Experts Edge with Luke Kling. Affiliate Networks and Communities

Long time affiliate expert, international speaker, serial “solopreneur” and triple threat digital marketer Luke Kling is a force to be reckoned with in today’s constantly changing affiliate sector. Long-standing director of marketing for PeerFly, Luke went on to create AffLIFT, an affiliate forum packed to the brim with actionable information and killer advice from the best in the business today. 

The idea is to provide a supportive community to affiliate marketers without breaking the bank. For $20 a month, AffLIFT unlocks the door to a thriving online metropolis of what’s trending, bending, and mending in affiliate marketing today. 

A quick word on AffLIFT 

Going into its third year and, widely regarded as one of the top affiliate forums in the industry today, the AffLIFT community was established in 2009 and has grown to 40, 000 members from the UK to Egypt and everywhere in between. Lukes idea around this was to have a forum that would provide guidance and assistance to the affiliate community, from campaign creation through to industry trends and vital updates. Sign up to the AffLIFT affiliate marketing forum today and get to grips with all that going on in digital and affiliate marketing. 

Check out a few of the top threads from the AffLIFT network, free to the public, and ready to read. 

So, introductions aside, over to Luke. 

So Luke. How would you describe what you do? 

Simply put? I create products for digital marketers like me. On any given day, I act as an affiliate, product owner, and content marketer for my businesses. I started my digital journey at age 12, creating and selling websites to make extra cash. Fast forward 20 years and I’m still as obsessed as ever.

7 years ago I created FPTraffic. A tool used by 70,000+ affiliate marketers, that allows you to schedule and automate your entire month’s social media posts in 30 minutes flat.  

And, after Peerfly shut down, I created AffLIFT, a cutting-edge forum tailored to the global affiliate marketing community. 

Was it tough leaving the 9 to 5?

Not really. I’ve always had projects on the side and it was a matter of finding the right time to branch out and pursue them fully. So, the transition was pretty gradual and, I guess I was lucky with that. From the start, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to be, so it was down to putting in the hard yards needed to make it happen. 


AffLIFT Affiliate marketer-Luke Kling

I spent my 20’s creating a product and I’ll spend my 30’s learning how to build a business around it. 

Luke Kling

Affiliate Marketing Expert, AffLIFT

How do you find working from home? 

I structure my day in phases, where I’ll lock myself up for a few hours and crank out as much work as I can. Then, when I feel I’ve taken a chunk out of the day, I’ll take a break and spend some time with my family. 

Remote work is the future and more companies will adapt to it over time. I mean, just the amount of money you save on office space and overheads is insane.

There’s a lot that goes into learning how to be productive on your own time but, once you get the hang of it, there’s so much you can accomplish. I don’t have a set schedule as such, but I do have a to-do list which I try to stick to as much as possible. 

Pro tip? The Software I use is Todoist and I really do swear by it. It’s a simple way to jot down and track your goals on a given day and it helps to boost productivity. 

How did you first get into Affiliate Marketing?

I started out coding, designing, and selling niche websites on Digital Point Forum, and one day,  sold a website to the owner of XY7,  the biggest affiliate network at the time. From there, I learned the ropes and started creating campaigns with Google Ads. A while later, I got my first role as an affiliate manager. 

My first affiliate sale was for a 60’s CD box set, which I sold on Google with a CPC ad.

What are the skills needed to become a world-class affiliate?

Check your expectations at the door and go into it with the right mindset. Additionally, although not a deal-breaker, it does help to be a little number savvy and to know the basics of how to accurately analyze and learn from your campaign conversion rates and monthly averages, etc. 

Also, stick with it. Give it a few months of focus and commitment. People tend to drop off so quickly. They come in thinking it’s going to be an easy ride, but the ones that stick around and learn as much as they can, tend to generate stable profits in time to come. 

Any advice to first-time affiliates?

Join a community with like-minded people. With people so stretched for time, it’s hard to get a mentor but, a forum or community solves this off the bat. 

Forums are moderated and monitored by seasoned professionals who’ve been through the ropes and are able to pass the torch to people coming up, with tips and advice that can prove invaluable in time to come.

Speak to the people who’ve already cut a name for themselves in the industry, and draw from their knowledge.

AffLIFT Affiliate marketer-Luke Kling

Find a place where you can learn and connect with top-performing affiliates and, as you go, you’ll pick up the skills you need to stay in the game and make the most of your affiliate marketing journey. 

Luke Kling

Affiliate Marketing Expert, AffLIFT

On that note, tell us a little more about AffLIFT?

We’ve reached 40,000 affiliates to date and, being an active affiliate myself, it was vital to get input from real affiliates and to better understand what their challenges are. 

We curated our findings into a global forum with the express goal of connecting and developing affiliate marketers from around the world. 

Forums can be notoriously expensive and honestly, most affiliates don’t want to spend $110+ of their monthly advertising budget on sign up fees. 

Signing up to AffLIFT costs $20 a month, where what you save goes back to your campaign. 

Simple as that really. We provide a community for beginners and experts alike, with moderators from around the world. Our goal is to get people to run campaigns, regardless of their experience level. 

Any leads for affiliate news and resources?

Sign up for blogs and newsletters from different companies in the affiliate space. This will keep you on the front line of what’s changing, expanding, or diminishing in terms of trends, verticals, geos, and such.

Companies like Mobidea or Stacked Marketer produce content daily and will keep you on the pulse of new industry developments. 

Also, subscribe to the AffLIFT newsletter. Shameless Self-promotion? 😆 Sure, but hey, we have 40,000+ members, comprising affiliates and networks that regularly post cutting-edge news and insights. So, definitely worth your time. 

What are the latest trends in Affiliate marketing right now?

Push Notifications and PopAds have seen a strong resurgence in advertising campaigns and I would recommend trying them out

Sweepstakes remained stable and a new vertical has entered onto the scene that we’ve seen a big uptake in. That being “Click to Call” and “Click to Sms”.

With the year playing out as we’ve seen so far, remaining agile is important. 

AffLIFT Affiliate marketer-Luke Kling

 2020’s seen a few top verticals put on hold, like sports and travel. With this, affiliates moved to niches like VOD/ online dating, and the results have been really good.

Luke Kling

Affiliate Marketing Expert, AffLIFT

Is there a skill in finding the right niche?

Start out with sweepstakes. It’s always been an evergreen vertical with global appeal. Also, look for the niches with lower payoffs.

The reason being that lower-paying affiliate offers will have higher conversion rates, and when new to the game, it’s great to see conversions coming in, seeing you make nominal returns from the get-go. 

For a full understanding of niches and verticals, Check out our 14 step beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing here. It will give you an A to Z rundown of how to set up, track, optimize, and analyze your campaigns. Also, get the full scoop on how to make money with affiliate marketing with the Adconf webinar

From here you can apply what you’ve learned into other verticals and move from strength to strength on the road ahead. The goal is to learn the right strategy and process and refine it into bigger campaigns as you go

Do you have any advice for choosing the right affiliate network?

We’ve actually got an affiliate network directory on the forum. It’s free and available for anyone to check out. 

You’ll find a long list of recommended affiliate networks, reviewed, and rated by top digital marketers. As far as specific recommendations go,  check out Monetizer. You’ll get access to strong data that you can apply to your own campaigns.  

Look for networks that give you access to as much data as possible. The more you have to go on, the better. Mobidea is a solid choice for affiliates just starting off and has access to stats that will come in handy when testing out your creatives.  

Looking for further insights? Check out a 101 guide to affiliate marketing and media-buying here

Any recommendations for affiliate tools/software?

In terms of spy tools, Anstrex is great for push notifications and native ads, helping you optimize your campaigns in line with (and better) than what your competitors are doing. Adplexity is good for pop traffic and I usually go there 2 or 3 times a week to see how my pop campaigns are fairing. 

For trackers, I use Voluum. It’s well structured, easy to use and the support team is on point. 

If you’re looking for an awesome landing page builder, try out Purelander. The software lets you generate eye-catching landing pages in the shortest possible time, with a ton of different templates. 

Check out the PureLander guide to optimized landing page setups here 

Lastly, what’s the biggest mistake 1st-time affiliates make?

Giving up too quickly. People come in with the wrong mindset. If they don’t get a positive ROI from the get-go, they get discouraged and move on. 

The best way to avoid this is to come in knowing that affiliate marketing is not going to be a quick thing and that there is going to be a lot to learn. Knowing how to track, test, and generate good content is vital to your success. 

Pro tip? Join affiliate communities and ask the right questions. You’ll understand more in half the time and, you get to learn from the best in the business.  

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