Loes Knetsch ©
I am very honored that Aykut Pehlivanoglu wants to give his time to an interview for my website. Aykut is a successful internet entrepreneur and affiliate marketer. He is the founder of AffiliateProgramDB.com, WorthOfWeb.com, Toolbox5.com & SuggestMeMovie.com
I am always interested in the person who is typing on a keyboard behind the websites, and I am happy that you allow me to ask you some questions Aykut.
Personal info about Aykut Pehlivanoglu
Loes: Who is Aykut? Who are your mom and dad? What can you and do you want to share about you personally?
Aykut: It is a pleasure Loes. Thanks for having me ツ My parents are both architects. I graduated from METU as a chemical engineer. I haven’t worked in the chemical industry though except for a couple of internships. I served as an officer in the Turkish Navy for a year. After that full-throttle in the software industry. I co-founded a software development company and a game studio. I ran the software company for 12+ years, my partner and I ran the game studio for 9+ years. I was the Marketing and Operations Director of an American web brokerage for a few years. I am fluent in English and Turkish, ok in French, a beginner in Russian and German.
Loes: That’s impressive, a pity you do not speak Dutch though. What world events make you very angry?
Aykut: Populism, ignorance, the usual stuff ツ G. Michael Hopf wrote “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” I feel like we are at the end of this cycle.
Loes: There is no end to this cycle, we just repeat, I think. Can you tell me a characteristic you despise in other people?
Aykut: “Ultracrepidarianism is the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.” Yes, this one ツ
I want to shout at these people (forgive my Dutch), “Schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest” (“A cobbler should stick to his last”)
Loes: So you do speak Dutch ツ That’s great! Next question: What is your life motto?
Aykut: Let’s continue with Dutch philosophy and quotes. “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” ― Desiderius Erasmus. Just kidding. I just want to live a simple and peaceful life with the beloved ones ツ
Best & Highest Paying Affiliate Programs on AffiliateProgram|db
Loes: Of course you did not immediately have all websites online, at what age did you start and what did you start with?
Aykut: I was experimenting with funny GIFs, FrontPage, free web hosting, and a 56k modem (remember the sound?) during high school years. Many years later I return to the stage with a Flash game portal. It was during Navy time. I guess I was bored during the day ツ
Loes: Yes I do remember the sound and dialing in :(. What is the connection between AffiliateProgramDB.com, WorthOfWeb.com, Toolbox5.com & SuggestMeMovie.com. Suggest me movie seems like a completely different subject. Can you explain what your websites are about and why they are useful?
Aykut: Worth Of Web and Suggest Me Movie were personal projects to satisfy my own needs. I was comparing websites of my clients to their competitors, and our websites in the industry. I was not satisfied with current algos so developed my own. Then decided to make it public.
Same story with Suggest Me Movie. When you watch so many movies, as I do, you ran out of ammunition. I decided to create a more direct and clever recommendation engine. Then showed it to some friends, and made it public afterward.
Toolbox 5 was a side-project, it is my take on ordinary tools.
Loes: I also added toolbox 5 to the amazing website tool list. What projects are you currently working on?
Aykut: Affiliate Program Database (APDB). I focus on it almost full-time. It is also a project that solves my pain first. As a publisher, I wanted to see the big picture. APDB is a reflection of that.
Loes: Where do you see yourself in the competition?
Aykut: I can answer this around APDB. Especially in the affiliate marketing ecosystem, everyone is so focused on taking advantage of each other. It is so rare to find unbiased information. Back to your question above, “what despises me?”, and my answer. Well, in this industry, the majority of people do not have a clue what they are sharing. Paste your affiliate link everywhere, literally every corner.
They do so just focusing on fooling someone else. It works the same when people suggest you affiliate programs to join. It leads to choosing the wrong affiliate program, then wasting your money, time, energy, and even worse, your reputation and audience. We try to change that. I believe people will notice what we do when they compare us to our competition.
Loes: I like that attitude. How accurate is your Worth of Web calculator? Is it something like Alexa? Or do I now compare apples with pears?
Aykut: No, you are on point. Nowadays WOW estimates worth, revenue, traffic, etc. based almost all on Alexa Rank. You can think it as an extension of Alexa Rank. Back in 2011, when I first coded the first version of the calculator, it was using a mixture of Alexa Rank, PageRank, and social figures. About accuracy, not 100% of course. Because it is an automated algorithm that needs to use (to cover a wide range of websites in an instant) public rankings.
However, if someone from your audience is about to sell or buy a website/web-based business, please check our “Sell a Website” or “Buy a Website” pages and contact us. For qualified sellers and buyers, our licensed exit consultants can provide an accurate evaluation and point you in the right direction for free.
Loes: Of course I used the calculator my website and found it worth $1.511. Nice, although I am not selling it. What is the most difficult part of creating a successful website, in your opinion?
Aykut: Now, I am looking at the sky and thinking “How many websites have I created in my life?”. Funny, I didn’t think it for so long. Maybe 400-500 in total. Yes, I am old ツ
There are so many moving parts on a website. It is like a modern car actually. So it is easy to forget something which can affect your success and you will not even notice. Imagine, when you think you thought about and covered all the aspects of your newly-born website, you forgot to change your page title and it says “WordPress Theme ZZZ, your favorite theme bla bla” there. Oops, you forgot to remove the big sticker from your number plate of your car. Now, everyone, including Google, thinks your website is about WordPress themes where you are talking about heart diseases in your blog posts.
You get my point. It takes time to master and set up everything as it should be. Don’t hurry, don’t try to chase all the rabbits at onceツ
Loes: Time for a script, with all points step by step. I even use a script for every blog to remember all steps. How long did it take you to get to this level? I know that Mark Zuckerberg, the FB icon, first had some flopped projects for example.
Aykut: I don’t think I am so successful. Experienced, maybe. I like this illustration. You only see the current act of a performer. You don’t easily understand the pain he/she had until that point.
As I said before, I ran a game studio. We were producing Flash games at first then mobile and web games. As a part of the entertainment industry, you experience first hand how hard it is to create a game. Check this movie if you are into the subject. A successful game recipe: countless hours of sweat, agony, suffering, torture, depression, and.. stars being aligned (big-time). We had a game (a soccer penalty shootout) that has been played more than 500 million times in total (different languages, mediums, etc.). But the games we could not publish or just played a dozen times in a year, so many of them. So imagine the effort and rewards. Entertainment ecosystem is more brutal than blogging and affiliate marketing though, don’t be alarmedツ
Rovio made 51 games before “Angry Birds.”
So I tried hundreds of ideas. Some of them survived and became popular. By the way, I think ideas are worthless, execution makes them valuable. I can give your idea $5 now if you want to sell it. Your execution will put zeros after that $5.
Best Social Media websites
Loes: What is the most successful Social Media platform in your opinion? Can we survive online without Social Media?
Aykut: It depends who is asking ツ If you are in beauty and cosmetics niche, Pinterest. Travelling, Instagram. Big business, LinkedIn ツ It all depends on the demographics and habits of your audience.
I survive without it, I use it for business purposes only, and to log in to places ツ I think modern social media evolving into a vortex of “come, let’s collect more of your data, so we can sell more of stuff to you which you can show on social media tomorrow”.
Loes: On which Social Media platforms can my readers follow you?
Aykut: Medium, LinkedIn, Twitter .. and if its algorithm allows me to reach my own audience, Facebook ツ
Best Book Affiliate Marketing Ecosystem
Loes: I understand you write e-books too. What topics do you cover in your e-books?
Aykut: I currently write on Medium. In e-book format, you will see chapters as posts, I do it to keep everything up-to-date. My latest posts are about Affiliate Marketing Ecosystem. I am curating the subjects that I don’t want to put on APDB.
My most notable piece of writing was a Turkish e-book. I was organizing small meetups with local programmers. I noticed the hardship they are having with the marketing side. It inspired me to write on the subject. It was called “Yazilimcinin Pazarlama ile Imtihani” (The Fight of a Programmer with Marketing). I decided to release it for free to support the community. It was received very well, shared in industries even outside the software ecosystem. It felt good ツ
Loes: I have as a motto, what you send out, you get back, so give everything to everyone. Do you remember how you felt with your first publication on the internet?
Aykut: First time feels weird, like in many things in life ツ Only after a certain time, after you write and publish a dozen posts, you understand how amateur your first ones were. But practice makes it perfect and it is natural. Dan Brown says “Write like nobody’s watching because guess what? Nobody’s watching.”
Loes: Yes, you are right, my first posts were dreadful.
Loes: What are you doing in your free time?
Aykut: Movies, bizarre Scandinavian TV Shows (like Hellfjord), walking, reading, swimming, traveling (in a previous life, now), watching cycling (the “Grand Tours” and the “Classics”), learning Russian (spoiler: I can’t)
Loes: If you had the chance to dine with 3 interesting people, who would you invite? (That would be a colorful company for me. I would invite Tina Turner, Malala Yousafzai and Ester Hicks)
Aykut: I guess you will not reject them if I invite 5: Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking
Loes: An interesting scientific club, a lot of ideas will be discussed there. What do you spend the most money on?
Aykut: Rent of a Lamborghini, private jet and mansion, and the expenses of video production. Because I am a self-proclaimed guru who wants to teach (only for
$25000 $999, limited spots) the methods of how to make money instead of actually making money for myself with those methods ツ
Loes: I leave it to my readers to comment on this ツ Where do you think you will be after 25 years?
Aykut: Even one year is a lifetime in the internet world. If there will not be plagues, asteroids or aliens, I will be around ツ
Loes: What are you most passionate about? And what makes you really happy?
Aykut: Creating, producing, and seeing that it is useful for people. Positive feedback (believe me, I saw enough of negative and destructive type, like these ones) makes me happy. Oh, do you want to make me happy? Pour down 5-stars for APDB on Trustpilot ツ
Loes: Thank you very much for answering my questions in such a nice and comprehensive way. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you also have questions you would like to ask me? Or do you want to share something interesting about something I forgot to ask?
Aykut: It was a pleasure. I would like to answer the questions of your audience below as much as I can. Yes, I am ready, hit meツ