A Clever Hack - Not

WP Engine retooled their affiliate program a few months ago, so I signed up. I can't remember what the payouts were before, but they switched it to paying $250 for every signup - which is a pretty generous offer.

I knew part of WP Engine's strategy was to attend and sponsor WordCamps, so I figured I'd piggy back off that and advertise on Facebook geo-targeting the location of the WordCamp and run the ad 2 days prior to the event through the start of the event.

The reason I ran the ad prior was because I knew WP Engine 'comped' or gave away free basic plans at the camp and I figured if I 'cookied' the attendees prior to them knowing about the upcoming comp, my cookie would take precedence and I'd get credit for the referral.

Last week, I found out because the accounts were comped, my commissions wouldn't be honored - which kinda sucks. I tried to cheat the system and got bit.

Lessons learned: 

  1. Carefully read Terms of Service and Affiliate Agreements
  2. Go easy on ad spend until after your first payday, then pedal to the medal.
  3. Getting a lot of impressions by advertising internationally on Facebook is "cheap." But conversion rates are abysmal.
  4. Facebook gives you a big CPM discount by sending traffic to a fan page and not offsite to an external landing page.
  5. There is no easy way to make money, despite what info-marketing charlatans tell you.