While I enjoy all the interviews I do for the blog, I uber enjoyed this one. Chad is one of the nicest guys I have met, very unassuming but has built one powerhouse of an affiliate network in a very short period of time. He has always gone out of his way to accommodate the needs of Affiliate Venture Group (my affiliate network for those that don’t know) and my daughter absolutely adores their t-shirts from the shows and won’t go to bed without it. So here it goes..
Hi Chad, please tell us something about yourself.
How did you get a start in this industry?
I’ve been in and out of online advertising since 1999 when I started monetizing my Geocities hosted, WYSIWYG pages with ads. I didn’t really get a start in performance marketing until somewhere back in early 2005 when I came across a site that paid people to complete offers. Something we refer to now as “hard incent”.=
I knew that the owners of these incent sites were making a cut on everything and that’s where I wanted to be. I discovered their connections and started making my own “get paid to” sites on the web. Like most everything in hard incent, they didn’t last, but they did give me a lot of knowledge and direction into the performance marketing world.
PeerFly was originally supposed to be a hard incent hybrid. A place where people could go and earn money by completing offers and surveys, and at the same time, market those same incent offers all over the web for even more commissions. However, while building PeerFly in 2008, a good friend of mine started a full-fledged CPA affiliate network hosted on DirectTrack and I saw how rewarding it was for him. I also saw how frustrating and limited he was being hosted on a 3rd party platform. From that point on, I made it my goal to build PeerFly into an affiliate network, on a platform that I would develop, in a system that I would have full control over.
Give us some insight into PeerFly.
We only have 1 affiliate manager who manages all 63k of our publisher accounts. Who, surprisingly, didn’t even start working for us full time until September 1st of this year. You can check him out here: http://www.lukepeerfly.com.
How is this different from the other networks?
How many other networks in the top 5 or 10 have just one affiliate manager? We’re able to do this because of our diverse and dynamic platform. A lot of the routine stuff is automated. Forget “affiliate manager,” Luke is our “affiliate master.” His job is to educate, direct, advise. Not just managing accounts.
Is there a minimum traffic level needed to join PeerFly?
Not at all. We accept people who have yet to even send traffic. We’re known to be very accepting of newbies. We love newbies because we can turn them into super affiliates and their loyalty always stays with us.
What kind of advertisers and publishers does PeerFly seek out?
We accept any publisher or advertiser as long as the publisher does not intend on promoting out offers via incent traffic (we haven’t allowed incent traffic since mid-2009) and the advertiser is not in hard porn!
Most of all, we seek publishers who are determined! We’ve had some affiliates who couldn’t make a dollar to save their life! But, with determination and perseverance, some of those same affiliates are doing $5-$10k a month with us now!
Is there something from your experiences in the past that has helped you run your network?
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without hundreds, maybe even thousands of prior mistakes. Mistakes in business, mistakes in finance, mistakes in web development, mistakes in connections, mistakes in direction… I could go on and on. Without the bitter, you’ll never experience the sweet.
Are you worried about being lumped into the same category as other networks that routinely get classified as being in it for the wrong reasons? What sets you apart from the rest?
I’m sure we were classified as that when we launched in December of 2008. I think it just takes time to prove yourself. Network owners don’t like seeing new networks popping up. Not so much because of competition (competition is healthy in any market), but because a lot of the new networks dirty the water that is already dirty.
If you join us as an affiliate, you’ll see almost instantly how we’re different from the others. Our interface is clean and easy to use, we pay top dollar on all of our deals, we have live support on the site, we’re building a training community for our affiliates, we send our top guys to the big trade shows, we have several different payment options and schedules (including daily payments), we’re able to add new features to our system on request, and much more.
What are some trends you are seeing in the space and what are you doing to put yourself out in front?
Social and mobile. 2012 is going to be a big year for us because of these two growing trends. Think about this: International social marketing on mobile platforms. That’s what we want to tackle. We’re also going to be launching at least 2 big web assets in 2012, both of which are the result of new or proven marketing trends we’ve stumbled upon.
Who are some of the networks you hold in high regard?
I respect and look up to any network in this industry that wants to bring change (for the better) and is demonstrable in that regard. Any network that is highly involved with the PMA and/or the ECPM is quite all right with me.
What takeaway should my readers have from this interview – is there something specific you care to share?
If you’re looking to join PeerFly as a publisher, let’s make sure you understand that we do not accept the following traffic: unsolicited Twitter advertising, unsolicited SMS advertising, YouTube comment advertising, Facebook comment advertising, Facebook “forced” likes, incentive traffic (hard and soft), Yahoo! Answers advertising, classified ad traffic, joint ventures, and freelance outsourcing. If you fall outside of these marketing techniques, we want to take you under our wing!
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