20/01/2019  - Images not loading? No problem, just read in browser.

End of the month but beginning of the week. Affiliates reported all sorts of issues with Facebook Ads over the past few days - it's never easy with the big blue. Interesting stats from going undercover to affiliate networks - our take on the results. Some tips on productivity directly from Elon Musk, and some predictions from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.

“Is it just me or do FB ads suck?”

We’ve heard this question daily since following FB ads related groups and masterminds.

The usual answer was “It’s you, obviously”.

It’s usually just normal variance within FB’s algorithm, and most people were doing just fine.

This time, it might be different.

A large amount of advertisers from the affiliate industry are reporting worse performance across the board, whether BH or WH, including people with huge agencies like Jason Kryski, co-founder of Strawhouse and big e-commerce entrepreneurs like Mo Ali Aguel - read through the comments too.

What to do about it? There’s not much you can do. It seems to be a Facebook issue, not an advertiser strategy one…

You know, the whole move fast and break things motto that they don’t use in public anymore.

You shouldn’t be surprised if strategies that worked 2-3 months ago will get you nowhere on your next campaign.

What do users do when they see a big red warning sign that says “fake news”?

They put their tinfoil hats and spread it as part of their conspiracy theory, of course!

In other words, even when Facebook says something is likely to be factually wrong, some users share it even more!

Just like with those diet pills or lottery winners articles
some people promote.

Now, instead of calling more attention to these articles, FB will make them show up much smaller in feeds, and also recommend articles that dispute the claims.

Sampling Affiliate Networks - Undercover!

The folks at MRKTHUB went undercover and applied to 50 affiliates networks, then shared their findings with the world.

Some of them are obvious, some are boring. There are a few that struck us as important to comment on.

24/50 Affiliate managers gave away landing pages other affiliates were using - If you don’t have access to a spy tool, many affiliate networks and managers have. They are very open to sharing to help you out, even if it kind of means they are screwing over other affiliates. If you didn’t know already, the days when creatives are a big advantage are gone - spy tools like AdPlexity are too strong.

38/50 Gave higher payouts with simple negotiation, before seeing any traffic - One word: scrubbing, sometimes called shaving too. All affiliate networks have the capabilities to shut up your payout bump requests simply by attributing you only a proportion of the leads you send them, aka they scrub your leads. The 38/50 have us very worried that scrubbing is done exceedingly often, before you even run traffic.

16/50 Affiliate managers couldn’t implement a tracking pixel and had to forward it to their tech to handle - This means you will take forever to start running the offer. Whenever the affiliate manager has to delegate a task, if you have it done/solved in 24 hours it’s amazingly fast. The median time is usually around 2 working days in our experience. Not ideal for such a simple task.
Productivity tips from the busiest guy on the planet

When you’re able to run multiple multi billion dollar companies you’re probably pretty good at managing your time.

In an email to Tesla employees Elon Musk gives an outlook on the company’s future, with all the production issues with the Model 3, but also has a list of productivity recommendations for his employees.

Here are the takeaways you can implement in your business too:
  • Keep meetings short
  • Get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter.
  • Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as you’re not adding value. It’s not rude to leave, it’s rude to waste someone's time.
  • Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done.
  • Pick common sense as your guide. Not all rules are set in stone.

While it’s not that important to one man show affiliates, it becomes relevant as soon as you hire a designer or a media buyer to run your campaigns.

In our team we limited meetings and set up communication to be as direct as possible (Slack FTW) to be more efficient with our time.

Most our meetings are actually combined with having lunch together, time we would spend away from the computer anyway.

Speaking of Musk… Guy with 12 shares wants to fire him

The shareholder argues time constraints, Tesla not in early stage anymore and potential conflicts with his positions at SolarCity and SpaceX, all that jazz.

This would be just from his position as Chairman, not from his CEO role.

This still doesn’t beat the time a “supergenius” asked to be hired as Vice Chairman during a shareholder meeting.

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Buffett disses Bitcoin… again!
Honestly, we’re fans of Warren, it’s hard not to be if you are interested in investing.

He generally is very careful about what he gives an opinion on, and stays away from giving advice on things he doesn’t understand. That’s why he is not big into tech stocks.

There’s only one topic where he went against that principle repeatedly, and that is Bitcoin. On the weekend, he yet again said “buying Bitcoin is not investing” and that “no one knows exactly what it is”.

Who listens to the Oracle of Omaha on crypto?

That would be James Howell from Wales. OK, not really but check this...

In 2009, his (then) girlfriend complained his laptop fans are too loud and he should stop mining BTC.

He did and in 2013 also threw out the hard drive with the wallet containing 7500 BTC. Ouch!

Since then he split up with her, partially because of how the crypto events unfolded.

Now he is working with environmental specialists and waste extraction specialists to get ready to start digging for the digital gold as soon as the council gives its approval.

On a serious note, do your own research. Neither the Oracle of Omaha nor crypto-prophets are absolutely right every time. It’s your duty to inform yourself before making any investment.

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