Ryan Hamada, Founder of Affiliate Academy, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Ryan Hamada of Affiliate Academy speaks about their email newsletter dedicated to educate and inspire the next generation of affiliates, about the tips and strategies which they give to affiliates, and how to attract and motivate affiliates - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate marketing business take off?
When the 2008 financial crisis hit I was in my mid-twenties without a job and scared for the future... That’s when I discovered affiliate marketing after a friend invited me to an event focusing on digital marketing.
As soon as the speaker explained the principles of affiliate marketing I immediately knew I’d make a career of it. Since then, I promoted every type of offer from financial to health and even dating.
Tell us a bit more about your business model, concept, and culture.
I have several daily email newsletters on different niche topics. Every day they receive guidance and encouragement around that topic. This is the media I primarily use to promote affiliate offers.
What helps make your performance successful? What are the main challenges?
Mastering tracking comes number one. From cross-devices tracking to always keeping an eye on my EPCs and ROI.
My main challenge over the years was to stay focused on my system and to not get distracted by too many different approaches. I’m involved in several niches but my promotional methods are mostly the same: email marketing and providing helpful content.
Which niches work best for your affiliate marketing, and which are the most profitable?
The financial niche has been good to me. I’m grateful to work with some great publishers who released high quality and converting offers with generous CPAs.
Affiliate Academy is an email newsletter dedicated to educate and inspire the next generation of affiliates. Can you tell us more about it? What educational and inspirational aspects do you tackle?
The vision of Affiliate Academy is to create 100,000 super affiliates in 10 years.
On the educational from we tackle the building blocks of affiliate marketing like niches and offers selection, traffic sources but also tracking or copy.
On the inspirational front I share some of the mistakes and insights I learned when it comes to running an affiliate business.
Affiliate entrepreneurs receive your tips and strategies. Can you tell us more about these tips and strategies
When I got started I wasn’t focused and strategic. This resulted in wasting a lot of time and money... And stress!
I see a lot of new affiliates doing those same mistakes. They are just too tactical… So my mission is to correct this with my tips and strategies.
For example, I show them how to work with the end in mind: how much per month do we want to make? And how much is it daily? Now that we have our daily revenue target, what type of offers can help us reach that goal with ease and speed? Once we have identified our offers it’s time to identify one traffic source and master it while ignoring all the rest.
When someone shows them how to approach affiliate marketing in a strategic manner their motivation and excitation goes ten fold. They are not just shooting in the dark now. They have a clear target and process they trust. This makes affiliate marketing much more fun and profitable.
What can you tell us about attracting affiliates and keeping them motivated?
I’ve worked with dozen of affiliates managers in different niches and I also own offers supported by few hundreds affiliates. Because I’m on both sides I have a unique view on the topic.
A software company came to me one day because not many affiliates wanted to promote their new app. Which I responded “why would they?”. If you want to attract more affiliates you need to look at your affiliate program as an offer and make it irresistible. That’s what I helped them with.
Is the program exciting enough? Are we adding value to affiliates? How can we communicate in a way that is motivating? How can we help our affiliates make more money? Are we genuinely excited for them to promote our offers?
The reality is no affiliates wake up excited to promote your business. They have plenty of offers to choose from.
On keeping affiliates motivated simple things like staying in touch with a monthly newsletter, offering training for your affiliates to help them grow and expressing appreciation by calling them or sending gifts goes a long way.
Finally respect and treat every affiliate the same. Regardless if they bring a dozen conversions a month or thousands per day – help them grow. That small affiliate could become a super affiliate next year for your competitor instead of you because you neglected him.
I believe this is the biggest tragedy in the space. Small affiliates never receiving help from operators to grow. Operators would get so much more from their affiliate program if they would look at their affiliates as partners they have a duty to help grow and succeed.
What makes your sites unique?
Simplicity. Every day you receive one idea straight to your inbox, you implement it and hopefully make some progress.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
Have a vision for the end user. I want to see a world where people live on their terms so I see every offer I promote as a bridge to that outcome. This makes me extremely creative in my promotions. In the iGaming space the vision is to bring fun and excitement to people’s life. The offer is only a bridge to that outcome.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
I already mentioned tracking but speed and being organised is paramount. Being able to try different approaches to promote offers is also key.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
I refuse to let technology overwhelm me. I use a good tracking software. One ESP that manage all my email newsletters. I also use software like LeadPages and Click Funnels. My offers run on ClickBank. Really I keep things simple.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators and affiliates?
Every day I allocate time to work on the different niches I’m involved with. I’m also involved in several Facebook groups where I add value to other affiliates and let them know about some of the offers I own.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas – which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?
Not yet, but I’d love to attend SiGMA Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, etc.
A book that shaped my business philosophy is Getting everything you can out of all you've got by Jay Abraham. The book taught me to genuinely love clients and the people I do business with. He talked about something he calls “The Strategy of Preeminence” that boils down to the idea that you can only be successful to the extend you focus on the success, well-being, and happiness of others.
My favourite quote is “We only Live Once”. Due to a rare condition I lost 95% of my left eye sight at 18. This literally made me half blind overnight at a young age. This was a turning point that encouraged me to do everything in life I really wanted to do… And to live on my terms.
About SiGMA Magazine:
SiGMA Magazine is the ultimate biannual publication shedding light on the gaming industry. The magazine covers five major continents, namely: Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas with contributors reigning from all over the world. The publication is distributed to a global audience, with a print run of 10,000, giving readers exclusive content about our vast client base. Due to our global audience SiGMA utilises its in-house translators to translate content in their specific language, depending on the continent. The Magazine is available online via our digital version and is also distributed during SiGMA's annual shows. If you want to be part of our next issue please contact Katy.