Growing from an Affiliate to a Product Owner

By Ian Fernando

I have been in the affiliate game for a long while now and there has been tremendous changes and growth in this industry. With changes means you have to adapt to those changes or be a victim of those changes. It really becomes your choice in the end and I have seen the every changing online marketing world to rapidly change overtime.

Started as a product owner and steadily turning to an affiliate was a great change because I didn't have the time do handle customer service and the affiliate game help me leverage my time more. When I started I started on eBay selling items from Alibaba on eBay and making profit, it got so big I was not able to handle customer support and handle the 4 jobs I was working at that time. It even came to a point I would bring products to my workplace and sell them there. I didn't just became the product owner I was a sales person as well.

As you can see the headache with owning a product or selling a physical product. Since I discovered affiliate marketing and was doing well to get rid of 3 out of 4 jobs and soon all 4, I was satisfied and thought to myself I would never own a product ever. It gives me freedom to do a lot of things without the hassle of the end user. As time goes by in this industry I started realizing the business model and how it all relates to affiliate marketing.

There are many steps between a product owner and an affiliate. Positions like network owner, lead broker, co reg paths, call centers, traffic networks, mobile integration, apps, etc. The list can go on and on and dipping myself into each space for a little bit made me realize the true value of online marketing and how I can understand it better and even apply it to my day to day marketing efforts.


Now, I am back where I was when I first started online - a product owner or in the performance space, an advertiser. While I was at Affiliate Summit West 2013, I also realized where the industry was going. I saw little more affiliate but the affiliates that I did know are now in their own verticals such as call centers, being vested in a new business, partnered up with other affiliates or companies, etc.

I started selling my own products 2 years back, which were basically my own custom made softwares and started selling them. Now with the hard work, the software company has been bought and is now under new management. I was glad I was able to create something and provide something back to the industry and then get rewarded.

Currently now, I have my own nutraceutical diet pills and will be participating in the big evergreen business of health. I have partnered up with 2 talented people, one being an advertiser himself and the other a high volume traffic affiliate. With all our minds put together we were able to get a diet pill up and running within days.

We used a popular manufacturer who attends almost all the Affiliate Summit shows and a trusted fulfillment company. Luckily for me, I have partnered up with an advertiser who is handling all the customer support and fulfillment aspect of this new company. The best part is we each have our own strengths and we implement our strengths without really tying up each one of our time.

Not just that, I also am going to be continuing to create softwares that I have developed for myself and turn them into services as it becomes an easy recurring income for me with little work. I also still make affiliate income from my blogs as well and the multiple network of sites I have out there. So the affiliate will still be in me, it just helped me grow into a much better marketer.

The reason why I transitioned back to a product owner is because there is more to be made with more flexibility. With more income flow means more responsibilities as well, which is fine and its how life works. I can optimize my leads to the max and the first thing I learned in the online space is the money is in the list. This holds so true for every aspect of marketing or whatever vertical of marketing you are doing.

In the end if you are an affiliate, you want to own something and claim it yours. When I decided to sell off my softwares I was very attached to it because it was mine, I made the tool for me to help me with my own affiliate campaigns. I then shared it and everyone loves the concept, it was something I owned. Now I am growing faster than ever before and I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring me.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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