Meeting Adam 23 year old affiliate making $7,500 a month online
1. Great to have you here. Adam, would you introduce and tell us more about yourself?
“Hi Kent, My name’s Adam and I’m a 23 year old affiliate. I’ve been affiliating for a little over 2 years across the gambling and finance industry and have gone from $0 up to more then $7,5000 per month.
Recently I’ve been diversifying into non-affiliate streams of income (pre-paid advertising and adsense models) in addition to developing my own affiliate blog at AffiliateFYI.com.”
2. Interesting to meet you a young talented one like you. How did you start your Affiliate marketing?
“During my 2nd year of University I found some summer work writing news and reviews for other affiliates. By the end of summer, I earned $2,000+ from writing and my employer motivated me to set up my own affiliate website.
For the first 6 months, I really had no idea what I was doing. I went for the typical “large portal” approach in affiliating, only to find out that I was targeting a poor niche with zero conversions. Eventually, after around 1 year, I started developing a couple of other niche websites which started to make me a little bit of money (e.g. $500 per month) and I went on from there.”
3. Nice start journey, why do you do what you are doing?
“ First of all, I really enjoy managing my own business, being a creative and developing new projects. It’s really fulfilling when you see a new project start to make money after working with writers, designers and coders, not to mention the research required to start a new project and find a new domain to develop.
I originally took a gap-year after Uni (graduated June 2010) just to see what I could accomplish in 12 months as an affiliate. I set a target of $1,000 per month by the end of my gap year, however I quickly achieved this after just a few months.
By the end of my gap year, I was earning close to $5,000 per month, which is around £38,000 per month in the UK. I think the average graduate salary is around £25k, so I made the strategic decision to continue working on my business and see what happens. ”
4. Very cool! What kind of niche are you going after? Any special affiliate program or network are you focusing?
“I’ve made a lot of my money in the gambling industry, which includes online poker, casinos, bingo and sports betting.
In the last 6 months, I’ve diversified more into finance niches including Forex, banking and precious metals. Although I’m still growing my gambling affiliate network, I’m making a conscious decision to try and develop high quality, information sites on premium domains on more of a CPM/CPC business model. Sites such as StudentBanking.co.uk are an example of this.
Recent niches I’ve made some domain acquisitions in include mobile gambling, mobile recycling (selling your old mobile phones) and binary options.”
5. You do have interesting niche that I haven’t explored. What is your 1st Successful Mindset to keep you going?
“ First of all, SEO is a very new industry in which a number of young, ambitious people are making a lot of money online. I’ve seen pretty big growth in income over the last year or so, and I like to think that this will continue if I work hard.
I’ve also seen what other affiliates my age have accomplished – some of them on my Skype earning $20k – $50k per month. There’s literally no limit to what you can achieve or do online.
Of course, I think it’s wrong to be solely motivated by money, but I just like managing projects and being in charge of my work day.”
6. How do you rank and do SEO on your niche sites?
“I rely on competition analysis and my existing contacts for the bulk of my SEO campaigns. This is what gives me an edge over my competitors. Never underestimate the value of making contacts and friends in this industry. I like to think I’ve built links where others can’t.
Most of the time I look for very high quality sites to source links on, mostly in blog posts. I also outsource a small bit of SEO to a close friend who runs his own SEO Company. I don’t use any automated link building methods or tools. I’ve always found these a very unsustainable, short-term form of SEO.”
7. What was your biggest success online?
“It’s hard to track down my “biggest success” because my revenue growth over the last 12 months have been divided pretty evenly across 10+ sites.
The single, biggest turning point in my opinion was when I bought an exact-match domain for $300, which I developed, added some content and links to, and was then making $300 per month just a month later. This is the first ever-decent income stream I was making. Since then, this site has gone on to earn me more then $10,000 in the last year and I haven’t even updated it or touched it in the last 12 months.”
8. Do you have any “failure” lessons to share with us?
“I’ve had plenty of failures in internet marketing, ranging from website penalties, sand boxes and investing $x,xxx on premium domains, only to find they were penalised when I bought them.
I’ve also developed my fair share of sites that didn’t make any money. Sometimes it’s just a bit of luck whether a certain site will go on to make you a lot of money. There’s one site I recently developed and invested probably $2-$3k (eBookReaders.co.uk) which has barely made me $20 per month.
I justify these failures by having success elsewhere that makes up for them.”
9. For those newbies, what would you suggest for going into this business?
“It seems like a lifetime since I first got into affiliating, lol. I wouldn’t know where to start!
I was quite fortunate because I was still studying in my final year at University whilst I was developing websites and learning about SEO. By the time I finished University, I had the confidence to take a gap year developing my own business and apply everything I’d learned without any financial pressure. By the end of that 12 months, I was doing OK for myself and could justify continuing for another 12 months.
My top tips would be to develop a high quality site with excellent content in a growing niche with high CPAs and little competition. But make sure you still have other sources of income before you delve straight in to the affiliate industry – and try to get affiliate mentors to help you out. I know it usually takes brand new affiliates around 12 months before they start earning money from their websites, so you need to be patient and not be tempted by the short-term solutions that black hat SEO offers.
SEO is definitely starting to favour high quality white hat websites more then it ever did, and a lot of people are going to get left behind in future Google updates.”
10. Any inspiration and encouragement to share with us on IMT?
“I don’t think the SEO industry is ever going to die and I think links will always play a huge role in the Google algorithm for the next 5-10 years, which should give some people confidence.
I’ve seen plenty of affiliates my age start to make a good living (e.g. $60-$100k per year) after just 2 years. Some of the people my age I know are also making $250k+ per year. One of my previous writers from 2 years ago is now working with a partner and is making close to $1 million per year. This just goes to show that there IS money in SEO and affiliating. You just have to be patient and be willing to put in the grind, and then make smart re-investments in your business in order to get to the next level.”
11. How do you interact and work with other Internet Marketers? Are you active in social media? Do you have any tips for our readers?
“I keep in contact with lots of other affiliate marketers, coders and designers daily on Skype. Like I said, I think good contacts and relationships are a key part of affiliate marketing. I went to my first affiliate conference at the LAC last January, which was really fun and interesting too.
In the past I havn’t been active enough in social media, and this is something I am definitely making my target for the rest of 2012. The problem is that I think getting a core following, or list building, is more important then social media per say. For example, would you have rather build active list and following of 500-1,000 customers, or 500 likes on your Facebook wall?”
12. How do you diversify your business? Are you going to create your own products or do offline marketing etc?
“These recent Penguin updates hit a few of my sites hard, and have taught me a very important lesson. From now on, I’m going to be working with a partner in London, just as a form of insurance (e.g. having experience as a Marketing Director and managing writers on my CV) and extra-diversified income. I’ll still be developing my own business at the same time. ”
13. Do you have any short and long term plan for your Affiliate Marketing business?
“My short term plans are to get settled in London and work out of my partners office in London. My other plans are to either restart or fix my penalised sites.
My long term plans include a complete overhaul in strategy (focusing on building an authority site, investing lots of excellent content, high quality links and list-building, rather then small sites with tons of low quality links).
I also want to write a quick word about SEO and internet marketing post-penguin. It’s very scary when you lose some of your sites overnight, but I’ve realised that I always had this coming. SEO is by no means over and there are some great opportunities now that a number of big players in the industry have gone. Build a great site focusing on content and long tails, avoid buying low quality links, and you should have a lot of success. Investing in high quality content and high quality links is also a zero risk strategy.”
It was very inspring to meet Adam. I wish I learned about IM when I was in college 10 years ago. 🙂
I admire his energy, out-of-box thinking, and willing to take risk and dedicate to try/test out (like taking a year off college). Also being patience is the key. You can’t just buy a “PUSH-button” software to make millions online.
Thanks so much, Adam! Your story is very inspiring and motivating to all of us. Get working on your Online Business today, it’s never late!
Do you have any comments and questions for Adam? Please feel free to leave here.