Before you can begin building, you need tools. And the same’s true if you’re building your affiliate marketing career.
In this part of the guide, we’ll get you set up with all the tools you need to get started.
There’s no "What to do now" at the end of this part of the guide – instead, you should go through this guide step-by-step and either check you already have what you need, or get it for yourself.
The most important thing you’ll need to start affiliate marketing is a large enough budget for testing.
Virtually no-one makes money straight away with affiliate marketing. You should expect to lose money whilst you are learning.
Generally, you’ll need a budget of around $3,000 – $5,000 over a couple of months. $1,000 over a couple of months is about the absolute minimum to get anywhere.
That might seem like a lot of money to lose – but you’re not actually losing it, you’re paying for data and learning.
Think of this stage as if you’re paying for a college course. If you were training to become a lawyer in the USA, it could easily cost you over $100,000! And at the end of it, you’d probably earn less than most experienced affiliate marketers.
For the amount of money you can make, training in affiliate marketing is a really good investment.
You’ll need to choose a single traffic source to start with. Jumping around or trying multiple traffic sources at once when you’re beginning is one of the surest ways to failure – stick with one until you’ve made it work.
The best traffic sources for new affiliates are either Plenty Of Fish, a well-known dating site, or mobile DSPs (Demand Side Platforms).
Mobile is the big growth area in 2019, but it’s quite different to other areas of affiliate marketing. If you want to get started with mobile (and we’d recommend it), head on over to The Mobile Cookbook. Note that you WON’T need a server to get started with Mobile if you follow our "Appetiser" approach.
The rest of the Getting Started Guide will still be useful for Mobile – particularly parts 6 and onward – but you should follow the specific steps in the Cookbook.
If you want to try out POF – which is particularly good if you have a smaller budget – follow the rest of the Getting Started Guide.
You can also try niche placements on adult advertising providers like ExoClick, TrafficForce or TrafficJunky. These can work well for newer affiliates, but don’t run before you can walk. Stick to small placements in more obscure countries – trying to run on xHamster in Germany on Day 1 will result in you getting crushed by super-affiliates on the same platform.
For the rest of this guide, I’ll be giving examples using Plenty Of Fish as my example traffic source.
Despite what you may have heard, it’s best to avoid media buying or PPV(LeadImpact or TrafficVance). PPV is simply too competitive right now. Media buying is far too expensive and too easy to get burned on when you’re starting out.
Facebook is doable in 2019 (easier than 2013) but you have to be very careful not to get banned. If you want to learn more about Facebook, head to Zeno’s Entry Level Guide To FB
Sign up for one traffic source now. You may need to make an initial deposit.
If you’re not doing mobile, you will need to rent a web server with tracking software installed.
People often try to avoid this step, or try to save money by using cheap web hosting. DO NOT DO THIS.
Bad web hosting can easily cost you all your profits by giving you faulty tracking or slow landing pages. Is it worth saving $25 a month if that means you waste $1,000?
Unless you’re an experienced system administrator, the best approach to take here is to buy the <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/beyondhosting' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘beyond hosting’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>beyond hosting starter VPS, which is specifically set up for affiliate marketing, and has a special half-price deal for Stack That Money members.
Ask them to install the tracking software "Prosper 202" when you buy the server.
You’ll need memberships with at least one – preferably more – affiliate networks. These are the people who give you offers to promote.
Good, long-established affiliate networks include https://convert2media.com, https://www.f5media.com, https://ads4dough.com, https://neverblue.com, https://www.adsimilis.com. You can also find posts from other networks in our Networks and Offers forum. Sign up with several of these networks.
When you’re applying, be sure to mention that you’re a member of Stack That Money – and it’s often worth shooting one of the network representatives on Stack That Money a quick Private Message too, mentioning that you’ve applied. Here’s our directory of contact details for affiliate networks.
Unless you’re an experienced web designer – in which case use whatever tool you like – you’ll need a web design tool. Get the free trial of Adobe Muse – it’s free for 30 days and is an excellent tool for creating landing pages. (After that, it’s about $25 a month – a steal for what it does).
You’ll also need a graphics program. Photoshop is definitely the best option here (and there’s a free trial), but this is one area you can save a bit of money when you start – the free software Paint.net or the online program Pixlr will do fine for your first banners and landing pages.
Finally, you’ll need an FTP program for transferring files to your server. Filezilla is the best choice here.
Download and install all those tools.
Friends And Advisors
Finally, one thing that really helps in affiliate marketing – and not just at the start, but all through your affiliate marketing career – is having people to bounce ideas off, ask questions of, and generally talk to about your campaigns.
Fortunately, in Stack That Money, you’ve already found that. Do remember to use it!
If you don’t understand something, if your campaigns aren’t working, if you’re having a problem – make a post and ask about it! If you’re worried your question is too "newbie", post on the Newbie Q&A forum – that’s what it’s for!
And do start a Follow-Along Campaign soon – they’re the best ways to find your feet with your new affiliate marketing career.
That’s it! Once you have all of these tools set up, you’re fully prepared to launch, test, optimise and scale your first campaigns!
Go to Your First Campaign
Thanks. Sometimes It’s very nice to read such tips. You know, when you think that everything is clear, you should check if you use all of them… And unfortunately, in many cases you find that nothing is perfect …
Its awesome to see it put in such a clear, concise way. We hope that this will shed all the baggage of long e-books etc and just straight to the point, straight to money path
Caurmen you the bomb! These posts along with Angry Russians 14 day Mobile guide have really given me the confidence and help to get things going. Thank you! I have a question i hope you can help out with. When you say pick a traffic source and run with it till you understand it, i need a little help with that.
I’m mainly working with FB (more for client work) and Mobile (mainly for aff work).
For Mobile offers I’m connected with Mobpartner, OfferMobi, Mundo, Neverblue and a couple of others.
For Mobile Traffic I have accounts with BuzzCity, LeadBolt, JumpTap – which of these would you say would be the best to start of with. I’m looking mainly at international traffic but will also be running the odd campaign in the US,CA,UK and AU markets.
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
@djinn – I’m not the #1 mobile expert in these parts by a long shot, but my understanding is that with mobile, it’s better to be slightly more loosely tied to a single traffic source. All of the sources you’ve mentioned have good reputations – I’d recommend starting campaigns on one, and then if they’re looking profitable, testing those campaigns on the others too.
I wouldn’t try FB unless you’re pretty sure you can get over the "sudden account ban" problem.
One thing with mobile – there’s a lot more to test, which means you need more budget. Be aware of that when you’re getting started, and make sure you’re using a mobile-capable tracker like the STM tracker. You’ll also want to be very careful about making sure your landers work on mobile: this tutorial will get you started there.
Don’t forget the STM affiliate toolkit too
Thanks you BBrocks32 for that, really useful!
For all the adobe products, sign up for an one year student account for 19 bucks a month FYI.
i agree – caurmen’s breakdown tutorials are solid. Better then some convoluted ebook written solely for profit (95% of which is filler).
Just going through your starter guides and getting my VPS in place = there are are a number of different OS options available , which one is the best for prosper ?
The most common is probably CentOS, pick that. Not sure any of them are going to be better or worse for P202, performance is probably not so OS-dependent.
Pick CentOS , it’s integrated with Cpanel which you will need.
@mikey – personally I like Ubuntu or Debian because I like aptitude (the package manager on those distributions), but as others have said, doesn’t matter too much. If you like CPanel (GUI for controlling a lot of your server) go for CentOS.
This post goes directly to the point, clear and concise! Really appreciate it!
Why do I need tracking software? I already have a hosting account and I am going to use Sitescout for traffic. Since Sitescout calculates my clicks and conversions, I am having trouble understanding where the tracking software comes into play.
With trackingsoftware you can also see which landingpage converts the best. Or check if direct linking might be a better option.
Digging my way around this getting started section.
Are folks really manually creating landing pages with Adobe, is there any reason stuff like Leadpages isn’t listed as a simpler alternative to manually making landers or cpvlab instead of prosper etc?
I’ve been out the loop for a long timer, so playing catch up.
@mordru – generally Muse or similar things make up in flexibility what they lack in speed. I’ve not used Leadpages, but my first concerns with it would be how customisable the templates are and also how large they are to load. Every byte counts in terms of reducing load times.
(To be honest, speaking personally I often hand-code LPs rather than using any WYSIWYG editor, but when I do use an editor Muse is the best one I’ve found for producing AM-ready LPs.)
A lot of people use CPVLab instead of Prosper – depends on preferences and budget – and there is a newer generation of tracking packages just starting to emerge too.
Hope that helps!
Any idea what the new generation bring to the table or an ETA when they are out?
Some of the newer tracking packages are already here – I’d class POFpro / AdultAdsPro in that group, as well as <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/voluum' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘Voluum’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>voluum. Others are still in development – it’s a pretty fast-moving area right now.
A things are pretty clear in Affiliate Marketing, as mentioned before, find something to sell and the people to sell it to.
Choose a traffic source and master it. The rest is all about testing testing testing, no straight answer from here on.
In my experience I found that the only thing that matters beyond the clear lines is the mentality. That’s it. Understand
how the game is played, get used to it and train yourself to get passed all the losses and enjoy all the small goals you
achieve in order to still believe and move forward.
This is basically what caurmen said in the previous posts. Just wanted to double underline it, for me as well !!
Thanks Caurmen for this great series of posts!
I am a newbie but want to jump in and get started so I am in the process of signing up for everything you’ve recommended in this post. Quick question though – working through your list in order I went to sign up for the hosting package but I’m being asked which domain name I want to associate my account with. I would imagine then that I need to have some idea first of the campaign that I want to run so therefore am better off to sign up with the affiliate networks first, define the offer I’m promoting and therefore the landing page I will need to set up around that and then once that is decided I sign up for the hosting – is that correct?
And apologies if you’ve answered this before, do you need one hosting package for every campaign you set up or can you run several across the same hosting account?
Thanks for your help!
You can run a LOT of campaigns on the same hosting account – most people only get more than one when they’re running serious traffic. I’ve had more than 200 campaigns running through a single small-ish VPS before, and I know other people run even more.
You’ll end up promoting a lot of offers – however, the key thing is to decide what traffic source and vertical (general area) you want to promote. That’ll let you choose your domain name – for example, if you’re planning to run gaming on Facebook, you’d get something like "leetgames2play.com".
Does that make sense?
Thanks, that makes perfect sense
I’ve now decided on the traffic source and vertical, bought the domain name, signed up with <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/beyondhosting' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘beyond hosting’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>beyond hosting and made my first network application to A4D. Looking forward to getting started. Thanks for your help!
thank you, i just got my hosting and playing with prosper 202 now.
A newbie here
I have been reading the tutorials and have follow each step as best as I could.
I registered for a a VPS starter and domain name.
I have registered for some affiliates network, neverblue and w2.
But when asked the following questions by affiliates network: "Describe in great details how you will generate traffic to our affiliate programs. If you own a website that you’ll be monetizing with CPAWay, please include the URL(s) in your description."
I was not able to answer. Will this reduce my chance of being their partner? Would like to seek some advise
Just say something like "I am a media buyer and am relatively new. I will send traffic to offers from e.g. Facebook, PoF and self-serve RTB platforms. I particularly focus on traffic source X". They say ‘great details’ but they really don’t expect that (no experienced affiliate is going to say much here).
Thanks for the advice
NEWB ALERT! I am looking to install prosper on my VPS. I have asked <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/beyondhosting' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘beyond hosting’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>beyondhosting to install it for me. They have given me 2 options; installing it on the primary domain or a subdomain of the primary domain. Any ideas on which one I should install it on? Does it matter?
Do you plan on using that domain for anything else? If not just install it onto the primary domain.
Thanks for the reply Jordsmi.
Down the track in planning to use it for a few other things. For the time being it will only be used for AM. Should I go with a sub domain ?
Just use a subdomain to keep things more organsied, e.g. trk.mydomain.com.
newbie question alert!
I have decided to focus on POF to start with as that seems the best starting point and I don’t want to deal with getting another FB account banned!
For tracking is it worth going the POFPro route or should I go with CPVLabs? Cost is not the issue, rather what will work the best on this traffic source / give me the easiest workflow etc.
Appreciate any advice from people who have used both
I would try PoFPro because 1. it has a trial period so you have nothing to lose and 2. API-integrated platforms have certain advantages that tracking systems will never have.
Yep, I’d recommend going for POFpro too. It’ll make things a lot easier.
these guides are absolutely epic! Thanks Caurmen!
Bro did you sit on your phone with Tapatalk open? Or cat on keyboard? Haha lol’d hard.
Oh shit!!! Hahaha sorry. I guess it was in my pocket
Lol I think you are officially the first person who has pocket dialed STM.
Hi have a question about the location of the server.
I want to market mainly in the german speaking market (Germany, Austria, Swiss).
Does it make sense to use <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/beyondhosting' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘beyond hosting’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>beyond hosting or should I use a server in Germany to get very fast loading times?
I don’t know how to set up a prosper on an VPS so either I would have to use guides on the internet (would this be possible w/o any knowledge?) to install it or use a managed VPS / outsource.
What would you recommend?
I read this case study https://stackthatmoney.com/forum/show…lts-are-IN!%29 it seems like it is a very smart idea to get the fastes option possible.
The EU > US connectivity is quite good so doesn’t add a huge delay (it’s less than from NZ to the US for example) but of course speed is paramount in this game and a local server would usually be better.
What traffic source do you intend to run? Are your landers PHP heavy?
You could use <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/voluum' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘Voluum’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>voluum as an alternative or interim measure and host the HTML landers on a CDN.
Otherwise, setting up a VPS isn’t that hard and you can pay someone to do this for you.
Thanks for your help Zeno!
I want to run german Facebook traffic. So I guess a local hoster for the landers is as good as a CDN?
The landers will be basic HTML no PHP for now because I am still a newbie and only know HTML, CSS and JS for now.
<a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/voluum' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘Voluum’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>voluum looks really nice to start with and I will try them. Thanks for the recommendation!
So my plan now is to use Voluum for now and use a local hoster for the german FB traffic or would you still recommend a CDN?
If you are using only HTML I would recommend just popping it on a CDN. You will avoid the hassles of setting up your own VPS, which will certainly be an endeavor if you’ve never dealt with that before.
Get a VPS going and test that on the side while you focus on rolling out some campaigns.
Zeno, newbie here. I intend to focus on the Chinese mobile market in China. Since Beyond Hosting is in the US, I am about to presume with 90% certainty that a dedicated local hosting company in my area would be FASTER than having the traffic shooting back and forth. But if I can’t presume this, how do I test it to find out beforehand? Can you also elaborate "You could use Voluum as an alternative or interim measure and host the HTML [landing pages] on a CDN."?
Suppose I can start with Beyond and transfer things over if things are under par down the road… Comment? Thank you in advance.
@adwater – The best thing for you to do would be to set up a VPS with a hosting company in China, then test the loading speed of your landing pages on that VPS from a few of the cities in China (or in a specific province if you’re only planning to target one province initially). You’re looking for loading speeds under a second, preferably under half a second.
If you want a comparison with the mainland US, you could sign up for Digital Ocean and set up a server using their LAMP Stack setup, then test loading speeds to there from China too.
I don’t know the peering situation in China that well, but after having a quick look at some maps of the major cables active in China, I can’t see any way that US-hosted servers could be as fast as a server hosted in, say, Beijing.
As for CDNs, the best solution would be to use Cedexis to check the speed of various CDNs to your visitors’ location. Here’s Zeno’s excellent tutorial on that: https://stackthatmoney.com/forum/show…ty-data-Part-2
You may well find that there’s no significant difference in loading time between using a CDN or using a single well-peered server.
Finally, you might want to check out some China-specific CDNs too – I don’t know if they are included in Cedexis. https://www.chinacache.com/ is one example, but I’m sure there are others.
Hope that helps!
Caurmen, just a quickie if it’s okay. I am a little confused to read what The Angry Russian said in his Day 4 14-day mobile training as opposed to what you said. And I quote:
Setting Up Tracking
First you need to get yourself a server. I would prefer that you use a dedicated server that can handle the quick redirects necessary to succeed on mobile. Because of the nature of mobile and the number of clicks coming through I HIGHLY advice you DO NOT run on a shared or even a VPS.
What are the two opinions so different regarding VPS? Just personal preference between him and you? Or you would also 100% recommend DS but only later on, when things really get viral?
Thanks for your help!
@adwater – Some VPSes can be really poorly optimised, whilst others will be fine. For a VPS, it’s very important to go with a reliable hosting company.
That’s probably why Angry Russian was recommending dedicated servers (feel free to jump in if I’m wrong on that, AR!). Dedicated servers are apt to be more reliable across the board – although they can still have problems, there’s less that can go wrong because there’s less virtualisation involved.
Also, once you’re running moderate volume, you’ll usually be better with a dedicated server because of the number of clicks coming through, as AR says.
(That’s less true in 2019 because there are a lot more highly scalable VPSes out there, but it’s still sort of true.)
If your budget supports it and you don’t have recommendations for a really good VPS host, getting a dedicated server is a good idea – sorry, when I said "VPS" I was using it as a catch-all for "server" in general.
However, if you find a good host (check for I/O speeds), a VPS will be fine too until you’re running hundreds of thousands of clicks a day.
Hope that helps!
A server of any kind inside China, behind the great firewall, will be better than anything else. Even Hong Kong is not ideal.
CDNetworks is where you need to go for a China-based CDN. However they don’t do pay-as-you-go pricing (More like minimum $1000/mo for customised solutions). I believe Akamai is expanding into China slowly but for now CDNetworks has the monopoly.
A CDN with nodes in Hong Kong would be a compromise.
This aside, you will 100% want a China-based server (e.g. Beijing, Shanghai) for running mobile in China.
Very interesting initial journey so far, gentlemen.
[A server of any kind inside China, behind the great firewall, will be better than anything else. Even Hong Kong is not ideal.] Yes, I was informed that I can get blocked if main server is NOT in China (behind Great firewall), even I am located in HK.
But when someone hires a server to host a site in China, they will need to apply for approval from the government as there is no rule around this. The certificate is called ICP备案. If I use a server in China but don’t have the approved certificate (i.e. ICP), the website cannot be open. I am trying to dig out more info and see if it’s possible to apply this certificate as a foreign individual (Even HK is considered foreign). On the other hand, many Mainland Chinese use HK based servers specifically because they want to skip the ICP application, as I was told by the server supplier.
@caurmen, Honestly speaking I wouldn’t know if a Chinese VPS company is reputable or not (equivalent as Beyond). They all say they are the best online. The only way to tell is coming up with some testing numbers. As I am looking at their ‘testing chart’, (don’t know how accurate), they average up around 49mm. …Some companies say they offer Money back guarantee for the initial phase, not a bad idea. I will look into CDNetworks too and see what comes up.
Am I the only one in STM trying to crack this? Anyone who is ALREADY running China-only Mobile and using a Chinese server? Zeno, Do you run a server in China for your Chinese mobile campaigns?
…"YauMoyan hoyee bong do ngoi?"…. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean much… I am just going temporarily crazy there…
@adwater – one way to test would be to buy a VPS with the company, then run some I/O benchmarks on them. You’d need a bit of technical knowledge, but that’ll give you a good idea of how ropy the server is.
Here’s a guide to some common Linux benchmarks: https://www.howtoforge.com/how-to-ben…-with-sysbench
However, given the lack of transparency, you may be best off going straight for a dedicated server with named hardware.
Alternatively, a simpler solution for the time being may be to try a HK-based server and see how you do. Given you’re based in HK, that gives you some significant advantages in terms of being able to actually drop in to their offices, and potentially even run a colocated server if you want to be 100% certain of the hardware you’re on.
@caurmen, benchmarking seems quite technical, though I am sure I can hire someone to do that for me. Thank you for that! I just read the requirements to get the ICP certificate and it does seem like multiple hoops to be jumped through yet. So I am just thinking maybe I will go for a HK server (VPS or DS) and use it for, say two, three months, and see it does perform quite poorly for the Mainland visitors, I can always change game plan then. Either way, I should have a much better idea of how to have a China-based server set up by then.
In truth, I need to put what I have been learning about mobile in practice and cannot just keep doing research and get stuck in this primitive stage (getting little impatient?). In the meantime, I will of course continue to dig and look into CDNetwork which Zeno has mentioned earlier. Snooping around and see what other mainlanders affiliates are doing with their campaigns will prove to be useful too (they might not be as friendly as the Stackers though.) There will be some affiliate conferences coming up, so that would be a good place to interact on a personal level.
One more question, what is the major difference between renting a local VPS and a local dedicated server besides the price factor, storage size and speed? Would not a DS be an overkill for a newbie? This might seem obvious to many of you, but don’t mind me asking. By the way, Caurmen, when you said, "[you may be best off going straight for a dedicated server with named hardware. ]", what named hardware were you referring to?
I would hire a server admin in China who can set up a solid VPS/dedicated for you if it’s a lot of trouble for an outsider. I have no experience here as I don’t yet run anything in China.
Also, remember CDNetworks aren’t going to offer anything useful to you for less than about $1000 USD per month so they are not a newbie friendly entry point.
There may be China-based members on the forum or people in the know so perhaps they will chime in.
Regarding servers, yes a dedicated is likely overkill for a newbie. Named hardware = boxes running enterprise hardware e.g. from Dell, Intel etc. not random names you’ve never heard of like Shaoyujin or Xintech.
Super newbie questions:
What is a VPS used for? From this thread I see that I would be installing tracking software. It it solely used for tracking purposes? Is that why the speed of the VPS so critical?
What domain should I use with the VPS? Should it be the same of my business or are there other guidelines to picking a domain name out there?
After some searching I found the answers to my questions :
Hi Caurmen. Thanks for these tool tips. I have a question about renting a server. I already have a Bluehost hosted website where I blog. Would that serve as my server or should I rent another one and keep the two entities separate? Thanks!
Any chance for an add on Skype?
@beenskilled – I’m afraid that for most purposes, Skype is a dreadful way to get hold of me! Feel free to PM, though.
@frutsun – you definitely, definitely need a separate VPS for affiliate marketing, for several reasons including performance and security. Not getting a separate server is one of the best ways of killing your AM career.
Hi I have applied to f5 media as affiliate but they has written me asking if I want to join as a publisher or media buyer. What I have to chose? Which are the differences?
Thank u guys 😉
Just trying to learn as much as possible 😉
No one ? 😉 Maybe if u can give me a definition of publisher and media buyer I can understand better
Hey, you will likely be a media buyer.
If you buy ads on other sites = media buyer.
Someone who owns a site and publishes content = a publisher. These site owners often put ads on their site for other peoples offers or use an ad server to rotate ads. Sometimes, they will find a relevant ad network and let them monetise ad spots on their site instead.
OMG! I just have budget 600$/month. Caurmen, what do you think? People, what do you think? Thanks
$600/month is very low for mobile.
If you do want to try it out, definitely go for a country with very low CPM bids.
Thanks a lot, Zeno.
Okay, so 1000$ a month is very-very minimum, right?
Is budget 600$ a month ONLY enough for mobile? Thanks.
$600 a month might just barely be enough for mobile, but you’ll have to be super, super careful about your spend, and it’ll likely take a fair few months.
I’d recommend something like POF for a lower spend. Less variables and you can niche down to achieve profit easier.
Caurmen, let’s say I have 1000$ a month for straight 3 months. So what’s your advice for traffic source, mobile / POF / what?
I’m totally idiot but I’ll do anything it takes to success. Thanks
Have answered this on your other threads
1) Does using Muse makes LP larger than hand-coded?
2) If so, then learn how to code is a must, right?
1) Would you please elaborate on Serious traffic?
2) What’s the difference between traffic source and vertical (general area)?
So if I’m using <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/voluum' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘Voluum’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>voluum and my LP just HTML, then I cancel my voluum and only using CDN? Thanks
If I’m using <a href='https://stackthatmoney.com/voluum' rel="nofollow" target='_blank' onmouseout='UnTip()' onclick="Tip('
‘, BGCOLOR, ‘#DDDDDD’, BORDERCOLOR, ‘#000000’, BORDERWIDTH, ‘1’, WIDTH, ‘-500’, TITLE, ‘Voluum’, SHADOW, ”,FOLLOWMOUSE, 0, OPACITY, ’95’, FADEIN, ‘300’, FADEOUT, ‘300’, CLICKCLOSE, true,FOLLOWSCROLL, true,CLOSEBTN, true, PADDING, 0)” style=”font-style:Normal;text-decoration:None;text-transform:None;font-size:100%;”>voluum and my target country -let’s say- Russia, then I need to rent a russia’s server or using voluum is ENOUGH?
Please edit your post and/or ask things in one post… 4 consecutive questions/bumps in under an hour is a bit much.
Don’t try to learn to code if you haven’t yet got down the basics of affiliate marketing.
1) Serious meaning lots. I believe you’re not running any traffic right now so stop focusing on small side issues.
2) You should know this by now, it’s very fundamental and something you would probably find in a simple glossary.
A traffic source is where you get traffic from. Where you buy ads from. Where people see your ads and click them.
A vertical / general area is an advertising category like gaming, dating, adult dating, sweepstakes, etc.
NO! If you have an HTML lander you can host it on a CDN but this has no influence on whether or not you need Voluum!
Voluum is a tracking system. For tracking clicks.
A CDN is just a place where you host static content like HTML files, images, js and css files.
These two things are completely different.
You would rent a server if you wanted to host a tracking system on it or your landers.
Voluum can’t be hosted on your server…
You will be better off putting your landers on a CDN.
More importantly I think that trying to manage a VPS in Russia would me a very silly decision.
I think you need to take all you have learnt and make a plan to take some action.
You say you are an idiot, but there is nothing stopping an idiot from taking some small measure of action.
Hahaha, thanks! Indeed, I wanna run my campaign ASAP, but people warned me to balancing learning and doing part. They say I could lost my $3k in JUST 3 hours! So I’ll run my 1st campaign in next month or two.
Why, sir? I’m an idiot, remember?
^^What Zeno said.
A couple of additions:
"Serious traffic" in this context means "affiliate making mid- $xxx profit per day" usually.
Managing a VPS: it’s another skillset to learn, and it’s not an easy one – there’s a reason sysadmins are highly paid. CDNs are easier, and right now you need to focus on your core skills, rather than trying to learn everything at once.
I’ll do my homework then I’ll clarify what core skills are? Thanks
The core skills and basics of AM are pretty well covered in the getting started guide.
If you have to ask, you probably need to read it again, and again once more.
i am new to affiliate and and i was wondering how to know if a traffic source is legit? one of my buddy tried to buy cheap traffic and it just never had any conversion. then we figured that the it was either because traffic was untargeted or simply just because they were sending robot traffic. no traffic source will admit this of course, but when it comes to affiliate if its not real people clicking, there will obviously be no conversion. So are all the traffic sources you listed considered legit? still trying to find the ropes in this field, thanks
If in doubt, just ask in the newbie Q&A section.
Caurmen just posted a thread asking for terrible traffic sources – https://stackthatmoney.com/forum/show…traffic-source! – so if it’s in there, don’t bother heh.
Generally, if it has a crappy website and/or the interface is terrible, it’s probably a poor traffic source but there are exceptions – i.e. good sources with terrible UIs and bad sources with beautiful ones.
Tip: if it seems to cheap to be true, it’s probably shitty traffic.
"For the rest of this guide, I’ll be giving examples using Plenty Of Fish as my example traffic source.
Despite what you may have heard, it’s best to avoid media buying or PPV(LeadImpact or TrafficVance). PPV is simply too competitive right now. Media buying is far too expensive and too easy to get burned on when you’re starting out."
I’m a bit confused about the difference between POF traffic and Media buying. I always thought that they were the samething? When i place an ad isn’t it media buying? so how is media buying a bad thing and POF a good source for people just starting out? and why is media buying expensive?
wow thanks for the link. yeap totally was one of the ones in the list.
@pulsefiremedia – technically, yes, POF is a media buy.
However, what we generally refer to as "media buys" in the context of AM are purchases of advertising inventory either on multiple sites through a Real-Time Bidding system or purchases outwith any system at all – via sending an email saying "please can I put an ad on your site?"
POF’s different because the traffic is proven, the interface works, and we know that it’s very possible to make money there. You don’t need to make purchases in the order of $500 or $5000 just to get started, and generally it’s a much more new affiliate friendly venue than something like SiteScout, which is what we’d generally refer to as a "media buy".
Hope that clears things up a bit!
That link redirects to https://www.voodoofiles.com/ now and i couldn’t clearly see a download link, i may be me not being able to see something obvious. Is it still available from that site or am i being blind?
I tried googleing it and came up with this https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type=client but that says "This installer may include bundled offers" which sound like it will put a load of crap onto my Mac. Is it possible to get a clean download form anywhere? or is there any other FTP software someone could recommend?
Thanks that was very helpful! My concern with POF is that I do not want to do dating as i think its too competitive to get into and POF is clearly for dating so is there other traffic source you recommend for someone starting out? Many other source i looked at require a 1000 at least deposit. I have the budget but I dont feel comfortable putting that amount in the traffic source if it doesn’t work. I looked at trafficvance and leadimpact. Thank you
@sparkie – sorry about that! Use the ZIP install from here: https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1
( Filezilla’s crapware installers are a bloody nightmare. )
@pulsefiremedia – Don’t fear competition! Competition means that there’s definitely money to be made. I’d recommend POF, very strongly. If you really want to you could head for adult or mobile, but competition’s just as strong there if not stronger.
If anyone is after their first dating related domain for tracker hosting etc, the following are available as of Sat 25th Oct. If you nab one PM me and I’ll remove it from the list.
Plenty more where those came from, just posting these for now.