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In years to come, we will look back at 2020 as the moment that changed everything. Nowhere else has unprecedented and unforeseen growth occurred as in the digital and e-commerce sectors, which have boomed amid the COVID-19 crisis all around the world.
The e-commerce transformation that we saw in the UK that sparked the launch of some 85,000 online stores this year alone can easily be attributed to COVID-19. With more than 750,000 businesses forced to close their doors under COVID-19 lockdown restrictions during 2020, businesses in the UK in nearly every sector have accelerated their digital transformation to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and meet the growing demand for online shopping. In short, COVID-19 has definitely led to a surge in e-commerce and accelerated the entire digital transformation worldwide.
Today we sat down with Khawar Jamil Ur Rasool, a.k.a Kj Rocker, a young ambitious affiliate marketer that became an entrepreneur who is on a mission to leave a mark on the affiliate marketing world. Based out of Staffordshire, UK, Khawar is a man that likes to share his experiences and to help others deal with the same problems that have arisen in our industry. Khawar is a true affiliate marketer and a well-respected coach. His proven track record on how to generate traffic that successfully converts, know-how which he doesn’t mind sharing, has been shown to be both effective and efficient.
About KJ Rocker, His Background & Achievements
1. Judy: Khawar thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me today. Could you please start by telling our readers more about yourself and how you started with internet marketing?
KJ Rocker: Hi Judy, it is a great pleasure being part of your series, and thank you for offering me this opportunity. My real name is Khawar Jamil Ur Rasool, a pretty long name, but most people especially in our industry know me as KJ Rocker, a nickname I chose for my Facebook earlier in school days and later started blogging under the same name as it’s easy for everyone to pronounce.
I started my journey back in 2010. I was desperately looking for something to do with my life as I was never a bright student. However, I always loved building web pages, so I decided to try my luck with freelancing. So, with $10 in my pocket, which I invested in getting an internet connection, I started bidding on freelancer.com projects. That’s how I got my first project and made my first $20, and the rest is history.
2. Judy: What businesses are you running at the moment and where lies your major focus?
KJ Rocker: At the moment, I’m mainly focused on lead generation, specifically life insurance in the UK market.
3. Judy: If you had a chance to repeat your business steps, would you have changed anything?
KJ Rocker: I believe everything happens for a reason and every experience teaches you a new lesson. I usually don’t regret my mistakes. However, maybe I would have started building brands and web assets earlier on.
4. Judy: Obviously your business is thriving, you have so far achieved tremendous growth both personally and professionally. What are you most proud of in terms of everything you have accomplished so far?
Honestly, I never imagined to be where I am today. There were times when I was willing to do anything. I remember I enrolled in an offshore drilling course to make some money, no matter how small. So looking at all that, I truly feel blessed. However, for me, the biggest achievement is that I have helped and encouraged many others to start their own digital marketing businesses that drove them to their own success. I think that our most lasting and fulfilling achievements are often earned by helping others fulfill theirs.
KJ Rocker on Affiliate Marketing & Challenges
5. Judy: What was the biggest challenge you have ever faced as an affiliate marketer?
KJ Rocker: Finding good offers, which convert well, have good payouts, and provide a positive experience to the customers. In my opinion, this is the biggest issue most affiliates are facing. Unfortunately, in the coming time, I believe that this problem will grow even further.
Media buying prices are skyrocketing, whereas we have almost the same payouts as they used to be in 2010. Positive customer experience is of course essential, otherwise, you can’t promote anything these days. Being able to have foresight into potential compliance challenges early on in developing marketing initiatives is powerful, and can lead to more effective decisions if people invest more time in it.
6. Judy: What do you think are great verticals for affiliates to make money with nowadays?
KJ Rocker: As we have seen more and more people adopting the internet, I believe there is a massive potential in affiliate marketing. It looks like COVID has fast-forwarded us in terms of technology adoption.
I know for a fact that the Financial vertical is getting stronger every day. But, apart from that, many others, such as mental well-being, Go Local (everyone starting from your barber to accountant and dentist need help with filling up appointments and leads), Home Improvement, Grants, Claims (a big and growing industry), Energy, Fitness, eCommerce, Make Money Online, etc., are getting very popular, where people understand how they can benefit from becoming a digital nomad.
A Little Bit of Advice for Affiliates
7. Judy: What is your advice on how to select the right affiliate offer among the plethora of them now and how do you actually make it profitable?
KJ Rocker: I always look at a few things :
1) Does the offer provide any value to the customer? You have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see what you would do if you were the customer.
2) Does it have a margin and demand to scale? You have to see if it has a good payout that allows you room for profit and if there is enough demand for the offer for you to start scaling it.
3) Is my Affiliate Manager able to provide me insights that can help me optimize my campaign.
4) Can you promote this offer on multiple advertising networks? You have to also look at the suitable traffic sources and if this offer can be easily promoted there or not.
To make an offer profitable, my first step is always extensive consumer research. You have to understand your offer and customer psychology before you can do anything. Once you have the campaign running, the first step is to collect data, analyze it and optimize that campaign based on your data. Communication with your advertising account managers and affiliate managers is also a key to successful and profitable campaigns. They all can provide valuable insights that can help you make a campaign profitable. Most of the campaigns are not profitable at the start, so you have to make them profitable.
8. Judy: What online marketing tools do you use and recommend others to use to grow their business?
KJ Rocker: First of all, a traffic tracker, of course, is the command center from where you control everything. I like RedTrack simply because they have a fantastic team, including the CEO, who is always willing to help, and their support team is just on a moment’s notice. After that, depending on your traffic source, if there are any optimization tools, they are very helpful.
You will also need good and reliable hosting (I prefer Vultr Hosting and Amazon AWS), CDNs for smooth page load times, Caching plugins like WP Rocket, page builder tools (I love WordPress and Optimize Press, Studio Press themes). Competitor analysis tools to get ideas about the latest angles and trends your competitors are using. Tools depend on the type of campaigns you are running, honestly.
The Perks of Attending Conferences
9. Judy: You are usually speaking at various conferences and summits. Why do you think it is important to take part in these different conferences and summits? Do you make a lot of new contacts during every show?
KJ Rocker: For me, conferences are like a holiday, Where you meet all your friends (who are more like a family by now) and people I spend most of the time talking to daily. So such events are more personal to me than they are business events, which is the most important thing to me. Also, I love talking about what I do, so when I am speaking, it is always fascinating for me and a challenge, as I always have been a quiet kid in the past, so there is a confidence issue, so I challenge myself every time I speak, and it feels good.
New contacts are a bonus that comes with attending conferences, and it greatly helps to grow business. But I don’t attend a conference just with business objectives, and I guess that helps as that helps to make genuine conversations with people and helps you to get to know them more. But of course, these are the kind of events where even one small tip can help you take your business to the next level.
10. Judy: What is your opinion about media buying, what strategies are you using there and what percentage of your affiliation strategy does it represent?
KJ Rocker: Most of my business depends on media buying. The biggest thing one needs to understand is how the advertising network you are working with works. How do they serve ads? What type of ads do they serve? What is their pricing model? What are the prices in your niche, in your geo, and above all, do they offer premium services?
Many affiliates hesitate to ask questions and do not ask for help from the account reps.
My biggest strategy is always to get to know the platform inside out and collect as much data as possible and of course, seek as much help as possible from the media buying platforms.
KJ Rocker on The Best Trackers
11. Judy: Nowadays affiliate marketers cannot go without a good affiliate tracker. What would you say are the most important features in the tracker you use and why?
KJ Rocker: Tracker is the most crucial tool for any sensible digital marketer, not just affiliates. All your business goes through the tracker, so there is no compromise on the tracker. For me, there are a few factors.
1) Super Star Support: No matter how good a tracker is, if they don’t have a good support team, it’s not worth even considering.
2) Automation: It’s 2021, your tracker should be well advanced and able to automate, if not everything, at least a few things so that you can focus on the actual issues and not waste time on Excel sheets.
3) Trust: The company should be reliable and trustworthy as all your campaigns and data are hosted on the trackers.
4) Constant Updates: The tracker should be constantly updated.
12. Judy: What are the most important aspects of an effective landing page?
KJ Rocker: There are a few things which people easily miss but are very important for producing good results, For example, your landing page should:
1) Load fast: If your landing page takes time to load it will cost you conversions no matter how good it is.
2) It should be to the point and less distracting
3) Your copy should be effective and easy to understand for a common prospect
4) Should highlight pain points and problems prospects face.
5) Offer a sensible solution to the problems and pain points.
6) Has a clear call to action
7) Must use related images and videos
With KJ Rocker on Leisure and Free Time
13. Judy: What is your favorite activity during your free time?
KJ Rocker: The lockdown has helped me discover another talent which is cooking. I don’t make many things, but I think I have perfected a few recipes I know.
Also, I love nature, so I love to explore forests and natural reserves whenever I have free time.
14. Judy: Any final words for our readers?
KJ Rocker: Nothing is impossible in the world. No matter what you do, give it your 100% and excel in it. Don’t just do something for the sake of it. Try to help others as much as you can and seek help if you ever feel stuck. Many amazing people in this world won’t hesitate to help you out and help you overcome your issues. All you have to do is to look around and ask.
Thank you very much, Judy, I really enjoyed this interview!
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