Tell us about yourself and how you got into this industry?
I actually got into this industry by accident. I used to own an internet café in Chicago (Go Cubbies) and some of the patrons who frequented the café needed a website and search engine optimization done and I happened to have some contacts in the space which truly enabled me to find out the benefits and rewards of Internet marketing and haven’t looked back since.
How your daily routine is like?
My day is anything but routine. Spend a lot of time with the fam, travel or just hang out with some good friends. We routinely get together monthly and have an all night poker games. If there is any time remaining, I like to work on some side projects and my blog (though I have procrastinated quite a bit).
What is your favorite traffic source and why?
I prefer Flying over Driving. 😉 – Cheap jokes aside, I love FB and Social Media – has performed the best for me. Back in the day it used to be a little search engine called Google.
If you had to start from beginning what would you do?
Even if I had to start over again, it would not be much different than what I do now. Family is job #1 and to ensure their happiness is all that matters. It’s the little things, a hug from the daughter first thing in the morning or giving cereal to the wife before she goes to bed (yes true story).
However, if I had more time, I would devote a fair share of my time to help my wife start up free clinics to help those who cannot help themselves. Without getting into the politics of it all – the hospitals have become so administrative, insurance driven and bottom line focused that good patient care has become a footnote. This is not why she spent a good portion of her life going through medical school.
Tell us about your network and why one should join your network?
This part truly excites me, this is my baby and I and my team has spent countless nights to get it to where it is now. We are a private network which initially focused on internal sub-prime offers but with the acquisition of AVG by Pab67Media, LLC a few years ago – it has opened doors for us which were otherwise not reachable. As evident by doing a simple search on Google – we have built a niche for being very affiliate/customer-centric network and going above and beyond the call of duty. At the end of the day – it is all about the brand and the trust and I feel we at AVG have done a great job of establishing both.
I realize there are already so many affiliate networks out there but only one Ricky Ahuja. I am not so concerned with what others are doing or not doing as I am with what I am able to provide. We do not hide behind a privately registered website from some off shore country but at the forefront of affiliate marketing industry, compliance and transparency. I am probably one of the most easily accessible person there is and call it like it is. You can get more insight into who I am at my blog (cheap plug) at www.rickyahuja.com.
What is your biggest achievement so far? And also what are your biggest failures?
Achievement – outside of having an amazingly beautiful wife and an absolutely adorable daughter, I think that the accomplishment I am most proud of would be the recent buyout of AVG. It has been a couple of years in the making but I feel it was done the right way. It is about creating a recognizable brand with a reputed team and I think we are almost there. The other accomplishment would be of course making it to your interview on this blog, I know you have numerous choices and I am glad you chose me (I sound like an airline). 😉
Failure – I do not consider anything I have done a “failure” per se (unless you count that one semester in college ) but rather a stepping stone from which to learn and advance. As it pertains to Affiliate Marketing – the frustrations are many: fraudulent affiliates, compliance issues, AMs who will say anything to make a buck, people asking the wrong questions, etc. But you know what, that is what makes our industry so unique and dynamic, keeps things in check.
Is CPA marketing going to die, as other people usually say or its already dead?
There will always be a place for performance based marketing, expected to be a $4 Billion + industry so not too worried.
What advise you will give to guys who are just starting out with CPA marketing?
Great question – I am reminded of a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
New affiliates take in a lot from the over load of information out there (not all of it good mind you) – but many do nothing at all. There is this fear of failure that’s inherent to all of us – but I assure you, once you get started – it’s gets easier. Remember, a long journey starts with a single step.
Being from same region what you will suggest to those starting out from Asia as these are the people who really have tough time getting into networks and more than that majority of new affiliates from India, Pakistan enter in industry with no investments at all?
Another great question. Though I have been in the states for over 38 years – I still hold a great affinity for affiliates from my homeland. There is so much potential it’s mind boggling. The challenge/issue has been that the mentality from the onset for many starting out there is that this is easy money and tend to resort to under handed tactics to generate traffic and leads and that has got to stop. The amount of effort it takes to think of a money making scheme – if they allocated to developing a solid strategy, would have taken them a lot further.
We actually have a program at AVG to help develop their skill set and fund their media buying – provided of course it is legit and they are willing to put in the time to learn and improve.
Tell us about your blog and what inspired you to start blogging?
While majority of my time had gone into building the network – when I do get a chance, I like to blog. More often than not however, it is not about affiliate marketing – it has more to do about life stories and the people behind many of these companies. There is a lot we can learn about a business by knowing the person behind it and I think that is where the true value lies. One has to put themselves out there and take chances.
The best advice I have been given has been from my father and it is to not be afraid to take risks. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can always learn from the experience and apply it towards your next venture. There is quote from T.S. Elliot that I like: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Why yes – so glad you asked. As you may or may not know, last year I placed in 3rd for the top blogger contest with Revenue Wire – they have once again nominated me so I ask you and your readers to vote for me ( that would be www.rickyahuja.com ) and let’s see if we can get 1st this time around: http://www.live-dangerously.
I would like to thank Ricky for taking time out of his busy schedule and sharing his time with us ,If you would like us to interview you please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org …