Who are you and what are you currently working on?
My name is Matthew Ross. I am the Co-owner and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard, which operate multiple internet properties, including websites, YouTube channels and a mobile application. The company focuses on providing high-quality, insightful, and entertaining reviews of popular consumer products. To date, RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard have reached over 75 million people.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited you about it?
I originally got into affiliate marketing about three years ago. My business partner and I were operating a YouTube channel that started to achieve some success. We quickly realized that by producing content around products and services that utilized affiliate programs we could significantly boost our income above and beyond just YouTube advertising. Although affiliate marketing has been around for decades, I’m still excited about its outlook moving forward. More and more industries continue to move online which create opportunities for companies like mine. I like experimenting and trying to monetize new content areas. My business partner and I are always on the hunt for a new category to penetrate. It keeps things fresh and exciting.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
I’d recommend people just getting into affiliate marketing focus on a specific niche or demographic to start. It takes time to learn the ins-and-outs of the industry and how to optimize your content. By focusing on a niche or segment of an industry you’re interested in, you’ll have a better chance of competing from day one. In other words, don’t immediately jump in and start trying to compete in an industry like credit cards, which is already saturated with major players who have been in the game for a long time. I’d advise new affiliate marketers to ignore the volume of clicks and sales when first starting out. Instead, focus on making your content the best it can be. Don’t make your content all about sales and clicks. Consumers will see right through that. Your content needs to be genuine and helpful. Clicks and sales will follow if consumers trust and respect your opinions/content.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
One mistake I made early on was not paying attention to cookie duration, click attribution parameters and payment terms. These are three topics in affiliate marketing that often go overlooked but are very important. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you only pay attention to the commission rate. A lot of times by working with brands to optimize the cookie duration, click attribution and payment terms for your relationship, you can boost performance more so than an extra point or two on the commission rate.
What is one piece of software or a web service that allows you to to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
Of course, I’m a big fan of Geniuslink but If I had to pick another tool, it would be Ahrefs. I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard the name. It’s a very popular tool. It’s really become an integral part of our operations. Not only is it a great tool for keyword research but it’s also extremely helpful in tracking backlinks, monitoring rankings for articles/posts and analyzing competing sites.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
I learn a lot from guys like Neil Patel and Brian Dean. They do a great job of breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand lessons. However, one of the best resources for learning is analyzing the top websites in your industry. By poking around competing sites and paying attention to what topics they cover, how they structure posts, and what kind cross-sells they use, you can learn a ton.