Emanuel Cinca – father of industry’s favourite newsletter WHAT THE AFF

Productivity tricks and tips, hottest topics in affiliate marketing and money management


On-line marketing expert. Manu is a founder of affiliate industry’s favourite daily newsletter – WHAT THE AFF. He was a professional poker player, top affiliate marketer, moderated STM forum. He often speaks at international conferences anywhere between Brazil and India. Originally from Romania he is settled In Vienna now. TW: @, c

What is your current focus?

My current focus is WHAT THE AFF, a daily newsletter for marketers with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.


You never start a new project before you…?

Have enough money to test a minimum viable product, aka MVP.

What book would you give anyone in the industry to read?

Finch’s book “A Complete Guide To Affiliate Marketing”. The details for some things have changed (for example, there was no push traffic when he wrote it) but the principles are the same.

You might see a lot of freedom from successful people, which is great, but that’s the result of things they did before. Click To Tweet

Affiliate Marketing

Anything common you have noticed among super affiliates?

Emanuel Cinca
Emanuel Cinca

They are good with managing risk and working under pressure. Plus, almost everyone worked their asses off in their newbie days.

You might see a lot of freedom from successful people, which is great, but that’s the result of things they did before. Newbies won’t succeed if they follow what those who’ve already made it are doing now.

What are the hottest topics right now in the industry?

Facebook banning accounts, push traffic being good but also fragile with Chrome updates… Those 2 are the biggest topics when it comes to traffic sources.

When it comes to verticals and offer types, e-commerce and financial lead-gen seem to be leading the way. So running affiliate offers in those 2 verticals seem to bring most affiliates a positive ROI. Of course, other lead-gen still works for many but that’s how I’ve seen the pulse of what’s hotter than the rest.

What is the next big thing in affiliate marketing?

I have to give a vague answer and say that the next big trend I see is affiliates focusing even more on increasing the revenue per visitor they buy from other traffic sources.

So more and more people will gather push subscribers, phone numbers, emails, etc. to build their own lists so they can hit up the same audience without paying FB, Google and other platforms again.

Morning showers do more for me than any breakfast, coffee or energy drink. Click To Tweet


Apps that really make your job easier?

  • Slack – Really good for teams, especially remote ones like ours. We tried Microsoft Teams but it’s just not as good, in my opinion. The interface, the integrations, the mobile app, the structure for channels and workflow… Slack is better in my view. Don’t take this as advice for investing in Slack though.
  • Teamup calendar – Great for a shared calendar available anywhere with different level of access. So I can share with our sponsors without revealing who else has emails booked with us and when.
  • LastPass – Lifesaver for password management.
  • Google Drive – My preferred cloud storage because it works so well across devices and includes Sheets, Docs and Presentations from Google too. Makes it so that I can work anywhere, anytime, from any device, as long as I can connect, haha.
  • Zoom – It has the best quality for video or video calls from all the tools I tried. Slack is pretty good for this internally but for external calls, interviews, etc. Zoom is really good.
  • Asana – Quite powerful even under its free plan. I use it to manage tasks in our company so it’s our go-to project management tool.

What helps you the most to focus on task?

I tend to have music on while working most of the time but when I need to be 100% focused, I turn off all sounds and notifications. You can say silence helps me focus.

If you have under $1k set aside, you have to save more before you can start working on your own affiliate campaigns. Click To Tweet

What do you do when you can’t focus on work?

I take a 5-10 minute nap, trying to clear my head of other things aside from the task at hand.

What does your regular morning look like?

I wake up around 8am, check if there’s any emergency that came up overnight, shower then start going through my to-do list.

I almost never have breakfast, that’s one thing that I’ve skipping since high-school. I tried changing it over time because I thought there must be some truth in that old saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”… Not the case for me at all.

On the other hand, morning showers do more for me than any breakfast, coffee or energy drink.

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What is the worst advice to newbies always being given?

“$100 is enough to start” or similar where people suggest newbies to start with a low 3-figure dollar budget. If you have under $1k set aside, you have to save more before you can start working on your own affiliate campaigns. I’d say $2-3k is relatively safe, $1k is the absolute minimum.

What is the best advice you’ve ever heard regarding money management?

It’s pretty basic and it’s from poker… Essentially, have enough of a bankroll for the stakes you are playing. Take disciplined shots at higher stakes and move down when lost your “shot budget”.

For media buying, you can translate this as knowing how much you can spend on testing losing campaigns, how much you can spend daily on profitable campaigns given your cashflow and when to increase your average daily spend, when to decrease it.

It’s more fluid with media buying than in poker but there are quite a few similarities.

Thank you for reading

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