How and when did you first get started in affiliate marketing?
I got into it completely by accident and without knowing what it was. In late December in 2007, my wife-to-be and I were at our rehearsal dinner, the night before our wedding. Among the guests were the parents of the flower girl and ring bearer. The father was a gentleman I’d met at church, but we’d never really spoken in great detail. My fiancée had been his children’s babysitter, though, so we were acquainted.
After speaking just a bit over dinner, he told me that they were going to create a new position with his company called an ‘Affiliate Manager’, and that I seemed like I might have the right personality for it. Based on what he said, I was absolutely interested, and less than a month after getting back from our honeymoon, I started my first day. I’ve been hooked on the industry ever since.
What do you most like about the industry?
It’s honestly a challenge to pick one thing, but I’d probably have to ultimately pick the low start-up overhead. For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, affiliate marketing is probably the least cost-prohibitive option for starting out. As such, I love it as a tool for the ambitious ones among us.
What improvements you would like to see in the industry?
I’d love to see better funnel optimization within ecommerce. A good company can create a profitable business selling a product to the right prospects, but a great company can sell several such products to the same prospects through a variety of touches and mediums.
Do you see affiliates embracing mobile and social?
Absolutely. However, I think this will have less to do with the content optimization and more to do with streamlining the actual sales experience. Make no mistake, I think optimized content has, and should continue to, precede this move, but it will be the ease of purchase that I think really bolsters mobile and social as major areas for affiliate businesses to thrive and flourish.
What other jobs have you had outside of affiliate marketing?
As a teenager, I got a job bagging groceries for a grocery store. I essentially did that until I left for college.
While I was in college, I spent most of my time landscaping, both during school and over the summers. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment when completing a job, and I loved getting the fresh air and working with my hands.
While I was building my own affiliate programs, I also spent time working as an account manager with a large marketing agency and event spent a few years doing email marketing design for another such agency.
What are a few of your hobbies?
First, I love spending time with my wife and daughter. My wife and I tried to have children for ten years before our first-born came. She’s our little miracle, and we cherish the time we get to spend together now.
I also love puzzles – not jigsaw puzzles – brain teaser puzzles. I got hooked on them with a Rubik’s Cube when I was only about 10 or so. Since then, I’ve loved them. A few years ago, I even won a local contest for fastest time on a Rubik’s Cube (1:52).
I’m a big cinaphile, as well. I love watching new movies I’ve never seen.
I’ve gotten into cigars, as well as Scotch. Not something I partake in daily, but when I do, I’m always trying to hone my palate and learn more about the breadth of notes and flavors.
Finally, I love to tinker with computers. I started this when I first needed to buy my own laptop. I didn’t have the money for a new one, so I bought one off eBay that was missing parts, found the parts on eBay as well, and put the computer together using YouTube videos. Since then, I’ve continue to enjoy tweaking and boosting machines in my free time.
What activities/sports did you do in high school or college?
I played baseball and football for four years in high school, and basketball for three. When I went to college, I received a small scholarship to pitch for a little private school in Indiana, where I continued to play baseball for a couple years.
What is your favorite vacation location?
My family used to have a condo in Estes Park, CO. It was up in the mountains, had a cabin-like feel, and was considerably large (3 floors, 5 sizable bedrooms). I used to love going there every few years.
Today, since the family has since sold the condo, my favorite spot is Simi Valley, CA. I have relatives there who make visiting a fun time.
If you won a lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
Probably gold. I’d immediately start investing the majority of it. As for what I’d buy that would be fun, I’d probably buy a yacht.
Your favorite band to see live?
When I was young, my favorite was Blink-182. As an adult, it would probably be Chris Botti. He plays a mean trumpet.
What is your “must see” TV?
The only shows that are still airing that are ‘must-see’ to me are Suits and Elementary. There are a few since-wrapped shows I absolutely loved, though: Justified, The Blacklist, Dexter, Breaking Bad, House, and Arrested Development
Coke or Pepsi?
Coffee. I mean, Diet Coke probably tastes the best of the two, but I’ll take coffee over either.