‘We Were Learning Everything Ourselves From Our Mistakes’
Interview With MediaVenus Top Media Buyer
How people come to media buying, profitable campaigns, the price of a mistake — all of it and more discussed with one of the top media buyers of MediaVenus.
Let’s start from a direct question– what’s your daily turnover?
My current daily turnover is about $2000–3000.
Where you drive traffic to and what are your sources?
My main sources are native ad networks — MediaVenus, Revcontent and MGID. It’s not that easy to say where I drive traffic to because the pool of offers changes every month or even more often. Everything depends on the season, traffic quality and a bunch of other factors. For example, lately I’ve been driving for spider veins to Europe and Latin America.
Did you work with native ad networks only or with other sources of traffic as well?
My experience in media buying is not that big, it’s only about two years if we talk about media buying as we know it today. Like many others, I started with WAP billing. It was in 2011, back then you could drive traffic almost for free. It was the era of spam and Vkontakte [Russian version of Facebook] invites. We were driving about 2K subscriptions daily, combined of real users and fraud, to private affiliates, mostly for rebills. By the end of the day, we were getting good money, taking into account that we were all minors at the time. Those happy days last for about a year. Vkontakte then put more restrictions and spamming started to be much harder, so not many people were still willing to work with this kind of traffic. Due to our lack of experience, we never mastered that niche of media buying or found other sources of traffic at that point. Yet, to their credit, rebills automatically kept bringing me money for another six months.
How did you come to media buying? How did you learn the skills?
It was my childhood friend who introduced me to it. We both were leaning everything ourselves from our mistakes. Over the past 6 years I’ve been involved in quite a few various projects, but only recently (about 2 years ago) I realized that for this time all I’ve been surrounded by was actually just various versions of media buying.
What part of media buying you find most complicated?
Oh, that’s a hard one. I wouldn’t call media buying complicated, you just need to find the right approach and the right time. And, of course, for everything to work out well, analyze your data.
Was there anything unexpected that you had to face while working in this sphere?
Probably, the incompetence of people in this sphere. I’m mainly talking about managers from CPA networks here. Apparently, these days there’s much hype about starting your own CPA network. Each year five to ten new networks appear. For the same period, about five to ten of them die. As a result, the market is in complete chaos, they keep recruiting underskilled staff. My work experience is not that huge, but anyways, I only met one or two managers that I was able to work productively with. We’re still working together by the way.
Could you please tell us about your most successful ad campaign?
Oh yeah, I just recalled a good one. When I just came to affiliate marketing, I found an interesting offer for ED medication for Romania. All my friends were buying traffic using CPC model but I decided to use CPM. Many find CPM annoying, which is true, though it has its advantages. So, after a couple of testing weeks I started buying mainstream traffic for Romania from MediaVenus for my offer, and it cost less than 0.01$ per click. At that time CPC market price was about 0.04$. I had no competition and for two months was driving traffic with 500% ROI, until my creatives died.
What is the minimum sum of money you need to enter this field?
500–1000$. I reckon this should be enough. Well, of course everything depends on your geo and traffic source.
Which geo you wouldn’t choose to work with?
I personally wouldn’t recommend to do ads for Asia as this market is really special. It’s not easy to find a working angle there, moreover there’s a lot of bad traffic and fraud. But everyone’s experience is different. I know some guys who work only with Asia and are doing great.
How much time you spend on tracking data and making creatives?
I’m tracking statistics pretty much non-stop. As I have quite a few geos and offers, I need to keep checking, something goes wrong all the time. Making creatives doesn’t take long as I don’t usually go crazy about it. I just use a bunch of spying websites to analyze what’s already on the market and take the creatives I find most appropriate. Making something yourself doesn’t necessarily mean it will work better.
Have you ever forgotten to stop an ad campaign or put the wrong price per click? Or any other big mistakes?
To be honest, don’t remember any of those happening to me as I keep checking traffic all the time. I consider little mistakes worth $100–200 not even worth remembering. I never wasted more than that though.
What was the maximum you lost and earned when driving traffic?
The maximum that I lost was 13000$ a month, it just happened once. My earnings when driving traffic are more stable, the sum may vary but in average my net gain is roughly $15K a month.
What is your plan for the near future?
Mu goal for the near future is to explore new native ad networks, as it’s clear to me that future lies with them. I’ve been watching everyone leaving Facebook lately as it’s getting harder to work there. It is almost impossible to work just by yourself and they won’t recruit you as part of the team without experience in pharming.
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