I started affiliate marketing in 2016 and I was earning more than Rs 1 lakh per month. I thought I knew enough about affiliate marketing - that was until I met Kulwant Nagi.
The concept of affiliate marketing is really simple. Big companies like Amazon and Flipkart have affiliate programmes for bloggers and influencers. You get access to a company’s affiliate portal through which you can re-create the link of any product with a special tracking code. You earn a commission income – usually between 4 percent and 11 percent depending on the product category - when someone clicks on the link and buys the product.
Similarly, there are big global affiliate networks like ClickBank, Commission Junction and ShareASale, which offer affiliate commission.
Affiliate marketing can be understood as a four-step process
- Join affiliate marketing programme
- Promote product
- Track sales
- Earn commission
I was doing affiliate marketing through my blog and social media, and thought that was the only way.
Kulwant changed that idea for me. He showed how he was earning through affiliate marketing in several ways. Kulwant took his affiliate marketing business to the next level by exploring many marketing channels. He does affiliate marketing with Pay-Per-View ads, Native ads, Google display ads and Facebook ads.
During one of our conversations in Chandigarh, Kulwant told me he was running ads on many platforms, and was getting an income of $500-$800 every single day. He once made $2300 in a single day, and last year he earned $9,000 in just four days by promoting Black Friday deals.
Kulwant believes we are in an era where success is all about a mindset, and belief in yourself. We are just a click away from either benefitting from technology or being a victim of it.
Taking an example of Facebook, Kulwant explains that most people in the world waste precious time using Facebook liking pictures of friends, watching videos, or playing games. On the other hand, as a marketer, he sees Facebook as a great marketing channel, and so he promotes his affiliate products on Facebook with ads and makes a good income every month.
It’s all about how you use a tool. A knife in the hand of a doctor can save someone’s life, whereas one in the hands of a murderer can kill someone
Kulwant belongs to a small town Fatehabad in Haryana and his dream was to go to the US after completing his graduation in 2008. He wanted to do an MS in VLSI, but the course was very expensive.
He convinced his father who was earlier reluctant to send Kulwant abroad and arranged money for GRE and TOEFL exams. He went to Delhi to prepare for the exams, paying Rs 50,000 for tuition fees, which was not a small sum.
His hard work paid off and he scored 1300/1600 in GRE and 99/120 in TOEFL. Kulwant was accepted into six universities, or which two were offering him scholarships of $16,000 and $7000.
Then came the difficult part - to his surprise, Kulwant realised he had to show Rs 22 lakh in his bank account to get a US visa, and his father of course did not have the money. He, however, was confident his relatives would help. Kulwant had seen his father helping everyone throughout his life, and now he expected reciprocation from his relatives
They say you get to know your true friends during difficult times. Kulwant and his father knocked on everyone’s door, applied for loans, but failed to collect the required money. Heartbroken and his dreams shattered, Kulwant lost hope and had to withdraw his applications from US universities.
Finding a job in India was not difficult and he settled with a boring job in Delhi but the dream to study in the US was strong. He tried again the next year and got admission too, but could not arrange the money. Frustrated with his job, Kulwant resigned in 2011.
His friend Ravinder Kumar, who is now Kulwant’s business partner, inspired him to try internet marketing and blogging. He started a blog BloggingCage.com in 2012, and started affiliate marketing. The journey was not easy, but nothing is impossible for a hardworking person.
He blogged for the first 18 months using 2G mobile internet as there was no 3G and 4G connection in his hometown. While big cities had speeds of up to 100 Mbps then, he was working on 50 kbps.
In a discussion with me, Kulwant said he used to cry in those days as he wanted to watch videos to learn blogging and online marketing, but his internet never allowed him to do it.
He gives the credit for his success to his mother, who had strong belief in him and always pushed him to pursue his dreams. Kulwant says starting a business is much easier these days as compared to 20-30 years ago. We have all the tools, data, statistics, books, case studies and marketing conferences to get enough information.
He says that success is all about finding where people are going, and being there first. Keeping with this mantra, he was the first mover in his friend circle and in his town and now can be seen everywhere. Kulwant has travelled to 18 countries with his own money in the last three years, has incorporated a LLC company in the US, and a private-limited company in India to run his entire internet marketing business.