My name is Chris Derenberger and I’m 38 years old as of 2017. I’m married and have 4 children ages 6-16.
I’ve always had a fascination for computers ever since I started playing Oregon Trail on a floppy disk back in elementary school. In Jr. High, this desire kept growing and I took keyboard classes as well as computer science and learned how to create basic coding programs.
When I graduated high school in 1997, my goal was to go to college to get a degree in graphic designing. Unfortunately, we were not able to afford the tuition so instead I registered to go to my local college to take some basic classes. As I entered the college and was waiting to speak to my counselor outside her office, I fell into a deep thought.. “is this really what I want to do?”.
After about 10 minutes, I decided that going to college for 2-4 years and having to pay back a loan was just not what I wanted, so I walked out to find other options.
The Day It All Changed For Me
In 1998 I was searching on Amazon. For some reason, I scrolled to the bottom of the page and was reading all the links in the footer and happen to see the words “Associates Program“. Curious, I clicked it. I will NEVER forget reading this page. I was up all night thinking about what it said. “Earn commissions for referring others to Amazon”.
WHAT?! I can stay home and refer people to Amazon and make money? Nobody had ever heard of this.. in fact, Amazon was the very first company to offer an affiliate program which started in 1996. Ever since this day, my fascination for affiliate marketing has been alive and growing.
For a few years, I was trying to learn how to do affiliate marketing. There were no courses online, no training, no books to buy about it. Social media did not exist. The only thing I knew to do was to build a website and I had no idea how to do that. I remember buying some books on learning HTML and started there. Over the next few years, I had created several websites and made few sales. New software came available called WYSIWYG editors that allowed me to build websites much faster without knowing HTML.
At this time, you really didn’t need to know much SEO.. all you needed was to make sure your keywords were all over the page and it would rank. After I learned this, things really picked up!
Launch Jacking and Product Launches
I soon got into launch-jacking on Clickbank.. this became HUGE when affiliate marketing training courses started coming available! Making $2000-$5,000 per launch was the average and I would do several a month.
I would also do a lot of PPC with Adwords as competition was minimal and cost per click was very cheap.
They were very successful but the idea of doing customer service all day for these products became very tedious so I went back to affiliate marketing.
The Beginning of SEO
Google was starting to make a lot of algorithm changes and SEO was soon taking off. Trying to stay caught up with it became a challenge and I got discouraged as many of my websites were losing rankings.
I soon had to take my focus off of affiliate marketing and on SEO and it’s changes. Once I was able to identify the changes that needed made, sales starting picking up again.
I expanded my business from affiliate marketing to also a web design and SEO company called LayJax Media. My 2 dogs are Layla and Jax = LayJax 🙂
In August of 2013, I quit my full time job to be a stay-at-home dad of my 4 kids and a full-time husband. This was my desire for years and affiliate marketing made it come happen!
Being full time with affiliate marketing and web designing, I had the opportunity to also start a Amazon FBA business. In a matter of 3 months, we were having our own products designed and manufactured. This business exploded and took my focus from affiliate marketing once again..
My Future Plans
Today, I have a balance of work. I create websites for businesses on occasion and only when I have time. My primary focus is still on affiliate marketing yet I continue to maintain the FBA business for now.
As I look over my history and what I have learned, I’ve decided to create this website to share my experiences.