Think Outside the Box : Actually Don’t Think At All

There are many ways of doing affiliate marketing. Some ways work better for people, and that’s why they stick with that way. You always hear super affiliates talking about how you have to “think outside the box” and be a smart affiliate – which is DEFINITELY true. But sometimes just not thinking at all works well too. It’s not as easy as it was before (with Yahoo + MSNs slowly evolving quality score), but the not thinking method still works to an extent. The method is brutally simple: find a general offer that you think anybody would complete if the ad caught their eye (in my examples – ringtones – dun dun dunnnn), and test every kind of keyword out there.

While Shoemoney saluted uploading 20 million keywords in adCenter goodbye, this concept isn’t totally dead yet. Just go into Yahoo or MSN and start searching the most random and untargetted keywords. You’ll see a couple reoccurring sites promoting ringtones ;). Here’s the simple process I took with ringtones a few months back (and still have a couple of the campaigns running now). It’s nothing complicated, because the point here isn’t to think :

1) Picked an offer, ringtones were still pretty good 8 months back and it was when I first started affiliate marketing so I chose that.

2) Went into Yahoo (Google’s QS rapes these campaigns) and started searching for any random keywords that popped into my head. If I found a keyword with only 1-2 ads, I marked that down. Once I had my list, I picked some of the keywords and started researching keywords for the general niche those keywords were in.

3) Typed those main keywords into Wordze/Wordtracker (that’s what I used at the time) and got ~10k keyword lists for each niche.

4) Some of the niches I promoted ringtones in so you can get an idea (I’m not saying the ones I’m still in and are doing the best, sorry folks) :

-video games (profited with this)
-furniture (wooden chairs, couches, I actually broke even on this campaign)
-anime (can’t remember)

5) Made a base landing page, then swapped a dynamic header in there saying “Get {Niche} Ringtones!” or something like that.

6) Uploaded the keywords into Yahoo and bid $0.10. If the niche was converting, I upped the bids and got more volume at a slightly lower ROI.

My best campaign using this method was making around $1,000/day at it’s peak, which isn’t bad at all for a random niche having NOTHING to do with ringtones. Note that the $1k/day didn’t come from just that initial campaign. I was able to bid $0.50 with a really nice return, and I expanded the keyword list to about 100k.

For a couple weeks I tried figuring out what keywords were converting by looking at all my stats, but it was just huge lists of completely different keywords. I exclusively used YSM for those campaigns too, I didn’t mess with MSN a lot, or any smaller engines like Ask. So not thinking at all can still sometimes come in handy if you want to make a quick easy buck or two.

I’ll probably write future articles about thinking outside the box (I definitely will actually), but sometimes you can still “exploit” things and just completely forget there’s a box even there.


  1. September 27, 2007

    Greetings from the Anime Girl, Nice blog posting about t Think At All | UberAffiliate – We Hate 9-5 Jobs As Much As You Do. I would have to agree with you on this one. I am going to look more into anime ringtones. This Thursday I have time.

  2. November 6, 2007

    Nice. Are you still in ringtones? It seems every man, girl, and their dog are into ringtones after Shoe glorified them so much.

    Care to share any example landing pages? :)

  3. December 19, 2007

    I just don’t know where to start, but thanks to your posts, I’m figuring it out, little by little, but I’m learning a lot. Thanks for sharing this :D

  4. January 23, 2008

    I still do this as well, though only on MSN. Dating leads for me. Works very well for lead-type campaigns but terrible for sales type stuff with credit cards involved.

  5. February 27, 2008

    Sometimes listening to your local radio, ads in the street, newspapers, etc. will also give ideas for keywords you never thought about in the first place.

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