Like the Loch Ness Monster, I always heard stories about the â€œChief Rain Makerâ€ but never had the privilege to actually meet him (albeit virtually). There are those that talk a big game and others who come to play, well let me be the first one to tell you â€“ he is no joke. He does what he says and has no fear in doing it. Held in high regards from his peers â€“ I wanted to find out a bit more about the man behind Affpace.com and truly find out what drives him and what he is wanting to accomplish â€“ here is his story:
Pace, tell me a little bit about the person – not the affiliate marketing advocate. What’s your passion? What drives you?
A few years ago, I would have told you that it was to make as much money as possible. In the last couple of years I looked back at my life and realized that I was focused too much on that goal and not on other things. It might seem very strange to people that I am still in this industry, and making money isnâ€™t that important to me. Instead, I actually enjoy helping others with my blogs, finding solutions for the newbies who email me with advice and discovering new things about our industry.
You have a very interesting story/perspective, one that needs to be told. How did you get into this industry?
In the late 90â€™s I was working both in Law Enforcement, plus had a computer games network that I had created (FGN.com). An advertising company called Cybereps offered to buy it and I then became one of the owners of one of the first interactive advertising representative firms. Cybereps was bought by a public company a few years later. That was my intro into the industry.
What was the main reason for your departure from Affiliate.com?
Everyone keeps on asking me that, hoping that Iâ€™ll reveal some dirty dark secret about the â€œSpam King.â€ Despite the rumors that Scott Richter has a dark secret dungeon where he keeps illegal immigrants sending out spam on old TRS-80â€™s, it isnâ€™t really that way. Honestly, it just was time to move on â€“ I was brought in to do a certain task, change the company from the ground up, hire professional new employees, managers, and I did that. I enjoy writing, being innovative much more than sitting in a desk 10 hours a day. If anyone really wants to know a deep dark secret about the Scott, itâ€™s that Scott is addicted to Crystal Light. On that note, I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and wish them the best.
The risk of fraud prevents many advertisers from working with affiliate networks. Do you see this risk increasing or decreasing in coming years and why?
The problem the industry has is that while there are some major affiliate networks making a huge difference in this category, there are still the people on the sidelines running networks that can create huge amount of revenue for clients in questionable means. We will see more and more networks popup that really donâ€™t care about the quality of the traffic and will burn one customer after another.
I feel that the Affiliate Managers are at the forefront of fraud prevention, however because they are all incentive/commission/bonus driven – it is not in their best interest to point it out. You think this model is the culprit? Where do you feel the problem lies?
This is most definitely the â€œfox watching the henhouseâ€ scenario. Iâ€™m not sure what other solution we have, because everyone should be incentive driven to perform. I think there needs to be consequences for AMâ€™s actions when they do things that can harm a company.
We all know you have a fond adoration for all these “uber super affiliates” pitching their get rich quick DVDs and systems on how to do affiliate marketing. If not them – who do people go to learn about affiliate marketing? Who is reputed and has the affiliate’s best interest at heart?
There are some great â€œsuper-affiliatesâ€ out there sharing information that actually works and engaging their readers. The problem is that too many of them actually never have made significant money in the industry, but are selling their â€œsecret, magic, super-dooper, affiliate marketing methodâ€ to people who really canâ€™t afford $5k for a DVD set. The â€œmake moneyâ€ model is the same that has been sold on the internet for 10 years, and before that late night TV, and frankly itâ€™s just as scummy as before. Itâ€™s all based on personality, promises of success, and when you fail, selling another product that is â€œprovenâ€. Itâ€™s the worst form of marketing and Iâ€™m ashamed itâ€™s part of this industry.
There is more than enough information publically in the blogs and tools that you can buy for a few hundred dollars that will help you manage all the â€œSecretsâ€ these guys talk about.
In one of your discussion groups, there is a major debate going on about how best to “standardize” the industry and this whole concept has seemed to polarize the group – what is your stance on this?
As that discussion group is private and confidential, Iâ€™d rather not comment specifically. That being said, there is a huge need for internal industry regulation, companies coming together to make changes and mandating compliance. The other solution is that the government will come in, make rules that restrict the industry and in some cases significant harm to the industry.
Tell me in your mind who the top 3 networks to work with and why?
I donâ€™t have top 3 networks, seriously. Right now there is so much diversity in the networks, people providing unique offers, unique services, that itâ€™s hard to say.
As you know, I run a small network at Affiliate Venture Group – do you think we still have a chance with all these other big boys? Where do you feel the opportunity lies for us?
Of course you do. Find clients with specific needs that the â€œbig boysâ€ can manage and piggyback on their success. Focus on what you are good at, and leave the other guys to promoting the zip and email offers.
Finally – who do YOU think is the hottest Affiliate manager? ;-)
Hard to say, Iâ€™m married to a centerfold, so Iâ€™m pretty damn picky. Have you seen the gals coming out of Underground Elephant and AKMG?