I had heard about this guy, i had seen his pics, I had even exchanged emails with him – but I truly had no clue who he was. He was (is) a Rock Star in the Affiliate Marketing world, but still no clue why. That is until one of the Affiliate Summit shows when he invited me to his table while I was waiting on a flight and then one truly learns who Ian Fernando is. This is his story.
1) So Ian, please tell us briefly about yourself and how you got started in this industry.
I started in affiliate marketing by being annoyed of working with customers. I first started as an eBay user, selling items. I then started to grow rapidly and started getting bulk orders. This is when the customer support started to become a hassle. I wanted something where I can make money but not deal with the hassle of customers. I stumbled on CJ for the first time and started promoting some things, but couldn’t get it to work properly. I then found CPA marketing and during that time I was doing a seasonal promo offer with a network. My affiliate manager helped me reach a good goal and then I became hooked from there.
2) When and why did you start blogging? Was it out of curiosity or something else?
I started blogging late 2007 when I started doing real estate, I wanted to write my entrepreneur spirit as a way for me to go back in time and see my mistakes. My blog at the time was “Failures to Success” and it still stands today. I didn’t expect anything out of my blog, I rarely promote it. But it slowly started to get some traction and I def enjoyed interacting with my readers.
3) Do you ever get stuck about writing on a particular topic? What do you do? Where do you find your motivation?
Yes I do. The difference between me and some other blogs is I write what is currently happening with me, case studies I did, vacations, new tools, etc. So I can always come up with a post, because I try not to teach directly, I try to only share my experience which I think makes for a better learning experience.
4) How important is it to you to communicate with your readers? Do you respond to all the comments?
It is important and I try to respond to most of the important comments. I am trying to get in the mode to respond to all comments that is asking or inviting for a conversation.
5) Talk to us specifically about your experience and frustrations in dealing with cpa and affiliate networks?
Oh there are many issues I can stress out and most can be found on the blog. One of the biggest issues I find which always happens to me is offers changing. Networks never notify a publisher about an offer being down, if the advertiser decides to split test landing pages, or if they are redirecting a dead offer to an offer wall. This is one of the bigger concerns and which is the reason why I came out with a tool that helps me with this, OfferSnitch. This is an ongoing issue and networks need to be more aware of their advertisers and how they work hand in hand with the network and the network with the publisher.
6) You are well known in the industry and often referred to as a “Super Affiliate”, in your mind – what does that mean? Is it based on how much revenue an affiliate generates or is there something beyond that?
I definitely think it is something beyond that because I know other affiliates that make more than me but are more underground. Me personally I actually like the interaction and helping others trying to reach their goal. The reason is because I was once a struggling affiliate and I learned everything by experience. I did not have a mentor nor did I have anyone to really look to when it came to marketing online. Everything I did was a risk and a learning experience. Super Affiliate is someone who understand how online marketing work. Deciphering the data and making traffic work for him and taking the risk to understand new sources. It isn’t just making money but knowing how an overall market will react to a potential offer.
7) What do you think is the impact of the “new” media on today’s publishers and affiliates? Are they leveraging it effectively and more importantly – are they leveraging it for the betterment of our industry?
Depends on we all look at it. From a branding standpoint a lot of people don’t use it properly. Affiliate stand point, it is just being abused. Facebook for example, they use to love affiliates and now are against us. When new sources come out, there are people who go with the flow and others who just try to game it. I think when it comes to marketing we always try to find that backdoor and we never want to enter through the front.
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