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Interview: Kenster (SixFigureMission.com)

KensterWe’re very excited to present our 52nd interview with Kenster of SixFigureMission.com.

Kenster is a serial Internet entrepreneur and is widely known as one of the top CPA marketers in the industry. He has also helped countless aspiring marketers get into and succeed in the Internet Marketing and affiliate marketing industry. Starting exclusively in the CPA marketing space in early 2008, Kenster has since grown his media company to include offline marketing and consulting services, in addition to a new digital media publishing arm.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where do you live?

Hey everybody, Kenster here! For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m a 26-year-old Internet entrepreneur and my business is based in the Princeton, NJ area in the United States. I started out exclusively doing CPA marketing, but over the past few years I have expanded my business to include everything from offline marketing, digital media publishing, and traditional affiliate marketing, to high end strategic consulting.

I am a true entrepreneur at heart and love starting and growing my own businesses just as much as I enjoy helping other entrepreneurs start and grow their respective businesses. Particularly in the Internet entrepreneurship and affiliate marketing space, there is still an incredible amount of opportunity and the myriad of financial and personal rewards make growing an online business both fun and exhilarating.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this full time for a handful of years already…I can literally remember my first week pursuing Internet Marketing like it was yesterday! My story is still in progress, but it’s been one heck of a ride so far and I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

2. How long have you been working in this industry and how did you get involved? What/Who inspired you to enter it?

If you’ve read my full bio on my SixFigureMission blog, you know that my entrepreneurial journey started with a lot of elbow grease and hustling. Hustling at flea markets eventually led to a small “classifieds arbitraging” business, which really opened my eyes to possibilities of making money online. I dabbled in that for a while, but it was about 3-4 years ago that I made the plunge full time into traditional affiliate marketing.

My first taste of Internet Marketing is a pretty coincidental story. Through a family friend, I got invited to an exclusive invitation-only Internet marketing seminar in Las Vegas, so I figured I would check it out. After all, if it turned out to be boring, I could certainly keep myself busy in Vegas! The seminar was primarily about affiliate marketing and CPA marketing and I can honestly say that I didn’t understand ANYTHING that was being discussed. Everything was over my head.

So I didn’t learn anything at all, but I did come to the realization that I wanted to learn more about what this Internet Marketing and CPA stuff was all about. At the conference I learned that people were making boatloads of cash doing it, but more importantly I saw that everybody there loved what they did and were having a lot of fun. A fun way to make money…I was hooked! I then spent the following few weeks immersed in learning about Internet Marketing and CPA marketing. Right away I started taking action, trying things out and eventually (through countless hours of hard work) started making money. The rest, as they say, is history!

3. What accomplishments so far are you the most proud of in the affiliate marketing business?

It’s interesting because the accomplishment I am most proud of has nothing to do with how much money I have made in the various ventures and projects I have worked on. Although product creation is a small part of my business, I am most proud of the amount of people I have been able to help through my various small products and courses.

Getting an email from somebody who has used my strategies to make an extra $50/day to help feed her family or send her kid to school is the most satisfying feeling in the world. I have built large CPA campaigns and done pretty well on other products that have provided a lot of value, but nothing compares to the emails from the “little guys” whose life has been changed by a product or service of mine.

My favorite email so far came from somebody in South America who I helped make an additional $20/day doing some bum marketing CPA tactics. This may seem like nothing to you and I, but to him it was life changing. It meant food on the plate and clothing on his daughter’s back. It’s stories like these that I am most proud of.

4. What have been your biggest failures and frustrations?

If by fail you mean doing something and it not making money…then I fail a lot. I test out so many campaigns and ideas that I have “failed” more than 99% of the people reading this. If you are doing CPA marketing, most campaigns are going to be losers; that’s just the nature of this business. The trick is failing small and winning large. As long as you are testing small and losing small, then all you need is one good campaign to more than make up for all the small losses. And that’s the great thing about the winning campaign…they can be huge winners.

It’s my belief that if you give something 100% of your effort, then it’s impossible to fail. Sure, something may not work, but it’s not a failure, it’s just something that didn’t work. “Failing” means not putting 100% effort and heart into what you’re doing. This slight change in perspective can be pretty powerful in the outcome of your efforts.

5. Tell us a bit more about SixfigureMission and what you do over there?

Six Figure Mission is just a small blog I recently launched. My goal is to post one or two times a week and give readers some good information about affiliate marketing, Internet marketing, product creation, and more generally about entrepreneurship. In my opinion, everybody who is working a 9-5er should go on his or her own six-figure mission! A six-figure income breaks down to only $275/day, which I believe is within everybody’s reach if they want it bad enough.

As a side note, if you would like me to discuss anything in particular at sixfiguremission.com, just contact me on the site and let me know. My number one goal is helping my blog visitors earn money!

6. What are your favorite traffic sources? What niche has worked best for you?

To be honest, I don’t have a favorite traffic source. I used to focus primarily on PPC traffic but the PPC to CPA model has morphed and been squeezed quite a bit over the last few years. There is still plenty of opportunity with second tier and niche PPC platforms but overall it’s becoming tougher and tougher and I don’t anticipate the trend reversing. Media buying is still great and of course SEO traffic is free, which is always nice.

In general, my strategy is normally to create a solid landing page and sales funnel, optimize it, and then scrape as much traffic from anywhere and everywhere I can assuming the funnel converts well.

7. In your experience, what are the Top 2 critical elements of running a profitable campaign?

In terms of running a CPA campaign, the first critical element is making sure you know your target audience and matching that audience to your traffic. The more you can laser in on the optimal visitor to your offer and generate traffic that matches that profile, the higher your conversion rate will be. Do extensive demographic testing and do your research to find traffic that most closely mirrors those results.

Another critical element is split testing. Don’t just A/B split test two landing pages and call it a day. If you are running with a campaign, then split test the heck out of it. Try multiple landing pages and then test multiple elements on the winning landing page. Continue to test and test until your page is closer and closer to true optimization. There’s always another split test you could be doing! Putting in just a little more effort and taking just one more step than everybody else can be the difference between moderate success and super affiliate success.

8. In your opinion, what are the best places for a newbie affiliate to learn affiliate marketing?

The Affiliate marketing learning experience is very much a hands on endeavor. You learn the most and quickest by rolling up your sleeves, taking action, and learning from the countless mistakes you will inevitably make. With that said, there heaps of great forums and Internet marketing communities out there with loads of free information. Forums like Warrior Forum are a great way to pick up strategies and get your questions answered. It’s important not to let forums distract you from taking action though.

I also purchased WSOs and eBooks when I was learning and that helped a lot, but again, don’t let products and the hype in the sales letters distract you. There is no silver bullet or step-by-step paint-by-numbers blueprint that will put a million bucks in your account. Just read the product, soak up the information, and try to apply it to whatever you are already doing.

If you have the capital, a coach or mentor is another good option, just do your research to make sure the coach/mentor is legitimate (there is a lot of garbage that goes on in the coaching space sometimes). You can also follow industry specific blogs like the ones listed here at AffPaying.com.

9. What are the differences between a Super Affiliate and an Average Affiliate?

Not much. The difference between the big dogs and small puppies in this industry is not as great as you would think. One thing super affiliates have in common is a voracious appetite to succeed. They are ambitious, they think big, and like most serial entrepreneurs, they get addicted to growing their business and income. The biggest difference between the super affiliates and average affiliate (in my opinion) is this ambitious personality.

Other than personality, the biggest difference would probably be the super affiliates ability to squeeze the most out of campaigns. The average affiliate may do 2-5 split tests to optimize a campaign but the super affiliate may do 20-50 to really milk it. It may not seem like a lot to milk a few percentage points on your margin, but when you then start ramping up traffic, your profit increases exponentially. Super affiliates take those little extra steps that most affiliates are too lazy to take.

10. How do you feel about the health of the Affiliate Industry overall? If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?

The affiliate industry is very healthy. Like anything online, things change and morph continually and changes are often very fast, but the affiliate marketing concept has been around since the beginning of commerce and it will continue to thrive as the Internet expands. Keep in mind that the Internet is still very much in its infancy.

With that said, the actual vehicle for pursuing affiliate marketing will change over time. In the last few years we have seen a huge squeeze by Google Adwords and some of the other large PPC portals against affiliate marketers making it more difficult to promote many types of affiliate products and services effectively on those platforms. So avenues of promotion will change and morph and resiliency is of utmost importance in this industry.

If I could change one thing about the affiliate industry it would be a more transparent and centralized legal code and more clarity as per affiliate liability. Things have come a long way over the last few years, but there is still a lot of clarity that is needed to give consumers and affiliates more confidence in the online buying/selling process.

11. What are your plans for the future? Where do you see SixFigureMission going?

As a serial entrepreneur, my goal is to create a mini-empire of internet-based businesses across numerous niches and industries. In the near future, I plan on continuing to create as many passive income streams as possible and growing my business (employees, staff, managers) so I can focus on starting and growing other ventures! I would also like to aggressively grow the digital media publishing side of my business.

SixFigureMission.com is more of a hobby than a business. As my personal blog, the goal is twofold (1) to share information and knowledge about affiliate marketing, Internet marketing, and entrepreneurship and (2) to get as many readers to the six-figure mark as possible. On the site, I will also be opening up a one-on-one coaching program to help mentor and fast track the success of a few newer marketers, but this will be limited to just a few people, as I do want to reserve enough time to grow the various entrepreneurial visions always brewing in my head.

12. What industry conferences do you usually attend, and which is your favorite?

Though is seems there is a new conference popping up every week, one of my favorite conferences for a few years running is Yanik Silver’s Underground Seminar, which is normally held in the Washington, DC area. Not only is it a great networking opportunity, but it’s also a really good and fun time. Sometimes it’s a little too fun!

13. What are your hobbies/interests/passions?

Well for starters, I love traveling and thanks to the nature of my business, I get to do it a lot. I also love adventure sports and have been hang-gliding, skydiving, racing through the Baja dessert on trophy trucks, scuba diving, and sailing the Great Barrier Reef for an extended period. My next trip is either the zero-gravity parabolic flight or a ride in a fighter jet!

Philanthropy also is a big part of my life and business. Just a few months ago I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti with about a dozen marketers including the great Mike Filsaime, Ryan Deiss, Yanik Silver, and others to do our small part in helping the huge famine and disease crisis in Haiti.

14. Give us a little glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.

I wake up at noon, stroll on down to my computer in my pajamas, work for 30 minutes and call it a day. Just kidding…unfortunately growing a successful business doesn’t look like that, no matter what anybody tells you. My typical day would involve waking up, doing a little meditation, checking campaign stats, checking emails, making a few calls, checking campaign stats again, and then a good chunk of the rest of the day is spent on one or a couple of the numerous projects I always have in the pipeline. One thing I am extremely proud of is my work ethic. I am not afraid to admit that I work harder than 99% of marketers out there!

15. Thanks Kenster, if there is anything else you would like to say to the readers of AffPaying.com now is the time!

The only other thing I would like to tell people is that although there is a lot of potential to make it big online, you MUST put in the work early. Money won’t just flow into your bank account by virtue of calling yourself an Internet marketer. If you want to make it big, then work harder than everybody else. That’s basically it…stay true to yourself and your beliefs and work harder than everybody else. That will help you be successful in your personal and professional life… they should go hand in hand.

I am wishing you all tremendous success and prosperity on your respective journeys!

To follow Kenster and his adventures most closely, please visit his blog: SixFigureMission.com.

What are your thoughts on the interview? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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