I'm working in online advertising since 1998 and finally decided to start my own blog.

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BASICS

Why NEWBIES shouldn’t start in the most competitive TIER-1 GEOs?

You hear it left and right … do not start in TIER-1 GEO’s straight away, learn the basics in developing countries first. But why is that? Or is it true at all? I will summarize the reasons in this article and try to explain why it is so and whether it’s a rule to follow in 100% of cases.

Note: This is a repost from the STM Forum, where I posted the article originally, in November last year. I decided to repost my own articles from STM from time to time, so guys who don’t have membership over there, can benefit from it too.

LET’S DEFINE WHAT TIERS MEAN FIRST.

When talking about GEOs, we often use the so called “TIERS” to define what countries we actually have in mind. 3 tiers are used most of the time : Tier 1 are considered the most competitive, Tier 3 are the least competitive ones.

There is no definitive list of countries per Tier or a fixed set of rules that would define them unfortunately. On top of that, several industries or agencies have their own rules for this. So we gotta come up with our own definition, in relation to internet marketing and affiliate offers.

Basically, the longer it is possible to monetize a certain GEO with online offers, the higher Tier such country belongs to, in terms of affiliate marketing. This is closely tied to the available payment options and the wealth of particular countries.

HOW MANY TIERS DO WE HAVE?

Not so long ago, the only way to pay for something on the internet, was to use a Credit Card. As you can guess, only a limited amount of GEOs were developed enough for this : USA, Canada, founding EU members, The Nordics, Australia, Switzerland … the most developed Asian countries like Japan etc … These were the original TIER 1 Geos.

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Do you have to target each GEO (Country) separately or can you mix them?

This is a very classic question, asked by almost every affiliate who starts with paid traffic campaigns.

Usually it goes like this : “Hey Mr.Matuloo, I started this campaign for Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, using a kickass PIN Submit offer that my Affiliate Manager recommended to me … and I’m loosing heavily on it, why is that?

Well, cause you’re a LAZY ASS, that’s why. There is only one reason for mixing several GEOs in one campaign – LAZYNESS – I know it’s faster to create such campaigns and it looks tempting to have one mega campaign that targets 500 Million people. But that’s not the way it works, unless you’re in the game to loose money.

BUT WHY WOULD I SPLIT THE GEOS, IT’S ALL LATIN AMERICA!!!

Oh my, there are so many reasons for this, so let me list & explain the most important ones :

1. Language – Properly translated creatives and landing pages pretty much ALWAYS work better. In some GEOs, you can do well with English langu

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How to get better payouts from your affiliate network?

Affiliate Marketing is a very competitive business, some niches are so crowded that it’s impossible to make any profit without some kind of competitive advantage. But don’t worry, sky isn’t falling and as always, there are several ways of winning the battle with your competitors.

The advantage that can set you apart from your competitors can be a range of things, some obvious, some less so …

– Experience / Knowledge – this alone can make you the winner at times, for example when working in a niche that you are pro at. It might require special language that you know and the competitors don’t. There might be some crucial parts that only pros understand etc …

– Cheaper traffic – maybe you know a traffic source that is not so popular, but their traffic is good. Maybe you can come up with banners that have super high CTR, which translates to cheap traffic…

– Quality Creatives – related to the above point, but it can also mean you can make killer Landing Pages that will convert like a charm.

… there are many more I could mention, but I want to aim your attention at one more factor that can help you a TON : Better Payouts.

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Mobile or Desktop traffic – what should you focus on?

Here is another popular question, asked by affiliate newbies all the time : “Should I focus on desktop or mobile traffic?” Not an easy answer again, but let me try to give you an answer, or at least help you understand the differences, so you can make a qualified decision.

When talking about desktop traffic, we mean surfers who are sitting behind their home computers or using their laptops. Mobile users are surfing from smartphones, feature phones or tablets. Tablets and Smartphones used to be treated as one in the past, but these days, many advertisers look at them differently. The reason is simple, tablet users convert and retain differently from smartphone users.

So instead of 2 basic groups, we are actually looking at 3 : Desktops/Laptops VS Tablets VS Smartphones. To make it more complicated, we also need to consider the connection type, especially when it comes to mobile devices …

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How to start in Affiliate Marketing with Paid Traffic?

I still remember my very first day of working with paid traffic. I wanted to start a campaign as soon as possible, but eventually I got lost in the process. There was simply too much of it : offers, trackers, networks, landing pages … I didn’t know where to start.

It took me some time to get it all sorted out and I eventually got it all right. But truth to be told – I’d gladly take advice from someone more experienced at that time. I could have saved me a few weeks for sure, not talking about the $$$ I wasted.

So in an attempt to save some of yours, both time and money, let me put together a basic war plan for you. I’m not gonna lay out some super detailed dummy proof step by step guide for you here… you still need to put the work and thought in, otherwise you wouldn’t realize the value of your progress 🙂 But it will definitely help you to start faster and avoid some of the most stupid

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What are Carrier billing / PIN submit offers and how to promote them.

There are 2 main offer types (or verticals) that are recommended to newbie affiliate marketers, one of them is SWEEPS and the other one are PIN submits. I already wrote an article about Sweeps here, so let me take a look at PINs now.

PIN submit offers are also called “Carrier Billing” or “Mobile Content” offers, the most accurate name for the would actually be Carrie Billing offers, since that’s their core principle – users get billed for something (some content) by their mobile carrier (operator). The charge will either appear on their invoice or it will be deducted from their prepaid credit.

You can see quite a wide range of products that utilize carrier billing, for example antivirus, wallpapers, ringtones, videos, games, astrology, lotteries adult photos and videos … I would say antivirus, wallpapers and adult content are the most popular ones right

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How much should you bid for traffic? HIGH or LOW? What’s the difference?

Pretty much all traffic networks are using the auction model, when selling their traffic. Of course, you can also make FLAT deals with them, especially when going for BIG volume, but that’s not an option for new affiliates at all.

On top of that, with offers going down anytime, caps getting filled at random times of the day and a lot of other factors you cannot influence … I’m not such a big fan of Flat deals anymore, because you can’t stop them at will. These days, I buy bulk of my traffic via bidding auctions.

HOW TO APPROACH BIDDING?

There is a ton of different ways you can approach bidding, everyone will develop their own strategy at some point. Some people love to mess with bids all the time, some set a low one and wait for the outcome, some love to sit in the middle, some at the top … but I don’t want to write a summary of all the possible bidding models here.

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How important are domain names in Affiliate Marketing.

Domain names are something that the internet, as we know it, couldn’t exist without. But how important are they, when it comes to affiliate marketing? Do you have to worry about choosing the most appropriate domain or can you just register whatever is available?

As always, the answer is not an easy one, and we have to analyze this a bit deeper. The determining factor here is, what are we actually trying to achieve. Are we going to build something, some site or some product … or are we just looking for something to put our promo material on?

The more long-term our goal is, the more important the domain name becomes. Let’s take a look at the possible options :

SIMPLE AFFILIATE CAMPAIGNS – USING PAID TRAFFIC

This is what I’m personally doing the most now : I buy visitors from traffic networks and send them to affiliate offers. To increase my conversions, I’m using Landing Pages pretty

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How much money is needed to start in Affiliate Marketing, is low budget a problem?

Affiliate Marketing (AM) is a business, and as with any other business, you need to invest some money at the beginning. People keep on asking how much money is actually needed to start in AM and whether it’s even possible with a small budget. So let me take a closer look at this topic, to help you understand what it takes to become an affiliate marketer in terms of funding.

First of all, we need to set one thing straight – in order to sell anything at all, you need the visitors (traffic) and there are two possible approaches to obtain it – PAID and FREE (organic). The simple logic behind these two approaches determines how much $ you will actually need to start. If you decide to work with PAID traffic, your costs will be higher of course.

This is very obvious and easy to understand. But to really decide what approach would be better for you, we need to dive into this a little bit deeper. Both approaches have their pros and cons, so let me try to compare them.

Let’s start with the PROS of each approach :

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What is native advertising and how you can benefit from it?

Banner blindness is a serious issue, for both the site owners (publishers) and advertisers, as well as for affiliates who serve as the middle men between these two. The more the users ignore the ads, the harder it is to sell them something. In order to fight this, the internet marketers have to come up with new ad formats all the time.

HOW TO MAKE BANNER BLIND SURFERS CLICK AN AD?

There are basically two ways of getting the “banner blind” users to click on your Ads :

– Distract them with intrusive AD formats like POPs, Interstitials, Self-Maximizing video banners … the problem with these is that they are annoying. They do produce results for sure, but the latest trends are not favoring such intrusive ADs. Google announced

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