I flew to London to hit up the STM London meetup. One of my favorite international affiliate meetups. Why? I got to hangout with some great affiliate from the STM forum and chill with industry friends. One buddy of mine, Oliver, creator of CPAfix, now called AffiliateFix and is the owner of Fix Forums - damn that sounds a lot.
Anyways I was able to meetup with him and decided it be good to do an interview him about his hustle. I didn't bring my nice camera so we did it on the laptop, still good I think. The topic was basically about his growth, who he was prior to the online world, how we met, his forums, and his Fix Forum ventures.
Just incase you do not want to listen to Oliver heavy British accent, it has been transcribed below...
Ian: What's going on guys? Ian Fernando, from IanFernando.com and right now I'm in London and I met up with my buddy Oliver from Fix Forums and what I want to do basically is just talk about his growth, how long I've known him and his journey from this forum industry to basically now making money online through his new forum system. So Oliver go ahead and introduce yourself a little bit, just tell us a little about yourself.
Oliver: Sure first and foremost me and Ian met probably, I think about 3 years ago, right? In London in adTech in 2012 and I basically started a forum in late 2011 called CPA Fix. CPA fix was all about CPA marketing I basically fell into marketing, I was trained as a chef and I never did the kind of online thing but I kind of fell into it in my spare time. I’ve always wanted to do something by myself and earn my own money and as most people do you don't have training in this thing you kind of slowly progress fall into it and around that time I was doing incentive marketing and that there was no place to kind of discuss and openly discuss incentive marketing and share tips and network with people apart from place like the _which I wasn't a huge fan of, I’m not trying to knock it am not saying it’s not good, but there was more people trying to sell stuff on there than trying to kind of freely advice people. So originally I start to CPA Fix in late 2011, like I said, but it was never going to be a business, it was never going to be anything more than a place for a few of us to go on and hopefully chat about
Ian: I think that's where we met online basically and you introduced me to the CPA Fix Forums and we actually met up in London at adTech.
Oliver: Yes, so within the 6 months when I started to when I first met you in London originally the site was kind of close it was just like an invite only there was probably 20 of us on there discussing things and kind of earning, you know okay money, not great money because I was still working full-time as a chef and all of a sudden I started getting more and more people it was quite cool there was.... I don't know if you remember the days of CPA Lead. Yes so CPA lead was big and they had this massive chat thing on CPA lead and more and more people kept saying, have you seeing the CPA Fix how do we get in? So people would hit me up, hey can we get an invite? And I ended up just opening it up. so I opened up the forum and we did 100 members within like 2 days which to me was ridiculous and never planned this to be an thing, I never planned it to be a business whatever it is now, but yes it was really cool to see people kind of go there so
Ian: I know CPA Fix is now... After that came the _ right? I think you are trying to create CPA fix trying to turning it into a model. Let me know if I'm wrong, but more so trying to figure out if people are willing to pay for premium content
Oliver: To be fair CPA Fix was CPA and slowly Fix and like I said it's slowly started to get attraction more people would join and it was growing and I never plan to monetize it or do anything like that. A very close friend of mine now hits me up, we used to have network like I'll give you 500 dollars a month to put my banner on there and I was like wow! I never planned for that to happen and so I said sure sure. And I use that money to grow the forum and to use for new design and I'm kind of like a perfectionist and I am never happy with my design.
Ian: I've seen the forum go from one design to another design to another new feature, to the menus being a drop down. its amazing growth you can see the evolving, the revolution of it through time.
Oliver: We basically put some money into redesign, I'm actually happy with the design now. We did that and it just grew, it just started to grow so there became a point where we had people requesting kind of extra steps so the guides, the how to, the videos the walk-throughs and I'm not going to pretend I'm the best affiliate marketer in the world I'm not. I'm not saying I am too. I'm good at what I do in business with forums and stuff, but I'm not the best affiliate marketer by far. So what I do is I tried to do a different model, I'm never going to actually try to compete, _ actually right now in London and it's an amazing forum and our playbook and whatever. I was never trying to compete with those guys... What I wanted to do is get someone... I wanted to get the kind of newer guys with not the big budgets so the guys who couldn’t spend money every month on the private forum to gain this access. So I kind of wanted to build a place where you could pay a one-time payment and you can get all the basic guides you need to kind of set up your first campaign and the tools to assist you and then the right people inside there you kind of you actually wanted to give back and help people out so for example, I work with guys like you and I say, Ian can you write a guide in the dojo, I know you've done 2 or 3 guides in there, I know_ got a videos in there. so I just kind of just use my connections and said to look... I've done guides in there but not others probably like 20, 30 or 40. Really big affiliate will put guides in the dojo that's how the dojo came about. I never wanted it to be like a moneymaking thing, I never wanted to be like a reoccurring thing. I know you try to meet me model in the past, but that's never been our kind of our thing we kind of wanted to be an open kind of place that's important for everyone. The forums are primarily free but if you want to extra stuff, you want a tool; you want the guides you can update.
Ian: But no CPA Fix is now Affiliate Fix, Why a name change?
Oliver: We acquired Affiliate Fix probably about a year and a half ago now and it was when I kind of realized that this could be a serious business
Ian: So are you thinking about where you would be or looking to be the next digitalpoint, stack that money.
Oliver: We kind of wanted to become, we wanted to open up from CPA marketing so, although CPA marketing is a huge group of people we wanted to cater for all affiliate marketing so we wanted everyone from the affiliate space to come together on one platform.
Ian: Like cost per sale sales guys, incentives
Oliver: Yes your incentive guys, whatever traffic source if you're a network, an advertiser, a graphic designer now we wanted everyone to come to one space which you know I'm not going to again go on the forums, but some of the forums sold out, other forms was dated they hadn’t updated their stuff in years and we wanted to be that new place where anyone could come and just do affiliate marketing business in one place, so the natural step was to go to Affiliate Fix. And also at that time there were various other CPA forums kind of opened and again I'm not knocking them but they did the kind of spam tactics, where you have to say thanks to a friend to get the content, or you have to like this and touched the you know,,, and I mean we never wanted to be that we were more about quality than quantity. So Affiliate Fix was the right decision and we wanted to turn it more into a brand as opposed to just a forum. We wanted to turn it into a resource and a brand and start sponsoring affiliates forums and America and getting our logo and brand out there and selling T-shirts and stuff and people are posting up super affiliates in our jumpers and yeah we just really wanted to expand the brand which bring me on to, as I'm pretty sure you're going to ask me, taking that forward to business. So Affiliate Fix happened about a year and a half ago and I kind of... Like I said I used to be a chef, 3 years ago I was a chef. Now I'm kind of like really an online entrepreneur trying to grow businesses, various type of businesses that I've got, but we wanted to kind of take things seriously so we moved Affiliate Fix into its own corporation, own business and we’re now slowly adding to the fix forums brand there is going to be several other forums coming out so we’ve now find that kind of a… I guess kind of a blueprint.
Ian: Your forum definitely has a more different format, layout I don’t know if you’ve done testing with the UI, I mean what came to you to have multiple tabs on the front page… I mean just different from traditional…
Oliver: As far as VBulletin it's very outdated, it's hasn’t been outdated in a year or 2, though they keep bringing up new updates its way in the past so we made that decision to switch over to_ which is a far more versatile just a hugely kind of amazing forum so far and we’ve got an amazing team, I actually run a design and development team as well so luckily enough we’ve got people on hand who can do the best designs and programs. A lot of our stuff is custom to some extent and we saw the kind of downfall, I know you're probably familiar with affpaying, it was good it was brilliant and then the owner went off the face of the earth
Ian:That was my original idea back in the day, affpinions.com
Oliver: So we saw the kind of downfall with affpaying.com, not the downfall, but no one was going there so we introduced the listings and the results actually which is now real focal point in Affiliate fix here companies can be represented directly on the forum, so any member with any kind of experience can come on and ask questions direct to a network, direct to an advertiser, direct to…
Ian: I mean and that benefits the network advertising getting them to open eyes to see a bunch of affiliates for their offer to their network as well, that makes sense.
Oliver: It's good for customer relations as well they can brand and listings and get it out to the people they want to.
Ian: Why do you make these forum businesses now? Just because you have this nice custom software or just like, I don’t know you want to be the next… like you do such a good job launching the forum.
Oliver: I appreciate that thank you, yes I think after the success of Affiliate Fix and like I said I kind of move from off-line chef to full-time entrepreneurs pretty quickly over the last few years and everything to me now is an opportunity and I take everything very seriously so when something works I'm very quick to move it and establish it…
Ian: Sounds like a copy paste, copy and paste it. That’s why you did with CPA Fix now Affiliate Fix and after Affiliate Fix you did it with Entrepreneur Fix.
Oliver: yes so entrepreneur fix just opened and again yes it's using the same blueprint, but it's a completely different forums and it's more about start-ups and business and you know stuff that we do every day you know I’m not pretending I can give the best advice but you know guys like yourself and other people can go in there like you did the other day. Yes just offer advice and we are going to launch 1 or 2 more this year and like I said I wanted to take everything very structured and seriously so my advice is to get your business treated with respect so get it incorporated straight away, get the right accountant and set it up to either make money or in the future sell, so if you have an exit plan 3 years or 5 years structure everything properly write everything down and kind of stick to it.
Ian: Alright guys that's all we have time for now you can see Oliver at fix forums
Oliver: Yes you can find us at AffiliateFix.com, any expertise is welcome from your kind of new guide to your super affiliate to whoever and Entrepreneur Fix just open and my blog Oliver Kenyon.com will be open very soon.
Ian: Alright guys thanks for watching and hopefully very very good. Oliver thank you again.
Oliver: Thank you and cheers.