Affiliate Profiles

An interview with Regina Caligiuri

Who are you and what are you currently working on?

Hi, I am Regina! I am the creator of the website and brand, Maximum Off Grid. I am currently working on gaining organic traffic to the website and building brand recognition.

Google has come out and talked about the importance of branding and how they use branding to sift out the spammers. So my attention has become laser-focused on branding the business.

Right now, I am about at the midway point of affiliate marketing success. I am a little over one year into building the business and I have accomplished important milestones. But I am not to the point of quitting my job just yet.

I have realized how important it is to enjoy the journey and not just focus on end results. You need to love what you’re doing in this realm because it’s like running the slowest race of your life. Google does not give out rewards quickly, you need to earn them over time. A lot of time!

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

The reason I launched an affiliate marketing business is to earn passive income and open the door to freedom so I can live the lifestyle of my dreams.

Right now I am working in the oilfields on the pipeline. They work us about 60-80 hours a week with 1-2 days off per month. This leaves no time for pursuing my passions in life.

I decided that I need to take fate into my own hands and create my perfect life by design; no one else is going to do it for me. So I created a business that encapsulates my passions. That way, when I do work, it is pleasurable and meaningful to me.

There are several things that keep me excited about being an affiliate marketer. I LOVE waking up in the morning and seeing sales on my Amazon Affiliate account. It’s like I am making money in my sleep! That is the most exhilarating feeling in the world and has made every single effort worth it.

I enjoy trying products out and then writing about them, giving my readers valuable information, and them showing appreciation! I have been getting lots of positive feedback from people thanking me for the information I provide. That is a value beyond dollars.

Affiliate marketing is giving me the opportunity to build the lifestyle of my dreams and become a fulltime content creator around my passions and hobbies. This is the coolest thing of all. I love the outdoors and would gladly spend the rest of my life hiking, fishing, and camping. That dream is actually becoming a reality for me, albeit slowly.

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

My one piece of advice that I want to give to newbies is to enjoy the journey. If you do not like the niche you are covering, marketing and networking, content creation, and web design, then you are not going to have the perseverance to become successful in this industry.

This is the secret of painters and musicians; the ones who love the process instead of merely focusing on the end result are the ones that become successful.

Google does not give up its gifts easily, and the one thing Google wants to see are brands that persevere through putting in the time and effort into becoming a successful online presence.

Shoot, I did not even get my first organic click until the six-month mark! Six whole months of content creation, web design, SEO implementation, and branding before I got a single click. Once I did get that click, I got more and more. I started ranking for dozens of keywords, which has turned into hundreds of keywords. Now I am getting hundreds of visitors per month, which will turn into thousands – if I keep persisting.

The reason that I did not get any organic traffic for this period of time is that I believe Google places new websites into what is known as the “sandbox”. The sandbox is a period of 6-12 months where Google does not rank new websites in an effort to prevent spam and weed out the weak.

Don’t be surprised to put in 6-12 months of effort before you get a single DROP of Google love. Instead, focus on content creation and building a following (and clicks) through social media platforms.

Any advice that promotes ranking quickly on Google should be ignored. It simply does. Not. Happen! Do not use any blackhat or even grayhat methods to try and outwit Google. It may work at first, but your rankings will tank from a Google penalty down the road.

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 I made from the beginning of building my website was not properly structuring my content into silos.

Content silos are the correct way to organize your articles and landing pages into sections aka “silos” that are relevant to each other by keyword. You then link your pages to only relevant pages within those silos.

I re-keyed my URLs (risky step), placed all my content into their relevant silo, and placed those articles onto a landing page that is linked to my menu.

When I finalized my new content silo strategy, my rankings soared, and I started ranking for dozens of keywords. And it happened fast. Within 48 hours, I saw huge benefits of implementing the content silo strategy.

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

When it comes to affiliate marketing, SEO goes hand in hand. The better your SEO game, the more traffic you will get, driving more affiliate sales.

I have dabbled with many SEO tools, some paid and some free. The one tool I have come to use daily is SEOquake. SEOquake is a free toolbar that is an extension for the Chrome browser. Once installed, it will give you tons of stats right in the SERP search.

When you enter a keyword in the Google search bar, SEOquake will show you the keyword difficulty for that search. I have found it to be one of the more accurate keyword difficulty scores.

The tool also shows stats for each competitor that shows up in the SERPS, including backlinks, ALEXA ranking, and monthly traffic.

It’s a great tool to give you immediate data just by conducting keyword searches on Google.

How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?

It is very easy to experience information overload in the world of internet marketing. There is so much advice out there and lots of it is outdated.

I have found that I stick to one or two sources to keep up with the latest information and take action on it. If I watch too many videos or read too many articles, I get into analysis paralysis and don’t take any action at all.

My favorite source for education is Authority Hacker. Since I am building an authority website, I find their information to be the most relevant to my situation. They also have a no BS attitude with actionable to the point information, that I can put into use right away.

I have also found subscribing to Neil Patel’s newsletter to be helpful as he releases very relevant, up to date information that is easy to follow.

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