Roundtable discussion on affiliate marketing, SEO, tools of the trade and business strategies.
I make and drink tea while playing with Google at scale
Owner/CEO of Ukrainian company Zeeks. I’m an SEO (10 years) and Casino Affiliate (5 years)
Affiliate marketer since 1997 and Co-CEO of the Affiliate Summit conference since 2003
CoCEO of LCB Network
Head of Affiliates at Wishmaker.com. Responsible of everything that involves our affiliate marketing
Head of Account Services at Reach Creator – Link Building
What tools of the trade are you using for your work?
Garrett: Slack/Teams, Trello, Pen & Paper, AHREFs, and our own made-in-house tools!
Sami: Evernote, Slack, Skype, Emails, Similarweb, Netrefer BO
Nik: moz, ahrefs, nifty stats, g analytics etc
Shawn: Primarily Slack and WhatsApp to communicate, since we are spread around the US and Europe. Also, Google Drive to share files and WordPress on some of our sites.
Roman: Notebook+Pen for short terms to-dos.
For SEO: Ahrefs, Majestic, SemRush, Search Console and Google Analytics
For design: Photoshop + Illustrator
For reports and magic with numbers: Google Spreadsheets
Google Drive for the Docs
For communication: Skype, Telegram, Slack
Jason: Tea Pot, Tea Mug, Tea Bags, Fresh Milk, Biscuits (McVities Caramels Milk Chocolate covered digestives), 1Gbit fibre optic Internet connection, 1,850 servers, Millions of GPU cores, Thousands of CPU cores, God knows how much memory
Code… lots of code.
More tea, Ibuprofen, Dell XPS 13, More tea
Let’s say you had to start a business from scratch and do it without a bankroll to rely on. What would your strategy be to earn $1 million profit or in equity just using your skills and experience?
Garrett: I’d figure out the one thing I’m most passionate about in life, throw all the rules out the window and start building a business. I think people get caught up in building a business simply for money.
Sami: Team up with the right kind of people where we can maximize the potential from each others different skills. I would also make sure that these are nice guys as I would spend a lot of time with them going forward. Once we have the right team in place, we would thereafter decide on which industry, market and niche to target.
Nik: Tough one. I think it would definitely be something interactive and engaging, like video streaming.
Shawn: I’d start by helping everybody I could in the industry, whether it be through Quora, in-person meetings, interviews, etc. Earning industry equity as a resource is incredibly valuable, especially when you’re not looking for something in return.
Then I would focus on creating an event that wasn’t built for maxing x amount of dollars but rather intended to provide great value to the attendees. The intent would be slow and steady organic growth due to making attendees/customers very happy because of the ROI they were receiving.
Instead of looking for the quickest path to profitability, I’d listen to all of the good and bad feedback and act on it to create something people want, instead of what I think they want.
Roman: I already did it this way, so easy.
Step 1: Do the keyword research, create a semantic core & perfect site structure.
Step 2: Then create design site using Photoshop and Illustrator.
Step 3: Find cheap writer to create content.
Step 4: Develop website (I’m not into coding that much, so you should find developer, if you dont have money, find the one to pay him later).
Step 5: Set up website with content and open it for Google.
Step 6: Start building all different kind of links.
Once you start getting first traffic and money, reinvest it in business, and buy better links or create better link assets to get more quality links. And repeat all over again. Then try to widen your keyword range + get better results for those that brings you money (you have to analyze everything to know exactly what works better for you). Then hire people to do the job, and think of creating or boosting your website into another level.
Network more to meet interesting and smart people , ask many questions, learn new stuff.
Ask yourself once in while “Are the thing I’m doing right now getting me closer to a $1 million mark”, if yes – continue, whatever you do. If not, sit and think of what else can you do to work more efficiently or maybe you just need to change your strategy. Because it’s never too late to change everything 🙂
Jason: No bankroll and no assets to use other than my brain?
I’m buggered with no servers…. so that would be my business strategy too!
What books are you reading?
Garrett: I’m currently reading Giftology (for the business world) and Gnosticism (for understanding)
Sami: Some of the books that I read and like are Talent is overrated by Geoff Colvin, The four by Scott Galloway, Leading with Alex Ferguson, Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance and Straight Flush by Ben Mezrich. I think this sample summarizes pretty well what kind of books I read.
Nik: Dont read much. When i do its mostly astrophysics for dummies.
Shawn: I am a big soccer fan and the business of soccer is very interesting to me. I am currently reading “I Believe That We Will Win: The Path to a US Men’s World Cup Victory” by Phil West.
Roman: Mostly professional literature. Last books I read Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, really liked it as it motivated me dream big )
Jason: Fast Talking Dolphin – Carson Davidson
What is your advice for new entrepreneurs wanting to get into affiliate marketing?
Garrett: You have to be willing to put in the work. “Getting Rich” online takes just as much hard work as working construction or any other job (well we’re not physically working hard here but you know what i mean). All too often people think it is going to be quick and easy – IT IS NOTt.
Sami: Do your homework properly and learn from other experienced people from the field before you begin.
Nik: You got to find a new angle or significantly improve what’s already being done.
Don’t try to be a new big guy by copying that big guy. Learn from them but don’t do the same as you cant compete with them on the same level.
Shawn: The biggest key is to be patient. Affiliate marketing is not a means to get rich quick – most people get rich slow or never with affiliate marketing.
You can achieve big wins in affiliate marketing by throwing a lot of money at paid search, but that’s also a way to achieve huge losses if you don’t know what you are doing.
Also, persistence is vitally important. Many people don’t fail in affiliate marketing. Rather they give up before they succeed. Keep on trying and testing until you figure out what works for you.
Roman: Learn a lot, especially from those who already went through the same path.
Jason: JFDI – I’ve been doing this forever and only just starting to learn that imperfect action is better than imperfect inaction.
Good enough, is exactly that!
Red or Blue?