Today i am very excited to present 1oth interview with Thomas van der Kleij founder of Tapfiliate.
Thomas is a 28 Year old entrepreneur from Amsterdam. Previously founded a free printing service for students. Originally he had a commercial background (studies) but picked up programming to push the company forward faster. After selling the IP of that organization, he took a job setting up a social network for startups (built the platform and developed it commercially). That company was sold. Then he set up Tapfiliate.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where do you live?
My name is Thomas van der Kleij and I am 28 year old entrepreneur from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I have been an entrepreneur for 8 years.
How long have you been working in this industry, and how did you get involved? What was your first money maker?
Tapfiliate is my first 100% affiliate marketing related gig. I used to run a free printing service for students, funded by ads. We used our excess ad inventory to place affiliate adds. Coincidentally we had created one of the first cloud printing services in the Netherlands. We sold the intellectual property out of that company.
Can you please tell us a little about your professional background?
I completed a studies in audio engineering, as well as Commercial Economics. The latter is the most related to what I do know. Regarding my professional background: As said, I founded a free printing service. Thereafter I set up a social network for startups in the Netherlands, which was also sold.
What is the most expensive thing you ever bought?
What is your biggest achievement so far? And also what are your biggest failures?
Building a database of over 15% of the dutch student population was a pretty big deal, as well as selling the IP of that company. The free printing service could have been a lot bigger if we had made some different choices down the road. I view that as my biggest failure.
What is your Daily Routine?
I usually start out the day by having good, thorough look at our metrics. We use Google Analytics, Woopra and an in house dashboard to keep track of everything that is important to us. In this phase I am also spending a lot of time on product development. This means a lot of programming, which I absolutely love.
What tips would you give to those who want to take the path of entrepreneurship?
Learn as much as you can from a wide array of subjects. Don’t let anyone fool you.
Are you an affiliate yourself?
I used to be. Now I focus on advertisers.
Tell us about Tapfiliate and what inspired you to start this service ?
When I was running my first business, I tried working with an affiliate network. Unfortunately they were too expensive for my taste. Next to that, I already had a good idea of how I wanted to recruit affiliates myself, However, I didn’t want to pay network commissions for those affiliates. So, I decided it would be best to get an in-house solution. Most of the solutions I found felt old and bloated and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t something better available. So I built a solution myself.
As we all know setting up a affiliate platforms like yours is not a bed of roses, what was your biggest problem when you started?
Getting the tracking technology right was tricky. Next tot that, we had to work very hard to set up a good customer journey. Our software is basically interesting to everyone for whom the conversion takes place online. We have chosen to market our product to a broad audience. That means that you will also have to make your product understandable for people with less to no experience in affiliate marketing. It can be hard to take a step back and really look at your product through the eyes of someone who is new to it.
How large is your team? How many people work under you?
The team size shifts based on what we need at which moment, but we are currently with 4-6 people most of the time.
There are a lot of affiliate solutions these days, What makes yours different and how does it stand out?
I think we have hit a nice balance between simplicity and powerfulness with our product. Next to that, we treat our advertiser’s affiliates as first class citizens. They are the key to our customer’s happiness.
Do you have any plans to launch self-hosted version of Tapfiliate ?
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently working hard to make our product better and further expand our growth. We do have cool plans for the future, but I’ll keep those to myself for now
What are the challenges you are facing right now and how are you planning to overcome those challenges?
We really want to speed up product development. We have currently investigating different options of doing so.
What are your favorite traffic sources? And why?
I love that our own clients are using our own affiliate program to promote our software to their peers. It is a great multiplier.
What budget do you suggest to start advertising with affiliate marketing?
That is very dependent of scale. Our software starts at $29 per month
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
I would love to invite your readers to join our own affiliate program (which we are of course running using our own software). We offer 20% lifetime recurring commission and have great conversion rates. They can join our Affiliate program here