GlobetrotterGirl of the Month November 2013: Jill Stanton, Affiliate Marketing Expert at Screw the Nine to Five

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Think you need a massive trust fund, already have famous film or music connections or be a creative genius to become a GlobetrotterGirl? Think again. As we’ve been highlighting this past year, women from all kinds of backgrounds are finding ways to balance a life of work and travel. What is so inspiring about our November GlobetrotterGirl of the Month, Jill Stanton, is that she proves that living a lucrative life on her terms from anywhere in the world can be done with an awesome attitude, a little bit of a knowledge and a whole lotta hustle.

Jill’s story is really inspiring for so many reasons. First of all her website, Screw the Nine to Five, says in five short words what we try to politely advocate in our GlobetrotterGirl of the Month interviews and our Break Free podcast. Together with her husband Josh, Jill just went ahead and said it  – Screw it! Screw the office, screw answering to someone else, screw making money for someone else! And they have done an amazing job at just that. Based in Thailand, possibly moving on to Vietnam and traveling around the world, Jill and her husband have grown a profitable affiliate marketing business from scratch and is living her best life because of it. Plus, Jill provides three concrete and super useful tips on how to get started and have success in this line of work.

Check out the entire amazing group of GlobetrotterGirls of the Month for 2013 here.


Meet Jill  

Where are you from? What is your background? What were you doing before you and Josh decided to screw the nine to five?

I’m from the Great White North—Toronto, Canada. Okay so it’s maybe not the “Great White” but I have an aversion to cold weather so anything under 10 degrees is considered the “Great White North” to me.

My background is actually in TV. I used to work with an agency back in Toronto and then dabbled in web TV and created 2 different web series, before finally making the move into a more sustainable business model, which is what I do now with my husband.

Our theme for 2013 is Break Free – did you feel a need to break free from your previous career or was it the pull to travel that made you break free?

Judging by your attitude toward the normal working rut and routine, I’d guess the former…

To be completely honest, I have not had a “job” in over 4 years and have never actually worked a 9-5 for more than 3 months. They just don’t jive with me. In fact, I truly believe I’m downright unemployable!

As for what made me want to break free and live this life? Freedom. The freedom to do what I want, where I want, how I want has always been my driving force.

Jill in ThailandDo you consider yourself to be a nomad or semi-nomadic with a base?

I guess I am semi-nomadic as I tend to stay in a spot for at least a few months. I personally prefer to have a routine that I can stick to and work as much as I can wherever I am versus floating around and never having any structure.

I know that works for a lot of people, but if I do that I just won’t work! Now, that may not sound as glamorous as a lot of other globetrotters, but I just love working on our business! I just prefer to do it from charming spots such as the islands, the Thai mountains, the South Island of New Zealand, or Costa Rica…where I even snuck in some work on my wedding week!

Where are you based right now? When did you move there?

I am currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand but we’re thinking of making the move to Vietnam shortly. I arrived here in Thailand at the beginning of this year and spent a few months out on the islands, but eventually got a little restless and decided to move to Chiang Mai in April to be around all the other online entrepreneurs who work out of Chiang Mai.

Can we see a picture of where you are currently based?

Of course! I have attached a photo of the view off our pool deck…it’s our little happy spot here in Chiang Mai and is the place we go to just chill, unwind, and watch the sunset.

Chiang Mai pool and viewWhat is your ‘job title’ now?

I guess you could say I’m lifestyle business owner…although that doesn’t sound like a very sexy title, does it? Maybe I should switch that to a professional 9-5 Screwer? Hahaha!

How did you come to create Screw the Nine to Five?

We actually came up with the idea on our wedding week while we were sitting on our balcony in Costa Rica sipping wine. We had been working on our affiliate marketing business for close to a year at that point and had amassed all these strategies and tips and wanted to be able to help others live a life they loved…instead of settling for the conventional.

And so, Screw the Nine to Five was born. I even registered the domain name a few short days before our ceremony just to make sure I could lock it in and make it happen.

Nice, always hustling!

Affiliate Marketing is essentially a way for companies to reach customers they may have never reached by encouraging trustworthy online sources to help market their product in exchange for a commission.

In simple terms, how does that look for you, as the owner of several affiliate marketing sites?

Affiliate marketing is simply the process of reviewing products and including one or two links to that product within your review. If a reader then clicks on that link and buys the product you are reviewing, you make a commission.

Editor’s note:  You can read Pat Flynn’s affiliate marketing bible over on for much more information!

How did you get involved with affiliate marketing in the first place? Who were some of your biggest online influences?

I actually learned all about it from my husband who had been dabbling in affiliate marketing for about 5 years before we teamed up together. It was helpful for me since I was a rookie. I could ask him questions and get some reassurance that I was on the right path without too much second guessing.

As for online influences, you know, I didn’t really have any in affiliate marketing. However, I have a whole bunch of women that I look to and read regularly, such as Marie Forleo, Ashley Ambirge (a fellow GlobetrotterGirl!), Melanie Duncan, Danielle LaPorte, and Gabrielle Bernstein who are each fabulous marketers. I also really dig David Siteman Garland from The Rise to the Top. His show has been incredibly helpful along my journey as well.

Now, I read that you hate the word ‘guru’, but you two really are pros at this. How many websites do you run and what kinds of products do you market? 

We have 18 websites ranging from skincare and beauty to websites that promote only one product. My biggest site is the skincare website which gets about 50-75k visits per month and sells products ranging from acne products to anti-aging creams, stretch mark solutions to scar remedies.

We also make it a point on that site to offer as much free content as we can and not just sell to our audience. Meaning, each week we release a free DIY remedy that helps our audience fix their ailments without having to just buy something from us.

We pretty much cover it all on that site!

Does your income restrict you to South East Asia or could you base yourself in North America, Europe or Australia?

In other words, is affiliate marketing a viable and lucrative model?

Of course! I just personally love South East Asia because it allows us to save heaps of money which we then re-invest back into our business.

For example, back in Toronto I spent about $4,000 a month just to live in a crappy apartment with neighbours who would scream hatred at each other, all day every day. Compare that to Chiang Mai where spending $4,000 a month gives me a beautiful apartment overlooking the mountains, as well as maid service, monthly memberships to a co-working space, a content and social media manager, a full-time virtual assistant, a video production team, and a web developer that I use for contract work.

I could easily afford to live back in the Western world—and I plan on it next year—but I wanted to come here for a year and a half to get our business to the spot it’s at now.

All in all, affiliate marketing is a great way to make as much money as you want. You just have to be willing to work for it.

Jill StantonHow does being an affiliate marketer and online marketing person allow you to travel the world?

Well, it allows you to work from anywhere in the world you want, as long as there is an internet connection. So that means you could work from a tropical beach, a chalet in the mountains, or a quaint little seaside town in Europe if you wanted to.

All you need is your laptop and a wifi connection.

What are the biggest challenges in the world of affiliate marketing?


Google updates and search rankings are easily my biggest obstacle and they are constantly changing, which means that you have to stay on top of your game and adapt to the new changes at the drop of a hat.

If you don’t, you run the risk of your sites (and income) crashing. But that’s part of the fun, I guess. Nothing ever stays the same and my main challenge is to stay agile in my business. It definitely keeps things interesting around here!

Can you give people just starting out three tips to help them get involved in affiliate marketing?

Of course!

#1: Know what niche you want to enter. If you don’t know what you would like to write about start with this hack:

Ask yourself is there something you love doing, something you know really well, or something you already do for a living that you could transfer into an affiliate website? If so, write it down.

#2: Start doing some research to see who is doing what in your chosen niche. Are there big players in your industry that you would be going up against? How could you differentiate yourself and stand out?

Are there products in your industry that you could promote? The easiest way of finding this out is to search some popular products in your industry and look for affiliate programs. So, using skincare as a niche I would search something like {skincare “affiliate program” } in Google and see what pops up.

#3: Brainstorm a list of at least 25 topics you could write on (apart from product reviews) so you have at least 6 months worth of content available if you do choose to move into that particular industry.

If you can’t come up with 25 topics, chances are you are going to feel burnt out and frustrated within only a few months.

Look at other sites and use their content as inspiration. You don’t have to think up everything on your own—model someone else’s content and make it your own.

Just make sure your site isn’t all product reviews pushing similar products, otherwise you will lose a reader’s trust before you even have the chance to gain it.

You live/work/travel with your partner, Josh. This can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be difficult at times to spend literally day and night with your partner (don’t we know it!).

We love your post on how to not strangle your partner. Can you share your biggest piece of advice here for couples who work and travel together full-time?

Patience. That has been my biggest lesson as I’m much more firey than my husband is. I have since learned that you really have to take your ego out of any work (or relationship) arguments you have and work together on a solution.

Remember, that person is your best friend and you want to treat them with love and respect, not like an employee that you boss around.

Jill and Josh

Inspiration Station

Favorite Books?
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson. I’m just about to start Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, which I’m pretty excited to read.

What music do you work to?
When I work I listen to the Focus at Will web app. It helps increase your productivity by playing music that you can zone out of and crank out work.

However, if I’m not writing I love listening to The Sheepdogs!

What motto/mantra do you live by?
Stay hungry, stay humble.

Favorite travel quote
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

How many countries have you traveled to?
Only 12 so far but that’s about to change in 2014 as we have trips planned to Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Mexico, Peru, and the US (San Diego specifically)!

Do you have expert travel advice for our already well-traveled readers?
One thing I have learned is to not judge a place too quickly. I tend to make snap judgements on locations, but once I settle in somewhere my views normally change.

Oh, and don’t plan too much and go with the flow…a lesson I’m still trying to implement!

How can people get in touch with you?

Website: Screw The Nine to Five
Facebook: Say No To Nine to Five
Twitter: @Clark_Jill
YouTube: Screw The Nine to Five TV
Or you can contact Jill directly by email.

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