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Here’s the INTERVIEW
WHAT THE AFF interviews – where we bring you short and sweet interviews with the top online marketers on this side of the Milky Way.
Today’s guest is Attila O’Dree, aka iAmAttila. He’s a veteran in the industry, a past speaker at Affiliate World Europe, a well-known figure on the STM Forum. He’s basically been through it all in the past 20 years and we’re happy to bring you a glimpse from it!
WTAFF Crew: Describe yourself in 20 words or less (focus on personality, not affiliate experience).
iAmAttila: Serial entrepreneur, married with 2 kids. Loves technology, 70% introverted, 30% extroverted, not a fan of sports, world traveller, car lover, BBQ fan, avid non-fiction reader and documentary watcher.
WTAFF Crew: How long have you been in the industry for, what’s your beginner story?
iAmAttila: I first touched affiliate marketing without knowing it was affiliate marketing in 1996 by promoting Cyberthrillcasino on my warez sites I made and hosted on Geocities and Fortunecity.
I owned a web design company pre-dotcom bubble and did super well designing logos for many startups and getting paid huge money for it; then I got bored of the Internet and after finishing high school started organizing dance events and raves.
Did that for a few years, then moved to Serbia and since these EDM events lose money, I had a choice – move back to Canada or stay in Serbia and do something online. Then got into SEO, then paid media buys and here we are today.
WTAFF Crew: Creative wizard vs numbers geek – where do you find yourself between the 2 extremes and why?
iAmAttila: I am definitely a creative wizard that sees opportunity. I have huge problems with organization and logical thinking.
I have a really easy time explaining things and writing instructions that’s why I love to blog. Creativity is a major asset in online marketing because it allows you to think of a lot of new ideas and come up with super unique angles.
I’m also a tech nerd, and really enjoy technology – this actually is not a good thing because since I know so much about tech, I overcomplicate a lot of things and later learn from huge 7 figure affiliates on how they made so much (after that offer or vertical dies of course) and usually its SO SIMPLE.
Why? Because they don’t have the tech background and think really simple and just do it simple.
WTAFF Crew: What are you focusing now, in 2018? Why?
iAmAttila: In 2018 my focus has been on lead generation and branding. I took a break from blackhat as I was building a house and it took the life out of me to micromanage all aspects of it.
I feel lead generation is something that Facebook and Adwords will never ban because every business needs it.
Branding is very powerful, if you sell generic you compete on price – if you establish a Brand then you don’t have competition; you sell an image and you can price your product however you want it established.
WTAFF Crew: What’s the biggest challenge you are facing in AM/your campaigns/your business right now?
iAmAttila: The biggest challenge hands down is FACEBOOK’s crazy ban crazy attitude. They banned our wholesale WordPress sites company – www.wholesalewpsites.com saying they don’t support the business model.
When asked, the rep was puzzled too but said he couldn’t do anything. Can’t really run a sustainable business when instead of worrying about marketing, you have to worry whether your account dies right away.
WTAFF Crew: We’ve seen you post both on FB and on the STM Forum about not being dependant on a traffic source. Could you explain to everyone what you mean and more importantly, how can that be achieved? Give us some steps we can share with everyone.
iAmAttila: Luckily I listened to people when I started blogging so I created a mailing list right from the start. A highly engaged mailing list with a great open rate that has grown to over 11,000 affiliate subscribers to date.
A mailing list allows me to email my subscribers anytime I want, and I can say whatever I want. No policy worries.
Since email has been such an asset for my brand iAmAttila; I’ve started 2 years ago creating mailing lists in the nutra vertical by giving away lead magnets, to get people to optin to my lists.
These lists are nurtured with free-useful content, and we promote a lot of offers direct to the lists. Price is almost free, aside from copywriting costs, and it’s stable and I don’t have to worry about frequent bans like on FB.
WTAFF Crew: You’re one of the people in the industry that also setup services for affiliates. Can you walk us through what business you started and why?
iAmAttila: As I said earlier, I have an eye for opportunities. Early on I read a book called The Lean Startup; and I followed the advice in this book as well. (I like listening and following advice from smart people).
So when I got into affiliate marketing, and started hiring a designer, programmer, assistant to help me with campaigns, I created Banners&Landers to ensure I run a lean operation.
Two reasons why I created Banners&Landers – #1, to keep my employees busy since I didn’t have full time work for them 8 hours per day, and #2 to ensure if I am making zero money from campaigns because we didn’t hit a winner, their salaries will always be paid.
I never in the world expected Banners&Landers to be so successful that we’ve had over 4700 satisfied customers to date.
Aside Banners&Landers I realized not many people are creative, so I hired some super creative writers for myself to write us ads angles and landers – again, to ensure I run lean I created a new company called Anglesaurus where we come up with angles for affiliates. It became pretty famous for our 10 angles for $100 bucks offer.
WTAFF Crew: What events do you find most useful, where can people find you usually?
iAmAttila: I am a huge fan of anything STM organized; I know these guys forever and they are truly the pinnacle of affiliate marketing online.
I have attended every single Affiliate World Europe to date and will in the future as well; so you can definitely meet me there!
WTAFF Crew: To wrap it up… Affiliates and online marketers like to show off sometimes. We want to switch it around so we ask what’s the purchase you are least proud of?
iAmAttila: I honestly don’t spend a ton of money, that’s why I was able to build 3 houses for cash in the last 4 years – the last one costing me 1,200,000 Euros.
But one of the purchases I regret is buying the house of Miro’s grandfather (Miro’s my right hand man in charge of managing orders @ bannerslanders.com).
I bought this house for x and ended up selling it for way less. I jumped into it, thought it was a great idea but then life got in the way and we moved to Budapest, and the idea never materialized.
I wanted to renovate the house and open a car wash, a Fornetti franchise and a cafe as it was at a busy intersection. Wish I would’ve listened to my wife Dora not to buy it!!
WTAFF Crew: Thanks Attila! It’s cool to see how some affiliates like you put their money to work in so many other areas! ‘Til next time!