To accomplish greatness, one doesn’t just have to plan and strategize, but he/she also need to believe in their idea and skills. Belief is the crucial element that differentiates a successful person from a failure.
We as people love to read rags to riches stories to find motivation in the remarkable journey of an individual who succeeded in life against all the odds. Though many nowadays exaggerate their troubles to add extra flavor in their entrepreneurial pilgrimage, you will find refuge in the story of Ammar Pervez, a budding digital media marketer and affiliate marketing expert from Karachi who started from nothing and still managed to rise to the top.
What motivated you to start an online business?
We all have a particular past that molds us into what we become when we grow up. Mine was profoundly affected by my family especially with what happened with my father who was laid off after he served a company for 15 long years, the incident which led to our financial crisis.
There used to be a time when we didn’t have a single penny to buy food. I have seen my father running around in search of a job to support his family. The difficult time in our lives showed us the reality behind many friendly faces and relatives where some suggested that he should drive a rickshaw.
Our problems went on for three years, and a lot of people ignored us. My dad being the breadwinner of the family had to do a lot of things to keep things afloat like selling Biryani, teaching in a local school, etc.
Cutting a long story short, looking at my family’s condition I decided to work twice as hard so my parents would not have to work and that’s how my past brought me face to face with the internet marketing and reselling business, something that I found out I was good at doing.
Before starting your own business, how did you know that you were good at Internet marketing?
I was always fascinated by the idea of working online. I never stopped learning new things on the web. Throughout my journey, a lot of people I have met have appreciated my skills, but none of them cared to promote my work.
I firmly believe in the mantra “First you learn, then you earn” which is the reason I never stop learning. During my family’s financial crisis, a friend of mine informed me that we could make money via blogging and I devoted my energies to learning everything about it.
Five years ago, I started a blog about gaming, and initially, I did a lot of crazy stuff like posting some copied articles and hoping that they would generate some revenue for me. I didn’t know anything about SEO until a friend of mine, Syed Hassan Bukhari told me about it. He convinced me that if I wanted my blog to rank, then I needed to learn how to SEO my articles and blog.
In my life’s journey, I only had a few real friends who encouraged me in my endeavors and helped in strengthening my determination. I along with my two other friends launched a website on the lines of WikiHow called “Wimter” which proved to be a turning point in my career.
‘Wimter’ turned out to be a failure since my other two partners were hell-bent on profits. Instead of losing hope and getting upset, I gathered my courage and started focusing on learning new things.
It was back in 2016 that I finally found my first client who was working with Amazon’s affiliate program. He hired me as an Amazon affiliate blog marketing consultant but after one month we parted ways as I was new to this world and he wasn’t satisfied with my performance. However, in this short time, I learned a lot of things from him about affiliate marketing.
After losing this client, I focused more on re-selling, and by the grace of God, it has been an amazing experience so far, marking the biggest success for my career. In my first month of Fiverr reselling business, I made $5,000, a figure that many freelancers only dream to hit.
What is Fiverr reselling and how you did it?
My friend Shakir and I used to resell the backlinks on Fiverr. For those who do not know, a backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one website to another, and apart from on-page SEO, backlinking is required to rank on the top of search engine results.
All we ever did was resell Fiverr Gigs that offered backlink creation. Fiverr is a platform where people sell their services for as little as $5, so we used to promote some chosen freelancers’ services on social media for twice the amount they charged to their clients.
In simple words, if someone bought backlink services from us, we bought the same services from a reliable Fiverr gig for half the price and delivered the required results to the client who came to us. We made a lot of money following this model, and I earned $5,000 at the age of 16 which means a lot to me.
We kept on re-selling other people’s services for 3 to 4 months, but then my affiliate marketing career kicked in, and I left re-selling. Now, I am running a lot of successful Amazon affiliate program sites, while doing Fiverr reselling as a side-business.
How did you market yourself Digitally?
A lot of people over the internet have failed to generate leads because they cannot digitally market themselves or their brand. The truth is, I never used any paid campaigns like Facebook ads, page boosts, or AdWords in my affiliate career.
I always focused on organic reach, because it is more reliable and works in the long term. For my e-commerce business, yes I have used paid ads as creating organic reach for your e-commerce store is a lot of work.
When I was in the reselling business, I used different social media profiles, communities, and forums with a great following to promote my services and all. For anyone who is starting their career as an Internet Marketer, I’ll advise them to have patience as it will take some time.
For a career in affiliate marketing, one should know who is their right audience, who will buy the product, and what is the right platform to promote it.
Why did you prefer Amazon’s affiliate marketing model to Maxbounty or others?
I chose the Amazon affiliate program because it was and still today is a reliable platform. However, my websites are not only promoting Amazon affiliate program products, but a lot of them are selling ClickBank products. I am using CPC networks like Clickbank, but not too much.
Coming back to the Amazon affiliate blog, I think it is better than the rest because it generates more reliable and better income than CPC networks. You know what, the Amazon affiliate program is fun as well like different companies send me their products to review, and I always enjoy testing different things.
Moreover, I can expand my Amazon affiliate blog business via making a proper business plan like Cnet, Engadget, Trusted Review, etc. that will include a proper verified YouTube channel and everything to boost the sales.
Why do you think Pakistani entrepreneurs hide their blogs from the community?
I believe that it is because of many reasons. I always believe in giving back to the community, and I do share my tactics and strategy. However, revealing the URLs of one’s blogs is not a wise move. There are a lot of risks in cyberspace like spammers and hackers who can hurt your blog.
Where do you get help with blogging or marketing related issues?
I take help from Google, and I will also advise the newcomers to do the same instead of running after various people. Also, they can read Neil Patel, Backlinko blog, and NicheHacks which have helped me a lot.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
People, as initially many of them including my family, didn’t believe that I could make money using the internet. I remember there was this Physics teacher who used to tell me that I was the dumbest person on the face of the earth and now all of them like to quote my work as examples.
What is your biggest success so far?
When my Dad got fired, he had to sell our family car for peanuts that he bought after working tirelessly for 20 years. So, the biggest success for me was handing over the keys to a brand new Honda City 2017 to my Dad and also taking my family for Umrah.
What is your message and tips for digital entrepreneurs?
Well, little knowledge always kills and this is why most people fail. Do not underrate the value of knowledge and getting some highly required skills. Invest in learning, because it will bring back to you the earning that you crave the most.
Today, knowledge is the most major commodity and the biggest difference between the rich and the poor. Go from one website to another, go from one expert to another and learn.
The interview was originally published in the August 2017 edition of MORE magazine and was authored by Bilal Ahmed.