Charles Interviews Mobile Super Affiliate Rio Lim

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

I went to Bangkok last week to hang out for a few days. While there, I met up with my good friend Rio Lim for a networking session and thought I’d shoot a quick video with him.
You guys are gonna love him. I’ve known Rio for a little over a year and this guy has an amazing story. Think it’s too late to be a super affiliate? Your loss. Check out his video below!
In the video we talk about mobile traffic sources, but not specific ones.
If you’re going to be running mobile campaigns, you need to know where to buy your traffic.

Click below to download my list of mobile traffic sources.

Download the Mobile Traffic Source List Here


On a side note I’m stepping up my video game big time. Shooting with a new Camera (Lumix LX100, and my team has helped with show notes / transcription). Sound quality will be better once I’m back in America and can use my Lavalier mic. 

Rio’s Background

Rio Lim was a professional poker player from Singapore.  On a lonely flight, he started talking to Tim Tetra, a super affiliate and was introduced to the world of affiliate marketing. 

Rio began his journey into mobile marketing in March 2014 with no prior knowledge of the industry and just slightly over a year later, he’s doing $xx,xxx daily in revenue.  Today, he has a team of 4 employees to continue to manage and grow his campaigns, systems, and brand.

You can find Rio on his Facebook page HERE

Topics Covered in this Interview Include

  • Rio’s personal story and journey from newbie to super affiliate
  • The major resources that helped Rio become successful
  • The big breaking point in Rio’s affiliate marketing journey
  • Advice for beginner affiliate marketers
  • Keys to success in affiliate marketing
  • 3 key tips for mobile marketing

Show Notes

:42 – How Rio began his affiliate marketing journey

5:50 – Why Charles noticed Rio

9:02 – How Rio began networking and building relationships in the industry

9:48 – The breaking point in Rio’s affiliate marketing career

10:28 – Rio’s key to success

12:16 – The biggest mistake that most newbies make in affiliate marketing

13:32 – Rio’s quick tip that allowed him to focus and find success so quickly

13:52 – What’s going on with Rio today

14:55 – Rio’s next step in his business

16:20 – 3 Tips for mobile marketing

16:30 – Top verticals to enter when beginning mobile marketing

18:18 – Simple optimization tips

Resources Mentioned

StackThatMoney Forums


Charles: Hey, everyone. Charles Ngo. I just landed in Bangkok today, and I’m actually about to do a mobile mastermind session with one of my good friends, Rio Lim. I thought to myself, “While I have him here, why not shoot a video for you guys?”

Rio has a very interesting story. How I got to know him is, a year ago, he didn’t even know what affiliate marketing was, and now this guy is doing five figures a day in mobile marketing. He has such an interesting story.

Basically, Rio, first question I want to ask you is, how did you hear about affiliate marketing?

Rio: It’s a very crazy story. What happened was, before I came into affiliate marketing, I was playing poker. I was on this plane from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and I met this super affiliate by the name of Tim Tetra.

Charles: First thing is, are you Thai?

Rio: No, I’m from Singapore.

Charles: Okay, so from Singapore, how did you end up in Thailand? Was it because of poker?

Rio: I was playing poker so I was traveling a bit. I landed in Chiang Mai. I love to play, so I ended up staying there for two years.

Charles: Okay, and with your playing poker, were you good? Were you professional? Were you earning a living playing poker?

Rio: I was. I was making $10K a month or so on average.

Charles: Was it very up and down?

Rio: It was swinging. In some months you will make four, in some months you’ll make 15.

Charles: Wow. Sounds like affiliate marketing a little bit. So you already had kind of a little bit of mindset that adapted to the ups and downs. You mentioned you met a super affiliate.

Rio: I met Tim Tetra. He was on his way to STM Bangkok, and he said he was a speaker there. I was like, “Wow, this is pretty awesome.” He invited me to check it out, so I went there.

Charles: Where was this, like at a club or an airplane ride? Where did you meet him?

Rio: I met him on the plane. I was flying alone. I was alone. I was bored, and he was with his girlfriend. I decided to start a conversation with him because I was so bored. I thought, “Hey, why not talk to somebody?”

Charles: Wow, that conversation changed your life. Did you go to STM Bangkok?

Rio: I did because I was really fascinated by what he told me about affiliate marketing. It wasn’t about the money because I really didn’t know how much he was making back then. It was the idea that you can be working online, building a real business, and still be traveling a lot.

Charles: That’s why it carries a lot. You say you’re making five figures a month in poker. In poker, you do have freedom. You can work anywhere you want. What was it that was attractive about affiliate marketing?

Rio: The thing with poker is, it’s always a job. It’s very hard for you to scale. If you stop working, you don’t make money. In affiliate marketing, it’s very easy for you to create a business and then pivot because the skills you have is very transferable.

Charles: Yeah, absolutely. I was in the same situation as Rio where, seven years ago, I played a bit of poker, but I wasn’t as good as Rio, but poker was an option for me because this was before Black Friday. This was during the Chris Moneymaker period. The reason I didn’t pursue poker is, what happens if you’re in a hospital? What happens if you’re in a car crash? The money stops. At least with affiliate marketing, if you do it right, you have a team. You have employees. You can still make money. For me, I’m making a lot of money. I’m traveling all the time. My employees, my systems, they make a lot of money for me. Affiliate marketing can turn into a business.

So you went to STM Bangkok. What was your impression?

Rio: I was blown away by it because there are 200, 300 people. They were all flying in from all over the world, taking three or four days off whatever time schedule they have just to party and obviously, if you listen to really great speakers for one night, and then they had two other days of partying.

Charles: So after STM in Bangkok, and keep in mind, guys, right now it’s May 2015. STM Bangkok was March 2014. This was 14 months ago. Fourteen months ago, this guy didn’t even know what affiliate marketing was. For those of you that are like, “Oh, it’s 2014. It’s too late to make money. The [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Inaudible 00:04:33] days are over,” you guys are fucking idiots. Stop making excuses. Don’t make excuses. This guy is living proof your excuses are bullshit.

So you were motivated from STM Bangkok, what was next? Did Tim Tetra mentor you or what happened next? Did you join STM or did you launch campaigns?

Rio: So I was there and then right after I just paid $99 to just check out everything about it in the forum. Because $99 for a forum is pretty insane money to be paying. There must be some gold in there.

Charles: It is, because most forums are free. Like [Inaudible 00:05:12], most forums are free. So $99 a month, yeah, I could see how it’s a lot of money.

Rio: It wasn’t a lot of money for me, but I thought like, “Hey, it’s a lot for a forum.” So I was like, “Hey, go check it out.” I went there, blew my mind. I didn’t know really where to start, but all I knew of the next four or five days, I was opening tabs after tabs, never stopped closing until the browser crashed.

Charles: Wow.

Rio: Yeah. I kept reading and in my mind I was like, “Okay, how can I start this?”

Charles: I bet it was a lot of information overload.

Rio: It was, it was crazy. It was too much, in fact, yeah.

Charles: Okay. So something interesting, how I met Rio is he actually attended my free workshops last year. So as some of you guys may know, last year for free I flew around Asia, four different countries, and that’s when I noticed Rio. I noticed Rio because a few things. Like A, he went to my workshop in Bangkok. I thought, “Okay, cool.” Then he went to my workshop in Singapore. Now I didn’t know anyone that went to two of my workshops. So he lives in Bangkok and then he actually flew back to Singapore just to attend my workshop again. So that’s when I was like, “Okay, this guy has the eye of the tiger.” Because a lot of people ask for my help all the time, but for him to show that much dedication, I thought to myself, “Wow, this guy has a lot of potential in him.

So at this point, you have a great start to affiliate marketing. You met Tim, you attended STM Bangkok, you attended two of my free workshops, and then you met me. What happened next? What happened during that summer?

Rio: Wow, so let’s talk a bit about before. I partnered up with my brother because I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So we were both working hard and back when we met you at the workshop we were still losing a lot of money.

Charles: Sure, sure.

Rio: We didn’t even know how to track properly, we weren’t using volume.

Charles: So were you still playing poker on the side or were you all went into affiliate marketing at this point?

Rio: I was playing poker a bit just to cover the expenses that we had in affiliate marketing.

Charles: Yeah.

Rio: But there was a period of time where I actually stopped because I was in a very bad period in poker where I was . . .

Charles: Yeah, the swing is they go up and down.

Rio: I lost like $6,000, $7,000. I was like, “Oh shit, I need a break.” So it was like I took one month off.

Charles: Okay.

Rio: Went into affiliate marketing full-time. So I flew my brother over, we worked literally every day.

Charles: What were you working on, like Facebook or mobile?

Rio: Mobile, yeah, we were just working purely mobile.

Charles: Why mobile?

Rio: Because everyone is talking about it, and we really thought mobile is the thing to be at.

Charles: Absolutely. So I think breaking his thing down is he kind of went into the right area from the very beginning. He didn’t start off like 7search or something lame like that, he went straight to where the money was. So you’re losing money, what were you thinking at this point? Were you discouraged or were you still you’re going to make it no matter what? Like what was your mental process?

Rio: There were times where obviously you feel like, “Hey, I tried everything and still it doesn’t work.” Like, “Yeah, screw me.”

Charles: Yeah.

Rio: But it’s a lot easier when you have a partner, like someone you can externalize. Because one day you’re down, but your partner might not be down. So, “Hey, let’s try this, let’s try that.”

Charles: So your partner at this point was your brother?

Rio: Exactly, yeah.

Charles: Interesting. Okay, so were you living in Chang Mai or Bangkok?

Rio: Bangkok.

Charles: Bangkok. So I’m curious. There’s a lot of affiliates in Bangkok, were you really into networking, masterminding with a lot of the local affiliates here?

Rio: I did not do that at the start, but after I started going out to Nicky Cakes’ meet up, he has it every month.

Charles: Shout-out to Nicky Cakes.

Rio: Yeah. Yom, Nicky Cakes.

Charles: What’s up?

Rio: Yeah, I started going to all these meatus when I think I started to slowly make money. At the start, I did go maybe once or twice and it was pretty good.

Charles: So you started affiliate marketing in March 2014, when did you actually start making money?

Rio: I would say about June, July. Maybe July, yeah. I think July. Yeah, maybe in July, yeah.

Charles: Wow. So July or August, so that’s about four or five months. So what was the breaking point? What clicked? What was it?

Rio: It’s just basically . . . I think the key for me is to consistently trade information, build networks, talk to people. Because there’s only so much you can do in one day. But if you always trade information, it grows very, very fast. So basically I was looking up for more partners on STM and I found a couple guys who were really, really nice and trustworthy. And we did masterminds and we all, from that point of time, found some success.

Charles: So your key to success was masterminding with people.

Rio: That’s what I always say. The only way to explode is to really work with people and do . . . like get something like one plus one equals to three, right? Like there’s some synergy.

Charles: Yeah, that’s what I say all the time.

Rio: Exactly.

Charles: Yeah. I think it’s like, dude, you can’t learn everything on your own. Okay? You can’t learn everything on your own. And something that’s really cool is masterminding has always been one of the key points in my successes. So one thing I like to do is let’s say I have a really hot tip, I’ll share it with one guy; I’ll share that same tip with 15 different people. And 15 different people, they share a different tip with me. So I gave away one tip, but I get 15 tips in return.

So okay, you go to a conference and you’ll hear about these introvert hermit mother fuckers that are in their rooms all day, they don’t talk to anyone, and they’re making like a million dollars of fucking money. Yes, that does happen, but it’s not common. Okay, most people in this industry, you have such a big competitive advantage if you can partner up with some other people. So you’re hearing it straight from Rio that masterminding is a key part of success. And I’m telling it to you guys, that masterminding is important.

I just landed in Bangkok, guys. Okay? I’m in Bangkok, I could be shopping, I could be fucking doing some dirty stuff in Bangkok, partying and stuff, but I’m not. The first thing I did, I fucking called Rio so we could fucking mastermind and have a work session. For me I’m always networking, always masterminding. Okay?

So okay. Next question I have is so there’s a lot of newbies that enter this industry, what do you think is the biggest mistake that newbies make?

Rio: Oh, this is a very tough question. But I feel it’s probably unrealistic expectations.

Charles: Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s like you got these gurus. Not me, okay? Not me, other gurus that told them they could make like $1 million a month or something. And I think most people, they’re just impatient. Like for you when you entered, what was your goal? Were you trying to make a million dollars a year or just replace your income, $10,000 a month? What was your goal?

Rio: Wow, my goal at the start. It was really just to find something that works.

Charles: Yeah.

Rio: And then eventually just keep seeing how it goes. I don’t really have an expectation.

Charles: So you’re really focused on just doing the work?

Rio: Yes. We were just grinding, like I said, every day. We worked at home and then we’d go out to dinner, and then we’d come back. I was isolated from my friends. Everyone called me and was like, “Hey, let’s go out, hang out.” I was like, “No.”

Charles: That’s tough in Bangkok, right? Like Wednesday these Bangkok affiliates want to go karaoke-ing on a Wednesday.

Rio: It is hard. So one little trick that I did was I rented a place really, really far away from all my friends.

Charles: Oh.

Rio: So that way I’d know for sure I will not hang out with them.

Charles: Interesting, interesting. So now is May 2015, you’ve been pretty successful. What’s your team structure looking like? Is it just you and your brother or has it expanded?

Rio: So right now things are getting pretty exciting. I have about four members right now working for me.

Charles: Are these local Thais?

Rio: Yeah, they are.

Charles: Okay.

Rio: And then I recently am growing my brand, so I actually headhunted one of my marketing directors, and she used to work for Google.

Charles: Oh shit.

Rio: And also another two or three people were jarring me, in-house designers and programmers, trying to really grow something, yeah.

Charles: Okay, so this is off topic, but if anyone, you’re working for Facebook right now, come work for me, I’ll double whatever the fuck you’re making at Facebook or Google. I will double it, extra benefits. E-mail Charles Ngo, all right?

Rio: And me, as well.

Charles: I will pay you more than whatever the fuck he’s going to pay. Okay, so I’m wondering. Okay, you’re successful at affiliate marketing now, what’s next? You want to stick with this, or are you trying to do some side projects, are you trying to expand beyond mobile marketing? What’s kind of the game plan for the rest of the year?

Rio: For me, I keep my plans really, really flexible. I have some goals, but I try to keep them flexible. So I want to keep doing affiliate marketing, but at the same time I also want to pursue a lot of side projects which I think they have a lot of potential.

Charles: Okay. So what’s the main reason you want to branch off? Is it because of diversity, new challenge, more money? What is it?

Rio: I wouldn’t say more money. I would say, number one, there’s a lot of . . . in affiliate marketing, I learned a lot. So I feel like all my skills could be applied to other things.

Charles: Absolutely.

Rio: And all these things, I really think that I have maybe, I would say, interest in pursuing, yeah. So I feel like there’s so much potential, I’ve been given a really, really insane opportunity. And I don’t want to rest, I want to keep going.

Charles: Okay. So we’re going to wrap this up soon and they’ve heard about your life story, they got a good idea of who you are. But my audience, they’re greedy; they want to know tips, some information. So could you give my audience maybe three tips specific to mobile marketing?

Rio: Oh, tips, mobile marketing, okay.

Charles: Yeah, yeah, anything.

Rio: Okay, let me think. This is hard. Three tips.

Charles: Okay, let me ask you one. What verticals could you recommend to my audience?

Rio: Oh yeah, it’s always, always start with the lower payout offers. So I would say app installs would be great, app installs would be really, really good.

Charles: Like Lazy Swipe kind of stuff?

Rio: Yes.

Charles: Okay, cool.

Rio: The low payouts ones, below $1 would be very good for your budget and learning.

Charles: Why is that?

Rio: You get a lot of data to work with.

Charles: So if you have like $500 a month and you’re doing a rebuild, that’s a 60-dollar payout and you’re not, you’re only going to get like a sea [SP] of conversion. That’s not going to tell you anything versus you have $500 a month and these payouts are like $.25 or whatever, you’re going to get a lot of data.

All right. Sorry, guys. My main camera, the battery just went out, so we just switched over to a different camera. So back to what we were saying. Okay, mobile tip numero dos?

Rio: Okay. So I think number two would be like what we definitely talked about.

Charles: Okay.

Rio: Spend an hour of your time every day, put it aside just to talk to people, mastermind. Catch up with them, share with them some tips.

Charles: Where do you recommend people find people to mastermind with?

Rio: StackThatMoney, or whatever works for you.

Charles: So, I got an affiliate link below. Sign up under my link, I got child support to pay, help my future baby kids. All right.

Rio: Yeah, it’s a really, really good place, I met a lot of wonderful people there.

Charles: Excellent.

Rio: And number three would be don’t give up too easily.

Charles: Okay.

Rio: Especially for specific campaigns, you start and then you lose 70% the first day. The next day you lose 80% and then you stop, you waste all your data.

Charles: So when you’re losing money, what are you doing to optimize? I don’t need you secret sauce, but what are some simple tips you can give for optimization?

Rio: For me, I really look into . . . it depends on which stage. At the start, you really want to test the offers.

Charles: Yeah.

Rio: And then the main basic stuff like your angles. And after you test all of them, you get more data, you want to look deeper into all the other smaller things that you need more . . .

Charles: Do you optimize handsets? Do you go that deep, or is it more higher level?

Rio: It depends on what kind of offer you’re running, and it depends on your traffic. Because sometimes it’s very, very hard for you to optimize all these little details.

Charles: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I think that clocks in around 20-something minutes. It’s been quite the interview; I think I accomplished my goal. I just wanted to introduce you guys to my friend, Rio Lim, and got some good information out of him. So I think personally for me, if I were to have the three takeaways, it would be: number one, mastermind; number two, partner up with someone; and then number three, you have to pick the right thing to focus on.

So in his instance he focused on mobile marketing. Now there’s a lot of other places besides mobile marketing, but it’s kind of important that in the beginning you kind of pick a specialty that has a lot of potential. Because if you do something like maybe adult YouPorn or something as a newbie targeting U.S.A., then you’re not going to make money, the game is just too difficult.

So I want to thank Rio for his time. Is there anything you want to say to my audience? Like you got to promote yourself or just take this time, say whatever you want to say.

Rio: Well, nothing, I really have nothing to say. Just hit me up on Facebook if you have any business opportunities.

Charles: Okay. So his Facebook is Rio, R-I-O, space L-I-M. I will have a link to his Facebook below my YouTube video. And I’m sorry, Rio, but I think you’re going to get pretty famous after this.

Rio: Shit.

Charles: You’re going to get a fuck load of my audience messaging you, begging you for some tips, so hopefully you get some pretty good [Inaudible 00:20:39] with us.

Rio: Awesome.

Charles: So all right, thank you, guys.


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