State of the Tard, September 2009

For my very first post it seems appropriate to bring my [future] readers up to speed on what I have been doing and what I will be doing with regard to affiliate marketing.

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me about “net income”, Shoemoney’s webmaster radio show. After listening to some of those podcasts I was hooked. All that money everyone seemed to be making really piqued my interest. I began reading forums and blogs on the subject and have continued since then. During the past year or so I tried a couple of ambitious projects, like building a blog empire and other gray hat stuff. I had some success, but nothing I could really bank from.

About 6 months ago, I decided to really give affiliate marketing a try. I signed up with a couple of networks and basically didn’t really do shit beyond that. Lame, I know.

I think I fell into the trap lots of newcomers fall into which is constantly reading forums and blogs and not actually trying shit. It is an easy trap to fall into because lots of times, the presumably experienced marketers, contradict each other. I know for some newbs, it’s about money. They are scared to spend it and lose it. For me it was more about wasting time by doing shit people said didn’t work anymore. I also feel it had something to do with information overload and, of course, lack of focus on my part.

Anyway, about 4 months ago, while doing my usual bullshit reading, I came across an interview with Nicky Cakes on….

Even though I was a lurker on wickedfire, his name didn’t ring a bell— but what he said in the interview did.  Not only did Wes’ questions get him to describe the basics of affiliate marketing in a succinct way that made it sound do-able, but Cakes said something that really clicked for me:

“The #1 mistake people make is they read too much stuff.  After you’ve gained a basic understanding of how to use adwords, how to build a campaign, how to build a landing page…. you understand the technical aspects behind everything…. asking questions and reading up on what do you think is going to work is a waste of time.  The biggest mistake is they don’t just go out and try stuff… the people that are succeeding are the guys that crank out campaigns…  and put in work, and treat it like a real job.”

Holy shit!  He had my ass pegged.

Shortly afterward, I decided to “get serious”. I tried doing some campaigns on Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter on my own, with pretty shitty results. I fell in another newbie trap of throwing up a campaign then micromanaging and refreshing stats instead of throwing up more. Around this time, I also joined ppc-coach. I read mostly positive stuff about the program and decided, fuck it, it’s not that much money, and signed up. More on ppc-coach later.

Recently, in August and September, I launched about 8 campaigns on Adwords and Adcenter. I learned a lot about tweaking adgroups and keywords to improve CTR and CPC. While the campaigns lost money, these were not big spends so it was no big deal. I really think the learning was worth it. Not that it’s complicated, but once you actually do a few campaigns, it gives you confidence to do more and everything you read about just makes way more sense.

Stay Tuned, bitches.

Tard tip: has more good interviews that are definitely worth watching.

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