He is a professional blogger and affiliate marketer who runs niche blogs focused specifically on affiliate marketing. He also runs a couple of podcasts – The DKSpeaks Affiliate Marketing Podcast and The Podcasting University
He is a hardcore accounting professional who quit accounting and took up digital marketing in spite of having no knowledge of marketing.
He believes that it is extremely important to invest in yourself, keep learning and upskill yourselves, if you are to succeed at anything.
His latest projects include “The Blogging University” where he is planning to train aspiring bloggers without overwhelming them with information and without having to pay the exorbitant costs associated with blogging courses.
How did you start out as a marketer?
There’s this saying, “the more you restrict somebody from something, the more inquisitiveness it creates”.
I had never touched a computer until 2002.
Once when I did it in the year 2000 when the Y2K bug was the talk of the town, it was only to switch it on.
Not that I was restricted but, I didn’t have the means to own a computer then.
In fact I didn’t have access to a computer because a computer was considered a luxury back then in India.
Finally when I got an opportunity to touch one, I was all inquisitive about it.
And my inquisitiveness grew when I browsed a few websites and explored the internet.
That’s when I came across an ad that showed a 16 year old guy with a blog making money.
I became even more curious and I started searching “how to make money online” and stumbled upon a book about affiliate marketing.
The book was very detailed and that’s where I learnt about the nuts and bolts of affiliate marketing.
In fact this was where I started off as a marketer.
Looking back what is your hardest struggle when it came to delivering results?
When I talk about the “hardest struggle”, it was to find genuine offers to promote and make money and ensuring that I don’t get scammed.
The internet is a lot organized today and there are a ton of checks and balances which can prevent you from getting scammed.
But back then there were a lot of times when I promoted products, earned affiliate commissions only to find that the payment never came.
Things have changed since then. While the competition has increased, the opportunities too have increased.
Scammers would have discovered new ways of scamming but the internet too has found its own cheks and balances to keep them out.
There are a lot of brands who can help ensure that you are safe.
What do you find most rewarding about what you do?
Passive Income. Yes, the freedom this business gives me is the most rewarding.
You are not bound to that schedule where you need to get up early in the morning and get ready to go to a job that you hate.
You no more have to look at a price-tag of a product that you so much wanted to buy, before buying it.
You don’t have to find an excuse when your kid asks you why you cannot find some time to play with them.
You don’t have to find reasons to push that vacation out of your plans, just because it doesn’t fit into your budget.
All of these things that come with the passive income associated with this business gives me the freedom – to think and to enjoy.
We have a lot of readers who are bent on becoming freelancers, aside from freelancing how else can someone earn online, and what is your advise?
Freelancing is an excellent thing to do if you are somebody who wants to spend time working.
But why I don’t prefer freelancing is because all I am doing in freelancing is swapping the 9 hours that I was spending for somebody else with doing the same thing for myself.
While I have the satisfaction that I am working for myself, I still feel that I am not leveraging time and am still caught in timelines.
My reason for using the internet to make a living is to leverage time.
There are a lot of other opportunities that the internet has to offer today.
Affiliate Marketing is an excellent opportunity to create a permanent source of passive income.
Most brands are taking to affiliate marketing today and finding good offers is extremely easy in any niche.
Another thing that I would recommend is creating digital courses.
Online learning is the talk of the town today.
The pandemic and the new normal that we have all gotten into has increased the scope of online learning.
If you have any information to share, you can put a course together and start making an income from that.
If you were given the chance to build your career all over again what would you do differently so that you will achieve your dreams faster?
When I started off, I had this tendency of looking for cheap options because I was short of money.
But that tendency of mine resulted in me losing all of my hard work of about 5 years and having to rebuild again.
They say, “if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys”. No offences to monkeys, but “cheap” is always “cheap”.
Another big mistake that I did then was not focussing on email marketing.
I had generated loads of traffic to my websites and made money with it but I never focused on building a list.
Only if I had done it then, I would have been able to build the biggest asset of my life – my email list.
So, if I had to start all over again then there are 3 things I will choose –
1. Not spend money on education but spend money on upskilling myself
2. Whatever little money I have, I would spend it on quality products and services even if it means that I will be able to buy one thing less.
3. Build an email list
How is your typical work day structured?
I have a very structured work schedule.
I keep aside 1 day in my weekends for my family and my daughter.
We enjoy, do things that we like and have fun.
So my work days, essentially are 6 days. I have a to-do list that I update every end of the day.
This has 2 goals – updating things that I want to do later and updating the things that I have to do the next day.
I have days scheduled for specific tasks.
I do all my social media on one days, write my blog posts on another day, content research and story boarding on another day and so on.
A typical work day of mine looks like this –
1. I wake up early in the morning because I find it productive. I start working at around 6AM and go through my To-do list and prioritize the things that I need to do.
2. Anything that can be done quickly is the one that I pick first. When you see a few completed things on your to-do list it gives a sense of achievement.
3. I would then start working on whatever is the flavor of the day. If it is to write blog posts, I do that. If it is to promote the posts, then I do that and so on.
4. I would usually work until 9 AM and then take a break for my other routines.
5. I would then spend a couple of hours in the afternoon with some of the other items on my to-do list and then take a break.
6. I would spend about 3 hours in the night again with things like outreach, recording my podcasts, collaborating with other marketers and so on.
7. Before I go to sleep, I spend 30 minutes reading a book or, listening to an audiobook on Audible.
Can you tell us about a time where you had to put in significant effort up front and then wait a long time for success?
My blog is a classic example of this.
I didn’t see any considerable returns from my blog for a long time.
But I didn’t stop writing blogposts and promoting it.
After some time, my efforts paid off and the traffic suddenly jumped.
I put this into practise in every niche blog that I build. I build it, promote it and wait for it to pick up.
The momentum slowly builds and then it is all about keeping it consistent.
What recently-developed marketing strategy, technique or tool interests you the most right now?
I am particularly intrigued with Pinterest these days.
This is a very under-utilized resource that has a lot of potential and right now I am exploring using Pinterest for marketing.
One of the tools that I use for this is Tailwind.
I am impressed with the way they have tied up with Pinterest to an extent that you get to know every minute changes on Pinterest, first on Tailwind.
What do you do to stay up to date with new marketing techniques?
I read a lot and pick up books from some of favorite readers as soon as it hits the market.
I also spend time reading blogposts from some of my chosen bloggers and marketers and this keeps me updated with what is new in the market.
Which one book/blog post would you recommend every Marketer should read?
If you are thinking of getting into any kind of marketing, I would recommend that you read “This is Marketing” by Seth Godin.
It is one of the most relevant, informative and best books you will ever read on marketing.
What advice would you share with other Marketer’s who want to become more productive?
Marketing, especially digital marketing (also called internet marketing) can be overwhelming if you are not organized.
It is extremely important to stay organized.
You can pick 2 tools that can help you do it, organize yourself, organize your day and keep reviewing your progress.
Another important thing is to not get into a lot many things at the same time.
Pick one project, finish it off and then move onto the next one.
If there is something that can be outsourced, outsource it.
Things that are repetitive in nature and looks clerical are the best ones to be outsourced.
While there is a cost involved in outsourcing, you will be able to recoup it in the time you save and utilize on more productive tasks.
If there’s one Marketing Guru you’d recommend who and why.
Seth Godin – I consider him as the best marketer.
You wouldn’t need to follow anybody else.