Who are you and what are you currently working on?
My name is James Canzanella, and I’m currently working on scaling my content marketing efforts. It’s a simple process, but a never-ending amount of work (which I love). Allow me to explain.
First and foremost, my authority website imnights.com is where I put most of my focus (which is more of a long-term strategy). Aside from my main authority website, I also have multiple websites and YouTube channels. So here is what I do.
I create and optimize a piece of content for my website, and then I create a video that’s focused on the same keyword. After it’s recorded and uploaded, I also embed it on the website for more relevance as well as keeping visitors on my site longer. By doing this, I get to take up more real estate (so to speak) in both Google and YouTube.
You can make this strategy even more effective by focusing on long-tail keywords. They tend to get more traffic than most SEO tools predict, and you quickly start to realize this by churning out content and scaling over time.
The strategy requires a serious amount of work (or money if outsourced), and that’s what I love the most about it. It keeps me busy, but more importantly, gets really great results.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?
It was back in late 2012, when the gym that I was working for as a personal trainer, gave me a call and stated that my position was no longer available. And just like that? I was put on unemployment. It was such a blessing in disguise.
I realized that there was no way that I’d ever work for someone else again as it was such a crushing experience. Despite the fact that I didn’t have any experience whatsoever, no connections, no knowledge, and little money to my name, I decided to set off on my own to make online and affiliate marketing work.
It was very difficult in the beginning. In fact, I can remember not even having health insurance at the time because I needed all of the money to invest in my online business.
The entire experience is what keeps me excited about affiliate marketing. I’ll never forget the mental and emotional pain that I had to go through in order to get to where I am now. The freedom that I have in my life right now is amazing. It’s cliche but also very true.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
Taking action is the best thing that you can do, and yes, it’s even better than learning new information. What people fail to realize about affiliate marketing is that you learn the most by taking action, seeing what works (and what doesn’t), and then making changes. Heck, many things in life work that way.
Before I got started online, I was lucky enough to have one of the best mindset coaches in the world, where all he talked about was pounding the fundamentals. That’s what success comes down to, a few key steps repeated over and over with machine-like precision. So take action first, which will allow you to ask much higher-quality questions after.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, a piece of advice you often hear is that you should quit your job in order to put 100% focus on your affiliate marketing efforts. While there are times when this is going to be necessary, it’s really bad advice for newbies.
Having a job on the side is a huge advantage as it allows you to have a stream of income to invest in your affiliate marketing business. So if someone quits there job and then doesn’t start to see results for a long time (which happens often), they would then be in a really bad position. If you want to quit your job, it’s better off doing so when your affiliate income has significantly surpassed your job’s income.
I’ve had to learn all of this the hard way.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
My favorite mistake would have been utilizing traffic strategies that I didn’t like, but sticking with them because I was either making good money or was too committed to them. A few examples of this happened to be solo ads, Instagram marketing, and product launching. When it came to product launching, the ROI was astonishing, but it almost felt like I was working a higher-paying job.
In retrospect, I remember having to take quite the large financial haircut in order to transfer to something that I did like, which is now content marketing. It’s certainly paid off now and was a great lesson to stick with what I love doing the most, or at least something that I could grow to love in the process.
What is one piece of software or a web service (besides Geniuslink) that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
Surfer SEO. This tool is so good that I slightly hesitated to even mention it here. In a nutshell, it helps with your on-page SEO efforts and moving up in Google. It’s also very easy to use, and I’m looking forward to the updates that they will be adding in the future.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
When it comes to learning a specific topic, I like to learn from one or two people. I have two qualities that I look for when deciding to learn from someone: they have to be great at what they do, and/or I can relate to them. A lot of core values need to be similar.
I have two great resources when it comes to learning. First and foremost, anything by diggitymarketing.com is golden. He’s the one person I look to when it comes to SEO, and that’s a tribute to just how good his information is (both free and paid). A tip of the hat to his Affiliate Lab course, which was a big part of helping me generate well over $200k in revenue (and still growing) from one affiliate offer.
Last but not least, it would be my all-time favorite book: Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable by Tim Grover. This is a book that I find myself constantly re-reading because it answers all of my questions when it comes to mindset. If I was stuck on an island and I could only have one book, it would certainly be this.