Where I come from, tipping is a bonus for going beyond the call of duty. At the risk of sounding like Mr. Pink reborn, I should point out that I’m more than happy to tip in line with a foreign culture, even if I don’t agree with it. It seems that many employers in New York City adopt a policy of underpaying service staff (often below minimum wage) on the assumption that those workers will make the money back in tips.

    That’s not really a problem when you go out to dinner. You can just add the tip to your bill and have it whacked on the credit card. But Jesus mothershagging Christ, how many people require tips out here?

    There’s the guy who carries your bags, the guy who calls you a cab, the maid who tidies your room, the delivery guy who brings your pizza…. endless hoards of servicemen and women waiting to be tipped a fixed percentage, or a few dollar bills, for something that is nailed down in their job description. It shouldn’t be this way.

    I simply don’t have enough dollar bills in my wallet to tip every last act of service like it’s some kind of noble gesture I haven’t already paid for. When you pay for a hotel room, you expect somebody to deal with your bags. When you pay for a cocktail, you expect it to be made for you.

    I’m sorry New York City, but you’ve got it completely wrong when it comes to tipping.

    Pay your service staff a proper wage. Add a fixed 20% to every bill if need be. Pass that money on to your workers and allow me to reward them with a tip if and when they go beyond the call of duty. Don’t expect me to be reaching in to my pocket for dollar bills that don’t exist. I aim to charge my way out of this city on plastic, damn it!

  • That said, paying by card in America seems fucking dangerous. All this swiping nonsense strikes me as an open invitation to fraud and mass panic for anybody who’s lost a wallet. Chip and pin may not be as direct, but it’s a lot more secure.

  • I like how much more willing people are to talk to each other in America. You can get in to a lift and somebody will say “Good morning“. In England, that somebody is more likely to unravel a broadsheet copy of the Financial Times, smack you in the chops, and mutter something in to his coffee about ‘getting in the way’.

  • Americans are generally quite friendly to approach. I admire how you guys get on a plane and treat it as an opportunity to recite your life story to the guy in the next seat. It makes me feel pretty unsocial for wanting to plug in my headphones and go to sleep.

  • The Hotel Elysée has to be the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. We had a huge suite, complete with balcony overlooking 54th Street Manhattan. The room even had a piano in it, which is a first for me. If you’re looking for a luxury stay in the heart of Manhattan, definitely check out the Elysée.

    Elysee Piano

    Elysee bed

  • Walking from the World Trade Center to 50th Street is not sensible tourism. I’m not sure why I thought a 4 mile stroll across Manhattan would be smarter than catching the subway, but 2 hours later, after shoving and barging my way through Times Square, I knew better. The adrenaline of just seeing Chelsea win the European Cup on penalties kept me going, but my shirt was soaked through with nervous sweat and titty-chaffing regret. Not a good look.

  • Why do the toilets in American ‘restrooms’ have a gap of about a foot at the bottom of each cubicle? What kind of privacy is that? You can see twisting, contorting feet and gray sweat-stained undies in the cubicle next to you. The thing is already half-built, right? Surely one more square foot of material can’t be too much to ask? I resent intimacy when it comes to ‘restroom’ design. Or is America so paranoid about terrorism that bombs are expected to be found in restaurants and bars?

  • “Downtown” Indianapolis reminds me of “Downtown” Des Moines. A couple of taller buildings and the occasional red light. And yet many locals are terrified of driving downtown because ‘the streets are so busy’. Very strange. I like the lack of crazy clueless map-waving tourists though.

  • Anybody scared of driving in America should definitely avoid driving in Europe, or worse yet, the streets of Cambodia. The only people who go driving in Cambodia are sadists with a fancy for Mario Kart.

  • What would an American make of Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction?

    Spaghetti Junction

  • …or Swindon’s Magic Roundabout? I know you guys love those!

    Swindon Magic Roundabout

  • New York City is infinitely easier to navigate than London. Blocks of streets and nice orderly numbers are a good idea. It’s too bad London was designed for horse and cart or we’d be on that shit too.

  • Mad Men has to be the greatest show on television today. How awesome has Season 5 been so far? It’s nice to watch it ‘live’.

  • America does a much better job of selling through the television than we do in the UK. Ads seem to be catered for direct response. I have to admit, I did get a little sick of seeing commercials for every medical condition imaginable. Shouldn’t medical recommendations be left to a doctor?

  • TV advertisements for cars are insane out here. There’s no mention of the car’s full price, just the cost of getting it on finance (e.g. it’s yours for $289/month). How is that even legal?! It’s more relevant, I get that. But a pretty damning depiction of the debt culture that is shagging America as we speak.

  • Indianapolis has some of the most relaxed dress sense I’ve ever seen. I went to a wedding and was stunned to see a few of the guests turning up in plain t-shirts and shorts. Admittedly, it was hot as hell. But still. Is that… normal?

  • Indianapolis also has one of the weirder pieces of art on display in a city center. It’s called Ann Dancing, and it features a woman (Ann?!) gyrating in an LED display.

    Ann Dancing in Indy

    It’s amusing to hear tales of drunken Indy guys hitting on Ann for her shapes, especially the kick back down to earth from their friends. “Dude, she’s electronic. You’re not getting any.

  • Indy, like most places in America, does breakfast well. Stacks of pancakes, waffles and mega-omelettes… plus seemingly endless refills on whatever you’re drinking. It beats the crap out of my local Masterchef.

    Breakfast in Indy

  • Starbucks really does seem to have a monopoly on the coffee shop business in America. Here we have Costa, Caffe Nero and many other competing chains. In America, the closest competition to Starbucks is… the Starbucks on the next block. I fell in love with the Iced Caramel Macchiato on this trip.

  • Mass Avenue (where I was staying in Downtown Indy) has a bakery for dogs. I found it pretty mesmerizing. Freshly baked doggy treats that look just like the real human thing. I bought some for my pups, but they’ll be lucky if they receive them. The chances of me traveling 3000 miles without ripping in to a pack of strawberry kisses are slim.

  • Everybody speaks about America having a problem with obesity and over-eating. Maybe that’s true, but there’s no shortage of healthy options in the supermarkets if you go searching for them. The choice is amazing. And excellent value too.

  • Healthy options aside, Taco Bell is immense.

  • What’s with the attitude from taxi drivers in NYC? I asked for a ride to JFK (in rush hour admittedly), and his response was, “You better pay some good money. You don’t have cash? Yeah, you can pay by card but you’re pretty dumb for not carrying cash. Always carry cash. You better leave a real nice tip. This is rush hour. It’s busy. You’ll see. You leave some good money, alright?

    It furthers my point about tipping. Why should anybody receive extra for an agreed service when their attitude stinks of entitlement? I found myself longing for South East Asia where tips are seen as unexpected and generous rewards. One of the first things you notice about the service industry in Thailand is that people take great honour and enjoyment from serving their customers. It’s par for the service. And that makes it rewarding to tip somebody.

    In New York City, the sense of entitlement made me feel pretty uncomfortable at times. It’s intimidating for a tourist who doesn’t want to offend the local customs, and I can only imagine how confusing it must be for those from foreign cultures where tipping is actually frowned upon.

  • The New York Public Library is pretty damn impressive. The sort of place where you hide your Kindle for fear of disgruntling the Book Deities.

  • My girlfriend took a fencing lesson outside the library. She was praised for being particularly aggressive. “It’s good. It’s how you win,” said the instructor.

    I’m happy for her. So happy that I’ve decided to replace our cutlery with plastic.

    Fencing in New York

    Hotel Casablanca

  • I was mighty chuffed to finally meet a polar bear at Central Park zoo. I guess it’s not the same as seeing one in the wild, but I did manage to leave the scene with my balls in tact. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

  • I also made it to the kid’s zoo for no other reason but to feed some goats. There are a million and one things to do in Manhattan, and I chose to spend $2 on the activity you can do for free in Wales every day. That either says a lot about my priorities, or a lot about my appreciation for the smaller things in life.

    But, obviously, not my appreciation for the 3 small kids I booted out of the way to get to the goats. They were expendable.

    Feed the goat

    Feed the goats

  • I find it amazing that so many people in the Midwest opt to build their own houses, often as a first step on to the property ladder. How lucky are they?! Designing and building your own home is a distant dream in London. I would love to be able to design a home from scratch. Unfortunately, the UK’s massive overpopulation makes that a rather expensive proposition. We’re lucky to design our own kitchens.

  • All in all, America is definitely one of my favourite places to visit. It has everything that I’m used to in London, but on such huge and often ridiculous scale. Besides a few skirmishes with taxi drivers, I found it surprising how friendly and welcoming most people were. In London, you sense people are mutually delighted to avoid eye contact. In America, you feel a much greater sense of camaraderie.

  • Next on my schedule of places to visit in America: San Francisco, California, Las Vegas, Chicago… Anywhere I’m missing?

  • CREDIT: Photos jacked from Lela London’s blog and iMac.

    Recommended This Week:

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    • Also be sure to check out Adsimilis, the official sponsor of Premium Posts Volume 5. Adsimilis is one of the most effective networks in the world for a CPA marketer to sink his teeth in to. They are particularly dominant in the dating vertical, with industry leading payouts. If you are a dating affiliate you need to be on Adsimilis. Simples.

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