Hey guys, Becker here
Recently I have been getting a ton of questions about paid traffic, now I will be the first to admit I am not an expert on the subject.. Lucky for me I happen to know one! Check him out in the video below (The first guy you see, fast forward to the end to see someone get knocked out!)
Today I will be interviewing Chad Hamzeh. Now, while it obvious he has prowess in the ring I am interviewing him for a much more subtle reason. Chad Hamzeh is the most straight forward authority on the web when it comes to paid traffic. This guy has made it brutally apparent that there is a killing to be made in paid traffic if you know what you are doing.
Chad has blown past the 350k mark with his affiliate marketing tactics and is the author of the highly successful marketing course Traffic Blackbook. Because of this, when I began getting questions from reader about PPC Chad was the first authority I turned to.
So let ring the bell and get into this
1. What were you doing before you got started online? Did you ever pictures yourself being this successful at it and what were some of biggest hardships during the process
First off thanks for having me on here, should be fun, I’m hoping your visitors learn a lot.
Well, I started online back in mid 2009, so I really haven’t been in the game that long. My wife and I had been in Thailand training and fighting full time for a year but our trip got cut short since my Dad got sick, and we had to fly back to Canada. Before the trip in Thailand I’d been working as a business analyst at our local telecomm. I really didn’t want to go back to the cubicle, and when I was in Thailand I’d already started dabbling a bit online, so I figured I’d go hard and make a run for it. Having a baby on the way and a mortgage to pay for, with very little money in your account kind of puts your nuts on a chopping block (I hear your subscribers are cool with profanity).
So I worked a hell of a lot. Launched well over 100 campaigns in my first month, buying traffic with money I didn’t have (yay credit cards). The in late September I had my first $1,000 profit day, which was obviously a big turning point for me.
Did I picture myself successful? Ha, I had no real concrete plan or vision, I really didn’t know what to expect. I just knew I didn’t want to go back to the corp job. I took on odd jobs as I got back from Thailand, but most of my time was spent buying traffic and doing CPA marketing. When I would drive to my odd jobs, I’d do silly things like repeating over and over “I profit $1,000 per day”. Sounds silly probably, not sure if that had anything to do with it, but kept me focused at least.
2.So first off, you are somewhat of a paid traffic wiz kid. This is usually the last place people start because of high barrier of entry and potential for losing a lot of money. Did you start with paid traffic or did you try other routes first
The first $24.95 I made online was via a weird link building/article writing strategy I learned many years ago from some e-book. It was in the dog training niche. Since I’m extremely impatient, I decided to ditch what worked and went down the paid traffic route. You know to be honest in a way I would have liked to have continued my SEO knowledge for the sole purpose of knowing what exactly I should outsource to people to get SEO done. I wouldn’t want to do it myself as it makes me want to stick forks in my eyes.
As for potential to lose a lot of money, if you do it smart it doesn’t have to be that way. There are low risk methods such as small direct to site media buying, and bidding high while budgeting low. You can lessen risk in a lot of ways. Not everyone has to go and lose $6K in 2 weeks like I did via network media buying. You can learn lessons in a far safer environment.
I look at it this way. I can either get my results asap, or wait a while before getting results via SEO. Maybe SEO wizards like yourself can get results faster, not sure. However, in my opinion it’s a better play to find out what keywords or demographics are converting, and build your SEO plan around that.
3.What are some of the biggest problems/mistakes you made when you first got started. How did you fix these?
Oh man, haha. I made tons. I’d say the biggest initially was holding onto a losing campaign out of “hope” that it would turn around. FYI, hope isn’t a good business strategy. Then when I started losing a lot and racking up my credit cards, I started stopping campaigns too early, not getting enough data to make informed decisions. Outside of that, silly little errors like not checking my tracking urls to see if they were actually redirecting properly, not checking which countries certain CPA offers were eligible for while sending a bunch of clicks to it. Stuff like that.
The first 2 big errors I basically “fixed” by finding knowledgeable people and learning from them. I joined the site PPC Coach around mid 2009, so that was good at the time since I could post my campaign results and get feedback.
4. One thing I really like about you is the fact that you make money online by actually running businesses INDEPENDENT of the “teach people to make money online niche”. I personally find it annoying as fucking hell when a person hits it big in this niche without any real knowledge of generate an income online (cough got love the Warrior Forum sometimes cough cough)
Because of this finding learning resources that are not shams can be very hard, what is some advice you have on finding the right training/courses that are actually the real deal.
You know I won’t put it as eloquently as you did, but ya it is irritating seeing “false prophets” as they say. I ended up making a couple products in the IM niche because frankly I got sick of seeing people peddle stuff that had limited detail, saying a course was the be all end off of paid traffic but was only 1 hour of video and PDFs. Give me a break. But honestly the reason I don’t come out with much in the IM market is because at the end of the day, it can be hard for the customer to tell the difference between who’s BS’ing and who’s telling the truth.
IM customers are some of the most jaded and bitter that I’ve seen, and rightfully so to be honest. When I released my original WSO “Conversion Campus”, it sold almost 1,000 copies at $47, and no joke I had a refund rate of around 1%. Damn, looking back I wish I setup Aweber to collect those buyer leads. But looking at the Warrior Forum, you’d think every WSO was of that quality by reading the threads. Seriously, people need to stop and look at what that forum is, what it really is. There are some gems, yes, but a lot of “theory” as well.
I’ll probably get assassinated in my sleep tonight for that, one of the mods wearing a V for Vendetta mask holding a needle and syringe. 😉
But ya, the VAST majority of my income has been made outside of the IM market. Lot’s of it made in weight loss actually, and the majority in traditional CPA and private CPA deals.
As for advice on finding the right training courses. First off, stop hunting for “methods”. There are a lot of ways to make money online. Typically, they revolve around selling something to a group of people, or generating leads. This whole game comes down to traffic and conversions. That’s it, you master those two and you’re gold.
Next, look at how the person is actually making their money. For example, why do I opt-in to guru lists? Do I do it so I can hear about how e-mail, Facebook, and the internet are all dying? And that the next big thing is elves selling things on Amazon? No, of course not. I opt-in to guru lists to look at their funnels and see what they’re DOING and not what they’re SAYING.
I do this with CPA offers first. It’s how I first started putting together what was going on with the backend of CPA offers. I learned a lot about lead brokering, upsells, etc. by doing this. And it’s free education. You learn a lot about conversions this way.
5. What are some of the best places to advertise and find paid traffic. What has worked best for you in the past
These have been the top 3 for me in no particular order:
• Direct to Site Media Buys
• Google Display Network
• Paid e-mail drops (as of late)
I wish that I could tell you I had some top secret traffic source. Yes, there are some unknowns out there, but you asked me what’s worked best. I figure if you’re going to spend all your time mastering a traffic source, it might as well be one that’s HUGE and infinitely scalable.
Yes, Google often is a pain to deal with, so I only use them on certain projects. Originally they were my only traffic source and I scaled to mid 4 figures easily with them. After losing about 3 accounts I figured it was time to diversify. The volume on Facebook is absolutely insane, and if all you did was master Facebook you could make it big. They seem to becoming more of a pain in the a$$ as well in some niches, but for that volume it’s a necessary evil. You can test cheap on both platforms.
Finally when I say Direct to Site Media buys I’m talking about larger buys, minimums of $3k-$5k, on a CPM basis. However, for those starting out, small flat rate direct buys are fantastic and can be had for $150/mth from some sites. Very cheap, targeted traffic.
6. Obviously, there is a lot more to PPC than just linking ads to products. I have noticed myself that it is actually a combination of many marketing skills sets (landing page design, analyzing traffic, knowing how to sell things) What skills have helped you the most
Well the first is having the balls to do it, and understand that you’re not losing money, you’re buying data. If your subscribers pick up nothing from me but that, well then my work here is done. It is so important to understand that.
Which leads me into the next thing, having the ability to look at the numbers such as click through rate, conversion rate, down to an adgroup, keyword, ad, or demographic level, and assess each accordingly.
Sounds complex and depending on the size of the campaign, it sometimes is. It’s unique in that not only do you need the ability to spend, assess, and optimize properly, but there is the emotional side of the ad and landing page process that gets people to take action.
Finally, one skill that helped a LOT early on. I’m very good at spying on what others are doing. When I see specific ads everywhere on Facebook over a certain amount of time, for example, I am “almost” sure that advertiser is profitable. That’s actually how I had my first really successful campaign that brought in 90K+ in about 60 days.
I don’t do the normal Chuck Norris style round house where I need the special jeans for it. I’m sure you’re aware of those. I am more a fan of the thai style kick, and the front switch kick to the face. And the answer to your second question is yes. I knocked a training partner out about 3 months ago with a kick to the face, and had another guy half out last week with one. That’s what happens when you semi retire from fighting and focus on marketing, you begin to have a complete disregard for other peoples safety.
7. I’ve always noticed that seemly unrelated skills a person has always seem to play a big role in how role a marketer does online (For example my skills as a dating coach have been ESSENTIAL when it comes to relating to people and making business connections) I noticed you coach MMA as well as fight. Do you think this has helped you online?
I could have used your skills in highschool, I had no game whatsoever. Thank God, and Bill Gates, for the creation of MSN Chat.
I think for my info-products in and out of the IM market, teaching and coaching MMA for a long time allowed me to become a good teacher in general and, despite this interview, I can typically communicate what I’m trying to say in a way that most can understand easily.
I actually have always found online marketing and entrepreneurship more challenging than fighting. Despite traffic and conversions being the 2 main things people should focus their time on, the road to success isn’t really straight forward. You have lots of twists and turns, trial and error. For fighting, it’s kind of linear really. You train techniques, do your cardio, you just put your hours in and on a long enough timeline, you get better.
8. How long did it take you to really start seeing success online. What was the turning point for you, and what lesson/knowledge did you learn that finally pushed you over the pain period most people face when getting into this.
My first notable success of any kind came about a month after starting PPC. I made around 2k in a week, profit. At the time I thought that was fantastic. Around 30 days or so later is when I hit my first $1,000 profit day. So within about 2 months or so, I had my first big success which brought in over 50k profit in 2 months.
There were a few things that were turning points. First, choosing one traffic channel to work on, instead of bouncing around. At the time, Google Display Network was it. And also, focusing in on one vertical/niche as well. At the time, men’s fitness was the niche. People bouncing around from one method to another, one niche to another, one traffic source to another is what kills them.
Why do they do it? Well, frankly, it’s because they don’t hit success as fast as they thought they would. They’re sold on the dream of the event, and not focused on the process.
So, focusing in on one traffic source and one market was key.
After that, learning the principle of bidding high and budgeting low was important. It allowed me to get good traffic volume and quality without blowing my budget and breaking my wallet.
And finally understanding the importance of click through rate on my ads. It just makes all your traffic cheaper, as most traffic channels reward you for higher click through rate ads.
9. In your opinion what are some of the most profitable niches to promote online
Health, wealth, relationships of course. Everyone wants to be young, fit, rich, popular, and loved. Outside of that, people also want to be entertained, so gaming is a big one as well, as are pet related niches. As cliche as it sounds, anything people are really passionate about. It’s why certain Facebook fan pages spread like wildfire, they’re based on a hot topic or something really entertaining.
I tackle the big ones. I figure if I’m going to focus in on a niche, I might as well focus in on a billion dollar one. Even taking a tiny tiny segment of it will reap big rewards.
The key is creating a unique angle. That’s the key. So, you don’t just come out with a weight loss offer. You come out with one targeted at busy executives, for example. You don’t just promote a dating offer. You promote it with ads and/or landing pages that appeal to women who are into UFC and like “fighter guys”.
10. What is the best advice you could give someone looking to get into PPC and Affiliating Marketing
Focus on Traffic and Conversions. And if you want longevity in this game, then add Lists into that. So, traffic, lists, conversions. I’m big on list building these days, and if you look at some of the highest volume lead gen CPA offers, a lot of them are just lead capture/squeeze pages that don’t look all ridiculous like most IM squeeze pages. Here are some examples:
I’m not saying go in the grant niche, but the look of those pages looks much different than what you see in the IM niche. The IM’er is accustomed to one style, so you need to see what’s working in your market when it comes to list building.
Just understand that all real businesses have a conversion goal, they understand the amount they make off each lead (dollar per lead), they know their metrics.
But if you’re just looking to get into this, then pick one traffic source and one niche/vertical. Use offers that are already converting for others, so at least if it’s not working for you, you know that you’re the one missing it.
11. Alex (the other owner of the blog) recently got into mixed martial art. I really think we should have a Link Back vs Chad Hamzeh MMA fight in his backyard sometime. Thoughts!?! =D
I have no problem with this. I feel that mutual combat is healthy for the soul. I’m a big Fight Club fan… That’s actually how I met a long time friend of mine. It was 2 AM, he was full of beer, I was full of chicken wings, and we battled full out in some random field. So it’s all good.
(I hope your reading this Alex…cuz its fucking on like donkey kong)
Awesome interview Chad thank you
What To Take Away From This
Obviously Chad knows. Regardless of what type of internet marketing you are doing, one thing I would like to point out that he mentions is picking something and sticking to it. One of the biggest truths that people run into online is they try SEO for a month, then try PPC for a month, and then try some other way to make money online. This is just not how it works.
In order to succeed online you are going to have to get punched in the face a few times and stay in the ring.
If Making 350k+ A Year Through Paid Traffic Interests You..
Chad just recently launched a mastermind forum where he and a few other industry experts will be providing hands on training in for people interested in getting started in paid traffic ( I will be participating on this forum)
Now Here Is The Cool Thing
I love using my reach to hook member of this blog up. So after talking to Chad a bit, I arranged it so that if you are member of this blog you can join his mastermind forum for HALF OFF. (I also am receiving no affiliate commission for this, I simply want to give readers of this blog the best resources to reach their goals)
If you are interested in getting into paid traffic (I will be writing a bit on the this forum and participating as well) this is BY FAR the best resource on the web for getting into it.
So if you want to get access for 50% off here is how
-Go to www.sixmonthsfromtoday.com
-Enter “Becker” as your coupon code
-Get the best paid traffic coaching on the web for half off..the end.. (also this forum is only taking in new members for 3 days only
Again thanks to Chad for this amazing interview.
Also, SEO Hybrid …the 7th of December, join the newsletter to get a the dollar copy on release day!