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Interview with a Pro Affiliate: Servando Silva

Luke

Admin
Staff member
Featured Thread #1
The other day, I got an idea while I was in the shower...


My friend, Servando (@servandosilva), may not like to hear that I was thinking about him while I was in the shower, but I got an idea for the forum. I should "interview" some of the members here. We have plenty of members already who have a ton of experience in the affiliate industry. Servando is one of them :)

So, I reached out to see if he was interested in doing an interview and he said he was.

Servando has been a friend of mine in the affiliate marketing industry for quite some time now. He's an affiliate on PeerFly and is active in most affiliate forums like ours. He has been doing affiliate marketing for awhile now and has a great blog where he documents his affiliate marketing and making money online: https://servandosilva.com

Servando and Luke.jpg
(Servando and I in 2016 at Affiliate Summit)​

Let's start with a fun question and one everyone really wants to know...

๐Ÿ‘ How much is the most you have made in a single day with affiliate marketing?

One day we broke over 12k but making over 5 figures per day has only happened a few times and I can count them with my fingers literally. I prefer talking about monthly figures because a lot of times affiliates can make a lot of money one day and make zero 2 weeks later. Our best months we've done 150k-200k per month with affiliate offers.

๐Ÿ‘Ž What is the most you've lost in a single day? I know for my own experience, I try to block out losses pretty quickly, but give me an estimate if you can't remember.

I think the worst day we lost around $1,500 during an afternoon while I was away camping with my friends without 3G signal and WiFi access. This usually happens when you have a problem in your campaign or when you are launching campaigns at 3am in the morning without realizing you added an extra 0 in your budgets.

Honestly I have had a 2-3 errors like this only and learned from them so it's been a while since last time. Here I am knocking wood so it won't happen again.

โšฝ What is your favorite hobby?

Computers and consumer electronics used to be my favorite hobbies back when I got started 6 years ago. I also play guitar but sometimes I just think I'm so busy that I don't do it for weeks.
Nowadays I still love anything tech related but my main hobbies have shifted and are now learning new business strategies (it's like watching a thriller movie and I won't stop until I went all over the information available online) and traveling around the world with people I love at least 2-3 times per year.

๐Ÿ’ฐ What is 1 skill you've learned since starting affiliate marketing that has helped you the most with getting your campaigns profitable?

Having a cold heart about money and budgets. Being an entrepreneur and not to mention an affiliate can be a stressing ride over the years. Since you're putting your own money on risk every time you launch a campaign feelings can be hard to manage and lead to bad decisions (business wise).

1 skilled I have learned very well is that every time you put money in a campaign you're investing into something to get data and learn from it. Even if you fail, you're still learning from your mistakes and getting closer to success.

Learning how to lose money properly reducing risks and taking decisions based on what your data says is one of the best skills you can learn for any business. Also, the crypto world helped us learn that much faster this year haha. Whenever I see the value of some coins dropping I just laugh and keep focused on my other businesses.

๐Ÿค‘ You are a full-time affiliate. How long did it take you to accomplish that?

1 year.
I started as a blogger in 2012 as I already had a lot of experience back from 2006-2010 but I never had to worry about finances, traffic stats and money back then. This time it was different.

Once I started working on it it took me literally 1 year to make the leap and go full time once I started earning a similar amount of money as i was being paid back then in the company I was working for.

I started working just 1-2 hours per day after work (7-9pm or sometimes after dinner between 10pm-midnight) and it took me 3 months to see my first USD in earnings.

I had no fear as the worst thing that could happen was having to get a new job a few months later. I had no compromises, no kids, no forced rent to pay, etc. so all the cards were in my favor and I decided to play them and change my future.

I have never regretted it in the last 6 years :)

๐Ÿš€ What is 1 thing we can add to affLIFT to make it better? This can be something the community does or something I do personally to make the forum better.

I think Afflift is growing quite well for being in a niche so targeted like affiliate marketing. You're already creating guides, doing competitions, giving away bonuses for traffic networks, etc. Patience and persistence is what Afflift needs and hopefully next year it will grow a lot more.

Maybe adding a moderating team that also works on guides besides yourself could help you ease that bottleneck :)

๐Ÿ˜ข What is your least favorite part about affiliate marketing?

The rollercoaster of emotions sometimes can be hard when you lose some good campaigns. Also, the industry itself can be very shady, including affiliates, advertisers, networks, offers, etc.

Finally, when you work as an affiliate only you're helping someone else build their business while taking profits. But the business is never yours until you create your own. A lot of people moved to Shopify stores because of that thought.

๐Ÿ˜ƒ What is your favorite part about affiliate marketing?

Freedom. What's more to say here? We're all here because of money AND freedom I suspect :)

๐Ÿ”ฎ Where do you see the industry in 3-5 years?

The industry evolves quickly so in 3-5 years we could have a couple more new traffic sources (different type of ads) plus a much more regulated space in the big networks, making people shift into white hat offers, ecommerce, courses and building their own (not too shady) businesses. It looks like this cycle is going back to the basics of marketing.

โ“ What is one question I should have asked you that I haven't? Please answer it as well.

There are many stories I'd like to share eventually, so why don't we make this post an AMA (Ask Me Anything) and we'll let the people in the forum participate with their own questions :)

๐ŸŽ‰ Luke: I think this is a great idea. Feel free to post your questions for Servando in the replies below!

๐Ÿคฌ LAST QUESTION: Because PeerFly has such a relaxed culture, we ask this question in every interview for a new hire. It always throws people off, but the answers are always fun:

What is your favorite swear word?

I guess my swear word is "fuck" and a lot of people use it as it works in many situations with an auxiliar word or alone. This only happens in English though as i don't really tend to swear at all in Spanish.

I really appreciate you being a part of our community, Servando. I've learned a lot from you over the years and I am happy to be able to call you a friend.

Onward and upward ๐Ÿš€
 

Li Chee

New member
#3
Thanks for the quick interview Luke!
I'm willing to answer any related questions here about anything affiliate and personal story related so fire your questions guys!
Hi @servandosilva ,

Great interview...
I noticed a lot of affiliates who have "made it" are not working alone, they all have a team behind them.
My questions are:
  • Do you work on your affiliate business alone?
  • Why do we need a team for since we can outsource most of the task?
Thanks...
 

dood

Active member
#6
Great interview! I like the AMA part :)

I have a question also;

Did you have those "a-ha!" moments when you realize you are doing something wrong for a while (or not doing) that made a big impact on your campaigns in terms of profits and ROI?

Like ignoring a certain traffic source, not using some tools etc. ?


tnx!
 
#8
Hi @servandosilva ,

Great interview...
I noticed a lot of affiliates who have "made it" are not working alone, they all have a team behind them.
My questions are:
  • Do you work on your affiliate business alone?
  • Why do we need a team for since we can outsource most of the task?
Thanks...
Hi.
I do have a small team but you don't need a team to make money in this business. A team can help you scale for sure as you won't be a bottleneck anymore but this doesn't mean you'll be more profitable right away.

My team only helps me with code and design. All the media buys are done by me. Some affiliates love the style and freedom of being lonewolfs and some like having teams and going to an office. Both can make money or not, it's just the more campaigns you launch and the better system you have, the more opportunities you'll have to find winners although it will cost you more money.
 
#9
Hey @servandosilva,

If you were to start over with $5k, no job, a family to feed, tiny experience in CPA, no list, no successful campaign history.

How would you invest those $5k?
No job and a family to feed?
Well, it depends on which country and lifestyle I'd be getting at that point.
$5k can be a lot of money in tier 3 countries where you can live with $500 per month, so I might give it a shot there after analyzing my expenses.

On the contrary, $5k for a tier1 or just any expensive city could be barely enough for a couple months and having a family to feed and no job I'd not take the risk IMHO. It's just different when you have other people to care about under your wing.

In both cases the first thing I'd do is to get a job so I can make sure I have a proper salary to get me and my family feed and a ceiling no matter what happens with my affiliate ventures. Then I'd put those 5k to work and focus on low payout offers, one vertical and just 1 traffic source until I learn the ropes.

5k is actually a good budget if you can burn it without preoccupations as long as you don't have huge monthly expenses but otherwise I'd take the less risky approach as explained above.
 
#10
@servandosilva what's the main difference btw the good affiliate marketer and the bad one - we all have same resources: spying tools, same traffic sources, same affiliate networks, but some of us can make it, some can't...
If both of them have not only the tools but also the same budget then I'd say:

The good one is persistent and makes decisions based on data.. He never stops and learns every day by gathering experience (launching campaigns) until he finds winners.

The bad one is lazy, he's scared of losing money and he reads more than he launches campaigns. At the end he didn't really found anything because he only tested 3 campaigns in 2 months and spent $10-20 on each one without conversions and then quit after that.


Here's a simple question for anybody here in the forum: how many campaigns have you launched in the last 30 days? If the answer is less than 1 per day (30) you're not testing enough (doesn't apply for people who are already running successful campaigns though).
 
#11
Great interview! I like the AMA part :)

I have a question also;

Did you have those "a-ha!" moments when you realize you are doing something wrong for a while (or not doing) that made a big impact on your campaigns in terms of profits and ROI?

Like ignoring a certain traffic source, not using some tools etc. ?

tnx!
I have had some a-ha moments, yes, but none of them were like huge errors that changed the campaign revenue by far.
Ignoring sources is something you end up doing because you can only focus so much in a source.

So far I haven't found any tools that give me "a-ha" moments but overall they're very useful on a daily basis.
 

dood

Active member
#12
I have had some a-ha moments, yes, but none of them were like huge errors that changed the campaign revenue by far.
Ignoring sources is something you end up doing because you can only focus so much in a source.

So far I haven't found any tools that give me "a-ha" moments but overall they're very useful on a daily basis.
Thanks!
 

Luke

Admin
Staff member
#14
Here's a simple question for anybody here in the forum: how many campaigns have you launched in the last 30 days? If the answer is less than 1 per day (30) you're not testing enough (doesn't apply for people who are already running successful campaigns though).
Oh man. This is awesome โœ…
I do have a small team
How did you build your team? This is something I need to work on :)
 

Luke

Admin
Staff member
#18
One last question from me. I talk a lot about my 3-5x the payout multiple for testing. I know based on things you've said that your multiple is higher. What is your strategy for deciding on a testing budget for a new campaign? When do you pause and move on?
 

chervenkov

Active member
#19
If I can ask last question too - how do you choose what offers to promote (before test them), talk with AM from the network and pick the most converting ones, the ones with best EPC or the new one which look promising?

Also what custom elements do you put on the ripped landing pages you use for better CR and how improve your landings?
 

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