Young man with an e-business vision

YOUNG entrepreneur Robert Parker has turned the internet to his advantage and gained business success.

The 25-year-old from Burley has made his money from affiliate marketing after ditching his job as a fitness instructor.

He has over a dozen websites which specialise in diet and fitness and focus on promoting weight loss supplements.

And while his customers may be losing the pounds, he is gaining them - turning over up to 40,000 a year.

Affiliate marketing sees a website promoting the goods of a seller which then repays the site for doing the promotion.

Robert has specialised in online marketing for over five years and now has 15 successful sites.

He said: "I've always had an interest in business and after qualifying as a fitness instructor realised it really wasn't for me.

"I searched for some time for an alternative career.

"I wanted something that would give me flexibility and saw the internet as an obvious way to allow me to do this.

"A friend told me about affiliate marketing and, via a message board, I came across MoreNiche. I began working with them five years ago and now have 15 sites which combined are earning me enough money to live comfortably. My most recent is dietpillexpert.co.uk which has only been live a few months and is already bringing in a healthy return."

But Robert admits that it isn't a doddle and that he has to put in the hours to get the rewards.

He said: "It is hard work, certainly not as easy as people think. From the start I've approached this as a business and set aside time to work on the sites on a daily basis. When setting up a new site, I can spend 50 hours a week working. Once the sites are up and running, it takes me about 20 hours a week to keep them maintained and high up in rankings.

"Affiliate marketing works well for me. It means I can work from home, at times to suit me. As a result, it's meant I've already been able to buy my first home – something few 25-year-olds can claim to have done – can take holidays when I want and generally have a great lifestyle."

Robert puts his success down to the support he's had from affiliate marketing network MoreNiche and believes working with them has made a big difference to his annual income.

He said: "The team is incredibly supportive and helpful. It's one of only a few specialists in the UK and they make themselves accessible to the people they work with and happily give good advice free, unlike many who tend to charge,

"The company has created a real network: the forum it runs is a valuable resource and great for sharing tips and techniques that have worked well.

"I'd never turn my back on affiliate marketing now. I have 15 successful sites, which I hope to build on, and am certainly keen to explore and develop sites around other growth sectors.

"For me, this career has been a lifeline and has steered me away from a low paid job to something which is earning me good money and enables me to live life to the full."