Interview with Brian McLevis Founder & CEO of Envyus Media

Brian McLewis
Brian McLewis

Tell me a bit about yourself. How old are you? Where are you from?

Well, I was born and raised in Northern California in the Bay Area. At  age 23 I moved to the Midwest… good ole Kansas – yellow brick road and all. Early on and throughout my life I was very interested and drawn to computers. My first machine was an Apple II GS. My curiosity and need to understand and push the limits came with my first modem. Once the 1200 baud monster was unboxed and plugged in there was no stopping me in the online world.

At 13, I was deep into Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and started my own single line BBS using VBBS – at the time I was running a x86, single line modem, and multitasking using DESQview. I was into hacking, phreaking, couriering, and causing all types of havoc online – did you know there was an “internet” when nobody knew of the internet? Boy those days fun weren’t they?

Fast forward to today… I’m 33, own and manage Envyus Media and have a beautiful Wife and three wonderful kids that definitely keep me motivated and driven to succeed. Not to mention on my toes (in a good way!). They’re truly what drives me to get up before dawn and work deep into the night.

How long have you been working in affiliate marketing and what made you start?

I actually got my first taste of affiliate marketing about 5 1/2 years ago…

My Brother — who works at a well know adult dating site — turned me on to a bot that created accounts, sent messages, and did all the basic functions within MySpace, but was completely automated. MySpace was still a fledgling company and their code was very weak and very, very exploitable. In layman’s terms, this made them very ‘spammable’.

I was a system/network admin in the professional world at the time and fortunately I possessed the technical knowledge to scale this scenario and take full advantage of it. Eventually before long I was running 12 servers 24/7/365 pushing 3000GB xfer/mo through the internet pipes generating 30k unique views a day to my landers. Baptism by fire my Wife calls it and as such, I was thrust into the wonderful online world of making money online that we all know and love!

Tell us about Envyus Media and what you do there?

Envyus Media is my creation and was built from the ground up. Day in and day out and into the wee hours, I can be found day and night pounding on the clickity clack keyboard answering emails, sifting through fraud analytics reports, communicating with publishers, and monitoring day to day operations. I don’t and won’t ever do “just one thing” at Envyus Media because if I didn’t have my hands in every aspect of the business I wouldn’t be able to sleep comfortably at night.

I feel I need to be involved from all viewpoints and I take pride in being involved in all aspects of Envyus. I want to make sure affiliates are treated well, with their questions promptly answered with solid and knowledgeable responses. Likewise I want advertisers that are pleased with the quality of traffic generated from our network. I take pride in what I do, how I do it, and I have a strong passion for the business and for the success of Envyus Media. I want our affiliates to know they are not just “another affiliate” on a network – they are an intricate part of the Envyus Media family!

What Traffic sources do you specialize in?

Is this a trick question? We specialize in all sorts, of course! And that includes offline marketing traffic sources.

Given that there are a lot of networks out there, what makes Envyus Media stand out and why should affiliates want to join with you?

On one hand you can say that offers are offers and most affiliate networks do indeed have very similar offers. It’s common knowledge that some networks pay more than others and some networks have completely exclusive offers.

It’s almost become like a rinse-and-rewash cycle in regards to what new affiliate networks say when they first hit the ground running. Everyone claims to treat their affiliates the best, everyone claims to possess the best offers and highest payouts and everyone claims that they hold customer service above all else in their network philosophy. Just spin those three statements up with new adjectives and a noun or two and you’ve got yourself the script for what will be said for years to come.

Ultimately, we feel that the way we treat our affiliates and publishers will ultimately, somewhere down the line, have a direct reflection of said goodwill and kindness back upon us. You can go to the highest buildings in the most crowded cities around the world and spout off the most phonetically pleasing promises and claims as a network, but ultimately, all it’s going to get you is face time. While there are a lot of affiliate networks all throughout the industry, if you’re not getting face time just from existing as a network in this industry then you need to close up shop because you haven’t the first idea on how to market your company.

On this same token, we feel that treating all of our affiliates and publishers to the best of our ability, with all of the kindness and compassion we would want to receive in their steed is the way to go. We know from experience that doing this is the fastest route to real, loyal affiliates who will not only continue to run with us for the remainder of their careers, but will also go out of their way to let people know that Envyus Media is the place that you need to go if you wanted to be treated with dignity; if you want to be treated with respect and kindness and zeal regardless of how many years you have logged doing the damn thing. A full-on, loyal testimonial from an affiliate is a truly beautiful thing indeed!

Basically, when it’s all said and done, you need to review affiliate networks not by their words or overall affiliate list, but by their actions. By how they act and treat their affiliates when they don’t think that anyone is looking. This along with a network’s cadre of loyal affiliates, offer the truest representation of just how valued a particular network truly is.

Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates,  E-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?

It’s not really the traffic source in particular as much as it is how skilled and creative the affiliate in question is at running through their preferred traffic source. We have top-earning affiliates running all of these traffic sources — e-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying and many more. We cater to any and all types of affiliates and pride ourselves on being knowledgeable in each and every traffic type imagineable.

In your opinion, what are the best places for a new affiliate to learn affiliate marketing, and what advice would you give to them?

A lot of new affiliates come to me asking questions like “How do I make money online?” or “Where do I start?” The absolute hands down best advice I can give anybody starting out in this business is… Read… Read… Read… and then read more. There are forums littered with priceless information. Sit down for a week, two weeks, or even a month, and do nothing but read and soak up the knowledge and continue to do so even when you think you’ve reached the end and have attained what you need. Find a niche and a traffic method that interests you because you need to put your heart and soul into what you are about to do – anything less will not yield your desired results. Take things one step at a time and don’t try to do 3 or 5 different things.

Just concentrate on one traffic source/method and one niche until you are at a point where you are happy with your results. Now, keep in mind, if you’re not doing well in that niche or you continue to struggle with the traffic source/method, it’s definitely OK to stop what you are doing and try something else. That judgments call, I believe, comes with time and knowledge. Not every traffic source/method or niche is for everyone but you will find your groove and when you do … lookout! Run with it and run with it hard.

Essentially, there’s a period where you need to sit and learn and a period where you need to learn by doing. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes because they can and will occur. No doubt about it. Just be sure to learn from these mistakes and patch up those holes for the future.

Does Envyus Media offer any training for new affiliates?

Our Affiliate Manager Josh runs the Affiliate University blog on our website where he makes all sorts of posts catering to the new affilaite marketer. It’s definitely an excellent resource. And for those that need even more guidance, Josh is just as willing to provide one-on-one coaching via instant messenger for those walking their first affiliate marketing baby steps.

Does Envyus Media accept affiliates from outside of the USA?

Of course! However, the process is a bit more stringent than with USA affiliates — mainly due to the lack of international verification information. While the process to be accepted if you’re an international affiliate is a bit more complicated, it’s only done as a preventive measure and we appreciate and love bringing board affiliates no matter where they live in the world!

What qualities do you look for in prospective affiliates?

A strong work ethic and being driven to succeed no matter the trials and tribulations on the path to get there are definite pluses. Basically, we just want affilaites who are just as passionate and ready to put whatever work is necessary in — just like us!

For anyone that wants to work with Envyus Media, what is the best way and time to reach you?

We’re all on practically all day — we just can’t help it! I’d say the quickest way to get in touch with us is to call us up directly at (800) 450-9507 or hit up the staff, Paul or Josh on AIM/Skype/MSN/YIM. Screen names are envyuspaul and envyusjosh for each IM service.

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Written by AffiliScore


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