Becoming An Advertiser : Part 1 (Overview)

I’m just assuming that this is going to have to be a series of articles, it would probably be huge if I crammed it all into one. At this point in time, I am almost ready to launch my product on the advertiser side. By the end of this week everything should be 95% ready to go. I want to just shed some more light on this area because there’s not too much content on becoming an advertiser. Most blogs just write about the affiliate side of things, but you still hear all the affiliates saying “being an advertiser is where the money is at”. Do we not see content on this topic because that’s the truth? At first I kind of thought this, but not so much anymore.

Being an advertiser is a HUGE hassle. If (like me) you’re doing it by yourself, it seems the number of things to do is endless. I would make checklists every week, and for every 1 thing I crossed off, 2 were added in. It’s stressful, time consuming, requires money and connections, and some knowledge. I’ve been working on this for almost 6 months now, and for the past 3 my income has shot down to $0…I’ve been spending all of my time and resources on this. I’m hoping this article series will save potential advertisers a lot of time, or at least give you a good “idea” of what being an advertiser is like.

A Short Overview

The goal of this article is to just introduce the basic framework for creating and selling your own product.

Component A : The Product

Before you make any moves as far as setting up payment processing or any of that goes, you need a product! This is probably the topic I’ll write the least about, because I don’t know what product you want to come up with and sell. It could be acai like everyone is doing, or it could be something new that nobody has done. How did I do this part? I came up with an idea of what to sell, and then went to a very good industry friend of mine who is an advertiser. He intro’d me to his manufacturer, and badda bing badda boom. Connections have been very handy throughout this process for me. The best “first step” you take as an advertiser may be to just head to Affiliate Summit or another event and network with as many people as possible.

Component B : The Design

Another huge component to being an advertiser I think is your designs. I went through at least 4 designers, thousands of dollars, and 4 months before I came up with designs I was satisfied with. Things I needed to design :

  • Offer page (multiple variations)
  • Checkout page
  • Product label
  • Product box
  • Welcome brochure
  • Homepage


Component C : Checkout System

When I first started looking into this stuff, I was always confused between people talking about merchant accounts, checkout accounts, banks, etc.

The checkout system is NOT where you get your merchant IDs (commonly referred to as MIDs) for credit card processing. They link up with your fulfillment and processing, but they’re just the shopping cart aspect of your offer. All of the actual money generated from sales goes through your merchant account.

You will have your offer page and pass those variables through to the shopping cart system (goes to your checkout page). The customer fills all the info out and submits it, this gets submitted to your checkout system (CRM). You’ll have a login for this where you can look at all the orders that were placed, chargebacks, etc. This data then gets exported to your fulfillment for shipping.

Component D : Merchant Processing

This is usually the biggest aspect of everything. If you can’t get approved or pass credit checks for merchant processing, you can’t make your offer. If you start your offer and blow out your MIDs, your offer gets shut down. So this is kind of a big deal.

What I personally do is go through kind of a gateway company. Basically they handle all of the merchant aspects for their clients. I had to fill out a pretty big application and send them a ton of financial data. This is so the banks can perform credit checks and see that you have money in the event of your offer falling out and being spiked with chargebacks. They will need to see EVERYTHING: the finished offer page (with your call support #, T&C), years of financial history, tax returns, etc. I had to do a couple phone “interviews” as well, describing everything about the product, offer, and marketing plan.

I know the company I’m going with now has tightened up a lot since all of this FTC rebill action, so maybe I’ve been scrutinized more than other advertisers have been in the past. Maybe this won’t be the same for you, I’m just letting you know what I personally have gone through.

Component E : Fulfillment

In most cases (mine at least) you’ll have some sort of physical product. Even if you’re offering a digital membership as your offer, it’s generally recommended that you send them some sort of physical product (in the case that you’re doing a rebill/continuity program).

The fulfillment center will store your product and ship it out to customers. You’ll make an initial order to the manufacturer (my first one is 2,000 units), put that on a semi and have it shipped to the fulfillment center. There’s not too much for me to say about this, it’s probably been the most painless aspect of everything so far.

Component F : Call Support

You’ll be needing customer support for your product. There are a couple pieces of software online where you can do automatic support/cancellations from your website, but I wouldn’t recommend just that. If you have an actual live agent on the phone, you can find out more from the customer about why they’re canceling, and you can also try to offer them 50% off or something to keep them on.

Depending on where you get your support from, there will be some kind of training package you will have to prepare for the agents.

Component G : Strategy

Strategy has definitely been the trickiest part for me going forward. You have to decide how you actually want to sell your product. I had initially planned on going with the basic continuity rebill, free 7 day trial just pay shipping, rebilled every 30 days after that. That had been the plan for the last five months, up until last week when I decided to change everything haha. I’m still going to be setting up a continuity program (they’ll receive the product every month), but with a little bit of a different twist. At this point all I’ll say is that it makes everything MUCH more legitimate, will really cut down chargebacks, and really does make it a nice deal for the customer. Will it convert? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see what happens before I let you know.

Other things to think about with strategy are :

  • What size product do you want? (you may have a choice between a 4oz jar for $4 and a 6oz jar for $6…6oz is more expensive BUT is a better value to the customer)
  • Set up combo packages with other products?
  • If affiliates are running the offer, how much can you afford to pay out?
  • What do you need to set your price points at to profit?
  • What can you do to limit cancellations and chargebacks?

Component H : Marketing

I would have to say one of the more important things about being an advertiser would be the way you actually get sales to your product. After all, you can have the best product out there but if nobody is selling it, how can you make money?

Here’s how I’m going to approach it :

I’m going to run the offer internally for at least the first month or two. First I’ll need to see if the offer is converting at all, after that I need to get customer feedback. Are they happy with the product? How many want refunds? Before I break into the affiliate market with this, I need to know at least those two things. Once I can set an estimated value per customer, I can see if I can come up with a payout that will compete with other offers.

Start Up Capital

This isn’t really a component, but I know a lot of people out there are asking, “so much much does it cost to set all of this up?”

Just to set everything up, buy the product, get the designs, and set up all the components…I think I’ve spent around $16-17,000. Over half of that is buying the product itself. Thousands have been spent on designs and set up fees, though.


All in all, you can see that a lot goes into all of this. It’s hard enough to get each individual component set up, it’s constant emails and phone calls for months. What makes it even harder is pulling everything together into 1 single business. Checkout needs information from Fulfillment and Processing, Fulfillment needs information from Manufacturing, Processing needs information from everybody, and everybody needs information from me.

Just typing up all of this gave me a mini-headache, because after this I need to make more emails and phone calls, yes!

I don’t even know what the other parts of this series will contain or how they will be structured, but I’ll find some way to get info out to you guys. Just know that this isn’t easy, and can’t be done fast.


  1. December 14, 2009

    Very interesting to hear the other aspect of this business – done by an affiliate. Kudos to you for working hard on this and following through to the end. Most guys would just see too many obstacles and throw in the towel way early.

  2. December 14, 2009

    your own stuff is the hassle…but isn’t affiliate marketing about selling other’s people stuff…?

  3. December 14, 2009

    Thanks man, very interesting post! Do you mind revealing the CRM you use?

  4. December 14, 2009

    thanks for the info. as iam interested into in becoming an advertisor.
    lookin forward to your other posts!

  5. December 14, 2009

    Having been through the entire process already, you need to focus on fulfillment and customer service. These will be the two most difficult areas and the areas that will lead to chargebacks and complaints when they aren’t dealt with.

  6. December 14, 2009

    I hope this works, Mr. Beats. You got a lot riding on it.

  7. Blimey
    December 15, 2009

    Tip : If you use phplive for live chat support: Do it on a cheap shared hosting account and keep it well away from your real site.There are a lot of exploits for it.

  8. December 15, 2009

    Nice… Yeah, I am trying to push an advertiser out to affiliate marketing, doing private campaigns for them now, this post should be a good resource. Thanks for sharing, great info.

  9. December 15, 2009

    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.

  10. December 15, 2009

    Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely useful for me.

  11. December 15, 2009

    This is great, I just finished work on a product, and this post has def helped. Looking forward to part 2.

  12. ...
    December 15, 2009

    I think the amount of effort is more or less the same as affiliate marketing. It’s only more difficult because this is your first time through…

  13. December 15, 2009

    I’ll probably be sharing that in later posts.

  14. December 15, 2009


  15. December 15, 2009

    Being an advertiser has every component and aspect that affiliate marketing has, it only ADDS a ton of elements.

    I still will have a landing page that I drive traffic to. That’s affiliate marketing. Being an advertiser means being in on the background for EVERYTHING.

    I’ve done both and it definitely seems like being an advertiser is harder.

  16. December 16, 2009

    Very complete and helpful overview. It seems that you worked a lot on this compilation and I admit that. I must say that I’m always pleased when someone is putting such articles for free, just to help other people.

  17. December 17, 2009

    This is real. I would second on the number about the importance of marketing in advertising. It’s one complicated yet crucial part of the business to make the earnings because a product won’t survive without these processes to market and promote effectively that’s why it requires a lot of effort reaching a lot of contacts and helping people to let them discover our products. Once they get satisfied, the better and that the word-of-mouth and fingertips can help it ensure at all.

  18. December 17, 2009

    I am little confused, are you running a full blown e-commerce store?

  19. December 18, 2009

    These will be the two most difficult areas and the areas that will lead to chargebacks and complaints when they aren’t dealt with.

  20. December 18, 2009

    I keep fingers for you! Good luck

  21. December 19, 2009

    I hope this works, Mr. Beats. You got a lot riding on it.

  22. December 21, 2009

    keep following where the money flows.

  23. December 21, 2009

    So when can we expect UberAcai to hit Market Leverage?

    Seriously, good luck Paul.


  24. December 22, 2009

    Thanks Paul for sharing. I may not be following your business model but surely your performance is inspiring.


  25. December 24, 2009

    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.

  26. December 27, 2009

    Good luck Mr. Beats.

    Hope this works for you.


  27. December 29, 2009

    Cool man..Inspiring post.Hope this post useful for me oneday….

  28. December 30, 2009

    we should be very careful in the things that are all I needed to design, particularly in designing Welcome brochure…

  29. January 13, 2010

    Becoming a good advertiser is not an easy thing..It needs cool stuff good presentation and all sort of deals..

  30. January 15, 2010

    Nice summary, Paul. Good luck on the launch. I’m planning on testing a product in about 2 weeks. *crosses fingers*

  31. January 15, 2010

    I tend to agree with you there. Driving traffic is one thing, handling the sales and backup to support those sales is another kettle of fish altogether.

  32. January 23, 2010

    Maybe you can break down each category into a more detailed summary with specifics (after you are up and rolling of course).

  33. January 30, 2010

    hmm contradictive with my point of view.. but shouldn’t it have another way to be? just my 2 cents

  34. February 1, 2010

    good tips and advice, thanks for that really appreciate it.

  35. February 4, 2010

    Advertising is such complicated process with so many things to do. I don’t know if I ever could become a part of successful blogging community that can really advertise a product and to promote it.

  36. February 14, 2010

    OMG, I hadn’t thought about all the things you need to become yourself in an advertiser. Actually, I was thinking in becoming one. But, reading all about the components in that order I realize that not only would it work for ads but also as the Web activity as a whole. I mean, at the end we all want to get some cash with our blogs. And having all the mkt items present is a good way to go on the right direction.

  37. May 25, 2011

    I am really thinking of that to become an advertiser someday. For this post I have to start right now for my future family. And thank for this article it really help me to start a plan to an advertiser.

  38. July 20, 2011

    Good summary! Looking forward for part 2.
    thank you

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