5/19/2017: UPDATE & GREAT NEWS – After filing my 11th appeal with Facebook, they have unbanned my Fan Page and said sorry, their system made a mistake. Again, just like in the past when it comes to huge traffic sources, persistance pays off.
3 days ago, I got notified that my page has been unpublished by Facebook. To my shock of course, because why would they unpublish a fan page that I built over 4 years and has 100% organic followers.
I send them an email, and at first get a canned cut n paste reply saying it violated policy. Then I write them again, and one is nice enough to look into it. To my disbelief this is what they say: I have just heard back from my internal team who have advised that your Page ‘I am Attila’ has been unpublished for causing people to like or engage with it unintentionally in a misleading way.
Our Page Terms state that: ‘Pages must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.’ All Pages must comply with the Facebook Page Guideline. For more information, please read the Pages Terms: facebook.com/page_guidelines.php.
This is absurd, now I really wonder if I should even bother making a new page, and starting from scratch when they can just on a dime take it away for no reason overnight. Fuck facebook.
STM or StackThatMoney is a premium (paid) affiliate marketing forum that was started by Stackman, Lorenzo Green and Besmir in 2011. Over the years, it has evolved and today is one of the top affiliate marketing forums where super stars and well known internet marketers hang out. There are countless guides, tricks and tips being shared every single day by people that don’t work 9-5, instead they live the dream most people dream of, travel, and work from their laptops earning $XXXX to $XXXXX profits per day for real.
The content is geared towards newbies and advanced affiliates alike and has a little bit of everything, it doesn’t matter if you are interested in learning how to promote physical products, services, or want to get in on running dating campaigns, sweepstakes, or even health and fitness related offers. At $99 per month, this is THE first investment you should make if you are seriously thinking about quitting your job and working for yourself; there’s so much gold that you will feel like brain is going to explode, but the second you start implementing what you learn here, will be the moment you will be well on your way to success.
I heard about StackThatMoney from a friend many years ago, I started out in paid media buying on IMGRIND which is now gone; it was an OK forum tons of info for newbies entering the paid advertising world but I wanted more. My friend told me, there’s a kick ass forum that has advanced topics where real superstars like Charles Ngo, Finch, Jason Akatiff (aka smax0r), Jeremy Shoemaker (shoemoney), John Chow, and many other well known internet marketers hang out, so I knew I had to sign up.
This was now 4 or so years ago? Wow time flies, anyways. STM was awesome, in true sense of the word ‘diving in’ that’s what I did, I consumed the knowledge, they have so much stuff it really gives a headache and offers a sharp learning curve. Not only is it an online forum, but they organize real life meet ups where multiple times a year we can put name to face and vice versa. It is one of my favorite affiliate marketing forums by far. What’s awesome is they offer a money back guarantee, so you can explore the forum with no worries and see if its for you.
At the time of this writing, there are exactly 33,625 threads and 298,459 posts. I can’t even imagine how many millions of words that would be, more like multiple yearly series of an encyclopedia of affiliate marketing – that’s updated every single day! Yea a WIKIAffiliate!! that’s it.
At any given moment there are usually around 500 people online, so if you ask a question it will be answered super fast. This is awesome, because I know it sucks dearly if you have to wait and wait and wait DAYS to get an answer to an important question right? Anyways, on STM no such worry.
The forum itself is broken down into many sections, and those into sub-sections. In no particular order, this is what you can expect to see:
News & Information:
In this section they cover important announcements in the industry, post about upcoming details on affiliate conferences all around the world you can attend and mingle with like minded people and pick up a trick or two for free; affiliate marketing challenges, contests where you can take part in to win special prizes by competing against other teams from STM in fun challenges. Ask the expert interviews that let you as an STM member ask questions to super affiliates, and well known industry figure heads like Drew Whitman (the dude that wrote the Cashvertising MUST read book – get it here if you haven’t yet!), Dan Ariely, Charles Ngo, and many more. There’s also weekly news updates to what happened on STM in case you missed it, as well as special area for must have tools and discount coupons you can do to save on them.
The Newbie Zone:
This is for people just joining in, those that are interested in ‘firing their boss’ and leaving the 9-5 life behind and working for themselves, when they want, how they want. The newbie zone contains an intro section where you can introduce who you are, where you come from, what your experiences are and skills, as well as what your goals are – what you want to accomplish in life. There’s also a VERY detailed (and I do mean VERY) guide on how to get started, that teaches you all the basic skills you need to get your first campaign up, as well as answering the most common questions, like what is this affiliate marketing and how does it work? This section has so much useful information for a newbie, that i’d take me 10 pages to spell it out, best if you take a look yourself here. There’s also the ONBOARDING ZONE, which will take you by the hand and guide you through an intricate series of step by step instructions to get you setup and going as fast as possible – making everything easier than you think. Of course, if you have a question, there’s a Q&A section where the top notch experts of STM like Matuloo, Caurmen, Zeno, Erik or others from the community.
STM Indexes / Information Hub:
This section is the ‘library’. It is full of all the step by step guides, case studies written by StackMan, Mr Green, Besmir where these 7 figure super affiliates expose HOW they made their mega millions. (YES Mr Green does have a multi-million dollar mansion in NZ, all paid for by affiliate commissions!) Nothing beats learning from guys who really made it, made it running camps right? There’s also killer traffic source guides where experts share their insights on the best practices and ways to run campaigns/structure them for different traffic sources. This is very important, because no two traffic source is the same; in fact expert affiliates’ secret includes mastering each traffic source to know how it ticks. There’s also an important section devoted to ANGLES, if you read my blog you know I am a big advocate of split testing angles, angles are the way you present your offer to people – the words you use, so it grabs their attention and they want to interact with your offer and sign up! And if you thought, this is already a shitload of stuff – there’s more. They also give you gigabytes and gigabytes of free landing pages and banner ads, as well as images that were tested and proven to be high CTR images – you can use this simply by cut and pasting them into your campaign and make money. Yup, it’s also on the forum!
The General Section
In this part of the members only STM forum, you will find the free for all, advanced Q&A section as well as the success stories section where you can read amazing and truly awe inspiring stories of STM members that made it big. There’s a guy who had a young family, and they were really poor, and he was working two different jobs just to keep their bare minimums met; but now he’s making $1000 a day, working part time and spending most of it with his family. There’s also another guy who started not so long ago, and his luck turned quick and now he just purchased his dream car. There’s a ton of amazing and real stories here, shared by other STM members – no bullshit, just the real deal. (Hell I count as an STM success story too after switching from SEO when Google killed the fun!) If you are a product owner, or you want to create your own products, there’s a section in this area as well, where you can mingle with others and get help with your problem, or find out new opportunities. The masterminds section is where you may post, or find others who are at the same level as you and team up to help each other out and reach new successes together. This is one of my favorite sections because it allowed me to meet guys who run the same kind of campaigns and me, and let us bounce ideas off each other in real time.
Now this section is huge, it’s broken down into many sub-sections: Mobile, Facebook, Plenty of Fish, Adult Traffic (NSFW), Native Ads, Display like Google Display Network, Search/PPC like Adwords/Bing/Yahoo/AOL, E-mail, Pay Per Call, PPV, Video, SEO and more.
These parts within the traffic sources allow you to focus on exactly what you are running – if you are a Facebook advertiser, you can get 1 on 1 help and read the newest tips and ideas that help get the cheapest clicks and highest CTR to increase your profits. You can also learn about e-mail best practices (for example, I learned that you do not need to use aWeber, MailChimp, or other email software that charges you a lot the more subscribers you have on your list, instead you can commission a programmer to write a script that collects emails then you can use Amazon to send emails, for 1/100th the cost of these mail services, cool eh?) There’s also the thing I learned about SEO, that after Google killed the traditional ways of SEO which I was banking hard with (good old xrummer spamming days), today people rely on PBNs to game Google and get their site high on the SERPS. There’s also a lot of other things I learned, but again, it would take me a real long time and probably 10 pages if not more (yes I like 10 pages haha) to write it all down. What will you learn? I guess you should look around now and see for yourself!!
Technical & Creative Skills
This is my favorite section since I am a proud TECH NERD! Tracking campaigns – tracking is the lifeblood of successful affiliate marketing, you need to know every single click, where they came from, how they converted and all that jazz. You need to know which one of your banners brought you the most sales, which angle was the top converter, which device the visitors that converted the best came from and the list goes on. There’s truly endless things you can track, and without a tracker you just can’t compete in today’s day and age with affiliate marketing experts and their super teams. Luckily for you STM has you covered, as they provide guides on all kinds of state of the art trackers you can use with ease to learn and implement your own robust tracking systems. Programming and servers is also covered in great detail as having a super fast server is key to getting more conversions, you also need to use different scripts to squeeze out every single drop of profit from each visitor. You do this using different tricks covered in this section, you won’t believe how awesome they really are until you implement them in your own campaign, they do increase your profits by a LOT. In affiliate marketing, design is super important, but not many people are skilled designers right? I know, I am not one – luckily for these people I created Banners&Landers that does banners for $10 each animated or not, as well as a suit of other awesome services like ripping landers – but lets stick to the topic at hand. The design section here shares guides for Photoshop, Illustrator, Muse and GIMP you an use to whip up awesome banners and even more amazing creatives (they are not the same) for your campaigns in a few minutes yourself, if you are the DIY kinda guy or gal! Remember I mentioned Cashvertising (get it on amazon)? That book is THE copywriting bible for affiliate marketing; if you haven’t read it yet no problem as the Copywriting, Conversion and Psychology section on STM has you covered with the ‘readers digest’ version of that book and many other awesome ones like the AdWeek book – raw tips, you can jot down, and implement in your multi variate tests right away. Yes, another profit increaser!
Vendors, vendors, vendors – yea STM has a buy/sell section too.
Here you can find anything and everything from Hello Kitty AIRBNB flat share offers to awesome products on how to become a teespring t-shirt selling pro to discounts on spy tools that are must have for any affiliate, to special deals when you preload cash on traffic sources you will get extra credits for free. You’ll save a shitload of money if you check this section every now and then.
Extras (aka the lifestyle)
There’s a section on STM devoted to the lifestyle everyone dreams of, and it’s real. Let me tell you a little story, when I was 17 I started working at Netnation, I was a tech guy then a sales guy there. It was all right, but I hated having to get up at 6 every freakin morning, take the train, arrive by 8AM, then slave there for 2k a month and then get on my journey at 5PM to get home and arrive dead and tired and lifeless around 7PM ish. Dinner, some time to watch a TV show or movie, and then sleep and rinse and repeat. I was always dreaming of being able to come and go as I please, and doing what I want when I want. Not in a million years did I imagine, that this thing I’ve been doing now full time for the past 10 years come November is going to be the life changer for me. The extras section talks about travel, where to go, what to see, how to get the best cards to get the most points, how to score kick ass villas, how to go on epic adventures – all while working from your laptop. There’s also a section devoted to banking (yea we need a lot of special setups, for example, if you are not in a specific country, you might have a hard time to get a merchant account which is vital part and a must if you want to sell physical products or drop ship online – so yea they have a solution how to get stripe if you are not from the stripe countries too). There’s also great discussion on tax and optimizing taxes, when you make $30,000 a month you really need to be smart about taxes, you don’t want to pay half of that – you don’t have to!! You can legally minimize and optimize and since STM is full of multi millionaires, they talk about the best tips, and methods they use to minimize taxes paid and retain as much of their earnings as possible. There’s a section to outsourcing, where to hire the best employees, how to train them to get your game to the next level (or you can just hire Banners&landers to do the work for you and save the headache…)
Did you know? Affiliates are serious about making money, but they are also serious about staying healthy? The body must remain a well oiled machine so it can perform at its best when its crunch time – the top affiliates know this, so they are big time into health and fitness. Yes, you’ve guessed it there’s an awesome section on this. One of my multi-millionaire buddies is a real example of success + healthy living, his name is Andrew, aka fitaffiliate and you can actually check his blog here. A section like EXTRAs wouldn’t be complete with an off topic, shoot the shit, anything goes section, so yes there’s one named just like that right here too!
Since STM has grown drastically over the years, there’s a lot of international members and there’s chance to speak and ask questions in your own language. The local discussions are available in French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese as well as Russian. I don’t speak any of these languages so I can’t really offer any insights into what kind of chit chat is going on in these areas, but they are there.
The STM community is a tight knit group of people that not only work together, but they play together. I know, I have amassed huge friendships from STM, people that were cyber friends and these days we take vacations together with our families. When you share so much challenges, and successes it really helps deepen the relationship with a lot of people you meet online. Some of the guys I met online are like real brothers to me, brothers I can rely on if I need a quick injection of cash to fund a campaign, a helping hand when I am struggling with a campaign, or just a listening ear when I am having problems in my personal life. You too can expect the same kind of community feeling, if you feel that no one really understands what you do, or what you want to do (hell most people think I’m a web designer LOL) then you will feel AWE’d when you join STM, because there will be people that just GET IT! It will make things so much easier you know?
After you sign in to the members area, a main top navigation will await that gives you direct access to the FORUM, STM TOOLBOX, Member Profile, Networking Events, and Support. On top top right, you will have access to your mailbox, profile settings, and log out button.
Below the main menu is the quick access bar that you can use to browse the newest posts, new threads and many more things related to the community and your personal account (list of friends, messages, settings, etc)
The main forum page shows the Top 10 stats, like latest posts, who are the top posters/top thanked, latest members – you can modify this and select from various options using a drop down.
Scroll downwards, you will uncover all the forums where the magic happens. The site is very responsible and looks great on mobile as well as desktop. You have the option to quick reply, or reply in detail where you can add emojis, links, images and all the standard good stuff you typically find on a forum. You can also embed youtube videos if you wish; something I often do to show something I can’t really explain in words that fast.
StackThatMoney aka the STM Forum is one of my go-to resources and favorite affiliate marketing forums. They have a lot of information that spans many different verticals and niches and it’s not heavily focused on one type of campaigns like other forums out there. What is awesome about STM and why it is one of the top premium forums out there is the team behind it, these guys are serious, they are professional, you can reach them anytime and they will respond. The price is $99 bucks a month, which is not cheap especially if you are new – but if you are a successful affiliate, then it really is like a cost of a bus ticket for real. Nonetheless, they understand these days there’s a lot of scam and bullshit going on in the world, people promising you this and that, only to take your money. Since these guys, my friends that own STM are stand up kind of guys, they offer a 3 day NO QUESTIONS asked money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. So really, there’s no risk. But trust me, you will love STM – I wouldn’t say so otherwise.
A quick post… about angles, and why they are important in getting the gold! My friend Tim asked If I’d be down to hold a private mastermind with him, if you never heard of his advanced mastermind – read about it here.
Anyway, to get the word out I decided to do a test. Here’s why.
When it comes to any offer you promote as an affiliate marketer, may that be a health offer, or a lead gen offer, or a dating offer or some ecommerce product – to catch the interest of your target audience your message must resonate with them. It must grab their attention when they are scrolling through the newsfeed or surfing the web – if it’s not relevant to them, they will go right past is and there you go, you lost the potential customer.
Same thing with Tim Burd’s private mastermind. I know its good, all the people that already took his mastermind know its gold and helped them better their business and increase their profits – but that isn’t enough. A tale has to be told, WHY it’s the one and only mastermind every advanced affiliate should take!
How do we go about finding the people who will benefit from attending? You’ve guessed it ANGLES. I’ve made a list of every probable benefit attending this kick ass mastermind can bring, and started writing up long-form copy and posting it on my Facebook Fan Page.
Some got 1000 reach so far, others already got 3000 reach. Different messages/stories resonate better, while others do not resonate equally as well. Facebook doesn’t show the post to all of my followers, and because of this, I have the option to “SPAM” my own timeline and try a shitload of different stories/messages that explain the benefits of this mastermind.
The event will sell out, the one I helped put together in Budapest sold out in 36 hours. (that’s less than 2 days). Nonetheless, I am having fun running a live experiment of split testing which angle catches the most affiliate eyeballs and gets people signing up.
No matter what you sell, you must split test – this will make or break your campaign.