Stories and Advice from 15 Years in the Affiliate Trenches with Matt McWilliams [Ep.145]

Stories and Advice from 15 Years in the Affiliate Trenches with Matt McWilliams [Ep.145]

Greg Elfrink September 19, 2023

Considering Google was created only 25 years ago, finding someone who has been working in the online marketing and affiliate industry for almost 18 years is rare.

All the way back in 2005, Matt McWilliams created an affiliate program in a last-ditch effort to earn money for his business that was nearing bankruptcy. The affiliate program took off, growing from zero to more than $1,000,000 a month in only 18 months. Matt hasn’t looked back since.

In this episode, Matt gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to run an affiliate program. 

We dive into Matt’s war stories from years in the industry, the foundations of a good affiliate program, and why Matt has chosen to stay in the affiliate world for so many years. Matt explains, 

“The thing I love about affiliate marketing is it’s relatively risk-free because you don’t pay affiliates until you make money. Whereas you have to pay Facebook before you make any money from your Facebook ads.”

Matt also sets the story straight on the difficulties of creating an affiliate program, explaining that it takes time to build up a steady flow of revenue and that attracting the right breed of affiliate partners can be a trial-and-error process.

If you’re thinking of joining the affiliate industry, then don’t miss out on this peek behind the curtain from an affiliate program veteran.

Listen to The Opportunity Podcast Episode #145

  • Apple Podcast
  • Google Podcast
  • Spotify Podcast

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • Matt’s background and how he got involved in the affiliate industry (02:52)
  • The importance of having a good relationship with your affiliate partners (10:55)
  • The type of affiliates Matt has served (23:03) 
  • The 3-5 core elements a beginner should focus on when building their affiliate site  (28:08)
  • AI in affiliate marketing (30:29)
  • Should every business have an affiliate program? (37:33)
  • How to set up an affiliate program for a small business (38:05)
  • Matt’s funniest moment in internet marketing (53:15)


Sit back, grab a coffee, and get a behind-the-scenes peek into the inner workings of the affiliate program industry!

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