Ian Fernando is an affiliate marketer, blogger, entrepreneur, speaker and traveller. His blog IanFernando.com reflects who Ian Fernando is as a person. He talks there about online marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, gives advice to online entrepreneur and different aspects of his life. Now he is running a handful of businesses, products and services of his own. Ian enjoys the benefits of being his own boss and traveling the world!
Ian answered my questions despite being busy with AffiliateWorld Conference in Asia and other stuff. So I am very happy that he could devote some time for this interview. I hope many of you feel inspired to start your own affiliate campaigns after reading the post.
1. Please give our readers a brief history of your past and how you started making money online.
I have started in online marketing back in 2005, just trying to get rid of 2 out of 3 jobs I had that time. The goal was to have just 1 job and have a regular 9-5. I then realized that I can probably knock out the other job if I try even harder. I did.
I started with eBay which grew to a great business. I had vendors wanting to order in bulk of items I bought at flea markets. Problem: I couldn’t handle the customer support in the right way. Ok no problem, I slowed that business down and started an info product business, again the problem is customer support. At this time I still had 2 jobs and didn’t have the time to dedicate to customers, I had to find a way to make money online with out brands, customers, owning a product – I found affiliate marketing.
2. You are a well-known blogger, an affiliate marketer and an entrepreneur. What do you do now? What projects are you running?
Currently I have some investments in other online properties, I also own my own products, I am starting a SaaS company, and the last 2 are my web hosting and outsource services. I am doing a lot of a lot I guess you can say.
3. What affiliate models do you use to drive traffic? Do you have an experience working with CPA networks? What networks work the best for you?
I use the top 2 engines, Google and Facebook. I started on the big G and continue to work with the big G still. I do not do much Facebook but I have worked with it. I am now exploring some other new sources of traffic that is becoming a huge trend and that is native ads.
It would be interesting to see how native ads are similar or different compared to Google.
I do CPA marketing, but since I have my own products I run traffic to them internally. I do not work with networks currently, in the past I usually try to go direct as possible and work with the advertiser to form a partnership.
4. How to select the right affiliate offer among many of them and make it profitable?
You can’t each offer reacts differently to each traffic or your current traffic. I’ve tested/rotated offers on the same traffic where one was doing great ROI but the other had slightly lower. You can’t just choose the right offer, you have to test.
But the niches are all base on what you want to do. I usually do high competitive evergreen niches.
Making it profitable is base on the marketing you are applying. Are you testing the traffic? testing demos? testing color pages? testing landing page styles? etc. Making it profitable is all base on your testing skills.
5. What was the biggest challenge you have ever faced as an affiliate marketer?
The ever changing in the industry and the evolution of it. The industry changes a lot. Traffic rules, Traffic algorithms, New traffic keeps coming up to test. FTC updates on how to properly advertise. Change is always happening and trying to keep up can be the most tiring part of the the online industry as it is still young. As it is being curated every year, every month, every day – we just have to adjust and evolve with it.
6. What niches do you work with at the moment? What niche generates the most earnings?
Any evergreen niches – health, wealth, sex (dating, pickup, etc).
7. What sources (blogs, forums, magazines, etc.) do you read every day to get knowledge about affiliate marketing?
8. Do you think social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) has any advantages for online marketers?
Yes. When you want to grow a brand these items are crucial. They represent social proof of your business and what you are selling online.
9. What advice can you give to a newbie in the affiliate marketing?
Make mistakes, take risks and always see everything you do in a positive mind. Perspective is all about your thoughts. If you don’t think in negative views then life becomes easy. Marketing takes a lot of creativity, so always be inspired. View faults as positive vibes. Making mistakes is the only way to gain experiences to be a boss!
10. What do you love to do in your free time? Does it help you to rest from work?
I like to cook, travel, and stay fit. These are my peace zones I say. Keeps me sane from all the work I am doing.