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How to make money online with affiliate marketing: step by step guide


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Who it is for

  • 1. webmasters
  • 2. affiliate
  • 3. publishers

Hello dear reader! Today we give step-by-step instructions on how to make money on affiliate marketing:how to choose an online product, is it worth making a website, how to work with offers, etc. This is important, since we usually write about various nuances of working with CPA for more than a month, but we realized from feedback in the mail that not everyone understands the basics, and drowning in tons of articles and blogs, they cannot draw up a specific action plan. Actually, that's what we're going to fix today. 


Disclaimer: Making money in CPA marketing is not easy and you have to learn a lot to get the first money. But, as they say, the road will be mastered by the walking.


Step 1: Surrounding ourselves with the right information field

If you want to be successful in any area, it is logical that you should be fully informed about what is happening in it. Affiliate marketing is very dynamic. Today you successfully get traffic to your doorway sites, and tomorrow Google introduces a new algorithm and your entire network gets banned. Therefore, keeping your finger on the pulse is the first step towards profit.


How to surround yourself with the right information field? The network now has enough resources dedicated to the subject of affiliate marketing. Naturally, this is affjournal.com, but we can also recommend resources such as:






If you work with facebook, then the guys from adlead.pro also have a good blog. YouTube is also a great option, but it's important to note that there are a lot of info-businesses there who are just trying to sell their worthless courses. But more on that in the next step..



Step 2: DO NOT buy any courses or training

Many beginners prefer to buy affiliate marketing training instead of figuring it out on their own. This is a smart approach that saves time in any niche. Everywhere, but not in the CPA. There are several reasons:


  • If something works, then no one will share it, since competition will quickly destroy everything and the "seller" will have to look for a new one. 
  • If the seller really manages to make money on this, then why should he sell training, and not make money on it on his own). 
  • Everything that gets into the public field immediately starts to be used by all webmasters and quickly burns out. By the time you understand the information from the course, it will no longer be relevant. 


We hope the trick is clear? What to do in this case? By the way, there is an option - plums of courses. But again - this information is not suitable for step-by-step use. Use it only for


Step 3: Choose a vertical for work and a traffic source

We figured out the information field, now our task is to choose what we will do. There are dozens of verticals and traffic sources in affiliate marketing. You must understand what is closer to you and "dig" already pointwise in this direction. 


For beginners, we can advise to start with something simpler and get the first experience. It doesn't matter if it's positive or not - it's important to just try. What is the easiest? In our experience, whitehat verticals are best suited for this - dating, sweepstakes, SP / BS - offers, mVas in conjunction with push / pops - traffic.

Why exactly them? Push/pops networks don't get banned for white topics and it's easier to scale than Google or Facebook. You can easily launch your first campaigns and get your first lead. Don't be afraid to blow your budget. When your faithful servant first tried to launch traffic, I received only 1 lead for $3, while spending $50. However, I learned a lot and later on it got better and better.

But it's also important to note that you shouldn't stop at white verticals and push/pops networks. All the same, webmasters make a lot of money on facebook and Google, so having gained a little experience, it’s also worth mastering these sources too. 


Step 4: Choose an affiliate program

We decided that we wanted to work, for example, with nutra and push/pops networks. The next step is to find out where there are nutra offers that accept traffic from push/pops networks.


To do this, you can use our catalog. It is not that big yet, but in our personal experience, we have included decent CPA networks in it. What criteria to choose an affiliate program:


  • Look at the amount for the minimum withdrawal of funds, the terms of withdrawal and payment options. If an affiliate program pays once a month, this is not the best option for a beginner with a limited budget. Ideally - withdrawal by request and from $10. 
  • Pay attention to what kind of infrastructure the affiliate network can provide. These can be agency accounts of advertising networks (they have more trust), bonuses in the form of free access to anti-detect browsers and trackers, etc. This is better than buying with your own money.
  • Take a look at the manager. Despite your inexperience, try to note his expertise in matters of interest to you. Also pay attention to the polite attitude and the speed of feedback. If you constantly wait for a selection of offers for several hours, this will not have the best effect on your work.


In fact, these are the main selection criteria. We can also recommend not to stop at one affiliate program. No one forbids creating accounts in several CPA networks and launching traffic to them at the same time, thereby testing which one is best to work with. 

If anything, there are filters in the catalog to make it easier to find the right CPA network.


Step 5: Choose offers (exactly offers, not an offer)

First, no one tests one offer. Usually it is always several products that are put on a split test and see which one will convert better. Secondly, when choosing offers for testing, you need to meet a number of conditions and ask yourself some useful questions. We talked about this in super detail in the article: "20+ questions to get creative started", here we will go over a short list.


Look at the offer in the catalog and ask yourself the following questions:


  • Is this an offer for a wide audience?
  • Is it possible to show the Unique Selling Proposition of a product and evoke some emotions in a person?
  • GEO offer will be promising for the strait or not?
  • Is it possible to find good creatives in a spy service?
  • Does this offer have seasonality?
  • What are the advantages of this offer in comparison with analogues?
  • What will the user think about when they see your offer and what can motivate them to buy?
  • What problems can there be with the moderation of the advertising platform when working with this offer?


It is also important to choose the right target audience. Here is a small checklist by which you can better understand your target audience.


Target Audience Checklist:



The most important thing: if you can’t understand what the user’s motivation should be in order to perform the target action according to the offer, choose another offer.  


Step 6: Understanding the technical base

The vertical was chosen, the traffic source was mastered, the affiliate program was found, the offers are on hand. Now it's time to deal with the technical part. The webmaster needs to deal with just 5 points:


  • A tracker that will take into account all your traffic and provide extensive statistics on all tests, placements and other segmentation.
  • Postback, through which all your statistics from the tracker will go to your affiliate network.
  • Anti-detect browser through which you can work with dozens of accounts at the same time (which is prohibited by most advertising networks).
  • SPY service, where you can spy on the latest approaches used by other webmasters working with similar topics and traffic sources.
  • Cloaking service. You may need it if you work with blackhat topics, which are almost always prohibited in ad networks (on Facebook and Google for sure). 


In general, if you took work through Facebook as a basis, then you will also need payment cards, many accounts, a white-page generator. We will soon release a separate article on this, so it’s better to follow the recommendations and start with a simple one - push / pops networks.


In the "Services" section you will find all of the above.


Step 7: Get creatives to work with your traffic source

If you go to the SPY service, then it will take a very long time to look for CPA offers in order to peep the approach. Therefore, here are a few life hacks on how to find them faster using the AdHeart service as an example: 


  • Domain zones. Webmasters use cheap domains and this is the first way to narrow down your target. In the field "By GEO of unwinding" select the desired GEO. Be sure to set "1" in the filter. In the search for the domain zone, insert this pack: .xyz/.site/.online/.website/.fun/.biz/.in.ua/.com.ua/.host/.space/.pro/.pp/. ca/.ru/.de/.jp/.su/.top and go.
  • Link tags. The CPA link has a number of differences by which it can be identified in the SPY service. Try to drive in the following tags: pixel, &utm, pixel_id, px, metka, fbpx and most likely you will see the desired result.
  • Button search. Pre-landers often have "Learn more", "Show now" or "Order now" buttons. To search for them, type in all the domain zones indicated above, and then go to the "Button type" filter. 


More details with screenshots can be found in the article: "How to find ready-made bundles in a SPY service using ADHEART as an example". 



Step 8: Set up an advertising campaign

Now that we have everything we need to run traffic, it's time to actually run it. To do this, go to the directory and select the push/pops network you like. By the way, use promotional codes to reduce your costs. 


Register. We confirm registration by the link in the mail. As you can see, we were even given a small bonus here.


When we get to your personal account - go to the "Campaigns" tab, give it a name and select the type of traffic. In this case, the ad network sorts premium sites and not so. The difference is naturally in cost. Next, select the format - Push or Popunder. We also indicate an affiliate link, where you can also add several macros if you track them through the tracker.


After that, the ad network prompts us to enter a postback link, again, if any. Next, you can set up targeting by GEO and devices. 


Then you can add your blacklists. If you are working with such traffic for the first time, then you will not have them. But later, when working with traffic, you can select sites that will not generate clicks and put them on the blacklist, thereby saving your budget. 


You can also see the recommended bid on the screenshot. That is, the network offers us to pay $0.712 for 1000 impressions. In other words, if we have an offer payout of $1 per lead, then if we have 10 clicks and 1 conversion from 1000 impressions, then we will be in the black (conditionally). 


Next, you can set up a schedule for showing your popunder.


After we set the scope of our advertising budget and send our campaign for moderation. You can then upload your creative and start tracking campaign results. Everything is simple. 

Step 9: Study the first results and optimize the campaign

How to understand that it's time to study the first statistics and stop campaigns that did not give the desired result? Large media buying teams have one simple thing right – we launch a campaign with a budget equal to the sum of three conversions. If there is no result, we work with changing variables (offer, creative, pre-landing, landing).


It is also important to mention black/white sheets. If you see that the campaign brings leads, but does not turn into a profit (or it turns into a plus, but there is an opportunity to make it even more profitable), then work closely with traffic sources. Each push/pops network provides analytics on which sites are generating clicks and which are not.Just turn off non-converting sites and you will most likely see a positive trend.

Step 10: Scale the campaign and get the first money

After you have optimized your campaigns, the culmination of your journey comes, namely, you will finally understand whether you have found a converting link or not. If yes, then congratulations - 90% of the work is done and for a long time it will feed you until it burns out. If not, then go back to step #5 and start all over again.


But let's say you succeed. Now you need to run as many campaigns as possible to get the maximum profit. To do this, you only need one thing - money and extra hands.


An affiliate network can help with the first. Just talk to the manager, if the ROI is really attractive, then the management of the CPA network can either give you money for working capital, or agree on exclusive conditions - increase the payout or reduce the hold and withdrawal period. All of these options are quite possible. 


But with additional hands, the situation is even worse. You can connect an experienced buyer to help, but there is a good chance that he will just steal your bundle. Often, webmasters simply hire smart students and entrust them with routine tasks, while they themselves monitor key parameters.


That's it. This was a short tutorial on how to make money with affiliate marketing. As you can see, you don't need your own website or product. You advertise someone else's offer and get real money. 


P.S. For each step, we have more detailed articles that you can easily find on our website. May the profit be with you! Good luck!



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