My Interview on Six Figure Affiliate Blogging

By Daniel Scocco

Some weeks ago I wrote about an ebook that my friend Zac Johnson was giving away to his subscribers, called Six Figure Affiliate Blogging.

Apart from the core content, Zac also included bonus interviews with 8 Internet marketers. I was one of them, and I asked Zac if I could share my own interview here on the blog. He agreed, so below you’ll find it. Don’t forget to check Zac’s book too, as you just need to subscribe to his newsletter to download your copy.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Brazil, and lived here until I was 16. After that I went to live in some other countries, including Italy and Chile. I started working full time on the Internet in 2006 (I was 21 at the time), and haven’t looked back ever since. It is a great lifestyle, and I really enjoy building websites and online businesses. In fact every day I wake up eager to turn the computer on.

2. When did you start blogging and how did you get into it?

Back in 2005 when I got my degree in International Economics I was left with a big document that I had prepared for my thesis. I had put a lot of effort into researching and writing it out, but I was sure that apart from myself, only two people would end up reading it: my teacher and my father….

Instead of letting the document sit idle and gather dust, therefore, I decided to chop it off into small articles and publish them on the web.

That is when I started researching about web publishing models, and when I came across blogging. I built my first blogs with raw HTML files, and after a while I discovered WordPress and became a loyal user.

After university I started working for a multinational company (inside the marketing department), but one year there was enough to make me realize that I didn’t want to work inside large companies. In fact I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I wanted to have my own business, so I quit my job and started working full time with my websites.

3. Besides financially, how has blogging helped your business and brand?

I would say that blogging has been the kernel of my online business, for several reasons. First all blogging helped me to build authority. My content has always been derived from my experience building blogs and websites, and the readers would perceive that. Over time more and more people were willing to read and trust what I would write, which is great (and flattering at the same time).

Secondly, blogging allowed me to build a network of contacts, which is something extremely valuable for any business owner. As they say, it is often about who you know, and not what you know. These contacts allowed me to launch new websites, sell existing ones, launch new products and so on.

Finally, blogging also gave me a springboard to launch new projects. As of today I have 42,000 subscribers on Daily Blog Tips. This means that if I launch a product tomorrow I’ll be able to invite 42,000 to check it out. What is even better, these are 42,000 peopole who already have a relationship with me, so they are more likely to pay attention and give the product a shot.

4. How have you incorporated affiliate marketing into your blog?

Affiliate marketing is one of the main income sources I have on my blogs. The most effective way I have found to promote affiliate deals is when the product is very relevant to my audience. On those occasions I’ll write a honest review about it, and recommend my readers to check it out.

I believe that two factors play a role in the success of this technique: first of all you need to promote affiliate offers with moderation. If every other day you have a new affiliate plug your readers will suspect that you are just trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of your blog.

Secondly, you need to be completely honest and transparent on your reviews/recommendations. For example, try to actually use the product before writing the review, don’t mention only the positive aspects and so on.

Occasionally I also use affiliate offers to fill unsold advertising space. The conversion rate will be smaller here, but sometimes it beats AdSense, so it is a good alternative to have.

5. In your opinion, what is the single best way to monetize a blog?

I believe the answer will depend on the blog in question. More specifically, it will depend on the niche of the blog, on its size, on the amount of time that the owner has to spend on the monetization strategies and so on.

For example, blogs that receive a very high percentage of their traffic from search engines, tend to perform well with CPC ads (i.e., Google AdSense) and possibly affiliate marketing offers, depending on the keywords that are bringing the organic traffic (i.e., if the keywords manifest the intention to buy something).

Very large blogs, on the other hand, might become more profitable if the owner starts selling advertising space directly, or if he launches a related product.

In many cases the best monetization strategy will be a combination of the methods mentioned above. That is, the blog owner might use AdSense, complement it with some affiliate offers, and once the traffic grows he might also launch a product.

The key to find what works for you is to test, test and test.

6. What would you recommend for a new blogger, that was only looking to blog for financial gain?

First of all pick your niche wisely. Not too big, but not too small. If you are going to write the content yourself, it must be something you are passionate about. However, you also have the option to outsource the content, in which case you could choose any niche you want.

Once you know what niche you are going for, aim to dominate it. How? By publishing the best content out there. People must read your stuff and say “Wow, this is so good I’ll bookmark it. Heck, I’ll even blog and tweet about it to let my friends know!”.

Publishing that killer content alone won’t do the trick, however, because no one will know about your blog. You’ll therefore need to spend a lot of time promoting it as well. Use social media, network with fellow bloggers, join online forums relevant to your niche and so on.

Sounds like a lot of hard work? You betcha!

7. Any recommended blogs or resources for bloggers looking to bring their blog to the next level?

Some blogs where you will find a lot of useful information (make sure to check their archives, too) include:

Taking the advice from people who have been there is important, but you must also follow your gut once in a while. The Internet is relatively young, and we’re all trying to figure it out still.

8. Do you have any big announcements or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?

I am working on a new project right now. It will be a web based service, but I can’t talk too much about it right now. Hopefully within 3 months or so I’ll have the beta version live. If you read my blog you’ll see the announcement there.

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16 Responses to “My Interview on Six Figure Affiliate Blogging”

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Great Info there Daniel. It was a very inspirational read. As a matter of fact, I too have done BSc Economics last year, and I too started out on the ‘web’ and am loving it!

    Thanks for pointing out the blogs, I know all except Quick Sprout. I will visit that too now.

    “The Internet is relatively young” This is very true. Google is what, like only 11 years old?

    Nabeel

    • Daniel Scocco

      Yes Google is around 12 years old.

  • Damar

    Good job Daniel ^_^

  • Gary David | Build Your List Fast

    Thanks for sharing this interview Daniel. I really admire Zac. Every time I visit his blog, I always find valuable and useful posts. He’s very natural and doesn’t want to bore his readers.

    Regards

    Gary

  • Tammi Kibler

    Thanks for sharing. Often this site is just a good source of information. It was refreshing to get a peek at your history. I see now the info was there on your About page, I just never looked.

    Anyway, thanks for all the great tips you share.

  • Eunus Hosen

    Hey Daniel, I’m going to be 21 within few days. I’ve started my blogging journey when I was 18 and also making money. This is very inspirational post. Really enjoyed it.
    Eunus Hosen

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    Really great and detailed interview,

    There are really a lot of lessons to be learned and I will also begin to pay more attention to your recommended blogs.

    Thanks a lot,
    -Onibalusi

  • Sheila Atwood

    Great interview.

    I have learn a lot from Zac who is part of the Online Profits team. Very effective!

    I would add him to the list of bloggers to read, that are good resources for those who want to bring their blogs to the next level.

  • Umesh

    It is always great to read through your blog. You always come up with new ideas and news things to put on your blogs.

    Keep growing.

  • Jamie Barclay

    Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  • highnurse

    great..really useful..thanks daniel..

  • Sally

    Great Post.

    I particularly liked the fact that that you should always read / use a product before reviewing it.

    Once you know the ins and outs of a product it is so much easier to write an honest review about it.

    It also stops you using a “pre-written” review recommending a product that might be a lemon!

    Recommending a product that is rubbish will hurt your reputation very badly and break any trust you have built up with your readers.

    Sally 🙂

  • Broker

    7. was helpful. The others were kinda common knowledge. Can’t blame him though for not revealing any secrets 😉

    • Daniel Scocco

      Well, fact is there aren’t any secrets 🙂 .

  • Esh

    I like it when you say you try out products before reviewing it, That’s how you could honestly critic it. If the product is well developed despite the flaws it reaches out well. Because as more and more blogs promote things, people get savvier and spot the BS as quickly as possible. One false promotion can disappoint a lot of subscribers. I am recently disappointed by a well known blogger though i wont name him, started promoting everything under the sun to his subscribers. If i had a blog with that much traction i don’t prefer to be in his shoes with that promotion 😉 Sad truth wealthy-greedy ‘Big box – high ticket – Biz op sellers reach out to reputed bloggers these days.

    thanks for sharing this interview.

    ~E

  • Febap Liew | Making Money Online Today

    really good interview. i have learnt so much from the internet. gone were the times where i only spend time online to chat, youtube, facebook. as i read on post / interview such as this, i really do feel that the internet has so much more to offer than just pure entertainment.

    “Once you know what niche you are going for, aim to dominate it. How? By publishing the best content out there. People must read your stuff and say “Wow, this is so good I’ll bookmark it. Heck, I’ll even blog and tweet about it to let my friends know!”

    I am really giving all i could to create this atmosphere. Its not really about the money anymore. its about value and providing the readers with really beneficial information. I believe they will come back for more if it is worth a read.

    anyway, thanks for posting this up. hopefully, soon i will be able to climb up as where you have been. =)
    i’ll see you at the top, daniel.
    cheers.

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