Propeller On-Air: The Affiliate World After Corona. With Ian Fernando and KJ Rocker!
Renz: Hi guys. I’m Renz. This is Propeller On-Air. The first-ever episode of PropellerAds podcast and we’re joined by two super affiliates who dominated the affiliate marketing industry for many, many years. We’re joined by KJ Rocker and Ian Fernando. Hi guys.
KJ: Hey guys.
Ian: How are you guys doing?
Renz: Hey. Let’s start with Ian Fernando. So, Ian is a, you know, huge, huge, persona in the affiliate marketing industry with 15-20 years of experience, having done, you know, eBay, Info Products, SaaS, his own products as well, skincare line. Tell us a little bit more about you Ian.
Ian: Yeah. Sure. So, basically, let’s back up all the way from when I first started to where I’m at now. So, I got kicked out of my house or my parents’ house cuz I didn’t wanna go back to school or college. And my parents were like, “Oh, you need to leave,” you know, typical Asian household, you know. So, I’m like, “Fine.” And I was just basically working three jobs to try to make ends meet really. Basically, with a talk on analyst during the day – oh, no, a human resource manager during the day. A customer service rep at night and then a waiter on the weekend. And I was just trying to figure to myself a little like, “Man, there’s gotta be some way to make money where I can at least get rid of two jobs and keep one and make it as a career.”
And then, I basically Googled how to make money online and I found eBay. And then, that – let go of one of my jobs – a waiter on the side. But then I couldn’t handle customer service, so just because I was still working two other jobs so I had to Google how to make money online without customers. And then, that’s how I found affiliate marketing. And then, back in the day, if anybody remembers the Zooqle ad. The Zooqle ad was the one that vertically network back in the day that got me started. I became one of their top five affiliates back then.
Put me in the same ranks with ShoeMoney and Johnson back in the day. They flew us – well, they flew them out to New York cuz I lived in New Jersey at that time. I went to their office – there’s a new office that they opened up. And that’s how I got into affiliate marketing and that’s how it basically turned out to who I am now. But I’ve been through to a lot of stuff from going from eBay to now Amazon to Info Products, to creating my own stuff, to – even doing my own nutra skincare line.
Renz: That’s just really great. I mean I know for a fact that you do have your own podcast yourself, Advengers, right?
Ian: Yes. Advengers, basically quick interviews of what’s going on. I’ve done one where KJ was one of my – one of the first three of what – when we first started the podcast situation. And it’s more for my Advengers online/community affiliate chat room for everybody.
Renz: That’s super awesome. Alright. KJ. Well, I know that your birthday was a couple of days ago, so happy birthday man.
KJ: Thank you. Thank you.
Ian: Oh, yeah, happy birthday.
KJ: Thanks guys.
Renz: You said you’re 30 now. Wow. That’s, you know, such a nice feat.
KJ: You let everyone know my age, man. That’s not good.
Renz: I’m 30. Ian, how old are you?
Ian: I’m 35.
Ian: Well, I got Asian skin, so….
Renz: I got Asian skin too. And I’m Filipino. Like my mom’s Filipino. I mean I grew up in the Philippines. Have you?
Ian: Yeah. I didn’t grow up in the Philippines but I – the past six years I was there between Vietnam and the Philippines since I was living in between for the past six years.
How it all started
Renz: Oh, cool. Alright. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So KJ Rocker, born in Pakistan. He’s worked at a call center in his college years. And one thing that he told me recently is that, you know, he started out with a $10 investment. Could you tell us a little bit more about that KJ?
KJ: Well, yeah, I was broke and I needed money and all I had was $10. Which I used for Internet connection. And, yeah, I used that money to get Internet connection. Started working as a freelancer for different people. And one of those clients were an affiliate who actually was into affiliate marketing and everything. And one – during one of her last projects, I actually asked him if he can let me know how you do this and you could give me some, you know, help – some guidance. Not asking for everything just give me some guidance so I can do something for myself as well. And, yeah, he was kind enough to actually give me all the tools which I needed to spam Yahoo answers and earn traffic. Yeah. I used to spam Yahoo answers and, you know, put all my offer links and all that. And that’s how I started.
Renz: And that’s – that was your way into affiliate marketing?
Renz: You know, like – I mean it’s actually very, you know, astounding right now in the age of – at the time that we’re in. Like many, many more people have access to, you know, YouTube videos and to you guys, information online on how to exactly get into affiliate marketing. The easiest way – I mean that’s – I mean if you look back on your experience, I mean, you know, I think right now, it’s much, much more easier for affiliates to get started, right?
KJ: Definitely. Definitely. It is easier now. There’s too much information right now. And people are talking about it more openly. Traffic sources, you know, open to all these people. At that time, there were not many traffic sources. If there were – you know, for example, you guys, the way you help, you’re, you know, advertises some things. Back in those days, all the networks didn’t have that large team, so they couldn’t support each and everyone on that level. So, yeah.
How is Coronavirus impacting Ian’s and KJ’s lives
Renz: Exactly. Yeah, yeah. That’s true. That’s really true. Guys. Let’s get into our ultimate hot topic: Coronavirus. How has it impacted everyone’s lives and how has it impacted affiliate marketing, you know? So, Ian, let’s start with you. How has coronavirus, you know, impacted your own personal life? I mean how – what were the things that, you know, you had to adapt with?
Ian: I had to learn how to be an introvert actually. So, that’s basically one of the things that’s hard.
Renz: Staying home for like two months now?
Ian: Yeah. I – well, again, I came here from overseas – living overseas. And when I was doing my visa run outside of Vietnam I was actually in the Philippines and then Vietnam closed their border down. And I was like – so I went to Russia, did the – kind of a [inaudible 06:48] meet up. And then, I was gonna go to Portugal actually but then everything started closing and I was like, “Let me go to the US.” But my personal life now is being stuck in this room and just not meeting people, unable to talk to people. And for me, it’s – I really enjoy the physical attraction of conversation than over keyboard. I’m such an open person that I just need the face-to-face contact.
But even my workout has been really, really, bad. Like, I’m missing the activities and my routine. Like usually I work for two hours and I do everything, go work out, go to gym and do other stuff and then do other work again. Now, we’re very – so now, I’m just doing like four or five hours and then – it’s hard for me to just for sure, you know. It’s – but I’m adjusting. Right now, I just got a bunch of new gym stuff like resistance bands. I’m do – I just finished about 45 minute workout outside. And then, you know, I got here, so we’ll see. I’m just trying to make this new routine that I can adjust properly. You know what I mean?
Renz: It’s a day by day process, right? I mean there are a lot of things that – not just – I mean everybody has to – had to cope with, I guess, you know. But – I mean KJ, what kind of things do you miss the most, I mean being in confinement, like being at home, staying home and working from home?
KJ: Okay. I was listening to Ian and I’m totally opposite. I’m introvert. So like this is heaven for me, you know, it covered everything. I’m loving it, honestly. But what I miss most is food. Like, you know, I’m kind of used to go out for food and, you know, travel – sometimes you have to travel whole day just for one dinner. Me and my wife, we always keep traveling for food and stuff. So, yeah, that’s one thing I’m missing most. And apart from that, not really, you know, its business as usual for me.
About KJ’s haircut 🙂
Renz: I mean speaking about your wife, we did have like a little bit of a quick chat, you know, after like the AB affiliate virtual Summit about your haircut. It’s looking good – it’s still looking good man. It’s pretty okay.
KJ: Yeah. Well, you see that’s – yeah, that’s one problem. Barbershops were closed, so yeah, that’s needed to do. Yeah.
Renz: Problem solved.
Beauty secrets from TOP affiliates
Ian: Oh man, I actually did my hair three days ago. And man, it took me like two hours to just trim my hair. I was so scared cuz I’m just very cautious of how I look and my eyebrows and my beard is not trimmed. And my hair’s not even blending properly. Look at the stair, you see stairs on my hair.
Renz: Nah, its fine. It looks good actually. I mean I need to have a haircut myself, you know. I’m just scared to like do it, like DIY, I don’t know, but yeah. I mean it’s actually, you know, pretty serious for a lot of people to, you know, have their lives changed and just suddenly be abrupt – I mean, you know, abrupted. But – yeah.
KJ: I think tutorials on how to give yourself a haircut, they will go really good.
Renz: Well, there you go.
Ian: I mean I – I have a different… Yeah, I really did watch like an hours’ worth of videos on YouTube just to try and I think it’s pretty good, you know. Yeah, yeah.
Renz: It’s pretty nice. It’s pretty nice.
Ian: Yeah. I did okay.
About staying sane during the lockdown
Renz: But, I mean ultimately, what are the three tips Ian that you would, you know, give people to stay sane as I would say, you know, home?
Ian: Well, I think – oh man, I think you have to really keep busy. I think health has to be part of it – part of the routine for sure. Like, I mean the first two weeks I was just slouching and sitting and then I realized my body was not feeling good. But then again, I’m also coming from the health perspective side of it just to tell you. I go out to the gym every day. And then, creating a routine, right?
Try to have a fixed routine where you’re not stuck thinking what to do, right? So, you’re like, “Okay. At 12:00, I’ll have my lunch. 12:30-12:45, I would do – I’ll walk around the neighborhood or maybe 1:00 to 2:00 answer emails,” you know, like – things like that to just keep yourself motivated and sane. And then, obviously, trying to keep contact with people and trying to learn a new skill set especially, you know, or master a skill set that you already have, right? Especially if you don’t have a skill set to start off with.
Renz: For sure. And to, you know, everyone listening to our podcast right now, to our audience, make sure to take advantage of that pornhub subscription guys. It’s pretty… But, yeah. It’s crazy stuff, right? I mean from – what about you, like KJ, in terms of, you know, necessities or how you coped with the coronavirus thing going on. Have you like, you know, piled up on toilet paper? What were the most essential stuff that you, you know, kinda like actually stocked up?
KJ: Okay. That’s a funny question. To be honest with you, at start the first thing I did was – I was watching news all the time and that really gets to me. And I was walking in the middle of the night asking my wife, “Have you got coronavirus? Have I got a coronavirus?” And, you know, we were – I was literally like really scared for two-three days I think. Actually, it went on for weeks or so, then I stopped watching news. So that’s one thing like, you know, you should do for your mental health to stop watching news and things. And in terms of, you know, piling up stuff. No, not really. As soon as it started, I knew it, you know, it’s – eventually, it will come – it will go everywhere. But no, I stayed calm. That’s the best thing one could do.
You know, you don’t have to hold things and do anything. One thing I do is I go out and like if something needs to be done in the garden or whatever, this is the best time you can do things in your house and, you know, just maintenance for this stuff and all the physical activities. And then, catch up with the people you haven’t spoken with for a while, you know, everyone’s busy and these days during the lockdown, everyone’s at home. So, yeah, these are the best times to catch up with people and, you know, to speak to them, man. Yeah.
Renz: Nice. That’s really great. I mean one thing you’ve mentioned is it’s actually really true. Like, you know, news outlets create this panic to…
Renz: You know, to people and, you know, just basically do just very impulsive actions. You know, like piling up on, you know, groceries or toilet paper and all that which is – at the end of the day, it’s not really something ideal, you know?
KJ: Yeah. Yep.
Renz: I think we should all just, you know, stay home and, you know, watch yourselves, take care of our loved ones and that’s it, you know. Just follow all the guidelines.
KJ: Yeah. That’s true. That’s true.
What’s happening to affiliate marketing now?
Renz: Definitely. What about in terms of the affiliate marketing industry guys? I mean both of you have been, you know, actively strong and dynamic when it comes to promoting, you know, products and offers in this industry. Where do you think we’re at right now and how that has, you know, has taken a toll into affiliate marketing?