For those who don't know already, could you give us a brief background of yourself and your websites?
Basically I've been on the internet since 1999 in the world of affiliate programs. Self taught, I actually discovered it when a friend of mine walked through my door at my home office in Abbotsford, B.C which is in the central Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver. I live on the west coast. I live in a little seaside community with my wife and four kids, and have been making a full time income with affiliate programs ever since.
I have somewhere, I think I'm just about at 100 websites that I've built over the last seven years, I've been through seven, what I call online shopping seasons. I'm really fond of the Christmas season because that's when obviously retail, and a lot of people are spending money online. So, I've had a chance to watch it for years now as it's grown and evolved.
Before we start, I'd like to just clear up a little curiosity. Most people, by the time they get to this interview will already have heard the one with Rosalind Gardiner and they might notice
Websites: JamesMartell.com Affiliate-Buzz.com Work-At-Home-Net-Guides.com
Name: James Martell
Home: British Columbia, Canada that you're both super affiliates who have written your own handbooks, and you're both from British Columbia, Canada. Any connection there?
Actually there's not. You know, I've never actually met her, met Rosalind. I know she lives in the interior BC, she's probably about four hours from here, and I know she made... her business is basically in the area of paid search, Pay per Click, and she's done extremely well. I've heard good things about her training and her book, and just another fellow Canadian, fellow British Columbian.
OK, so you mentioned your friend walking into your office, but how exactly did that spark you to want to get started with affiliate marketing in general, and then why ClickBank?
Well at the time, I was running a telecommunications company, small little phone company in the Valley, and we were doing quite well, but deregulation of the industry was kicking into gear, but at the time we were already used to earning a very good income through a subscriber base where people would pay us to access our server.
So we were used to getting monthly checks in the mail, you know we would get a couple thousand subscribers, every month we'd get a check. They weren't a lot of money but they were 15, 20 bucks times, you know a couple thousand people added up, and when deregulation was looming, we knew our business was basically going to end because soon as they opened up the area to a toll free long distance calling area, our service would become obsolete.
So when a friend of mine walked into my office and he was showing me a little website that he had built, he really got my attention because I was looking at the site he had built, and at that point he was giving away free internet access.
And I was curious as to why would you build a website for somebody else, to give away their service for free. I mean what's the deal here? And then he explained to me they were paying him, $4 for every subscriber that he would send from his site to their site if they would, you know, fill out the form and hit submit, he would make four bucks. I was like, you got to teach me how to do this. And that was basically my introduction into it.
I was into a business that was going away, I was definitely hungry for something else. I wanted something I could build where you know, you kind of do the work once and then the income would continue. So that was basically my forte, he was kind enough to do so, he taught me how to do it.
Built my first site, things were going extremely well, ran right into the dotcom crash. So after about, I don't know I guess it was about six months, we were up to around $5000 a month, earning money from affiliate programs. I hadn't discovered ClickBank at that point yet. But we were just running with some of the other programs, with credit cards and satellite TV and long distance services, different sites.
We were just kind of figuring it out, how to go, we were still kind of in that area, is this for real? You know, when the dotcom crash, all the companies that were giving away free services such as free internet access, I don't know if you recall those days, when there was a lot of companies out there, they would give you, if you would subscribe to their service, you could get free internet access, and the catch was, you would log on and you would be displayed with a bunch of banner ads. And when the dotcom crash came, anybody and everything that was giving away for free, pretty much went away along with the incomes.
So at that point, I had to make a decision. Was kind of like, what we just did there, was that for real? Can we do this again? So I started looking around, and this is when I needed to come up with some new services, something else that I could offer. Because I had a feeling this industry was going to go, and keep thinking back this was 1999, so there really wasn't. Google, you know I didn't even know of Google at the point, and it was, we were back to the search engines like Excite and AltaVista and Webcrawler. Remember those?
Yeah, I do now that you mention them, I haven't heard them in years.
Yeah, most of them. I guess they're still there but you know, it's so dominated by other players now, that's how we kind of forget. But it was. I remember getting my first email account, so that's kind of the time, just to kind of put it in perspective.
So there was a lot of, my wife's mother, my mother in law, was asking you know, is this legal? You know, was this for real? Can we really? Where are these checks coming from? So we started building more sites so we got into like as I said, satellite TV and credit cards and long distance services, and then from there we just kept going. It's been an amazing, . amazing ride.
So how much do you make now, just as a ClickBank affiliate? Not as a vendor, not as affiliate for all the other programs that you do?
ClickBank, I am around 3700 a month, not huge but nice.
What kind of proportion would that be of your overall affiliate commissions?
Oh, a small percentage. Smaller percentage. Yeah, we've got now, just because we've continued to build sites, year after year and you know, the nice thing about the net is you get this kind of layering effect, so once you learn how to build one site and you kind of set it loose, and let it do its thing and then you can build another one.
So they all earn a little bit, but the collected whole, once you add it all up, you start to really see some decent income. I meant that's, the whole affiliate business has completely changed my life. I mean we now, we live in a beautiful 4500 square foot home. We live in a very nice neighborhood. We travel every six to eight weeks, I've been, you know, I took my wife and kids to Disneyworld for ten days and then off to a ten day Caribbean cruise all in the same trip. We did Disneyland. We travel all over the place. And it's just been, it's been, it's been amazing.
I mean I bought my, about 18 months ago, two years ago I guess now, I've always had this dream of buying, you know every guy pretty much, and a lot of girls have this car that they always want to have. So I've had the opportunity a couple of years ago to phone my accountant and say, you know what, I think, can I actually afford to buy this now? And I went out and I bought a 19. I actually had it hand built, I don't know if anybody watches this overhauling or one of these shows where you see these guys build cars from the ground up. I built a 1965 Shelby Cobra. And all thanks to you know, ClickBank and these types of programs where you can just earn income off the net. It's been unbelievable.
In fact I even built a website for the car. For the car called 65cobra.com for anybody that wants to
have a peek, just click on the editor's button and you can go see a link to the car. It's the real deal.
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