Top 9 Affiliate Marketers You Need To Know About
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Affiliate marketing is a gold mine that often remains unexplored. Most people aren’t sure how to go about it, how big of a risk it is, or how much they can really earn through it. There are some extremely successful affiliate marketers out there. Which is why we need to learn from them. They have invested years and years of consistent effort into the practice and succeeded. This is why we felt the need to write about them.
Affiliate marketing does not make you a fortune overnight. There is a process to it. We at Outgrow have compiled a list of our favorite 9 affiliate marketers and their journey in the market.
1. Pat Flynn
We’re here to tell you about affiliate marketers. So we’ve got to start with the best. Pat Flynn became an affiliate marketer in 2008 after he was laid off at his job. He decided to work further on his LEED blog and soon monetized his website.
He used Google Adsense and gradually began to make money off his website clicks. Soon after his website took off, he got an offer to sell an e-book and earned a little commission off it. After one and a half years of working on his website, his first income in November 2008 through affiliate marketing was $8000. And that increased to more than $50000 in 2013. Today Pat Flynn is an extremely successful name when it comes to affiliate marketing and he is completely transparent about it. Although he has other sources of income, almost 80% of his income comes through affiliate marketing.
Flynn believes that as an affiliate marketer, you need to focus on how you can serve your audience. Out of all the information available out there, you need to filter the noise and provide value to your audience. On his blog, he not only talks about affiliate marketing but multiple business services. He also has his own podcast with over 400 episodes, where he talks about everything there is to know about business marketing.
2. Finch Sells
Martin Osborn, a.k.a. Finch Sells, is a 29-year-old high-school dropout and currently an affiliate marketer. Finch runs his own company, Finch Media Ltd. He is involved with all kinds of affiliate campaigns, and also works directly with brands to improve their existing conversion funnels. He has had his own blog about affiliate marketing for 8 years now.
Finch Sells started posting his forums at the young age of 12, had his own forum by 14, and had learnt to monetize it by 16. His first taste of affiliate marketing was with Clickbank, selling learning kits for next to nothing. Soon he discovered CPA marketing that increased his earnings. Today, he makes most of his money by selling his Ultimate Premium Package for $119.95 and earns a commission off it. He encourages affiliate marketers to take risks – create campaigns, build sites, and find things on their own. He believes that affiliates who move forward will be the ones who understand the relationship between the affiliate, the advertiser, and the customer.
Sells runs his own blog on www.finchsells.com where he talks about everything from his personal life to his professional life. It is a great place to learn everything you want to know about affiliate marketing. He talks about how you can significantly lower your CPA, optimize your websites and much more.
3. Missy Ward
Missy Ward is an affiliate marketer, a stay at home mom, and a philanthropist. She spent over a dozen years in various companies until she co-founded the Affiliate Summit Corporation in 2003 with Shawn Collins on a $400 investment. Affiliate Summit Corporation is a media company that provides solo entrepreneurs and large businesses, opportunities to create prosperity in affiliate marketing through conferences, trade shows, magazines, etc.
She started out with managing affiliate conferences for Affiliate Force. Soon, together with Shawn Collins, she decided to create an alternative, a more efficient way of supporting affiliate marketers and promoting their business. With her idea shot down by the owner of her company, she went and self-funded herself. Their first show had 200 attendees and their show last January had 5000.
Like all successful affiliate marketers, Missy Ward too believes that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There is no fool-proof way of integrating affiliate marketing into your efforts. You don’t need to wait for companies or PR agencies today to approach you. You can start on your own with blog posts, product reviews, newsletters, etc. She has her own website www.missyward.com where she talks about herself, Affiliate Summit and her business partner, Shawn Collins.
4. Shawn Collins
Shawn Collins, as we know, is the co-founder of the Affiliate Summit (2003). He has been in affiliate marketing since 1997 and has more than two decades of experience. Collins used to work in the publishing industry but that wasn’t enough to pay the bills. He came across the Amazon affiliate program in 1997 and set up his first affiliate site, which was about things to do in NYC. Soon he got a job at a medical book company that wanted their own affiliate program.
He has always used Google AdWords and direct mail as his two strategies. He created lists based on domains that ranked well for a topic and got their addresses from WHOIS. In 2003 he created Affiliate Summit on a cruise ship with Missy Ward and today they’re one of the biggest affiliate marketing event companies.
He advises young marketers to follow their passion. They should find their voice, start a blog. According to him, it is the perfect kickstart to affiliate marketing. He advises people to try and maximize their time while thinking of topics and covering as much as possible. He has his own blog at www.affiliatetip.com where he offers a complete guide on how you can optimize your blog.
5. Zac Johnson
Zac Johnson has been in affiliate marketing for over 22 years. Even he, like Shawn Collins, began his affiliate marketing journey through the Amazon Affiliate Program. He then came across WebSponsors and OnResponse, which were the first affiliate programs out there. In 2007, he decided to launch his own blog at ZacJohnson.com to build his own brand. And soon, he got involved in affiliate product sales. He has managed to earn over $100000 every year without creating a product of his own.
Over the past 18 years, he has experimented with everything – from pay per click marketing, building out his own sites, having a 2 million person mailing list to running his own affiliate programs. He has learned not to give up in the face of failure and advises young entrepreneurs to do the same. In an interview, he quoted, ‘My best advice is to have thick skin and if you aren’t ready to put in endless hours of work for no immediate return, the world of entrepreneurship simply isn’t for you. Everyone thinks this is easy, but it’s the complete opposite. For every success story you see, there are hundreds of failures you never hear about.’
6. Ian Fernando
Ian Fernando is an affiliate marketer who has been in the market for 15 years. He started as an e-commerce agent, selling on eBay and buying in bulk from Alibaba. Soon he shifted to affiliate marketing in order to avoid customer service. His first affiliate job was with AzoogleAds. They sparked the affiliate in him and taught him the right keywords to use. He started earning from $100 a day to $1000 a week to $1000 a day.
A year later, he got approached by Affiliate Summit (Yes, the same Affiliate Summit by Missy Ward and Shawn Collins) which introduced him into the public speaking sphere. Since then he has spoken about affiliate marketing at various conferences. Today, most of his traffic comes from Facebook Ads and Push Ads. He spends as little as 0.004 to 0.005 cents to acquire a click on Facebook. His website, ianfernando.com is a complete guide to affiliate marketing and how you can achieve what he did.
He believes that affiliate marketing keeps him on his feet. It integrates him with the marketing aspects of online marketing. He encourages new affiliate marketers to be creative. He believes that they should look at things from a new angle, a new perspective.
7. John Chow
John Chow started his website called Moto’s Project 504 in 1999, about a computer he had built himself. He kept working on the site until it got a domain name and list of its own. And thus, he started The Techzone and became a part of the Maximum PC Network. His checks from Maximum PC grew from $250/month to $2500/month quickly enough. That’s how fast his traffic grew.
In 2005, he started a blog income case study to prove that you can make money by blogging. His goal was to make $3000 a month on two hours a day. And guess what, once his goal was achieved, he took on the next case study. He released an Amazon bestseller ‘Make Money Online’ in the year 2010 and by the next year he had joined MOBE. His website today has over 200000 daily visitors. He is also the number one internet marketers in the list of top 50 Canadian Internet Marketing Blogs.
He advises aspiring bloggers to find their niche. According to him, a successful blog needs to be updated regularly and find multiple revenue sources to monetize his/her blog. And last, but not the least, read his blog at www.johnchow.com. He is passionate about blogging and thinks that if you do it just for the money, chances are that you will fail.
8. Kirsty McCubbin
Kirsty Mccubbin started her first job as an SEO specialist in 1999. As part of the job, she was required to create an affiliate program for one of her clients. She got trained in the field and never got out of it. She received her first commissions after a month and then completely took to affiliate marketing.
Today, she’s heavily into PPC, both via landing pages and direct to merchants. She earns 85% of her revenue through the same. She pulls most of her traffic from Google AdWords and sends it directly to merchants. Kirsty also does Bing and Yahoo PPC to landing pages. She’s a stay at home mom who lives with her husband and two daughters. She travels around the world using her affiliate money and works her hours every day. She won the a4uAwards in 2010 for her affiliate marketing skills and is the founder of affiliatestuff.co.uk.
‘Create traffic first. Monetize later’ is her mantra. She believes that you should focus on your skillset more than the idea of affiliate marketing. There are various niches that you can tap into – Copy, web design, social media, SEO, PPC, etc. And then find the ability to make money off it.
9. Andrew Payne
And the last (but not the least) name on our list is that of Andrew Payne, the founder of Affiliate Success. He got into the affiliate marketing business almost 13 years ago. He was more focused on AdWords at the time. Later on, he went on to dab into the consulting business, where they worked with B2B companies and handled all their online lead generation. But in 2016, he again decided to venture into affiliate marketing.
He re-joined the STM Forum. He studied the marketing climate and decided to start with Mobile Pop Traffic. Andrew Payne and his team focus on things like antivirus, gaming offers, sometimes adult and glamour kind of offers, and some Sweepstakes campaigns as well. His traffic has gone from zero to 7 figures. Payne even presented his biggest profit producing insights onstage at Affiliate World Europe 2019.
He has a lot of great advice for budding affiliate marketers. He recommends that they start out with low payout offers, irrespective of their budget. The primary goal of an affiliate marketer should be to generate data and collect information that allows them to review it and make decisions. The most important thing is to try to determine how you can make your campaign profitable.
And it doesn’t end there! There are some more affiliate marketers out there who are making it good but we couldn’t include them here. Affiliate marketing has come a long way and there are people proving it to you. So are you ready to enter the backwaters of affiliate marketing? If that’s a yes, and you’re looking for a place to start, we have the Outgrow Affiliate Program for you right here. Sign up with us and earn the big bucks!
Antara Agarwal is a full time marketing consultant at Outgrow. She can be found packing her bags for her next trip, often to the mountains. And in one of those bags you will always find a half finished book she’s been struggling with for months.