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Interview with Ryan Eagle + Eagle Web Assets.
I'm very pleased and excited to bring you an exclusive interview with my man and industry icon Ryan Eagle of "Eagle Web Assets". If you are one of the very few who have been asleep under a rock the past few years you may not know who Ryan Eagle is and what he does. He is best known for owning two of the most successful affiliate networks, Eagle Web Assets and BLAM Ads.
So I'd like to start by asking you to give us a brief about yourself and your empire.
Well, if you haven't heard about me you are either new to the industry or completely broke. I've been in the game since 2004. I started affiliate marketing in 2005, and if you read any of the other interviews about me you probably know my entire story. I live for business and I love creation. My mind is constantly moving 100 miles an hour; picking up new business ideas and ways to quickly implement them. I am the owner of Eagle Web Assets which is the holding company for several entities including the better-known EWA Network and BLAM Ads. My companies have risen to become the most successful in their own right because we work harder and think smarter than any competitor in the industry. We thrive in competitive markets because we bring true innovation to the table, learning from our competitors' weaknesses. We built an all around better solution for our clients. I still work just as hard as I ever have because I always have the superstition that somebody will try to “come up on me.” The only person that has comes close is my business partner. I am the absolute best at what I do and I love to remind people of that. Some people find me intimidating, some cocky, but most people love me – but at the end of the day I'm here to make people rich.
First and foremost I'd like to say how pleased I am to see you recovering from your lung issue and I speak on behalf of the whole of CPAFix when I say we wish you a speedy and full recovery, can you tell us what you went through and how are you bearing up now?
We were talking a couple nights ago about how the whole thing was public, what can I say–I'm even a marketer when I'm laying in a hospital bed! To be honest with you, I think the entire incident was caused by stress and surprisingly I let it get to me. Usually I do well under stress but every couple weeks I have that day in which I am just completely overburdened. This happened at the end of a two-month traveling tour right after the adult conference XBIZ. The evening proceeding the collapse I was meeting with both affiliates and merchants, plotting over expensive dinners and glasses of Pellegrino. The rigorous schedule had me overtired, I was staying up for 5 in the morning and waking up at 9. The night before this happened I was at a dinner followed by a meeting that ended at 3 AM. I had to wake up at 730 in the morning to meet with investment bankers in Palm Beach, and to say the least, I am not a morning person. I made it to the appointment on time surprisingly, and then proceeded directly to the conference. At the conference, my phone rang I was alerted of an emergency situation that needed my attention immediately. Within 5 minutes. of arriving at the conference I had to head back to the hotel room, and there my chest buckled. Believe it or not, I kept going and continued that day awaking to a new day. I was progressively getting worse and my girlfriend arrived for a weekend trip that I had planned. My chest felt heavier still. She immediately knew what was going on and forced me to the hospital again. I had been trying to convince myself it was simply a cough that I caught from traveling. Next thing you know, I'm getting surgery and I'm in the hospital bed. It's been a couple weeks since the surgeries but I am still in quite a bit of pain; however, I'm confident it will soon pass.
If it wasn't your lung, relaunching RyanEagle.com, completion of BLAM4 Technology, and so much more this really has been a busy year for EWA and yourself. Can you enlighten us on some of the points above and expand on the main points of each?
Like every year, I keep myself very busy. I remember when I first organized my core companies in a way that I could have time off and had that day for only a couple hours work to be done I absolutely lost my mind. For whatever reason I need to be involved with either starting, running, or building new businesses all the time. In early 2011 our company refocused on building up our core assets and reorganizing our companies in a way to improve efficiency. Since then, I've been spending most my time organizing and viewing every single aspect of my businesses to improve them. I was told once that it's better to own a hotel and 3 slum houses on the same property and that's what I've been focused on primarily. Our company has grown in size drastically nearing 175 employees across all my companies (excluding outsourced teams), and with that number we had undergone a huge number of reorganizations. Some divisions within my company got completely outsourced offices that we opened in Bangladesh, Philippines, and India. We took the talent within certain divisions of which are now overseas and replaced them with divisions that require US-based employees. Improving the infrastructure and operations within existing companies can help drastically increase the profit that I make.
At Blam Ads, we finally completed Blam 4 Technology. This project was almost two years in development and got released last November. I decided to do it the hard way and just throw my affiliates into a program and asked for their advice. We released hundred of updates and hundreds of features all requested by our members. The new technology allowed us to increase our EPCs by upwards of 200% and we were able to accept 20,000 publishers into our network after leaving them waiting. As soon as we did this, our competition began to react in complete despair and that alone has been fun to watch. The only thing left that we plan for our publishers is a fully updated UI that will make it easier to navigate and set up content gateways. From there is the 5 technology, but you will have to wait for that!
In regards to my website, it was long overdue. The old design was created in 2004 and hasn't been updated since so I figured for a fun side project I would develop something that was a little bit more unique from anything that's been out there. Being a marketer I have to market myself first and if I can successfully market myself, I can successfully market anything. People love following me because ever since I made my splash onto the Internet scene I have kept it real and have never been that same consistent asshole. Apart from my business assets, I also just like to share who I really am. A lot of people get different misconceptions about me but at the end of the day I'm just a normal person with too much money that likes to stunt on pussies and talk a lot of shit.
The thing I personally admire about yourself more than anyone in the industry is how you have cleverly branded yourself as much as your company, whilst some others choose to sit in the shadows why did you decide to be such an transparent front man?
Honestly, most of what I did was not planned. I just did myself, and I am a flashy, cocky, arrogant marketer that loves wearing multicolored suits with matching alligator shoes. Nobody does that; people even ask me “Are you real?”, in real life. So the person that you see online is essentially the same person that you see in person. That's primarily why the critics from before are not close friends of mine now, because the same person they criticized for being me, realized that it actually is me. People like having fun while making money, and I showed affiliates that there didn't need to be a faceless brand behind getting rich.
So that's one side of things, on the other side we know of your partner Harrison Gevirtz at EWA but I'm sure I'm not alone when I say you don't hear much from him, what exactly is his role within your company and how did you become partners?
Harrison is my equal business partner but a lot more conservative, and that's probably for the better.
Harrison and I met years and years ago when he was just 13 years old and I wasn't even legal to smoke cigarettes. Throughout the years we kept bouncing into each other in different industries and quickly formed a strong friendship. Harrison was an extremely successful affiliate with more connections with merchants than I could ever imagine, and I was quickly becoming one of the most well-known (or infamous) affiliate marketers in the game. We both shared the same dream of starting a network and we decided to ride my public image and use his deep merchant connection to start EWA Network. Harrison now oversees the entire business development division consisting of twelve account executives and several other employees, our in-house collections which will soon be released for public use in a separate company, some of our internal media buying, and mediates negotiations for some media reselling that we do. He is one of the best negotiators and can be even more ruthless than I can be. I'd expect over the next couple months that you'll be hearing a lot more from him, to say the least. Additionally, he just launched our newest company Gevirtz Receivables.
I also see that family is everything to you, personally employing your mother, father and brother within the company. Do you argue like any other family or is it all peaceful in paradise?
Being able to work next my family has been one of the biggest blessings my company has given me. From the beginning of my entire Internet business long before I started EWA my family was involved. My brother was the programmer who helped me develop the coding that powered my websites. My father helped as a liaison to the lawyers and accountants to handle my money. When my affiliate marketing became big enough to require full-time financial help, my father was hired aboard. Overall, I can honestly say that most things between my family is pretty peaceful and we are in a really great period of our lives; although that doesn't mean that we don't have our moments! I Work across from my father every single day so he sometimes has to deal with the verbal outbursts that I can have from time to time, that he truly sets a great example of being able to calm me down and not take it personally. I can only note a couple instances where the fight involved more than just me getting upset, and that in itself is a blessing. Additionally, I get to work with my mother where she gets to fill her role in protecting me once again (lol). She handles and manages our compliance department, and to say the least – she is very diligent and has helped my companies form a flawless reputation.
We all see the watches, cars, suits and such but no one really understands the pressure you must be under having all this internet fame and wealth. I'm sure people have heard you are now 100% sober but what really happened with the drink and drugs and how hard did it hit you, honestly?
People assume because I'm wealthy everything is okay, and that life is just dandy. Don't mistake me for being ungrateful, but I'm just like everybody else. I go through my stresses, my highs, my lows, and all the emotions that everybody else goes through. Even though I made myself wealthy and successful I still share some of the same struggles that other people do. Everything in life is a double-edged sword, because of my success I'm under more scrutiny than anybody else. I'm sure even on this interview you'll get a visit from some of my haters in the comments below, and even though it does nothing but motivate me–there is a part of me that hates that aspect of getting success. Additionally, the livelihood of 175 employees sits on my shoulders and I have to deal with that every day. I love knowing that people can live a successful life because they work for me but it also allows me to redouble my efforts to ensure that they can continue doing so.
Sobriety is a huge part of my life, as many know but not many people know how much time I invest in keeping sober. Staying away from the drink or drugs is the absolute most important thing in my life. Absolutely everybody I know, everything I own, and everything that I work for lies completely upon me maintaining my sobriety today. I don't like to go into the long drunk story of Ryan Eagle, but from the minute that I touched drinking and drugs I absolutely loved it and wanted to it every single day. I used the first time when I was 14 and by the age of 20 I was completely addicted to drugs; spending upwards of $1000 a day maintain my habits. It started out fun and became my worst enemy, it became something that I could not live without and couldn't live with. I used because I loved the feeling, and rationalized it for thousands of reasons. I got sober a couple months before I could legally take a drink. I am closely approaching my 4 years completely clean and sober. I feel like I was given a second chance, and I'm confident that there are none after this so I never take life for granted. I'm completely grateful for everything that I have.
Talk to me about all these branch outs and foreign sister companies of EWA, why did you think this was necessary and why couldn't it be done under one roof?
We have scaled EWA Network into several new countries and we just recently began to launch them one by one. This is one of the most exciting projects for me personally because it allows me to meet new people and step out of my comfort zone completely. I have already conquered the English-speaking demographics like United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. I made it look too easy, and to be quite blunt I was getting bored of taking everybody's business. I wanted to build businesses in areas that previously have access to high-quality networks that the English-speaking countries are used to. It has been super exciting for me to meet all the new affiliates, employees, and partners throughout the world. This project is something that will be ongoing throughout the year, it's fun to be several steps ahead of the competition. I am confident that this will be yet another good move for our business, especially considering we are to have such a large focus on international offers.
You've reached out to me before and always supported what we're doing at CPAFix so for that I am very grateful, and when you reached out to do this interview it reminded me how far CPAFix has come, but what if any other industry resources could you actually say you recommend and maybe one or two words about what we're doing?
CPAFix, CPAFix, CPAFix and CPAFix. I only suggest the best.
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