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Affiliates talks: Aleksandr Chekulaev

Hello everyone! Today, Aleksandr Chekulaev, head and founder of the Fb-killa affiliate marketing media resource and ex-affiliate came to chat with us! His name, as well as the Fb-killa forum itself, are known to many in the affiliate community. In this interview, we talked about the sources of monetization that his service has, its annual profit and statistics, about the future of the service, Aleksandr’s affiliate past, and much more!

The word Fb-killa, like the name Aleksander Chekulaev itself, is already quite familiar to many and partly self-explanatory, but anyway. Here’s what we want to ask you first – who are you at the moment, what do you work with, and what’s your way of living these days?

I am still the CEO of FB-killa – I’m working on the development of the project, its marketing, and attracting new members. At the same time, I am developing my video blog in which I share my thoughts about the digital world.

Please tell us about yourself.

I am 32 and have been working online since 2012. I started working with traffic from my own websites, then switched to affiliate marketing on Vkontakte. Then there was myTarget, then I worked with Vkontakte groups for a long time and finally started driving Facebook traffic, the result of which became my own media outlet. In 8 years of working with paid traffic, I realized that affiliate marketing isn’t as interesting to me as the field of journalism. Hence the current work.

Still, we would like to hear more details on this issue – why aren’t you doing affiliate marketing now?

Affiliate marketing requires constant attention and costs a lot of nerves due to its perpetual “storms” in various traffic sources and other external factors. As I said above, I have been involved in affiliate marketing for about 8 years and this time was enough to understand that we are not made for each other 🙂

Affiliate marketing has rarely been the main source of my income, I have never been a top affiliate, so it was more fun than work.

How did the Fb-killa forum start? What inspired you and what was the original idea?

Initially, we wanted to gather a closed community like CPAclub, only for those who drive Facebook traffic.

Then the concept changed and we made the message board open to everyone. Basically, most users know the forum as an affiliate platform, it was closed for only about 2-3 months.

How do you see the near future of Fb-killa? Say, in 5 years?

Now, 5 years after its founding, FB-killa is no longer only about Facebook affiliate marketing – we also write about other sources: TikTok, Google, Vkontakte, we run an advertising blog and successfully present ourselves on the global market.

 *a screenshot of the forum’s visit statistics from different countries for the last quarter*

In 5 years, it’ll be an even bigger traffic database that goes beyond classic affiliate marketing.

Did you also mention that you worked as an SMM manager in an affiliate program? Tell us about this experience. What kind of affiliate program was it and how long did you manage to work there?

Yes, back in 2015 I worked for Elonleads affiliate program for about 5 months, it closed a couple of months after I left. At that time, the program’s business model wasn’t at all viable: starting from its investors from the agricultural niche to their young, ambitious, but inexperienced director.

It was interesting to get such an experience since some aspects of the work of an affiliate program can only be learned by being a part of the system. But the key thing for me was that since working in this affiliate network, I have never worked offline again.

Your editor Marusya periodically rolls out very valuable tips on affiliate marketing (and not just affiliate marketing). Can you tell us a little about her, does she have an affiliate background?

You said it right, Marusya is an editor. Her task is to work with creators, request materials, and edit their texts. For this position, it’s not necessary to have an affiliate background – even if there is some kind of a mistake in her column, it’ll always be corrected by the chief editor (that does have experience in affiliate marketing).

What are the sources of monetization for the Fb-killa project? Does the project’s income allow you to only concentrate your full attention on it or do you have to rely on some other earning sources?

FB-killa is monetized only by advertising from affiliate networks and services + referral payments. Income covers the work of the entire editorial office and allows me to concentrate only on the development of the project without third-party investments.

Here’s a direct and indiscreet question. What profit has the Fb-killa project already made this year?

Unfortunately, I can’t give a specific answer, this item is in the NDA.

I can only say that the revenue pays for the staff of 8 people, all operating expenses, taxes, and there’s still more left.

Does Fb-killa cooperate with any affiliate programs on a permanent basis?

Yes, of course, we have many advertisers with whom we have been cooperating for years. There are certain placements that are paid for several months in advance.

What was your maximum income in affiliate marketing? What year was that and what vertical? Do you remember your best offers?

Probably the best offer was the services of some beauty parlor (I don’t remember the exact name now, it was Ad1 network’s offer) together with myTarget and targeting in certain cities, I was consistently earning about 50k rubles per month in 2014.

This offer is the best not in terms of profitability, but in terms of stability – for several months, I was just replenishing the budget and making my profit.

In one of your recent interviews, you were asked about the office, which is quite large for only 8 people (how many square meters is it, by the way, to be exact?). You said that in difficult times, you considered renting it out, but it never came to that. And what helped you out then, maybe some unexpected income from advertising? And also, at the end of the question about the office, you said that it would become even cooler. Share your plans for those cool new features.

Yes, we have a really big office – 300 sq.m. and a cold warehouse of about 50 sq.m., and this is really a lot for such a small team.

But I always try to look into the future, where such a place will be justified by the staff and type of work.

And all the plans for the development of our team fit into such a place, we just need to grow a little more 🙂

Regarding renting out – yes, at some point, I thought about it when I was writing on Instagram about what was happening with FBkill at that moment. Friends from Affstar came to the rescue – we agreed on new unique integrations and that helped us get through a difficult moment. Thanks to Marina Chernova and her team for their initiative, I am very grateful to them, sincerely. I hope that they’re also satisfied with our cooperation.

Regarding the further plans for a cooler space, I wrote earlier that we are expanding the topics of our message board and, at the same time, preparing other products in order not only to expose our users to advertising but to keep them creating a full-fledged ecosystem. I hope that we will be able to surprise them more than once within a couple of years.

How is the traffic on Fb-kill doing now? Can you reveal some numbers for this year, for the last month?

After February 2022, the traffic dropped noticeably from 3000 unique users per day to 1700. Then, there was summer (1600 daily unique users). And now, again, we’re in a new situation that interferes with our ways of trying to grow the service peacefully.

Nevertheless, we continue our work, trying to take current situations into account and correlate plans based on the situation in the world. So, we started running a YouTube channel, started an advertising blog, intensified our work with creators, and made an international section on the forum.

Over the past couple of months, we have got our traffic back to an average of 2,000 people per day and continue to smoothly and systematically increase our volumes.

Is Fb-killa currently engaged in its own promotion or can it already exist just by its current traffic volumes, under its own momentum?

Yes, we’re preparing special contests for our readers, participating in conferences, maintaining our own YouTube and blog on the forum, and attracting new creators. We were able to live under our own momentum in pre-Covid times and the pre-crisis 2019, but not in 2022 and further.

Also, in one of your interviews, we read that you engage third-party experts to write articles and case studies on affiliate marketing. What is the highest number of affiliates involved in this rotation in one month and six months? Are they the same people or do they change frequently?

We have both permanently-based creators and new ones. Some write on the forum themselves, developing their brand through blogs (we post copyrighted articles for free), and other creators we attract for a fee.

In six months, we have worked with about 30 creators, of which about 5 work with us on a permanent basis

Have you ever experienced professional burnout and how did you deal with it?

Yes, this happens because of doom scrolling, when the focus shifts from work to my inner emotional stress. At this time, I try to either take a break from the internet for 2-3 days and spend time with my family, or switch to an important task with a short deadline in order to return my focus to work.

In general, I try not to engage in self-torture and suffering as if “everything is bad” or “I can’t do anything” – this is simply unproductive and doesn’t help to get out of the emotional hole of burnout. If you can work – work, if you can’t – take a vacation, go out and experience nature, spend time with your family. But the main requirement is not going online.

Give some advice to those who read the interview to the end.

Since you have finished reading it, you definitely have enough patience 🙂 so I wish you to continue to stubbornly go towards your goal, without being distracted by external factors. Only you’re by your side until the end of your life, so nothing and no one can influence this life more than you yourself.