Very glad to have Richard Bonner with us today! He’s had 5 figure days in the good old *ahem* days, and is still doing very well today, primarily with Facebook ads.
You can find him at RichardBonner.com.
Hey there, I’m 24 years old and born and bred in Sheffield – United Kingdom. I would normally complain about the weather but this last few weeks have been beautiful, just a shame my productivity has taken a kick in the balls (had these questions to do for about a week now ).
How long have you been doing affiliate marketing?
Just looking back on my blog and it seems 12th August 2008 was my first ever day at affiliate marketing, I made $3.16 profit. Prior to actually jumping into it I did spend a good month or so at least looking through other blogs, wicked fire and I was a member of a paid forum called Click Consultants back in the day run by Derek Salyers so I guess I have him to thank for getting me started.
You went away for quite a while… What were you up to?
I can’t remember the exact date but I did take a fair good few months off to work on another project which did eat up a lot of my time, I won’t go into specifics just yet but it didn’t pan out how I wanted at the moment and I need to spend more time working on it – I’m still convinced it will be a good long term project which could be huge so I guess time will tell.
The main reason was just to have a little break from affiliate marketing and it seemed a great time as I had a nice safety net after a good first year and I wanted to diversify my income. I will be definitely blogging about it in the future but don’t get too excited just yet it will be a while away because the script I did originally buy and modify doesn’t do what I need so it might be a custom job.
So, I got to know you when you returned from that little departure. You were trying things out with Facebook, and got really profitable really fast! You think your previous success got anything to do with that?
Yeah definitely, the experience is everything I think. Even unprofitable campaigns hopefully do help you identify what went wrong, why it went wrong and provides a lesson you can take from it to apply to other campaigns and ideas.
I did start my career in the wrong mindset because I found profitability pretty quick on my first campaign so I assumed they all would be like that. It was only when my top campaigns began to die down and I had to start again I actually began to learn.
It must have quite abit to do with the #winning mindset. Tell us more.
When I decided to get back into affiliate marketing I just tried to pick up from where I left off about 4months or so prior. 101 things had changed since then, it didn’t help that my previous success was off of mainly Yahoo PPC – with the merge of Yahoo and Bing there was only so much knowledge I could bring across.
In the end I decided to have a fresh start and try out PPV and Social Media, I did however spread myself too thin and went through niche after niche until I found one that worked – sadly that took a while to get used to and I only began to see success again when I just stuck to one traffic source with one niche and keep launching campaign after campaign.
What do you think were your biggest failures?
In my early days my biggest failure was my approach I took launching different niche each week and not dedicating enough time to educate myself properly about the niche itself along with the demographic. I used to throw campaigns together based on what I have seen running and assume that because it didn’t profit off the bat it’s a dud and won’t work – next niche!
Stupid I know… I’m quite an impatient person which also doesn’t help when I launch campaigns – I often cut ads/campaigns too short because I want to get the best performance as soon as possible and not allow enough data to be statistically significant which I’m working on.
And the biggest accomplishments?
This will sound cliché but the thing that I’m most proud about is that I’ve been working full time since around the end of 2008 and lived the life how I’ve wanted to. Take this past week for example the weather over in the UK has been awesome, I’ve been able to take the time off and spend it with friends and family rather than sat inside working waiting for 5pm to clock off and go enjoy the last of the sun.
What are your current affiliate marketing goals?
I’m always striving to beat previous revenue/profit goals and I actually haven’t really set any in stone this year as of yet.
I’m nowhere close to being able to beat my current record day so I guess that’s the first step I need to take. I’ve been a tad too relaxed over the last week or so due to the weather and all of the bank holidays we have had so this year I’m going to work to get back into 6 figure/month revenue.
I’m currently going through the process of hopefully buying a house too so I’m sure that will tie into my goals if that goes through all ok.
I would also love to develop something in the niche I’m working on and take it a step further having my own offer on the networks for other people to promote – that’s the end goal this year for me!
And beyond affiliate marketing?
I’m not one for dozens of cars, holidays every other month and throwing cash around (just yet anyway).
I assume my goals outside of affiliate marketing are pretty much the same as anybody else’s – things along the lines of being financially secure, travelling and starting a family. I’ve not really ever sat down and decided what I want from life, I’m still fairly young in my opinion although probably seen as old in this industry now.
If money was no object I think it would be awesome to own a couple of houses/villas around the world so that you can travel around each year as you please. The beauty of this job is that you can work wherever there is an internet connection.
What do you do when you’re not sitting in front of the computer?
I don’t have a great deal of hobbies come to think of it, when I’m not working I like to enjoy letting my hair down spending time with my girlfriend, friends and family. I go out at least once/twice a week depending on when everybody else has days off work.
I have also been meaning to start my P90X which seems to be taking more will power to actually getting round to doing it – I’ll start from Monday
The past few months have been really work orientated for me which has paid off but I don’t see that changing any time soon – I have quite a big shopping list at the moment and want to actually feel like I deserve a holiday by the end of the year rather than just because I can.
If you could go back to 5 years ago, what would you have done differently?
Hmm go back 5 years… I would definitely wish I knew what I did now back then, especially with Facebook advertising. I think most people’s response to this would pretty much be the same to this question, if you had the knowledge you have now 5 years ago things in your life would be very different I’m sure.
Also this time 5 years ago I was working a day job so I wished that I could have gotten into affiliate marketing a lot sooner but other than that I wouldn’t want to change anything. I’ve had a crazy rollercoaster experience whilst working full time, from hitting a pretty successful campaign off of the bat, to reality hitting home that it won’t last forever and I need to be constantly diversifying and building up my business, to now (few months ago) pretty much starting fresh and relearning new traffic sources and building up my business again.
Although I made some stupid mistakes I don’t regret it in any way, it was a lesson well learned in my eyes.
Any quick tips for beginning affiliate marketers?
My main tip would be just to pick a traffic source, pick a niche and make it work. It’s nothing new I’m sorry but the problem I was faced with was overloading myself with niche/campaign ideas and not spending enough time on each one. Not many campaigns work out profitable from the start so just because it looks like your losing money don’t throw in the towel and move onto something else, 99% of the time the same will happen and your test budget has gone and you have nothing.
Take a different approach to your demographic, try breaking it up a little, if on Facebook for example try to think of other related interests and how you can tie in your offer/product. Something that I have noticed is that it does help to pair up with somebody and throw ideas about, you’ll be surprised how far something can go from just a little conversation.
Don’t give up!
Where do you blog at and where can we find more of your insights?
My blog can be found at www.richardbonner.net but I’m afraid to say it’s been deserted for a fair bit lately, obviously when I took a break from things I didn’t have much to write about without being really vague and just wasting people’s time.
Now I’m back I have had a bad case of writers block and really trying to think of useful things to write about. I will be working to get it back on track because it has been a goal of mine to reach 1,000 subscribers since the very first day I posted which I’m not too far off of now I guess.
If anyone wants to guest post that would be great to get the ball rolling again, or if anyone wants to see any specific topics feel free to comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do.