Q1 What’s your name and can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
For sure! Hi everybody, my name is Jorge Luis and I’m a full-time affiliate from Lima, Peru. I specialise in non-English markets, building websites in different languages and sending organic traffic to them. So in a nutshell, I’m immersed in the world of foreign affiliate SEO.
Q2 How long have you been an affiliate with MoreNiche?
I’ve probably been promoting MoreNiche offers for over a year and a half now.
How long did it take you to build a steady and consistent flow of traffic and sales?
Oh gee, let’s see… Well, I started my journey way back in 2011. Although at that time I had no idea of what “affiliate marketing” or “SEO” meant. I was an article writer and a “let’s make money from the internet” fanatic. I was buying ebooks/courses and reading everything I could get my hands on about this mysterious (yet so exciting) internet lifestyle.
After learning about affiliate marketing, I was sold! I knew that was my path to follow.
Eventually, early in 2013 I started taking things seriously and focused on SEO; learning how to build and rank websites. After several trials and errors, I started making my first commission from my websites. I repeated the process over and over, and the rest was history.
So in my specific case, I would say it took me 12 to 18 months to achieve the “full-time” status as an affiliate.
Q3 What gave you the motivation to continue building your affiliate business and did you ever feel like giving up?
Well, at the beginning I did feel like giving up, like, every single week! Ha ha. When I first started, it was sooo confusing, so many different ways to find keywords, so many things to consider when designing a website, so many ranking factors for Google, etc.
My biggest breakthrough was when I realised that I didn’t need the “best” or the “ultimate” system for Affiliate SEO. All I needed was a system that was both good enough and simple enough. Good enough to make me a decent steady income and simple enough so I could scale it over time.
I stopped worrying about the dozens of “what if’s” and just decided to create a system that was simple yet effective for ranking the websites I was building.
Now, regarding my motivation for building my affiliate business, honestly, it has changed drastically over time. At first, it was all about the money and commissions. I was amazed by the fact that you could make money “out of thin air” from these simple websites you could build in a few days.
Nowadays it’s more about being a valuable member of the online world. I believe that by being an affiliate you’re actually helping a lot of people. Firstly, you’re helping your visitors to buy exactly what they want, secondly you’re helping your affiliate network and the advertisers to get more sales. Thirdly, you’re helping to generate income for other people (like your virtual assistants, your service providers, etc.) and lastly, if you hang out with other affiliates, you’re helping them by sharing your experiences and knowledge so they can achieve success faster than you did.
Q4 What is it like being a full time affiliate? Describe your typical day
Well, generally I wake up between 7 and 9 AM, it depends on how late I went to bed last night. But regardless, I try to always get 8 hours of sleep (because believe me, in this type of business you need ALL the mental power you can get from a good night’s sleep)
After that, I turn on my laptop and start tackle my to-do list for the day. What I like to do is to work in sets of 25 minutes uninterrupted work and 5 minutes of break.
In the past, I used to work for 5, 6 or 7 hours straight without any breaks. I would just end up feeling mentally exhausted and the worst part was that out of those “6 hours of work”, I actually just worked 3 hours because the other 3 hours was me checking Facebook, opening and reading an email, or something else. It’s inevitable to feel mentally exhausted when you spend so many hours in front of the computer.
Now, you can’t avoid your mind getting distracted, but you can schedule that distraction!
After my first 25 minutes of work, I stand up and get away from my laptop to take my 5 minute break. I go to another room to meditate (leave my mind blank) quickly for 1-2 minutes, and then walk around the house for the remaining time.
After that, I go back to my laptop and start my second set. Normally, I aim to finish 10 to 12 of these sets each day.
You can use any of the several free timer programs there are available to track your sets, but for me personally, I went a little bit “out of the box” in order to track my sets. I bought a vibration alarm watch. It’s like a regular watch with a timer function, except that instead of giving you a sound when it’s finished, it vibrates making it impossible not to notice it.
Fun Fact: If you search for “vibration alarm watch” on Amazon (that’s where I got mine from), there are only 2 brands that actually offer this feature. I’ve bought watches from both of these brands, and by far my favorite is the Timex T49851 model. It costs $40 but to me it’s worth more than a $5,000 Rolex (by far).
Well, back on topic… Usually I end my working day at 5 or 6pm (you know, counting my sets + unavoidable interruptions from the offline life). Finally, after turning off my laptop, I create a to-do list of the things I want to tackle tomorrow and then I assign a number of 25m sets that I think those tasks are going to take me. For example, I can assign 4 sets to research new keywords, 4 sets to redesign my website and 2 sets to update some affiliate links I have. Now I know what I’m going to do tomorrow for my next 10 sets.
And that’s it until next day, when everything starts over.
Q5 What has been the best and the worst thing about doing affiliate marketing?
The best thing for me has been being able to connect with like-minded people; getting to know other affiliates and SEOs who go for the same goal. It’s great to have the freedom making a living online brings. Also knowing my affiliate managers, the people who provide SEO services and so on… Because of them all I truly feel part of an amazing community which pushes me to continue improving and contributing.
The worst thing for me has probably been the process of getting used to the fact that very rarely you can find stability in Affiliate SEO. In fact, the only “constant” thing is frequent changes.
It can be both wonderful and worrying; it’s up to you to choose how you want to see it. For example, in January you could be making “x” amount of money, but in February you could be making “2x”, then in March because of unexpected stuff you are making “1/2x”, then in April you recover and now are making “x” again… And so on.
It’s wonderful because this business offers you NO LIMITS for your income. You can make as much money as you’re willing to work for. And if you assemble a team of collaborators, you can go after bigger projects and make high 5 or 6 figures per month.
On the other hand, it’s worrying because you have “no stable income” unlike a typical job where you get paid “x” every single month, and you can be 100% sure about it.
I’m a person who NEEDS stability, so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to make this transition from a “Man, I’m so worried” mindset to a “Dude, this is wonderful!” mentality.
What helped me a lot was the realization that my own “stability” was not my income, not my websites, not the offers I was promoting… My stability comes from my knowledge (i.e. my system developed over the years on how to do things). You’re going to be always learning new things, always improving, and the amazing thing is that once you learn something, nobody can take it away from you. It’s yours forever.
If you do SEO, changes and risks are always a possibility, but remember, Google cannot penalize your knowledge!
Well… At least not at the time of this writing (February 2017).
Q6 How would you describe your experience with MoreNiche?
Ohhhh… I love MoreNiche! They are so awesome. They have amazing offers that convert super well, and of course they have these same offers in different languages.
Having been in this game for several years now, I’ve seen Affiliate Networks going from “good” to “bad” to “Gee, what happened to you? You used to be cool…”
But MoreNiche has done nothing but improve over the years. They’re always adding more offers, improving their platform, and their manager-to-affiliate support is 5 stars.
Also, they do something I haven’t seen other networks do (either on the foreign or regular English affiliate field) and that is to transmit the feeling that they are a true community. They are a group of honest, caring human beings who really want YOU to succeed.
Q7How did you learn about SEO?
Well, at first I was collecting tips here and there from all over the place. Blogs, courses, youtube videos etc.
But a decisive factor for me was to join a training program called “The Rankings Institute” by Andrew Hansen and Alex Miller. Rather than a typical course it involved monthly training that lasted around 3-4 months I think. That training put all the pieces together for me on how to go from zero to have a profitable website. While time has passed and some things have changed, I learned fundamental things there that I continue to use to this day.
Nowadays I get all my knowledge from two sources. Firstly from reliable Facebook groups about SEO (like “The Proper PBN Group” and “Lion Zeal Mastermind” which are two of my favorite ones) and secondly by following reliable people in the industry. I consider Matt Diggity my mentor.
Matt is such an inspiration for me. He does Affiliate SEO (Regular and Foreign!) at what I call, “industrial level”. He moved from the US to Chiang Mai, Thailand and there he built a whole team of partners and collaborators who helped him run a highly (highly!) successful Affiliate SEO business.
But beyond the money and the “affiliate glamour” Matt is such an awesome person and has such a positive attitude towards life. Despite his busy schedule, he always takes time to help people for free, with no hidden intentions. Just for the sake of helping others (Man… Matt is the big brother I wish I had haha)
You can find more about Matt Diggity on his blog.
Q8 What advice would you give someone looking to promote their site using SEO techniques to a non English speaking country?
First thing first is to have the right mindset. Foreign markets may not be “as profitable” as regular English markets, but the upside is that your competition is waaay behind you.
If you stay up to date with the latest strategies on SEO, you’re going to do just great!
Now, more specific advice would be to do your proper keyword research before jumping into another language. You need to make sure there’s a demand for the niche you’re looking to enter. Thankfully, if you go for any of the 3 big ones (health, love, money) you can’t really go wrong no matter which language you choose.
Another piece of advice I would give is not just to order content from a foreign writer and be done with it. I’ve seen people giving this advice a lot. No way. If you don’t know the language yourself, how in the world are you going to make sure the article is high quality?
Rather than getting a foreign content writer, you’re going to need to get a translator. You’re going to create the exact article you want in English AND THEN translate that article into the desired foreign language. That way you know exactly what it says (even if you don’t know the language) and if later you want to do modifications, you can do it easily by removing or adding paragraphs in specific places.
Is it going to cost more? Yeah, because you not only have to invest on writing the article, but also in translate it.
But is it worth it? Totally! The extra money you’re going to invest in the translation is money you’re going to save on SEO efforts, because the competition for that desired keyword of yours is going to be a lot easier to surpass.
Q9 Which keyword tool do you use to put together non English keyword lists?
I can recommend 3 actually. The first one is “Answer The Public” which is a tool that gives you a full list of related searches using a seed keyword. Say you look for “dog”, it will give you back every single question-like keyword that people are asking about dogs. This is great to help you when formatting your articles, since it tells you what people want to know about the topic.
The second one I recommend is KeySearch.co which is a very cheap keyword tool. It’s like using Google Keyword Planner, but 10x times better. It’s more organized, cleaner and overall much more user friendly.
The third one, and my favorite, it’s Keyword Explorer by aHrefs. Lately I’ve been using it more and more, and it’s my #1 option for keyword research. It’s not the cheapest one, but it’s totally worth the investment.
All of these 3 tools have the option to research in different languages (perfect for non-English keywords).
Q10 How should people go about hiring a good translator?
Well, here’s how I choose mine;
Step 01 – I go to places like Upwork, Fiverr or similar websites and hire someone for a paid test translation.
Step 02 – I wait for the person to deliver his work
Step 03 – Once I have the translation, I hire ANOTHER person – a proof-reader to work on the translation and tell me if it’s well-written or if it has grammatical errors.
Step 04 – If the proof-reader returns to me saying that the document had only minor (or none) errors, then I just found a winner translator and will continue working with him.
See, the key to having a good translator is to make sure he’s a native speaker of the language OR he has mastery of it. What’s the best way to find that out? Well, to hire a native-speaker proof-reader to actually verify it.
On Fiverr, you can hire proof-readers for any language on the planet, and they do it for just $5.00.
Q11 If a merchant doesn’t have a version of their website in the language you promote in would you still consider pushing the brand and if so how would you go about ensuring your traffic still converts once they land on a foreign language site?
Well, if there’s no version of the product in the language I want to target, I won’t promote it actually.
I have promoted products like that in the past (say sending Spanish traffic to a product in English) but the conversion rates were very low.
Granted, You COULD make money, but it’s going to be harder for sure. And like I said, non-English markets are not “as profitable” as English markets… So you need as many factors in your favor as possible (in this case, the language of the product).
If for whatever reason you STILL want to promote the offer in English to non-English markets, then I would create a simple video on what a person should do once he has landed on the offer page.
A simple video on “how to buy this product” detailing every aspect; Click here to open the buying form, now in this field put your name, in the next your address, after that click this bottom part which says “xxx” and it will take you to the payment processor etc. You need to prepare the visitor so he knows what he’s going to find in the offer page and what to do once he’s there.
Q12 Have you ever tried running paid ads, social media pages or email campaigns to non English speaking markets and if so how do the results compare to your SEO campaigns?
I have no doubt that there’s a lot of potential and money to be made in Paid Traffic, Social Media and other traffic sources for foreign markets, but for me personally I just focus on SEO right now. It’s like a game to me and I’m just happy playing it every day.
Q13 How has affiliate marketing changed over the last few years, and how have you responded to these changes?
New traffic sources have appeared. New Affiliate SEO tactics have risen and others have declined. But the fundamentals are still the same. Your objective is to connect people who are looking to buy products, with such products.
You may hear people saying that this whole “affiliate marketing thing” is more difficult than ever. Don’t listen to that. Here’s why;
New offers and products are being released every single month. There will always be space for someone who wants to start from scratch, as long as he’s willing to put the time into it.
New keywords are appearing every single day. Thousands of brand new keywords are being typed into Google which have never been typed before. These keywords will become niches and markets later.
It’s my opinion that as long as products are being sold online, Affiliate Marketing will always exist. The best moment to start doing it was yesterday. The next best moment is today!
Want to learn my secret for always knowing how to respond to any change in the industry? It’s simple; surround yourself with the right people. Keep a close relationship with your affiliate manager. Start networking with other affiliates. Pick and follow your mentors.
It’s normal to have a lot of fears if you’re alone. But become part of a community. It will save you unnecessary worries along the way.
Q14 What advice would you give someone looking to promote in a foreign language?
The best advice I can give to anyone interested in Foreign Affiliate Marketing, or in Affiliate Marketing in general, are these 3 things;
Success in this business is exponential, not linear. Normally people think that they can make $200 this month, and next month they can make $400, then next month $600 and at the end of the year, they are going to be making $2,400 monthly.
That’s a linear approach. But that’s not how it works.
In reality, you’re probably going to make $0.00 for the first 4-6 months, and then, on the 7th month… Boom! You’re making $800/m (and the previous month you made zero). Most people don’t get this. You MUST be patient and persistent. Once you find a winner campaign, you won’t look back from that point on.
Set goals you actually have control of. All the time we are taught to set goals based on income levels, for example “My goal is to make $1,000 within the next 6 months, starting from scratch”. Then, after 6 months, you didn’t achieve it and you feel demoralized. But here’s the thing, you never have 100% control over your income potential.
See, no matter how advanced you are or how good you are on your field, unexpected things can happen. Your website loses traffics (for whatever reason), people stop looking for your specific product and prefer to buy another one, or even the offer you’re promoting can be taken down!
What DO you have 100% control of?? Well…Your habits! The actions you take every day.
Instead of focusing on money, let your new goals be something else. Perhaps “I’ll publish a new article on my blog every day” or “I’ll research 10 new keywords every week” or even “I’ll build a new website every month”. All of those are 100% in your control and there’s nothing stopping you from achieving them.
Your habits make you successful. Not your monthly income or your websites, but what you do constantly. This has been one of the best lessons I’ve learned and I wish I could have learned it sooner.
Follow a mentor. Want to speed up your success as much as possible? Well, in order to do that you need to learn from mistakes, but nobody says it has to be you who makes those mistakes!
By finding and following a mentor, you’re going to be able to learn from someone who already walked the walk, someone that has already made mistakes and is willing to share them with you. There’s no better teacher than experience, and now you can learn from someone else’s.
How do you find a mentor? Well, I found mine by constantly visiting related Facebook groups about my interests (SEO in this case).
How do you “follow” a mentor? You don’t even need to talk to him. Just by reading what he publishes, watching his videos, etc it’s a great starting point. Do anything you can to start adopting his mindset and approach to your desired field. Of course, if they offer a more personalized service (like coaching or webinars) by all means do it!
Q15 What are your goals for the future and do you see yourself continuing as an affiliate marketer for the long term?
Yeap! I love being an affiliate and SEO has become like a game to me (I won’t lie, sometimes it’s very frustrating), but it’s just like that level of Mario Bros you couldn’t beat at the beginning, you just turn off the console and try again tomorrow, and the next day, until you finally finish the level).
My goals nowadays are to build more campaigns and eventually move from being a one-man-army to having my own team of collaborators who can completely handle the implementation of my systems.
Oh! And another (kind of secret) goal I have is to eventually start publishing on my own blog about Affiliate SEO in Spanish, which is my native language. I see a lot of blogs about affiliate marketing and a lot of blogs about SEO, but I haven’t found any which combine both of these fields.
At some point, maybe i’ll even make it bilingual, translating all the content to English as well, who knows.
Right now it’s nothing but an almost empty page, but you can check it out at Netxito.com, which in case you’re curious is the combination of words of “net” (for the internet) and “exito” which is “success” in Spanish
I know, I know… It’s looking depressing right now haha. But I’ll start working on it later during 2017.
Q16 Anything else you’d like to add for anyone reading this?
Well, I guess I have nothing more to add than to thank you very much for reading up to this point.
I’m sorry for expanding so much on all of the questions, but I really get excited when talking about Affiliate SEO and just tried my best to actually give the advice I wish I could have received when I was first starting out.
I hope everyone reading this finds at least one thing which actually helps them on their own path.
Once again, thank you for your valuable time, and of course thank you to MoreNiche for the opportunity to be here!