Category: Affiliate & Affiliate Marketing

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June 2020 Web Server Survey

In the June 2020 survey we received responses from 1,224,760,416 sites across 262,406,750 unique domains and 10,042,047 web-facing computers. This reflects a gain of 1.21 million domains and 149,000 computers, but a loss of 13.3 million sites.

Microsoft lost the largest number of sites – more than 20 million – taking its total down by 13% to 135 million. This has decreased its market share by 1.51 percentage points to 11.0%. Apache also suffered a sizable loss of 10.7 million sites, decreasing its total to 304 million and taking its share down by 0.60 points to 24.8%.

nginx continues to lead with a total of 449 million sites, an increase of 2.95 million since last month. Coupled with the other major vendors’ losses, this has increased nginx’s market share by 0.63 points to 36.6%.

nginx also showed the largest computer growth, with 115,000 more computers taking its total up to 3.35 million and putting it only 76,000 computers away from Apache’s leading total.

While nginx looks set to soon become the largest vendor in terms of computers – possibly even by next month – celebrations by F5 Networks are likely to be marred by the latest developments in the dispute over the ownership of the nginx web server source code: it is now being sued by Lynwood Investments, who claim it owns the software.

The latest move comes after police raids on the offices of nginx and the home of one of its co-founders, Igor Sysoev, in December 2019. Russian search engine and e-commerce service provider, Rambler, alleged the webserver was developed while Igor Sysoev was a Rambler employee. Rambler transferred the rights to pursue the dispute to Lynwood Investments.

Meanwhile, nginx has also extended its recent new lead in the domains metric, with it now being used to host sites across 1.82 million more domains than last month.

Google was the only major vendor to gain active sites this month – a 2.12% increase to 19.3 million – and LiteSpeed was the only one to increase its presence among the top million websites, where it now has a share of 1.92%.

New vendor releases

nginx 1.19.0 mainline was announced on 26 May. This first release in the 1.19.* stream adds client certificate validation with OCSP, as well as a few bug fixes. The latest stable version is still 1.18.0, which was released in April. The difference between these two release streams is that the mainline branch is where new features are added, while the stable branches receive only security and bug fixes. This gives the stable releases a fixed feature set, which increases compatibility with third-party modules.

Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer May 2020 Percent June 2020 Percent Change
nginx 445,724,550 36.00% 448,673,487 36.63% 0.63
Apache 315,019,262 25.45% 304,288,405 24.84% -0.60
Microsoft 155,042,311 12.52% 134,874,928 11.01% -1.51
Google 44,304,867 3.58% 43,449,240 3.55% -0.03
Web server market share for active sites

Developer May 2020 Percent June 2020 Percent Change
Apache 52,211,324 27.21% 51,602,586 27.27% 0.05
nginx 39,435,834 20.55% 37,118,879 19.61% -0.94
Google 18,913,669 9.86% 19,315,421 10.21% 0.35
Microsoft 9,053,159 4.72% 8,551,282 4.52% -0.20

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer May 2020 Percent June 2020 Percent Change
Apache 286,246 28.62% 284,849 28.48% -0.14
nginx 256,240 25.62% 254,281 25.43% -0.20
Microsoft 75,679 7.57% 74,007 7.40% -0.17
LiteSpeed 18,760 1.88% 19,194 1.92% 0.04
Web server market share for computers

Developer May 2020 Percent June 2020 Percent Change
Apache 3,411,230 34.48% 3,423,193 34.09% -0.39
nginx 3,232,171 32.67% 3,347,179 33.33% 0.66
Microsoft 1,623,616 16.41% 1,605,287 15.99% -0.43
Web server market share for domains

Developer May 2020 Percent June 2020 Percent Change
nginx 75,619,977 28.95% 77,436,626 29.51% 0.56
Apache 72,057,359 27.59% 71,514,159 27.25% -0.33
Microsoft 46,864,883 17.94% 46,133,117 17.58% -0.36
Google 2,367,143 0.91% 2,279,759 0.87% -0.04

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Fake shops are making a killing from counterfeit trainers

Online shopping has surged since lockdown started in March. Many of us, looking to be healthier, have headed online for sports equipment and a number of sportswear retailers have reported booming online sales. John Lewis recorded a 72% increase in total sports shoe sales, while Adidas and Puma have both seen an increase in ecommerce revenue.

Shoppers browsing online for the best deals, however, need to take care, as many people would be surprised at the scale of fake shops. Each day we find new fake shops designed to entice shoppers away from bona fide outlets, as many brands have yet to find effective countermeasures.

Counterfeit shoes, clothing and other accessories are estimated to lose the industry more than €26 billion each year in the EU alone, while the loss due to all online counterfeiting is estimated at $323 billion a year. The OECD estimated that over 3% of all imports worldwide are counterfeit.

Traditionally fake shops claim to sell luxury consumer goods at highly discounted prices. We have seen fake shops using at least three different models:

  1. Payment is accepted, but no goods are delivered.
  2. At the end of the checkout process, an error message is displayed such as “Out of Stock” and no transaction occurs. This is equivalent to a phishing attack, as the fake shop has the consumer’s credentials.
  3. Payment is accepted, and goods are delivered. The quality of goods varies between junk and identical to the bona fide item.

Trainers are the most counterfeited goods

We are currently block around 75,000 fake shops in our extension and apps. Of these, roughly half target a specific brand, such as Nike or Adidas. About 70% of the fake shops selling branded goods sell shoes, predominantly trainers.

Corroborating this, European customs authorities handle more cases of counterfeit sports shoes than any other type of product.

Breakdown of fake shop industries

Fake shops by type of goods sold

Eight of the top ten brands we find on fake shops are primarily footwear companies, with Nike and Adidas by far the most common. Other big targets for counterfeiters include Ray-Ban and Louis Vuitton, both of whom are subject to highly specific campaigns.

An Adidas fake shop

An Adidas fake shop

How many people visit counterfeiters’ shops?

Fake shops use analytics software to keep track of website visits just like bona fide websites. The analytics dashboards of fake shops are sometimes publicly accessible, and they tell us that fake shops get a lot of visitors

A graph showing unique visitors to a fake shop campaign

Unique visitors to a single fake shop campaign

One fake shop campaign received 125,000 unique visitors in May, up from a standing start in December, and tripling since the start of lockdown. A majority of visitors arrive after finding the sites in their google search results. However, fake shops are also be promoted on social media and similar platforms. The shops in this campaign sell products purportedly from a huge array of brands, including Skechers, Steve Madden, Ecco, Supreme and The North Face. Tens of thousands of such shops are active at any given time.

Visitors come to these sites from all around the world, although 77% are from European countries. The website operators themselves are likely Chinese, as they use a Chinese analytics service, although the websites are in many different languages and currencies.

What can I do to avoid shopping on a fake shop?

Our extensions and apps block access to all of the fake shops that we find and validate. You can use our extension for free, and our apps come from as little as £5 a year.

Additionally, the products of some high quality brands, such as Rolex, Coach and Louis Vuitton, are available only at authorised retailers. For these brands, make sure you look up the retailer you are buying from on the brand’s website.

When purchasing other products, keep a look out for suspicious websites. Some common characteristics of fake shops include:

  1. Prices that are too good to be true
  2. No HTTPS or Certificate issued by a free SSL provider
  3. Fake security seals and accreditations
  4. No, or implausible, contact information

How can I protect our business against counterfeit shops?

Netcraft offers a comprehensive countermeasures service covering detection and takedown of fake shops. In the past three months, we’ve taken down in excess of 25,000 fake shops.

Additionally, we can supply a feed of fake shops targeting your business so that your own Apps can block access to the fake shops on devices that have your app installed.

Netcraft is the world’s largest provider of cybercrime countermeasures, providing countermeasures against some seventy five different types of cybercrime for many of the world’s largest companies.

4 Ways You Can Compete With a Smaller Budget –

4.5/5 (10)

Running a business is like going to war.

Think about how many analogies in business came from the military: price wars, guerrilla marketing, strategic alliances, subordinates, chain of command, and much more.

I started studying military strategy for fun in college. I wish I could tell you some grandiose reason why, but the truth is I wanted to get better at playing StarCraft.

And through all that studying, one strategy has stuck with me throughout the years. And it’s one that I’ve used in business over and over the past decade.

It’s called the Beachhead Strategy.

Here’s where it comes from.

France was occupied by Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

On June 6, 1944, more than 176,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

You might recognize that operation as D-Day.

They didn’t do a multi-pronged attack on different areas of France. No, the Allied forces focused all their strength on winning a small area.

Once they won the beaches of Normandy, they established it as a stronghold. They defended the beaches and it allowed more troops to safely land in what used to be dangerous territory.

From there, they slowly took over the rest of Europe.


We tend to forget that most billion (or even trillion) dollar companies started out small. We hear about all the strategies that they’re using today, but it’s far more useful to study how companies started. started by using a beachhead strategy. Jeff Bezos saw the growth of the internet in the early ’90s and he wanted a piece of it.

His goal was to build an online store that could sell nearly every type of product in this world. But that wasn’t his goal at first – it was too big of a goal and too unrealistic.

Instead, he evaluated twenty+ categories to sell.

The winner? Books.

  • He didn’t have to invest any money on product development.
  • All books are the same so the customers know what they’re getting.
  • He had an advantage over the in-store bookstores. He could offer more titles than any physical location.
  • Getting the inventory was easy since there were only two major book distributors in the 90’s. He didn’t have to waste time negotiating hundreds of deals.

So in the beginning, Amazon only sold books for the first few years. They dominated.

Those few years allowed them to generate sales, build their brand, and perfect their processes.

Books were their stronghold, and they started expanding into more and more categories.

If you’re starting affiliate marketing or starting a new business, you don’t have the experience or resources yet to compete against the established players.

That’s OK.

If that’s the case, then you should use different beachhead strategies. Let’s talk about some ways you can apply it.

The Benefits of Beachhead Strategies in Affiliate Marketing

Whenever I compete in a Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament, I’m going to be evenly matched.

I can compete with someone under 155lb, between 30-35 years old, and they’re a blue belt. I’m not going to get Hulk smashed by a 19-year-old Black Belt.

There’s no amateur league when it comes to business or campaigns.

You’re competing against everyone the second you launch a campaign. You’re not competing against another newbie who just signed up for STM and has a $10 a day budget.

Nope, you could be bidding against a team with $10k+ a day budget, and 5+ media buyers.

There’s no “safe space” for you to practice your skills on.

That’s why it’s important for you to use beachhead strategies. It’s a way for you to maximize your resources.

How to use Beachhead Strategies in Your Marketing Campaigns

Alright, enough theory. Let’s get into some practical examples on how you can apply these concepts to your campaigns.

map atlas south america 52502

1. What Countries Aren’t People Targeting?

This is one of the easiest, and most reliable strategies in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketers love to launch campaigns in Tier 1 English speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

There’s plenty of traffic in these countries and there’s less work involved because they don’t have to translate any languages.

Their laziness is your gain.

You can use a spy tool to see what ads, angles, and landing pages are working in the English speaking countries. You can take these same creatives, translate them with One Hour Translation, and start running them in countries they’re not targeting.

At one point, I had a policy where I wouldn’t target English speaking countries. Why enter a red ocean full of competitors in the U.S., when there were so many blue oceans?

People underestimated the amount of money you can generate from locations like the Nordic countries, Turkey, South Africa, and Latin America.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can simply translate someone else’s creatives and profit. It may work sometimes, but you can dominate if you put in more effort.

Think about McDonald’s.

Do they feature the same menu in every single McDonald’s in the world? No, they don’t.

They research the local cuisine and create a menu suited for local tastes.

  • In India, they have a McAloo Tikki which features a vegetarian patty made of potatoes.
  • Japan features a panko-battered shrimp patty
  • Americans have apple pie. In China, they feature a Taro pie.

It’s a strategy that I call Hyperlocalization.

Instead of just translating your creatives, create new marketing angles, and landing page copy that integrates the country’s culture.

2. Niche Down the Product

Lemonade is an insurance company that started in 2015. They’re backed by Softbank and worth $2 billion.

Imagine trying to break into the insurance industry. How can you compete against giants like Prudential and Berkshire Hathaway?

The founders knew that they’d bleed money if they went after the biggest segments like home and auto insurance.

The cost of acquisition of too damn high.

Instead, they used a beachhead strategy by focusing only on rental insurance. There’s a method to the madness. By focusing on rental insurance, their main demographic are millennials.

Soon, their primary customers will get older and start looking at other insurance needs such as home and life insurance. By focusing on the rental insurance space, it gave Lemonade time to establish their brand, processes, and technology.

Another example is ConvertKit. There are unlimited choices when it comes to choosing an email service provider. They established themselves by focusing on the needs of bloggers.

Brainstorm how you can segment down.

  • Adult dating. I’m blown away by how many niches there are in this space. Instead of going for the generic “hot mom next door”, you can laser-target different niches like Hentai.
  • Dog products. Most dog products have a machine gun approach and target all dog owners. Niche it down with specific breeds. There’s dynamite when you target German Shepherd owners and feature German Shepherds in your ads.
  • Nootropics. So many guys are trying to create the next Onnit. It’s a great brand, but they’re mainly focused on bros. Niche down. Mental supplements for older women. Mental supplements for chess players. Mental supplements for entrepreneurs.

3. Niche Down the Audience / Demographics

Certain companies benefit from the “network effect”. The more people who use the service, then the more useful that service becomes.

Ironically, Facebook started by narrowing down their audience on purpose.

When Facebook first launched, it was only available to the students at Harvard.

  • Then Ivy Leagues
  • Then University Students within the U.S.
  • Then University Students outside the U.S.
  • Then employees of companies such as Apple and Microsoft
  • Then finally, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address.

Narrowing down the audience allowed them to build their own “sandbox” to improve the product.

Another example is life insurance. Demographics have a different pain points.

Someone who’s a new parent wants life insurance to protect their children.

I don’t have any kids yet. I bought life insurance in my 20’s to make sure that my parents would be taken care of in case I passed away young.

4. Do the Opposite of the Market Leaders

Whenever a company has a strength, it also has a weakness.

Facebook’s strength was how all your memories would be stored. What’s the opposite of that? Not storing anything.

That’s how Snapchat got established.

Facebook’s other weakness is it has become increasingly “older” demographic wise. No teenage girl wants to Twerk in a place where her parents and their friends are going to see. That’s how TikTok has an audience.

There’s a growing movement of using 100% organic ingredients only when it comes to skincare.

What’s the opposite? Using synthetic ingredients. Drunk Elephant is a skincare line that uses synthetic ingredients and embraces it.

Their messaging is they don’t care if an ingredient is organic or synthetic, they only care if it works or not. They’re saying that organic products have limitations.

It can be intimidating to see an established company, but realize that their strength is also a weakness.

man hit by boxing glove 3586873

Photo by Musa Ortaç from Pexels.

Don’t be Scared of Competition

If someone were to punch you in the face, your instinct is to close your eyes and flinch.

Floyd Mayweather is considered one of the best boxers in history. One of his secrets is that he trained himself NOT to flinch. When someone’s throwing a punch at him, his eyes are always open.

This allows him to block and dodge at all times, even if someone’s swinging at him.

How many times have you thought of a business idea, but you stop yourself because you found a “competitor”?

That feeling is as natural as closing your eyes when someone’s about to punch you.

But I want you to retrain the way you think about the competition.

Competition means there’s market validation. But you can’t compete against them head on.

Instead, use the beachhead strategy to effectively enter the market.

All other photos courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels.

Please rate this article – it helps me know what to write!

How do I secure my website?

I just made a website that I got online with Heroku. I bought a domain on, and the website is up and working, but it is not secure (i.e. I cannot do I then bought an SSL Certificate for the year on Namesilo, but I do not know how to use this on my website? I’m really new to this, has anyone ever secured a site on namesilo before?

EDIT: Decided to abandon this and instead hosted the site on GitHub. I was using Flask on my website, but I realized it was totally useless as my site is actually completely static, so I removed all the Python and was able to move to GitHub and didn’t have to pay for anything (besides the domain, which I already have).

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Full Campaign Setup & Results


Wanna join an ad network that can give you a return of 54% on your ad spend in 14 days or less with minimal effort on your part?

Adsterra is a fresh and vibrant ad network that’s been finely tuned to work in step with the latest affiliate offers.

It’s slick, easy-to-use and the perfect way to reach a hungry audience that converts like crazy for all types of offers.

In this Adsterra review, We’re gonna look at how the platform blew up to be the success it is today, along with a brief overview of the key stats and figures, before showing you a step-by-step study of exactly how you can use Adsterra to make it rain.

Sound good?

Cool, let’s get to it!

Why Adsterra?

Adsterra is a smart ad network founded in 2013 by a team of affiliate marketers and webmasters with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

What’s so cool about the online ad network, and one of the things that makes it so attractive to affiliates, is the emphasis on CPA marketing campaigns.

When it comes to turning a profit with mainstream binary, app installs, gaming, software, sweepstakes – along with a ton of other verticals – you’ll find them hard to beat.

They’re also one of the few ad networks that release up-to-date case studies that show how top affiliates are making bank with the platform.

Bonus tip: You can use these as a blueprint for the best offers, so you don’t have to waste time testing your own.

And, if you like a challenge, you can even get a reward of $200 if your success story is featured on the blog!

In fact, when the strapline of a company’s blog reads ‘Affiliate Marketing and Website Monetization’, you know you’re onto a good thing!

This emphasis on affiliate marketing and a transparent approach to business quickly resulted in Adsterra being hailed as one of the best platforms of its kind in the industry.

Within a year the company had reached 1BN monthly impressions, with 3,500 different traffic sources, and it didn’t take long for things to start getting really crazy.

In 2015 the team had grown to an impressive size of 122 employees and 2016 saw the landmark figure of 10BN monthly impressions, which is enough to make your head spin.

So let’s jump forward to look at today’s numbers and see how all this translates into real-world stats.

Adsterra by numbers and facts:

  • 30B+ Monthly Impressions;
  • 248 GEOs covered (Global);
  • 100K+ Successful campaigns;
  • 12K+ direct publishers;
  • 8K+ brands, affiliates, media agencies and ad networks;
  • All the payment models are available: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPI, CPL, RTB;
  • Easy API integration;
  • Complex multistep system to protect partners from inappropriate traffic;
  • Full targeting inventory including rare ones (i.e. Browser versions, OS versions, carrier, user lifetime, IP targeting);
  • Retargeting.

Adsterra’s Partner Care Approach

Adsterra’s client support team is multilingual and friendly, ready to assist seven days a week.

All Adsterra managers complete their unique “Adsterra’s Partner Care Approach” course. They believe: clients are their equal partners, that’s why they invest in long-term relationships with partners.


The current functionality of the Self-Service Platform makes it possible to run campaigns without a Manager. Still, anytime you need your Manager – he is always here to help you.

Along with some refreshing core values – Trust, Passion, Creativity, Innovation and Reliability- and a commitment to provide creative, unique and engaging advertising campaigns to the world, I think it’s safe to say that the Adsterra has made the big league.

So let’s dive into the details of how to use Adsterra to set up your own campaign using a case study of our own and find out how we made a profit of $348 in under 14 days, with a starting budget of just $650.

Getting Started on Adsterra

First off, you’re gonna need to create a new account.

So head over to Adsterra now and click on the registration link at the top.

Or, if you’d rather read how we did it first and create your account later, that’s fine too.

Tip: Use an active messenger account so you can connect with your network account manager. It’s one of the perks of belonging to the network and can speed up the process for you, so you can start making bank right away.

One of the things we love about Adsterra is the elegant simplicity of the signup process.

Right from the confirmation to the welcome email, to creating my first campaign, I always felt I was in safe hands.

This is worth a mention because with Adsterra, it’s not just the messaging that’s good; it’s the entire experience from start to finish.

So let’s get started!

The Welcome Screen

Here you’ll find a simple 3 step method to getting your ads up and running.

  • Step 1 Choose a payment method and top up your balance;
  • Step 2 Create a campaign by yourself or with the help of a manager;
  • Step 3 Set up your conversions tracker.

We’ll be going over each of these steps in more detail but one of the neat things about the welcome screen can be found in the ‘How to start getting traffic’ section right at the top.

The reason?

Even though Adsterra is an SSP (self-serve platform) they don’t just take your money and leave you hanging.

You’ll get full support from a personal account manager who will help develop personalized solutions and provide you with expert advice to enhance your campaign performance.

They’ll help you with which offers and verticals can give you the best results, so make sure you don’t skip this section and get in touch with your account manager right away!

Need more advice on how the SSP works?

Pull the pop-out tab on the browser window once you are logged in and voila! A full step-by-step guide on how to refill your account balance, create, manage and edit campaigns will appear, as if by magic.

You can also open the off-canvas menu which will give you a top-down view of the various sections of the site.

This gives you access from everything to campaign creation, stats, tracking, and settings, so you can navigate through the platform like a pro.

The Offer

For this campaign, we chose a sweepstake offer.

We went with this because sweepstakes offers are quick and easy to set up and are known to convert well.

This particular offer converts on SOI (single opt-in) at $2.60 / sign up.

Users only have to submit their email address, with no verification required, for the conversion to fire.

Here’s a screenshot of the final landing page for the offer. (The one we chose was actually in English, but you get the idea).

The Lander

For this step, the advertiser decided to act according to the following suggestion:

“When you create creatives and pre-lands, it is not recommended to excessively use effects such as flickering, glowing, and blinking, as they annoy users. It is better to use questionnaires, roulettes with prizes and mini-games.”

So, here’s a look at the types of pre-landers that are perfect for promoting sweepstake offers.

  • The spinning wheel – Instantly recognizable and high converting pre-lander for all types of sweepstake offers.

  • Win a price – Another modern classic style lander that’s easy to create and gets users to click faster than a camera at the Academy Awards.

  • Find the hidden prize – Like a scratch card only without the annoying silvery bits.

With a little digging around you can find scripts for all these pre-landers for free on the net or you can create your own if you’re feeling extra brave.

Some pre-landers also include alerts, which is a big plus.

Alerts attract people’s attention to the pre-lander and prevent them from closing the page too quickly.

Just try not to get too flashy, as this is likely to have the opposite effect and put people off.

Creating Your First Campaign on Adsterra

So, instead of simply walking you through the campaign creation process, I’m gonna switch to using a live test offer so you can follow along with exactly how the pros set things up.

But – just before I do that – you’ll see from the image below that you’re gonna need to top up your balance on your account.

It’s up to you if you do this before or after you set things up, but you’ll need to deposit at least the minimum value of $100 before you can start a campaign.

As I’m keen to run through the process with you, I’ll leave the discussion of payment methods until later, but if you wanna go and deposit some funds before returning to read the rest of the article, now’s a good time.

Go ahead and click on the Create Campaign button.

Here’s where the magic happens!

Let’s go through each of the data fields required to set up your campaigns.

General Setup

Campaign name: For this ‘sweep_AU’ was entered as the advertisers were promoting a sweepstakes offer, as shown above.

Connection type: You can flick between 3G and Wi-Fi only enabled traffic. For this offer, we chose ‘All Traffic’ but you may want to choose Wi-Fi only, if your lander has high bandwidth requirements.

Pricing type: Adsterra allows for CPM, CPA, or CPC pricing models. For this offer, we went with CPA. This is effective with Pop traffic but if you wanna use CPA with other formats, speak to your account manager first to find out what is possible.

Ad unit category: Popunder, Web Push, or Native banner. As this is a sweepstakes campaign, we’ve chosen to run it with popunder traffic. As you know, popunder traffic is quite mixed, as there’s a chance that some of the traffic will contain bots so it requires some extra work to be done.

Traffic type: Mainstream, Adult, Mainstream + Adult (All). We chose mainstream for this offer, but if you have any adult offers you wanna run, feel free to test them out!

Landing URL: This is for your pre-lander and it’s recommended to use domains that instill confidence in the user. For example domains like “” tend to have a higher probability of conversion compared to domains such as “” which are typically used by spammers.

Device format: Desktop, mobile, or tablet. The advertiser chose to work with mobile traffic exclusively for this offer, as per the recommendations on the offer page. There are tons of useful guides on affiliate marketing strategies for both mobile and desktop traffic which you can read to help decide on a strategy. One other reason you might want to separate your traffic sources is so you can stay more targeted in your campaigns.

Countries: The advertises chose Australia (AU) as the offer was restricted to only a few GEOs. Adsterra allows you to manually select a country or use bulk input for multiple GEOs.

Budget limit: You can allocate a test budget to see how the campaign performs before dropping a fat stack of cash. For this campaign, a total budget of $400 was entered with a test budget of $100.

Start: Start immediately after approval, at a scheduled time or keep inactive.


OS: For this campaign, Android was selected.

Browser: Select which browsers you wanna target.

Browser language: Any specific languages you wanna target – useful for reaching expats abroad.

Carrier: Target specific network carriers.

Capping & Limits

Frequency capping: Impressions limits per user.

Limits: Budget caps over a time frame.

Advanced Settings

Blacklist: Use blacklists to exclude placements from your campaign.

IP range targeting: Include or exclude a set of IP ranges.

Here’s a screenshot of the preview of how the campaign looked after everything had been set up:

Tip: One neat feature of Adsterra is the Smart Traffic Estimation tool which is available for CPC and CPM pricing models. Use this to find out the approximate volume of impressions/day based on your campaigns’ settings and competitors’ activity.

Tracking Your Links

Setting up your tracking links is the secret to success in any marketing campaign.

The reason?

Without accurate and correctly structured tracking links, it’s nearly impossible to stay profitable long term.

Read also: Best Affiliate Trackers & Platforms

You can think of this as the equivalent of taking a wild stab in the dark about how many miles your car does to the gallon or guessing how many marbles are in a jar of each shape, colour and size.

Left unchecked, sooner or later you’re either gonna find yourself stranded out in the middle of nowhere or end up throwing money away unnecessarily.

Tracking helps you stay in control of your campaigns and make smart decisions about how to allocate your resources.

And it does this by providing you with detailed analysis of precisely which ad spots and traffic sources are performing the best for you.

Don’t yet have a tracker?

Scoot over to our friends at Voluum and we’ll get you set up with an impressive 25% discount on the best software currently available.

Adsterra has a CPA pricing model – along with CPM, CPC, CPL, CPO, and CPI (PPI) – which you won’t be able to use unless you have your tracker set up beforehand, as you won’t be able to see the conversions required for sending traffic.

So here’s how to set up your tracking in 4 easy steps:

  1. Choose your postback type – This can be simple postback, simple postback with payout variable or complex postback with currency conversion. The last one is used if you work with currencies other than US dollars.
  2. Choose your tracking system – We recommend using Voluum, the leading ad tracker. However, you can check our list of the best trackers.
  3. Generate postback and set it up on your tracking system.
  4. Test your offer with the inbuilt tool provided. The conversion subid for Adsterra is ##SUB_ID_SHORT(action)## and this must be included with the link. It is additionally recommended to use ##PLACEMENT_ID## so you can track traffic from different sources.

If you need any help with this contact your account manager at Adsterra who will walk you through the process

Optimizing Your Campaign

So now that you’ve got the nuts and bolts of your campaign all tightened down, it’s time to tweak the settings to maximize the performance potential.

This is a huge topic for discussion and covers everything from writing killer ad headlines to testing CTA buttons on your landing page.

If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your campaigns check out the Mobidea Guide to Optimizing Campaigns on Exoclick which will teach you how to optimize like the pros!

For this study, two key optimization strategies were used.

Stage 1 (Raising the bid)

The initial bid for the cost per acquisition pricing type was $1.

The conversion rate was decent enough after only a couple of days of actively driving traffic, but after some tips from the account manager, the bid was raised to $1.8 in order to keep up with the competition.

Remember that as you raise the bid rate, your ads are automatically pushed to the front of the queue, shifting the rotation.

They’ll get shown more often and in higher performing ad positions.

As a result, your ads will be the first ones that the user sees, so they won’t be subject to banner blindness or frequency fatigue.

The user is then generally more receptive to what they are being shown, and the ad will typically have a higher conversion rate.

Stage 2 (Placement blacklist)

A major factor that’s often overlooked by new affiliates is the setup of blacklists placements.

Here’s where your tracker comes in handy.

It allows you to easily cut off unnecessary traffic and exclude baddies, such as well-known isp-filled bots (Amazon, etc.) along with 90% of the low performing traffic that we absolutely do not need for our campaigns.

Think small websites that on their own can eat up to $1 of your budget maximum, but since there are so many of them, you can soon get overwhelmed.

If you really want to test these sites you can, say for instance, if their content is highly relevant to your offer but otherwise it’s best to leave well alone and cut them off at the start – or at the optimization stage, as the advertiser did for this campaign.

Mobile device targeting for all OS was left on and further optimization was later carried out by blocking ads for users that have Android version 5 or earlier installed.


Well, because, according to statistical data, earlier Android versions are known to have stability issues, and it’s difficult to say whether or not your lander will open on those users’ phones.

Post Optimization

So how well can you expect your campaign to perform after you’ve made all your tweaks and it’s purring like a finely tuned Lambo?

Well, the truth is this depends on a number of factors.

But, as time goes on, as you gather more data on which verticals and offers perform best with individual traffic sources and ad formats, you’ll grow in confidence and earnings.

Check out the Adsterra blog for real-world case studies with mouth-watering ROIs that will give you a taste of what’s achievable.

Let’s take a look at the results of the ad campaign we’ve been following up to now:

Traffic: Popunder by (UTM)

Offer: Mainstream Sweepstake

Period: 27.08.2019 – 08.09.2019

GEO: Australia (AU)

Spent: $649.8

Revenue: $998.4

Profit: $348.6

ROI: 54%

And here’s the raw data from the stats screen:

So with minimal testing and optimization, and a test budget of just $650, this campaign made a net income of $998.4 for a total profit of $348.6.

Not too shabby!

Could you optimize this campaign further for even better results?


The point is that Adsterra came through as a profitable traffic source for this sweepstake offer and resulted in a positive profit margin which can only be a good thing.

Finally, sweeps are a fairly simple type of offer.

However, they suffer from the drawback that they can become obsolete way too quickly.

Users quickly lose interest, and so the campaign has to be stopped soon after it was launched.

This makes scaling hard.

Also, don’t forget to think carefully about your pre-landers!

Tip: Think carefully about taking complex cc-submit offers, as you probably won’t be able to overtake your competitors and the campaign could slip into negative ROI. Which is bad!

Good luck!

Offers, Verticals & Ad Formats

As you’ve seen sweepstakes are a sure-fire winner on Adsterra.

But you might also wanna try offers from some of the verticals listed below:

  • Sweepstakes
  • Gaming
  • App Installs
  • Dating
  • Software
  • Binary
  • Addons
  • Antivirus
  • Utility
  •  Gambling

Check out the top-performing offers you can run.

Along with Popunder ads, Adsterra also supports:

  • Web Push
  • Native Ads
  • Social Bar
  • Banners (Display)
  • Vast (Video)

Tip: Try out different ad formats for your campaigns to see which perform best for your offers.

Funding Your Account

The minimum deposit value for Adsterra is $100.

Accepted payment methods include Paxum, WebMoney, Bitcoin, Yandex Money, and Qiwi.

You can also make a payment on request by Visa, Capitalist, and wire transfer.

You’ll be able to see your payment history and upload any required documents from this page.

Want a Promo Code to help get you started?

Use XENZX57S in the payment promo code section for a $50 bonus on your balance.

You will get $50 after you have $150 on your balance.

Hurry up! This promo code is available until July 1, 2020.


The support you get from Adsterra is pretty awesome.

Not only will they help you tweak your campaigns but they’ll also be able to give you some inside knowledge that will make you profitable from the start.

The support network includes:

  • Live chat
  • Skype
  • Email
  • Web Chat (8am – 5pm GMT)
  • Extensive help files and guides

Whether you’re new and just starting out or need help with managing larger volumes, Adsterra are an awesome team to have at your disposal.

Adsterra Verdict

Adsterra is a great place to start for new affiliate marketers, and the emphasis on affiliate offers and high converting traffic is a winning formula.

Could they be better?

As with all ad networks, the quality of the publishers is essential to turning a profit.

After all, who wants to work with sites that have low traffic volume and an audience that doesn’t resonate with your offers.

That said, Adsterra does a great job of maintaining good quality publishers, but some smaller sites could result in less volume and conversions from some GEOs.


  • CPC rates from $0.001;
  • CPM rates from $0.25;
  • Good choice of ad formats;
  • Can run offers with non-mainstream traffic;
  • Great targeting options;
  • Plenty of funding sources;
  • Worldwide coverage.


  • Some payment methods need documentary confirmation;
  • No demographic targeting yet.

Final Thoughts

Adsterra is a fantastic network for marketers who are focused on affiliate offers.

They know the space well and have years of experience in making these types of offers a success.

The SSP is easy to use, and there’s more than adequate support available if you need it.

Plus, with a low minimum deposit (and a $50 boost on your account if you use our activation code) there’s a very low barrier to entry, even for new affiliates.

So what are you waiting for?

Click the link below to start testing your own campaigns today, and turn your money into sweet cash right away!


Quick Tip I Want To Share

Two weeks ago I started working on Highly, an analytics tool for bloggers that allows them to see what users are highlighting and copy/pasting on their posts.

Everyone keeps an idea journal. Whether it’s on a physical notebook, or the notes section of your phone, or as text messages to yourself, most Indie Hackers probably have a million ideas that they write down somewhere (or not) but rarely do anything about them. And that is GOOD!

Turning an idea into something serious takes real work and time commitment and you can’t spread yourself too thin and pursue every idea that pops into your head.

However, here is something you can do for EVERY idea you get. In fact, you should turn it into a habit. It is not time-consuming and can be very revealing.

Here it goes: MAKE SURVEYS. Make surveys your best friends!

Whenever I get an idea, I open up Typeform, create a survey, and start sending it out to the relevant Subreddits and Facebook groups. And guess what? People like to help.


“Hello, I am currently building a/n X to help Y and would love your input. Please take 30 seconds to fill out this short survey. Fill free to skip any question and thank you in advance! “

For the survey itself, make sure to ask the following:

▪	Find out some characteristics of the people answering the survey.

▪	Ask them to rate their interest (1-10) on some features you have in mind.

▪	ALWAYS, leave a question for people to give comments.

You will find that you will quickly :

▪	Discard ideas (which feels great! You could have just saved yourself months of work that goes nowhere)

▪	Get new ideas. In which case: Make new surveys.

I literally sent out dozens of surveys over the years because I made it a habit.

It was a survey which made me decide to pursue Highly with full force, after receiving the most overwhelmingly positive and high number of responses ever.

After making a quick survey and sending it out, as usual, my Reddit / FB began to explode with UpVotes and likes. I got over 100 responses in 2 days and the sentiment was so positive, we went for it.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you had a chance to try Highly yourself, when we launch next month. I would love all the feedback I can get.