Who are you and what are you currently working on?
I’m Paul and I run a digital media agency in Liverpool, England, called Innobella Media which specializes in video production and website design. As part of my business, I also run a (mostly) technology-themed YouTube channel called Switched On Network – partly as a hobby because I love making videos and love technology, and partly as a second arm to the business which earns extra revenue. It’s via Switched On Network that I share affiliate links to items and gadgets that I review, discuss or test in my videos.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited you about it?
I think one of the best combinations you can come up with in your work/life balance is to find a hobby that you enjoy and then figure out how to make money out of doing it – which means that you can then do it more and make it more of a focus! Oftentimes we don’t get to spend enough time in life doing the things we love, because work gets in the way – so if we can make “doing what we love” into, then it’s a win/win! I got into Affiliate Marketing about 5-6 years ago and have been focusing on it more in the last 18 months or so, and I love how it can monetize something which I would want to be doing anyway, meaning it can do it more and not feel guilty for not “doing work”!
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
Aim high and go global from day one! I’m based in the UK and initially I was only enrolled in UK affiliate programs which was a big mistake because I was missing out on much larger audiences. Sign up for all the Amazon programs you can, use Genius to process your affiliate links, and use Payoneer to collect the fat wads of cash which will be sure to come your way.
IGNORE anyone who tells you to say YES to every single opportunity which comes your way. You don’t want to just become a review whore… reviewing lots and lots of stuff which doesn’t even interest you – your audience will see that you’re not really passionate about it and they’ll turn off. Make videos (or write blogs) about stuff you care about and create the sort of content YOU’D like to consume yourself.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
As I mentioned before, sticking with just the UK arm of Amazon Affiliates was a big mistake, and I should have signed up for at least the USA arm much sooner. However, the fact that I didn’t has really highlighted for me the importance of understanding your market, in a much stronger way than I’d have seen before. I’m based mainly on YouTube, so I can look at my Analytics and look at the countries where I see most traffic from and then ensure I’m tooled up to make the most of those markets – hopefully, I can help others to learn from my mistake!
What is one piece of software or a web service that allows you to to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
As a YouTuber, my brand (Switched On Network) lives primarily on that platform but it’s important to realize that it doesn’t have to live just there. Setting up monetize website (www.switchedonnetwork.com) for the channel and ensuring that all videos are displayed as posts on there has really helped because it’s another avenue for people to find my content via Google searches and can really help with SEO. There are several WordPress plugins that you can use to automatically import any new videos from your YouTube channel onto a WordPress blog as a new post, and then I use a tool called SocialPilot which has a bulk scheduling option which enables me to schedule posts across all the main social networks, to, the reach of my content.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
YouTube is hands-down the best place to learn how to do stuff, in my opinion. There’s a guy called Sean Cannell who runs a few channels on YouTube (eg. Think Media) which has some great tips, especially for content marketers. If you’ve not watched any of his content, definitely go and check it out!
If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?
Twitter – @paulfp