We're very excited to present our 68th interview with Jonathan Smith of LeadSmack Media (join now).
Jonathan Smith is the VP and Co-founder of LeadSmack Media Inc. Jonathan first started in the industry at age 18 and has since become one of many top affiliates in this industry. He enjoys playing pool and being with and taking care of his family.
1. Hi Jonathan, thanks for your time. Could you introduce yourself to our readers? How old are you? Where do you live?
Hey everyone, I am Jonathan Smith. You may or may not know me and I am 25 years old this month on January 23rd. I live in Murfreesboro, TN and have been in Tennessee most of my adult life. I run an affiliate network called LeadSmack Media Inc where we help publishers/affiliates make more money online. My job there is managing affiliates, advertiser relations and I am one of the guys who gets you paid and on time.
2. How did you get involved in affiliate marketing? What/Who inspired you to enter it?
Like many I started out with eBay. I was buying and selling eBooks. One day I actually read one of them. I haven't told anyone this before really. The story yes but not the fact that I finally read one of the ebooks. I learned that it came from the WarriorForum. I checked out the site and started learning how to make money online. Eventually I went on to create info products etc and then became an affiliate. Several years later I got into CPA affiliate marketing which is totally different than traditional affiliate marketing. Anyway to make a long story short, my first day with CPA I made about $100 or $200 which was a while ago so I don't remember too well. I already had a great knowledge of how to do things from my past as a website designer. This made it easy to create nice landing pages that converted well. My VERY first offer I promoted was the free iPhone offer. I killed it...and was stoked when I got my first payment a week later.
I come from a family of business owners. They are all in some sort of business. Growing up I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I did not know what I would do. I know now that it is in the online world. I will have to say that my own family inspired me to be who I am today. Ask anyone who knows me...I am online almost 24/7 and I grind hard all day every day. Even worked this past holiday. Maybe took a couple days to myself but not much. I believe in working hard for what you want in life. It is not always handed to you.
3. What accomplishments so far are you the most proud of? When did you first "hit the big time"?
That is a tough one. I have many great goals reached and many things I have done in my past that I am really proud of. I think if I had to choose it would be starting my own affiliate network with my partner Joey. We have really beat ourselves to make this happen. It took lots of hard work and still does but we do it and we don't complain much.
I first hit it big time with a few product launches. I then turned all my buyers into buyers again as an affiliate. I really did well. My first time hitting $10k in one day. Great day for me. We celebrated with lots of red wine
4. What advices would you offer to an affiliate who is looking to make some serious cash in the affiliate marketing industry?
Well, I suggest choosing a traffic source and a niche. Stick with one thing at a time. I see too many people trying to do so many things that they cannot focus. Now all I do really is run traffic to campaigns of my own and run my network with my partner. I believe I can handle that. I have a few other irons in the fire but not too much is going on. As you build you can do more. I suggest though choosing one thing at a time and running with that. Even if it is not in this industry.
If you are already doing well as an affiliate then owning your own offers are killer. Trust me the revenue is great!!! I have something I will announce later for these people who want to run their own offer. All I am saying about that for now
Further on picking a traffic source...for those of you reading this choose PPC (that is my fav) then I have a guest article going live on my birthday January 23, 2013 on to the Neverblue.com blog. They asked me to write a guest post and I did it on my favorite traffic source. Lots of good info was added to that article. It will help you better your campaigns. It was an honor to be asked to write it and that it is being posted. I guess they like my traffic quality and volume
5. Tell us a little bit about LeadSmack Media and what you do over there?
Ah man, I was hoping to talk a little more about me...haha. JK
LeadSmack is great! LeadSmack is a performance network owned by two top performers. We run our own traffic to offers too and enjoy teaching others how we do what we do. Our network has a private forum which you can access if you are accepted and we really help out there. We announce offers and more on that forum. We pride ourselves in paying high and paying on time.
We love our company, our jobs and what we do. We enjoy meeting our affiliates and chatting with them to help them scale their campaigns. So, I run several parts of the biz. I help affiliates and even have some assigned to me as their affiliate manager. I also work with advertisers which is a large job. I probably bring in 10 to 30 new offers each week so I am doing really well at it. We have many direct offers and higher payouts than most networks. If we don't we can beat it with a little traffic to the offer. If we don't have the offer we can definitely get it.
6. There are so many CPA affiliate networks out in the industry. What makes LeadSmack Media unique?
LeadSmack Media actually helps affiliates. Look at our reviews here on AffPaying. People love us. They love us because we help them. We don't judge you by your volume or your ability to succeed in this business. We treat you the same no matter what you make with us.
7. One way to keep affiliates happy is to pay them on time and faster. What steps has your network taken to ensure that your affiliates will be paid on time?
We pay on time every time. Even early in some cases. After a quality check from the advertiser is completed we will issue a payment to our affiliates. We pay weekly, bi-weekly and monthly. Most are monthly but we have many on weekly payments due to higher volume. Our minimum payment is $25 and if you reach $500 we can get you on weeklies if you can stay consistent with it.
My next move right now is getting our Payoneer partners in place. We should be live with Payoneer in about a week or so. Just waiting on set up to be complete and all payments will be through them even the wires.
8. Do you offer bi-weekly, weekly or even daily payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
We offer Monthly, and weekly really. Bi-weekly is if a weekly affiliate chooses to be paid bi-weekly. To quality for weekly you must do $500 per week. If you do $400 we can work with you on it. We would just help you scale your traffic to reach the $500. Noting is handed to our affiliates we just give them incentive to try harder and make more money for themselves...make sense?
9. What are the criteria for an affiliate to be accepted at LeadSmack Media? How do you prevent and handle fraud?
If you want to be a member of our affiliate team then you have to jump through this hoop and that hoop and did I mention that hoop? Seriously, we do have a strict application process to combat fraud but if you are just totally honest with us and tell us what we want to know you are more likely to be approved. We want hard workers even if they make little money. We want people who are willing to learn and try to make it happen for themselves. Not lazy marketers just looking for an easy button.
I can't say what we look for too much without giving away company secrets but just know if you are a legit person with something to offer we will approve you. Never hurts to try. Be sure to respond to the after sign up email or you will not be approved.
10. What are the top converting verticals at LeadSmack Media; Email submit, Dating, Mobile, Education, Financial/Insurance or Health/Diet?
What verticals? Everything is going crazy in there. It is hard to keep up. We decided a while ago not to even focus on a specific niche. We have it all. I know that I love to see offers that I want to promote. We will have everything any affiliate will want to promote. Credit, Loan, Downloads, Email Submits, Zip Submits and more. We are about to launch an incentive side of LeadSmack too. That will start about Monday. When you are first approved to LeadSmack you will have to have approval to run most of our offers. This is so that we can test your traffic quality before we open up everything to you. Nothing personal. Fraud is a big deal and our advertisers mean the world to us and should you too as they do sign your paychecks.
11. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements to run a successful campaign?
Research, Traffic Source, Data
Research is important to figure out how you will promote the offer. The traffic source is a given...but your research may be the reason you promote it with that traffic source. Data is after the campaign is ran. You need data to succeed. It is the most critical part of a campaign. Data is gold to an affiliate and never run a campaign without having tracking methods in place to get you that data. REMEMBER THAT!
12. Are there any plans to develop LeadSmack Media further in the near future? Will there be any interesting changes/improvements made soon?
I cant really talk about this. I will be announcing some great things soon. Lots of game changing things are going to happen. I will say that LeadSmack will be at ASE this fall and would love to meet anyone who wishes to stop by our booth. We have a little surprise for everyone that does stop by
13. What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the industry are right now? And what would you do to solve it?
Fraud and a bad rep. I take fraud seriously. We do not put up with it. No forgiveness on it and all caught will lose payment and account. The industry has a bad rep but it seems to be getting better. People are not aware of what we do. Companies are increasingly preventing affiliates from running ads etc. Too much going on. We can't do much but we can educate our own affiliates on how to do things the right way.
We work with just about all the networks when it comes to fraud. Before starting LeadSmack I never knew this was possible. We value our relationships with other networks and work hard to prevent our fraud affiliates from making it to another network.
14. What is the one thing you love about your job as an affiliate network CEO/Owner and what is the one thing you hate the most?
I love working with people. Both advertisers and affiliates. I have met so many new people and it is just great! I hate quitting. When I get shut down for the night I fell like I can do more for people and for my company. I have to rest but I would prefer not to
15. What industry conferences do you usually attend, and which is your favorite?
I was supposed to be going to ASW but lack of planning prevented that. I will be at ASE in PA this fall with a booth. We will see you all there.
16. What does a typical day for you involve?
If I am on my normal sleeping schedule I will wake up in the morning, get a little exercise to wake up and get started for the day. I check emails, make sure everything is running smooth and then I get started helping affiliates and driving business. Sometimes I get overwhelmed but I enjoy what I do.
17. What are your hobbies/interests/passions? What is your dream car?
I love playing pool (billiards). It is my favorite thing to do. I love spending time with family and my dream car is....not sure. Not much on high dollar flashy things. I would get a BMW and be satisfied.
18. Thanks a lot for this interview. If there is anything else you would like to say to the readers of Affpaying.com now is the time!
Well, I think I have said a lot. If any of you affiliates reading this want to scale your campaigns then bring them to us. We scale for a living. We know how to help you make more money. One other thing I would like to say is that we care about your business. We want it and we show we want it. We have many reasons to choose us but I am not going to tell you them. I want you to find out for yourself. Come run some test campaigns with us and see how well your campaigns will rock. You will be learning from industry leaders.
Hope everyone has a great and prosperous 2013. This is your year to shine!
Many thanks to Jonathan for sharing your time with us and for sharing some great insight tips here! What are your thoughts on the interview? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, if you have any experience with LeadSmack Media affiliate network, please write a review for them on the LeadSmack Media review page.
PS. If you are an affiliate marketer, affiliate manager or affiliate network CEO and are interested in answering a few questions about you, your network and affiliate marketing, please drop us a message.