Partner and Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Revolution Force.
Born in sunny California Carmelo discovered his love for affiliate marketing while attending college at Foothill Junior College. What started out as a typical college journey soon turned into a life-changing event that led him to drop out of school. Carmelo’s story is filled with nothing but adventure and success, so make sure to check it out below.
How long have you been in the affiliate marketing industry?
Since 1998. I started with Amazon in affiliate marketing and 6 months later I built my first adult site.
Okay, so you began in 1998- it’s now 2019. How did you get to where you are today?
“It all began in college. I originally wanted to be a programmer.”
My first programming class was with C++. The class itself was designed for the quarter system, so everything moved quickly- too quickly. I was falling behind and completely disheartened. Even after tutoring, I was still failing. I ended up withdrawing from the class and switching my major to business. I later found out the course had to be broken up into two parts due to its difficultness.
Business changed it all.
My first business class(macroeconomics) changed my life completely. Part of the class curriculum was to order The Wall Street Journal and read the front page every day. I remember the third article I read was about Seth Warshavsky, the internet porn millionaire.
He stuck out to me because the guy was close to my age and well…a millionaire. During the dot-com era, Warshavsky’s media attention made him the face of the online pornography industry. I was fascinated and wanted to know more.
I checked out his site (Clublove.com) and saw there was an affiliate program. It was the same type of program I had been promoting through Amazon. The more I researched, the more I realized other porn sites had similar affiliate programs.
So what time period are we in? Still 1998?
Yes. I should mention I’m still working at a video store part-time and going to college. However, it wasn’t long after reading the Seth Warshavsky article I was able to quit my job.
“I saw the Wall Street Journal article in June 1998, and in July 1998, I bought my first hosting and launched my first adult site. The first site was a celebrity site and received so much traffic that I began launching more sites.”
By January 1st, 1999 I was no longer working at the video store, had dropped out of school and was working as a full-time webmaster.
“My failure in programming and switching to business really changed everything for me. It set me up for success. And for the next 10 years I ran full-time as a high-end affiliate.”
This sounds like quite the adventure. How did you end up partnering with Revolution Force?
Back in 2007, I called a friend of mine intending to buy Yahoo traffic from him. Instead, he told me he no longer worked at the company I needed traffic from and was now working at Adult Friend Finder (AFF). After catching up and a few phone calls later, I was offered a job at AFF. I accepted. I worked at AFF with Sean Christian from 2007 to 2011 as the Strategic Business Development.
In 2011, I left the company and went into part-time retirement/back to affiliate marketing. It wasn’t until 2013 would Sean and I work together again. Sean pulled me out of retirement to partner with him in launching the Together Networks USA office.
To tell you the truth launching the USA office is what sparked our interest in wanting to open our own office. So in July 2015, we opened Revolution Force.
Sean, what is it like working with Carmelo all these years?
“He is one of the most intelligent digital marketers that I have ever worked with. The best thing about working with him is he does not bring ego to the table and is a very hard worker.”
Now Carmelo, if we can, I’d like to go back a little while. Where did you grow up?
“The Bay Area. I grew up specifically in San Bruno, California (CA) until I was 10 then Burlingame, CA. As an adult I lived in San Francisco, CA.”
What was it like to grow up in the Bay Area?
Awesome. Being in an area that is computer tech-heavy fit my personality and it was awesome being there. I love tech and there was always new technology popping up around me.
“I remember being in 2nd grade having this cool thing that looked like a video game that we could play at school. It had a keyboard and a math game on there. Oh! And it had the game Oregon trail too. This thing was called an Apple IIe computer. I later read up on the history of these computers and it turns out Apple was giving out free computers to schools around them. And because I grew up down the street from Apple, I was lucky enough to grow up on computers sooner than most people my age would.”
What is your first memory with Revolution Force?
“My first memory is being with my business partners, in this brand-new city, having a welcoming party for everyone at the office.”
Our company party was held in a suite at Raley field (Sacramento’s local baseball team). We watched the Sacramento River Cats play and after the baseball game we all went to the fair to watch a demolition derby. It was the first time I’d been to a demolition derby and I watched a car catch fire. Everyone was fine, but it’s something I will never forget.
Let’s get more personal with these questions. What are your core values?
“I start by treating others how I want to be treated. Then I treat others the way they treat me.”
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I speak three languages: Italian, English and Spanish.
If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t give up easily and work hard. People give up so easily that they can’t see their hard work pay off.
What is a hobby of yours?
I like decorating my house and recently started getting into art more specifically fluid acrylic poring.
Whats next with Carmelo?
Barcelona! Make sure to stop by Booth 20 at Affiliate World Europe and say hello to Carmelo.
By: Lauren Van Sloten