Experts Edge with Colin Dijs: Affiliate Marketing Crash Course

Colin Dijs is a seven-figure force to be reckoned with in affiliate marketing today. As founder and acting CEO of the much anticipated Deberoo affiliate suite, Colin took some time out to chat with us about 

  • 2021’s top verticals 
  • The skills every affiliate marketer needs 
  • The steps to follow for a profitable campaign, and much more! 

So, let’s jump straight to it, with Colin Dijs and the Affiliate Marketing Crash Course.

How would you describe what you do Colin?

Well, I do a lot of things. We have a group of companies that I own and run simultaneously. We assist affiliate marketers and some of the smaller media buying companies to access new growth in the market. Switching away from the old strategies and implementing the new. 

Personally, I’m heavily involved in pushing our companies to their full potential, dealing with smaller and larger clients respectively. Our top affiliate consultants are not only assigned to big clients but also assist up and coming affiliate marketers. This, in turn, ensures every client remains equally as important, where we can tailor our services to meet their individual needs. 

Could you give us an overview of the Deberoo Suite?

Deberoo started out as my own personal affiliate platform and has fast become a fully integrated, end to end affiliate marketing software platform with a consulting subsidiary attached. 

Affiliate marketers/media-buyers need A LOT of software to truly stay ahead of the game. These tools are all vital to your success and nobody wants to have 20+ tabs open at a time. 

Basically, the Deberoo platform (as of Jan 2021), will allow you to move 8 of these tabs/tools into a one-stop affiliate marketing solution. Meaning a low barrier to entry for beginners and a range of powerhouse software options for more advanced affiliates. When the suite is fully launched, it will include the below:

  • Landing Page Builder
  • Tracking Software 
  • Spy Tool
  • Cashflow Manager
  • Image Editor
  • Translation Tool
  • Coaching and Consulting Suite
  • Affiliate Forum 
  • Education Portal 

Additionally, the platform has a shared calendar that will notify you of global online advertising events that you can attend to connect with like-minded affiliate marketers. 

We’re currently still in the beta testing phase and will go live with the full suite in early January 2021. The good news is that, until then, you can sign up and use the platform completely free of charge. If you sign up now you’ll have unprecedented access to 8 of the top tools in affiliate marketing today, and all under one roof. Simply register onto the platform and let us know what you think?

What does a day in your life look like?

I’ll wake up at 05h00 to cook my meals for the day. I’ll put in a full day of work and then head to the gym at 18h00. I do this 6 days a week with one rest day. I have 2x fixed 20 min calls every evening with our lead developer and company sales director. 

So, how did you first start out in affiliate marketing?

I’ve always been a bit of a hustler at heart. This started when I was 16. I would buy trading cards from America and sell them in Europe at a marked up price. 

I went on to study a Bachelor of Business Administration (International Business) and, on graduating, I worked in a call center for two and a half years. This was where my career as an entrepreneur really took off. 

It was around this time that I bought a lifetime membership for a detailed, and at the time, pretty expensive business course. This gave me access to a community of innovators and entrepreneurs that fast-tracked me on the road to affiliate marketing. 

I started out running CPA traffic and the rest is history. I hit the ground running and found, over time, that I had a knack for buying traffic.  

I went on to buy Sweepstakes offers with Facebook ads and, as I continued to refine and define my affiliate marketing expertise, I took on new verticals and tried out new networks. 

When I first started out it took me about 6 months to do $10 000 in revenue by myself and then when I quit my day job to pursue affiliate marketing full time I pushed it to $100 000 and then to $250 000 a month after that. So, if you’re not seeing immediate results, keep refining your tactics, and don’t give up too quickly.

Do you still run your own campaigns? 

These days, I create campaigns for fun. That may sound a little weird, but having run a dedicated affiliate marketing YouTube channel for the past few years, it’s been vital for staying on the pulse of what’s happening in our industry, providing case studies and tutorials that hold real value to the affiliate marketing community. 

I like to challenge myself and tackle new verticals that I’m not familiar with. I’ll try out a new traffic source every quarter and explore the field. I usually bring in someone to teach me the basics and keep me up to speed. Media Buying stays the same (mostly, but certain sub-niches like SMS and Native can change and update from time to time, so it helps to implement effective strategies quickly. 

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“When it comes to performance marketing (affiliate marketing), trustworthiness is incredibly important, oftentimes, more so than revenue and especially when first starting out. At the end of the day, where there is a good business model, there will be opportunities for strong profit margins. but not all profits are trustworthy.”

Colin Dijs

Founder & CEO, Deberoo

What was the biggest mistake you made when first starting out? 

For affiliate marketing, I focused too much on the end profit when I should have invested a lot more into learning. I wanted instant ROI and was looking for instant gratification before I knew the game. When you first make a financial investment into your business, you want to be learning and expanding your knowledge base constantly. 

In every affiliate marketer’s journey, there is a distinct learning curve that comes with the territory. If an affiliate could start earning  $10 000 a month right out the gate, and all you’d need to do is invest a nominal sum with Deberoo, we’d have millions of customers in a day. This just isn’t the case. You’ll still need to go away and study the craft, learn the ropes, and become comfortable enough with the industry to start running strong campaigns. 

What are the skills every affiliate needs?

Patience and hard work would be top of my list. Good things come to those who work hard and you can’t expect the results without putting in the effort. 

But affiliate marketing is a slow burner and, although your efforts will pay off one day, there’s a long road ahead that you need to be prepared for. You have to treat affiliate marketing as the real business it is and I feel that people tend to forget this sometimes. 

Hard skills include copywriting. Knowing how to write quality, attention-grabbing headlines and landing pages, etc. And this can be learned over time. Also, an eye for design doesn’t hurt. 

Additionally, a bit of basic maths plays a vital role because, in order to truly excel in your media-buying/affiliate marketing journey, you’ll need to be able to read and analyze incoming campaign data properly. The quicker you can run the numbers in your head, the more time you’ll save.

Lastly, people skills and relationship management play a big role in being a top affiliate marketer. If you can sweet talk your affiliate manager into giving you a higher payout, all the more power to you.

Everything mentioned above falls down to pattern recognition. As Tony Robbins says, “the power is in the patterns” and I couldn’t agree more. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be able to recognize what you need to do again and again. 

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“When you find the pattern of what’s working in the market and replicate it, you’re in for a promising affiliate marketing career”

Colin Dijs

Founder & CEO, Deberoo

What are the steps for a profitable first-time campaign? 

Something I swear by is known as the Three-Day Rule. Basically, this rule applies to a variety of offers with a lower payout (like push or Facebook offers) and is gold for boosting conversions and developing lasting strategies. Check out the full tutorial right here.

We use this and other theories in our courses. We specialize in teaching best practices for Facebook, push, and native advertising and we only teach based on what we know already works (from our own hands-on experience).

Key performance indicators are a sure-fire way to eliminate unnecessary guesswork. All you need to do is follow the steps, run the data and, if, for some reason, you’re not getting the results you’re after, just rinse and repeat the core process again and again. 

A lot of beginners tend to doubt themselves. They either run a campaign too fast or let it run far too long and in the process, end up spending unnecessary money. So these rules like the Three-Day Rule and others create equilibrium for them. 

Check out Deberoo for a full library of online learning that will level up your affiliate game and give you the skills you need to succeed. You can also learn about setting up your own online express campaign for pop-under, push, native, and others. 

What Verticals/Niches are taking off in 2021?

The big three will stay strong. Crypto is a heavy hitter for people who have spent money over the holidays and want to recoup some of it. Then there’s Nutra, especially in the first quarter of next year, when everyone is reeling from the New Year and looking to get healthy. Lastly, Gambling is a permanently strong vertical and tends not to diminish with the onset of the New Year. You can try your hand at Insurance as well, which has shown stable growth over the last few months. And, of course, eCommerce is a must, with online shopping having increased tenfold in the wake of COVID-19. 

What is a fair starting budget for a first-time affiliate?

$250 to $500 will get you started if you’re just dabbling in affiliate marketing. If you’re serious about building a business, around $2500 a month is a good starting point and, as you progress, you can put another $1000 on top of this as you become more skilled.

At the end of the day, cash flow is the most important thing. When moving from working full time at a company to self-employed, you have to invert your earnings. You start out 100% employed and 0% self-employed and, as the self-employed revenue starts to go up, you can in turn scale down your employed revenue in stages.

Lastly, could you recommend any good books/tools/software? 

Let’s start with some books.

  • Relentless: From Good to Great, to Unstoppable (Tim S. Grover) 
  • The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things (Ben Horowitz) –  One of my all-time favorites.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kyosaki)  – If you’re first starting out.
  • The Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom (Robert Kyosaki) 

Some of these books deal with cultivating the right business mindset. The media buying job is easy, once you get to understand it. But the process of generating a mindset to run a successful business can be quite difficult.  

If you can, avoid books that delve too deeply into the digital marketing space and try to stay with the affiliate sector to keep your learning consistently impactful. 

As far as forums are concerned, check out AffLIFT, STM, and AffiliateFix. These forums help you get in touch with the right people, whilst staying up to date with new industry developments and trends. We also have a new forum/community coming soon to the Deberoo suite, so watch this space! 😁

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