What’s the difference between 90% of affiliate marketers? Nothing.
There are not many industries that are as incestuous as the affiliate marketing industry. Everyone knows each other’s mom, distant cousin, cats and little rat-sized dogs. This make up doesn’t exactly breed creativity.
This is how I see the breakup of affiliate marketers.
- 5% creative kittens – too new to know how and where to go in order to copy campaigns (will rarely generate profit).
- 5% creative cats – know how to copy, but feel that being a pioneer is the way to go.
- 90% copy cats – range from newbies to super affiliates.
People always yell and shout if they ever see their landing pages ripped and run by someone else. But, does it ever make sense for people to go out and create unique campaigns? Is there an incentive anymore?
Honestly speaking I have been on both sides on the spectrum. I’ve copied as well as pioneered. I’ve had more profiting copied campaigns than pioneering campaigns. However, I can easily say I’ve made more overall profit with my pioneering campaigns.
In a previous post I talked about affiliates getting pushed out by ad networks and affiliate networks. If a network decides they like the look of a campaign and decide to run it, they always have some advantage over affiliates. Is it worthwhile for an affiliate to slave for days, developing unique campaigns to profit when competition can just swipe it and run along side it? Networks do have a big advantage but it is mostly affiliates that are the ones to blame.
I might get killed for saying this…but for affiliates just starting out and trying learn the ropes, I would never recommend bothering creating a unique campaign…copy someone else’s. My reasoning is, in the rare likelihood that you manage to get a unique campaign working, it will get duplicated in a second by more experienced affiliates or a network, shoving you aside. The early bird may get the worm, but it is the cat that gets the bird … the “copycat”.
For experienced affiliates, it is definitely worth coming up with unique campaigns you need to pick the right waters to fish in. Most unique campaigns which had a decent lifetime for me, have been launched in non-affiliate invested waters. The campaign that worked well among a tonne of affiliates survived because I used massive scale micro targeting.
Obviously, you can be freely creative if you have something exclusive to you. But most of the time you won’t.
I’m interested to know what percentage of your campaigns have been unique (using a new angle)? Has it been worthwhile for you to pioneer campaigns?