Who are you and what are you currently working on?
My name is Max Moussa, and I’m the founder of 25 Eagles Publishing, a modern private publishing company with over 700 novels published and over 250 books on the Amazon bestseller lists. I started out as a self-publisher, and now I’m trying to help authors become successful via my new website Publishing With Love where I offer custom data collection and organization tools to authors for free with no sign-up.
How did you get started in affiliate marketing? What keeps you excited you about it?
I started researching affiliate marketing after looking for ways to monetize my site without introducing intrusive advertisements. Advertisements might be profitable, but they are annoying to readers, and besides, most young and technologically literate readers are now using ad-blockers, and many browsers are introducing ad-blockers as well, so it’s a question of embrace the future or be left behind.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a newbie affiliate marketer? And what is one piece of advice they should ignore?
To a new affiliate marketer, I would suggest working backwards. Don’t start by seeing what good affiliate programs are out there, and then try to shoehorn them into your website. Recommend software, websites, services, etc completely honestly, and after your article is written or the product is mentioned, see if there is a way to monetize the referral. One piece of advice you should ignore is to lie to make a product or service seem better. The only reason people will ever trust your recommendation enough to sign up for a service is if they think you’re telling the truth, and if you cover up some downsides of the services you’re promoting, it will be obvious. A glowing recommendation without any mention of downsides seems more like an ad, and people are very resistant to advertisements.
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress in your affiliate marketing?
My favorite mistake was originally signing up for traditional ads, and seeing the enormous negative backlash I got both from readers and business associates. I’m glad I made that mistake early enough to fix, since it resulted in a reduction in session time of over a minute per user.
What is one piece of software or a web service that allows you to to be more effective as an affiliate marketer?
One piece of software that really helped me as an affiliate marketer was the Google Ads Keyword Tool. Being able to see exactly how many people were searching for a given keyword each month was invaluable, and when, as a hypothetical example, “Dragon Fantasy Books” and “Fantasy Books with a Dragon” have a few thousand search results different, it really shapes how you create your descriptions and landing pages. I even went back and changed titles for some old articles! I was frustrated with the lack of software for Amazon search results, which is why I custom built the Amazon Kindle Keyword Store Scraper on my website, and am giving it away for free.
How do you continue to educate yourself as an affiliate marketer? What are some of your favorite resources for learning?
Affiliate marketing is constantly evolving, and I think people incorrectly assume it’s passive income. Semi-passive, perhaps, but it certainly takes at the very least browsing industry blogs, such as the blog.geni.us as an example, to stay up to date with changes in SEO algorithms or policy updates from major affiliate providers.
If people wanted to connect with you, where should we point them to?
You can find me at PublishingWithLove.com most of the time, it’s where I publish my latest projects and tools. It’s a constant work in progress, but a really invaluable and free source of knowledge.