Oliver Kenyon is a young internet entrepreneur who has been making a name for himself in the affiliate and blogging world. I was recently interviewed on his affiliate forum and did a full week long interview series where I answered all the questions that his forum users had for me. Not only was it a lot of fun, but it was also a great way to connect with his forum users, while also expanding my reach and also helping grow out his forum at AffiliateFix as well. All in all, Oliver has some great stuff going on, which makes him a perfect candidate for this latest edition of “Meet the Bloggers!“.
1.) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging.
Hello everyone! My name is Oliver Kenyon. Firstly, I’d like to thank Zac for this amazing resource and for inviting me to come and speak with you guys. For those of you who don’t know me I’m fairly new to the scene and only started working full-time as an Online Entrepreneur about one-and-a-half years ago. I’ve always been fascinated by the online world and started my very first website when I was just 13. However, I was trained as a chef and worked full-time in the kitchen until the age of 24. Now 26, I’ve taken the leap to full-time online employment about one-and-a-half years ago when things started to fall into place financially.
A major part of me being able to take that risk was due to one of my projects back then known as CPAFix. Now rebranded as AffiliateFix, we’re slowly making our way to the top of the affiliate marketing resources online and finally getting the recognition we deserve. I started CPAFix when I first stumbled into affiliate marketing and wanted to create a go-to place for everything I needed to learn. They say the best ideas are often those that fill a gap and I felt there was a gap in the industry for an honest, free affiliate forum.
When we launched the second edition of CPAFix, we added a blog as I felt it could add real value to the site. Well, I was right. Now approaching my 100th blog post, I’ve seen a huge increase in activity, interaction and reach and the blog plays a key role to the site. I’ve also blogged on several other sites and I’m currently building my first blog specifically to cover my journey online.
2.) What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
AffiliateFix is an affiliate marketing resource, so the blog naturally follows that niche. One of my key focuses next year is to change the style of the blog to add more contextual guides and content. Right now we use the blog mainly for site updates and general news etc. Some people overlook blogs as they feel they need to constantly write long-winded content. However, the key is to make the content relevant. This is why we will keep the blog for site information and also add more tutorials and studies surrounding affiliate marketing.
I’d NEVER advise starting a blog, website or project that you have no interest in. Trust me, I’ve just learnt that lesson myself and it’s not a pretty journey. You will struggle and beat yourself up about the lack of energy and content you have for that specific niche. So ALWAYS stick to what you know and most importantly what you enjoy. For me, I love working online and being an entrepreneur, so anything down that avenue, I’m always going to be fresh and passionate about writing. If you like something, blog about it and eventually you will gather a following of like-minded people, who also like what you do/write about. The key is to enjoy it and let that reflect in your writing, the money will come along soon enough. But, concentrate on why you’re writing your blog first.
3.) How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
Right now we don’t put huge emphasis on monetizing the blog although that will change next year. One bit of advice I will say is that I recently did my own private test to see what works best as far as affiliate commission is concerned. Telling people about a promotion or coupon and telling them the plus points is nowhere near as valuable as “showing” them how to use it. So, next year we will adapt all our blogs to reflect that statement. The key is to walk them through something and SHOW them how it can benefit them instead of just shoving it in their face and telling them it can.
We also offer display banners in and around the blog, which are always fully booked. I like to deal with a flat monthly rate and leave companies in charge of tracking and serving the banners etc.
4.) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
Like I said above, one would be that I spent so much time building relationships and getting my readers exclusive deals and not enough time showing them HOW that deal can benefit them. Spend more time on content and less time on the fancy sell, sell, sell stuff. I’d also advise new bloggers to take a look around and gather the best elements from bloggers across the net.
You have to find the right balance between selling something and telling something. Often the two combined become the most powerful strategy. Don’t always think about money, it naturally follows if you have good content and that which readers come back for. Your main goal is to get repeat readers and a good following.
Take your time when you’re thinking about building a blog and think it out strategically. Otherwise, you can end up losing money quick as I have done in the past. One more thing is a blog is VERY time-consuming. Make sure you outsource what you can and focus on what you should be focused on, the content. Before you start your blog, make sure you have time to keep it updated constantly.
5.) What are three blogs that you visit almost daily?
SmartPassiveIncome – Pat is a true inspiration of mine. If I had to choose one and only one, Pat has it for sure! I only hope one day my name will be mentioned amongst Pat’s!
ZacJohnson.com – No not because you invited me here, but because I’ve been quoted elsewhere saying it. Without starting a ruckus, Zac is one of the older bloggers that still delivers decent content, a few of the same generation just sell shit now they have the following.
LukePeerFly.com – a close mate of mine online and fellow moderator of AffiliateFix. I admire Luke’s blog because he’s a perfectionist. So, although the content isn’t regular, whatever he posts is always going to be golden.
6.) Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
Find a good designer! I think the look and presentation of your blog and posts is these days as important as the content. So make sure you have a nice designer and everything looks pro. Apart from that, I don’t tend to use many paid tools. Google is good enough for me for keyword research and I write all my own content. If the content is strong enough, it will get shared and spread out naturally. So, as far as social is concerned, just make sure you have the right bookmarking options.
7.) What advice would you have for someone who is just starting with their first blog?
Network – you need to build relationships with fellow bloggers and people within your niche. Personally, I’d always advise being yourself, writing yourself and promoting yourself. Attach your name and personality to your blog and get yourself known in the market. Talk with fellow bloggers, readers, and communities. Get your name out there. I still don’t understand why some people hide behind a domain. Think of yourself as a brand alongside your blog. Get out there. Don’t be shy. Stir some things up!
Never give up – This is so important. People get this idea in their heads that they will start a blog, copy their favorite bloggers and become and overnight success! Wrong! I’m lucky enough to be where I am in such a short time. However, it didn’t come in the 1.5 years I’ve been online. I’ve had dozens of failed sites, lost friends, girlfriends and much more due to the sacrifices I’ve made to get here. You must never give up if you want it that bad. If you’re having a shitty day, blog about it! In most cases it will take years to click, but it will click if you keep going.
8.) What’s the best advice or tip you’ve discovered about blogging since getting started?
I’d say be more than just a blogger. You need to be a brand like I mentioned above. It doesn’t matter what niche, you need to put yourself out there – whether it’s on YouTube, social media, networking events or anything else that gets you noticed by more people. I’d just recommend being yourself and getting in people’s faces (and not in a cocky way). By that I mean being everywhere and in all the right places, so people self-consciously think of you and your brand.
I’d also advise to not be too much of a perfectionist. That’s my downfall, I sit and think about posts after I post them and think should I have done that. Is it ok? Is it perfect? etc. Don’t fall into that trap! Content is content and the more the better!
9.) If you only had $100 to start a new blog, how would you use it?
Again for me it’s all about a brand. Grab a responsive theme from theme forest and get a logo to match. Everything should be the same colors etc. Get all your social pages up and running and then work your ass off! You can spend thousands on a fancy layout, promotion and all that jazz. But, what it really comes down to is content and the quality of it. This takes me back to point 2: write about something you know and enjoy. If not, people will catch you out and you will get bored, quickly!
Grab a theme from theme forest > Get a logo done > Write some valuable content > get your brand out there > NEVER give up!
10.) How can readers of the blog get in touch with you?
You can always find me on the blog or forums on AffiliateFix.com.
Or you can check out my company site for my latest project and movements: OkenyonWebs.com
Alternatively, I’d love to connect with you guys on Twitter:
Thanks again everyone and thank you Zac for this great opportunity.
Thanks again Oliver Kenyon for taking the time to share your advice and story with the Blogging Tips community. If you would like to learn about other bloggers and how they are finding success online, be sure to read through our blogger interview series.