Sure no problem. First thanks for the interview; I hope your readers get something out of it.
I kind of fell into it accidentally really. I was a business analyst at our telecomm up until 2008. My love at the time was MMA fighting and I had always wanted to be in the position to train full time. So my wife and I packed our bags and moved to Thailand to train and fight full time. I also had a small web design studio on the side so that’s how I’d make a few dollars here and there as we were overseas.
In early 2009, I got word that my dad got sick. It turned out to be stomach cancer, so we planned our trip back for June of ’09.
A couple months before heading back, I basically was addicted to not having a job, haha, and I definitely didn’t want to have to head back to the cubicle when I got home. So, while still in Thailand I started to research affiliate marketing and making money online in general. The first dollar I made online was $24 from a dog training e-book on Clickbank.
Eventually, I somehow came across the PPC Coach forum, and that’s how I learned about CPA marketing. When I came back in June, I had a bunch of debt, a mortgage, and baby on the way… with no job. So I just started hustling and launched over 130 campaigns in my first month. I had to learn fast.
Sorry I know you said “briefly”.
Q: When and why did you start blogging? Was it out of curiosity or something else?
I started blogging in late May of 2010… I’d had a lot of people asking me for advice so I figured I’d have one place to put my answers and such. Most of my blog posts are just spin offs of common questions I get. I don’t really blog too much, and would rather communicate with my list more frequently than blogging. Just a personal preference.
Q: You used to be an MMA fighter – how the change to AM? Was it what you expected?
I still train fighters when I can and go boxing/sparring for “therapy” when possible. My story kind of tells you why I got into AM… I still consider fighting again as I was doing alright. I have 18 fights overall and have fought some very good guys and done decent, so perhaps I’ll go back to that.
Q: How important is it to you to communicate with your readers? Do you respond to all the comments?
Well like I said I don’t blog tons, however, I do respond to just about all comments. I think if you’re going to allow people to comment the least you could do is respond, otherwise don’t have a blog just have a site of rantings.
Q: Talk to us specifically about your experience and frustrations in dealing with affiliate networks?
I don’t have a lot of frustrations with networks; I actually don’t deal with a lot of the mainstream ones on a regular basis. I have some good relationships setup with certain advertisers and merchants, and I like it that way.
That said, the only things that ever really bugged me were late payments obviously, and hyping up every offer on the network. If an offer really is killing it and doing well, then when I ask for display EPC’s vs. social EPC’s, etc., that data should be available. Yes, I know the numbers others have generated doesn’t really matter much, but I do like to have a baseline to work with.
All in all though, most networks I’ve worked with have been good, no complaints.
Ya Lorenzo did a great job taking first on that, congrats to him… and congrats to you for having such a strong showing. Based on how you were moving up in the final week, I actually expected you to win it if I didn’t… honestly though I was pretty surprised I didn’t win, I sent about 1,500 clicks in those 3 final days. Just goes to show you, don’t mess with a determined Kiwi. On a side note, this isn’t the first time a New Zealander has bested me. When I played rugby, we fielded our best team against a selects squad from New Zealand and got roasted 65 to 5. Canadians should stick to Hockey when playing NZ.
So how did I do it… well I have 3 fan pages that are all pretty active and engaging with a total of about 40,000 fans, I have a private affiliate forum with close to 200 members, and my e-mail list in the IM market is close to 5,000 people, with lots of buyers on it. I have a pretty good relationship with my list and those fan pages, so it wasn’t too difficult getting the votes.
Q: 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?
You know I’m probably going to be looked at as a dinosaur by saying this, but I think your time is best spent where there is a LOT of volume and
Display buys and e-mail.
Facebook obviously is great for volume and I’ve used it with tons of success. Pinterest seems kind of intriguing, but I’ve always thought there is only so much time in one day, and I think instead of chasing every shiny new object that comes around, picking one thing and mastering it has always brought the best results.
So, I don’t necessarily feel you need to leverage those new media sources like Twitter, etc. if that’s what you’re referring to. A ton of money is and will continue to be made in channels such as e-mail and display.
Finally, the best part about those channels is that you have far more control and longevity, imo, than you do on something like Facebook or Google, especially for the type of stuff most CPA marketers do.
The one thing these platforms such as Twitter, FB, Pinterest, etc. have is that vital social-viral component. Some affiliates are fantastic at integrating offers in a viral way to get great results for next to no spend. I honestly have never been that good at that; my methods are pretty linear and straight forward. It’s like when I coach fighters; don’t bother learning a thousand techniques, just master the high percentage techniques, of which there are few, and you’ll do great.
Q: There has been a recent craze about “content unlocking” networks and offers, do you partake in that and what is your overall feedback on it for those on the fence?
Haha, the most I’ve ever done on content locking was bidding on certain terms when UFC 100 was about to start. It was in the beginning of my CPA career and was the first time I made 3 digits. So I’d say I’m not really the guy to ask about it… I do know a couple people that do very well in it, that’s about it J
Q: Which tools/plugins do you use to efficiently manage your blog and your campaigns? Any widgets or tips you would like to share with our readers.
For my blog, nothing really fancy… I use Pop-Up Domination for my light box lead capture, but other than that it’s all pretty straight forward.
For campaigns, I use things like Prosper202 and Visual Website Optimizer daily. I use AdShuffle for direct buys, and occasionally I use CPVLab. I use several Aweber accounts regularly as well.
So as you can see, nothing overly fancy, but seems to get the job done.
Q: What are you working on nowadays? What’s the next big thing we can expect from Chad Hamzeh?
Outside of my campaigns I have about 6 projects on the go right now. This just isn’t efficient, haha, so I’m looking to strip some down. I have my Traffic BlackBook product which is being re-launched now after I updated a few key parts of it (I might be biased but imo it’s one of the only legit “guru” courses on traffic gen out there), and our forum SixMonthsFromToday.com gets new people regularly though I do want to get more promotion for it time permitting. We opened it in mid November and I personally have 2,000+ posts in it already.
I have a product in the MLM info market called “Sponsoring Power”, and a linking tool about to launch called LinkTitan, it’s very powerful in how it builds backlinks. Ha, automated stuff like that is the only way I’ll do SEO.
Moving into product creation has been a challenge… I respect advertisers more and more, especially those that provide a quality product with good support. Being an affiliate is much easier, in my opinion.
So, a lot on the plate, possibly a bit too much… that’s outside of my fitness product which I’ve had to put a bit on the backburner in order to get the rest of those projects rocking.
Anyway thanks for the interview, it was fun; hope your readers enjoyed it.