An Interview with Brandon Adcock of BrandonAdcock.com
Posted on March 03, 2010 by Tim Schroeder
Brandon is another very successful affiliate and direct response marketer who likes to fly just under the radar. I’ve run into Brandon at a few conferences and exchanged some great tips with him. I also visit his blog regularly to check out new posts.
An Interview With Brandon Adcock
How did you get started in the industry?
I got started in the industry because of the SEM work I was doing. I started out doing SEM consulting, then moved into an in-house SEM role at Lowe’s Home Improvement. While I was there I started working on some blog projects to test out new ideas and make some extra money. That evolved from working to optimize adsense, to rotating in affiliate offers. After getting my feet wet with credit card affiliate programs, which took a huge hit last year, I quit my in-house job to do affiliate marketing full time in August of 2008.
What was your biggest learning experience to date?
This is a tough question. In terms of single experience, I would have to say it was the day I lost roughly $25,000 on a campaign and my server wasn’t even down. I had gotten to a point where I was getting sloppy with my media buying because everything had been going so well. I took some uncalculated risks and it completely bombed. It was a great ego check for me to make sure I was still spending the appropriate amount of time to ensure my buys were setup correctly, my landing pages were tweaked, my creative was good, and I was targeting the right demographics.
What was your biggest success to date?
This is a tough question, too. I’ve been very happy with what I accomplished over the last year, not to mention I’ve learned so much. Outside of learning so much about performance marketing, I’d say my biggest success was consistently being the top earner at a top network this fall.
How did you learn the business (eBooks? Webinars? Membership sites? Freebies? Paid services?)?
I bought one eBook on cookie stuffing before I ever really got into affiliate marketing. Worst money I ever spent and a moronic tactic. I got to where I am by networking and testing. The only way you can get a campaign to work is by trying and tweaking. I am not a fan of eBooks or membership sites. Any information that is worth knowing is usually kept within a small circle of people.
What do you think is the true value to consumers in affiliate marketing?
Well, inherently affiliate marketing is just an extension of a brand’s marketing department. So as long as affiliate messaging matches the brand’s messaging, it provides any, if not all of the same value the marketing department provides. The real value of affiliate marketing is provided to the company itself.
Do you think sponsored conversations have their place in the industry?
Sure, but it isn’t something I have actively participated in so far. There is a time and place for all sorts of advertisements, conversations are one of them.
Besides yourself, who do you think is the most valuable resource to the affiliate community?
Ha, I would hardly call myself the most valuable resource. If I had to pick one that is/was the most valuable resource, I would say it is my friend who tries to fly under the radar but he invented/first affiliate to use a blog style testimonial and has now single-handedly taken an affiliate offer to a mainstream brand; a feat no one else has ever really done before.
How do you balance professional v. personal?
I combined the two so it has just become my life. I don’t really view it as a separation.
How often did you check your stats….1 month in? 1 year in? Today?
In the beginning I checked a lot, as all people do. But as of this year as I became mostly media buying, I became a “traffic controller” where I pretty much just watched traffic and stats all day. Made sure things we’re tracking right, offers converting, staying under caps, etc.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
They wouldn’t. It would be the most boring, monotone movie ever.
OK, now who would REALLY play you?
What are some of the key differences between a ‘super affiliate’ and the veteran, less successful affiliates?
Honestly super affiliate is a term that shouldn’t be used anymore and doesn’t fit. A super affiliate in my mind, was the guy who made a six figure, maybe low 7 figure income before affiliate marketing became the juggernaut that it is now. Now the biggest affiliates, the ones doing half a million a day are small companies. They have developers, designers, media buyers, etc. Affiliate marketing has turned from individuals to companies, in terms of the top echelon. Not to mention you have large media companies now with affiliate divisions that run affiliate offers on their own media and on other ad networks. The line has become blurred as the amount of money at stake has increased.
But to get back to the question, what makes differentiates successful ones from less successful ones are the people who test, take big risks, and are willing to spend big money on media. Without doing these, you won’t be near the top.
Is where you are now where you thought you’d be…10 years ago? 5 years ago? A month ago? Why/ why not?
No. A year ago, what seemed like huge feats/earnings seems miniscule now. The bar is always being raised. I had no idea I would be as lucky as I have been when I first got into this industry. I try to keep working and making progress as fast as I can. I never know what the next month has in store for me.
Explain affiliate marketing so a child would understand it.
Affiliate marketing is basically a performance based, independent marketing arm for a company. Affiliates can be people or companies, but all affiliates promote something for someone else based around performance metrics (that was geared toward smart kids).
What Do YOU Think?