Dylan Stout is the Director of Affiliate Operations at RevenueAds Affiliate Network. With over 4 years experience in affiliate marketing, Dylan has helped grow RevenueAds into a top-tier network for advertisers and publishers to turn when looking to promote and advertise online.
1. How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?
I have been in affiliate marketing for a total of 4 years now. It all started when my good friend Matthew Stowe built a website based around social networking. At the time we were using Tripod to build our sites. We had this site in the glory days of internet marketing. It was the late 90′s and early 2000′s. We wanted a way to pay the bills to keep our site up that we had made just for fun. That’s when we came across a company called ClixGalore and we started running Cost Per Click campaigns. We were making anywhere from $.01-$.50 per click. After that kind of burned out, Matt went on and started IncentReward which was a popular incentive affiliate network. Then about two and half years ago, we started RevenueAds mostly focusing on Non-Incentive campaigns.
2. How long was it before you realized you could live off your affiliate income?
Since we were so young, when we first started doing Internet Marketing it took a couple years before we realized that college wasn’t necessary and we could work from our living room, and now our office and make a living that way.
3. What was the biggest mistake you made when you first started doing Affiliate Marketing?
Accounts receivable payments can creep up on you in the start if you are not actively making sure your advertisers are paying on time. We are proud to have a solid accounting team in place to make sure we receive all our payments on time, but most importantly that our publishers are always been paid on time. We have a really great track record for paying on time or early every single payout period. Big publishers come to expect it, and that’s what we provide.
4. There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes your network different?
With so many networks, it is hard to find something that someone doesn’t already offer. I would say the main thing we are focused on doing at RevenueAds is to understand each and every affiliate is different in their needs and abilities. So not every affiliate is going to need to the same thing to be a successful as possible. The keyword with us is flexibility. Affiliate “A” may run re-bill campaigns as a media buyer and Affiliate “B” may run dating campaigns with a E-mail list. So we try not to set any hard policies across the board. Tell me what you need whether it be campaigns, payouts, payout terms and we will get that for you. I feel like that is our job basically working for every affiliate until he has the exact tools he needs.
5. Do you offer bi-weekly or weekly payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
We do offer weekly payments, we like to see at least $1000/week to get the weekly payments.
6. Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates – E-mail, PPC, Pay Per View, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?
We have affiliates earning great income in all the above listed traffic sources. If you have the right campaign and a creative way to promote it you can be successful.
7. Do you offer online training for new affiliates?
Yes, we help train new affiliates on a daily basis. We are working on building out pay per click and cost per view tools that will be free to all our affiliates to use when promoting their campaigns.
8. What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted by your network? How do you prevent and handle fraud?
If you are motivated and hard-working then there will be no problem getting accepted by us. With fraud, we have internal checks in place to remove all the fraud sign-ups from our network. Unfortunately, due to the fraud with lead generation and CPA marketing, I believe it has kept several of the top advertisers and many branded companies from entering into affiliate marketing. This really hurts everyone involved with Internet marketing from earning more money with companies that have enormous budgets for advertising. But, that is what also sets us aside from other networks, with our rigorous screening process, we only provide the best traffic for our advertisers.
9. In your opinion, what are the best places for a new affiliate to learn affiliate marketing? What advice would you give for them?
I think very good information can be found in many of the affiliate marketing forums and blogs. Lots of affiliates are willing to share their failures and successes saving you hours of testing. A couple sites that I enjoy reading are wickedfire.com and affbuzz.com.
My advice to new affiliates is hard work and determination can equal success and great rewards. Do not be afraid of failing. Keep pressing and don’t be quick to throw in the towel.
10. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements of run a successful campaign.
I would say the most important being willing to put in the time and effort it takes to scale a campaign. If you do not have automatic traffic sources that you are able to just switch on, it’s going to require tweaking and lots of testing. Choosing the right campaign is essential in this area. Your affiliate manager can come in very handy in helping you choose a campaign that is going to perform well enough for you to be successful. They have the inside information on the convention rates and Earning Per Click of campaigns for various traffic sources. Once you have decided to put in the time and you have selected a good campaign to promote, you are going to need a good ad-copy, landing page, or creative. From there your ready to scale it out.
11. What’s the difference between a Super Affiliate and an Average Affiliate?
This is a tough one because I don’t know where the determination is made that this affiliate or that affiliate drives enough leads to be considered a “Super” affiliate. Some of the affiliates that are driving high amounts of volume have just found something that works for them usually a traffic source that they are able to make profitable with a good campaign. An affiliate that runs a lower volume of leads is just a “Super” affiliate waiting until they find that traffic source or campaign that they can crush.
12. What are the keys to building successful relationships between Affiliates and Affiliate Networks? What are some of the challenges of being an Affiliate Manager/Owner?
Well, as an affiliate network we basically have two parties we are trying to make as profitable as possible while keeping a small piece. The advertiser and the affiliate. The affiliate is making the money for the affiliate network and the advertiser is paying the bill. So the most valuable affiliates to an affiliate network are the ones that work closely with the affiliate manager to ensure the advertiser is getting quality traffic. A good affiliate manager should ALWAYS have the back of an affiliate that is working with them to run traffic to campaigns. Affiliate networks need to understand the struggles of an affiliate, fighting for everything they can get to help make the affiliate successful, after all if the affiliate is not successful then there is no traffic.
13. If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?
Honestly, I really can’t complain too much here. There are things that make it difficult sometimes, but for me it’s much better than most of the other jobs I could have right now.
14. What do you think about where the industry is going? What advice would you give to affiliates to keep up the pace.
I hear things on a daily basis about this new and amazing traffic source or great idea. Most importantly, I think being able to adapt in a field that changes at a rapid rate is key. There may be changes in what you do just be ready to evolve with what comes your way.
At RevenueAds, we’re looking to get more into owning are own campaigns and properties. For Affiliates, I would say the dollar signs should be enough motivation.
15. What are your goals in 2010? And how is the progress so far?
Our goals for 2010 have been to continue growing at a rapid pace while coming out with our own in-house exclusive offers as well as tons of direct relationships with advertisers.