Friday, August 26, 2005

Super Affiliate Confessions Review

Super Affiliate Confessions is a 346 page ebook comprised mostly of 12 interviews with 12 successful affiliate webmasters. The ebook was authored by Codrut Turcanu, who also wrote the ebook that I reviewed yesterday for Niche Site Confessions. In fact, I've seen a special offer that makes Super Affiliate Confessions available for free when you order Niche Site Confessions for $67.97.

Super Affiliate Confessions is a good ebook, especially for someone who is unfamiliar with affiliate marketing or online marketing, but it's not the ebook I had hoped it would be. Many of the webmasters who agreed to be interviewed primarily market their own infoproducts rather than working as affiliate webmasters, and much of the advice from these webmasters is repeated many times over during the 346 pages.

The questions in each interview follow the same general format. The most interesting question, I thought, was if you had $150 and wanted to make $1500 with it, how would you spend it? The answer was very similar from webmaster to webmaster, although some of the answers surprised and delighted me.

I'll address each interview individually. Some were certainly better than others.

Al Martinovic
This interview was particularly interesting to me because Martinovic promotes cigarettes through an affiliate site. I remember reading somewhere that a company selling cigarettes is always going to be extremely profitable because cigarettes cost next to nothing to produce, and your customers are going to be some of the most profitable customers on the planet.

Some of Martinovic's specific advice is:

  • Collect email addresses and send regular autoresponder generated emails to leads.
  • Use PPC advertising to buy targeted traffic, and have a keyword list of no less than 500 targeted phrases. 1000 phrases is even better.
  • Don't get into bidding wars in the PPC search engines. He claims to bid the minimum amount on his keywords and still gets plenty of traffic.
  • Create an SEO optimized web page for every product you're promoting.

Martinovic's advice for what to do with your $150 consists of writing and distributing articles related to the product you're selling, submitting a press release at PR Web, looking for joint venture partners, and dumping what money is left into a PPC campaign. This was the best action plan I saw, although it would have been good to address product selection and bid management in this scenario.

Allan Gardyne

Allan's interview was the best of the lot, and he's just as entertaining, warm, and down-to-earth in this interview as he is at his website and in his forum. Allan makes all or most of his income from affiliate marketing, so he was uniquely qualified to participate in these interviews.

Some of his advice was very specific and practical. Allan suggests not using banner ads at all to promote affiliate links, but using text links instead. Better click-through's and better conversiosn.

He also points out that an enthusiastic and personal review of a product is going to increase conversions dramatically over just having a text link.

Allan Gardyne reveals some of his current websites and how they make money, and some of his first websites as well. There are several links to some of the interesting case studies Allan has published at

One of the best things about the interview with Gardyne was that every time the interview questions asked about how to make money quickly and easily, Allan replied that people should focus on the long term instead, which is wise. And a couple of his answers were practically memes:

If you want to be successful long term, build useful websites. (You should make that into a poster and put it above your computer while you work. This is the single greatest pearl of wisdom I've seen about affiliate marketing anywhere.)

The interview with Allan Gardyne also includes information about why he doesn't use PPC engines, why you should start out promoting lower-priced products first before moving to the big ticket items, and what mistakes new affiliates should avoid. His insights are entertaining and sometimes profound, and this interview alone makes this ebook a worthwhile read.

Andrew Henry

Andrew's interview consists largely of his opinions on how to market by being helpful on forums, why joint ventures are such a great deal, and how to use PPC marketing to your best advantage. Henry promotes quite a few info products aimed at internet marketers.

His #1 tip was a very good one, I thought. He suggests working hard at successfully promoting one product as an affiliate before moving on to another product. I think that this is probably excellent advice.

Anne Ahira

This interview was one of the weaker interviews I read. There was very little new in her interview that hadn't already been discussed in the other interviews, and one of the sites she was promoting is no longer live, which indicates to me that the project was not a long-term success.

Ashvin Ramasawmy

Ashvin provides a list of tips and a list of mistakes that are both pretty good, but not blazingly original or different from the advice given by the other webmasters. He exclusively promotes downloadable products like ebooks. One piece of explict advice that I did think was good, at least in terms of being specific, was to only promote products that pay at least $50 in commission. He also suggests buying PPC traffic at a penny per visitor, but doesn't go into a lot of detail about where to find that traffic.

Bryan Kumar

This was another very weak interview. Kumar gives quite a bit of advice on how to run a successful Google Adwords campaign, but he states at one point that he can't give a specific example of a Google Adwords campaign that he's run because he didn't have a lot of data. This indicates to me that he doesn't use Adwords much, and makes me question why so much of his interview consists of Adwords advice.

Bryan Kumar also aggressively used the interview as an opportunity to recommend some of his products and some of his affiliate products. I was disappointed in the quality of this interview.

Denise Ryder

Denise is a big believer in building strong relationships with her customers. She's made quite a bit of money writing ebooks and selling customization rights to other webmasters, which isn't really an affiliate business model. The best advice she gave in her interview was to write original presell copy; if your presell copy just re-presents the copy in the product's sales materials, you've done nothing but waste your time and your readers' time.

Eo Lim

This was an interesting interview, because Eo Lim has some different ideas and opinions than many of the other webmasters interviewed here. One of the most interesting tidbits from his interview was how he made money "ghost-selling" affiliate products. Basically, he wrote free articles for 57 webmasters that they could customize with their branding, but they had to send his affiliate links to their opt-in lists within 90 days of doing so.

Lim also gives some contrarian advice about selling infoproducts. He recommends selling infoproducts that pay 20% and 25% commissions because there will be so much less competition to deal with. He says he would rather earn $5 a day from an unpopular product than try to sell something that would make more money but that he couldn't sell. Interesting food for though, that.

Gary Huynh

Gary is another webmaster who promotes a lot of his own websites and doesn't do much affiliate marketing anymore, which makes me wonder why he was included in the series of interviews. Hynh specializes in one page websites. He recommends using NO graphics on your websites, though he doesn't explain why not, and he also suggests targeting high dollar products aimed at business owners. This interview was a little thin, and those two recommendations were the only real departures from anything anyone else had said.

Jeff Mulligan

Jeff Mulligan is the owner and operator of, which IMO is one of the coolest site concepts on the internet. I was excited to see an interview with him. The best thing about the interview was when he was asked how he would turn $150 into $1500 in 30 days with affiliate marketing, and he replied that he would spend his money and effort making his own infoproduct to sell instead. He said that he didn't think he could reliably achieve those kinds of results with affiliate marketing in that period of time.

I enjoyed his candor.

Kerwin Chang

This interview was more of the same, although Chang had some specific information about how to get results from safelists. His recommendation was to sign up for a minimum of 100 safelists before expecting to see any results. I don't know if this works or not, but it certainly is specific advice.

Willie Crawford

This interview was another gem. Willie Crawford is one of the most interesting and entertaining affiliate marketing gurus that I know of, and he was "on" in this interview. Willie's a big fan of recurring commissions, and he was kind enough to include an article he wrote that generated an additional 2000 subscribers to his list.

Crawford says that his biggest mistake was to try to promote too many products at one time. He also mentions which products he currently focuses on promoting: webhosting, shopping carts, nutritional products, info products, and seminars.

He offers some excellent advice on how to promote high priced seminars. His suggestion is to collect phone numbers during a preview teleseminar, and have someone actually call and sell the high-ticket seminar to the customer. This is a great example of out-of-the-box thinking, and this is the kind of thing that makes money on the internet.

Willie also talked about a PPC campaign he ran for a recipe book he'd written where he made $7 for every $1 he spent on clicks.

Overall recommendation

This ebook is worth looking into if you need some inspiration. The following things could have improved Super Affiliate Confessions:

  • I didn't really need to hear that I should have an opt-in list from 12 different webmasters.
  • I would have preferred to hear from people who really are full-time affiliate marketers instead of from people who sell their own products.
  • I was disappointed that the range of niches was so small. Most of the webmasters advised against promoting internet marketing products, but that was also the core of their own business.
  • It would have been good to include webmasters involved in some of the major affiliate niches out there: travel, dating, credit cards, adult, gambling, and others.

There were several good insights, and honestly, the interview with Allan Gardyne by itself was priceless.


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