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An Interview with George Hanson

Who are you and what are you currently working on?

My name is George Hanson. I’m a part of the Outdoorsly team and a co-founder of this project. It’s a website dedicated to camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting which has started as a small community project, and now it’s a part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Also, I still work as a freelance journalist, plus I’m providing consultations for my fellow writers.

How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?

My journey started in 2015 with the Authority hackers course that got me interested. But theory is nothing without practice. Practice makes perfect, which is a long way especially in affiliate marketing and I guess that’s what keeps me enthusiastic. You can always switch from one project to another or work hard on a single one. It depends on the tactic you choose. And both ways are legitimate.

Back to the story, my personal project was founded in 2018 when our team was looking for new ideas. Back then I worked on a blog dedicated to camping with a small audience. People often asked me about my equipment, so I decided it might be a good niche. The rest is history.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?

Work for your community – know them and learn from them. You won’t last long if you don’t work for your readers since popularity comes and goes and those who are “loyal” to you stay. Make something new and useful for them and it will pay off in the long run. For example, Covid-19 hit us greatly. As you know, we’re working on a project dedicated to camping. Due to recent events, many campgrounds were closed and people stayed at home, so without our community help, we would be doomed. Great community (a.k.a. your loyal visitors and fans) is your safety belt.

Don’t try to re-create your competitor’s tactic step by step even though you might think it could be a great idea. You should work on your uniqueness instead, since, you know, nobody wants to read generic content – it could kill your business.

What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?

Keep in mind, you get what you give. If you’re going to force your readers to buy something you’re going to sound too promotional and that’s how you lost their interest. Experimenting with texts might be interesting, but try not to lose your voice when adapting your text for better SEO.

I have seen many stories about bad copywriters that ruined blogs reputation here, on Geniuslink blog. My story is a bit different. Even though I’m an experienced writer, I made a huge mistake by overloading my texts with keywords. In the result, articles were looking so unnatural that we lost some positions. With new blood – I’m talking about our youngest team member, Michelle – we found a compromise that was suitable for our readers and worked just fine for our needs (SEO).

Michelle, if you’re reading this – thanks again!

What is one piece of software or a web service (besides Geniuslink) that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?

Planning tools are your best friends, trust me. Not only you have to research keywords – which is possible with Geniuslink – but you should plan your schedule ahead. I prefer SEMrush Marketing Calendar and Trello, this way I can easily share my plans with our team members and gather ideas for future articles in one place.

How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer?

What are some of your favorite resources for learning? I must confess, I’m a bit lazy so I just prefer to learn from others. For example, my colleagues are extremely helpful and I’ve never worked with a better team – don’t be afraid to exchange your ideas.

They might learn you new tricks.

And I prefer podcasts. I listen to them while I work or spend my time on a regular trail – why not? I can recommend Authority Hackers, once again. But apart from them – Smart Passive income podcast from Pat Flynn.

If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?

When I’m not traveling, you can always find me here, at Outdoorsly, or send me a message on FB.