Today we bring you an interview between Partnerkin and Maor Benaim. Maor is a popular affiliate marketer from Israel, well known for his expertise in Google Ads. He is also known as the Wolf of Affiliate Marketing.
Maor owns a marketing agency and a number of eCommerce brands that make him millions of dollars per month. Maor has been a prominent speaker in many big affiliate marketing conferences, sharing his advanced media buying tactics on Google, Facebook, and Native ads.
Follow along with this interview, as he shares with us his journey in affiliate marketing, how he was able to make his first $1m in the industry, his business operations, challenges, and his perspective on the current state of the affiliate marketing industry.
Maor, you are one of the affiliate marketers with a strong industry reputation. Let's start from the beginning, what’s your background story before you got into affiliate marketing and how did you get into the space?
My story begins with wanting to help my family with money, I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing or digital marketing in specific when I began, all I knew is that I wanted my family to have the best life possible, travel the world, enjoy good food and be debt-free, unlike most of the “guru” stories today that are talking about golden walls and driving Lambos, for me, it was about giving to the people I love.
All I knew at the time is that it’s going to be an internet business and that it needs to have a lot of money involved in it, when I first started I was working at an advertisement company, from there I moved on to a digital marketing agency, and from there the rest is history, I’ve set up multiple companies, including my own agency pretty fast and things took off, I was able to achieve my dream, help my family get out of debt and live the lives that they wanted.
So what niche did you start with at that time and could you share a bit about your first breakthrough campaign? The first campaign made you above 10k or above.
Honestly, it was a combination of the agency stuff with some weight loss campaigns, but I do have to say that searching for one campaign that’s going to make you 10k or more is going to be a lot harder than just doing multiple things and getting to 10k, it’s a lot more stable that way too!
Did you have some mentors who guided you through your affiliate marketing journey? If so, who are they and how did they help to shape you into a successful affiliate we know of now?
I had a few mentors in my life, but they were almost not involved with digital marketing at all, they were business mentors that I got to see their mistakes, and got some advice from them, but it was mostly about understanding how to overcome fears related to business (and in general) is what they were teaching me.
I think that without having 2 extremely important things I would not have been as successful as I am, one is someone who actually believed in me and told me that they believed in me, even when I had and was nothing, and second, is someone who you’re going to learn the business from, and unlike other opinions, I do not think it has to be someone who has done what you’re trying to achieve nor does it have to be someone who would know they are mentoring you.
People nowadays like to ask people for mentorship and I just don’t believe that’s the optimal way of doing it and getting the most out of it, get creative! That person does not need to know he’s mentoring you!
You said you had this goal of becoming a millionaire before your 30s, and you achieved it. We would like to know at what point of your career did you achieve it and what specific marketing campaign helped you to breakthrough?
It took me 10 months after I’ve decided that I’m going to do it by the time I get to my 30s so I’ve managed not only to achieve my dream of not having to worry about money all the time pretty fast, I’ve managed to approach and take business decisions in a much more relaxed way, and that’s amazing, I think I was 22-23 when that happened for the first time, I remember myself taking a picture of my bank account and sending it to my parents, that was an amazing moment, I remember exactly where I was.
There wasn’t a specific campaign that made me a lot of money back then, it was a combination of skincare & weight loss products that was pretty aggressive, and also my agency that back then had a lot of big clients and managed to achieve outstanding results for me and my clients.
In 10 months, that was amazingly fast. I believe it was a shocker for you because of how fast things happened. So at this stage, what traffic sources were you using, and in which GEOs did you get these results?
Back then, it was mostly Facebook and Google, and mostly the US.
You have worked as a solo affiliate for a long time. Meanwhile, you also own a marketing agency and eCommerce brands. So we are curious to know if it’s you alone who runs all the campaigns for clients and the eCommerce brands or do you outsource teams for this?
That’s one of the questions I get asked a lot, so in general, yes, I’m the person who’s actually running the campaigns myself, I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, I don’t like to sleep and I’m fast so that combination really helps me get a lot of campaigns up and optimized each day, my other “secret” for doing all of that by myself is having amazing partners whom I trust and are taking care of a lot of things around the business, from employees, to tracking, product, coding, and even litigation issues so I get to do mostly what I love and good at.
Do you ever plan to hire and train someone like a media buyer to assist you with the campaign management work at some point? Maybe to train him/her to be like your "super clone" so that you can leverage your time with some other higher-level tasks to expand your businesses further on?
Currently, I do not have any plans like that, but things change as I go, definitely.
If you don’t mind sharing with us, what was your biggest month? The highest revenue you made in a single month and how did you get there?
Revenue doesn’t really count because I had some of my agency’s clients run large budgets also on branding and reach so I wouldn’t really count that as performance marketing but I am going to say that my biggest month for a brand I own and set up from the ground did over $1 500 000 on it’s the best month, not too long ago and for me since my brands are just like my babies and I get to see them grow up and walk, it felt better than any affiliate-campaign or client-campaign I’ve run.
Wow, that feels great. It brings the sense of accomplishment to create something, then seeing it rise and flourish. In what niche is your brand and do you promote it on google ads only?
I have a couple of brands — they are in the fitness and supplements/vitamins niche, and no — we buy media all over, from Google to Facebook and native.
We understand that to achieve this level of success you got through many challenges and also made mistakes that you learned from. Affiliate marketing is an industry whereby one mistake can lose you a lot of money. Can you share with us the biggest mistake that you made and what exactly happened?
I used to lose sleep at night at mistakes and regret a lot of things, technical stuff, on campaigns, business decisions, and decisions in my personal life that of course also affected everything else. But then I realized and accepted that mindset that for most of the mistakes I’ve made I did what I knew best at the time, and if I could’ve done something else had I known the result I would’ve done something else, so that wasn’t a mistake.
To begin with, I think we learn from all of our mistakes, and the only way or at least the best way we learn is by making them, so as long as it’s not something huge, I would say to people — go, explore, try things, I can’t tell you how many times I was sure a product or a specific targeting or structure wouldn’t work — and it did.
Have you ever burnt like 5 — figures or 6 — figures on ad spend of a particular campaign and then you realized that the campaign wouldn’t work or make you profit regardless?
Sure! That's called testing, you can’t win if you can’t lose.
Let's talk about your speeches at conferences. You are one of the most respected speakers in the industry. One of the reasons is that you come up with new strategies that actually work when people try them afterward. How do you get all this knowledge and insight to come up with new marketing strategies?
I like sharing my knowledge with as many people as I can as I think the best way of creating more special content for free.
The fact that one of my personal goals is to impact as many people as possible makes it a lot easier as I do not have to push a lot in order to get myself in the muse or get into momentum and start thinking of new cool ideas to share, that’s the first part.
Technically — my knowledge comes from a lot of places, sometimes I would see things or hear about things from accounts I’ll consult on, sometimes I’ll even sleep at night and wake up in the middle because I had an idea and sometimes I just make mistakes that create amazing results for me. The cool part is that I would always test my stuff before putting it out there.
That’s great from you. On the part of getting knowledge from accounts; could you share with the audience those specific accounts/channels that deliver great content?
It really changes between the times you search for and the specific content you search for, the best one I know right now would probably be Adleaks, the Facebook group.
Aren’t you afraid of competition whenever you share your strategies on conference stages?
Absolutely not, I believe people in this industry are super smart, they are going to learn it from someone, might as well be me… some people would call it karma, I think it’s a lot more simple — you do good things and good things would come back to you, one way or another.
You are well known for being an expert at google ads. Why did you choose to focus on Google when there are many other sources like Facebook and Instagram which have big audiences for eCommerce marketing?
That’s exactly the reason when I decided to focus on Google, and even now, 95% of media buyers are FB media buyers, they do not know so much stuff a media buyer has to know, and also, back then — and now — the google ads space is a lot harder when you’re looking for knowledge, I saw a void and decided to fill it.
Last year’s pandemic left the industry a bit shaky, some affiliates faced a big challenge and others managed to survive and thrive through it. How was the situation according to you and how did you manage to adjust your operations to the industry changes?
I did, and still am, I’m not afraid or really excited about the industry and major industry changes because just like the stock market — when I play something I play in for the long run, if I have to learn new things, recruit new people, open or pivot my businesses I will and I am.
What do you think will become the next big thing in the industry?
Great question, unfortunately, I am not good at predicting the future and also think the industry has so many places to evolve — from platforms to offers, from tracking and attribution to policy regulations, I do think black hat campaigns are going to get even harder than they are, I do think that some campaigns are going to go towards a more automated way, but other than that — I do not know what’s going to happen.
You were able to hit $1 million in just 10 months at the start of your online marketing career. If you were to start over again right now in 2021 as a beginner in the industry. What path could you take to reach a million dollars?
That’s a HUGE and hard question I could probably write 200 pages about, but honestly, the best general tip I could give someone is to look for their advantage, if they know they are really good coders — look for some tool you might be able to build. If you are a good salesperson — look for someone to convince and if your family has certain connections in a certain industry — see how you can take advantage of that.