Anything has to start somewhere. And any beginnging can be rough or slow. Lack of patience is one of the modern man’s features, especially the young one. We all want everything and we want it now. Affiliate marketing is also included in the “Patience and persistance” category.
Daniela Vaduva, one of the top affiliates in 2Performant, also understood that affiliation is a long shot project. She told us a few things about her experience, touching a lot of delicate topics for those who would like to give it a try themselves, but who get lost in fears and excuses.
She openly talked about how she entered the completely unknown world of online marketing, how she learned how to learn, how she makes her choices on what to promote and also about her first commission.
Here is her story:
What were your skills when you decided to start with affiliate marketing? What online skills did you have?
About five years ago I had the first contact with affiliate marketing. I was coming from an area that had nothing to do with online marketing and I had a very low experience with this. However, my better half was extremly passionate about everything that had to do with online and this opened my interest towards it. I started doing some research, spending more time in front of my computer, trying to understand what this whole thing was about. This is how I heard about affiliate programs in Romania and started to test them warily.
How did you learn what you know now? Where?
As I said before, I was lucky even from the beginning because I had a self-taught man next to me, who explained a lot of online related things to me and today we are a team on the professional side as well. I have also learned to constantly do research, because everything in online is in a continuous transition and what works today, may be of no use in a few months.
How much time do you assign to learning new things? Do you have a method that can help you understand and assimilate information? Do you have a list of resources?
I am trying to constantly learn new things, but in online my method is research and testing. I follow a few websites from Romania or other countries and I try to apply some of the ideas or to develop new ones. Some work, some don’t, some are a match for me, some are not. It is clear that research is no use if you don’t test it yourself, even if you may screw it up. Sometimes we need to fails so we can learn some things.
What tools do you use for affiliate marketing and which you may recommend?
I use Google Trends. It helps me find out about some products seasonality and Google Analytics, to analyze visitors’ behavior. I think both tools are necessary in an affiliate’s activity. I also work Asana for taslk management.
What advertising channel do you like most (no matter its efficiency)?
Content stays my favorite promotion method, although it is a big time and energy consumer. This is a long shot promotion and is not monetized quickly. But a high quality content can bring conversions for a very long time, even 4-5 years, with little interventions. It also offers the satisfaction to know that you brought some added value and useful solutions to your audience.
How do you find the profitable niche? How do you decide what advertiser to promote? How do you pick the products you want to bring in the spotlight?
I do consider passions or what I am interested to learn when I pick a niche. I start with a little research and then I choose my product(s). I start looking for the stores that sell the respective products. If there’s only one store that sells them, it’s much more simple. If there are several stores that offer them, then we can get the party started. The first step is to analyze the stores, see which one is more trustworthy, their brand, order process (desktop and mobile) and compare their prices. Following these actions I start testing. After that I measure the results, optimize, make changes and draw the conclusions.
If you were to open up an online store, what would you sell?
At the moment I am quite interested in natural products. So I would go for natural food and cosmetics.
Would you like to try affiliate marketing in other countries? Why not? If yes, what would be the first choice?
Yes, I would like to try affiliate marketing in the United States. I am curious what it’s like to do it in the country that sets all trends, how advertisers think and what are the affiliates’ strategies.
How do you manage you financial part? Do you invest a lot of your earnings? How do you choose which channels to invest in?
Every month I put back in a very good part of what I make, but it’s not a fixed amount. It varies depending on the time and context (like Black Friday, Holidays, competitions, etc). I choose to invest in the channels that I know best and that bring a positive ROI. I periodically test new advertisers, most frequently for competitions.
When did you make your first commission? For what and how much that was? How long had you been sending traffic?
I made the first commission 5 years ago. Although its value (75cents) may be discouraging, to me this was a trigger that made me realize I can ensure an income from affiliate marketing. It is true, I have worked for 2 months before seeing this “huge” commission, but time has passed, results have increased and today I have no regrets that I placed a bet on affiliate marketing.
What would you do if you didn’t do affiliate marketing? ☺
I would probably work in sales. I like to communicate, to build relationships and this has probably helped me a lot in this field.
This is why the key to success in affiliate marketing, like in other fields, is the patience to learn new things, but also the power to continue, even if results don’t show over night.
Congrats to Daniela and all the other affiliates that have remained put for a longer time and that can now reap the fruit of their work and patience.
Good luck with your conversions!