It’s been a while since I interviewed someone in this blog. We had a bunch of new posts this year but none of them was an interview. But if you read my last email where I gave away a silver pass for Affiliate World Asia 2017, you knew an interview was coming and this one might be interesting for you for reasons I won’t explain yet.
Today we have an interview with an old affiliate that now is building his own software to solve other people’s problems, doing e-commerce (who doesn’t) and even investing and planning to develop on cryptocurrencies (again, who’s not investing in this lately???) while running marathons. This is going to be fun!
Meet Andrew – Affiliate Marketing Interviews
As always we’re going to have different typography for each part of the interview.
- Bold text means I’m asking a question.
- Raw text means Andrew is answering back.
- Italic means I’m adding a comment after his response.
Easy, right? Let’s get started!
1. Hello and thanks for participating in this quick interview! Some of my readers might know you but most probably don’t. Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi Servando! Thanks for inviting me to talk with you! My name is Andrew, I’m an e-com guy, investor, co-founder of MagicChecker.com service, and a marathon runner.
2. Are you running affiliate marketing campaigns? Or if not, please tell us what you’re into nowadays.
At the moment I’m not running affiliate campaigns. I stopped about a year ago and made the transition to full-time e-com, and developing our own product. But of course, I can share my affiliate experience.
I got my feet wet running pin submits, sweeps and download content offers with mobile display sources like Inmobi, Admoda (R.I.P.), Buzzcity, Avazu etc.
These verticals worked very well until we came across the idea of running CPI offers with pop/redirect traffic sources. In retrospect, it was a golden time and I think many of you guys can remember those days.
Our fav sources were:
We found that adult traffic sources were a gold mine for CPI offers. They have a huge amount of cheap traffic, no creatives needed for campaigns, high-speed split tests and a mountain of data to analyze. It was the perfect match.
Otherwise, currently, my preferred traffic sources are Facebook & Google AdWords. I use them for WH campaigns-exclusively for my own e-com products. Great targeting options and a massive audience make them a must have resource for any serious online-marketer.
Oh man, apps on pop traffic were really good a few years ago. It’s good to know you’ve moved into FB/Google white hat advertisement though.
3. How long have you been in the affiliate marketing space and how did you get into it?
It’s been about 4 years more or less since I got into the space. Prior to that, I was an online marketer for approximately 8 years.
To make a long story short, a good friend of mine introduced me to affiliate marketing and I took the ball and ran with it, I was eager to try something new. I got myself immersed and never looked back!
I basically started by reading IM forums, buying webinars, participating in mastermind groups, attending conferences- amongst many other things. I was hustling hard!
4. Back to the campaign stuff, are you running any specific verticals or niches?
Back then, we were focusing mainly on utilities. We knew the best angles, creatives, sources, advertisers, and networks for this vertical. The whole nine yards.
Otherwise, thanks to a relentless hustle and focus in regards to this vertical, we had a great advantage over our competitors. These days, we are emulating that same strategy with our e-commerce products, and so far, so good!
BTW you probably noticed I use “we”. This is because big results are not possible without a good team 😉
5. Would you like to share some numbers? How much have you lost in a day and why was it? ☺
I honestly can’t recall having huge losses. Perhaps it was around $1000, but no more. The reasons were various.
For example, at some point, we had cap problems that went over the given amount. There was a discrepancy as the advertiser didn’t pay for extra conversions.
Also, there were issues attributed to our servers crashing but we created a pinger as a solution. Google’s safe browsing also caused us to hit red days here and there.
Looking back, it was nothing significant, we made some very healthy profits overall.
Good to know. We’ve had some errors here and there either with google, broken links or capped offers were we lost several thousand during various days. Overall you seem to have a good system to avoid problems 🙂
6. Alright. So, one reason I was interested in this interview was because of one of your tools. Can you talk more about it and what pushed you to develop it?
Sure man. MagicChecker is a service that helps to protect affiliate campaigns from bad traffic. By “bad traffic” we mean bots, competitors, spy tools, AMs, advertisers, and all the bad guys that are happy to spy on your affiliate campaigns.
For example, if you find a good offer + angle + source and run it on pops there is a high possibility that you’ll find your landers on Adplexity. To exacerbate the problem, smart competitors will rip all your creatives and your profits will take a nose-dive.
Otherwise, let’s assume your competitors are major players in the space and can afford to buy the Luminati service (they offer resident IPs). It will be quite easy for them to spy on your real campaigns from their smartphones. So our goal is to maximize your profits by protecting you from the bad guys.
To summarize, we initially developed MagicChecker for our internal team and used it privately for a few years. All was good, but after one of the Affiliate World Conferences we decided hey, “why not think bigger?” So immediately after that we shifted our strategy and started to work on a service for the public. After 5 months, we were ready and launched in December of 2016. After the first month, we were already profitable. And now, according to our customers, we are one of the best solutions on the market.
I can confirm you’re one of the best solutions for this nowadays, with great pricing, new features every quarter and overall a simple but good product 🙂
7. How much does it cost and where can people sign up to your tool? Do you have any plans for it in the near future (adding features)?
It’s $199 per month (you can save 20% by paying annually). I honestly believe it’s a fair price to pay, given the problems you will avoid and how much money one can save by implementing the tool. We actually are not keen on free trials but we figured you already went out of your way to read this blog, so here you go! Give it a shot!
At MagicChecker, we have adopted the Japanese principle Kaizen – continual improvement.
We are committed to innovation and we love to hear feedback. For instance, recently we added more deep filters to our public beta test. In this space, changes are quick and inevitable, so we always have to be one step ahead.
8. How much did you spend to find your first profitable campaign?
Interesting question. Let me check my books…
Well, if exclude the cost of freelancers, tools, and webinars. I spent about $2,200 before I made my first profit. Not so bad!
Not too shabby! $2,000 is a decent amount of money most people recommend to get started. It depends on the traffic source but for sure it was a decent amount.
9. How many hours do you work per day on average?
Usually, it’s from 10 to 12 hours. But it depends. Sometimes I can work for just a few hours, especially when I have some other things to do or to travel. If I feel that I’m burned out, I can take a break for a few weeks.
10. Name 3 of your favorite affiliate networks:
- Adsimilis (R.I.P.)
- MundoMedia (R.I.P.)
11. What are your plans/goals for 2018?
Well, in regards to professional goals, I’d like to make a big leap in the e-commerce niche. My goal is to reach 7 figures per year and then to sell my store under my own brand. Also, I’m expecting at least 200% growth for MagicChecker, as well as finding interesting investment opportunities.
Otherwise, I do feel believe that money is not everything. I’m really focused on self-improvement and staying healthy.
My personal goals are to settle down with my girlfriend and start a family. Also, as mentioned before, I’m sports oriented and I’d like to train for an Ironman 70.3 distance (yes, I’m a crazy guy!).
I believe that sports have a direct influence on our success in life & business.
12. Will I see you at Affiliate World Asia? ☺
I’m definitely considering it, and I’d be happy to see you there, Servando! Let’s see what happens!
From my previous experience, this conference is the best one for affiliates.
I totally recommend it for any affiliate that has ambitions to become a key player in the space!
The big boys are already there, so what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out!
You heard that guys. See ya there!
13. OK, thanks for your time again. I hope to catch up with you soon. Any final recommendations or comments you’d like to add?
I’d like to take this opportunity in order to thank you for this interview, I really appreciate it!
I’d recommend that affiliates focus on long-term profits first. Offers die, sources become more sophisticated and saturated, countries restrict their markets. Today, you can make a huge profit but tomorrow it could be zero.
- Diversify your revenue sources to at least 5-7. If one of them dies you’ll have others.
- Always master at least 1 traffic source. You can get good private offers that are exclusive to you, or you can sell your own products if the offer dies out.
- Create your own products and try to monetize them. Don’t forget that if you make profits running offers somebody else makes much more money on you.
- Test new white hat niches: e-com, lead-gen, pay per call. Lower ROI but bigger long-term profits at the end.
- Create a real business. Hire a team, rent an office, pay taxes. You’ll be 5X more effective than the average affiliate on the market. Be professional!
14. Bonus question: Are you into cryptocurrencies? I know a lot of affiliates are getting into it this year and it’s been talked a lot lately in forums, Facebook groups, and whatnot. I’d just like to know a general opinion about it if possible 😉
I was actually expecting this question from you 🙂
Yep, I’m already in. I started from long-term investing but personally, I find Blockchain as a technology to be more interesting in general.
I believe Blockchain to be the next biggest thing since the invention of the internet.
The good thing is that investors from Silicon Valley are eager to invest in such projects, but the number of companies on Blockchain is very low now. So, this is a really good time to start developing your own products and make an ICO after that. Between playing with crypto-currencies and developing your own business for ICO, I’d choose the latter over the former!
Thanks again, Andrew.
Affiliate World Asia 2017 is coming soon. I hope to put a couple more blog posts out there before the conference, so stay tuned and sign up to my newsletter in case you haven’t registered yet!
Hello Servando, thanks a lot for the information, I recently got Scarlett cloaker and Magic Checker recommended by a friend, saying they both work great, do you have any insight on Scarlett cloaker as well in one of your articles?
I haven’t tested Scarlett Cloaker so I don’t know how good it is.
I’ve been pitched into using it a few times though.
Hi Servando, Thanks for bringing Andrew on your blog to open our eyes into certain things in the industry..
I really appreciate the effort. Thank you.
Glad you liked it.
hemos cruzado un par de mensajes por forobeta y de hecho, siempre veo algun comentario tuyo por los post intentando ayudar de forma desinteresada, lo cual me inspira confianza y agradecimiento a partes iguales, de verdad, gracias.
Hay algun correo o skype donde pudiera contactarte?
de nuevo, muchas gracias.
Hola Javier. Si estás en mi lista de correos simplemente responde cualquiera de ellos y tendrás acceso a mí 🙂
“…These verticals worked very well until we came across the idea of running CPI offers with pop/redirect traffic sources. In retrospect, it was a golden time and I think many of you guys can remember those days…
…We found that adult traffic sources were a gold mine for CPI offers. They have a huge amount of cheap traffic, no creatives needed for campaigns, high speed split tests and a mountain of data to analyze. It was the perfect match…”
“Oh man, apps on pop traffic were really good a few years ago. It’s good to know you’ve moved into FB/Google white hat advertisement though.”
And so I am asking:
Why you talking about CPI offers in past like as if they are not working at well till now?
You think that CPI offers already dead?
Not dead, but the golden era passed a few years ago.
While you can make apps work now, 2-3 years ago apps didn’t have any KPIs, the creative regulations were easy, higher payouts and high budgets from advertisers.
It’s just the ROIs and other problems make them more difficult to handle nowadays.