MajorGeeks is one of the most popular software sites online. Behind this “very large toolbox for your PC,” as they like to describe their business, are just two guys: Tim Tibbetts and Jim McMahon. Both Tim and Jim share computers as a major passion. Jim was kind enough to share with us MajorGeeks’ approach to affiliate marketing, as well as some valuable tips on how to grow a successful business in this competitive industry.
1. How did you get into the Affiliate Industry?
Tim (my partner) and I started in the online business in 1999. Affiliate sales offered a natural progression from and augmentation to traditional banner ads.
2. Describe your business in 3 words.
Big. Green. Geeky.
3. What’s the best part of earning money as an affiliate?
Generating revenue by promoting products that we like and use? What’s not to like?
4. Is there a secret to success in the affiliate business?
I’m not sure if there is a secret, but diligence works. You have to pick good companies and develop a solid working relationship with them. You need to be very focused on what your targets and goals are. Then you have to commit to those goals, targets, and companies. Do that and you’ll have a fair chance to succeed. Doing things only halfway or spreading yourself too thin will fail every time.
5. Name the most valuable services an affiliate network could bring to you?
A personal masseuse. But few companies are willing to see my viewpoint on that one. ;) Barring that, good tracking is essential. I am utterly shocked and how staggeringly bad some affiliate companies are at tracking sales. Then you also need a variety of ways to be able to promote what you are selling. Whether it is link variety, a good selection of banners, custom builds, or something else – the more tools in your toolbox, the better off you’ll be.
6. What do you think are the hottest trends in the affiliate business in 2013?
I’m pretty focused on the software space. So the trends there are going to be different than those in the macro environment. But that said, I have seen more newer, smaller authors embrace the power of affiliate marketing earlier in their sales cycles than in the past. I suspect I’d see that in other markets too.
7. What advice would you give to a new software affiliate?
Don’t. Stay away. Get a real job. Go work a 9 to 5 job like your parents told you to. I’ve got enough competition out here – I don’t need any more! But if you HAVE to, rule number one is KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Offer the products that they want. And don’t overthink it. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve tried to be more clever than my data suggested.
Many thanks to Jim for talking to us about MajorGeeks’ expert affiliate practices! Stay tuned to get more top tips from our next Avangate Affiliate Interview.