Affiliate Marketing Fanatics #59: A Gateway Conference

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

Mike and I jump back into the saddle with this whole podcasting thing.  We talk briefly about how great Affiliate Summit West 2012 was, get off track in some places, and try to get the innocent kids in the Midwest hooked on some affiliate marketing conference goodness. In in this episode we discuss:

Find us on Twitter: @AMF_Podcast, @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn. Like us on Facebook! Be old fashioned and just leave us a comment!

Special thanks to GeekCast.fm for hosting Affiliate Marketing Fanatics!

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics 57: Geek Cast Wannabes

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

Geek Cast Boston

It seems longing for a simpler time, back when we all religiously listened to Geek Cast, is a virus that’s going around.  Before the band got back together last week on Affiliate Thing, we had a similar idea to emulate that model for fun.  Mike is back, and we were also joined by Wade Tonkin of Fanatics and Drew Bennett of BenSpark.com. In in this episode we discuss:

  • Our collective love of the original Geek Cast with Shawn Collins, Sam Harrelson, Jim Kukral, and Lisa Picarille.
  • The passing of Steve Jobs… would the reaction be similar if Bill Gates had passed?
  • CityCrashVille Hometown on iPad.
  • Speculating on what Affiliate Summit Central will be.
  • Upcoming Affiliate Summit West in January and how the session voting is going.
  • Mike’s recap of the New York Comic Con

Find us on Twitter: @AMF_Podcast, @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn. Like us on Facebook! Be old fashioned and just leave us a comment!

Special thanks to GeekCast.fm for hosting Affiliate Marketing Fanatics!

What #ASE11 Sessions I’m Voting For

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Let the games begin!  Voting has opened up for Affiliate Summit East 2011.  While some people have not been happy with this voting system, I think it evens the playing field nicely.  As well, it clears any conspiracy theories about how sessions are chosen.

Before I begin, I will say I have a horse in this game.  I’ve submitted a panel, The Future of Coupons in Affiliate Marketing, for consideration.  If picked, I’ll be moderating this panel with industry coupon veterans Mike Allen (Shopping-Bargains.com), Connie Berg (FlamingoWorld.com), Carolyn Tang Kmet (Groupon.com), and Kim Rowley (ShoppingBookmarks.com).  Please take a moment to register, confirm, then vote for our panel!

Okay, that being said, these are the panels I’m voting for.  All of them have very intelligent speakers, well thought out ideas, and will offer merchants and affiliates great insight into the topics.

  • It’s Not Your Mother’s Affiliate Program
  • Creatives Deliver Success
  • Evolution of Local Search
  • Do-Not-Track?  Not-So-Fast
  • Killing the Affiliate Nexus Tax Dead!
  • Got an Idea?  Make it a Reality.
  • 10 Questions for a Prospective Affiliate Manager
  • A World Without Cookie Tracking
  • How to Convince Online Shoppers You’re Real
  • Learn to Create a Likeworthy Facebook Page
  • Social Media in Niche Markets
  • Merchant ABCs – Launching a New Merchant Program
  • How to Avoid FTC Scrutiny in Advertising
  • Affiliate Improv!
  • Are Your Affiliates Adding Value?

1st Affiliate Summit Day SF Recap

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Affiliate SummitThe first ever Affiliate Summit Day Meet Up happened on Tuesday.  I’ve had a lot of time to digest, and it was definitely a great time.  Knowing ahead of time that my best method of transportation into San Francisco would be BART, I was relieved to see that the meet up location was just 2 short blocks from the BART station.  I was delighted to wander up to Kate O’Briens to see the familiar faces of Julie Vazquez, Lisa Picarille, and Murray Newlands congregating outside the bar.

Inside, more affiliate marketers!  More familiar faces guided me through the crowd to point out where our nerdy group was assembled, but also, more patrons belonging to the group generally referred to as the “public”.  I really enjoyed talking to a few new folks, and was especially flattered when someone approached me, already knowing my name, and proceeded to thank me for the knowledge I shared during our Get Noticed Fast presentation at Affiliate Summit East 2009 in New York.  How nice!

Scheduled to speak was Murray Newlands about site monetiztion, however due to some unexpected limitations of the bar (noise, other patrons, space, etc) the presentation was scrapped.  Hopefully Murray will just shift his presentation to next month’s meet up!

Meetup.comAll in all, it was great.  A little rough, but hey it was the first one!  Huge thanks to Lisa Picarille for organizing the event – I’m sure it was NOT an easy task!  In case you live under a rock & haven’t heard, Affiliate Summit Day is going to happen once a month on the last Tuesday of each month.  You can follow the fun and track where your local meet up is happening on Meetup.com

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics 49: Interviewing Stephanie Lichtenstein, Lisa Picarille, & Lisa Riolo

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

Presenting the last in our series of interviews with speakers at Affiliate Summit West 2011, coming up next week at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. This time, we talk to Stephanie Lichtenstein, Lisa Picarille, & Lisa Riolo about their panel “Profit from Trendspotting”. Fourth panelist Scott Jangro was unable to join us, but we reference him plenty!  In in this episode we discuss:

Want to catch up with us & ask questions for the next show? Find us on Twitter: @AMF_Podcast, @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn. Like us on Facebook! You can also ask Trisha questions through FormSpring.me. Or leave us a comment!

Special thanks to GeekCast.fm for hosting Affiliate Marketing Fanatics.

ASE10 Experience Extravaganza: Saturday Night & Sunday

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Where do I begin?  For maybe the first time ever, I don’t have a plethora of post-conference posts planned for this blog.  This is mostly due to the fact that the only session I attended, aside from both keynotes, was the one I was speaking in.  I spent the majority of my time at this summer’s Affiliate Summit East 10 behind a table talking to people about For Me To Coupon. Nor did I use a single drink ticket provided by the staff!  Overall I was able to get some great networking jammed into my time in New York, as well as catching up with old friends from all over that congregate at Affiliate Summits like a family reunion.  BUT, let me tell you some great things about the parties I attended & working the show based in the expo hall – something I haven’t done in a couple of years since my days at PsPrint.

Before I go into my long recap, some housekeeping.  For the sake of keeping my long recount of the weeks events from overwhelming you, I’m going to devote separate posts to each keynote, my disgust at some things that have become common behavior at conferences, the Audience Conference, & something we like to call Affiliate Super Friends.  So keep an eye out for those posts in the next few days…

Saturday Night: ABestWeb.com Reception & Buy.at Black & White Affair

Cinema the BrasserieSaturday night, after I was done with the Audience Conference and had some dinner & a nice short rest, it was all about the parties.  What lovely parties, put on by some lovely folks!  First was the ABestWeb.com reception, put on at Cinema the Brasserie.  Don’t be fooled, this was no movie theater – it was a very open feeling restaurant with a small lounge area near the bar that we inhabited.  I drank a lovely white wine while chatting with some great people.  Appetizers were passed around along with great conversation with other posters from the ABW forums.  I was able to put some faces to screen names of a few folks I didn’t know in person, and also able to catch up with some old regulars.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no where NEAR an old hat on the ABW forums, but I do like the crowd of posters that tend to show up when events are thrown.

buy.at party at inc loungeDirectly after, we walked over to the Buy.at party being thrown at trendy Inc Lounge.  I LOVED the interior and vibe of the party when we first arrived.  As a new advertiser on their network, Ghirardelli was sponsoring the shindig, so the trays of chocolate desserts were everywhere!  There were comfy couches to hang back on, which was very well received by my tired feet after walking there from the ABW party.  At the beginning of the evening as people trickled it, it was nice to sit & chat, have some drinks, and talk… but as more and more people showed up, it got very loud and hot and crowded.  To me, it turned from chill lounge to something closer to a night club, which really isn’t my cup of tea.  So a group of us left a bit earlier than the scheduled end time of the party & headed back to the deli across from the Hilton for some snacks before bed.

Sunday: Podcasting 101, the Meet Market, Newcomers, & ShareASale’s Under the Stars Party

To keep it short, I think our panel, Podcasting 101, went really well.  If you were unable to attend, you can view the slide presentation here. My voice was almost gone from yelling to speak to people at parties, but I made it work.  We didn’t have many people when the session began, but more filtered in…probably after they bum rushed the ShareASale meet market table to get their party passes first :).  We got some good feedback from people, and I hope this finds a life beyond Affiliate Summit via the presentations and videos.

After the presentation and some questions afterward, I booked it over to the package room to grab the flyers & notepads we’d had shipped to the hotel in my name, then upstairs to the Meet Market to relieve Forrest at the FMTC table and deliver the goodies.  BIG thank you to an unknown gentleman from Woot.com who noticed my struggle with the three boxes and kindly carried one up to the Meet Market  for me!  We sat for the remainder of the meet market talking to people about the service, save for one trip I made down to the sundry shop to grab some beverages and the short opportunity I had to walk around.  Because most of my time was spent at the table chatting with folks, I didn’t get a chance to check out all the other tables, but I did walk an aisle or two to hit some that caught my eye (both via their products/services and brightly colored swag).

After carrying our materials down to the FMTC booth, I headed over to the Newcomer Program meet up, headed by the lovely Jen Goode.  There I met my super newcomer Jennifer from Affordable Style, who opted to gift me with a fantastic purse from one of their brands HandbagHeaven.com.  I am very glad that Jennifer seemed to really get a lot of help from what I clued her in on about the summit & she was able to have a very productive first conference and learn a lot about affiliate marketing in general while there.

Instead of dinner, we went straight to the ShareASale Under the Stars party at the Empire Hotel, with a promise of food.  We had some difficulty getting a cab in the rain as someone jumped into our rightfully gotten cab, and then had to stand in the rain outside the hotel waiting for the bouncers to let us inside as the line for the elevator was longer than space inside the lobby would allow.  As usual, SAS knows how to throw a spectacular party!  Despite the rooftop bar location, the venue had rolling awnings so no one was rained on, drinks flowed freely, and appetizers were passed around.  The appetizers only seemed to last for about an hour or so as droves of people started showing up.  It got crowded quickly, and a couple hours into the party we’d reached capacity and people were being turned away.  Some say this is because the bouncers downstairs stopped checking for the SAS party invites and let just anyone in, but I can’t really confirm this beyond people telling me that no one asked to see the pass they had.  It’s a shame that people were turned away, but I guess that just means a bigger venue next time!  Or, tighter controls on invitations :)

Don’t worry your pretty head… there’s more to come when I recap Monday and Tuesday!  Please feel free to view all the photos I took in New York: Affiliate Summit East 2010 on Flickr

Faces & Voices behind the Affiliate Nexus Tax Mistake

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Recently I was asked to come to San Francisco and participate in shooting a video to help convince legislators here in California that passing a nexus tax law similar to those passed in New York, Rhode Island, and North Carolina would be detrimental to the state economy, rather than positive.  Unfortunately I fell ill at the last minute and was unable to participate, but I recently see that the video the Performance Marketing Association put together is available online and really puts some faces to the issue.

I hope this will help legislators reconsider their views on the advertising tax and consider it’s impact on 25,000 small businesses here in California.  Please take a look at the video and do what you can to share it.  If you’re sharing on Twitter, please use the hashtag #noadtax.

They’ve already been thanked once, but I’ll send out another big thanks to those that spared their time and opened their offices to the shooting of this short video:

Affiliate Summit East 2010 Silver Pass WINNER!

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

About a month ago, I launched one of my best contests ever here, the chance to win a Silver Pass for Affiliate Summit East 2010.  ASE10 will be taking place in New York City at the New York Hilton.  I’ll be speaking on a panel called Podcasting 101 with Daniel M. Clark, Joe Magennis, & Lisa Picarille moderating.  I wanted people to think outside the box & get creative with their reasons why they wanted to go to the conference.  I read all the comments & put aside any personal relationships and went solely on the most creative comment, as I said I would!

And the winner is…

drumroll

Daniel Chmielewski!

Daniel will be receiving a Silver Pass for Affiliate Summit East 2010 in New York City!  Dan, you know you’re pretty much required to fill a seat in our session on Sunday at noon, right? :)  Ladies & gentlemen, enjoy Daniel’s winning comment:

Hi Trish!

We haven’t met yet but obviously the contest was made for me. It all began when I was born.. the doctors said I came out with a map of the internet clenched between my tiny hands. Then growing up I was raised in the wild by computers and modems… every once in a while I’d catch a lead gen and rest satiated — those were good nights. When I was a teenager I was attacked by a group of rabid ringtones and barely made it out alive… I still get chills every time an SMS goes off in the distance. After my teen years I was called away to war in the 9-5 trenches where I’ve been counting the days until the time that I may return home… and you see, ASE is my ticket out of here, my one true chance at freedom — to live the life I was born to lead!

… Well that’s how I see it anyway

Thanks Daniel for thinking creatively – check your email for more details on how to register for Affiliate Summit & redeem your prize!

Runner Up

I also said I’d be giving a copy of Internet Marketing From the Real Experts to the second best entry.  The runner-up is Latease Rikard!  Look out for an email so I can get your address to send you the book.  Here’s her winning entry:

Hey Trisha…I want to go to Affiliate Summit 2010 because I will get to meet you. Now I can find out that you are not just some internet entity that I’ve been communicating with over the past couple of years. It will be like bringing my internet friend to life, and we will have control over it!

Congratulations to all the winners & stay tuned for more news about Affiliate Summit 2010 & another contest I’m working on ;).

Fighting the Advertising Tax in Sacramento

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Capitol Building in SacramentoI wish I could tell you that we had an incredibly productive day in Sacramento, educating numerous state senators personally about affiliate marketing.  They all understood what we do and they all agree that adding language to tax bills that make affiliate partners consistute nexus for out-of-state merchants is not going to make the state any money and is a bad idea.

I wish I could tell you that.

Instead, I report back after going to Sacramento last Wednesday, May 12th, with some less-than-uplifting realities about our state government here in California.  Late last week, the Performance Marketing Association learned that there was a meeting on the 13th in CA senate subcommittee 5 to discuss adding affiliate nexus language to one of their pending budget bills.  It’s not yet back, officially, in the form of a bill in the CA senate or assembly, but just knowing that they’re discussing it is enough for us to try to go educate some lawmakers on what affiliate marketing is, why affiliates shouldn’t create tax nexus for merchants, and why the state won’t actually make the $1.7 million they think they will.

I was asked to join Lisa Picarille and up we went to the capitol, no appointments made due to the last-minute nature of the trip, with high hopes of talking to the three state senators sitting on the subcommittee and laying some education on them.  We knew that other affiliates and fighters in this advertising tax battle had previously met with Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny, the chair of the subcommittee and the state Budget and Finance committee, and had not had good luck in getting through to her, so we targeted her office first.  She was booked solid in meetings, but we were given a time to check back to see if one of her staff members had a small window of time to talk.

So we went on to the office of Senator Robert Dutton, who we’d heard was on our side.  We spoke with a nice staffer in his office who was very well versed on the affiliate nexus issue and assured us that Sen. Dutton opposed the language and that most the Republicans were probably on our side as well.  It was very nice to meet with someone who actually knew what we were talking about and understood the issue.  In the two previous times I’ve gone to Sacramento, we had uphill battles trying to explain affiliate marketing to blank-faced staffers, so his knowledge about the issue definitely allowed us to cut right to the chase.  He suggested some other people we talk to, some influential to the budget committee and subcommittee, and some already on our side that might be able to help in other ways.

Lisa and I then set out for Senator Alex Padilla’s office as it wasn’t yet time to check back in to see if Sen. Ducheny’s staff could talk to us.  We were unable to speak to the people Sen. Dutton’s office had recommended, but we spoke to the legislative director who was very interested in learning more and very interactive.  He asked us a lot of questions to better understand the issue, and was very interested in the information about Rhode Island not realizing the projected revenue from their version of the advertising tax and their consideration of repeal.  Rhode Island actually has a bill in play now, H 7071, set to repeal the “Amazon Tax” but it looks to be stalled and waiting for a proper hearing.  So as not to lose time, we quickly had the information emailed to him as we went about to other offices.

tax nexusThat’s kind of where the magic ended.  I have to say, I was feeling okay at that point that people were hearing us out.  I didn’t feel that any overly appreciated us being there as private citizens just wanting to spread some education and counter some mis-information being spread by the opposition, but they seemed willing to listen and comprehend.  We went to the budget committee office, and they weren’t that helpful.  The person we were looking for wasn’t there, and the people who were there told us we were pretty much crazy to attempt to see anyone without an appointment at this time of year.  What happened to PUBLIC SERVANTS making themselves available to the PUBLIC, hmm?  This served as a harsh reality (to me anyway) that our system is generally broken. We took a break, and after refreshing ourselves with some lunch, we headed back to Sen. Ducheny’s office to check in.

We arrived earlier than the time we were asked to come back, but since we had no one else to see it was worth a shot.  We were ushered into the office of a staffer who was, unarguably, the worst attitude and most combative of all the people we talked to that day.  She made me very glad I do not live in Sen. Ducheny’s district (40th District).  The staffer kept attacking affiliates for working with out-of-state retailers in the first place.  I tried to explain to her that, California being just one of 50 states, the “Buy Californian” attitude wasn’t a viable business option, but I got the distinct impression that she didn’t care.  She checked her cell phone multiple times while Lisa and I were trying to pleasantly and professional counter her unprofessional combative questions, which is just plain rude no matter what the situation is.  She kept asking us what we proposed the state do instead to fix the budget.  I wanted to tell her that it’s THEIR job to figure that out, not ours, but instead Lisa suggested some alternatives and tried to focus on the argument that the retailers will just drop CA affiliates, and the state won’t make this money they think they’re going to make.

That being our last meeting of the day, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth about Sacramento and state politics and government in general.  I hope I can be of service throughout this fight until we’ve successfully killed the advertising tax, in all forms, here in California.  Until then… anyone have a million bucks we can hire a full time lobbyist with? :)

Sessions I Want to See at Affiliate Summit East 2010

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Super Affiliate Rosalind Gardner Checking the Affiliate Summit AgendaHave you ever looked at the schedule for a conference and wondered, “How did these sessions get picked?”  I know I have.  The conference I go to the most, Affiliate Summit, has always had a closed-door process for putting together their agenda from their speaker proposals.  Yesterday I told you about how Affiliate Summit has opened up voting for the panels that will be on the agenda for Affiliate Summit East 2010, and implored you to vote for the Podcasting 101 panel I hope to sit on.  Today, I’m going to share the love and tell you about the other panels I voted for and hope to see on the agenda.

Any long-term readers of my blog know that one of my favorite things to do is to attend conferences, take copious amounts of notes, and share them here with you.  I learn a lot in these sessions, and feel it’s practically my responsibility to pass on that learning to everyone else.  Granted, it’s not the same as attending the sessions at the conferences yourself, but it’s close.  I vote for 15 panels out of 117 up for voting on the Affiliate Summit Slinkset site.

Bear with me, with 15 panels to explain my vote for, this is going to be a long post.  Here’s the ones I voted for, and why.

  • Beyond Business Cards: Move beyond passing out stacks of business cards and adding legions of Twitter followers to promote your business.  11 steps to forging relationships to yield results beyond leads and self-promotions.  Speakers: Jen Goode, Au-Co Mai, Lisa Picarille, Lisa Riolo, & Karen Garcia.  Why This Got My Vote: There are a lot of people in the industry that will tell you that the core of affiliate marketing is building relationships, and I agree.  Not enough people will give you advice or actionable items on how to build these all-important relationships though.  I know almost all the speakers on the panel, and they’re fantastic at networking and building lasting relationships, so I have no doubt that their 11 actions are going to be dynamite.
  • Bloggers Successfully Connecting with Audiences and Advertisers: Advice and tips for bloggers to increase their success in connect with audiences and at the same time making them more appealing to advertisers and increase revenue.  Speakers: Murray Newlands, Kristopher B. Jones, Drew Bennett, Tim Jones, & Eric Schechter.  Why This Got My Vote: Honestly, this is more a chance for vindication.  At the last summit, these same speakers appeared on the Monetizing Blogs for Affiliate Marketing and SEO panel (sub John Carcutt for Eric) and I was let down by the ho-hum content.  It took them 30 minutes to even mention the word “monetize”, and it seemed less focused on monetizing and SEO and more focused on general “how to start blogging.  I know that the panelists, being bloggers themselves, were all very interested in getting feedback, so I’m really hoping that they take the feedback from the last time and refocus and deliver a really kick-ass panel this time around.
  • Trademark Bidding in Affiliate Marketing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of trademark bidding in affiliate marketing. An in-depth look at the impact trademark bidding has on all players in the affiliate space.  Speakers: Paul Schroader, Justin Bowen, Chuck Hamrick, John W. Dozier, & David Naffziger.  Why This Got My Vote: This is a seriously confusing area in the PPC arena, and any light that can be shed on it is always good for affiliates.  As well, David has a great product with Brand Verity to help, and a lot of insight to be shared.  Not the sexiest topic, but an important one.
  • Connecting Your Community: Online/Off Social Good: There are opportunities for affiliates and advertisers to support great causes, both online and off to foster a larger online community. This panel will look at examples in social media that helped.  Speakers: Dina Riccobono, Sloane Barrent, & Bruce Wang.  Why This Got My Vote: So much emphasis in affiliate marketing is about ME, and how can I make a fortune, but people should remember that there’s a world out there that can also benefit from your support.  I’m interested in people learning more from Dina and the panel on how they can successfully integrate their work and marketing efforts into also benefiting great causes and making the world a better place.
  • Affiliate Program Case Studies: Strategies and Practices: Discussion of what it takes for a retailer to get their affiliate channel to the next level. Merchant case studies reveal and illustrate strategies and practices that attract and keep affiliates.  Speakers: Melanie Seery, Madeleine McGregor, Adam Riemer, & Kimberly Salvino.  Why This Got My Vote: Case studies are always great, because they show real results.  It’s more than just hypothetical tactics, it’s proof positive.  All of the speakers are very knowledgeable and represent various angles of a merchant program that really works, from the network, affiliate, and affiliate managers.
  • Creating a Stronger, Balanced Affiliate-Merchant Agreement: Can we have a stronger, fairer Affiliate-Merchant Terms of Service agreement to better protect affiliates and merchants? Discussion of the current inadequacies and challenges in creating a better TOS.  Speakers: Melanie Seery, Brian Littleon, Adam Riemer, & Kimberly Salvino.  Why This Got My Vote: Well, honestly it almost didn’t.  This panel has the same panelists as the last one I voted for, except for the substitution of Brian for Madeline.  Affiliate Summit has a policy of not allowing people to speak on more than one panel, so theoretically once the advisory board makes the final agenda, one of these panels won’t be on it.   But, this is just as valuable as the case studies panel.  Many merchants don’t have a good TOS, so any help they can get is helpful!
  • Search Marketing Campaign Review: Attendees will apply to have their site and campaigns reviewed before the conference. Our panel of experts, one each in SEO, Link Building, PPC, Social, and Affiliate will choose 4-5 companies.  Speakers: Kate Morris, Joanna Lord, Scott Polk, Kristy Bolsinger, Jane Copeland, Carolyn Shelby.  Why This Got My Vote: I’m a big fan of interactive panels, and real-life examples.  This panel will allow for real-time, off the cuff analysis and can be incredibly helpful to everyone in attendance.  My first affiliate summit, I attended a site review similar to this kind of clinic-approach panel and volunteered up the site of the company I worked for at the time.  It was an eye opener!  In the interest of full disclosure, I briefly worked with Kate Morris during our time at New Edge Media, and I know Kate to be really good at explaining how things can be changed for the better in a constructive way, which is what people need for public critiques!
  • Seven Deadly Sins of Affiliate Marketing 2010: A fast paced multi-media presentation on affiliate danger zones focusing on the latest FTC enforcement priorities and initiatives and plaintiffs’ targets infused with useful tips and humor.  Speaker: Bennet Kelley.  Why This Got My Vote: With a title like that, how could you NOT vote for it!  Actually, I’ve seen Bennet speak before and he’s incredibly knowledgeable and makes sometimes boring topics like law, enforcement, and the FTC actually interesting and relevant.  I feel very strongly that it’s in every affiliate’s best interest to know what their limitations are legally with their marketing efforts, so this is important.
  • Innovate!  New Exciting Applications of Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is increasingly used in new web start-ups, services and applications. Discover the most exciting new ideas that are helping to grow and highlight affiliate marketing industry.  Speaker: Joe Stepniewski.  Why This Got My Vote: Affiliates are some of the most creative and innovative marketers out there, online or off.  I love to hear what crazy things affiliates are coming up with and what tools and tricks are out there.  Working for a vendor of an affiliate tool myself now, I’m excited to see what kind of innovation is out there that might compliment the For Me To Coupon service.
  • Feed Powered Affiliate Marketing: A review of how product feeds are playing an ever-increasing role in online marketing and how they can be successfully deployed in affiliate marketing. Using real case studies and examples.  Speakers: Lee Brignell-Cash & Robert Durkin.  Why This Got My Vote: Again, considering I work with data feeds every day now, I’m interested in the creative things affiliates are doing with various types of data feeds.  A lot of affiliates are concerned with how to best optimize their time and marketing efforts, yet not enough use data feeds to help automate their sites.  Hopefully more sessions like this can bring data feeds to more affiliates.
  • The New Frontier for Infomercials: Affiliate Marketing!: Marketers behind the Snuggie know the power of TV to drive online sales. They have big budgets and are more focused than ever on driving online sales. Discover more about this giant opportunity.  Speakers: Rebecca Madigan, Peter Bordes, & Ron C. Pruett, Jr.  Why This Got My Vote: I admit it, I have a fascination with informercials and TV pitchmen.  So I’m fascinated to see how they’re going to tie this in with affiliate marketing.  I’m a bit surprised that someone from Impact Radius isn’t involved in this, given their big focus on integrating traditional media with affiliate offers, but my intrigue has been piqued nonetheless!
  • Successful Multiple Network Strategies for Merchants: The arguments for and against launching performance marketing programs in multiple networks–and how to make the strategy you do select successful.  Speakers: Lisa Riolo & Durk Price.  Why This Got My Vote: I’ve yet to see a merchant that really leverages multiple networks right.  Most seem to just throw their program up onto as many networks as possible with no real strategy at all, so I’m exited to see what tips can be shared for these merchants to really leverage multiple networks instead of just casting their nets as wide as possible.
  • Demystifying Online Attribution: Real answers on how to track a customer’s searches through all phases of the buying cycle, how to measure cross channel assists, and how to avoid the dangers of only last click attribution.  Speakers: Don Batsford & Jonathan Treiber.  Why This Got My Vote: A lot of affiliates (and even some merchants) know the basics of cookies and how affiliate links are tracked, but when you start talking to them about click attribution, how to separate affiliate traffic from PPC traffic from organic traffic, eyes start to glaze over.  Hopefully this session, aimed mostly at merchants/advertisers, will help new affiliate merchants understand how to better differentiate their traffic sources and become more aware of how tracking really works.
  • Conquering The Mega Niches for Mega Profits: Very few affiliate marketers dare to enter the most competitive and profitable niches. They follow the general advice of focusing on the small opportunities.  Speaker: Hamlet Batista.  Why This Got My Vote: It’s always encouraging for a super affiliate to come to the conference and share some of their secret sauce with smaller affiliates hoping to really crack some opportunities.  I’ve met Hamlet and I know he’s been incredibly successful in large niches (hello Viagra!), and he’s a good speaker as well – just the right mix of informative and motivational for those smaller affiliates looking for hope!
  • Are You Kidding Me?  Merchant Mistakes: Going over common Merchant Mistakes and why they are bad. Limiting to 100 Affiliates, Not participating in forums, Being on AutoApprove, etc.  Speaker: Adam Riemer.  Why This Got My Vote: I love Adam on a personal level – he’s a riot to chat with and is super passionate about the industry to boot.  So this session promises to at least be entertaining.  As well, as a self-taught (former) affiliate manager, I’m always interested to hear other affiliate managers’ opinions on the dos & don’ts of managing merchant programs.  Unfortunately, as Adam is listed as a panelist on two other potential panels, as I mentioned before he can only speak on one, so I’m torn as to which I’d rather see him on!

I heartily encourage you to click on the links and vote for these sessions as well.  Just click the blue arrow to the left of the session titles to vote.  You will have to register for an account, but it’s a great opportunity to get the most out of your money when attending Affiliate Summit.  If you haven’t already done so, register for Affiliate Summit today.  I will have a pass to give away at the end of this month so stay tuned for contest details!

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics 19: It’s a Search Tool!

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

In this all-too-RARE episode, we reunite and make lots of fun of ourselves for being inconsistent in our scheduling and shows.  We discuss some things that are kind of old and some things that are brand-spanking new.  It happens.  Incidentally, I realize I said the name Richard Attenborough when we were joking around and I was trying to reference those classic nature shows from our childhood with the stoic British actor describing gazelles running across the Serengeti.  Not sure what the actor’s name actually was, but I know now that it wasn’t Sir Attenborough.  Oh well, despite that, episode 19 comes in at a cheetah like speed of 39 minutes.

Also, I just fixed the audio problem where it cut off about 33 minutes in.  Sorry, should be all good now!  In this episode we discuss:

Want to catch up with us & ask questions for the next show? Find us on Twitter: @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn.  Or leave us a comment!

Twitter Lists & Vanity

By on 5-05-2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Twitter lists seem to be the greatest thing since sliced bread lately.  I have to say that I do love them.  I read a post by my former lovely co-worker Manda Otto about what lists she’s on.  I have to admit that got me thinking and wondering what lists I’m on.  Vanity, and all.  So I looked it up.

28 Listed… Pretty Sweet!

So let’s examine the stats… 14 mentions of affiliate… two mentions of awesome, one mention of amazing.  As you can tell, I seem to have done a pretty good job branding myself as an affiliate marketing professional.  I’m sure I probably reside on more lists that users have chosen to keep private.  I think my two favorite are Dina’s “Too Awesome for Titles” and Linda’s “Geeky Girls to Love”.  Thanks a lot ladies!  Thanks to everyone who thought to toss me onto a list, for that matter.  I know that, personally, a lot of my lists are private because I just don’t feel like making them public.  I know when Twitter lists came out, I went through my entire list and categorized EVERYONE.  And if I didn’t know what category they really belonged in, I cut some.  I think this is a great development for Twitter… much better than the new retweet function!