OPW INTERVIEW -- Dec 6 -- Tim Rees is the former CEO of World Dating Partners. He’s back to being an affiliate. - Mark Brooks
What are you working on these days?
Since leaving World Dating Partners I’ve gone back to what I used to do beforehand. I used to be an affiliate for lots of different sites. I’m contacting as many different sites and systems as I can, charting them out and running with the ones that are making me the most money, which currently looks to be White Label Dating.
I used to have a company doing just this about 2 or 3 years ago, and it worked quite successfully for me back then. Now I’ve got even more exposure of the market, more knowledge so I’m trying to use that to my advantage and give it a better run and make it even more successful this time around.
What did you learn while you were at WDP?
Before I had worked there I had experience of being a member on different dating sites and also having promoted them as an affiliate. I had a lot of experience as an affiliate. What I didn’t have was the missing piece of the puzzle which was working within those companies and seeing how they work behind the scenes. Now I know what I can realistically expect from service providers and affiliate programs.
What are the main types of affiliates?
In terms of generating the revenues, there are different types of affiliates that can drive big traffic. There are big publishing media companies, there are some sites that may just have a huge subscriber base of their own that they can cross promote to, then there are more stereotypical affiliates that know how to market, where to buy the traffic from, how much they can buy it for and how to optimize their campaigns, monitor their landing pages and conversion rates. These are the affiliates that are able to generate big revenues by themselves.
What are they using?
PPC is the most popular marketing method and the easiest for affiliates to monitor. You should know exactly what your margins are before you go and buy the traffic. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of time building up your sites and getting natural traffic to it. It’s very difficult these days. You can just build a campaign, turn it on, optimize it and get rid of everything that’s not working.
How about you Tim, what are you doing?
What I’ve been doing over the past couple of months is testing the various sites that I’m promoting to find out what the conversion and retention rates are like. That’s something which can be difficult to obtain because you need 6 to 9 months to understand what is happening. But you are able to get some indication from the conversion and early retention rates as to whether or not there are any trends.
What I prefer to do is run some sites with low traffic first to build up my analytics. Then use those to build out more heavily invested PPC campaigns. It’s also possible to buy and generate traffic from many other sources other than Google, you just need to search for them. Providing you can separate all your campaigns and monitor each carefully you can quickly find out which are the best areas to focus and increase your spending on. Even when I am running a heavy bias to one system or site I still continue to run campaigns with others so that I have a point of comparison and if needs be I can switch.
At the moment for my own dating projects I am working mostly with WhiteLabelDating.com. I am familiar with all providers out there but seem to be getting best results through them. They have been very helpful and flexible enough to accommodate some of my custom requests which I need to continue to grow my business as quickly as I want. It’s still early days but the revenues are exceeding my expectations.
It’s no secret that I have big plans for my own in-house developed projects, but using a 3rd party like White Label for me is the best solution; there is no development time or costs, no heavy investment needed to hit critical mass and brings my revenues forward many months, immediately on to an aggressive growth curve.
Are there any favorite resources that you use for tips for affiliate marketing?
I use WebMaster World and Revenue Magazine to stay up on the industry and occasionally extract tips for affiliate marketing. One of my favourite sites is entrepreneur.com, a great resource with articles on most areas of running any business. A good forum to also visit is affialites4u.com. I also subscribe to .net magazine in the UK which keeps me up to speed with any internet developments.
What are you going to be doing for the next few months besides your affiliate work?
I’m very excited about a few areas of technology, like video streaming, content sharing and mobile. I’m testing a few products at the moment in these areas and developing some of our own. Early 2009 I’ll have some announcements which I hope are going to provide some interesting additional services for dating, social networking and mobile companies.