Interview with a Pro Affiliate: Brent Dunn

Luke

Admin
Staff member
#1
The response to my last interview with Servando Silva was so awesome that I immediately started considering who from the community I should interview next. One guy came to mind immediately, Brent Dunn (@Morticai).

It's likely that even if you didn't know Brent before he joined affLIFT, it's likely you have landed on his blog (PPCMode) in your affiliate marketing research. In fact, I first talked to him in 2015 when he emailed me to participate in an expert roundup he was doing for his blog then.



As you'll see from his answers below, Brent knows his stuff. He's been doing affiliate marketing for awhile now and he's shared a ton of great information that has benefitted a lot of affiliates over the years. He's exactly the kind of person I want in our community and needless to say, I appreciate him being here.

Read his responses below and I'm sure if you reply with some questions of your own, he'll be happy to answer them :)

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👍 How much is the most you have made in a single day with affiliate marketing?

Running as a solo affiliate I've made $18k in a single day doing a direct buy.

When I was running with a team we were just $3k short of a $90k.

Having a big day comes down to a lot of luck. The stars aligned in both cases where the offer converted like fire due to a fresh database or the advertiser not knowing the KPIs and over paying per conversion.

👎 What is the most you've lost in a single day? I know for my own experience, I try to block out losses pretty quickly, but give me an estimate if you can't remember.

Well sadly it was the day after my best day ironically... I got hyped up from how well the offer was converting and setup a few more direct buys. Problem is it crashed my server and I had no way of pausing the traffic. It was a little after 24 hours that I finally got the upgraded server and domain DNS to propagate. At the end of it all I was down a little over $20k and got a bit trigger shy on doing future buys.

The lesson I learned there was to be more calculated even when things are going well. Make sure all your ducks are in a row before scaling to quickly.

⚽ What is your favorite hobby?

Video games are my favorite hobby and worst enemy. I have the habit of going hard on whatever I do... That means if I play a game I truly enjoy it's very easy for me to do... nothing else. So I avoid them as much as possible these days.

Other than that I really enjoy learning. Reading, courses, etc in mostly Economics, Psychology, Business / Marketing.

💰 What is 1 skill you've learned since starting affiliate marketing that has helped you the most with getting your campaigns profitable?

There are very few professions that you can work as hard as possible for days or weeks and still not make money. Even worse you can end up losing money each of those days.

Most people I've learned view money as the things they can buy. The main skill that has both helped my mental state and improve as a media buyer is viewing money as a video game. It has to be just a number with no other emotion tied to it. I still get excited on really profitable days and depressed on days I get my ass kicked. But by viewing money in this way, allows me to test properly and scale quickly once I do find a winner.

The biggest screw ups I've had in this space was always due to emotion hijacking my common sense.

🤑 I saw you were tweeting and doing videos about crypto. How'd that work out for you?

In terms of the success of the videos it went really well. Economics is something I know quite a bit about and it blended well into Crypto.

I'm a big believer that our current monetary system is unsustainable, which can be proven by every country being in massive amounts of debt.

I've been running trading bots for a little over a year now in Crypto and even though the space fell on it's face, I haven't really lost or gained anything in terms of dollars, but my holdings continue to grow.

⭐ What is your favorite blog post you've ever written? Which one has gotten you the most traffic?

My favorite post would have to be my pay per call marketing guide. That was the post that kind of set the stage for me to up my quality with my posts as much as possible. I just had a lot of fun with it by adding the random ass cartoons and the structure of the post. It ultimately became one of my largest posts in terms of traffic and subscribers very quickly after posting it.

🚀 What is 1 thing we can add to affLIFT to make it better? This can be something the community does or something I do personally to make the forum better.

Honestly, you're doing a ton of stuff right. The only thing I see as an issue (which all forums have this) if your user to post ratio. affLift has a ton of users but many of them are what I call lurkers. I was a lurker for many of my earlier years because I was nervous I had nothing to bring to the conversation. Ironically one of the things that really improved my knowledge and ultimately helped me succeed in this space was just always asking questions in forums.

So some type of gamification of the forum that could help motivate people to post. Different prestige badges, perhaps a private webinar for everyone that posted that month, etc.

📚 What is your favorite book you have read recently?

I've read this book before but just actually finished it again last night: Pre-Suasion by Robert B. Cialdini

He also wrote the book Influence. They are both Psychology books but are extremely helpful for any marketer.

😢 What is your least favorite part about affiliate marketing?

I would have to say the mental teeter totter of the day-to-day. Seeing how much you're making or losing that day put you into a stress or manic state no matter how seasoned you are. It's very easy to judge our own self worth based on how well we are doing that day.

😃 What traffic source are you most excited to test this year?

I was a bit late to the party but I've been going hard on push traffic the last month. Honestly, I think push is going to be very time limited before Google lays down the hammer, so I've been putting a lot of time into testing what works and scaling. It's been one of the smoothest types of traffic to get profitable on that I've seen for a longtime. Back when app push on places like Airpush, Leadbolt, etc was the only other time I've had this many successful campaigns this quickly.

I've had a few push lists for various niche sites I own but never really thought to make one just for running offers too it. So I am in the process of making my own niche specific lists just to run offers. The churn and burn method lol.

😎 I see you wearing those sweet glasses in your avatar and videos. What are they and where can I get a pair?

Ha! The story with those glasses is the Howard Stern method (any publicity is good publicity). Before these glasses I was wearing gunners in my videos and noticed a lot more people would comment on my videos / posts to say how cool they were or to be a hater. So I had to up the "douche scale" when I started making my Crypto videos.

They're called Pit Vipers and their marketing is at a whole new level: https://pitvipersunglasses.com/

🔮 Where do you see the industry in 3-5 years?

Without attempting to sound like a hipster... It's going to continue to become more mainstream. If you look back 5-10 years most people didn't really know much about affiliate marketing. It's safe to say that has changed quit a bit.

That means to be successful will require a few more steps due to competition increasing. This is already true in a lot of niches, but I think the real winners will be those who turn their campaigns into entire businesses. By creating content such as Youtube videos, email lists, push lists, blogs, etc.

The other possibility is we'll have another new device such as the smartphone and the computer before that , which will change the game. It may be Virtual Reality or Brain Machine Interfacing who knows, but when that new device comes out the first movers to learning how to monetize it in terms of ads will make big bucks.

❓ What is one question I should have asked you that I haven't? Please answer it as well.

I guess a good question to ask would be: "Do you have any tips for someone just getting started in the space?"

If you're just starting out I would lower your exceptions on yourself in the beginning. Most people set a monetary goal on their selves before even running their first campaign. Making a goal such as "make $100 a day" when just starting out most likely will set you up for failure.

Set simple goals such as "learn how to use a tracker" "setup my first campaign to understand how traffic works, etc" will help you stay in the game long enough to actually gain the skills you need to succeed.
 
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Luke

Admin
Staff member
#2
Video games are my favorite hobby and worst enemy.
I know this struggle well. I played Counter-Strike competitively for about 5 years (4 years in college and 1 year after). It was a lot of fun, but I made more money almost immediately after I quit lol

So some type of gamification of the forum that could help motivate people to post. Different prestige badges, perhaps a private webinar for everyone that posted that month, etc.
I agree! This is something I have to figure out. Badges sound awesome though 👍 We literally have hundreds of lurkers a day already :)

I've read this book before but just actually finished it again last night: Pre-Suasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Pre-Suasion is a fantastic book! I need to reread it. It was one of the 23 books I listened to in 2016 📚

If you're just starting out I would lower your exceptions on yourself in the beginning. Most people set a monetary goal on their selves before even running their first campaign. Making a goal such as "make $100 a day" when just starting out most likely will set you up for failure.
I think this is fantastic advice. I will have people who are brand new who will ask me "I want to make $1000/day", "how can I make $200/day?", etc. I like ambition and think setting goals is good, but it's important to stay grounded. If affiliate marketing was so easy I could explain to someone in an email how to make $1,000/day .... do you think I would be wasting my time answering your email? :D

Setting goals for learning the steps it takes to be successful. That makes way more sense. Great advice.
 
#3
Thanks @Luke

As Luke said I'm down to answer any questions you may have. No lurking! :)

P.S. I actually was an affiliate of Lukes back in like 2010 or something like that, but didn't run much traffic to CPA offers at the time so it makes sense I was unmemorable lol.
 

chervenkov

Active member
#4
I have some questions:

1. What's the difference btw the successful marketer and the unsuccessful one (I'm asking all successful ones this question)

2. When was your milestone - when made your first 1$ , 10 $ / per day, 50 $ day profit

3. When you was a newbie how you made your angles and copyrighting and how you make them now?

4. What is the game changer btw small campaign with 5-10 $ profit and the big ones with 1000 $ and above profit

5. What the even the new marketer can automate in his daily job (besides the optimizer.io)
 
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#5
Oh nice. Brent's Popads course really helped me understand how to setup a campaign which in turn helped me figure out other ad networks.

I usually don't buy courses but his seemed to good to pass up!
 
#7
I have some questions:

1. What's the difference btw the successful marketer and the unsuccessful one (I'm asking all successful ones this question)
Time. Honestly most that are new to the space are under the impression that AM is easy. The successful marketer emerges themselves into the space while having non monetary milestones along the way to learn the skills required.

Most that are unsuccessful go in with the mindset that they'll make $100/day their first month. While not impossible this is extremely unlikely. It requires an understanding of so many different elements in this space. It's a "job" that is 100% based on performance and only the strong will survive. Those that thrive on competition usually have an upper hand. The only other real element is giving yourself enough time to succeed.

2. When was your milestone - when made your first 1$ , 10 $ / per day, 50 $ day profit
Well I've been in IM since 2005. I was learning SEO in high school while running Myspace bots selling products. When I came back around to learning CPA I never really had a monetary goal to be honest. I just always wanted to do better than the day before. This isn't to say that I wasn't very excited getting my first conv from running CPA but I was more interested in "knowledge" milestones. Learning trackers, traffic sources, etc.

3. When you was a newbie how you made your angles and copyrighting and how you make them now?
When first starting out I had the mindset of "numbers". This offer is a "simple" conv rate so if I sent 1000 clicks SOMEONE should convert. That as many of us now know is extremely flawed.

My angles these days remind the visitor of their true desires. There isn't enough money in the world to change someones true desires through paid traffic, so our best bet is to simply remind them of what that is and match it the best we can with benefits of the offer.

For example a true desire of a 30-40 Female single mother, may be that they know the want to start providing some side income for their family and they "deserve" to make money from home. Now it's just a matter of reminding them of this as one angle would be: Wouldn't it be nice to help provide for your family? As a single mother we know it's tough to have both time for the kids and a job, that is why we've provided easy to do surveys that can be done at home and on your schedule. > Other benefits > explain how to signup.

4. What is the game changer btw small campaign with 5-10 $ profit and the big ones with 1000 $ and above profit
Taking every piece of data you collect and find patterns. Once you've found patterns such as device type, ISP, screen size, browser version number, OS, etc take all those winning data points and use them are your starting point on new traffic sources.

Do the same thing when you change geos, even though generally each geo will be different starting from any data point that has worked before is better than starting RON.

Once I find a banner > lander > offer combo that works with the mentioned data points I scale fast and hard as quickly as I can.

There isn't really anything different from a $10 campaign to a $1000 campaign. It just comes down to getting as much traffic as you can at a price you can be profitable with.

5. What the even the new marketer can automate in his daily job (besides the optimizer.io)
Honestly a new marketer shouldn't automate much until they learn the process manually. Automation comes with understanding. I setup a lot of automation after I identify repetitive tasks that can be sped up. Automation without understanding though is a recipe for disaster.
 
#8
Oh nice. Brent's Popads course really helped me understand how to setup a campaign which in turn helped me figure out other ad networks.

I usually don't buy courses but his seemed to good to pass up!
Thanks buddy, glad you enjoyed it.

great interview. can i ask about push networks you are focusing on or on which network you had more success?
I'm just going down the list of push sources. I started with Megapush until I found success with it. Now working on scaling to other sources such as Propeller, Admaven, Adsterra, etc. The only one I've gotten my ass handed too me was Richpush but I've got a buddy killing it on that platform so to answer the true question you have... All push sources work so long as you focus on one long enough to understand the platform.
 
#9
Brent,
Awesome interview! You have really been through it all.

I have a question that perhaps is a bit tricky.
I've got non-people traffic, or at least visits that my javascript stuff doesn't see.
Hotjar doesn't notice this traffic. There's no mouse movements. That kind of stuff.

From good advice on afflift, I've set up a page to do a javascript redirect. It is working.
My question is: how do you filter out bot traffic from the sources? With this html page doing a javascript redirect [details at my thread, My Push Adventure ], is there a way to see which clicks make it to my lander? Just wondering the best way to do that, to figure out how to turn off the bot traffic.
 
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#10
The main skill that has both helped my mental state and improve as a media buyer is viewing money as a video game. It has to be just a number with no other emotion tied to it
I like this...

Question: What are the things that you would usually do once a campaign that you're testing isn't profitable after some time?
 
#11
Brent,
Awesome interview! You have really been through it all.

I have a question that perhaps is a bit tricky.
I've got non-people traffic, or at least visits that my javascript stuff doesn't see.
Hotjar doesn't notice this traffic. There's no mouse movements. That kind of stuff.

From good advice on afflift, I've set up a page to do a javascript redirect. It is working.
My question is: how do you filter out bot traffic from the sources? With this html page doing a javascript redirect [details at my thread, My Push Adventure ], is there a way to see which clicks make it to my lander? Just wondering the best way to do that, to figure out how to turn off the bot traffic.
Are you sure it's bot traffic? I don't suggest using a Javascript redirect in that manner. Are you saying Hotjar doesn't fire if you put it directly on your real landing page?

If you're positive it's bot traffic take a look at ISP, IP, Device metrics to see if you're getting a ton of clicks from the same IP / ISP.

Honestly however I doubt you're getting over 10-20% bot traffic if you're running on Propeller Ads.
I like this...

Question: What are the things that you would usually do once a campaign that you're testing isn't profitable after some time?
I would start split testing other offers similar to the original.

If you're positive the offer converts however, I would start creating various different landing page angles to see if I could find one that converts. If you still some how can't get a conversions...

I would start blacklisting various KPIs that are losing you the most money. Such as ISP (if it's a content billing offer) device type and finally zone ids.

There is always something to learn from your data even if you are yet to have a conversion.

Ask your AM what the average delay there is on conversion. If you've tried all of the above it may be best to move on. Everyone has a different amount of risk they are willing to put into a campaign. I could give you something generic such as 2-5x offer payout. But as I said it's different for everyone.
 
#12
Are you sure it's bot traffic? I don't suggest using a Javascript redirect in that manner. Are you saying Hotjar doesn't fire if you put it directly on your real landing page?

If you're positive it's bot traffic take a look at ISP, IP, Device metrics to see if you're getting a ton of clicks from the same IP / ISP.

Honestly however I doubt you're getting over 10-20% bot traffic if you're running on Propeller Ads.
I'm running on a half dozen push platforms currently, tracking and finding the ones that work.
Thanks for your idea of filtering on ISP, worth gold that one.
And I've taken off hotjar (now that the funnel is doing pretty good) and even removed my site's click tracking and am going direct to my aff link...will see if affects the conversion rate I've managed to quantify (boosts conversion rate, that is).

Awesome having you here on afflift, Brent!
 
#14
That's the hard part for me. Is it some sort of skill that can be learned/developed or solely based on intuition?
For this, Li, I get to know my affiliate manager, and get some volume data from them, and how many conversions per day for that offer. If you can get that kind of detail and they indicate it converts, I'd put some effort into seeing how you can make it work.
 
#15
For this, Li, I get to know my affiliate manager, and get some volume data from them, and how many conversions per day for that offer. If you can get that kind of detail and they indicate it converts, I'd put some effort into seeing how you can make it work.
awesome, thanks man
 
#19
I'm just going down the list of push sources. I started with Megapush until I found success with it. Now working on scaling to other sources such as Propeller, Admaven, Adsterra, etc. The only one I've gotten my ass handed too me was Richpush but I've got a buddy killing it on that platform so to answer the true question you have... All push sources work so long as you focus on one long enough to understand the platform.
So your advice is we should focus on one platform at a time. one more question have you gone with promoting with cps offers with push or you stick with just cpl offers.
 
#20
Thanks for the tips.
That's the hard part for me. Is it some sort of skill that can be learned/developed or solely based on intuition?
Manually spy on placements with a VPN, use spy tools, ask your affiliate manager(s), even ask your traffic source what types of offers have the most success. Finding the first one is the hardest but once you get it you at least have a starting point to scale to other geos, etc.

Great interview, Brent!
It's been a while since we talked. Looks like you went underground and then came into the crypto space before going underground again.

It's good to have you back!
Thanks man. I have a habit of when I find a new source or method I fully submerge myself into it and don't really do much else. Consistency with PPCMode has always been something I've wanted to fix. Good to see you here as well! Enjoyed your AMA, honestly most your answers will so good it was hard to not just clone them lol.

So your advice is we should focus on one platform at a time. one more question have you gone with promoting with cps offers with push or you stick with just cpl offers.
I personally always focus on one source at a time when learning something new. That is just me though, there is a lot to learn from a traffic source just by taking notes on everything. How long does it take for a campaign to start? How long does CPC adjustments take? How long does it take to pause? What happens if I clone multiple campaigns with a lower bid is the traffic quality the same? The list goes on and on.

With that sad I've got buddies that also just find 1 offer that works t hen go ham on every other source. It's really just what you feel comfortable with.

In terms of CPS or CPL I've ran both so far. I usually start with the CPL version of an offer to see what placements at least convert to a lead then test CPS afterwards. If you can't convert CPS you likely wont be on CPL very long before they cut you for quality.
 
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