Who are you and what are you currently working on?
Hello! My name is Melissa Teng, and I’m the creator and co-founder of Wit and Folly, a travel and photography blog dedicated to bringing helpful tips and comprehensive guides to our readers, as well as inspiring people to integrate exploration and adventure into their daily lives.
As to what I’m currently working on, given the recent worldwide pandemic affecting many people’s travel plans and the ability to travel in general, my partner and I have been focusing more on providing helpful information and reviews on the photography/videography side of our website.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited about it?
I think our website just started to naturally transition into affiliate marketing since we’ve always loved to share our favorite brands and products with our audience. Before even having thought of creating my own website though, I actually started my business on Instagram by sharing my passion for travel and photography.
Once I grew a sizable audience and engaged community on that platform, it seemed that starting a website was the next natural step to deepen my relationship with my audience and be able to write in more depth and detail about my passions without being limited by a caption word count from Instagram.
What ultimately keeps me excited about affiliate marketing though is its unlimited potential and the freedom you have to really pursue anything you’re truly interested in. If you’re providing value and knowledge while staying authentic with your audience, then it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. I love that I can review and write about brands and products I’m passionate about, and in the process, share my experience to help others with their buying decisions.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
The one piece of advice I have is to remember that affiliate marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not a way to make a quick buck, and if you’re not truly interested or passionate about what you’re writing about, then it’ll be much harder to want to do this every day or be successful at it. I’ve always believed that your readers can tell if you’re being authentic or not, so it definitely helps to find a topic or subject that you’re genuinely passionate about.
In the same vein, there really are no shortcuts or cutting corners when it comes to being in this business for the long term. Google will eventually find out about any black hat or even grey hat methods you utilize, so I’d definitely advise to stay away from any shady tactics from the get-go. It’ll save you a lot of headache and pain in the long run.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
My biggest mistake was probably taking on a “scarcity “mindset rather than one of abundance when first starting out. I was afraid to invest too much money into something I wasn’t sure was going to succeed, and so I ended up hiring cheap writers and using free services that ended up costing more of my time and energy than if I had just invested in quality tools and resources to begin with. With cheap writers, you end up spending even more time re-writing and editing what was already written, so it’s best to just pay the extra money for high quality writers that know what they’re doing and can really help your articles perform well. (One good outcome from this though was that it basically forced me to become an efficient editor and better writer 🙂 )
Ultimately, I learned that what I put into my business is what I get out of it. You get what you give. If I truly believe in what I want to do and where I want to take my business, then I have to be willing to put in the quality investments to get what I want to achieve.
What is one piece of software or a web service (besides Geniuslink) that allows you to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
When it comes to software and web services, I truly believe that you get what you pay for. And from learning from my previous mistake highlighted above, I’d highly recommend investing in Ahrefs (a keyword research tool), because although it’s probably one of the most expensive keyword tools, it’s also one of the best when it comes to data and quality. Plus, it’s saved us so much time and headache with not only keyword research, but also with analyzing our site. Our work and research has become way more effective and efficient with this nifty web service.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
The landscape of affiliate marketing is constantly changing, and it can sometimes get overwhelming with all the contradictory information online. One of my favorite resources to continually educate myself and stay on top of what’s new is through The Authority Hacker podcast. I even ended up investing in their course (which has already paid itself back + some), and they have a great community on Facebook as well to share tips, ask questions, and get new ideas from.