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Archive for August, 2009

Enticing People to Visit Your Blog

Here’s a common scenario: It took a few months where you kept telling yourself “I’m going to start a blog soon, I promise” and you finally have. You put some effort and created several state of the art posts. But no one visits. You look at the traffic logs, and there are two visitors, one is Google (spidering your website) and the second is you.

 
This is a common problem for new blogs: no one knows you or your blog, and they don’t have any reason or interest in visiting your carefully crafted blog. How do you get them to give you a chance?

 
I’ll classify my answer to this issue into two categories: the technical way and the non-technical way. I’ll begin with the non-technical way which will be covered shortly. The second part will be posted tomorrow.

 
In many ways, the non-technical way can also be called the ‘common sense’ way, though some aspects are quite subtle, particularly if you’re very new to the world of blogging.

  1. Quality: write good content. As I wrote in an earlier post (which actually does not even reside on my blog but rather in Murray Newlands’ interview of me… I should copy some parts into my own blog!), you should not be blogging if you don’t find this activity at least somewhat enjoyable. If you enjoy the process, then you are more likely to produce quality content. If you produce quality content, you are more likely to attract people who enjoy it. If you attract people – well, that’s the goal, isn’t it?

     
    A necessary condition, in my opinion, is being passionate (as well as knowledgeable) about what you’re writing about. Don’t try to write about something that you don’t like – as it will be apparent in your writing. If you’re using blogging as way to reach a goal and don’t find the subject matter interesting, then there is probably a better way to achieve what you want other than blogging. Although this may seem obvious, some people just blog for the sake of blogging. Perhaps so they could also say “I have a blog”. It’s very easy to identify these blogs. They’re simply boring. Dull as hell. Sometimes you can even sense the suffering that went into producing a specific post.

     

  2. Consistency: write consistently. Suppose you wrote three very good posts in the span of a week and have started getting a group of people who show interest in your blog, but then stopped for two weeks. Don’t be surprised if these people figure you’ve abandoned blogging and go away (as this happens more often than not – just visit the random blog on blogspot). Particularly at first, it’s crucial that you maintain consistency. Even if it means posting only once a week.

     

  3. Show interest in other blogs. In the past, I’ve participated in blog networks where people visited your blog because the framework was a vast network of blogs and you couldn’t avoid other blogs even if you wanted to. Once you started getting visitors, you felt compelled, sometimes out of curiosity, other times out of politeness, to visit their blogs. It was considered very impolite not to at least express some interest in the blogs of people who used to visit your blog (though there were a few people who never did). These days since most professional blogs are located on their own domains it’s a bit different. Yet when we think about it, it’s not that different. If you consistently visit other blogs, leave interesting and insightful comments with your blog address, you are much more likely to get the blog owner to visit your blog, as well as his own visitors. This is particularly true when using the ‘CommentLuv’ plugin, but I will discuss this tomorrow.

     

  4. Differentiate yourself: find the aspect you’re good at, or particularly interested in, and focus on it. Not only it’s very educational to see what other bloggers in your field are writing about, but you also don’t want to write articles such as “introduction to PPC”, “Introduction to Affiliate Marketing”, “Introduction to CPA” when every single blogger in your field (assuming, in this case, is affiliate marketing) has written a similar post.

     

  5. Know your audience: some people are targeting a very specific audience they aren’t familiar with. This is a recipe for disaster. For example, it would be very difficult for me to write a blog about makeup, as I literally know nothing about it. Even if I use a woman’s name, even if I try and somehow succeed at emulating a certain writing style (assuming one exists – I genuinely don’t know), I believe it will be very obvious to the readers at some point that (a) I have no idea what I’m talking about and (b) I am not even a woman.

     
    If you do this, slip-ups are bound to occur, and then you’ll lose the faith of your bloggers. Once you lose that, it’s over – they won’t give you a second chance. You’re dishonest and can’t be trusted.

     
    Note that – in case you don’t remember – I am an ex-academic. Often I’d read papers of people who would try to write a professional article about a certain subject, and within 5 minutes I’d spot a slip-up. For example, they’d use the wrong terminology. Or treat a fundamental aspect as a novel discovery of their own. Whenever I spotted something like this I immediately stopped taking anything he or she wrote seriously. If one does his research properly, this can’t happen. My conclusion: it’s better to stick with what you know even if you don’t know certain things, than claim to be an expert on something and be caught. I advise you, the kind reader, not to do that.

     
    On the other hand, it’s important to mention that some fields really don’t require a lot of effort to master. Perhaps makeup is a bad example, but I’m sure if I spent 2 hours reading about dog grooming, I can easily write a blog that will at convey enough expertise to be convincing. I have a website about auto insurance, and when I started, I really didn’t know much about it. However, I’ve done so much research when writing articles than now I’m really somewhat of an expert on the topic. It’s not rocket science, after all. However, not all fields like that, particularly fields that require passion (i.e. makeup) or professional knowledge (i.e. health issues). Keep this in mind.

     
    Of course, you can have a wide range of topics you’re willing to cover (i.e. a very wide audience), and – in my humble opinion – that is fine too. This blog, the Industry Review, is about Affiliate Marketing, Social Media, Technology in general, and all that is related. It covers quite a lot of fields, but at least so far, hasn’t really focused on any of those (i.e. I haven’t written a post about “How to use PPV effectively” until now. I could if I wanted to, and maybe I will, but there’s so many other things I want to write about, at least now I haven’t gotten to this point yet.

 
In the second part of this post, I will cover the technical aspects of enticing people to visit your blog. Check this blog tomorrow! Please leave comments of things I have forgotten or omitted.

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Ducks tend to use DoFollow

Ducks tend to use DoFollow


 
Continuing the title of this post, I don’t think this is really a question (maybe a rhetorical one). To me, the answer is clear: DoFollow. I just picked the title because I thought it’s amusing ;)

 
Yesterday I got a call from my good friend Miki Rapoport. He said “Dude, why are you using NoFollow links in your comments? How do you expect anyone to comment?” and I said “ehhm.. but I’m not!”. And then I remembered, Wordpress’ default setting is NoFollow. This was purposely set up to discourage spammers (who won’t gain link benefits though they will get potential traffic). I’ve learned this a long, long time ago but well, haven’t really thought about it since then.

 
This was pretty annoying to find out and I’m glad Miki mentioned it to me. I’ve created dozens of websites, but this has always slipped my mind. And even though I often check the follow status of other websites, that’s not something I’ve ever done for my own sites!

 
Irritatingly, Wordpress doesn’t offer a way to turn it off. However, multiple plugins exist for this very purpose. I repeatedly kept trying 3 Plugins (they all failed) until I found out that the theme I use hard-codes the nofollow links. Once I realized that’s the case it was a trivial thing to correct.

 
That being said, I tried one of the other plugins, the one that was my favorite, in another of my sites, and it worked like a charm.

 
The one I recommend is NoFollow Free, in particular because it is very configurable: you can set it so a number of comments a person makes are nofollow and after a threshold is reached it becomes dofollow. You can also set it so that certain words immediately trigger a nofollow. Pretty useful.

 
I also tested the other two, and they probably work as well (I don’t know because of my theme).

 
Highly recommended for people who want to give some ‘link juice’ to people who leave comments on their websites. The only concern is spammers, but that’s a different story (Akismet, how do I love thee? let me count the ways)

 
Now that my blog is setup for DoFollow, go ahead, leave a comment. I dare ya! ;)

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man hiding from twitter

This is my third post in a row about Twitter. I don’t intend for this to be a Twitter blog, but I guess because I’ve been so into Twitter lately, it’s just often on my mind.

 
Ok, so what’s for today.

 
Recently I realized that tweeting a lot carries with it both professional and personal hazards. I guess this is also true for Facebook, but since my profile has never been public, I never actually felt it.

 
The problem is this: you receive an email, a phone call or a message telling you “this is urgent, deal with it NOW”. Normally, I – and I assume you too – prioritize. If it’s truly urgent, I do it immediately. If it’s not, it waits a bit. Sometimes even slightly longer than a bit. I believe the vast majority of time I am able to get whatever I need to do in a the right amount of time, so that’s fine.

 
However, when you Twitter a lot, it’s kind of hard to hide what you’re doing since it’s all so public. Here are two examples.

 
Question: “Say, didn’t you said you’re going to visit your parents? How come you were Tweeting about watching TV at home?”
Udi: “Emmm…”.

 
Question: “Say, didn’t you say you were going to return that email ASAP? How come you were quoting Robin Williams in Twitter?”
Udi: “Emmm…”.

 
And the worst of all:

 
Question: “Say, didn’t you say you’re too busy to take our son from daycare? How come you were tweeting with that cute girl with the name I can’t remember?”
Udi: “Emmm……*slight note of fear*”.

 
What makes it worse for me is that in my ’stupidity’, I actually added my last tweets to my blog (see top right corner), and each includes message and time. So you don’t even to be familiar with Twitter. My mother can go to my website and see exactly whether I’m home (if there’s no Tweet for 5 hours, I’m either extremely busy or not home). I can already imagine the questions: “you were home and you didn’t pick up the phone. I am SO disappointed in you, my eldest son.”

 
This creates problems, as you can imagine. Moreover, as the world becomes more connected, i.e. some personal gadgets can tell where you currently are (for example geo-location is available on cell phones, and certain iPhone applications use that), we lose more and more of our privacy.

 
Until now I was fairly immune to this, but I guess this is a major change, and by actually writing about this, I’m exposing myself to more scrutiny (since some friends/family haven’t thought about this). In my specific case, I can always say tweeting is part of my work (and that should get me off the hook, though I’ll probably have a hard time convincing my parents this is indeed true!)

 
Ah, the problems of the the second decade (almost) of the 21st century. I wonder what the future holds. I’m sure we’ll adapt and our kids will find it hard to believe this was actually not a problem once (just like teenagers nowadays can’t imagine the time their parents not being available on a cell phone when they were their age).

 
Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next! I just hope some shred of privacy remains.

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Twitter bots

This is going to be a short post. Mainly interested in people’s opinions so feel free to either comment or email me at udi @ industryreview.org.

 
We all know there’s a terrible spam problem at Twitter. Also, we all know there are lots of bots in Twitter.

 
People who know me even for a short amount of time know I have a very weird memory when it comes to numbers, personal details, birthdays (i.e. during college I remembered all my friends’ social security numbers. I didn’t even try, it just.. stuck somehow). This is a fun party trick, and extremely useful in professions which require remembering many details about lots of participants. Affiliate Marketing and Academia, two fields I’ve been in, are actually really good examples. Anyway, I’m diverging from my point.

 
Lately I noticed something which we all noticed, i.e. groups of Twitter users suddenly appearing with very similar characteristics & identical messages. I’m sure Twitter is very much onto them.

 
What bothers me a bit more is that I started noticing a group of users that until now I thought are really well established Twitter users, repeating the same sentences again and again. But not often (like the standard bots, which sometimes repeat the same sentences within minutes) but significantly less often, like once a day. These sentences seem to be identical, and at times meaningless – and don’t seem to promote any product. I would estimate there are at least 15-20 people in this group, from both sexes, various ages and ethnicities. That’s actually one of the thing that looked suspicious to me, why would a young girl repeat exactly the same sentence an elderly gentleman said a day before?

 
Maybe it’s just my overly active mind, and these are all real people who have the same sense of humor, and from some reason, decide to repeat the same sentences very infrequently, but to me this seems kind of odd. Maybe they all belong to a cult. A Twitter cult. I really don’t know.

 
I suspect these are much more advanced bots. Perhaps establishing themselves very subtly as ‘real people’, and occasionally, very infrequently, trying to promote a product (I haven’t been following them that closely to notice that until now).

 
I can definitely say that none of them has ever responded to a comment or a direct message I sent. I can also say that I tried repeating some of their sentences (by now I remember quite a few), and got no response. I’m somewhat wary of doing it more often in case this really is a group of bots and by doing so, I’ll be marked as one eventually.

 
Anyway: have you noticed this too? I’d rather not specify which sentences/users in case I incur the wrath of real people, or worse, a very aggressive bot operator. I’d really like to get feedback.

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my twitter followers

I started using Twitter some time in April, but only in July really started using it heavily (see my previous post on explaining Twitter. Since then I have seen countless tweets promoting tools that increase the number of your followers. I don’t know whether they work since I haven’t tried them, but I believe they do (with the general idea: if you follow X number of people, at least a third will return the follow. Do this enough times and you’ll gain a lot of followers). How else can you explain users with 10,000 followers and no tweets?

 
An additional point to consider: I tend to question the quality of the followers you get using them – often quality doesn’t go well with quantity, particularly if things are automated. If you don’t look at your followers – at all – how do you know who they really are? For all you know they could be bots. This is true for me, too, but at least I try to evaluate the account with my own eyes and don’t rely on software.

 
I’ve used twollow myself (an online tool which adds followers based on criteria) for 2-3 days, but didn’t feel any effect, and I mean any. I’m guessing it’s particularly useful for people who don’t use Twitter at all, and just want to gain followers on auto pilot (without having to log in at all). I know at least one guy who gained 3,000 followers this way over a span of several months.

 
In July 30th I had 191 followers. Today, August 22nd, 12:30pm (the day is still young) I have 1391 followers. How did I do that? It’s been roughly 3 weeks in which I gained exactly 1200 followers. Moreover, I was completely out of commission for about 4 days during this time (3 days I was at a conference, read my blog for more details, and one day I spent moving to a new apartment without any internet connection).

 
In the Twitter universe 1391 is not really considered a lot of followers. But still, I did it without any help of tools and on my own, and – in my opinion – in a relatively short amount of time. And I expect the rate of followers to only keep increasing (at least that’s what I’ve been noticing so far – I believe the more followers you have, the larger the target audience you reach, and your overall network grows).

 
So how did I do that? My answer is simple and is one word: interaction.

 
During this time, I interacted with people, asked questions, sent responses, sent the occasional article I found amusing or educational, retweeted the occasional message I found interesting. Yes, I did it quite intensively. But it worked, you have to agree with that, no? Even better than hard, cold numbers: I made friends during this time, people I now correspond with on a daily basis.

 
Twitter is all about interaction. Interact with people, offer value in your tweets, make friends – and you’ll get plenty of followers. Although some tools & methods may work faster (maybe even much faster), I think this is the better way, both in the short and in the long term.

 
An image is worth a thousand words: check my followers chart above (though to be honest, I don’t think it captures the trajectory correctly – I only “updated” it today, so it treats “yesterday” as July 30th. Still it proves my point. As you can see I got 7 followers since I updated my follower counter).

 
I’m sorry if you were expecting some sort of technological solution in this post. I’m sure some tools offer way better results than I have obtained. But I truly believe this is the better way. It certainly is more fun :)

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Explaining Twitter to your Facebook Friends

This post was surprisingly hard to phrase exactly the way I wanted to. In fact, it took me three days to write, and during this time an event happened which directly related to what I was writing.

 
Before I begin, I want to quickly compare Facebook and Twitter.

 
Facebook: you have a list of friends, who see your status messages which you can frequently change, you can share with them photos, videos, email, a million applications & games, and even chat. You’re limited to 5,000 friends.

 
Twitter: you have a list of friends, who can see your status message you can frequently change, but are limited to 140 characters. You can send email, but again, are limited to 140 characters. You can see status of groups using the # tag (i.e. #quotes). You can resend other people’s status (Retweeting) which will result in your followers seeing this message. You’re not limited to a maximum number of friends.

 
I’ll admit that a few months ago Twitter seemed to me like a stripped down version of Facebook. Why would I need Twitter if I have Facebook? I mean, everything I can do with Twitter, I can do with Facebook, only better, right? That’s a view that most of my friends on Facebook seem to have. And like I said, until recently, so did I.

 
But oh, how wrong was I. If you’re a Twitter user that that follows at least 200 users you probably know what I mean. If not, please read on.

 
Once I started using Twitter more seriously I realized that Twitter and Facebook, although on the surface seem like two incredibly similar applications, are in fact completely different creatures. The difference is simple. In my opinion – and some readers may disagree – Twitter is not so much a social network, as much as a cross between a gigantic chat room and a search engine. Whereas Facebook is, well, a straightforward social network. Each is great in its own way – I don’t mean to imply one is better than the other, they just have different usages.

 
The way I see things, in Facebook the point is really staying in close contact with your friends. Seeing pictures of their kids. Getting a general update of what they do in their lives. All relatively slow paced. In Facebook changing your status more than, say, 5 times a day is almost considered impolite, whereas in Twitter some people change their status hundreds of times a day (which would be completely unacceptable in Facebook – I think they even warn you if you do this).

 
But that is the entire point! In Twitter the point is ultra-fast conversations between individuals and groups of people. The 140 limit is intentional: it (correctly) assumes that our attention span is becoming shorter, and consequently, enforces brevity – short and precise messages. In Twitter you can send a message to all your followers (which could be more than a million, i.e. @Mashable), or send a message to followers of a group, which are marked by the # symbol. So sending a message to #quotes will result in everyone checking this list getting the message.

 
In twitter, Retweeting is a large part of the culture: sharing something with everyone that you got. Or reinforcing that a tweet you saw by Retweeting it – kind of like saying “I also think this is good”. If I tweet something, and Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) with his 3,270,965 followers decides to retweet it, then these 3 million twitter users will see it. That’s a huge difference between Facebook and Twitter.

 
But the biggest difference of all is essentially that of Twitter being a Search Engine. I only got this point when I heard Jay Berkowitz (@JayBerkowitz)’s excellent seminar. In Google, if you’re lucky, a site is indexed in 1-3 days. Sometimes sites aren’t indexed for months, and if you have a doubt, check out my own site: www.sciportal.com, kind of a website I use for testing various things (and the first domain I owned for commercial applications). It hasn’t been indexed since June 20th despite repeated attempts to force Google to index it using various methods.

 
So suppose I want to ask someone whether the new movie, District 9, is any good. All I need to do is go to search.twitter.com and search for ‘district 9′, and I will find hundreds of people who tweeted about it in the last 10 seconds. Can you do that in Facebook? Can you do that in Google? Most definitely not.

 
Consequently, attempting to compare Facebook and Twitter without considering all these facts is like comparing oranges and apples. It’s simply not the same thing and not even close.

 
The frustrating thing is that many Facebook users – again, yours truly was like this before – join Twitter and expect the Facebook experience. They are annoyed by the vast number of messages. Admittedly, it can and is overwhelming at first, and that’s why tools such as TweetDeck exist – to create order in the chaotic mess that the Twitter timeline is.

 
Today, a friend of mine “diplomatically” complained that I’m sending too many tweets and this is “noise” in his opinion. I “diplomatically” replied “too bad, that’s how Twitter works, maybe you should stick to Facebook if that’s how you feel”. He thought I was being sarcastic, but I was not. I explained him that what he sees as noise is what I consider a wealth of opportunity to meet people, to hear a random smart quote I can retweet, to get the occasional relevant article that I would’ve never seen otherwise. To meet new friends. And that to me, this is not noise at all, but the entire point of Twitter. I also pointed out that I follow more than 20 times the number of people he does (he follows 50 people, I follow around 1,100), and yet I manage not to be overwhelmed and in fact greatly enjoy the process.

 
His response was to unfollow me. I think he thought I’m trying to mock him, but I genuinely was not. Twitter is about interaction. If you want a silent, nearly static, social network experience, then Facebook really is for you. But if you want the “noise” that Twitter brings, the retweets, the group chats: the #FollowFridays, the #Quotes, the #Google messages – the chaotic mess that is Twitter, then you are going to love it in Twitter.

 
Personally, I love both. So I use Facebook in one way, and Twitter in a completely different way. And that’s how things should be in my opinion.

 
What do you think? In this article in particular I am eager to receive comments. Either way, don’t forget to follow me! :)

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SEO for Bing, Yahoo and Google

With all that’s going on these days in the search engine arena, I believe it’s particularly important to try to optimize sites not just for Google but for other search engines as well (which are, of course, Bing and Yahoo). The good thing is that SEO for all these search engines is rather similar. However, there are some factors that make a difference.

 
I have conducted a search online to find analysis of SEO for the various search engines. I found several excellent documents. Here’s what I found:

 
SeoWizz.net has done a conclusive analysis between Bing and Google SEO optimization. My summary is this:

  1. Google greatly values incoming links, particularly diversity, more than Bing does.
  2. Bing favors older domains.
  3. Bing favors links from pages that include your keywords in their title.

 
Inchoo.net adds that:

  1. Bing assigns more importance to the title tag than Google does.
  2. Bing favors older domains (similar conclusion to SeoWizz).
  3. Bing likes more incoming links than Google (which in fact, contradicts SeoWizz). It is possible to resolve this contradiction by not just looking at the number of backlinks but also factoring link diversity – an element Inchoo did not take into consideration (I believe).

 
SeoWizz also analyzed the difference between Yahoo and Google.

  1. Google takes into consideration meta tags whereas Yahoo does not.
  2. Google places more weight on incoming links than Yahoo does.
  3. Google assigns more importance to domain age than Yahoo (an interesting observation, considering Bing is even more extreme in that respect).
  4. SeoWizz’s conclusion is that Google is better at treating a site as a whole (i.e. a collection of pages) than Yahoo, which treats every page individually.

 

keyword rankings

This image shows rankings for several of my websites using various key phrases, for both Google (G), Yahoo (Y) and Bing (B) with a broad search. This was generated using Market Samurai, an excellent keyword research tool that can be used for a huge range of tasks, including keyword research, ranking, monetization, publishing content. Definitely the best tool in its category. It examines the top 200 results, and is sorted according to Google’s results.

 
When I look into my own site statistics, it becomes obvious the majority of my websites/phrases rank better on Google than either Bing or Yahoo. So the results are generally consistent with the reported above observations. That being said, my own experience – which was not mentioned by either of the above websites – is that Google assigns a lot of value to the site URL, much more than both Yahoo and Bing.

 
Therefore, I believe the rankings of my websites for the various search engines are currently the way they are because:

 
First, most of my sites are new to relatively new – thus, they would not be favored by Bing but would be liked by Google.

 
Second, I believe most of my sites have a rather diverse link portfolio and quite a lot of links. Again, liked by Google.

 
Third, most of my highly ranked websites are using a domain name that is heavily searched (found using keyword research tools) whereas the sites that are not well ranked are not.

 
Even this domain, Industry Review, is ranked #5 for Google for the broad key phrase ‘industry review’! And I have not done any backlinking or SEO. I think this heavily supports my conclusion.

 
That being said, there are the occasional anomalies. I can only explain those by certain Google slaps. These are actually sites that did very well at first, but suddenly drifted into the 200+ position (and have slowly improved over time).

 
It is going to be interesting to see what the new Binghoo engine is going to bring us, and how the various differences are going to be resolved. Personally, I am quite excited, as I see more opportunities than perils.

 
For additional reading:

 
http://www.seowizz.net/2009/06/bing-seo-how-does-it-differ-to-google.html

 
http://inchoo.net/online-marketing/seo-for-bing/

 
http://www.seowizz.net/2009/05/difference-between-google-seo-and-yahoo.html

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The third and final day started with a keynote presentation given by Peter Shankman (@SkyDiver). Peter claims to have ADOS (Attention Deficient Ooh Shiny!). I think this was one of the best talks I’ve ever heard, and I intend to write a separate post summarizing what I learned from it later on this week. Peter is a natural speaker and is also extremely funny (and you can tell that it was not rehearsed because he had very funny responses to some of the questions posed by the audience).

 
After that, I went to lunch with Paul Moss and Jenn Cmich. Moss Affiliate Marketing are a small affiliate network but one of my favorites. They are extremely attentive – and well – are just great. The lunch (which was planned this months ago) was with Paul, the owner (check out his Blog) and Jenn, my affiliate manager. It was great to finally meet them in person after several phone conversations and lots of emails. I highly recommend joining them – they are the most attentive network I participate in.

 
After this, I went for a final visit through the Meet Market, took some business cards, some souvenirs, made some more connections, and went home.

 
meetup

 
Later that night we had a 202 affiliate meetup (we do this every month here in NY) which was great, where I again met many of my friends and made some new ones. This was a great finale to a fantastic summit! (The picture was taken by Nils Friedman – whom I don’t think is on Twitter – but has a photography website)

 

My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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Affiliate Summit East


 
Credit to both pictures here belong to Drew Bennett (@BenSpark), who shows everyday photos on his blog.

 
I was warned that day 2 is going to be even tougher than day 1, fortunately, this proved to be wrong. The day started by a very inspiring keynote presentation by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) and Julien Smith (@Julien)

 
The Meet Market, if anything, was less hectic than before even though there were (supposedly) more people and many new vendors. I spoke to representatives from Linkshare, Azoogleads, Commission Junction, Linkconnector, Clickbooth, Clickbank, Copeac, Shareasale, MediaWhiz and some other networks I’m not a member of (and probably some I am a member of and simply forgot). By now I was used to networking (not that I’m ever bad at it), but was handling it like a used car salesman. I literally patted myself on the back.

 
One of the nice thing about the summit is that they offered a mentor/mentee program. Since I’m new to this industry, and historically whenever I made mistakes, they were a result of lack of information (and because of not planning ahead or bad judgment), I figured this could be both helpful and fun. Jen Goode (@Jgoode), the organizer, assigned me to Jay Berkowitz (@JayBerkowitz), one of the speakers, and owner of Ten Golden Rules, an internet marketing consulting firm.

 

jay-berkowitz


 
Jay turned out not only to be a superb mentor, but also a really, really nice guy. He also gave a very interesting talk where he discussed 10 emerging trends that will likely to dominate next year, 2010. After his talk was over, Jay and I had a very interesting discussion in which he interviewed me for his podcast series; in the podcast we discussed the advice he gave me, how I implemented it (“Perfectly” according to him), and how extremely helpful it could be for other people as well. I intend to dedicate a separate post to our discussions and the advice he gave me, as well as provide a link once it’s up.

 

pizza party

Later I went on to MarketLeverage’s pizza party with John Chow (@JohnChow). This event was organized by Dina (@MLDina) and was a lot of fun.

 
It’s quite funny, the highlight of the summit – for me – were the two MarketLeverage events. However, I’m not even a MarketLeverage affiliate! How Ironic ;)

 
Even though there were plenty of parties afterwards, I really felt the need to go home, rest a bit, and see my son. What’s the point of living 15 minutes away from a conference if you don’t get to see your family? (By the time I got home on Sunday both my wife and son were already asleep). I mean, who can resist this cute little face? ;-)

Cutest creature ever

 
My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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affiliate summit east meet market

Before I begin: I took a lot of pictures from the day using my crappy phone camera (I know, I should’ve brought a camera), so when I met Drew Bennett, a professional photographer and the guy behind the “Photo a day” blog, I asked for his permission to use his photos. So all credit goes to him.

 
I know I said I’m going to be providing every day a summary of the summit. What I didn’t realize is how intense it is going to be, and how tired I’ll be at the end of every day. And once I returned, how much work and emails would’ve piled up. Excuses, excuses, I know. Anyway, I figure, better late than never. So here’s my perspective on the fantastic event that was Affiliate Summit East 2009.

 
The day started with the Meet Market. Basically a space filled with merchants, affiliate networks, affiliates and press all trying to talk to each other. I’m pretty used to similar events, but it was quite overwhelming (considering more than 3,000 people registered to ASE that should not be surprised). I started losing my voice after about 45 minutes – probably spoke to 15 people by this time. Nonetheless, I forced myself to network as much as possible, after all, this is what the summit is all about (I call this “Networking on Steroids”). And it was definitely worth it: I made so many contacts, some of which I hope have become new friends, which just proves how important these networking events are.

 
Of particular interest was meeting the PPCBully guys. PPCBully 2.0 is a fantastic research tool for PPC advertising which I bought, and watched their weekly webinars with great interest. So it was very cool meeting Emil Paz (@ppcbully), Ran Aroussi (@Aroussi) and Yefi Gureni (@yefig) in person.

 
But in the back of my mind I was just thinking of the evening. Why? Because of the Yacht Party! As I stated in a previous post, I won a ticket to the MarketLeverage Yacht Party.

 

Market Leverage Yacht Party from John Chow on Vimeo.

the valiant

Once it was evening, three limos (each with room for 28 people!) took us to the Valiant, the yacht where the party was to take place on. Although there were some hiccups, the first two limos were taken to the wrong address (fortunately I was on the third), this ruined none of our moods. Once we were all on the boat, we ate a delicious meal made by celebrity chef Casey Thompson.

 

statue of liberty

Then the cruise started, we went from the east river southward, reached the statue of liberty, made a circle and got back to where we left.During this time I was introduced to many interesting, exciting and successful people. First I got to meet super blogger John Chow (@JohnChow), and even star at the beginning of his coverage of this trip (as you can see in the movie above). John is not just a super blogger, but also extremely friendly. He is also the man who defeated Google (I hope I’m linking to the right article).

 
I also met and had a long and insightful conversation with Drew Bennett (@BenSpark), the “Photo a day” blogger, Kim Rowley (@KIMarketing), an affiliate marketing mogul (been doing affiliate marketing longer than anyone I have ever met!). Heather Smith (@HeatherinBC), also known as the Blog Queen, who’s always up to a good laugh (we played my standard game of “guess where I’m from” based on my accent, and for the first time ever someone actually got it! Not heather ;) , Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands), a cool guy who was quite shocked I’m not doing (yet!) email marketing. I also spoke to Richard Young, a publisher, and our conversation was one of the best I’ve had during the entire summit (not just the Yacht party) – what a great guy. There were many more. Apologies to anyone whom I’ve forgotten! Remind me if I forgot you? please?

 

yacht party

 
All of this was made possible thanks to the amazing Dina Riccobono (@MLDina) who organized this entire event for MarketLeverage. Dina is not just a fantastic organizer, but a sweet and fun person.

 
My summary of day 1

My summary of day 2

My summary of day 3

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