I'm very excited to present my first interview with Kieron Donoghue of UK Offer
Kieron is one of the best known affiliate marketers in the UK
and is one of the most respected too.
So without further adieu, here's the interview! Hi Kieron and thank you for helping my readers understand a bit more about you and your take on affiliate marketing. To start, how, why and when did you get started in affiliate marketing?
It was around 2000. I was interested in the Internet and bought myself a beginners guide to Microsoft FrontPage
to see if I could learn how to build websites. After a while I created my very first site www.northeastcars.info
(the site is about 3 years out of date by the way!) which I built just to see if I could really. My next step was like "OK I can build a site now how do I monetise it?" which led me to affiliate marketing. So again after lots of research I built www.ukoffer.com
as a shopping directory and it all snowballed from there really.
How long was it before you realised you could live off your affiliate revenue?
Probably after about 18 months of doing Affiliate Marketing on a part time basis. I made sure I had 6 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank as well as a big chunk of cash in my savings account. Leaving my "real" job to become self employed was the best thing that I have ever done and was very exhilarating.
How many websites do you run and where can we find them?
Not that many. I only have a handful of what I would class as proper websites, such as www.bingo.org.uk
(in desperate need of an update, probably my next long term project) and www.broadbandguide.co.uk
. The rest of my time is spent building and managing short to medium term PPC
Approximately how many visitors do you serve content to in a typical year for your entire portfolio?
I have no idea, tens of millions perhaps.
Does PPC feature in your business plan? If so, what proportion of revenue would you say it accounts for?
is my main focus, and probably accounts for around 90% of my earnings.
So which do you prefer - PPC or SEO?
. Purely because its so instant. I love how I can create a PPC
campaign and then start earning literally 5 minutes later. For me, SEO
is just too unreliable, I have seen too many people ruined by a Google
algorithm change. It would scare me, not to be in control.
Let's assume you had to teach someone to get to the level that you are at. What is the one piece of advice you would ingrain in them?
Don't build sites purely to make money as chances are you won't. Instead create a blog/site on something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Do this and believe me, the money will follow.
How do you see AM developing over the coming years?
People often ask this and expect me to say that advanced datafeed technology and Web 2.0 sites will have an impact on Affiliate Marketing and so on. I mean, maybe they will but as I mentioned earlier, build a good site and you will be able to monetise it. This will still be true in 10 years time.
Other than that, the only other big impact I have seen and continue to see is the amount if money that is being ploughed into PPC
. Not by affiliates but by big brands who now recognise the Internet as a legitimate advertising medium in its own right. So its no longer a big deal to launch a PPC
campaign with a multi million pound budget for branding purposes, in fact its fast becoming the norm. This can really hurt your PPC
affiliates who have to work back a profit on any PPC
budget spent, whereas the big brand advertisers don't.
Do you work 9-5? If not, what hours do you work in a typical day?
A typical day for me is 9am until around 1pm. I then have a break for the gym (cough!) or lunch/coffee with friends or just time off. Then from say 8pm until 10pm I'm back on my PC and working. But then sometimes I work solidly all weekend or maybe not at all somedays, so there is no normal day I guess. I know, I must be better disciplined.
Enough of the serious questions. Let's find out about you, the person! 24 hours a day is not enough for some. How many hours would be in your ideal day?
24 is just fine for me, but I could do with a few more hours added onto a Saturday night so I can make the most of it!
What was the last thing you bought on the Internet and when?
The new albums by Ciara
, Macy Gray
and Just Jack
. Interestingly enough I never shop around online for the best price. I always buy from Amazon
due to their fantastic 1 Click ordering, which is just so simple to use. Why other merchants make you enter passwords, your address and credit card details every
time you order something is beyond me.
What gadgets could you not live without?
My Sky Plus HD box
and my 50" Pioneer HD TV
. Sky Plus
is just awesome and there is nothing better than watching the likes of 24
And finally, which websites are your favourite?
Being a petrolhead I love www.autoblog.com
. For my celebrity gossip I love www.perezhilton.com
. And to catch up what's going on in the world of TV
I love the forums at www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums
Firstly, I would like to thank Kieron for helping out here. He is someone who's advice is worth a lot to those who listen. It's very easy to get bogged down in what everyone is saying in affiliate marketing but my advice is to listen to what Kieron has to say. His blog is at http://www.here.org.uk
and is certainly worth a visit. His posts can also be found in the UK Affiliate Marketing Blogroll RSS Feed
Next, I would like to tear apart what he has divulged here. It's one thing having an interview, it's another to act upon it and analyse it.
There are several main points raised.
Kieron makes an emphasis on creating a website that you are passionate about and if you go back to my earlier seminars, you will find that I talk about finding a niche that you are passionate about. In the course of my attempt to prosper from affiliate marketing, I have built websites about stuff I'm not interested in and I have taken them down or replaced them with something else.
Build a website that you know you can spend the time on. Don't build a website that centres around the high paying affiliate programmes unless you have a genuine interest!
This interview also covers the ground of PPC
. For Kieron, 90% of his income is from PPC
which is a staggering amount. Because of this, it is safe to assume that 90% of his efforts are focussed on PPC
rather than being distracted by other opportunities. He knows where his money comes from and so that's where he focusses.
Understand that affiliate revenue can come from websites or PPC. That's it. Don't get distracted with exadurated claims that you can make billions by buying a $997 ebook. Don't get distracted by chasing the affiliate programs which pay the most. Focus on something that turns you on and that you can talk about for ages. We all have hobbies and interests. That's where you should start. Build a site you love, then monetise it.
With regards to PPC
, Kieron explains that it provides more stability than SEO
but highlights that the competition is growing, especially from merchants themselves. As I am learning PPC
as we speak, I can say from experience it is easy to lose a lot of money quickly via PPC
. But vice-versa, once you understand the fundamentals of PPC
and can profit from it, you can make staggering amounts from it.
NOTE TO AFFILIATE MARKETERS
I would love to have a few more interviews from experienced, successful affiliate marketers to allow my readers to see different perspectives and beliefs. If you are interested in answering a few questions about affiliate marketing and about you, please drop me a message
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