Affiliate Fireworks – How To Become A Super Affiliate For $50 Or Less

This book is a transcription of an interview with Eva Browne-Patterson, my first online mentor. When I first started working online, Eva took me under her wing and showed me how to locate the best affiliate products, how to promote them and how to set up a profitable online business. In this interview, she reveals how you can do it too.

And now, let’s get to the interview.

Terry:

Today we’re very lucky to have Eva Browne-Patterson from Australia with us.  She is the webmaster extraordinaire of www.evieb.com, and I think we’ll let you take it away Eva.  First of all, thank you for being on the call.

Eva:

You’re welcome, Terry.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Terry:

Oh, thank you.  We can just jump right in.  What’s your background and how did you get started on the Internet?

Eva:

I’ve worked with computers for over 20 years now. I worked full time as a computer operator years and years ago when I was 18 and I’m 42 now.

Terry:

That’s about the time when computers were the size of a living room.

Eva:

It was when they had green writing on them and little gray screens.

Terry:

I remember those.

Eva:

Then I worked on computers in a photographic lab.  I did desktop publishing.  Then, I worked in a graphic design studio removing peoples’ arms and replacing things, that was fun.

Terry:

On the screen, not in real life.

Eva:

Yea, not in real life.  I’ve always had a love for web development. I really just love learning.

I’ve always had two jobs. I was always trying to make more money, because I was never happy with what I earned anywhere.  At one stage I was doing computer training on the weekends and I used one of those ads that said, “Thanks, now that I have your attention….”  I had people come in so I could train them.

I was an Executive Assistant and a quality systems checker, then a technical document writer, and my last full-time job was a Business Systems Administrator.  Then, I just moved back home and kept working for myself.

Terry:

How long have you been working for yourself?

Eva:

Since the beginning of 2001.

Terry:

Fantastic.

Eva:

I did it in line with my full-time job.  I gave myself a goal and it was hard, but I did it.  I don’t think I could have gone much longer.

Terry:

What kind of goals did you set?  You had a full-time job and then you were doing this in the evening?

Eva:

Morning and evening actually.  I’d get up at six and do a couple of hours, quickly get ready for work, and go to work.  If I finished the work I was doing there, I would do my own work instead of sitting around doing nothing I would check my e-mail to see if an order came through or something like that.  Then, I’d come home, make dinner, and go back into it again.

Terry:

So, what was your goal?

Eva:

My goal was to build up an ezine business within 12 months to a stage that I could leave my full-time job.

Terry:

Fantastic.

Eva:

Yea.

Terry:

So, for people who have a full-time job and they’re working online on the side, would you say it would be reasonable to match your full-time income and then you can leave?

Eva:

I’d say before.  It’s going to take quite a while to match your full-time income.

Terry:
It depends on what your income is I guess.

Eva:

I was making good money where I was. it was a fantastic job.  I just had the desire to make money myself.  So, if you’re working full-time, it’s a good idea to read the book about power sleep so you could have an extra three hours in your day.

Terry:

How do we find this?  Is it a book you have?

Eva:

You can get it at www.powerfulsleep.com.  It tells you all about sleeping and how you can actually sleep less but have more energy, and it’s all about sleeping patterns.

Terry:

I have to pick that one up.

Eva:

It’s great.  I don’t know how many days I’ve spent 18-20 hours on a computer and going to bed really tired then waking up really tired.  It’s not a nice feeling.

Terry:

So, basically it’s been a natural transition for you from working on computers all the time to working online.  Did you have any real major hurdles or difficulty that you had to overcome?

Eva:

The hardest thing was the lack of energy from working so many hours.  Luckily my family supported me.  I just had to book them into a meeting so they could talk to me.  There weren’t any major difficulties for me, and anything that came up, I just considered a challenge and worked through it and got past it.

Terry:

You just need the proper attitude.

Eva:

Oh, definitely.  It’s just a learning experience and we have to go through these things to find out about them.

Terry:

That’s a great point, because I think some people get online and expect to just fire up the computer and print their own money.  They don’t understand that there’s a learning curve here.

Eva:

Oh definitely.  And when you’re working for yourself, especially when you’re working a full-time job at the same time, it’s amazing how much effort you’ll put in.  I think it depends on the person, but I had a really hard work ethic.  I thought when I finish my full-time job that I could go for a jog at the beach in the morning to start my day.  I live five minutes away from the beach and I haven’t been there once.  It’s unbelievable.

Terry:

So, what happened to the lifestyle that we see online that you can just go sit on the beach with your laptop?

Eva:

Well, I don’t have a laptop, I don’t particularly like them.  I think they’re not good ergonomically.  They give you a sore neck and have a small keyboard.

Terry:

You’ve developed a business around affiliate marketing and ezine marketing.

Eva:

Yep.

Terry:

Can you explain your business?

Eva:

Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing. I actually had a dream when I was much younger of writing a book.  The Internet and computers give you that opportunity without having to go through editors and people who critique your work and everything.  It was just a great feeling of freedom.

I always subscribed to several ezines and I thought that I would like to do that.  I’d pick things I liked and didn’t like about them and thought about what I would do in my own ezine.  I’d take ideas that have already bloomed in my head and as soon as I started writing it, it was great.  It just felt so good.

Terry:

It’s your calling in life.

Eva:

Yea, I think so.  Marketing just fits right in with it.  I’ve always had a lot to do with writing, word play, puns, and that sort of thing.  They just amuse me.

Terry:

It makes life fun.

Eva:

It does.  You spend a lot of time working, you have to enjoy it and it has to feel good.

Terry:

So, is your ezine the main way you promote your affiliate programs?

Eva:

Yes, one of the very many.

Terry:

Maybe you can take us for a walk through your marketing strategies. I know you’re very good at working with affiliate programs.  Can you tell us what you look for in an affiliate program and how you get other people involved?

Eva:

Sure.  Well, with my ezine, the whole aim of it is to find ways that people can promote their business for free or little cost.  So, I’m forever looking for new programs, products, and services. I’m researching all the time to get content for my ezine.  Also, if I’m going to promote something to my subscribers, I have to try it out myself.

Terry:

Right.

Eva:

I kid you not when I tell you that I belong to at least 500 affiliate programs.  What I look for in a program is something that would be easy to refill.

Terry:

What do you mean by that?

Eva:

If I think there’s a call for it and people are going to buy it. If I think it’s going to be popular I’ll go for it.  If it’s marketing related I’ll try it.  I look for a good value also.  It’s also good if the affiliate program can be at least two tiers.

I’ll recommend it to my subscribers and they’ll go check it out.  Some of the concepts and methods that I promote I use myself.

Terry:

What kind of methods are you using for marketing?

Eva:

Text ad boxes, and purchasing all sorts of traffic. There are good and bad.

Terry:

Can we just dive into that for a second, because a lot of people will shy away from buying traffic. A lot is junk traffic.  How do you buy quality traffic?

Eva:

As a person who sells traffic, I’ve noticed, that when people place their orders they also include a threat.  They say, “You better deliver it and if you don’t then blah blah blah,” and I think, “Wow, I haven’t even answered their e-mail yet and they’re attacking me already.  They must have been treated badly before.”  They’re not getting what they’re paying for.  I think anyone in that situation should ask for a refund.  There are a lot of things that go into it. The website, the copy, all the things that go into making the sale.  Sometimes the traffic is just literally junk and it’s not targeted enough I don’t think.

Terry:

I used to buy traffic as well and I completely agree with you. Some works well and some doesn’t work at all.  Where can we go now and find some good traffic?

Eva:

I’m always looking for new methods of generating traffic.  I do a lot of ad campaigns with customers.  They’re good to gauge results with.  I also get them to do a test campaign where they might spend $100 and get 5 or 6 different methods of advertising. You can track the results to see what’s good and what’s not.

The best two lately that I’ve seen are Direct Traffic Technology (DTT). You can find their info at www.evieb.com.  They buy up expired domains that still have traffic going to them.  When someone does a search, instead of saying that the page doesn’t exist, it will say your website.

Terry:

Okay.

Eva:

I think there are 160 categories so it’s very targeted.  It’s unique traffic as well – one visitor once only.  So, you can buy 5,000 to a specific category and they’re getting search engine based results.  It’s just under $30 for 5,000.

The other newest form of traffic has some really funny names and I’m trying to get the hang of it, but they guarantee human traffic and it’s unstoppable.  It’s a totally new concept.  They use warp-bots.  They warp you from site to site.  They also use a split screen system that shows two sites.  They have gene-bots as well.  It’s really new technology.

Terry:

Is this stuff that they came up with?

Eva:

No, no.  The guy who created it all is a big time programmer.  He was sick of the junk traffic and wanted to assure the people that they’re really getting visitors.

Terry:

That’s really neat.

Eva:

Oh, it is.  They’re cheap too.  With just their banner campaign you can get 500,000 banner impressions for under $40.  That’s pretty reasonable.

Terry:

Very much.  That’s good.

Eva:

That traffic is also targeted.  I also go to FTC restricted and unrestricted sites.

Terry:

That’s handy.  So, doing the ezines and doing the traffic, what else do you do in your marketing?  Tell me all your secrets.

Eva:

Joint ventures.  Tons of joint ventures where most of the time I’m approached.  I get lots and lots of e-mails and I try to answer them all.  It’s amazing the relationships you can make.  When you cross promote with someone it can be very beneficial for both parties, and it’s free.  You’re really just doing favors for each other.

Terry:

If someone’s not very well known online, how would they approach you?

Eva:
I get a lot of people who approach me that I don’t know.  They come across in a polite manor and just introduce themselves, they let me know what their pitch is straight up and to the point, and tell me what’s in it for my subscribers and me.  I’m often more interested in benefits for my subscribers.  Sometimes I’ve even swapped my benefits to increase theirs.  Someone might suggest something to me and offer me an increased commission rate, and I ask them to give it to my subscribers instead.

Terry:

How do you market your 500 affiliate programs?

Eva:

Well, I can’t really market them all at once. A lot of those affiliate traffic sites are not the ones where you make money, but you make traffic.  About 1/3 are those types.

Terry:

And those drive traffic to your other affiliate sites?

Eva:

Yes.  I have a little bit of a system for that.

Terry:

Can you share it?

Eva:

The start rotator page.  I have three start pages, one for cash making programs, one for start pages and exchanges, and one for free to join partner programs.  So just promote the three URLs throughout all the exchanges.  On one of my rotator pages I have 90 URLs.  I update that all the time as well to try to keep it current.

Terry:

So what kind of income do you achieve with your affiliate programs?

Eva:

Considering that I’m not promoting more than 50 or 60 at a time for programs with products and services, several thousand or more a month.  Just in checks.

Terry:

Several thousand or more, that’s fantastic.  So ,you’ve been able to match or better the income you had from a full-time job.

Eva:
Yes.

Terry:

And that has taken you from 2001 to now.

Eva:

Yes.  It’s funny though, when we had the war last year it really slowed things down.  Sometimes it’s busy on the Internet and sometimes it’s not busy.  There seem to be trends that seem to happen.  You don’t notice them until you’ve been online for several years.  Do you know what I mean?

Terry:

Yep.

Eva:

Some months can be great and then the next month may not be.  When it rains, it pours.

Terry:

Does it seem that the trends follow the same trends as an offline business where the summer is kind of slow or are there different things that have an effect on it?

Eva:

I think it’s totally different from offline.  Every time I go to my local shopping center, there are a lot of people shopping.  It’s probably because they have to go there for their necessities like food and whatnot.  That’s why they shop at the places near them.  I found that the year that I set my goals to finish my full-time job was an excellent year.  Then it was better, then went down a little bit, and now it’s coming back up again this year.  In January I noticed it was getting better and better.

Terry:

So, online has its own economic scale.

Eva:

For sure.  Definitely.

Terry:

OK. I have a scenario for you. Someone wants to start a business online, but only has $100 to start. What should they do?

Eva:

And they don’t know anything?

Terry:

Well, they know how to use the Internet.

Eva:

Save it.  Set yourself up for free and save it for something that you really need.  For instance, you need to pay for hosting.  You can get domain names for free.

Terry:

Where do you get free domain names?

Eva:

At quite a few places.  One is www.cjb.net.

Terry:

Well that’s terrific.

Eva:

Yea.

Terry:

So you get yourself a free domain, which is important, then you get yourself some hosting.

Eva:

Join some affiliate programs.  You need a webpage, but you can promote the affiliate webpage.  Start your website up and learn about web design on a need to know basis. That’s the way I’ve learned everything.  I don’t go actively seeking out anything unless I need to know it.  Spend some money on advertising once your webpage is set up.

Terry:

So you could get templates and stuff.

Eva:

There are tons of things you can get for free – don’t go out and buy the first eBook that you see.  You won’t get to read it all anyway.

Terry:

Exactly.  Now, let’s look at the flip side of the coin.  The average person online has a disposable income of about $40,000, according to statistics.  If you get online with the goal of starting a very profitable business, you have some experience on the Internet and you have about $1,000 to start.  Would there be a different process for that?

Eva:

I’d come up with a business plan and work out what you want to do. Build yourself a niche on the Internet that is targeted to a particular market.  I would spend some of that money in making that business plan come alive.  Whether it involves software design or web design, if it’s more advanced than what you’re able to do, or even hiring a freelance writer to write an eBook for you.  I’d set up with one thing straight off, in one area.

Terry:

Those are good points.  On the affiliate side of things, there are two types of affiliates.  Type one is somebody who goes out and purchases the product, uses it, gets a good feel for it, then promotes it.

Type two affiliates go out and promotes the newest and the latest programs and then develop multiple income streams.  Which kind of camp do you lean towards?  Do you purchase the product or do you promote a new program?

Eva:

Both.  Definitely both.  I work by my gut instinct and how things feel.  If something feels right to me and I think that it’s a fantastic product then I might purchase it straight away.  If it passes the criteria I have in my head then I’ll promote it.  If it’s something out of my reach money wise or just more than I want to spend, I’ll become an affiliate instead and just promote it that way.

Having multiple streams of income is quite an easy thing to do when you publish an ezine.  You need to vary the content, of course it’s good to repeat promotion so people see it again and again, but you don’t want to do that all the time.  You still have to provide variety and keep up to date with what’s coming out on the Internet.  That’s the thing, there are always new things coming out all the time.  Everyday.  You might not even see them all.

Terry:

We don’t have time.  Would it be better, with the programs you’re involved in, to have a high priced item that you sell less of, but you make a larger commission, or to have a lower priced item that you’d sell more of but make less commission?

Eva:

I’d have to say the second one, because that’s what I promote with my ezine.  I’m always looking for something free, a good value, a low cost, a discounted price, or a bargain.  I get more thrills from selling more of something than making more money, that’s a bit strange but it’s true.  More people would rather get good value.

Terry:

It sounds like your subscribers are the same type of people that you are.  You like to have good value, and they purchase something, because you recommended it and because it’s a lower priced item.

Eva:

Yes, I think so.  They trust me, because I’m trustworthy.  That must just come across in the newsletter.  You know yourself, being a publisher, that it takes a lot of time to publish an ezine.

Terry:

Yup.

Eva:

Some just whip it up really quick, like in a few hours, but mine takes me two days.

Terry:

You can tell the difference between some that take a few hours and the ones like yours that take a few days.  There’s a big difference in content and quality.  I definitely prefer reading your ezine than one that’s made in an hour.

Eva:

That’s right, you can tell the difference.

Terry:

You are one of the more successful affiliates online, which is an accomplishment.  According to statistics, only 5% of people online, are making money.  Obviously 95% of people are not doing something right.  What is it that you’re doing that you can pass on to these people in the 95% category that has brought you into the 5% category?

Eva:

I know lots of ways to make yourself more appealing for your customers.

Terry:

Can you give us some hints?

Eva:

You need some effort on your webpage. You need a good headline, a good pitch, being personal, maybe tell a story, have a good think about your target audience and think about what they’re after.

Terry:

Yup.

Eva:

If you can deliver that, then you’re set and you’ve got your foot in the door.  If people take a look around, subscribe to your ezine and stay subscribed, then that’s a good thing.  They’re all potential customers.

Terry:

You have a database of over 60,000 subscribers. How did you manage that?

Eva:

Again, I had goals in that first year.  I started publishing in October and my goal was to have over 1,000 by January.  I ended up having 10,000.

Terry:

Well that’s nice.

Eva:

It was.  I did everything that I could think of. Whatever I wrote in my ezine I did as well.  I did a million things. I submitted my ezine to directories, I joined ad co-ops, I published classified ads on Mondays, I did ad swaps with other publishers, article submissions, I advertised like mad, and then my husband gave me a present and bought me some subscribers.  I’ll never forget that; I was thrilled to bits.  He got me 10,000 for Christmas the following year which was a lovely boost.

Terry:

Nice.

Eva:

Yea, it just kept growing and growing.  I consistently kept advertising, kept updating my list, changing my ads that I was using, looked for good bonuses to give to people, and all these good things.  I bent over backwards to keep them there.

Terry:

Fantastic.  This will be the last question for you.  You’ve built up a huge list.  How important is that, now that it’s become increasingly difficult to actually get e-mail to people, how important is your opt-in list?

Eva:

Very important.  I’ve been racking my brain to think of ways that I can get through the barriers that have been put up for small business people to contact their customers.  For instance, I stopped sending my ezines through e-mail and I just send a notification now.  I’m still not happy with that, because you have to put little marks in to stop the spam filters and it doesn’t look right.  I’m looking at alternatives.

Terry:

That’s excellent, Eva. I just want to thank you very much, Eva, for taking the time to be with us and sharing all your insights not only from the affiliate part of your business, but from the standpoint of how you actually run your business.  I just want to thank you very much for that.

Eva:

You’re welcome.

Terry:

Well wrap it up there.  You’re listening to Terry Telford from www.TerryTelford.com.  Thanks for your time.

 

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