I am doing affiliate marketing since 2012, and I have shifted my life from being a middle-class poor guy to a world-class traveller.
This one industry has given me so much that I cannot thank enough.
Back in those days (2012-2014), I was doing affiliate marketing with SEO tools, hosting, Plugins etc. but soon I was introduced with the CPA industry.
So I made my mind to fly to Bangkok, Thailand to attend Affiliate Word Asia in 2015.
There I met Ricky Ahuja for the first time in person (we were already connected on social media since a long time).
Such a different style, different confidence level and always willing to share his best strategies to help you make money in CPA industry.
So I interviewed him at BloggingCage.
He has always some amazing tips to share with you which can take your business to next level. So rather than doing to a private conversation, we decided that we are going to publish one more interview with him at BloggingCage where he is going to give some real tips to new affiliate marketers.
This interview will give you tips from his 19+ years experience in the industry and teach you how can you implement those tips in your life to achieve big results.
Without any further ado, let's start the question answers fire session.
#1. I still remember the day when we met first time during AWA 2015 in Bangkok. How the things have been changed so far?
Oh wow – so much has changed since then, where do I start? Have spearheaded the merger of Affiliate Crossing (a leading mainstream network) with Nutryst (a leading Nutra network) into a leading brand: AC Nutryst.
Also working with Gotham Club to build a leading “adult” network and Offer Island – an all exclusive straight sale health products. Not to mention the investment/JV arm of Focus Squared.
#2. How this all started back in those golden days and what was your big success to move forward?
This all started in 1998 kind of by mistake. I used to own an internet cafe in Chicago and one of my regular customers who own a stock trading firm was complaining how a local SEO firm had done shit for them and they paid in excess of $100K to get that done.
Not having a clue what SEO was – I said, pay me half and I will guarantee top page rankings in less than 4 months. The next day he wrote me a check for 50K and I posted a project on Elance. Found a firm in Jaipur (who still does work for me 20 years later) who did it for $2000. So a $48K net profit – for 4 months work.
Not a bad ROI.
#3. Online marketing is all about experiments where your best creatives might give you poor ROI where the ugliest one can do 1000% ROI. What according to you is making people click on ugly ads, as compared to the professional ones?
It is not so much about the ugliest or the best as that is quite subjective. It is all about getting attention at the right time and being able to replicate that over and over again until you are able to scale effectively.
Remember – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
#4. In 2015 (when we met), you had a network AffiliateCrossing, which was focused on mainstream ads. But recently you acquired Nutryst from John Cresteni. How this all started, what made you buy that network, what were the challenges and how are the things right now?
Great memory – however, Affiliate Crossing was a mainstream network and Nutryst was a Nutra network. The operational savvy of AC mixed with the reputation and biz dev awesomeness of Nutryst just made sense so I had to pull the trigger.
Haven’t looked back since. However – in 2015 I was heading the buildout of Click Syndicate which has since been replaced with Gotham Offers which has some of the highest paying campaigns in the industry.
#5. If someone is looking forward to buy some online properties, what are the things anyone must keep in mind while buying such properties?
Funny you should ask that, I actually wrote an article for Feed Front Magazine covering this question specifically and that can be found here: http://feedfront.com/archives/article0010245
#6. Trends are changing after every 2 years. What verticals according to you are going to work in 2018, and which traffic sources are going to dominate in 2018?
I think there is a niche for everyone out there and a lot of money to be made. However, the ones I am hearing the most buzz about right now are CBD and Crypto/BlockChain/BitCoin. All are in the infancy stage right now and ripe for the picking.
The problem arises however when the scammers and fly by night types come into it to make a quick buck and mess it up for everyone else. If something seems too good to be true – it usually is. As far as traffic type – Facebook and Native continue to be huge but 2018 you will see the video play an integral part in this paradigm.
I actually wrote an article on this and can be found here (cheap plug I know):
#7. I have seen you attending many conferences worldwide. What according to you is the main reason to attend such conferences and why everyone should add this activity in their business growth list?
Oh my god – this is one of THE most important facets of developing a brand and putting yourself out there. This industry is all about networking and relationship building. Some of my biggest clients and even friends have been from attending these shows.
Even with you – this is really where we started discussing scaling and doing bigger numbers.
#8. What benefits do you get working as an affiliate manager, and what is the one thing you love the most working as an affiliate manager?
I love people and being able to help them – be it in life or be it in online marketing. Being able to figure out their touchpoints, their motivations, their hardships and then being able to offer a solution for that is quite rewarding.
As with all sales oriented positions – you learn early on never to prequalify people based on their English, grammar or talking style. Your next super affiliate may be a totally unassuming young whipper snapper.
#9. Recruiting good affiliates is always a challenge. What strategies do you personally use to find best of the bests?
Yes, this is a great point and indeed a challenge. My strategy has been a passive one in nature. These super affiliates will work with me because they like and trust me – not because my offer is paying $1 higher on an offer. I always try to go above and beyond the call of duty and do right by everyone.
For me, “It’s not about making a buck, but making a difference.”
#10. What separates a normal affiliate and a super affiliate? What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their affiliate career?
The difference between a super affiliate and an average one is the hustle and the WANT and nothing more. The “super affiliate” just wants it that much more. They eat and sleep data, testing, retesting until they reach a point of being able to scale at a comfortable ROI.
The simplest advice I can give to anyone starting out – there are no shortcuts in becoming a super affiliate. It is time-consuming and hard work – but once you find that magic formula – there is nothing like it.
#11. Fear of failure is something which kills many dreams every single day. What are your thoughts on this and what suggestion would you love to give to new affiliates?
Failure is a part of life and if anyone tells you they have never failed at anything – well they are lying. I have failed in many ventures and will fail again – the successful are those that are able to learn from their mistakes and failures and use that as a launching pad for their next attempt at greatness.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
#12. Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
I will still be doing this because this is what I love. Again – “It is not about making a buck, it is about making a difference.”
#13. What one suggestion would you like to give to my blog readers to get best out of 2018?
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Salespeople, entrepreneurs and all successful people know that, in order to increase your wins, you've also got to increase your losses.
While it's ideal to be closely surrounded by positive, supportive people who want you to succeed, it's also necessary to have your critics. Novices have a preference for the positive feedback, but experts want negative feedback so that they can make progress.
And the more successful you become, the more criticism you'll face.
Without it, you'd never sharpen your skills or develop a tough skin.