Hello everyone! The community of arbitrageurs is gradually growing, with new recruits joining the ranks of young webmasters. However, not all of them are prepared to face the harsh reality of internet marketing. Nobody taught you for such a challenge, so I’ve taken it upon myself to write this post.
What should a young soldier in the army of arbitrage do? How can you avoid messing up during the offer selection and testing phase? What are the common mistakes that often prevent beginners from turning a profit? Let’s dive in and find out.
I’ll list what I consider to be mistakes to make it clearer for you. If one or more of these points resonate with you, chances are you encounter problems quite often:
- Too much talk and smart thoughts, but too little real action.
- Lack of communication with the CPA network manager.
- Inappropriate shyness when dealing with the CPA network manager.
- Procrastination and heuristics.
- Fear of draining the budget.
- Launching ad campaigns without proper analytics.
- Inadequate testing.
- Targeting the wrong audience and/or relying on luck.
Now, let’s break down how each of the above-listed mistakes can hinder your progress and what consequences may arise from them.
Too much talk and smart thoughts – too little real action.
Often, young webmasters fall into the trap of overthinking. They request a list of top offers for one GEO, then for another, then another, and so on. They need examples of creatives, analytics for all the offers, API integration, and pixel placement. They read a case study, and now they want pre-landers.
They’re constantly searching for the perfect combination that will give them an instant 100500% ROI on tests and a mind-blowing 500000% after testing. They believe that once they see that magical combination, they won’t need to run tests anymore. They trust their gut instincts and believe they can judge everything by eye. Unfortunately, webmasters following this path will likely never find their profitable combination.
Stop wasting your time and ours. My advice to such webmasters: start testing immediately or find a different job.
P.S. Most newbies have dumb hypotheses by default. That’s because if you only have theories in your head and no real-world experience, where will those genuinely smart thoughts come from? Think about it, if you can…
P.P.S. Arbitrage is not philosophy; it’s about tests, statistics, and analytics. Repeat this like a mantra every time you catch yourself indulging in demagoguery instead of working.
Lack of Contact with the CPA Network Manager
You, being such an independent webmaster, dive into the CPA network, grab the first offer that catches your eye. If it’s open – great, if it’s closed, then your ticket requesting access might be the first and last message from you to our side. You either don’t provide any contact information in your profile, or you put down unrealistic details, or you simply don’t respond to any messages. You’re unreachable.
You glance over the offer terms sideways, because, you know, there are just “so many words” in there. Besides, “why do I need this? I already know everything.” Then, you start running traffic. Payment time approaches, and there’s probably no payment. Suddenly, you become exceptionally communicative and send us messages yourself! And here it begins, something like this:
- Hello! Where’s my payment?!
- Hi, have you read the terms of the offer you’re running?
- Yes, I have.
- Then you probably noticed that this offer has a minimum conversion requirement. If you’re sending less traffic than that, the advertiser can’t analyze it, and the hold period may be extended indefinitely or until you reach the minimum limit.
- What? What minimum limit? What hold? Where’s my payment?!?!?!
Or something like this:
- Hi! Where’s my payment?! I sent good traffic from FB!
- Hi, have you read the terms of the offer you’re running?
- Yes, I have.
- Then you probably saw that this offer prohibits traffic from FB, so the advertiser won’t pay for it.
- Prohibits? Where is it written? I didn’t see anything!!!
In general, I could describe many such situations, but they all have the same essence: due to your excessive independence, haste, and lack of attention, you create problems for yourself, which then cause frustration, and we’re forced to solve them because you’ve made these problems on our territory. Well, what can I say about that… Please, don’t come to us. Go run traffic in other networks. And may these “other” CPA networks forgive me…
In summary, I hope you understand that it’s better not to do this and collaborate with your affiliate manager right from the start. They won’t advise you anything bad, you can be sure.
Sometimes, a webmaster communicates with the manager but feels shy about asking “extra” questions. This can lead to misunderstandings, which can later turn into problems that we have to deal with.
Or sometimes, this shyness slows down the entire work process because, instead of quickly getting answers from the manager and starting to run traffic, the shy webmaster doesn’t want to appear foolish. So, they prefer to spend a lot of time and effort searching for answers online. Friends, don’t do this. As the Pepsi ad says, “Take everything from life.” Or is it Coca-Cola?
Well, anyway, if the affiliate network provides you with a personal manager whose duty is to advise you and help with all work-related questions, regardless of their complexity or stupidity, then use this wonderful option. Why waste your energy, nerves, and time solving a task or searching for an answer when you can ask your manager first? (And most likely, they’ll be able to help). If they can’t – that’s a different story, but I can vouch for our guys that they’ll quickly and gladly resolve 90% of your questions.
Procrastination and Heuristic Thinking
Ohhh… This is my favorite topic.
Procrastination is when you postpone important tasks for later or find other “important” and simple tasks to do instead of the really important and complex ones.
Heuristic thinking is quite a thing. If we look at this term in the context of the tasks you’re trying to solve, it’s when you have a difficult question that requires finding an answer. To find the answer, you need to engage your brain, activate your memory, focus, concentrate, compare information, and think deeply. However, your incredibly lazy brain strongly resists this process, so it does something cunning: it replaces the complex question you need to answer with a simpler one for which you can provide a straightforward, intuitive answer that comes to mind immediately. Sneaky, right? And you may not even be aware of this unpleasant phenomenon.
For example: you’re a newcomer in the world of CPA marketing. You choose an affiliate network and don’t know whom to start working with. Let’s say you have two questions to answer:
- Which CPA networks are leaders in the market and offer the best terms for partners in the Gambling and Betting niches?
- Do I like the site/platform/manager of this affiliate network?
Notice that the answer to the second question is much simpler. Often, if the answer to the second question is “yes,” you’re satisfied, and you stop searching, WITHOUT EVEN ENGAGING YOUR BRAIN! This happens because in this example, your intuition is at work, and it suggests that good, beautiful websites/cool platforms/accommodating managers belong to reputable, advanced companies. You’ve seen this not only in CPA networks but also in other sites/platforms/managers from other companies, and in most cases, this rule applies. However, sometimes intuition leads to completely wrong decisions.
This is how heuristic decision-making works. Don’t replace complex questions with simple ones!
Now, let me explain how procrastination interacts with heuristic thinking:
In CPA networks, people who procrastinate behave like this: they request all the information at once, then evaluate the complexity of the upcoming task and postpone its execution until tomorrow… Then the day after tomorrow. Then for a week. Then indefinitely, until they run out of urgent matters and vacation…
And finally, after a couple of months, they start working on the task and try to solve it using lazy heuristic methods. This approach is ineffective, especially for those with little experience, and usually leads to a mountain of difficulties. Faced with the initial challenges, they postpone the task for a few more days, weeks, or months, and then attempt to address the same issues using the same lazy heuristic approach… It’s a vicious circle.
Looking back, such people often fall into depression because they realize they haven’t accomplished anything in all that time. To avoid this, try to muster your willpower and tackle the tasks you dislike or find challenging first.
Our brains are genuinely lazy; they dislike thinking. But they can and should be pushed. When you think deeply, you’re expending real effort. This process consumes a lot of energy and attention, which can be felt at a physiological level. As I mentioned earlier, when you’re mentally engaged in solving a problem, your pupils dilate (dilated pupils signify that your brain is genuinely working and thinking). Mental fatigue can be much more taxing than physical fatigue. Sometimes, it’s not enough to sleep for 6-8 hours. Sometimes, I think so much and get so tired that I can’t think for the next several days.
A job that brings in a lot of money cannot consist solely of simple and enjoyable tasks that can be solved heuristically and without causing any fatigue. Although you’ll develop the right working intuition over time, it will only happen after gaining substantial real-world experience.
An arbitrager needs to analyze statistics and large volumes of information while simultaneously keeping multiple factors affecting the situation in mind. All of this is tough work for our brains, which try to simplify it and delay it for later. Remember this and don’t allow your brain to do this!))) Otherwise, success will be elusive…
Fear of Budget Drain
Here, I can say one thing with absolute certainty – you will drain it during tests. No matter what. Being afraid of draining your budget is foolish. It’s like being afraid of death – it’s inevitable. Living in fear and not starting your campaigns because of it is equally senseless. What’s even more foolish is not starting campaigns due to the fear of an inadequately low volume of traffic, where obtaining quality leads becomes impossible. Don’t be disappointed and bail out of the arbitrage wave with tears and screams of ‘There’s no money on the internet!’ If you conduct your tests correctly, you won’t drain your budget. But more on that below…
Launching Advertising Campaigns Without Analytics
This point directly relates to the fear of draining your budget. If you launch a test advertising campaign without analytics and it starts losing money, that’s a classic example of budget drain into the abyss. Collecting traffic statistics is crucial. It’s through this data that you’ll understand where your conversions are coming from, which ads are working, how many people are going from pre-landers to landing pages, your website’s bounce rate, average time spent on pages, and so on.
Even if your advertising campaign initially turns a profit, it’s highly unlikely that without optimization, this profit will be significant, and the campaign will run successfully for long. So, regardless of whether it’s a plus or a minus, we need analytics for optimization.
This is also one of my favorite topics.
Here are the top mistakes that immediately make your tests inadequate:
- Testing too many offers at once – start with 2-3 for a beginning;
- Testing too many ads and approaches at once – choose 2-3 approaches and create 1-2 teasers for each to start testing;
- Testing all the offer’s landing pages and pre-landers – choose the 2 best landing pages and pre-landers;
- Testing more than 2 traffic sources simultaneously – it’s easier to find a winning combination with one source first and then adapt it for others.
If you’re doing anything from the list above, chances are you won’t find a winning combination. Stop immediately and start testing the right way!))
Targeting the Wrong Audience and/or Fraudulent Traffic Hopes
Many newcomers are overly reliant on the ‘hope’ factor, and sometimes it amuses me. ‘I’ll use this slightly misleading creative – maybe I’ll meet my KPIs.’ Or, ‘Why not start a Twitch stream? Who cares if it’s mostly teenagers; they’re active and lively. They might not even notice. And I’ll mix in some low-quality traffic; maybe it’ll go unnoticed.’
So, here’s the thing – you won’t succeed. Everyone will notice. Everyone will figure it out. After the mockery of unscrupulous arbitrageurs, anti-fraud systems from advertisers don’t operate as leniently as before. Technology has also progressed, making it easier for advertisers to detect low-quality conversions and traffic that violates the rules. They simply won’t pay for it. It’s better not to spoil your relationship with partners and work honestly. In the long run, it always brings in more money than fleeting risky actions.
In conclusion, I want you to pay attention to all these aspects. Overcoming procrastination and heuristic traps, actively engaging with CPA network managers, and conducting tests adequately – all these factors play a critical role in achieving success. Realizing and conquering the fear of losing your budget, as well as letting go of the habit of relying on ‘hope’ and using low-quality traffic, are key steps toward effective work. Ultimately, success in arbitrage is a combination of careful analysis, strategic planning, and decisive actions. Don’t forget that our field requires constant learning and adaptation to changing market conditions, and only those who are prepared for it will achieve significant results.