“Once I started earning, I was motivated to do more things. Don’t give up before you see success,” said Jaseel SK, CPO at FareFirst. This is his story:
Back in late 2014, I heard from one of my friends that they had earned a decent amount of money from selling one of their books about the programming language C++ on Amazon.
During that time, I was studying mechanical engineering at PA College of Engineering Mangalore, India. After my time with college was complete, I purchased my own laptop and spent time exploring (and studying) the internet in an effort to make money, as well.
My first ventures didn’t go so well
I tried a few different things – promoting referral websites by sharing offers on multiple platforms and creating some websites built for a similar purpose – sadly, neither plans worked as expected.
After those initial shortcomings, I purchased a handful of good looking domain names that I wanted to hopefully sell for a big price tag. I failed again.
I then decided that, since I had these solid domain names, I would create my own websites on these domains. The first domain I looked at was Airwaysbooking.com and decided to see what travel affiliates were out there.
I ended up finding two different white label solutions that seemed interesting – Travelpayouts and Dohop. Dohop provided the white label solution, but Travelpayouts provided much more educational information and support for those that used the program. I had never been trained to make money on the internet, so Travelpayouts won out in the end.
Getting started with Airwaysbooking.com was hard. Traffic and users were slow at first. I used Facebook, Facebook groups, and other types of groups to drive as many people to the site as possible, but it was not enough.
I created my first app
Later, I found out about Travelpayouts’ mobile SDK for both Android and iOS and I used that to develop the first version of an app for both platforms. Shortly after, I had the app published on both platforms.
I joined with Travelpayouts in 2015. Frankly, they have been a complete gamechanger in my life. Once I started earning money through their service, I was motivated to do more and learn more. Their support team and the lead Ivan Baidin, is more than awesome and has been a great help in my endeavors.
I’ve also had the chance to visit their Phuket offices a few times to meet with the team and discuss more business opportunities – all of this comes together to provide the real energy behind my success.
I will say that it took me a few weeks to really understand the basics of mobile app development, but Travelpayouts’ mobile SDK was easy to understand and build, but also offered plenty of flexibility and customization. The apps created with the SDK were the main contributor in my exponential growth.
Earning good money took time and effort
Every day, I started earning a bit more through the Travelpayouts program. I didn’t know anything about the online market, and it took me months and long hours to get to a place where I was earning a profit.
The hardest part was the tech side because I didn’t have a tech background. Along with that, marketing took a lot of time, but I really loved doing all those things and I felt a lot of freedom in it.
By late 2015, I had started earning a decent income from Travelpayouts – approximately $400 a month. It jumped to close to $7,000 by the end of 2016. My earnings mainly come from mobile app bookings. I have invested the most time working on the app optimizations than with traditional web SEO and, fortunately, it has paid off for me.
Honestly, probably the greatest thing to come from my experience with affiliate programs is that I’ve been able to pay off my entire college expense and become independent, without the need of help from my parents. This has been one of the happiest parts of my life!
Until 2018, I was slightly over $200K USD per year from Travelpayouts, and most of the income came from mobile apps. I finished college in 2018 and fully focused on online marketing opportunities. I still live in india, so it’s a pretty high income, I can’t imagine doing another job and earning that much money.
After running affiliate marketing business for more than two years, I decided to start a mobile flight search engine, FareFirst. I’ve partnered with two people, Vishal and Yejnesh, who had both performed well in the tech and management fields. For me, it made sense to build a great team of experienced people which would allow me to focus on the marketing aspect of the business.
Within one and a half years, we reached 800k downloads, 150k monthly active users and expanded the team to 10 people.
We are aiming for one million downloads. To achieve that goal, we are experimenting with different methods without heavily investing in ad spend. The next step is to work on web SEO and become number one.
Affiliate marketing – keep at it!
Affiliate marketing still shines on the internet, even if it doesn’t have quite the buzz it used to. The key is to remain persistent. Many people try their hand at affiliate marketing but leave after a short amount of time if they aren’t making money.
For those interested, I suggest that all newcomers learn, and then learn some more, as that knowledge will be what eventually drives your success.
Affiliate marketing still shines on internet. However, I’ve seen many people who are not persistent enough. They try for some time and leave it because they haven’t gotten to the point where they start making money. I’d suggest all newcomers to learn more, eventually it will drive success. I think, anyone can still start an affiliate business in the mobile app space, and it’s better compared to the web.