Interview with Meredith Jenners, CEO at Merit Digital LLC

Meredith’s experience in the industry dates back to 2002, when she started media buying for a local South Florida advertising agency representing Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Capella University. More than 1 year ago, Meredith started her own company Merit Digital.

Utilizing over 15 years of online media buying experience, Merit Digital can offer expertise in CPA, CPC and CPM media buying for email marketing, display, native ads, social media, mobile marketing, co-registration, pay-per-call and incentive marketing.

I know Meredith and she has great knowledge of online marketing industry. She always cares about her clients. Don’t waste time and contact her if you need any marketing consultation.

1. Meredith, please tell my readers how you got your start in the online marketing world.

I started back in 2004 at a company called TheUseful, where I did all of the online media buying for their promotional offers. I managed both the CPM and CPA media buys until 2013.

2. What did lead you to a current position as an Owner of Merit Digital?

I realized after over 11 years in the online marketing industry that I could start my own media company. I really like working directly with advertisers to help them optimize their campaigns, landing pages and media buys to find the right consumer.

3. Is it difficult to build your own trusted brand and engage affiliates and advertisers to your network?

I have so many close friends in the affiliate world that have helped me out. Through those relationships, that I spent the last 11 years creating, I have received some great referrals which has lead Merit Digital to the success it is today.

4. As I know, you work only with publishers who have email traffic. Where did you get all their contact? How did you engage them to work with you? Because Merit Digital is still a new company, it’s only 1 year on the market.

I actually work with email, mobile, display and social publishers. My past experience and through several trade shows and referrals is how I have cultivated my relationships.

5. Why do you use mostly email traffic? Do you think it still works as good as it was before?

Email is still a very effective medium for advertisers because of its targeting and relevancy.

6. What do you think makes a great affiliate network?

I do not consider Merit Digital an affiliate network. We are more of a media company, working directly with advertisers, consulting them on their business and buying media on their behalf. That being said, I think honesty, trust and paying on time are vital to the survival of any company. I have found that many advertisers work with me because I am transparent with them on traffic sources and I give them my honest opinion about each one. I also make sure that I pay all of my publishers on time, which is rare in today’s current marketplace.

7. Your business takes a lot of your time at the moment. Do you have free time? How do you spend it?

Merit Digital takes up a lot of my time, however I also write fiction novels in my spare time. It started as a hobby but has become a real passion for me. network

Vili Väre – Affiliate Marketing Guru at

Vili Väre has been an affiliate marketer since 2008, he was just 16 years old. Now his name is a well-known in the Affiliate marketing industry in Finland. His special skills are SEM and SEO. As an Affiliate, he has worked in the financial, retail and travel verticals with content sites and paid search engine marketing. And recently he founded his own network – Read the interview and find out more about Vili.

1. Vili, please tell us about your background. What was your first experience of making money online?

I am a self-taught professional affiliate. I have been an affiliate publisher since 2008. I have also worked for 4,5 years for Vili Vare - the owner of the of the leading affiliate networks in Europe.

My first experience of making money from online business was when I got my first cheque from Google AdSense. A bit later, I was with my family on vacation in Crete, Greece. There, I came up with the idea of making a travel guide website for Crete. I also created a last-minute travel search engine, which ranked well in Google and was profitable.

2. What businesses are you running at the moment? As I know, you were planning to  launch your own affiliate network in January 2016. Could you tell us more about this project?

During the last two years, I have worked for my good friend’s digital business consultancy, Omni Partners. I help our clients increase sales using affiliate and search engine marketing. In addition, I have kept myself busy with my affiliate publisher activities and my own affiliate network project.

Creating my own affiliate network has been my long-standing dream, so launching is really a dream come true. Our main verticals are finance, retail/shopping and travel. We will first launch in Finland in January, and a bit later in the rest of Europe.

3. You were an Affiliate Manager at TradeTracker network as far as I know. What are your secrets of managing affiliate programs for top brands around the world?

TradeTracker was a good school for me to learn more about the affiliate industry. It was great to follow the network’s journey as it grew to be the market leader in Finland.

The most important thing is to understand the advertiser’s business and goals. The secret of my success is probably the fact that I have also acted as a publisher, and I personally know many other publishers very well.

4. What offers did you promote as a publisher? What are the great areas (niches) for affiliate marketers to make money nowadays?

I’ve mainly been a SEM publisher. I have bought traffic from Google to my websites or directly to the advertisers’ website. I have a lot of travel-related websites, but my most profitable ones have been those related to payday loans. Currently, casino affiliate programs seem to be popular.

5. What do you think makes a great affiliate program (rates, network, managers)?

Here are my best pieces of advice for affiliate programs and affiliate program managers:

– Be active and try to build good relationships with your publishers

– Commissions and landing page’s conversion rate need to be competitive

– Plan and write your program’s rules clearly and accurately

– Be honest: don’t try to cheat or mislead publishers

6. What online marketing tools do you use to grow your business?

I don’t use a lot of tools as affiliate publisher. Among the most important ones have been Google Search Console, Analytics and SEMrush. One of my favorite tools worth mentioning is, which I use for example for ad placement.

7. How do you see the future of the affiliate industry?

Mobile has grown and will keep on growing enormously, so it will definitely create new opportunities for marketers, publishers and advertisers alike. In the future, the affiliate market will surely continue to grow and expand, particularly in Asia.

8. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

It is difficult to distinguish between work and leisure time, because my best friends all work in the industry. In the summer, I try to find time to play golf 3–4 times a week.

Interview with Marketing Expert – Alexander Tsatkin, The Angry Russian

Alexander Tsatkin has over 10 years of experience in performance marketing from all sides of the industry, starting from Market Research Analyst, SEO expert, affiliate, advertiser, CEO, and now, as an Investor and Co-Founder of Leadtopia.

Alexander Tsatkin is intelligent, sensible, stubborn, and has a desire to help others. He is always ready to move forward as well as investing 100% of his energy towards any project he is working on.

When I asked him to answer several questions about affiliate marketing, he gladly accepted. I’m happy to post his interview on my blog. Please continue reading, and you will dip into the fascinating history of his life.

1. I know you as an affiliate marketing expert, and I’m sure many people know about your business success. I would like you to share the full story of your career growth with my readers. Please tell us about your industry background. Also, why are you referred to as “The Angry Russian”?

I started in marketing as a Market Research Analyst for a large multi national company. While there, I realized that the internet would let you track behavior like never before. I switched to digital marketing and moved to San Francisco as an SEO expert. In SF I discovered affiliate marketing and left full time employment to try and make it as an entrepreneur.  Through networking and Tracking202 Meetups I was introduced to paid traffic. Once I got the hang of the business I started to travel and live the typical affiliate lifestyle. I met many otAlexander Tsatkin, The Angry Russian. her affiliates including Mr Green who came up with the nickname Angry Russian when I asked to guest blog on his site. After a few years there was something missing. I wanted to build something tangible instead of simply doing arbitrage. Smart phones were just starting to explode and I knew there had to be away to make money from their adoption using affiliate marketing. I build Mobaff with a simple goal of cracking mobile for affiliates. We built training, tracking, and affiliate network from this work. We were acquired in 2013 by Matomy Media group. Since then I’ve worked on a few projects.

2. Why did you decide to quit your job and become an affiliate marketer? Why didn’t you combine the 2 jobs in order for you to earn more money?

I’m just a stubborn person who doesn’t like to be told what to do, so working for someone else never suited me. I was always looking for a way to make a living without having to answer to someone else. Affiliate marketing was something I discovered that allowed me to do that, so it was a clear choice.

3. Your affiliate network, MobAff, was acquired by Matomy Media Group in 2013. Is there any reason why you decided to sell it? Did you have assumptions that all your employees could be fired, including you?

I decided to sell because I wanted to go through the process of an acquisition. Through selling I learned a lot about my business and what others look for when buying. Most of my employees, myself included, were affiliates at one point so the fear of losing a job didn’t worry us.

4. When you received the offer from Matomy, what was your first reaction or thought? Why did they choose your company among other mobile trackers?

I was actively trying to sell the company. At the time I had big ambitions and believed being part of a larger entity would allow me to carve out a larger position in the market. The selling process is not as simple as receiving an offer. There are many steps involved from term sheets, letter of intent, due diligence, negotiations, contract reviews, etc. When I received the final contract signed and payment I was simply relieved that a six month arduous process was over. At the time there were not as many mobile focused performance companies so I think Matomy wanted to really push hard into mobile and this was part of their strategy.

5. Now that you do not work at MobAff anymore. Do you still monitor its development on a regular basis? Do they still ask for your expert advice?

No. Once the acquisition happened we worked to integrate into Matomy. Once that process was complete there wasn’t much left for me to do.

6. If you had a chance to repeat your business path, would you have changed something? 

I try not to live in the world of “what if” as the only true choice we have is in the present. At the time I made the best choice with all the information I had.

7. What motivates you to create new businesses, to invest in different companies, and to grow personally?

I’m a student of life who enjoys new challenges and frontiers.

 Alexander Tsatkin, The Angry Russian

8. To my knowledge, you have invested in 2 companies: AdWill and HyperTarget Marketing. Why did you choose them and what influenced your decision?

Adwill had a very interesting challenge in trying to use machine learning to automate media buying in the mobile RTB space. HyperTarget Marketing was one of the early Pay Per Call networks and it was clear that there was room to grow.

9. Can you please tell us about your current company – Leadtopia? What is the main purpose of creating it? Leadtopia is currently 10 months old, what success have you achieved through it? Have you been able to get enough clients?

I started Leadtopia with my business partner when we decided to get into solar lead generation. We had to learn how lead generation worked including the technical side, the demand and supply, and marketing. Our biggest achievement was to figure out how to drive volume without hurting quality of the leads. Another accomplishment was closing the biggest buyer and solar installer in the US.

10. You’ve been on both sides of affiliate marketing: as an affiliate, and as an affiliate manager. How should they be combined in order to achieve a huge profit? Do you have any success story to share with my readers?

The key to being a good affiliate manager is to understand what kind of affiliate you’re working with. There are the beginners who need more hands on and the more advanced affiliates who know what they want. In both cases listen to your affiliates and their needs and push them offers accordingly. Over time you will develop loyal affiliates as long as they feel like you’re in their corner instead of just another AM pushing whatever the latest fad is. I’ve always invested in my affiliate base at MobAff and there was nothing more gratifying then seeing affiliates grow their business over time. My favorite thing to hear was “thanks to you I quit my job”.

Alexander Tsatkin, The Angry Russian.

Schaaf-PartnerCentric provides premium affiliate management services to retail

Morgan Simon – Marketing and Business Development Manager at Schaaf-PartnerCentric

Morgan Simon manages SPC’s digital, content, social and event strategies.

Prior to working at Schaaf-PartnerCentric, Morgan was the Marketing and Business Development Manager at UnsubCentral, a PostUp Company. She got her start in affiliate marketing working at HasOffers by, where she focused on researching, prospecting, engaging and onboarding new accounts. Morgan loves the performance marketing industry. If you want to know how to help clients launch, manage and grow their affiliate programs, read her interview.  I know that Schaaf-PartnerCentric is one of the providers of the highest level of service for affiliate program management. If you need help from the most experienced team of affiliate program managers, you will definitely find them in Schaaf-PartnerCentric.

1. How was Schaaf-PartneCentric founded? What was the purpose?

Schaaf-PartnerCentric was founded as Schaaf Consulting in 2006 by Brook and Forrest Schaaf. Brook was well-known as affiliate program manager for and He grew one of the programs from $25,000 to more than $1,000,000 in monthly sales in fewer than two years. Schaaf Consulting built a strong reputation on its ability to drive success for clients while using best practices to reach attainable goals and provide sustainable growth for the affiliate channel. 10 years later, after acquiring both PartnerCentric, Inc and Paulson Management Group, Schaaf-PartnerCentric is now home to the largest and most experienced team of affiliate program managers in the industry.

2. How many people does work at the company right now? Your team consists mainly of affiliate managers. What are the crucial traits you pay attention to when selecting future team members?

Schaaf-PartnerCentric currently has over 30 awesome, full-time employees. When selecting future team members there are quite a few things we consider. Experience in the affiliate industry is something we consider highly valuable, our Affiliate Program Managers have an average of 10 years in the industry. We also look for individuals who are motivated and passionate about the affiliate industry and going above and beyond expectations to help our client’s affiliate program’s thrive.

3. How the average manager can apply to jobs you have? What should be done to work for Schaaf (experience, education, contacts, etc.)?

Our current openings are listed on our careers page along with qualification requirements –

4. Please name 5 tips how to manage the affiliate program properly and maximize its revenue by several times.

Here are a few tips we wrote to help maximize affiliate program management in Q4: We really take the time to get to know all of our clients businesses and goals and then maximize their affiliate program around their specific needs.

5. It’s interesting to find out more about a brand ambassador program. How does this work? Do you have your own brand ambassador team?

We do not have a brand ambassador program at this time, though we are lucky in that all of our employees tend to be very knowledgable and passionate about affiliate marketing – making them great unofficial ambassadors.

6. What was the most formidable task you have ever had with your clients? What was the company name? How did you solve it?

We’ve been fortunate enough to work with many different types of clients solving many problems and growing several affiliate programs; you can see examples of a few of these on our case studies page:

7. Why do you think Schaaf-PartneCentric is successful in managing affiliate programs?

I think there are quite a few things that make us the best OPM. The first is simply our level of experience across all of our team members. To have an average of 10+ years of affiliate experience for program managers is almost unheard of; and it means our team is able to make educated recommendations for our clients based on years of experience. We also have multiple team members working on every account. Besides a dedicated Affiliate Program Manager, each of our client’s also has a Marketing Analyst who is constantly reporting on what is and isn’t working. We also have an Approval and Compliance Specialist who is constantly ensuring that our clients remain compliant and adhere to best practices.

8. Affiliate marketing has become more complex over the last few years. How have these changes affected the company?

The performance marketing landscape is constantly changing, and we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve when it comes to these changes.  From incorporating mobile to our strategies to launching an entire product (REACH) focused on engaging brand influencers, we constantly try to stay at the forefront of digital marketing trends.

9. Do you have company holiday parties? How do you and your team unwind after stressful weekdays?

We do have holiday parties! We had a great one with this past December in Austin, TX. Because so many members of our team are remote, we also sent each of them a bottle of champagne and video streamed the event so our entire team could cheers to a great year together. Each of our team members have different ways to unwind after busy weekdays, for me nothing beats a walk with my husband and dog around our neighborhood pond.

Stephanie Robbins

Affiliate Program Manager and Founder of Robbins Interactive – Stephanie Robbins

Stephanie Robbins is a prosperous Affiliate Manager with many years of online marketing experience. She is passionate about helping people to create a flexible lifestyle and she always creates win-win-win situations. Stephanie is a great specialist who helps brands incrementally grow revenue through affiliate management. She knows what she is doing. It was a pleasure to talk to her and to know more about her. I recommend everyone to invite Stephanie to join your team!

1. Stephanie, you have more than 20 years online marketing experience and 9 plus years in affiliate marketing industry. Why did you choose marketing? How did you start your affiliate manager career?

I went into marketing as a copywriter. I graduated from college with an English Literature degree. Originally, I wanted to be a lawyer. However, I changed my mind after one day of shadowing an actual lawyer. I had to look at my skill sets and passion….writing is what stood out. I quickly became passionate about marketing and the analytics that surrounded the field.

Affiliate marketing came into my life as an option for a client of mine, I had launched their ecommerce store. We were doing search engine marketing and email marketing. We needed more exposure. In my research, I came across affiliate marketing and fell in love immediately. It is such a great return on investment with long term relationships and a cost per acquisition format. After my first conference, Shareasale’s Think Tank, I became hooked. I loved the people and the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry.

2. What projects are you running now? How do you pick companies to work with?

Right now I work with, and in the health and wellness niche. I also work with content affiliates for Chegg, an online textbook and tutoring company.

I only work with companies I can authentically represent. I either have to use their products or would use them in the future. I find I am much better at what I do, if I love the product and services.

I also look for companies that complement each other. With 100% Pure, Grokker and Amoils, I can find an affiliate who wants to promote all three brands. This type of relationship gives me an opportunity to work with and educate the affiliate. Those relationships are the most profitable for me and the affiliate.

3. What niche markets do you work with? What are the most profitable?

I focus on the health and wellness niche with an emphasis on natural health. These are the most profitable because you are meeting an urgent need from your follower. The consumer has a great incentive to feel better. I believe health and wellness are profitable because they lend themselves to content niche affiliates along with the higher conversion rates.

4. What sales channels do your affiliates use drive high quality traffic?

My most successful affiliates use organic search engine optimization to drive highly targeted traffic to the affiliate site and as a result my brands. Many affiliates are successful with Facebook ads as well but the learning curve can be steep.

My blogger affiliates maximize their social media and email channels for success as well as monetizing their evergreen already optimized posts.

5. What marketing strategies do you use for developing social media for different affiliate programs?

My top affiliates utilize multiple social media channels to reach their goal. Facebook groups are popular with my affiliates as a way to reach the followers’ feed. Twitter is also a great tool. What all my affiliates have in common is a clear call to action and solid content with added value to point the follower to.

6. Please, advise how to build new affiliate program from scratch.

Starting an affiliate program from the ground up takes strategy, work and patience. The first step is making a plan how what you want your program to look like. What niches are you wanting to approach? What is your coupon strategy? What type of affiliates will not be allowed in the program.

The next part is outreach.  As an affiliate manager, the largest portion of my job is outreach. When I launch a program, the first thing I do is reach out to my existing relationships. Once the existing relationships are on board, I perform regular outreach to ensure the program is constantly growing.

7. How much should an affiliate get paid? I’m sure that you heard that question several times when launching an affiliate program from scratch.

Yes, I do get this one a lot. There are many levels to the answer. An affiliate
gets paid as much as the affiliate can generate. If an affiliate puts up one banner with minimal effort, the affiliate is not going to get paid much. However, if the affiliate creates unique content and markets that content, the sky is the limit. I have content affiliates who make between $4-$5,000 a month. However, it took time for these affiliates to develop their content and optimize their site. That is the good news and bad news about affiliate marketing….you get what you put in. And the best news is there are no limit.

8. You just returned from Affiliate Summit West. How was it? What interesting could you learn from there?

Affiliate Summit keeps getting better each year. This year, they introduced the Rev Share breakout. It is for CPA (versus CPC affiliates). I was able to represent both Grokker and at this event. It met great affiliates who were Stephanie Robbins in the Affiliate Summittruly interested in the program.
I also did my first Ask the Expert Roundtable about blogging tools. It is an informal setting where I had between 8-10 affiliates at a time engaging and asking questions about affiliate marketing for bloggers. I presented everyone with a handout on the top blogging tools for affiliate marketing. You can check out my handout here

9. Is it hard to keep up with trends in affiliate marketing?

Yes, affiliate marketing is constantly changing which certainly keeps me on my toes. Attending conference such as Affiliate Summit and Affiliate Management Days are great resources for staying on top of the industry. I also love reading Feedfront and industry blogs from such as, greghoffmanconsulting and I also keep up with online marketing trends on Internet Retailer, Forbes and Fast Company. I do a lot of reading ☺

10. Can you recall any funny story from your job?

The very first conference I went to was Shareasale’s Think Tank in Newport Beach. It was the first time I had ever left my babies overnight. It was also the nicest hotel I had ever stayed at. I was so nervous about making a good impression that I forgot to eat. As a result, I ended up fainting in the middle of the event. It was incredibly embarrassing and not how I imagined making a first impression. Now I always bring snacks. So if you see me at a conference, you can count on me for an extra energy bar.

11. Do you have a hobby? What do you do to take your mind off work?

As you can tell from my niche, I am passionate about health and wellness. I practice yoga and meditation regularly. I also have two small children that do a great job keeping my mind off work. We are an active family who love to kayak, hike, bike, backpack or really do anything outdoors.

Zac Johnson - a supper affiliate, blogger and entrepreneur

Affiliate Blogger Zac Johnson Has Proved that Blogging is a Great Way to Make Money Online

Zac Johnson is one of the well-known leaders in the blogging and internet marketing sphere. A self taught entrepreneur, Zac’s been making money online for nearly 20 years and has been fully involved in affiliate and online marketing.

Zac continues to focus on his blog where he provides readers with his experiences, ups and downs. Through his popular blogs, and, he has helped thousands of readers grow their brands and make money online.

Read Zac’s interview below and find out how to grow your own online brand because a blog can open many doorways to some great opportunities!

1. You are a self-taught entrepreneur and have been making money online for over 15 years. Tell us please about your first business experience and how it grew into earning money online.

It’s been a fun ride and roughly 20 years in the making. You can see some of my first affiliates checks and read up on my full story at my blog, but in short, it was all about a having a business and entrepreneur mindset from an early age. Fortunately the internet started to get big while I was in high school and it became my main focus. From there I just kept figuring out new ways to make money and found the most success with affiliate marketing, which I still focus on today.

2. Why did you decide to become affiliate manager instead of being just an affiliate?

Affiliate marketing is one of the best businesses in the world because you don’t need to hold any inventory, deal with customers or process orders. Instead you can build out web sites or high traffic ad campaigns and send users to sites where they can purchase something or complete a specific task. As an affiliate you are then paid for each specified task that takes place. This worked out especially well when I was still in high school, as I was only around 15 years old.

3. Why didn’t you set up your in-house affiliate program than advertised in Commission Junction, WebSponsors, ShareaSale, DirectLeads, FineClicks and others?

I actually did setup my own affiliate network, but I quickly shut it down because I realized I didn’t want to deal with affiliates, merchants, lead management and payment process. I was one of the first individuals to get setup with the DirectTrack system back in the day. Still glad with the decision I made to stick with my own brand and be a one-man operation.

4. You were a Speaker at Affiliate Summit. What was your topic there? Why is it important to take part at Affiliate Summit? Do you make a lot of contacts after every Affiliate Summit Conference?

Yes, I just got back from Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. It was another great event and probably my 15th+ time attending the event. I’ve been attending anZac Johnson on Affiliate Summitd speaking at them since they first started back in 2004 (some history of affiliate summit). I definitely recommend everyone try to attend Affiliate Summit or any type of marketing conference in their area, as it’s one of the best ways to grow your business, put your name out there and create some new opportunities for yourself.

5. You have a lot of experience in blogging that helped you to built up your “business name”. And in 2012 you released your first book on called “Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger“. Are you planning to write a book about affiliate marketing or making money online? I guess you already have some ideas or notes, actually your blogs are great sources to start writing a book.

The main focus now is on, which is a complete resource for helping others get started with a blog, brand and business online. Books are fun, but I personally don’t like to read that much, so I might come out with another… but it’s not a big thing on my list to accomplish. Through and I have over 4,000 written articles, resources and guides — that is where my information gets shared the most and actually helps people out. Books are more of a branding play.

6. What do you think the key features should affiliate managers know to set the bases for a successful affiliate strategy?

Affiliate managers need to build personal relationships and do better than the competition (support, pay, offers etc). Bottom line… it’s that easy and effective. Networks need to stop saying “best payouts, best offers”… because its way too overplayed.

7. What changes in online marketing, especially in affiliate marketing, do you observe over the years?

Every once in a while there is a wave of affiliate products or methods being used to get people to sign up for offers that is a bit shady. I like to stick with real offers, products and customers — this way you can stand the test of time. There are a lot of ways to make quick money, but if you want to make real money, find a legitimate business solution.

8. How do you see the future of affiliate marketing?

For the most part, it will remain the same. However, what will change is the way content and customers are delivered/acquired. For example… first it was all websites. Then social media. Now it’s all about mobile. Keep an eye on industry trends to see what is working, then apply it to your business.

9. Would you change something in your life if you have a chance? Maybe you would choose another direction in the business.

You learn from all of your mistakes, but an easy answer to this would be to have purchased a ton of domain names back in the 90s when I was first getting started. I’m sure I could have purchased numerous domains that would have sold for six to seven figures today.

10. What is your favourite activity you love do in your free time?

I love playing basketball. I get to play a few hours every other day in the mornings with a bunch of friends at the local gym. Another wonderful perk of working for yourself!

AM Dialogue congratulate with Merry Christmas!

A Very Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas brings family and friends together, it helps us appreciate the love in our lives. During this season of giving, let us take time to slow down and enjoy the simple things. May all of your wishes and dreams come true, and may you feel this happiness all year round.
Hope your Christmas is warm and sweet! I’m pretty sure, you’ve worked hard this year, so enjoy this time to relax and recover.

Merry Christmas!


Cristian Miculi – Senior Manager, Alliances, Avangate

Cristian Miculi – Expert for Affiliate and Online Marketing Services at Avangate

Cristian Miculi – Senior Manager, Alliances at Avangate. He has a strong background in project management, sales, marketing and professional attitude to everything. Cristian enjoys creating content geared to affiliate marketing and sharing best practices with the industry via webinars, events, blog posts, etc.

Cristian always opens for a new and exciting challenge. His newest one is the alliances role at Avangate Affiliate Network. He has a deep understanding of the affiliate marketing world, performance marketing and related technologies for tracking, promotion and monetization. And today you have the opportunity to get to know him better and learn how to deliver quality work being an Affiliate Manager.

1. Cristian, I know that you have worked in the publishing area for about 3 years. Please tell us about your experience you have got before Avangate.

Cristian Miculi - expert for affiliate services and online marketing services at AvangateIndeed, I got my first job while in college – I was working as an online editor at IDG Romania. Initially I thought I would keep that job just for the summer, but since I was also contributing to articles in the magazine I discovered that I liked creating content and so I stayed for almost 3 years there.

I went through all the stages – from online editor to hardware & software tests editor for PC World, online manager and in my final months – editor in chief. In parallel we also launched an online store for which I helped with product management.

These first 3 years helped me develop my skills on content creation, online marketing and driving relationships with customers and agencies.

2. How did you start your cooperation with Avangate? 

As I’m constantly looking for new challenges, Avangate seemed at that time in 2008 a normal step for me to grow professionally. I came onboard as a Communication Specialist, but in one year’s time I was handed the Avangate Affiliate Network with the specific goal of growing it. And I did so, working with both advertisers and affiliates: from approx. 2,000 affiliates we got to 35,000+ affiliates at the end of 2012, that were generating a consistent percentage of revenue for the company.

I then focused on the managed affiliate services side that I had started in parallel, signing and managing experienced outsourced partners to help with that.

My last professional step within the company was when I expanded my role into the newly created services team, covering both affiliate services, online marketing services and the alliances role.

Along all the operational and strategic bits and pieces, I have always enjoyed creating content geared to affiliate marketing and sharing best practices with the industry via webinars, events, blog posts, etc.

3. What are the main things you are currently working on as a Senior Manager of Alliances?

I’m currently focusing on growing the alliances ecosystem we have created at Avangate with technology, agency and integration partners. The goal would be that each of our customers to be able to get the pieces they need to grow their business by simply working with us and connecting with our specialized partners.

In the same time, I’m the subject matter expert for affiliate services and online marketing services.

4. How can affiliate managers motivate their affiliates?

This depends on many factors: vertical, niche, size of the company and what the company goals are, etc. Of course, money (bonuses) always work and something that motivates affiliates is getting credit for the subscription renewals of the customers they initially brought onboard – works best with weekly / monthly subscriptions.

Some affiliates are motivated by exclusivity – having something to promote that cannot be found anywhere else – whether it’s a product, a service, a special subscription type or a coupon. Works best for saturate markets.

All these should be offered based on the affiliates’ performance.

5. What are the main factors advertisers should consider when choosing affiliate networks?

I think the top one should be relevancy – whether a network has worked with similar advertisers. This way, there are greater chances of generating revenue via the specialized affiliates in that network.

Another important one would be the capabilities of that network – supporting the advertiser’s business model, tracking & attribution models, recruitment opportunities, communication tools, support, cross-promotion, add-on services, etc.

As an advertiser I would also look at what the network is offering to affiliates, since many of them may be reluctant in joining one’s program just because they’re on a network they don’t prefer. Payment options and frequency, network campaigns, special tools and support are just a few of the things that affiliates look at when working with a network.

6. Please share your secrets of a long-term cooperation with affiliates and getting them to deliver more quality traffic to offers?

Constant communication especially with the top performers, personal touch (meeting them at events), exclusive offers and supplying the affiliates the tools they need to successfully promote you.

7. How do you choose advertisers and affiliates with whom you want to work?

Here at Avangate, in the context of our network, we don’t actually exclude anyone that wants to work with us, advertiser or affiliate, as long as what we can offer meets their requirements. We also work on setting the correct expectations on their side regarding the affiliate channel.

8. Could you suggest some good resources for affiliate managers to learn from?

I would definitely recommend Geno Prussakov’s affiliate blog and his „Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” book.

Then, I think that every affiliate manager should attend at least once the Affiliate Summit and/or the Performance Marketing Insights events – there are very interesting educational sessions there plus some strong networking that can be done.

Also, depending on the company’s niche and existing affiliate program, one could check the major affiliate networks’ blogs.

9. What essential achievement as an affiliate manager can you be proud of?

When we started the managed affiliate services at Avangate, I was working hands-on on the projects for our advertisers. We had many projects running and in the end got mostly very positive revenue increases. What I’m particularly proud of is the fact that in all the cases when we were working jointly with the advertisers’ in-house affiliate managers we were able to share our knowledge and get them to continue growing the program.

10. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I very much enjoy traveling, driving and playing the keyboards with the band that I’m part of. Also, I’m a fan of TV cooking shows, although I don’t cook so often myself.

GlobalWide Media (Neverblue)

Hana Ramezic – EMEA Affiliate Manager at GlobalWide Media

I decided to ask Hana Ramezic questions about affiliate marketing because my friend, who works with Hana, recommended her as a very helpful and responsible affiliate manager.  Hana Ramezic has been working as an Affiliate Manager for GlobalWide Media ( Formerly Neverblue) for almost two years and been in the digital industry for almost three years. She has Bachelor’s degree in International Marketing (First Class Hons) and knows 5 languages: English, Swedish, Croatian, German and French. Her hobbies: travel, adventure and good cooking.
Hana is a young professional,  nevertheless, she manages affiliates very well!

Hana Ramezic

1. I saw your Linkedin profile and noticed that you changed many job positions – from Sales Associate, Account Manager to Affiliate Manager. Why did you decide to become an Affiliate Manager?

I wanted to be in a role that requires strategic planning and daily communication with people in a fast paced environment, so Affiliate Management was an easy choice!

2. How did you get a job in GlobalWide Media (formerly known as Neverblue)?

I was told by a friend of mine who already worked there that they were hiring. She put a good word in for me and arrange an interview with one of the Directors!

3. I know that you have a huge number of affiliates. Could you give some tips for affiliate managers how to manage them? By the way, how many affiliates do you have in the network?

We have over 30 000 active Affiliates on the network. As an Affiliate Manager you are constantly working in a fast paced environment, pushing different offers to various Affiliates all with their own needs. My advice is therefore that you stay organized from day 1. Make use of spreadsheets and make notes of what your Affiliates are looking for and what you currently have that you can give to them. It’s important to have a good relationship with your clients as there is a lot of competition out there, so arrange weekly/daily calls, take them out for a coffee or lunch whenever you can. Understand that time management is key, so make a list of priorities thatyou want to achieve and ensure you stick to it!

4. What do you like most about your job?

Several things! The fast paced environment, the fact that every day brings a different challenge for me to overcome, the frequent travel to different shows and exhibitions and last but not least – my amazing colleagues.

5. GlobalWide Media takes part in many international events to help online marketers to meet face-to-face with company’s experts as well as other companies in their sphere. Do you have any experience of such events? Whether many affiliates come there or not?

We have arranged a few interacts globally with the aim to educate new and potential Affiliates about the industry and our company. The attendance rate depends on the location and our presence in that particular market, but it is usually between 100-250 people. I was part of organizing two events in Europe last year, one in Warsaw and one in London. In 2016 we will be arranging a few more meet ups (location yet to be decided) so stay tuned!

6. Do you think affiliate marketing will change in the near future?

Yes definitely. I have been in the industry for a bit over 2 years and I have seen several major shifts in products/verticals that are promoted and the traffic sources Affiliates are using. The industry is heavily dependent on a handful of platforms (Facebook and Google obviously being the biggest one) that dictate the terms and therefore the future of Affiliate marketing.

7. How would you describe your future in Affiliate Marketing?

Direct media buying has always interested me so I could see myself doing that in the future.

8. How do you like to spend your leisure time?

I don’t have a lot of leisure time as the internet never sleeps (haha). When I do, I tend to go to the gym or host dinners at my place!

Shawn Collins - affiliate manager

My First Interview with Shawn Collins

Please welcome our first interviewer Shawn Collins. He has been an affiliate marketer since 1997. So he has a  huge experience in the affiliate marketing. He started with an interest in Journalism, then Radio, TV & Film, before finally settling on Communications. Now Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit, the premier affiliate marketing conference, which was founded in 2003. He is also publisher, editor, and writer for FeedFront Magazine focused on affiliate marketing and founder of, a marketing podcast network where he hosts the weekly 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven show.

Shawn Collins wrote a great book  Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants which I recommend to read each affiliate manager. He wrote the Amazon best-selling book, Extra Money Answer, as well as Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates. Also, he co-publishes the annual AffStat affiliate marketing benchmark reports.

I like reading his blog where Shawn posts regularly Affiliate Summit news, his views on affiliate marketing and much more. I asked him to answer some questions related to his life. I invite you to get to know him a little better.

1. How did the idea to create the Affiliate Summit appear? What was the purpose?

My partner, Missy Ward, and I were frustrated by the lack of a professional gathering of affiliate marketers. Even though we didn’t have any experience running a conference, we decided to give it a try, so there could be a formalized event for people in the industry to network and learn.

We started small (200 at our first event) and have paid special attention to feedback along the way to make changes to the conference.

2. Did you have resources (money, time, knowledge) to organize such a large affiliate marketing conference? Or did you have investors?

We really didn’t have either – we were both essentially working lots of hours to pay the bills, and we had families, so the work to organize Affiliate Summit had to be squeezed into spare time at night and on weekends.

The initial investment was just the cost of the domain name. Everything else was either us doing things as best we could or calling in favors.

3. Why do you think it is important to continue to support the Affiliate Summit?

It is essential to have an event for the industry that offers opportunities to learn and build business that is not overseen by a network, so there is objectivity. Nobody is excluded in the process and every topic is up for discussion.

Also, we focus on making the resources available to anybody who wishes to take advantage of them, so all issue of our quarterly magazine are available to download and read, and we post all of the educational sessions for free on YouTube.

4. Do you help startups to develop?

We don’t have a program focused on startups, but we provide a variety of ways for people and companies to get free passes to the conference.

5. What is your favourite activity in your free time? Does it help you to distract from work?

I love to go boating – it’s a wonderful feeling to be out there on the water, and it is a great distraction. I typically go on weekdays to take a break from work and clear my head.

6. You are a co-founder of the Affiliate Summit, a Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, you write a daily blog on affiliate marketing news. My questions is when do you find time for your family? How often do you go with your family on a vacation?

I was working too much for many years, and I finally realized that was no way to live. So, about five years ago I made a concerted effort to cut down on my hours and focus more on family, friends, and fun.

And a great thing happened… I was more productive. I realized that I was working these really long days, but I was fatigued and not doing much at a certain point each day. I was at my desk, but the results were small.

We took our first full week vacation since I’ve had children, which dates back to 1999. In the past, I would go on long weekends, or maybe 5 or so days, but not a full week. This past summer, we took a cruise, and it was refreshing to have no access to my phone and limited Internet.

7. I saw that you have a vacancy Marketing Coordinator. What type of people do you want to see in your team?

That position has been filled for a while now. As far as the type of people, we’ve never searched for a particular type, but it has turned out that I am the only guy in the company.

8. What can you say about the future of affiliate marketing (in 2, 5 and 10 years)?

Mobile will be increasingly important, and I think in the next several years, we will see far more commerce on mobile than desktops. So, it’s essential that affiliates and merchants have their sites on mobile-friendly platforms.