Interview with Superbreak travel affiliate Gordon "Avaweb" Langlands
Since its conception in 1996 affiliate marketing has grown into a billion dollar industry. However, achieving success as an affiliate can be very difficult and for everyone that succeeds there are twenty who fail.
The following interview is with the owner of Avaweb who has experienced a great deal of success in the UK travel market through affiliate marketing for well known travel and short break specialists Superbreak (http://www.superbreak.com ).
How long have you been an affiliate marketer?
I started the Avaweb.co.uk website in 1999 but didnít introduce affiliate marketing until 2001.
What does an average day consist of?
I start the day by checking our site is up and running then check out our stats for the previous day. An average day would be to keep the website up to date by adding new information, deleting obsolete details, trying to improve our rankings, tweaking our PPC campaigns, dealing with our individual paid listing customers, ongoing website improvements and of course periodically checking our sales!
Where did you learn about web design?
I am self taught in web design. My wife and I ran a B&B and I created a website for the business. It was a pretty awful looking site created with a now obsolete web authoring tool, but it brought us a fair amount of business, especially from the USA. We gave up the bed and breakfast due to family reasons but by then I had the internet bug. I continued working on web site design at night after my full-time job and created the Avaweb (http://www.avaweb.co.uk ) site.
Do you have any formal IT, internet, or design education?
The only formal computer related education I have received was obtaining a Higher National Certificate in Computing at night classes at college. This was not however internet related as the internet was not around when I studied for it.
How long did it take you to learn HTML?
Iím still learning. I took around 6 months to learn the basics of HTML, but even today there are still new things to learn. For example, cascading style sheets were unheard of when I started out.
What tools do you use to build your website?
I use Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Photoshop.
How many hours a week do you spend working on your site?
This varies per week, but I would say it would average at around 60 hours per week. This sounds a lot but I tend to work at weekends as well. There is always something to be done.
How do you promote your sites?
By trying to gain good placements in the search engines through search engine optimization along with paid pay per click campaigns. I also try to submit our site to as many directories as possible.
Do you use any systems to help your PPC?
I use Atlas One Point and Indextools to aid our PPC campaigns.
How did you learn SEO?
SEO was again self-taught through trial and error. I used information from the multitude of optimising websites available. I still do it myself but is has become much tougher now with more and more websites being added to the search engines daily. More people are now using specialist marketing companies to do the SEO work for them professionally.
What advice would you give to new affiliates getting into the business today?
With so many websites around now, I would say to find a niche market where nobody or very few people are involved in and persevere.
Superbreak short breaks (http://www.superbreak.com ) is the internet division of Superbreak Mini Holidays Limited, the market leader for short breaks throughout the UK. Superbreak is part of Holiday break (http://www.holidaybreak.co.uk ) plc, a publicly quoted leisure company whose share price can be found in most major UK newspapers.
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