The Bragging Thread - Inspire A Newbie

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Hi, newbie around here, not in IM world...started affiliate site in early 2014 with $250 budget, didn't earn a dime in that year, but I kept hustling. Revenue for 2016 was $20k :smile: Not much for many of you, but for me it's double than my day job, which I still didn't quit...hope this year that'll happen too.
So whatever obstacles you face, keep moving forward and stay focused! All the best in 2017!
 

Rageix

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6-7 years ago I was working in a local factory hating my life and broke as shit. I got fired, it felt bad kind of. I had been doing web development as a side gig for a few years prior. I decided to make a run at it and it ended up being the best decision I ever made.

The first project I was hired on ended up going bonkers and made like $2Mil in a year and a half. Even though eventually the project crashed (due to Google) and burned it launched me head first in to running my own freelance web development business. I've got to work on a lot of cool projects. I've got to pitch at a startup day. I've got to work with some Silicon Valley outfits. I've got to work in my underwear for many years now.

My point is, I never graduated college, and did not even go for computer science. I'm just one of those guys who learned most of it himself, ground hard, got work done, and treated my clients fairly.

Start your journey today. Don't be one of those people putting it wondering what if. Looking forward to building a relationship with lots of you (I know there are a few Wicked Fire refugees here).
 

Cash Builder

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I started building affiliate sites in the summer of 2015, finally made my first $1000 last month! It's been a long, frustrating, exciting, demoralising journey but once you start making some money it's easy to make more!

I tried to upload a screenshot but can't figure out how to do it from my phone :/
 
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1 year ago I just finished high school and started going to college.

Now I run a few ecommerce businesses and making a pretty good living out of it.



P.S. All the traffic coming to this site is organic.
 
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There are some really amazing success stories here - really inspiring!
I've had a relatively tiny amount of success recently with a small ClickBank project, and am making about $650 a month from my site (traffic source is organic from some SEO). Just need to work out what I did right and repeat it!
 
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Just signed-up and a big part of this forum seems to evolve around Google versus paid traffic but always glad to become part of a community to spend some quality browsing time! (Love reading case-studies from small to big)

Ventured into paid traffic a couple years ago, moved to HK and hired a small team of media buyers. PPC and mobile are the name of my game.



*Not tracking cost here
*We are working with ROIs between 200/500% (Quit consistent)

Questions are welcome but obviously not going to reveal the niche(s) and the core magic.

This is still hardcore CPA but through direct advertisers and direct relationships we have build over the past few years.

While networks are still great, working direct will provide you with a much better edge such as being the first to test a new GEO, Better payouts etc.

While what we are doing is not eCommerce I just want to mention that Ecom + FB = deadly combination with the right products. Think cool gadgets, smaller priced items and the well known FREE products *only pay for shipping.

Will see what I can contribute to this community instead of just posting some rev screenshots!

How much money would you need to start paid traffic? I'm doing SEO only and kind of drained how slow it is at this point can only dream about reaching million dollars level, I saw so many people within 2-3 years becoming 7 figure PROFIT earners from paid traffic, where from SEO there are ZERO cases.
Obviously the more you have the better but it's hard to provide you with a rough estimate. Let me try and break some things down for you. (Straight to the point)

* Paid traffic is a numbers game and having just 4 figures to spend will make it a lot harder for several reasons.

In a way you will want to distance yourself from the funds you invest otherwise your mind might play tricks on you and turn it into a much more personal investment than it is supposed to be. For example: Just testing 2 angles versus 4 because you feel the urge to safe money or throwing your angle away to fast without testing properly, pausing placements to quick etc

So make sure you put money to the side and call it "Education funds" or whatever and distance those funds from your personal funds and see it as investment funds, a road to getting into paid traffic.

Another reason to have let's at least 5 figures to spend is once you hit positive ROIs you will want to scale out as fast and as much as possible.

# Depending on what you run, what traffic sources you use a positive ROI is not the norm and most people starting out with paid traffic will either never see the green or only get a small taste of it. Once you find gold you will want to have the funds to be able to scale it out as in general CPA isn't a long term game.

I have seen people getting bank loans, credit to bank as hard as possible once they find a campaign that returns a good ROI.

Compare it with playing poker and you are sitting around the table with just 100$ while everyone else is stacking $1k, the max you are going to win on your killer hand is 100$ while there is a lot more to grab.

However the good news and how most people get started is working out faster payouts with the networks they work with and most networks are more than willing to set you up with weekly net 0 payouts as it's a win-win situation for both parties, you get the funds back fast to scale and the network in return earns more because you are driving more rev.

Tools

If you are not tracking your results you are running blind and no matter what others say, direct linking is NOT the way to move forward.

Some solid trackers these days are:
- voluum
- thrivetracker

And obviously you are going to need hosting based on the amount of clicks you are sending. (Speed is KEY especially with mobile)

Now to get a bit more straight to the point

The CPA world is full of shit.

95% of the actual money that is generated is far from white hat and ANYTHING somewhat white hat became very rare in this industry.

The latest white hat being run currently is eCommerce and that industry is and has been exploding for a while now. Affiliates turning to their own stores while using similar angles they ran before to promote absolute shit and it works like a charm, and Google and FB won't ban your accounts for this.

Highly recommended if you venture into paid traffic but let's point out some more options.

Other than eCommerce the biggest niches currently are Health (Think nutra, yes still the Garcinia shit, Binary, Casino and Sweeps)

It doesn't take a scientist to point out that this SHIT simply doesn't fly on the good traffic sources.

I personally avoid most traffic sources mentioned on affiliate forums and put my focus on Google and Facebook as it just doesn't get any better than those.

Honestly, it just doesn't.

Native ads is probably third where most of the rev is coming from right now and POP ads a close 4th.

So instead of pointing you in the direction most shit stains do I highly recommend starting out with the top 3 sources but these come with certain complications.

These are not affiliate friendly sources and without a proper setup you won't be getting anywhere and running hardcore CPA shit just one account isn't going to last you either.

The entry point for these are a lot harder so to speak so the funds required to run here will need to be a lot higher as well.

You are going to need cloaking, you are going to need residential IPs often operated on a VPS and on top of that you are going to need several credit cards (There are services for this etc) to create the several accounts you are going to need.

To get back on distancing yourself from your investment funds...

Chances are high you set the whole thing up for one account or even 10 accounts, paid for the whole setup and a day later 8 out of those 10 accounts get REKT.

The reason I mention all this is because most if not all "super affiliates" (Hate this term) run as I explained above.

Cloaking the living shit out of native, FB and Google and to be really honest that's how the millions are made and not on Zeropark, Mobile DPS etc and even these sources are being cloaked the fuck out to make a decent return facing tons of competition because they are mentioned everyone under the sun as mostly affiliate friendly sources.

To sum this up; if you want to venture into "traditional" CPA than be prepared to get properly setup first and aim for 123 to actually bank.

Even to get your feet wet I still highly recommend 123 and keep an eye out for the somewhat white hat offers that still see successes such as:

lumitact (Can't post links just yet)

(These overpriced Tactical Flashlights killed it on FB for a good year and people made a ton of money without getting their accounts banned)

Basically look out for the more eCommerce based CPA models altho you won't find a lot of them and the ROIs are def not as high as the niches I mentioned above, but if done right still a lot to be made.

And as mentioned in my first post I highly recommend looking at FB + eCommerce as it's white hat and I have seen some amazing ROIs but be prepared to do the whole alibaba, shipping, customer support thing and find a good process for yourself first before outsourcing the entire thing.

But surely worth the investment and time spend as this is the future for most affiliates. Few good friends of mine got sick and tired of the traditional CPA shit and turned their entire focus on eCommerce and are currently seeing higher profits than they ever had before.

I know this doesn't exactly answer your question but let's put it at a rough estimate of 10K and from there obviously the more the better + don't forget that the more you have to spend the faster you will learn.
 
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Also, this is a new product I launched a couple months ago, it's only a start but it's something to build upon. Branding can start right where you are, no matter if you have $0 sales.

 

Blackthorne

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Started building a site in mid 2014.
Grew to $150 a month in december 2014.
Saved up some payments, used them to buy some strong backlinks.
Site grew to $1500 a month in december 2015.
Kept adding content, increasing the quality of my site, more backlinks.
Site did almost $18,000 in december 2016. Almost $17,000 in january 2017.
I'm here to learn and scale it up to $100,000 a month.

Well done, what general niche are you in? Display adverts, affiliate, ecomm?
Outdoor/health/apparel. Amazon.
 
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Got some real inspiration here. I'm gonna kick my ass to go to the next level (02:19am in here, couldn't stop reading). I feel like I haven't even started yet.

I made a little over $2K last month ($1700 with Adsense and $400 with ClickBank, only one money site). I want to hit $10k/month up to the middle of the next year. If possible still this year. I guess I just have to work harder and smarter. Put in more hours and start to delegate a lot more.

I guess we all have to start from somewhere :smile:
 
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If I could jump in a time machine today and visit to my younger self just starting out, these are the few nuggets of wisdom I would share:
  • Take VIOLENT action. Stop trying to making things perfect. Things will start out looking ghetto and over time you polish things up and they EVOLVE. But they don't start out that way.
  • You will FAIL. A LOT. Failures are the blueprint to success. You should embrace them and learn from them. They will teach you more than success ever will. Learn to LOVE to FAIL.
  • Success makes most people fat and lazy. When you're broke and desperate, you take risks and stay focused. Success can be a siren song and distract you from what made you successful.
  • Never QUIT. Success is on the other side of a brick wall. You hammer it 99 times and nothing seems to happen. But on the hundredth hit, the first brick falls and the wall crumbles fast.
A few more things that are worth mentioning that I think are also keys to success:
  • DON'T get afflicted with the addiction to material things. In the IM world, you see people measuring their success based on the things they can buy. This is a wage slave mentality. It's why you see "ballers" posting pictures of a flashy new car and then 2 years later they're posting about having to start over because of some unforeseen business failure. You can buy that flashy car eventually, but a good rule of thumb is, try to make sure it's less than 10% of your net worth. Which leads me to:
  • SAVE what you earn. I remember the CEO (maybe ex-CEO now) of GoDaddy making an interesting comment on his rules to success. He said, "the business always gets what the business needs." That's wise advice and naturally you need to reinvest whatever money the business needs to succeed. But as for the rest, SAVE IT. As much as you possibly can. Pretend the bogeyman (in this case, being dirt poor) is constantly chasing you from behind and your mission is to put as much distance between you and the bogeyman as possible.
  • It's better to stay HUNGRY and HUMBLE . No matter how successful you think you are, the bogeyman is NEVER far behind. N-E-V-E-R.
 
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Folks... Lets stop posting so much advice. This thread is for bragging.

If I wanted so much preaching I would be in a church. Let the folks have some fun showing some stacks of money ^.^ ... If you want to be frugal you don't need to get rich. Get a 9 to 5 and enjoy your frugal penny stretching lifestyle.
 
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Finally growing my traffic, although I gotta do something to get that bounce rate down.

The site is almost 2 years old at this point. It's always hovered around 100 uniques a day (majority from Google), however, I've started to notice within the last month(s) that it's been gaining above 200. This past week has been consistently over 200.

Just been adding more content every day/week. Right now I'm in the middle of rebuilding the site and adding some more features to it.
 

stackcash

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I've always thought it to be in poor taste to reveal earnings, and I still won't reveal what I earn in a year. BUT, this summer has been great and I'm proud of myself and my team...so I'll share a little cross section of what's been going on.

I bought this:



WordAgents generated this much revenue over the past 90 days:



I got to talk about SEO Content on stage with marketing managers from WebMD and Gilt:



And... WordAgents got it's first mention in a big publication:



https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297705#

On top of that.... all of the new authority sites that I started with the proceeds from my case study site are now earning and are seeing major traffic and revenue increases each month. I'm earning an additional $5,000 - $10,000 per month from all the sites combined. Two of the sites have $1mm / year earning potential; so my update next year should be pretty interesting!

And now....a bit of clarity:

When I started my digital marketing career in 2010, I had little to no professional skills at all. I played guitar in hardcore bands and drank a lot of beer.

The point being... ANYONE can reach their goals with enough elbow grease.

If you're not reaching your goals, I would argue that it's due to a lack of effort and NOT a lack of opportunity. Keep moving forward.

This is me right now. Did giving up the band come down to sacrifice or did interest fade as your business grew?
Eh. I did this from age 14 to 24ish. Life consisted of basically living in a dingy music studio daily and playing out a few times per week. It was "sustainable" as far as I had four walls and a roof around me, and I could eat fast food. Towards the end of my stint, I realized that I didn't want to be one of those "lifers" that maxes out at $35,000 a year as a roadie once their playing days were over.

Being from LI, I know a lot of people from the "big bands" from the alternative / emo craze in the 2000's. The smart ones opened up cash businesses on Long Island and used their fading fame to catapult their new ventures. The other guys that pushed forward are either stuck touring endlessly to pay the bills, or are living off ASCAP checks in house shares with 6+ other dudes.

So, to answer your question...interest in the lifestyle faded because other opportunities were tossed in my lap. These days, I'm the old dude that shows up at reunion shows by myself. :smile:

Dude that's just so much money. 90 days? If I made that much USD every 3 years I'd be retired.

Could you paint a picture of what your work week was like leading up to your business starting to roll, and how long it took until it did?
Thanks man. That's just revenue, I still had to pay my overhead out of that. In the scheme of things, $50k-$60k a month is pretty normal for a small business. Even if it is above average, I like to make myself think it's shitty so I push harder to grow.

I started digital marketing in 2010 and worked my old day job continuously all the way up to this past January. My days consisted of working the day job from 9-5 weekly, then coming home and working on marketing stuff from 6pm to 10pmish. Did that for a solid 4 years before I started making money that could by considered "more than a side project."
 

CCarter

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After hours, days, and weeks of sweat I finally did it. I was able to finally get my flood lamps - got it in RED! Most come in yellow, but I always want to stand out from the crowd.



Sorry for the potato image, I was too excited. Another angle:



This model is from when Craftsman meant something! Notice the tri-rubber grips - and you can set the lamps to almost any angle. It's a got a nice tripod stand, so it'll balance if you have to put it on grass. What a time to be alive...

I don't know what's going on in here, but I moved the car because I feel like you guys are concentrating on the wrong thing. This is a GENUINE Craftsman Flood Lamp - Rare Red:


They don't even make these anymore!
 
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One of my newer sites tanked in March due to the google update - I have spent most of the year trying to bring it back to life and only just seeing proper signs now with an upturn in ranking - still a long way to go.

As a result, I paid more attention to paid advertising as I had some success there but never really pushed it. For December so far I have made around $15,000 profit. I had my first day over $1000 in November and have had many more since then. I always maintained on here that I never felt any sort of achievement when I reached certain income goals - I just kept going through the motions. However the first $1000 day came as a big shock to me and actually made me feel really awesome. I feel pumped! So I guess maybe a certain level of income is what it takes to feel it and for me it was the $1000 a day!

I am still working to bring back the site (more of a I have put a lot of time and effort into it and want it to succeed sort of thing more than anything) but it was a blessing in disguise really because I doubt I would have given as much attention to paid if I hadn't. Thing is though - paid is so much more enticing because the return on investment has been very quick where as I have had a site reach $100 a day consistently but that took a lot more effort than the paid did. Having said that - could never have properly funded paid without building sites first.
 
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Great stuff in here! I'll leave my 2 cents on (Amazon) affiliate niche sites.

When I started my first niche site in 2016 I managed to work on it with focus and dedication for about 3 months and then got distracted by other people's success. I believe that was the time when 10Beasts appeared on the radar and I thought:

"Holy smokes, this guy is doing $40k 6 months after starting this niche site and you're sitting here with under 1k/month. You certainly niched down too hard. Go do something bigger."

So I did...and I now know that wasn't smart. (I started a multi-niche site just like 10Beasts, put around 1.5k and countless hours into it only to realized that I couldn't rank the product reviews - mostly because I didn't even like the site as it was so broad and I had nothing really to contribute when reviewing those products.)

Lucky me, the work that had put into my first site payed off and before I knew it December came around and that 4-month old site made me about $4k. So I figured, niching down might be a good thing after all.

Since then I've really only casually worked on expanding the site, but because it's so niche, it ranks easily and doesn't require a lot of maintenance work.

And voilà, this December surprised me yet again:



So my point is:

Yes there are people out there that do theses numbers in a day or even afternoon. But when you're starting out the problem right in front of you is making your first buck and getting a foot in the door...

...and more often than not niching down will get you there in terms of (Amazon) affiliate sites.

And from there things that you thought were far too small and insignificant will expand into opportunities that you had never thought possible.
 
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I'm totally new to online marketing. I started this little amazon niche site three months back. It seems to be doing well given that I had no prior experience in SEO or digital marketing. This may inspire some newbies who have not yet earned any income from their sites.

 
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Hi builders!
I've been lurking this site for a while now.
I just wanted to show you what my first year in this business looks like.



Quick info:
- Site 1: Started late November 2016
- Site 2: Started late May 2017
- Site 3: Started September 2017
- All sites are affiliate sites in Swedish
- January 2018 will be a new record month :smile:
- I'm currently reinvesting all income into growing the sites and building out new ones
- I have not written a single word on any of the sites, I'm outsourcing all the writing and publishing of content
- As of now I've got a full time job and the sites are my side gig

Keep on grinding,
Mats

Mats,
This is very inspiring. Thank you from a newbie who has just purchased a domain and now hoping to make it work.
The best part about your story (for me) is not writing content yourself. Do you mind saying
a) why you made this decision
b) how much attention to the content quality you paid overall.

I'm asking because I've been copywriting for some time, but hell I'm a slow writer and I realize I'll need to outsource. Yet, I've also been dealing with other copywriters, and hell it's hard to find a good one I could trust.
So I'm trying to understand if it's even worth sweating the quality so much.
a) I had more cash then I had time and I really hate writing. I'm much better at managing writers and come up with a systemized workflow for them and my VA.
b) In the beginning i proof read everything. Now I just skim through before I hit publish. :smile:

If you want to grow your business i'd say you'll have to outsource most of the work. You can't micro manage everything. My plan is to separate my self as much as possible from anything in the business. I don't want to create antoher job for myself, I want freedom. :smile:

It's hard to find good writers but they are out there and it's worth paying a little extra to avoid any headaches. :smile:

2018 has also started great with record month after record month. :smile:
January: $5402
February: $5233
March: $7025

I just became a dad and the spare time I had in the evenings are almost gone. :smile:
I've got 20 articles done for a new site but haven't had the time to set it up yet.

Keep on grinding,
Mats
 
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I had a pretty good Amazon day yesterday. I'm doing better than I've ever done recently and I hope it sticks. That's around $120-$150 of commission, which would be my record if it would all ship out at once.

This is a much better way to spend free time in college than getting drunk and playing call of duty every night. I'd be doing the same stuff if I hadn't found this forum.
 
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I don't have recent successses to share, but some fun ones from my past. Anyone remember Susan Boyle? I was running a free credit reporting CPA at the time, sending any cheap eyeballs I could find to my lander. Susan Boyle searchers made me $1000s for some reason (not sure why they converted so well).

I also racked up $25k in credits from my electricity provider by way of their refer-a-friend system.

The moral of the story, get Sh#t done.... its all that really matters. Try, fail, try again.... failing is learning, success is the cherry on top.