Welcome to the second part of our chat with renowned affiliate Joe Connor of Renegade Publishing Ltd, who publishes a wide portfolio of sites including DiscountCodes.tv, BillyBargain.co.uk, and CantBarsed.com.
In part one of the interview, Joe told us about how he became involved with affiliate marketing and voucher code sites. Read on to hear his thoughts on the industry as it stands today, his predictions for the future, and who inspires him.
Did you welcome the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s movement to draw up a ‘Code of Best Practice’ for voucher code sites in 2009?
I am not keen on quangos so I didn’t welcome being regulated. However, it’s fair to say that affiliates had failed miserably on more than one occasion to organise themselves so it’s good that someone finally took charge and came up with a standard set of rules for all voucher code sites to follow.
Overall they’ve done well in getting all of the networks on board and working together. They’ve also helped raise the profile of affiliate marketing within the wider online marketing world – whether this is a good or a bad thing for me personally I’m undecided.
Do you promote your websites on social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs?
We certainly do! Here are some links:
Which are your favourite websites, and why?
I like to keep up with the latest apple news via MacRumours.com and I do watch the odd YouTube video.
How do you think the voucher code sector will evolve over the next few years?
I expect the sites which are currently dominating the SERPs to make the sector unprofitable for everyone else. To break into or remain at the top of the SERPs will require serious financial investment.
I also predict that all the top voucher sites will produce their own iPhone App, but only one or two of those will survive or be used.
What tips do you have for people starting out in affiliate marketing? Do unexplored niches still exist?
My top tip for new affiliates is to find a mentor. The barriers to entry for new affiliates are considerable and having an experienced friend who has good relationships with network and agency staff is invaluable.
Unexplored niches are a bit thin on the ground but there are still plenty of soft targets to work on.
Who in the industry inspires you, any why?
The widely publicised “super affiliates’ have inspired us all to some extent but I am much more impressed by the efforts of “pretty good affiliates” who haven’t moved into expensive offices or traded in the affiliate lifestyle for an office job.
It’s not getting any easier to survive – let alone prosper – in this industry so the following people deserve a special mention: Jason Dale, Kirsty McCubbin, John Lamerton, Keith Bond, Ian Ebbs, and Elaine and Dave Forth.
I also work in partnership with a handful of other affiliates and they inspire and push me on a daily basis to work harder and smarter. Two heads really are better than one!
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time implies a work/leisure balance I don’t recognise. I love what I do and love being able to live my life on my terms. There’s no commute, no clients, no boss and I can work from anywhere whenever I choose.
I started Tai Chi around seven years ago to get away from my desk but it turned out to be much more than exercise. Tai Chi changed the way I view myself, others and the world in general and it also led to my interest in Chinese cooking.
I also love bodyboarding and no holiday is complete without catching some waves.
Finally, tell us one thing that people don’t know about you!
I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and get noticeably more grumpy when the clocks go back. I have a SAD lamp which does work – if only to remind me to make more of an effort. This has varying degrees of success depending on who you talk to!
That concludes our chat session and we would like to say a big thank you to Joe for taking time out to answer our questions. For more information about Joe’s affiliate websites or to find out more about Renegade Publishing’s services, visit www.renpub.co.uk