We’re very excited to present our 69th interview with Stephen Stepanik of CPA Infinity (join now).
Stephen Stepanik is the owner of CPA Infinity. He is one of the friendliest network owners / CEO in the industry. Stephen is a young entrepreneur in the industry that has been closing deals and making big changes for a few years now.
1. Hi Steve, thanks for your time. Could you introduce yourself to our readers? How old are you? Where do you live?
I’m 20 years old, I live in Pennsylvania. As far as my relationship in the industry, I’m an affiliate marketer turned network owner. I’ve always been interested in computers ever since I could remember. Ever since I first used a computer, it was a “eureka” moment. As I progressed in my life with computers and getting older to the age of “I need money” – I stumbled upon Internet Marketing. From there I worked with several companies working virtually in every aspect of Internet Marketing over the years. Some caught on such as being an Affiliate and Email Marketing. I won’t take up the entire interview with the discussion though. If there’s one thing that you take from this interview about me, let it be that I put everything in to my work.
2. How did you get involved in affiliate marketing? What/Who inspired you to enter it?
I got involved in Internet Marketing by pretty much pure chance. As with everyone growing up, eventually you reach the age of “I need money” – now at that age, I was too young to have a job, but I had the drive to do something, I used my inspiration of computers and my love of money to make something out of it. Now, when I say love of money, I truly mean it. During my teenage years, my parents and/or friends would wave money in front of my face to wake me up. But that’s a different story in itself. As far as how I got involved in Internet Marketing I don’t remember which one it was, but it was one of the two – Bux.to or AdultFriendFinder, I’m personally leaning more-so to bux.to. But what I did with them to make a quick buck (my first ‘blackhat method’) was a program I created that automatically signed up to them and did their entire sign up approval process with a private proxy. It took all the necessary precautions to make sure no footprints were left behind. From there, it went in and clicked their ad’s, around that time after I got that working, I discovered BlackHatWorld, DigitalPoint, or WarriorForum (one of the three, it’s been too many years) and I discovered AdultFriendFinder. From there I saw they had a PayPerLead program, which in my eyes was easier to market to someone, specially through email marketing where it’s a “one shot” either you get the person or don’t. It took some time to get the $100 minimum for payment, but eventually I made it. From that first payment, I was hooked on Internet Marketing. Ever since then it’s been my personal choice of income, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve met more people, and more interesting people in the past few years of internet marketing than I would of ever met in a “real life job” aka a 9 to 5 job.
3. What accomplishments so far are you the most proud of? When did you first “hit the big time”?
I’m most proud of making the connections I have in the industry, being known for being an honest network owner. Even if I have to pay affiliates out of my own pocket – everyone gets paid on time, every time, for the full amount they earn. I guess you could say that I’m most proud of my position in the industry. I’m rising through the ranks day-by-day. When did I realize I first hit the big time? It was when I woke up one day and realized I not only created a company, but created a successful company which countless people try and fail every year.
4. What advices would you offer to an affiliate who is looking to make some serious cash in the affiliate marketing industry?
I would say a few things, but anyone could write an entire book or paragraph on advice for them. I know people who have spent years reading, but still haven’t made a dime. The best advice anyone could ever give the new-comer is this – Read, take action, fall, if you fall, get up and go right back at it. You never fail until you give up on yourself. Internet Marketing is 150% self-motivation and self-inspiration. If I take $100,000 out of the bank and hold it in front of your face and told you I made this by selling cars, you would want to be a car salesmen, if I told you I made it doing Internet Marketing – you would want to be an Internet Marketer. The best way to make it is to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not. Don’t go to sleep until you succeed.
5. Tell us a little bit about CPA Infinity and what you do over there?
We are a performance based advertising company. I’m sure everyone reading this interview already knows what “CPA” stand for in our industry, so no need to explain that. We are a small team, but we work as if we are a 10-man team. Everyone in our company goes with the motto “Don’t sleep till you succeed” and our motto “Dedicated to your infinite success” – we stand behind that. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten asked “do you ever sleep?” I’m always online working, contemplating with other businessmen about how we could make more. We’re in the process of opening up an advertising division with our own offers for 2013.
6. There are so many CPA affiliate networks out in the industry. What makes CPA Infinity unique?
We strive to be the friendliest network, while still keeping professional. We have true transparency with our affiliates and advertisers. We speak with our affiliates as much as possible, and we speak with our advertisers on a daily basis. With all tracking systems, every now and again conversions get missed in tracking, we check with all of our advertisers daily on how many conversions each affiliate has and if the numbers are under what the advertiser has, we alert the affiliate and we credit them the leads. Which should be a standard in the industry, but sadly it isn’t.
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 our affiliates on time, every time. Until an affiliate’s quality is checked and screened, they are on a POP (PayOnPay) basis, meaning they get paid when we get paid. After that, they are on Bi-Weekly net-15 payments. If their traffic is of quality and quantity, they are then moved to weekly net-7 – now a lot of affiliates don’t like this payment structure, but it helps ensure multiple things – it gives us time and the advertiser time to see how their traffic is performing, and to optimize their EPC’s, it gives us time to screen their traffic in case they are slipping some fraud in there, and list the list goes on and on. But in most cases – if the affiliate has a track record of quality and it can be verified, we will go with weekly net-7 right out of the gate.
8. Do you offer bi-weekly, weekly or even daily payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
Well, our minimum for payment is $100 (which is pretty standard)
We offer monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payments as I said above. The minimum for each is – monthly $100, bi-weekly $500, weekly $1,000.
9. What are the criteria for an affiliate to be accepted at CPA Infinity? How do you prevent and handle fraud?
The affiliate must be – experienced in affiliate marketing, must be dedicated to making money, the requirements are fairly standard. We handle fraud by being 100% transparent with our advertisers, and affiliates. Before an affiliate is approved, we check out everything (this usually takes about 24 hours) then the application is moved to our approval/denial system. From there, when the affiliate sends traffic, we have a team that screens all conversions that come through the system, they make sure everything lines up as it should. If something doesn’t whether it be conversion amounts (leads generated per day) or a missing referral url, or various things, we alert the affiliate and get to the bottom of it. Because of our screening process, 99.9% of the time it’s nothing. But if someone manages to slip through, they are taken care of within minutes, we alert the advertiser of the affiliates ID, and we have a standard process of how we handle situations such as this.
10. What are the top converting verticals at CPA Infinity; Email submit, Dating, Mobile, Education, Financial/Insurance or Health/Diet?
We are doing fairly well in insurance offers, penny auction offers, and dating offers, it’s a close tie between the three.
11. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements to run a successful campaign?
Experience, Luck, and Bank roll.
Experience – The affiliate world is like a world war, but online, everyone is fighting each other for the ad position, ranking, best creative, etc. It’s like running in to a war zone blind folded, if you have absolutely zero experience you will be shot down before you make it 10 feet. Just like you will lose your shirt in the industry if you’re not careful with what you do and how you do it.
Luck – Knowledge plays a big roll in Internet Marketing, but you can have all the experience in the world, something may still go wrong. Always prepare for the unexpected, so when it happens you’re smart enough to overcome the obstacle.
Bank roll – If you’re testing a campaign out via PPC – expect to spend a few hundred just on testing it and maybe, possibly breaking even, most of the time you will lose money. But as with everything in Internet Marketing, it costs money. Now there are countless ways you can get started with virtually nothing more than an internet connection and a computer. But it’s always recommended to have some money on-hand to get started, even if it’s just $50 for a few months worth of hosting and a few domains.
12. Are there any plans to develop CPA Infinity further in the near future? Will there be any interesting changes/improvements made soon?
We are in the process of opening up our own advertising division which with our affiliates support will be known as the best offers industry wide. Because we’ve come from the affiliate end, to the network, to the advertiser, we’re going full-circle. We work on the slimmest margins in the industry for the simple reason of – the affiliate’s are doing most of the work, so they deserve to get the most bang for their buck. As far as our advertising division – we will have everything we can, such as email submits, payday offers, cash advance, and many more.
13. What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the industry are right now? And what would you do to solve it?
The biggest challenge I would say is getting known (for the newer networks) , getting quality traffic as everyone is looking to make a quick buck, now for the more seasoned affiliates, that’s not a problem, but for the newer guys, their blinded by the “glitz and glamor” of Internet Marketing they want what they want when they want it. It’s people with that mentality that will be the death of Internet Marketing, that as well as the rules and regulations that are coming down. But at the end of the day, there isn’t really any challenge that can’t be overcome, every challenge can be overcome. We personally do our best work with affiliates and advertisers as much as we can to make both parties as pleased as possible.
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 the fact that I have established my own company that is successful, in one of the most competitive industries out there. Also that internet marketing is so underground but it’s in everyone’s face. As far as what I hate about my job / the industry – there is nothing, but if there was one thing I could change, it would be to have advertisers pay out weekly as a standard. Reason being – so the reputation of the network isn’t based on how fast they pay,but the true quality of the network, I’ve seen networks out there that people flock to just because they pay weekly but the owners / affiliate managers are the rudest people that walk the earth. A companies reputation shouldn’t be based on how fast they pay, but the true quality of the company such as in the “real world” 9 to 5 jobs. No matter where you go (for a standard job) you get paid weekly or every two weeks. Now mind you – the 9 to 5 jobs are a cash based industry and we’re (for lack of better terms) a virtual industry. Most of us never see the money we make in our hands, we just swipe the card or purchase it online. But if there was one thing I would change about the industry that would be it.
15. What does a typical day for you involve?
I wake up, check my phone for emails, messages, phone calls, and voice mails. From there I hop right on my desktop computer and begin checking Skype, Aim, and answer emails. From there I go on a stationary bike that I have for 20 miles, hit the heavy bag, lift weights, etc. You should do your best to stay healthy / active in this industry, because most of our day is spent in front of a computer, and we’re all fairly young, 18-40 years old is the general age of the industry. You should do your best to stay healthy so you can stay alive long enough to spend all the money you make. But after that – I hop on and begin checking offer statistics, checking in with affiliates and advertisers. From there – it’s just the normal life of an Internet Marketer turned CEO. I make sure the company is operating like a well oiled machine.
16. What are your hobbies/interests/passions? What is your dream car?
My hobbies are computers, programming, problem solving, and (of course)making money. My interests include cars, preferably classic cars such as 1900-1990 Cadillacs, Buicks. A passion of mine – is to help others. My personal dream car is a 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarittz.
17. What is your end game?
First off, for those who don’t know what an end game is, it’s what you want to accomplish when everything is said and done. My end game is to have a big company. Now – I have a plan as to how I plan to accomplish that, I won’t disclose what it is due to competition, but my end game is to not just make a lot of money, but to make a difference in the world for the good. To make life easier for the everyday person. Because us as IM’ers – it may or may not of happened to everyone out there, but at some point money is / was tight due to expenses that everyone has whether it be a standard bill such as electricity, or a “special bill” such as a hospital bill. If you’ve made it this far in to the interview, keep in the back of your mind that if you’re working for CPA Infinity, you’re not only going to get top-level support, but you’re also helping not just a handful of people, but you’re helping thousands of people (outside of IM) by creating a stable environment for them to live in.
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!
I would like to say thank you to Gao first of all for interviewing me, and secondly, I would like to thank all of the readers for reading the entire interview or even if you just read a few points, I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read it. I would like to thank all of our current affiliates for their continued support and we would like to thank all of our future affiliates in advance for their support. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me. I’m one of the friendliest network owners out there, and one of the easiest to get a hold of.
Skype – CPA.Infinity
AIM – cpainfinity
Email – admin at cpainfinity dot com
Many thanks to Steve 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 CPA Infinity affiliate network, please write a review for them on the CPA Infinity 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.