Traffic & Conversion 2016 – A4D & Charles Ngo – Cocktail Hour

A4D & Charles Ngo - Traffic & Conversion Summit Cocktail Hour

A4D & Charles Ngo – Traffic & Conversion Summit Cocktail Hour

After last years HUGE Success for our Traffic & Conversion Summit meet up cocktail hour with Charles and A4D are going to do it again.

This is not the A4D Meet Up… That will be held on June 4th, 2016, more info on that shortly.

Just like last year, me and my good friend Charles Ngo from Affcelerator will be putting the event together for San Diego’s huge affiliate hub.

The event will be held at the Field Irish Bar, the same venue and setup as last year’s meetup.

It’s going to be an open bar and take place immediately after Day 2 of Traffic & Conversions Summit.

You won’t need a ticket to attend, but we’ll be giving out wristbands to help make it clear who’s there for the meetup. So please RSVP as that’ll help us out a lot on our end.

Location: The Field Irish Bar

544 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 b/t Island Ave & Market St in Gaslamp, East Village

It’s about a 15 minute walk from the T&C summit venue, or you can call an Uber.

Time: 6 PM – 9 PM PST

RSVP Required: HERE

Come hang out with Charles Ngo, the A4D team, and tons of other affiliate marketers.

If you haven’t signed up for A4D before then I highly recommend it. They’ve been around for around 9 years and have a stellar reputation. Jason’s one of the people you should get to know in this industry.

[Video] How To make a Facebook Campaign Successful – Excel worksheet included

Hey everyone, as promised here’s a quick video on how to use that A4D Media Buying worksheet out there.

I walk through what our Media Buying Department does, which is where this sheet came from.

I hope this gives you some good ideas on how to make your next Facebook Ad Campaigns successful.


Download the spreadsheet to start planning now…

CLICK HERE >>> A4D – Media Buying Planning Sheet – Jan 2016


Make it rain,


P.S. for the amateur video, my first time. Maybe I’ll do more and maybe they’ll get better…. Or not!

( 3 ) Secrets to successful Facebook Ad campaigns…. Offervault Webinar

Sorry it’s been a while….

In 2016 I’m working on building out a content strategy for my blog as well as the A4D blog. This way I can share what we’ve been working on and what we’ve learned in the last year. It’s all been growing crazy fast which in turn equals a lot of problems. But at A4D we have a pretty solid footing internally now which will allow me to focus some of my efforts on helping others.

Goal to give you more content… we’ll see if it happens. ( A4D Meet Up?)

In this webinar with Offervault I discuss the power of CTR’s with Facebook Ads.

As most of you veterans know the key thing to focus on for success with Facebook ads is Ad CTR. It’s typically the key component between a winning and a losing campaign. Much more so then demographic, interest and targeting,

I this webinar I talk about

  1. Why CTR matters so much and how it alone can make you a successful Facebook Ad Buyer.
  2. What is the biggest difference between new and expert advertising buyers.
  3. How you can learn to build muscle memory in these skill sets without spending a lot of real world money.

I want to thank Mark and the gang from Offervault for putting this on. If you’re not already a member and you’re interested in CPA offers they’re a great resource to look for pricing and offers to run.

For those of you that have already watched the webinar here’s a few useful tools I discussed in my talk…


Facebook CPC Prices by CTR

Facebook CPC (cost per click) costs based on ad CTR’s (click thru rates)

These numbers are great to help you plan your projections for you campaigns and if they potentially will or won’t work.


The Marketing Math worksheet and practice I mentioned. This is a 5 part series I did years back with a Marketing Math worksheet and excel spreadsheet for campaign planning.

Marketing Math – The Core of it All


On another note:

A4D Meet up, coming again to Hard Rock, San Diego on June 4th, 2016. We have an absolutely amazing line of media buyers that work this business every day. They always come and share their inside secrets with the small intimate group in San Diego. So save the date and we look forward to seeing you in June. We’ll have a sign up for for you shortly… stay tuned!

Our last event was 2014 here’s a view of what you missed. 2014 A4D Meetup Recap

Jason Akatiff



Notes – Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast – Joshua Reeves founder of SaaS Startup Zen Payroll

I’ve been listening to a lot of Stanford – Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcasts lately. These are amazing free podcasts where successful entrepreneurs talk for 30-60 minutes about that the difference that makes them success is.

You can check them out here if you want. Stanford – Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders


Do you Actively Listen?

Don’t waste your time just to tick a box. With all books on tape, podcasts, etc I like to make sure I actively listen.

What does this mean to me?

I find that a lot of people will read or listen to a book just to tick the box and say “I read that book”. I’d much prefer to read one book slowly and suck as much of it up as possible. Vs. read a ton of books and not incorporate the learnings into my life and belief system.

How I Actively Listen…

Listen through it one time without taking notes or looking for huge take aways ( this is hard to do, I always want to write down distinctions). I like to listen while running or at the gym where I can’t really stop to take notes every few minutes. I feel this gives me the whole picture of the message that the entrepreneur is trying to convey.

Once I’ve done this I listen through it a second time hitting pause CONSTANTLY while jot down quick take aways. I make sure I pause because I want to have a stream of thought for that thing and not feel like I have to write quick while the speaker says something I may miss. I found myself going back and re-listening to parts over and over again because I feel like I missed something while I was writing.


Joshua Reeves – Zen Payroll – Notes

Now these notes aren’t necessarily in any order. Just my stream of consciousness af takes aways from his talk on entrepreneurship. So here goes….

Mentorship doesn’t need to be a structured thing. It can be parents, friends, books, network of people. Don’t box yourself into thinking a mentorship is about meeting with someone every X period of time and going through a list. A lot of mentorship happens via just on going conversations.

I’ve never had a desire to create a business. I’ve had a desire to be curious, solve meaningful problems.

It’s not just about accomplishing a goal. It’s being proud of how we achieved a goal. He talks about the Journey a lot!

What are the main puzzles in our business. What are we prioritizing? Are we maintain the culture. Way we communicate, hire and celebrate.

How do you empower people in a startup to treat them like owners? How do you make employees feel appreciated for what they have done? It’s usually much more about appreciation then compensation.

Not about a task but a common mission.

When you hire or raise money. What are their values, motivation and skill set. Do they fit with your values, motivation and skill set?

What is a values founder? What do you stand for? What’s your identity? It impacts hiring.

As CEO what should you focus on?
1. Set good direction and strategy for the business
2. Optimize how you organize and communicate.
3. Finding good people that fit your culture & values. That have a skill set that fills a hole. 50% of the time networking and interviewing people.
4. Lead by example.

As long as there are problems to be solved there are businesses to be created.

Find something that really bothers you and seems solvable. Then focus on that.

Idea of entrepreneurship is to take the impossible and make it real.

Interviewing is a very important skill. Should focus on becoming great.  
1. Ask why how for things they accomplished. In that chapter of their career what was and wasn’t working. How did they personally make a change to overcome?
2. In this next chapter what do you want and what are you looking for? Understand values, motivation and skill set.
3. How did their last job change their view of the world for the better? What take aways did they leave with?

Make sure you take time to step away for introspection. Structured. What’s working what’s not working and how I spend my time.

As a person decide who you want to be like and study them. Find a few traits that make you admire them and work on building those into who you are as a person.

When starting any business ask yourself if you’ll still be excited to talk About it after 10,000 times. If you’re not don’t start.

Trade offs of mission tie to prioritization.

Prioritization is the key to success. In any great business there’s always many things you “could” do. The test of a truly great CEO is know what you must do for the next steps.


I know this may not make sense to a lot of you. If you have questions please just post them in the comments and I’ll be happy to elaborate.

P.S. If you haven’t figured this out yet. This blog is basically my notes to myself 😀

How To Use Your Campaign Data To Reverse Engineer Yahoo Gemini Ad Delivery Algorithms (Part 1, eCPM vs Clicks)

I haven’t had much time to blog lately so I had one of my A4D media buying team members write up something cool that we’re doing to figure out how Yahoo Gemini’s algorithm works.

Consistent ad delivery is the bane of every advertiser that uses Yahoo Gemini. Here’s how you can use data from your Yahoo campaigns to better understand their algorithm. 


To an owner of online advertising real estate like Yahoo, all that matters is an ad’s eCPM (effective cost-per-thousand impressions). To a publisher, it’s pretty much “earnings-per-thousand impressions”, because it’s the dollar amount of which you end up paying them to advertise. On Yahoo, if you’re bidding on CPM, that’s also your eCPM. If you’re bidding on a CPC, then eCPM is calculated as “CTR x CPC x 1000”. The higher your eCPM, the more Yahoo should theoretically be delivering your ad. Theoretically, that is.

Pulling The Data

To take a closer look at what Yahoo’s actually doing with ad delivery, we’re going to need to look at a graph of each of your campaigns’ eCPM and total clicks over their lifetimes. Export your campaign data in Yahoo by going to the reporting tab, setting the date range to as far back as you can up to today. The export to .CSV button is to the right of that, it’s a little square with an arrow coming out of it.


Yahoo Gemini Report Select

In case you’ve never tried to look at Yahoo’s reporting, this is the bar you want.


Using The Data

In your exported CSV file, you’ll see a column for clicks and for CPM (same as eCPM). Create a scatterplot of CPM vs Clicks with this data, and generate a line of best fit. I’d add instructions, but Google is much better at explaining excel than I am. Make sure to show the line’s equation. Here’s what we got:

Yahoo Gemini Campaign Scatter Plot

Shoutout to Janell and Lorie for actually putting together this data.


Data Analysis

First, let’s suspend all judgment on how many campaigns we have cluttering around the origin. Online advertising is hard sometimes, and that’s okay.

Second, let’s take a look at the line’s equation.

Y = 3490.9X – 897.5

So what does this mean?

1). For every dollar you increase your eCPM, you can expect to get 3490.9 more clicks on average.

2). Your eCPM must be at least $.257 (897.5/3490.9) to expect to get ANY clicks at all. With an estimated CPC of $.30, this means you need at least a CTR of .08%.

3). According to this linear model, if you manage to get an eCPM below $.257, Yahoo will actually make you give them clicks. (hah, math jokes.)

Third, let’s just take a look at the graph itself.

The variance is enormous. This goes hand-in-hand with Yahoo being an unpredictable ad platform. Even with pruning this data for outliers (taking out ads with an eCPM of $3 and only 50 clicks, or vice-versa) we still have plotted points flying way above or below the line.

Yahoo’s platform probably delivers exponentially. This is just from taking a look at the points and how they’re scattered (the amount of clicks scales upward extremely quickly as eCPM increases). If you’ve ever experienced a campaign explode overnight, that would be an example. Here’s the line of best fit exponentially:

Yahoo Gemini Scatterplot

So this means if I bid $8 on a CPM I get infinite traffic, right?


In conclusion, an ad’s delivery still comes down to its CTR. This is truth for pretty much any advertising platform ever. Sure you could artificially inflate an ad’s CPC/CPM bid, but as people who’ve already tried that, let us just say that you’ll either a). be unprofitable or b). see that Yahoo’s still aware that your ad sucks and doesn’t want to embarrass its users with it. Moral of the story? If you’re having a hard time getting Yahoo to deliver, take the time to develop yourself into a better copywriter. It’ll raise your overall average eCPM, and that’ll definitely get you more delivery, guaranteed.

P.S. If you take the time to do this analysis (and you should), share your results in the comments. Particularly interested in gathering more data on minimum eCPM required for delivery in the linear model ($.257 in this example).

This content brought to you by the A4D Team. Are you looking for users or want to generate users for others????

CLICK HERE to start working with A4D today!


Success can take time…. Amazing artistic representation of success taking time

started from the bottom

started from the bottom – 5 years to go from the left to the right

Very few of us are born with an innate ability to do affiliate marketing. As we think about affiliate marketing there’s:

Server Management
Split Testing
Tracking Tech
Marketing Math
and more I’m sure I’m forgetting right now

I often times see people come in to this space and say I have $500 to spend to start making money. I think this will definitely set you up to FAIL. Success in anything takes a consistent long term repetitive approach.

The art of learning is:
Reading about it
Repetition, Doing it over and over
Trial and Error, small course corrections
Asking questions and learning from others more successful then you

All of these things take time. Some people will pick this up and start making money right away. 9.5 out of 10 times these people end up in a much worse off position then the ones that fail for a while at first. If it’s hard for you and you’re persistent and push through you will continue to be successful throughout your career. If you see easy early success you’ll probably expect that moving forward and it will elude you most of the time. At which point you’ll quit.

I think one of the best articles I’ve seen that shows this is this Huffington Post article. It shows where artists started and where they are today. It gives you an amazing graphical perspective of what hard work & the learning process produces.

I’ve now been in this business just over 10 years. My first year I worked 17 hours a day 7 days a week and made $26k that year. $23k of that was unemployment. So effectively I made around $3k for that years worth of work I invested. Month 13 I made around $100k in profit. I finally found something that worked. I don’t say this to impress you but to impress upon you:

Fall in love with the process & journey
Be committed
And Learn, Learn Learn

Live these traits and I believe you can be successful at anything.

Free User Test – Listen to You Audience, Get An Honest Opinion

testing image

We use for various projects. It’s a great service to get verbal feedback and recordings of users talking about your web site & landing pages. We use it quite a bit for our game developments to find bugs in browsers we don’t have as well as get feedback on playability and the ever elusive “fun”.

Often times when we ask friends they answer “in kind” meaning they tell you it’s great because they don’t to hurt your feelings. This will give you much more honest feedback.

Try it free here Click Here

P.S. Leave comments on how your test came back. Was it the feedback you expected? Worse? Better?

Life Changing FREE Productivity Tool – Get 30-50% more productivity out of your Team

what is this stuff?

As affiliates we often start by just doing stuff.

We different things and eventually learn what are best practices and what just sucks.

But very often we just log that away into a special place in our brain and it becomes an innate ability.


Guess what innate abilities are amazing but have some real issues.

  • They don’t scale well, you’re only 1 person
  • It’s hard for other people to read your mind
  • It creates frustration because you talk with others and there’s a level of “assumed” knowledge

There’s others but those are the big ones.


The learning process and it’s flaw in growing a business

The learning process all start with


You don’t know what you don’t know!


This leads us to the 4 basic stages of learning.

  1. Unconscious Incompetence -You don’t even know this thing exists. Affiliate Marketing was probably this for you at some point.
  2. Conscious Incompetence – You’re aware it exists but have no idea anything
  3. Conscious Competence – You work on the skill for a while and can start to do it. BUT you have to think about it constantly
  4. Unconscious Competence – It becomes Innate ability where you no longer have to think about the mechanics, it’s natural.

The learning process always breaks down  into these 4 steps. You’re always at one of them or transitioning between 2.

This process happens through

  • reading and educating yourself, this is the least important phase. Book learning, I feel, is 10% of the learning process.
  • trial and error, if we don’t make mistakes we’re not pushing ourselves.
  • repetition, doing it over and over again making small corrections through trial and error.

All learning happens this way. Whether it’s learning to setup DNS or learning to write copy for ads. In the beginning you go from not even knowing it exists to it becoming innate at some point.

Once it’s innate you really “know” it.

And knowing it is great if you’re going to work by yourself for the rest of you life.

Want to know a secret? An ability becoming innate is only half way there. Why is this you ask?

Something that is innate and not written into process becomes very hard to optimize, train and manage others with.

I think most of us want to build and outsourced team or hire employees to grow our companies. We also want to optimize our processes and make them more efficient so we can get more done in less time.

We want to work smarter, not harder. Right?????

Constantly doing all the heavy lifting yourself limits growth and gets very very tiring at some point.

You learned all this stuff once. Do you want your team to take as long to learn it? Or do you want to abstract out your ideas into systems and processes to you can accelerate the teams growth?

Abstracting out how you do what you do

Now that you agree we have some innate abilities and we need to pass them to others.

Guess what we have to build systems and processes for others to understand.

I remember when I hired my first employee. He was an affiliate so he had a lot of understanding about the space. But he didn’t know anything bout merchants, businesses, accounting, compliance, etc. And most of us talk with people with an assumed level of knowledge of the other party. Well that was all wrong. I had to go back and start to breakdown and analyze everything I do.

If you read my post on system break down we’re going to use your broken down tasks again. If you haven’t done this go read and do the exercises here Earn More $ with a Throughput Management System – 1 of 3. I’m sure you’re keeping a list next to you at all times and anything new you do you write on that list.

Lets take each of these items and start to answer these questions.

  • What you do
  • How you do it
  • Why you made the decisions to do it that way


Now for our bad ass new tool

What you’re probably going to find is that everything you do is 90% a repetitive process. This is called “work” :)

That repetitive process has a work flow. I’ve posted about some of mine on my blog. I’ve posted Charles Ngo’s workflow on setting up a new campaign. So there’s plenty here and ideas how to build them.

The tool we’re going to discuss is going to give you an easy visual way to track all these work flows.

The tool I’m talking about is called TRELLO

It’s a tool that follows this thing called KANBAN methodology.

It’s very flexible and you can use it in many different ways. I’m going to  explain how I use it.

It’s composed of 3 basic components

  1. Board, this is similar to a bulletin board you might hang on your wall
  2. Swim lanes, these are lanes that are stages of your project or activity
  3. Cards, these are the tasks that need to be done

What i do is figure out the steps of a process. For example to make creatives I create a card for an offer I want creatives for and put it in the first swim lane which I’ll call “Backlog”

Then I’ll have another swim lane called “Queued to Build”. Backlog is where ideas are but we’re not sure if we want to execute yet. Once we decide we want to execute I move the card from the Backlog to the “Queued to Build”. Effectively I own the Backlog swim lane. Anything in that swim lane I’m the one that would execute on. And that execution in this case it moving it to “Queued to Build”. Make sense?

Now I’t not going to discuss our whole process for that. But I will post a screen shot here in just a minute.

Every process isn’t done by one person so you can add people to a board. Then they can own swim lanes (not from a technical stand point, more if they see something there they know it’s there’s to act on). Same as I explained the “Backlog” column is owned by me in this example. The “Queued to Build” is owned by designers. Now you can also apply a designer to the card to make sure they work on it. Or you can leave it open and they can assign themselves.

Like I said here’s a screen shot.

Trello ad creative building process

You can click on each card and add description and detail. There’s also a thread for responses back and forth on the collaboration. Here’s a view of what a card looks like.

Trello ad creative building card


As you see you can add checklist for things you want to make sure get included. These could be things like best practices for whatever the thing is you’re trying to build. That would give your designers a constant reminder of the important stuff. You can also see where you can comment back and forth with the designer and can say tweak this or that.

I’m not going to go into how to do everything. But you get the idea. This could be used for any linear process that happens repetitively in you business.

And guess what the best part is it’s free. So go try it. Trello

Hope this helps. If you have any cool ideas on how to use Trello or any other cool tools please leave comments below.

As always thanks for reading. Stay classy!

Free Getty Images – No Watermarks

hallelujah cat

Not sure if you saw this but it’s HUGE news.

Getty is the largest store of of online photography and is known for going around and suing people for using their images without the proper license.

Basically you can use a Getty image on your site as long as you give attribution back to Getty. They do this by giving you an iframe to embed in you blog posts or website. It has a footer on the image that says it’s from them.

BUT you have access to full size images at no cost now. Hopefully people don’t abuse this by just taking the image and screen shotting it, then posting it without the attribution.

You can read more here.

P.S. the image above didn’t come from Getty. I searched it on google, went to the site, saved it and then posted it here. Sorry Hallelujah Cat please don’t come get me 😀


4 Rituals; I Follow These and They’ve Been Found In A High % of Successful People

Golden Key

Fist off I wish someone had given me this list and said “Make these into habits and you’ll be successful”. Of course I had to learn the hard way.

There’s lot of lists like this around and I’ve even posted some here. Some are long, some are shorter. But I thought this one was a tell tale indicator for success with only 4 points. I’m going to be adding these to our hiring questions because I know if someone is doing them they’ll fit very well into our environment as well as accelerate success in our organization. And I know this based on my own habits….

Those Ah Ha Moments

I love it when I have “ah ha” moments, as in Ah Ha I Get It. This typically comes when something is in front of our face but all of a sudden something clicks and what was not visual before is now clear and makes sense. Often that “ah ha” moment is connected to something that will make a difference in your life and creates some what of a pivot point.

I had one of those when I first saw this list….

As I was talking with my copywriter, who’s building out the copy for a new product we’re coming out with, he was showing me his latest iteration of our script. In reading through the script he’d done a bunch of research on what makes successful people successful. In doing this he stumbled across a guy Dave Ramsey. Now I’ll be honest I don’t have a clue who Dave Ramsey is and haven’t done any research to find out at this point either. But he had done a bunch of research into habit of successful people and there was 4 that seemed to be the most powerful.

And here’s where the Ah Ha moment came. I realized I had developed these habits over years of getting to where I am today. Often times people ask me “what do you think the difference is that makes the difference?” As soon as I read these 4 things I went “AH HA” thats’ it in a nutshell. Do these 4 things and your chances of success skyrocket.

Now these aren’t things you start doing today and your life changes tomorrow. These are rituals or habits that you do every day.

To create a habit or a ritual you need to find a way to love and enjoy it. Or it’ll be like setting a new years resolution [insert quitter photo here]. If you don’t love it and enjoy it then it’s just work. And well most people work for money, not love (unfortunate but true). So if you’re not getting paid directly to do these things you need to find reasons to love them.

The Magical list of Rituals


According to financial expert Dave Ramsey…
• 80% of the wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal… while only 12% of the poor do this…
• 67% of the wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor…
• 88% of the wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor…
• And 86% of the wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor…


I know you’re saying GREAT ANOTHER LIST OF CRAP. Yes but here’s where it’s going to get good.

As I said before, part of being successful is making things rituals or habits.

In order to make rituals sustainable you have to derive joy from them.

We as humans are pretty simple creatures despite all the contrary belief. Everything in our world is based on a pain pleasure ratio. What this means is the scales always have to tip in order for something to change.

The pleasure of doing something has to be much greater then the pain of not doing it.

As an example someone can stay fat and eat like shit their whole life. They know what’s right and know they’d have pleasure being fit. They’d get accolades from people, be more attractive to the opposite sex, etc. So why don’t they do it? Well the pain of doing it to them is greater then the pleasure of being lazy. Now if a Dr. said you need to lose 50 lbs. or you’re going to die in the next 6 months. Guess what happens most of the time? The scales tip!

But that’s enough about that we’ll save more elaboration for that until another post.


How to create the success Rituals

So we have a basic understanding of how we create a ritual. The scales of pain pleasure need to tip in the rituals favor. Simple enough right?

Now we have a list we know that makes successful people people successful. So sit down and put those rituals on a piece of paper. Split it into 4 quadrants and write each ritual on the top of each. Then start writing all the things that excite you as an opportunity to spend the time doing each ritual. Think big here….

Here’s an example:

Educational Self Improvement – Write down one thing you’d like to learn. Then why would you want to learn it? How would it change your life emotionally, physically, financially?

I highly suggest being very granular here. Meaning write down big goals and break them into smaller goals. This will give you that feeling of accomplishment.


Did you see that head fake? ( term from sports where someone looks one way but runs or throws another )

One of the things on the list you just started doing.

Setting goals…. NICE!


Now I know you’ve read this and thought “oh I’m going to do that.” Tomorrow! Guess what the pain of doing it is not outweighing the pleasure of sitting on you but watching TV. First thing to build up the emotional reasons for is to get through this exercise and this list done.

I’m going to invite you to send me your list when you have it done. I’m happy to give feedback to you and see if I can help in anyway. Of course I run 6 companies so I’m a bit busy, but if you put in the work I’ll take a glance and give you some feedback.

I look forward to hearing form all of you.


*unedited due to time, sorry it’s a personal blog 😀