Oakland Athletics Manicure 2014 Edition

By on 5-21-2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

I’m not a sporty girl by any stretch of the imagination, but growing up in Berkeley and Alameda, my parents raised me with a healthy (okay, obsessive) love of the Oakland Athletics and baseball.  So for years now I’ve looked at the schedule at the beginning of the season and plotted out all the games I wanted to go to based on opponent and promotion and put them on my calendar months in advance.  I’m die hard.  I go all out for games and don’t play around.

Oakland Athletics ManicureNaturally, I do my nails appropriately.  Last year I went searching high & low all over my city for a gold shatter or crackle to use over my green.  I finally found it at the 5th store for half the price I would have at any other store (which, sadly, has since closed).  You can see that manicure in my first nail post, Manicure Madness, from almost a year ago (it’s the last one in the post).  For the first game of this year I wanted to do something different, but appropriate and easily recognizable as an Oakland Athletics manicure.  I don’t have a wide selection of yellow, something I actually want to change soon.  The color yellow I do have, Orly Hook Up, is not quite the right shade of yellow.  Of course, I procrastinated doing my manicure because of other chores that could ruin it, so by the time I started all the beauty supply stores were closed and I couldn’t find a closer shade at my nearby 24-hour Walgreens either.  So I had to just use it and hope no one would call me out on it (which of course they didn’t.)

I did some research on Pinterest and saw a baseball theme that seemed really easy to do – the ball.  So, I endeavored to do my best with my new nail art brushes and some red polish.  I used Zoya Purity as the ball white, Julep Myrtle for the red “stitching”, the alternating green is Julep Valerie and, as I already mentioned, the yellow is Orly Hook Up.  I used the barrette as a guide to which green to use.  In the past, without holding my swatches up to any reference, I’ve used Wet N Wild Fast Dry SaGreena The Teenage Witch as my green, but upon holding them both up to the reference I think Valerie is closer.  I know a year ago I didn’t have Valerie, so I can’t be accused of bad matching!

The baseball stitching is the real “art” of this manicure.  It’s not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but no one had any doubt when glancing at my nails that it was a baseball.  I think next time I do it, which I will do again, I’ll either have better control with my Julep Plié Wand or I might enlist my hubby to do it.  Which sounds odd, but when you consider that he’s very talented at painting small model train scenery and Warhammer miniatures, it actually makes a lot more sense (take a look at his stuff at Railroad Redux).

What did I learn?  Well, before my next game I’ll definitely take my barrette reference to a beauty store or two in search of a better yellow, just to satisfy my OCD.  I’ll also either pony up the dough for these Baseball Thread Nail Art decals (not likely) or make sure the hubs can try his hand at doing the painting.  Overall this was a strong showing for my team and I’ll be sure to “nailgate” again for my next Oakland Athletics game!

Let’s Go Oakland!

Pinterest: An Effective Marketing Tool to Attract Young Consumers

By on 5-21-2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Guest Post by Samantha Gray.

Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular social media platforms that internet marketers like to use in order to win over young consumer (who are often said to be the most difficult target audience to attract because they’re “picky). But if they’re smart, internet marketers  should now be investing a little bit more of their time and effort using a new and upcoming social media site called Pinterest—aka “a marketer’s dream.”  That’s because young consumers who love to shop (mostly women but some men too) flock to Pinterest on a daily basis ready to spend their disposable income.

Ok, so the social media/image bookmarking site isn’t that new (it was established late last summer) but with every passing month the site just continues to get more and more users. Currently there are about 10.4 million registered users, according to the most recent statistics available. And like mentioned earlier, most of the users are young— the same young users who refuse to succumb to your marketing techniques on Facebook but fall for them on Pinterest.  It’s not really sure why this is the case, but the fact that Pinterest is bit more transparent might be the reason. Users know that its purpose is to connect buyers with sellers.

So how does it work exactly?

Like the name suggests, Pinterest is a digital pin board that requires users to scour a collection of highly attractive images called “pins.” These pins can be of any item that interests them. For example, if a user thinks a dress featured in the database is extremely cute then he or she can pin it on their profile/ “board.” If they think the couch is to-to-die for and would love to own it one day, they can pin it on their board too.  It’s great when looking for inspiration for weddings and other events too.

So where does the cash flow in?

A smart marketer will make sure that the image is linked to the coinciding store or blog where that specific item in the photo can be purchased or at the very least taught how to make—recipes for example are also extremely popular on the site. Since users can pin whatever they like, marketers don’t seem so pushy because in a way the users are coming to you—unlike Facebook where marketers are invading a user’s Timeline with updates and can be easily seen as annoying.

Of course, it’s your job to make sure you have the most aesthetically pleasing photos of your product and/or services available so someone will want to pin you on their board.

How else can it be effective?

While a user can purchase the item they pinned directly, a user’s friends can make purchases too. Firstly, they can take a peek a specific user’s pin board so they know what items their friend might like come Christmas or their birthday. Secondly, Pinterest integrates with Facebook and Twitter so that users can post their pins on these sites as well. This means that even someone who doesn’t have Pinterest (but has a Facebook or Twitter account) can see a Pinterest pin. If they like what they see, they can purchase the item too. This means you get to expand your target audience without doing too much. Pinterest users will do it for you.

In sum, Pinterest can be a really useful marketing tool to invest in.

Samantha Gray is a freelance writer based in Houston, Texas, who offers college advice to those interested in furthering their studies and careers. She also enjoys writing about various business-related topics like marketing. She can be reached for questions or comments at [email protected]

The Inaugural Affiliate Summit Central

By on 5-21-2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking

Another conference down, another Affiliate Summit for the record books. The first ever Affiliate Summit Central has drawn to a close. This time around, I attended as a humble affiliate instead of a vendor. Sessions galore were on my agenda for this show, with my only real goal being to get some tips for my sites and Dominic’s, so mission accomplished! I even got some work done for the good ‘ol day job while I was at it!

The mini conference, just a day and a half long, kicked off Monday night with an official welcome party at Maggie Mae’s. It was a terribly crowded joint with a muggy heat and amped up band, so I didn’t end up staying long.  Instead, we wound up in the hotel bar chatting for quite some time and enjoying a glass of one of my favorite wines.

I started out Tuesday morning for a day full of sessions. I hit the second half of a session on optimizing WordPress for speed and sat in on a session for merchants on deals and coupons before a Texas style BBQ brisket lunch. After some grub, I learned more about compliance from Kellie Stevens than I knew existed and got some awesome tips from Jeremy Palmer. The day was rounded out by some great brainstorming with Karen Garcia and others on Pinterest marketing and a surprise balloon artist!

 The Austin Hilton was a terrific venue for this smaller show.  It had the perfect sized conference facilities, while being just a block away from historic 6th St., with many live music venues.  If you were so inclined to explore further, the metro station was right outside as well.  I stayed after many folks left for ShareASale’s Think Tank at Lake Travis, so I had the pleasure of dining in the Liberty Tavern for lunch and Finn & Porter for dinner.  Both great places.

Affiliate Summit would not be complete without an Under the Stars party by ShareASale, of course! Before hand, food was needed! A group of us headed to a nice place called Haddington’s, a gastropub where we were not disappointed with the upscale pub grub. Then we walked over to the party at the Hangar Lounge, a three story venue with a live band on the rooftop area. It was a grat party, complete with a photo booth. Brian Littleton does not disappoint!

All in all, I’d say I got out of  Affiliate Summit Central what I wanted.  A nice trip to Austin, seeing some good friends, and a lot of great nuggets of information to bring back to my personal affiliate endeavors!

Most are not from the conference itself, but see all of my photos from Austin:

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics #59: A Gateway Conference

By on 5-21-2012 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!