As many of you know I had recently completed my project over at Click Syndicate and was literally bombarded (is it PC for a Sikh guy to say that?) by questions from my people of where I am headed or what I am going to be doing next. It so happens, I ran into a good friend of mine Steve Lowry who happened to be partners in this hot new nutra only network called Nutryst, originally founded by John Crestani. John Crestani, for those of you who do not know, is known for his entrepreneurial nature in the Internet marketing world and runs a very successful online coaching program. I was introduced to John by Steve and it was evident from Day 1 that we had a lot in common. From how to treat people with respect, transparency and providing affiliates all the tools necessary to succeed. Another thing as evident by his picture – neither him nor I shave! Both in real life AND in the network….whoa, mind blown. A network that doesn’t shave.
So – I thought what better platform for people to find out a little bit more about him then they may already know so here you go:
1. John, what do you see as the up and coming traffic source for affiliates?
Native ads, and YouTube ads 100%. I see tons of affiliates hitting the big native ad networks hard (Taboola/Outbrain/Contentad/Revcontent/etc) and I’ve even heard of affiliates doing 6 figures a day on native. YouTube
however is still extremely untapped by affiliates. I believe that most affs don’t want to put in the extra work; to run on YouTube you need to split-test a lot of creative, and that requires video-editing skills, creativity, and patience. We’re been working on YouTube traffic internally though and have been getting great results, and are going to continue to scale there
2. Which traffic sources do you see as dead in affiliate marketing?
Incent traffic and co-reg. The traffic quality on these sources is just plain horrible. Any advertiser worth working with wont waste their capspace on these traffic sources.
3. From a trend point of view what’s different this year over last year?
I think people are starting to get tired of looking for ‘tricks’, and starting to treat this like a real business. There are always going to be tons of newbies coming in, but I believe theres definitely a push for affiliate marketing to become more transparent, and treated like a real business. A lot of affiliates still view this as a game of secrets, but I do feel a more ‘silicon valley’ vibe starting to trickle in….innovation, creativity, and transparency are making greater headwinds. With tracking platforms like Voluum, STM’s Affiliate World Conferences including major ad networks in attendance, and a new breed of learning programs available, such as Jason Akatiff’s Startup Alley, I believe things are moving to become much more collaborative.
4. Is mobile really that important?
Yes. Overlooking mobile is a big oversight. Its so easy to mobile-optimize webpages, and mobile is such a big traffic source, it makes no sense to overlook the traffic here.
5. Which affiliate shows do you like to attend? Why?
I always attend Affiliate Summit West. That’s the granddaddy of shows right there. Vegas, clubs, exclusive parties, its still the center of the affiliate-verse. I am also on the advisory board of affiliate summit. That said, StackThatMoney’s ‘Affiliate World’ conferences are also at the top of my list too now. Their conferences aren’t nearly as big, but the quality of affiliates makes up for it. Lastly, I would also add Traffic & Conversion summit to the list. There are a lot of interesting sessions at T&C, as well as a ton of big affiliates. Big affiliates mix very much with big product owners, and visa versa.
6. What advice would you give to someone starting out as an affiliate?
Immerse yourself completely. Follow the blogs, forums, and email newsletters of the industry and of super-affiliates and. Start streamlining your activities and get rid of other obligations that suck time from your day. Go to the conferences. Learn basic programming, learn basic image editing, and start launching campaigns within your first week.
When people start in sales, they start talking to people immediately. When people want to start marketing, you need to start marketing immediately.
7. Is it possible to build a long term business as an affiliate?
Yes, 100%. Most people in affiliate marketing are just in the game for a quick buck, so thats all they’ll ever make. However, there are a variety of ways you can create a long-term business as an affiliate. Here are a few:
– build an email list around your main niche. Many affiliates do this, and then continually add value, and market to the same list for years
– create a community around the niche your promoting. Maybe a forum, or a social network for instance. PlentyofFish is a great example of this.
– create a review site that has SEO value
– become a product owner
8. What do you see as the most important traits to become a super affiliate?
GREAT question. Here are the most important factors for success that I see correlated with success as an affiliate marketer:
– Fast speed of implementation. Super-affiliates act first, and ask questions later.
– Data-driven decisions. Super-affiliates use data to form all of their decisions, no matter how big or small
– Not blaming external factors. Super-affiliates do not whine/complain or mope about factors that are outside their control.
– They get outside their comfort zone. Super-affiliates are not afraid to get outside their comfort zone by either learning new skills, testing out new ad networks, or trying out new software programs.
9. How closely do you interact with the affiliates of your network and coaching program?
I interact really closely with them actually, I consider them like a part of my little tribe of marketers and intellects. All my students go through an application process, and all of them are both curious about success, psychology, marketing, and self-improvement. Its really neat actually. My wife doesn’t like it all the time, but sometimes Ill just be hanging out at our house, and I’ll do an impromptu webinar with some of my students and start discussing crazy topics like ‘what does affiliate marketing look like in the future’ or other random things like that. I originally formed the idea for my training program as a way for me to pass knowledge down to the next generation, but its quickly formed into a much larger, much more involved community, and i like that, it feels more real to me.
10. If you had a choice of buying an awesome car, watch, or vacation – which would you buy?
Vacation! Cars and watches are material… I believe material things are transitory, whereas experiences are forever. I believe the materialistic era of world history has actually peaked, and is on the decline. As the future marches forward, people will increasingly realize that non-material things, such as experiences, virtual reality, information products, love, knowledge, etc are more valuable than material ones.
11. Of all your business accomplishments what makes you the most proud?
As sappy as this sounds, I am really proud of my students, especially the ones having the most success. I’ve always desired to be a father in some way, and although I’ll hopefully be a real father soon (fingers crossed!), its been really nice being able to pass down knowledge to people, and also see the success stories that have blossomed out of it. There’s something really fulfilling about being a teacher, that you don’t really get anywhere else in business.
12. What was your worst business experience and what did you learn from it?
My worst business experience ironically came after I had some of my most profitable months ever. I proceeded to blow all of that money away on a menagerie of massively idiotic expenses of all sorts…flying groups of friends and employees all over the world on all expenses paid trips to party and go on adventures with me…hiring PR people to write magazine articles on me… tables and $1500 bottles at the most expensive clubs… etc etc etc. I basically learned this… BUSINESS profits do NOT equal PERSONAL profits! And also, always set aside money for taxes FIRST, and then distribute money to yourself second! Extremely hard lessons to learn, although I think anyone who has experience a degree of success has had to go through these learning mistakes.
13. What sets you apart from rest of the networks?
We don’t shave. Its a big statement in today’s industry, where the modus operendi for networks is that they put on a 10-20% shave on an offer, just so they can show the affiliate an inflated CPA to get them to run. Even if we wanted to we couldn’t, we operate on a HasOffers platform, which doesn’t even have that option. In Cake its called ‘throttling’. We don’t shave, nor are we ever going to shave, just so we can offer an affiliate some inflated CPAs. It was a trend I became familiar with when I was running as an affiliate, and a practice I’m dedicated to stopping as a network owner.
Our companies two core values are Transparency, and Communication. That’s how we’re going to become a $100million per year company. We are 100% transparent about our CPAs and our information with affiliates, and we are extremely transparent with our advertisers about what type of traffic they’re getting, and what sort of quality they can expect from a particular pub.
Because we are a very publicly visible company, through all the webinars we do for free for affiliates, people trust us, and will talk to us openly. Our affiliates know us personally. I even help some of my affiliates from time to time by logging into their Voluum accounts and helping them optimize, thats the level of openness and communication we have.
We’re not here to play games. We want to set a new standard for the entire industry, and we are making moves to do that each and every day.
14. What new verticals do you see trending in the next 12 months?
Probiotics, Brain pills, Weight loss (its always going to be big) and CBD oil.
15. What do you think the key is to finding trending niches to promote?
Google trends is a good tool to use to find trends (seems obvious, but not many people know about it), and also looking at trending products on eBay and/or amazon. Another good way to spot new trends is just constantly seeing what ads are showing.
16. If you had to do it all over again would you enter the CPA space or go with big brands?
CPA 100%. There is no better way to build your raw skills than CPA marketing. Becoming a master of CPA marketing will give you an advantage no matter what area of business you go into. Its the ultimate proving ground for marketers.
Well there you have it folks. An in depth knowledge dump from the man himself, John Crestani. If anyone has any questions at all for him, please post below or email me and I will get them answered for you.