My journey to make my first $1 from online marketing

Journey starts…

Although I am in the ad industry for over 10 years, I am more on the tech side of the business. My job mainly deals with scaling system, detecting frauds, diving deep in big data and etc. However, when it comes to make money online, I just have some ideas but certainly consider myself a novice. It is quite embarrassing that I haven’t even made a single dime from online marketing over years in this space. Whenever I tell my friends that I cannot provide them tips of making money online, they often cast a suspicious look to me like I am holding off something from them. So, I decide to give it a trial and hopefully I can make a profit. I set my goal very low this time (ie. $1 in profit). On the other hand, it is also quite meaningful because I know many of affiliate marketers not even ever make a profit. Given I said that, I am well prepared to take loss over this venture as I know the best way to learn is to take action rather than reading endless of unverified materials online. I believe many of us are sick of those sudden rich stories, aren’t we?

Given my tech knowledge in the industry, I expect a shorter learning curve. On top of that, I can even build my own tool to achieve a better result if I see the need. So I have confidence I can reach my goal in ease. Enough said. Where should I start first? How about sourcing traffics?

Pick paid traffics over free traffics

For free traffics, we normally get it from few sources. They are organic search, social media and email. None of them are easy to build up and get the result quick unless you adopt some forms of blackhat practices like link wheel for SEO, email spamming and automated social engagement thru bot. I am not saying that they are not effective but certainly not sustainable. I don’t want to spend too much time to set it up so I decide to go after paid traffic.

For paid traffics, there are few major sources. They are search, display, paid social, pop, domain and install. Given my limited budget and the good stuffs I heard from some pop networks on CPA offers, I prefer giving it a test first. If it doesn’t work, I will look into facebook marketing next. I try to avoid search marketing at this moment as the competition there is pretty intense and it has more variables for you to optimize that in turn increase my test budget. So does the risk as well.

Find the best PPV forum online

After I decide to start using pop traffics, I want to catch up with the current art of the game. So, I decide to identify and join the best PPV forum in the market. I found Aff Playbook being the best in the market from one of the seasoned marketers. That is what Finch said,

I’m willing to bet that of all the Internet Marketing forums, Aff Playbook has the highest average earnings per member. I don’t know that for sure. But it seems pretty likely given the thousands of dollars I know several active members to be producing on a daily basis. You will need to subscribe to gain access, and I don’t even know if I should be referring newbies. But hey, check it out. Give it a shot.

On top of that, the forum provides you a set of useful tools for free.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 11.32.36 PM

In general paid forums are so much better than free forums. Inside Aff Playbook, you can find information about stuff that really works or learn from the mistakes of others. There’s so much traps and junk tips on the Internet. Sometimes, it takes up so much of your valuable time to filter them out. While in closed forum, most members are taking online marketing more seriously and their tips and tricks can save you a lot. Plus it also allows you to build up your network with them. So, the fee is well worth it from my point of view.

Note: The link I provided above is an affiliate link. If you join Aff Playbook thru this, I will get a commission from it. If you don’t want to give me the credit, it is ok to me too. Here is an non-affiliate link. However, if you join thru this link, send me a message on rayhon1014 at so I will send you a tool that you may find useful in return.

Sign up some good affiliate networks for offers

  • Above All Offers
  • Peerfly
  • Adsimilis
  • w4
  • Mundo Media
  • Max Bounty
  • Convert2Media
  • Ads4Dough
  • CPA Trend
  • Neverblue

Pick an offer

The trick to PPV is defining the demographic for the offer, and knowing where the target audience hangs out online. When you’re first starting out pick a niche that you are familiar with like dating or weight loss. Once you pick a niche, you can find an offer you like from It is a search engine for offers across many affiliate networks. Make sure the offer you pick can qualify for these three basic requirements :

1 – High EPC

Find out whether or not the offer has a high EPC (earnings per click). Offers can still be good if the EPC is low, but go through your CPA networks to see if there is an offer that’s performing well across other CPA networks to start off with.

2 – Offer with significant stats

Make sure the offer’s statistics are available in,, and Google Display Planner. You want to make sure that there’s get enough information on your offer for your campaign.

3 – Offer with a fast load time

Try to get an offer that loads fast enough. Test the web page with Pingdom Tools to make sure the web page loads fast enough. Remember with PPV traffic we want everything to load fast.

NOTE: Make sure the offers accept pay per view/ PPV traffic or contextual traffic before promoting them using PPV.

Set up system for tracking

  • Prosper202 (free)
  • CPV Lab ($297/ year)
    • Self-hosting
    • Good documentation but missing examples or case studies that leads to particular configuration.
    • Support offer/ landing page rotation that allows to perform A/B testing and campaign clone feature is very handy.
    • Need some tech skills to set it up and get it works.
    • If you don’t need to update for new features, you consider $297 as one time fee.
  • Voluum
    • 3rd party hosting
    • It is NOT free anymore. Start from $99/month up to 1M requests, $399/month up to 10M requests, $999/month up to 30M.
    • It is great that you don’t need to go thru the headache to set up your tracker, cut out the dedicated server fee and be able to scale the traffics without worrisome. However, I don’t think it fits for newbie just want to get started in the space.
  • BevoMedia Ad Tracker
    • 3rd party hosting
    • Free
    • I don’t like my campaign data hosted by 3rd party esp BevoMedia is an ad network.

Give a test

  1. Split test 50% to DL and have 2 very different looking landing pages each getting 25% of the traffic.
  2. If I have a winning LP then more often then not I just split test the winner against a few other different looking LP’s and don’t heavily change out my headlines or benefits much.

Create a landing page

Below I will list out some good templates that are proven converted so we can follow it.

Template 1

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 6.06.12 PM

Template 2

Template 3 – Vote

If you target on, it is best that you can make your landing page looks like as well. So, users think the offer is from and they will be more engaged. Make sure you cannot put their logo there to avoid any legal issue.

In this example, I’ve build a page with the same colors/elements as imdb. In the gray box place holders, I would just have the DVD cover of some popular movies from 2013. I’m trying to engage the visitor by getting them to vote on their favorite movie. You could put a radio button or checkbox under each movie for someone to select their choice. This doesn’t have to be functional. The voting doesn’t really do anything except get the user interacting with our page.

Template 4 – Offer Wall

Put different offers together and promote at the same time. Good to use for today’s deal and coupon.

Template 5 – Coupon

For deals and coupons, you can use a countdown timer like ‘This deal will expire in…’.

Tools that you can do it your own

You can create a landing page as a single image with image editing tools below:

After the image is created, you can wrap it with html for deployment.

Optimization Strategies

  • Split test same campaign set up across 2 different sources to make sure if it is source vs campaign setup issue.
  • Take out targets that are not performed (eg. Few hundred clicks without a single action)
  • For profitable targets, introduce variations. (more expansion tips later!)
  • Expand the campaign to different countries if the offer is allowed.
  • Optimize the landing pages in 5 ways (eg. faster load time, landing page size, target blank vs full screen, title and favicon)
  • Get into the head of the users and do a better copywriting (by far, it is the art that can gives the most impact among all strategies above)
  • Move to another traffic source
  • Once you get another 50 or so leads hit up the AM and say you have some volume but need a better payout if possible. They can probably get you a little pay bump.
  • Multivariate testing is great if you want to test a bunch of headlines to see which one works best, etc. It is more for when you have a profitable campaign you’re looking to squeeze every last bit of profitability out of.
  • Translate your landing page and target other countries.


  • CPVLabs
  • OneHourTranslation
  • Fiverr – If you’re on a budget, Fiverr has some cheap translators.
  • Pingdom – See how fast your website loads
  • GTMetrix – Amazing site. Tells you what elements you can improve on.
  • Optimizely – It is quite pricy but it does take landing page optimization at different level – Personalization and real-time lander customization. It works /w P202 and CPVLAbs

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My journey to make my first $1 from online marketing

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