Archive for the ‘Affiliate Marketing’ Category


Live NYC Mastermind & Affiliate Summit East 2015

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Wow we’re heading into Affiliate Summit East 2015 already – Can you believe it?

My first Affiliate Summit was back in 2009. Amazing how the industry has changed and to see who’s survived it. There have been so many companies that have exploded and others that were giants and have since disappeared. The same holds true for affiliates as well – one time super affiliates are now nowhere to be seen and back to their day jobs. That’s the nature of this industry, but more truthfully that’s the nature of business – if you aren’t able to adapt and you don’t have a real strategy – you won’t last.

That’s why I’m proud to say I’ve made it in this industry – going seven years strong since I first started. It’s been full of ups and downs for sure, but I’ve been able to learn all throughout to develop a system for continued success. I’ve gotten to do what I set out to do which is make money and travel the world. And now I’ve gotten to the point where I want to teach others how to do the same. I see way too many people get stuck with dead end jobs, drowning in student debt, and unable to truly live out some of the best years of their lives.

That’s why I’ve launched a new brand, The Suitcase Marketer, where I detail my journey of how I travel the world and make money online. You’ll be seeing way more travel posts, case studies, new business ideas and travel hacks on the new blog.

I’m also hosting a live mastermind event in NYC for intermediate to advanced affiliates detailing exact strategies I’ve been able to use to crush it in affiliate marketing and how you can too in 2015 in beyond. If you haven’t checked it out already, click here to see the details.

Finally, I’ll be speaking at Affiliate Summit East 2015 this Sunday on Mobile Optimization Mastery – 5 Reasons Your ROI Sucks and How to Crush It. If you’ll be at the show, be sure to say hello.

If you haven’t done so already, feel free to like my new fan page over here!

Looking forward to all the big things coming for the second half of this year. Can’t wait to see everyone in NY!

Affiliate Summit East 2014

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Wow – what a show! It always is and I was glad that Affiliate Summit East was back in NYC.

I got a ton out of the show as usual both on and off the conference floor. ASE was held at the Marriott Marquis this year and I actually liked the location of the venue better than the Hilton, because it was easier to get to places in downtown. Although, I’m not a fan of being in Time Square, I’m sure everyone who was visiting appreciated the chance to be surround by all the bright lights.

Okay well instead of bore you with writing paragraphs about what I did, here are some pictures from the show:


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Affiliate Summit East trade show floor at the Marriot Marquis – Busy as always.


The boat we did our Sunset Cruise around the Hudson – JK maybe next year


Networking on the boat with some high rollers.

statue of liberty

Nice view of the Statue of Liberty from the cruise.

After party at 1Oak with some good friends in the industry.

halal cart

The obligatory visit to the Halal Cart by Affiliate Summit East goers.

And that was Affiliate Summit East 2014 in a nutshell. I got to reconnect with great friends in the industry as well as got taken out by a few of the affiliate networks that I work closely with (can’t complain about getting to check out new fancy restaurants in NYC). I also picked up a lot just by walking around the floor and connecting with my AMs on the floor who told me what was currently crushing it – I immediately got the best offers from them and put their advice to use after the show.

Once again, Affiliate Summit did not disappoint. This is the one show that I never miss and I always tell anyone starting out as an affiliate or anyone putting together an affiliate program to make sure they attend the show. It’s also AWESOME to see how it’s one big family and to see how everyone I met in 2008-2009 has grown into extremely successful affiliates – and ALL of them attend the show no matter what. Just goes to show you the power of surrounding yourself with highly successful and ambitious people. I can’t wait to grow my business after this show and am really excited to attend Affiliate Summit West 2015 in Las Vegas, which will probably be my 11th show!

Do yourself a favor and get your pass as soon as they have the early bird passes out! Don’t miss out – see you at the next one!


The #1 Most Costly Business Mistake

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014


What’s the number one most costly business mistake people make and that I’ve made?

It’s getting in a relationship. Or more specifically the wrong relationship.

Now don’t get me wrong – being in the right relationship can actually make you even more successful by having someone that inspires you and pushes you to work harder.

But then there’s the dark side. And I see this often in relationships where one person is an entrepreneur / business-owner and the other is not.

Sure they’ll say they “support” you. And you’ll think you’ll have found a good person because of course they say they’re behind your goals 100% or claim to be. But is he or she really?

Top Signs that Your Significant Other Doesn’t Really Support You

– They mention how nice it would be if you went to work a nice suit and tie to a “real job”

– They say how you’re so intelligent and should apply to go to grad school and get an MBA, when you’re already doing what you love.

– They take up hours and hours of your most valuable asset – your time – even though they know you have to work and complain when you choose work over theme

– They’re super excited when times are good, but hate what you do when there are bumps in the road

– No matter how many times you try to explain why you do what you do, they just “don’t get it.”

This type of relationship pitfall aka black hole is especially important to avoid and look out for early in your career. I’ve now gone through this experience twice and have since sworn off any type of serious relationship for now as it becomes a major distraction. It may be too little too late for me, but I want any other young entrepreneurs out there who are starting off to take a serious look at their relationship and decide whether that person is helping them achieve their goals in life or holding them back. If the answer is the latter, then you need to do what Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank would suggest you do – cut them off and move forward. There are plenty of (genuinely supportive) fish in the sea. Especially, after you’ve made it (in which case they may just be after your wallet, but that’s a whole different story).

I don’t mean to demonize women here and I’m using he and she interchangeably. It could just as easily be a female entrepreneur wanting to succeed and her boyfriend holding her back for whatever reason. In whichever situation this occurs, you have to realize that your time is limited. Whatever opportunities present themselves now will not present themselves later. If you become too distracted in a bad relationship, you’re killing your business and opportunities for growth.

I missed a ton of money trains and I regret them completely. I made bad choice and missed out on opportunities because I wasn’t focused. Now I’m slowly building my business, health, and sanity back. Trust me, a bad relationship can take a lot out of you no matter how well you think you can multi-task your life. If I had the fortitude to just cut things off when I knew they weren’t going anywhere, I would not have moved backwards in my business and likely would have been way further ahead. But alas, hindsight is 20 / 20.

Don’t make the same mistake. You’ve been warned.


Colombia and ASW Recap

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

What’s going on guys?

It’s been ages since I’ve written (actually since my last Colombia trip in August). I wanted to do a quick recap of my second trip to Colombia. This time I put together sort of a mastermind / vacation with a few affiliates that I know personally and work with. December was a really great time to visit, considering the weather was way nicer than it was in NYC and the city itself was gearing up for Christmas celebrations and that meant lots of lights, parades, and fiestas.

This is the place I found for us to stay at for the month. I decided to do a little video tour of the penthouse. Check it out below:

While a month might seem like a long vacation, we actually all worked for about half the day and then explored the city for the rest of the day. There was an awesome outdoor row of restaurants sitting atop the mountain and we would sometimes bring our work there and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the city while working on our campaigns. While there, Ian Fernando and I actually filmed a Q&A for affiliates that had questions about how to improve their campaigns. Check it out the video below and the transcript on Ian’s blog:

Following our stay in Medellin, we all headed over to Cartagena, a coastal city of Colombia, for about a week. There was a huge electronic dance music concert called SummerLand going on featuring Dash Berlin, Armin van Beuren, Avicii, and a whole host of other really awesome internationally known DJs. We figured it’d be a great way to bring in 2014 and end our trip and it was. We all had a blast and who could complain about ringing in the new year in nice 85 degree weather? Of course this didn’t make a lot of my northeast friends happy :)


After Cartagena, I returned back to Colombia for about a week before flying straight to Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2014. Well not really straight there considering the initial delay which resulted in having to take a multi-connection flight, but in the end I made it to Vegas, which was a good thing considering I was speaking there on a panel regarding Affiliate Marketing Strategies on Facebook with Ian and Jj Alan.


The session actually went really well and according to the post-conference feedback as well as attendees coming up to us after our session, people really enjoyed our session and learned a lot. It was a really great experience to have been able to field questions from such an intelligent audience and help provide them with strategies that they could use to better their businesses. It was odd and humbling at the same time to be the speaker being approached after the session and everyone trying to get a minute to ask their question. I hope I was able to help a lot of people and I definitely think I’ll be speaking again at some event in the future. Also, a big thanks to Shawn and Missy for giving us the opportunity to speak!

Another reason I was glad to have made it to Vegas was that I was hosting my first dinner at the STK Steakhouse in the Cosmo. Profit Kings Media was gracious enough to sponsor the dinner and it turned out to be really beneficial to everyone there. This was a very private dinner and only a few of some of the brightest affiliate and marketing minds I know were invited. I wanted to keep it small so that it didn’t become so big to the point where it wasn’t personal anymore. I got a lot of great feedback from the dinner and it actually spurred a lot of new business relationships following the Summit. Yousif Yalda, owner of Profit Kings Media, and his awesome team were key to making it happen and they did a great job of making it an awesome dinner. If you’ve never worked with Yousif before, I highly suggest you reach out to him. I was one of his first affiliates and he’s made many more affiliates after me rich, so that tells you something.

Here are a few pictures from the dinner:

affiliate summit dinner


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Once again, thanks to everyone that came out to dinner! It was great having everyone.

I’m pretty glad I went out to Vegas to attend ASW as truth be told I was kind of on the fence being all the way in Colombia enjoying 75 degree weather. Truth is every time I go out to a show I always gain at least one piece of knowledge, or one new relationship, that helps me grow my business not to mention the motivation it provides to hustle when you get back. It’s also always fun to see friends again that you haven’t seen in a while – it’s almost become a reunion of sorts for me which is awesome.

Now I’m back in NYC grinding out the rest of this winter and blocking out any distractions as I’m focused on growing my company. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been posting as much. Nonetheless, I have a lot of hopes for this year and new projects down the pipeline. I’m excited to see what the new year brings and looking forward to being at the next show in New York!

As a side note, I’ll be re-releasing the Rogue Affiliate System soon after adding new content to it. If there’s anything specific you guys want me to cover in there, let me know!

Thanks for reading and continuing to read. It’s always great to meet readers face to face when I travel or go to a show and I really appreciate everyone that takes the time to read and comment. More frequent posts to follow!

– Rohail


Lazy August Income Report

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. I was just figuring out my revenue / spend for August and figured I’d make a quick post out of it. I find that these posts keep me motivated to best my previous month’s numbers and just work whether it be from that or to avoid public humiliation of having a terrible month.

August sure was a lazy month in terms of work and it kind of was designed to be. If you weren’t already aware through my Twitter posts and Instagram feed, I was traveling for about a month and a half. I spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic followed by a month in Medellin, Colombia which was an amazing experience. This was the ridiculously nice view from the penthouse I stayed at for four weeks:


I definitely needed the getaway and a lot of people were telling me not to go and that “only take a vacation when you’re burnt out,” but what do they know? Ultimately you know yourself best and when you think it’s time to get away and come back with a fresh start, you’re probably right. I’m glad I took an extended break from work because it got me re-focused on what was important, what kind of lifestyle I want to live, and provided for lots and lots of new inspiration. When you get off the computer, there’s a whole other world out there besides affiliate marketing :)

Okay let’s cut to the chase. Here are my numbers for August in which I did pretty much NOTHING but watch my stats.


Aff. Network #1: $17,606.80



Aff Network #2:  $4,366.70




Product sales (My own product that I’ve been slowly selling more and more of each month without advertising):




Ad Network #1: $11,648.10

Ad Network #2: $2684.00


Total Revenue: $23,849.14

Total Expenses: $14,332.10

Profit: $9,517.04


So one of my lowest months ever on record in months, but not bad for a month where all I did was travel. This is the exception rather than the rule to be honest. I’ve had a few long-term campaigns going for me which is great, but often times campaigns die out and you have to start from scratch – if you don’t, you don’t earn.

That’s why I’m putting a part of my energy into building a long-term sustainable product to sell that will stay around for sometime. I’ve seen and experienced both the advantages and disadvantages to being an affiliate and an advertiser, but ultimately I think you have to have ownership and that’s what I’m working towards. So far my product is doing great and hopefully with the summer over and the holiday season coming up soon, sales will start growing exponentially.

That’s it for now, hope you enjoyed this quickly drawn up report and post – looking forward to crushing these numbers in September :)

If you have any questions or remarks, comment below!


ASE 2013 Philly – The Good, The Bad, and The NSFW

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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Well that’s another successful Affiliate Summit in the books. I just got back from Philly and it was certainly unlike any other show they’ve had before.

First off, with the location being Philadelphia for the first time for everyone, things were a bit different than everyone was used to – which is cool by me because I think Affiliate Summit should change locations up once in a while. The show took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which I liked a lot because the place was huge. The only downside was there was no hotel bar to link up and have quick meetings like we’re used to at the Hilton and it was a bit of a far walk to get to one’s room if you wanted to take a break from the show for a bit.

As for the city itself, Philadelphia is of course a city rich with history and great architecture especially in Center City where the show was taking place. It was great to see a lot of attendees take advantage of being in the area to check out things like the Rocky Steps, grabbing a delicious cheesesteak from one of the original restaurants, or checking out a Phillies game. With that said, Philly is not one of those cities that is accustomed to the late night after-after-parties that often take place at Affiliate Summit and especially not on Sunday-Tuesday nights with most places closing at 2am. Nonetheless, the parties that did go down on Monday night were actually pretty good with Havana Brown at the Affiliate Nation party at Lit, Busta Rhymes and Evander Holyfield at Affiliate Ball, and the private 50 on Red and Leadnomics party at Rumor.

Sunday – 

I got in pretty late Sunday, but was able to catch the after-show events such as the STM / F5 Meetup which went down at the Raw Sushi Lounge. The crowd was cool with affiliates gathering from mostly the northeast it seemed like. I noticed a lot of people there were very new affiliates. I remember having to explain to one of them who Wes Mahler was and what Tracking202 was because although he was an affiliate, he never had used or heard of 202. Wow now that made me feel like an old-timer in this industry lol. Following the meet up, myself and a few other affiliates along with the Glispa team decided to grab some dinner at The Corner, which is known for their awesome truffled grilled cheese and it was truly good. After hearing that the Share-a-sale party and Badger Ball were really packed, we decided to venture out on the town and found an interesting spot on 20th and Ranstead before we headed off to The Bru at the end of the night which is where we found a lot of other Affiliate Summit attendees. Overall it was a good first night, and I was definitely ready to call it a night.


Monday –

I hit the exhibit hall right after grabbing a meal with some of my Jersey affiliate people at Reading Terminal Market. The lines at the famous cheesesteak places were absolutely ridiculous so we opted for the next best thing – gyros. Following that, we headed off to the floor which was interesting to see as it was all in one giant room as opposed to the three floor set up we’re used to in NYC. It was nice to not have to take escalators up and down to see different booths and definitely one of the advantages of being at the PA Convention Center. I explored the floor and caught up with old friends and made some new important contacts. There were a lot of mobile focused companies there, more advertisers than usual, and a lot of white-label and product fulfillment companies as well.








Following the show, it was time to attend one of my good friends’ dinner. He graciously decided to host a dinner for all his friends in the affiliate industry at Maggiono’s to show his thanks for all the support he’s received from the people around him that’s enabled him to make more money in a year than he’s ever made before. This good friend’s name is JJ Alan and he’s truly one of those rare good friends because they never take anything for granted and are selfless as well as able to show their gratitude. The dinner was absolutely amazing from everything from the appetizers to the main course to the desserts, but the company was even better. Thanks JJ and here’s hoping to your continued success!






Monday night is party night of course and there was a pretty big lineup. We started off the night at Lit for the Affiliate Nation party sponsored by ClickBooth, CPAWay, and MaxBounty. The music was actually really good here, it wasn’t super packed to the point of being uncomfortable, and there was plenty of eye candy as you can see below.








Following that, we rushed it to Affiliate Ball at Whisper to catch Busta Rhymes perform and little did I know Evander Holyfield was also there! Whisper was absolutely packed and it was crazy hot in there, but it was absolutely worth it to see Busta party it up with our industry. I got catch up with my friends at XRevMedia and Greg Davis and got a nice view of the show at their table.


As soon as Busta Rhymes was done performing and chugging down a whole bottle of Patron, we headed to Rumor to catch the end of the 50onRed, Fluent, and Leadnomics party. The venue was actually really nice and felt way more personal. I ran into a contact I had met back in Amsterdam two years ago and it was amazing how he had grown his business. We talked about how we can work together and I ran into some other people I knew. Before you knew it, the party was ending and it was time to find some grub – but not before dealing with the Philly police who decided to block off the street for some reason causing people to just flood the street. When they finally kicked everyone out, we ventured next door to a burger spot open til 3am and from there called it a night. There you go – cops and 3am burger runs – that’s what affiliates taking over Philly does lol.


Tuesday –


I hit the floor one more time to check out some of the booths I missed earlier and was actually able to get a decent amount of potential future business done. I talked to a few suppliers to see how they could help get me a better deal for my own diet offer, which I have just opened up to select affiliates. I’ve already sold out of my first batch of product and have just had a re-order come in and am ready to scale, so as a side note if you’re a serious affiliate with good traffic, let’s see if we can work together.


Overall it was an awesome Affiliate Summit East and I’m really glad I came out even though it was on the tail end of a month and half long travel period. I made a few solid connections and picked up a few golden nuggets and that’s all you really need to make your trip worth it and with Affiliate Summit it always is for me. Every time I have gone to the show, it’s always spurred my business whether it be from one contact, one conversation, or one new idea – it can truly change and exponentially grow your business. I’ve met so many affiliates that have for years missed out on the show because they didn’t feel like they needed it, but then when they did come out one year all of a sudden their whole mindset and progression changes. As independent of a business as affiliate marketing is, it still relies on people at the end of the day whether it be with your affiliate manger, advertising network reps, or your customers and the best way to really understand and grow in this business is to connect with them face-to-face at events like Affiliate Summit. Go ahead and pre-register for Affiliate Summit West if you haven’t done so already and get your discounted pass – it will be here before you know it!

Earn $358 per Sale Using 1 Simple Trick

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Disclaimer: Although the following Shopify Affiliate Program review is comprised of my own thoughts and opinions, I am being compensated to write this post. Any earnings claims made do not depict typical results. Earnings results are dependent on the individual efforts of the program participant. I am not being compensated for any individual signups made using the links in this post.


Shopify Affiliate Program

A lot of affiliates I know personally only promote one type of offer and that is CPA offers. What they don’t know or are ignorant to the fact of is that there is a massive amount of money to be made promoting solid CPS offers. Think about it – you have a much bigger margin to test your offers on since they payouts are generally much higher. In addition, a lot of times CPS offers actually get you a better EPC than CPA offers, which is awesome because you can scale that sucker out and generate huge amounts of revenue as an affiliate and you don’t have to worry about quality because you already produced the sale! One of these CPS offers that I think a lot of affiliates are missing out on by not promoting is Shopify, the leader in eCommerce allowing small to medium size businesses around the world launch their online stores.

Shopify essentially allows anybody, even with basic computer knowledge, to set up their own Internet e-commerce quickly and easily. There are so many mom-and-pop businesses out there as well as larger retain business who just aren’t selling online right now because they don’t know how. Shopify makes this super easy by allowing business owners to quickly set up an online store (and we’re not talking cookie cutter, drab online stores circa 1998 here either). These stores can be fully customized using an easy-to-use theme editor which is WYSIWYG so anybody can use it with ease. Business owners can also create their own website template and no HTML or CSS is off-limits. Furthermore, business owners can always hire Shopify Experts to create their online store for them and still take advantage of all the features it offers such as unlimited hosting, 24/7 customer support, SEO, and a free built-in mobile commerce shopping cart.


It’s really a no-brainer to be honest. Think about the rate at which e-commerce (including mobile) is exploding. We are projected to go from $230 billion this year to $249 billion in 2014. That’s billion with a “B!” Pretty soon, it won’t be the mom-and-pop corner shops that are going to be the norm…it is going to be the mom-and-pop online stores selling very niche items that can easily be sold anywhere in the world using the power of the Internet and Shopify. So it makes sense to promote something that provides real value to the millions and millions of sellers that have yet to come on board to online selling or are looking for a way to. Business owners want a customized experience for their customers and control, which unlike Amazon, something like Shopify is able to do and do very well.

Here are just some of the reasons why Shopify’s affiliate program kicks ass:

  •  It’s an unsaturated affiliate program and market meaning there is a ton of opportunity here.
  • Shopify is a very well known brand in the e-commerce space.
  • All traffic sources are accepted.
  • They provide two commission options: 20% lifetime revenue share on all customers or 200% of the customer’s first bill. Per sale commission varies depending on which plan customer chooses but can be up to $358 per sale.
  • Commissions can increase depending on volume.
  • Affiliates are provided promotional resources such as banners, logos and blog content to make your affiliate marketing easy.
  • Shopify keeps your business running smoothly with timely payouts.
  • Your dashboard lets you easily see exactly how much money you’re making, when your next payment is, and how many clicks you’ve generated. The dashboard also lets you manage all of your affiliate shops from one convenient page.
  • Shopify affiliates have some of the highest conversion rates in our industry.

The most awesome part about the Shopify Affiliate Program is that business owners can sign up for a 14-day free trial of Shopify and you still get paid when they upgrade at the end of that 14 days. It’s like promoting a rebill except the product actually works, it has a much higher payout, and the customer wants it! In addition, you won’t have any problem promoting Shopify on Facebook Ads or Google AdWords (that’s right – no cloaking necessary – how’s that for something new?)

Here are some screenshots from inside the Affiliate Dashboard:


As you can see, everything is very seamless and easy to read with all the important details you want to know right there when you log in.

Below is the Affiliate tab of the Shopify Partner dashboard where you can keep track of any affiliate referrals you have sent to Shopify which allow you to earn even more.


Overall, the dashboard is extremely simple to use. All you have to do is grab your link, start promoting, and watch the numbers go up in your account.

All in all, as a serious affiliate you should seriously not be missing out on the opportunity to promote such a branded and quality offer. This isn’t one of those offers that are just going to disappear like several of the fly-by-night CPA affiliates are used to. Shopify is global, here to stay, and serious about treating their affiliates well in an effort to further grow the business. As always, they only make money when you make money, and to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of well-branded companies come forward and put as much effort into their affiliate program as Shopify has. I highly recommend you check them out if you’re serious about running long-term campaigns for quality products as a professional affiliate marketer.

Some interesting facts about Shopify:

  • Story: founded in 2005 as a snowboard company (
  • Today Shopify supports 50,000+ active online shops (adding 2,000+ new customers a month)
  • Customers in 108 countries
  • In 2012 Shopify shops processed 9.9M orders (over $750M in Gross Merchandise Value) –
  • In 2013 Shopify’s shops are projected to sell over $1.5B in Gross Merchandise Value (!)
  • 98% of their merchants self identify as SMB’s or entrepreneurs
  • Top 3 product categories include: fashion and apparel, electronics and accessories, and home & garden
  • App store: over 280 integrations
  • Theme store: over 120 themes


Facebook Campaign Exposed

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Okay so the Super Bowl is now a mere distant memory of an onslaught of beer, wings, and pigskin for most of you, but I figured you might get something out of this post anyway.

I launched this campaign about a month ago with interest in the big game spiking and with everyone excited about who would win the Super Bowl – the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers. I don’t care if you’re a sports fan or not, when the Super Bowl is on almost everyone is paying attention so I decided to try and take advantage.

The good thing about this campaign is that I got some seriously sick CTRs and cheap clicks. The bad thing is – well I was unable to find an offer to that worked even with getting clicks as cheap as $0.01 on a demo of more than 2 million people. I must be too old in this industry now because initially I thought I might be able to throw some Super Bowl related email submits up that might rake in 1k profit a day or so for a few days like back in the day and rotate between different offers until they start to scrub. Lo and behold every email submit I tried was clearly scrubbing from the beginning with EPCs of .01 or less. Why do networks even put them out there anymore?

I tried a slew of offers to get this thing to work and got kind of frustrated that I wasn’t being able to monetize such cheap traffic. I tried penny auction offers, email submits, and pin submits. None of which worked. Another option that might have worked would be co-reg and that’s something I’ve never messed with so if you have experience with it you might be able to take this concept and run with it. Here are some of the ads I was running that were able to get me some dirt cheap clicks. (Note: You can click on the images to make them bigger.)




I sent the traffic to a simple poll style lander seen below which generated around a 56% click through rate.



There are so many opportunities for these types of campaigns to work – you just have to be ahead of the curve and have offers on hand that convert. Test quickly and cheaply is the name of the game when it comes to these kinds of campaigns because they don’t last forever, but when they do work you can make a boat load of cash with some pretty insane ROIs.

Hope this post inspired some of you and at least got some wheels turning. Now get out there and make it happen!


Where the hell have I been?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

It’s been more than half a year since my last update and I know you’re all probably wondering where the hell I’ve been (sarcasm).

Honestly, I just had so much going on and somewhere in there I kind of lost the desire to write. But I’m back now, and here’s a quick run down of what I’ve been up to:

March 2012 – Moved to NYC near Time Square. This was a blast while it lasted and after living there I honestly don’t think I can live anywhere else. Unfortunately, I was in Barcelona at the time my lease was coming up for renewal and I lost it and I had more traveling to do ahead so I decided to take another look at NYC when I’m done traveling.

August – Affiliate Summit East was definitely a memorable one and it didn’t hurt that I lived close to the conference.

September – Headed to the Adsimilis meetup in Amsterdam, which was as always a great time. We decided to get an apartment off of AirBnB that was right on the canal in the Red Light District and were right in the middle of everything. Adsimilis did a great job of treating us with a boat trip around the canal and had a solid panel of affiliates as well as the CEOs of WhatRunsWhere and HasOffers. This is definitely not a meetup to miss and if you haven’t been to Amsterdam before, here’s your excuse :)

Following Amsterdam, I headed to ad:tech London with a short stop in Brussels with a few NJ affiliates including Ian Fernando and met up with Oliver Kenyon from CPAFix and got to check out what the show in London was all about. Truth be told it was way smaller than NYC, which was to be expected, but it was still productive. There were lots of agencies and networks present, along with the usual representatives.

After London, I flew to Barcelona where me and a friend checked out for about a week. Barcelona was a cool city and we actually got to connect with a few big affiliates there that we had actually met in Amsterdam at the Adsimilis meet up. Barcelona seemed like somewhat of a haven for affiliates other than the usual ones you hear about in Thailand. The weather was perfect, the women were gorgeous, and the beaches / nightlife were incomparable. We got the check out an FC Barcelona game which was pretty cool after showing up to the stadium and buying the tickets off of some street hustlers. Surprisingly, they worked.

After Barcelona, we took the high speed train to Madrid where we stayed for about 4 days. Madrid was a much more historical and metropolitan city. There was a famous painting by Picasso that everyone told us we had to check out so we did that and soon afterwards joined in with the Madrid protests, which was honestly more like a party with people smoking and drinking while holding up signs. It was nothing like what they were showing on TV here in the US – way more calm even though there were helicopters swirling around and a barrage of SWAT and police vehicles around us. We got to check out a Real Madrid game towards the end of our trip, which was an awesome experience (try comparing a soccer stadium full of fans to a baseball stadium full of fans and you have no comparison).

Finally after Madrid, it was time to go back home. Here are some pics from the trip.

November – Ad:tech New York was right around the corner so I checked that out while I was there and got to connect with some new and familiar faces. After this I was completely conferenced out. For the rest of November and December I did nothing but work on campaigns. In fact, I was part of the Hunger Games on the StackThatMoney forums, which was an awesome experience. If you ever get the chance to try to compete, then definitely do so. I got to connect with some really solid affiliates and we had StackMan as our mentor which was priceless.

December – I traveled to South Asia for a wedding which was an interesting experience nonetheless. I always tell people that they should try to travel somewhere off the beaten path because it truly gives you some perspective. We truly are lucky to live where we do and I most definitely realized I took a lot of things for granted while living there. Not knowing whether or not you’ll come back alive after leaving the house because there might be an attack or being constantly paranoid because you could get robbed at any moment kind of makes you think about how lucky we are to not have to worry about those things. I enjoyed my time there and I would do it again, but all in all, I was glad to be home for the two days that I was before ASW.

Street hustler

January – Having just got back from ASW, I have to say it was worth it. Even though I was dead tired from traveling, I still tried to make the best of it, because as we all know picking up even just one tip from ASW or ASE can pay for your trip a hundred times over. Look for a dedicated post on ASW soon.

In addition to getting burnt on some campaigns, he past year was also rough because I was in an up and down relationship, but now I have a lot more time to focus. It sucks, but it’s the reality of the fact that not everyone can or should have to handle the lifestyle that comes with this business or any business. The fact that affiliate marketing is not a one time and done thing and that offers always come and go makes it unstable but lucrative when it does work. There’s also no time clock and I could literally work every waking hour and often times I do. It sucks to not have something you put a lot into work out, but I know what I want from life and I have to work towards it.

I am starting fresh now having lost my Facebook accounts and having had a few tough learning experiences this year. It feels like I’m back to where I started, but I know what I have to do. I am looking forward to rebuilding my business with an intense focus and working on what I’m good at instead of trying to chase every rabbit and work with every network. I have the capital and the experience behind me so now it’ s just a matter of making it happen.


How I Lost $15,000 in a Week

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Now losses are part of them game and I understand that as much as any seasoned vet in this game. However, there are losses and then there’s getting straight up misled and burnt which is what happened to me after I decided to run a managed media buy with a traffic source that you guys have all probably heard of after I talked to them at ad:tech London. I won’t mention their name and I don’t have anything personal against these guys – I just don’t like the way my business interaction happened with them. Now if it was just me that got burnt by these guys, I would move on and not post about it as this happened back in September, but after going to ASW and speaking to guys online, it’s pretty clear in my view that I’m not the only one that got burnt and hence I’m making this post to prevent any others from getting into the same situation.

These guys weren’t just some random company I decided to run traffic with. I’ve known these guys for a couple of years now and even had a close friend who regularly bought traffic from them. They (up until recently) always threw a huge party as ASW / ASE / ad:tech. I figured since I’ve known this guys for a while and they have a good rep in the industry, I was working with guys that I could trust.

In fact when I spoke with my future rep at the show in London, he told me that they would “hook me up”.  He also said that at worst I would break even and that they would take care of me. They told me they had some awesome placements that were already converting and it would just be plug and play. I should have known better.

I wired over 20k as my initial agreed upon deposit. Slowly things got together and traffic started coming in (there were no live stats, and I had to wait til the end of the day to see how things were performing). Everyday traffic was being run to a single ad instead of impressions being delivered to a variety of them in order to split test which was doing the best.

For days, traffic kept being sent to placements that had a $350 and greater CPA. Money was being spent and fast. I told them to test out different placements and creatives, but all I kept being told was that they’re working on it and that it needs time to optimize. You would think they would turn off a placement that had a $350 acquisition cost when you’re promoting something that garners you way less per sale. Not sure why they didn’t. They told me I was running exactly the same lander and offer that they knew to work (in fact, the offer I ran was through their recommendation, something I should have been wary of for sure).

Finally after my 20k had run out and I had only recovered about 8k of that, they told me sorry it didn’t work out for some reason. I couldn’t believe it, but at this point I really wanted something to work and I kept being promised things by them. They told me they had a Canadian advertiser that just pulled out and was killing it there. Stupidly, I forked over another 5k only to have that campaign completely go down the drain as well. Every time I was ready to pull the plug the campaign would start performing for a bit, and then the next day it would tank. Overall, I lost more than $15,000 with this company after being misled. I should have done more due diligence and been smart to retreat earlier, but the thought of doing my first managed media buy and the potential for a high volume campaign combined with their promises and the fact that I had known these guys for a while really got me. I admit it is my fault for being naive on that front and I am over it, but this is just a cautionary tale for anyone who’s looking to do a managed media buy.

Lesson: Don’t trust anyone else to manage your campaigns no matter what they say they can do for you.

Update: After several commenters saying I should out the company in the interest of the greater good and this post by Shoemoney, I’ve decided to share the name of the company I worked with because I don’t want this happening to anybody else. In hindsight, I should have done this from the get go, but I hesitated because I don’t like getting blood in the water and these guys were people I knew for a while. The company I worked with was Engage:BDR. To their avail, they did recently offer me a $5,000 advertising credit, which I respectfully declined. This was not meant to be an Engage BDR review, but I guess now it is.

Update #2: Engage:BDR is doing the right thing and giving me a $15,000 advertising credit with them to run and test a new campaign. This is something that I think they should definitely be praised for. Most ad networks would not do this and they are going the extra mile in an effort to make things right. I appreciate them for following through and for trying to find a way that we can still work together and for the long-term. They explicitly said that this credit is not just to put them in a better light – they are determined to show me that they are a company worth working with and I believe they will succeed in doing that. I look forward to working with them again seeing what can be done with this credit and act of good faith. Will let everyone know how it goes.

Legal Disclaimer: Anything said in this post about this company is based on my experience and is a statement of my opinion, and is not being depicted as a statement of absolute fact.

Hi, I'm Rohail, affiliate marketer and serial entrepreneur. Follow my trials and triumphs in affiliate marketing as I give you an inside look at the industry and what it takes to be successful.

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