Experts Edge. A kick off to affiliate marketing with Emanuel Cinca

An accomplished entrepreneur and public speaker, Emanuel quickly gained prominence as a rockstar affiliate, and (among other ventures) went on to start the Stacked Marketer newsletter, a daily dose of tips and trends for all things digital, with 12, 000 + global subscribers and counting.  

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emanuel_cinca

How did you get into affiliate marketing?

I started out as a professional poker player and went over into software development.  After a project I was working on fell through, I made the decision to pivot into affiliate marketing. This is going back to around 2015 (give or take).

The good thing about the affiliate world is that you can test it out rather quickly and surmise whether it’s going to work for you or not. So for a few months, I put all my time and effort into media buying. I had a fixed budget and I used it every day to create campaigns, learn more, and turn a profit. 

Emanuel Cinca

Affiliate Rockstar, Stacked Marketer

Was there any good advice you got when first starting out? 

The best (and possibly the most generic) advice is to test campaigns all the time. You can never do enough testing. If five campaigns don’t work, test more! You never know. You could be half a step away from a sure-fire formula. The sky really is the limit with this. 

Also, set your expectations. It’s good to know what you’re getting into. You are more than capable of succeeding, but you need to go in with a plan and keep an open mind.

And… sign up to a strong affiliate network.   

Did you struggle to find an affiliate network?

I was recommended to one of the bigger networks. 

It does help when you apply as a holding company or business entity. It carries credibility, but networks accept individuals all the time as well. 

It helps to join and actively participate in affiliate marketing communities like the STM Forum. Networks will then be able to see from your profile and participation that you’re an active member of the affiliate community. 

What’s the main misconception around affiliate marketing today?

“You can only make money with a product, vertical or niche that is brand new and hot”.

 Although the latest products help a lot initially, some of them can lose momentum after a while. Especially if they’re solving temporary needs or crazes (like face masks or fidget spinners, etc.)

That being said, decent returns come from marketing evergreen products. Play for the long game and avoid chasing after the “here today, gone tomorrow” products and services. 

Another misconception is that you cannot generate returns in old school ways (i.e, email marketing). Not true. Along with Facebook and Native advertising, email marketing is a strong option for every digital strategy. 

How competitive has affiliate marketing become?

More competitive in the sense of there being loads of affiliate programs from all sorts of different companies, with trickle-down returns (affiliates, ultimately being the last to see revenue).

However, there really is no shortage of products to market and,  the more unique and well-targeted your campaign content becomes, the better your chances to stand out and succeed.  

As long as the product you’re marketing carries traction and the advertising methods you’re using don’t fall into gray zone tactics, you’re good to go.

Slow and steady vs fast and reckless?

Give it everything you’ve got and, analyze your success after a few months.

Where, with a bit of luck, it’s possible to make cash quickly on hot topic verticals, affiliate marketing is, in general, a long term financial play. If you’re dedicated and consistent with your testing, you can make a steady profit.

Affiliate marketing is also a cool springboard to hone your skills for other marketing channels. You’re constantly learning how to promote a range of different products in a range of different sectors, giving you the chance to diversify your knowledge base and sharpen your skillset. 

emanuel_cinca

What mistakes do first-timers make? 

Most first-time affiliates don’t know how to set up proper tracking. It’s very important to have the right tracking tools in place. Evaluating and testing the end results of your campaigns is the only way to get better. 

New affiliates also tend not to invest in a good spy tool software to help them analyze the competition and pick up the trends they need to succeed. 

So, what spy tools and trackers would you recommend?

With spy tools, you’ll need to specialize a little, as they’re usually based on traffic type. 

For push/pop-under and native advertising, you could go with Anstrex or Adplexity

If your targeting FaceBook traffic, try out Magic Adz

When it comes to trackers, most of them do a good job, but as most of them are paid software, you’ll need to start with what’s in your budget. Also, choose your tracker according to whether you’ll be dealing with self-hosted or cloud-hosted tracking solutions. 

Either way, I’d recommend Voluum, Thrive Tracker, Redtrack, and BeMob to name a few. 

Experts Edge. Emanuel Cinca

How do you choose the right vertical/niche?

Sign up to 3 or 4 affiliate networks that specialize in different verticals. This will give you more choices in the niches you want to target. 

Get a reliable spy tool and, through different testing phases, start to gauge what’s working and what isn’t. After pinpointing what’s performing the best, ask yourself whether you want to keep advertising this vertical in the long run.  

Try to exclude verticals from your choices that you are not passionate about and/or knowledgeable about. You’re going to be spending many hours dealing in and around this niche, so it might as well be something you like (or at least, don’t completely hate)

What advice would you give to Affiliates who are just starting out?

Be disciplined and focused in the first few months and give a consistent and dedicated effort to your campaigns. Also, keep your finger on the pulse of new and upcoming industry trends. 

Be obsessed with your end goal and don’t treat your efforts like a hobby. Unfortunately, a few hours a day probably won’t cut it.  

Could you recommend some quality affiliate resources?

One of the first resources I first picked up was Finches Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing. This guide describes affiliate marketing throughout the years and will guide you through the basics of all you need to know. It’s a great reference tool. 

You can also get great advice and articles from affiliate forums and communities, such as STM Forum and affLIFT. There is a sign-up fee, but it’s well worth it to be on the front line of all the new affiliate trends and information. 

Lastly, do you have any advice for digital marketers in general?

There will always be a level of volatility, both in the affiliate sector and in digital marketing as a whole. The trick is to ride the wave and not get swept up in the chaos. 

At the end of the day, do everything you can to make people care about your brand and the messages you put out to the world. Nurture and cultivate fans who will actively follow and care about your brand.

Keep in touch with Emanuel and stay up to date

Sign up to Stacked Marketer right here and follow Emanuel on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Lastly, keep a lookout for more Expert’s Edge articles heading your way. Next up? Luke Kling. Triple threat digital rockstar and founder of the affLIFT affiliate marketing forum. Watch this space and reach out to us anytime on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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