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Tag: MarketLeverage

Resources for Affiliate Marketing

This Wednesday I’m giving a two hour introductory talk about affiliate marketing. This is following my plan to start doing more speaking engagements which I enjoy (as mentioned in my post about my talk at Social Media 201).

 
Preparing my Powerpoint deck was fun although it was somewhat time consuming. I also prepared a resource page for the audience.

 
I don’t know exactly the demographics of this blog’s visitors (clearly Alexa is untrustworthy, as I’ve joked about): I would estimate that at least a quarter are seasoned affiliate marketers, another quarter is friends, and the rest are people I meet through Twitter or people who Google for certain topics I’ve written about – Twitter Jail being the most popular (of course, it’s possible to be both a friend, an affiliate marketer, and know me from Twitter :) ).

 
Since I took the time to make this resource list, I figured, why not share it? If you’re an affiliate marketer, you can stop now because at least 95% are things you know, and know well (however, I AM sure most marketers aren’t familiar with the Mobile CPA Network I joined, for example). But if you’re not… proceed.

 
I think I will make more of these introductory posts, explaining resources for building links and other things new affiliate marketers require. But that’s for another time.

 

“Standard” Affiliate networks

These are networks dedicated to physical products or eBooks.
Clickbank Sign up page – eBooks, eCourses
ShareASale sign up page – physical products
Linkshare sign up page – physical products
Linkconnector sign up page – physical products
Commission Junction sign up page – physical products

 

CPA networks

Here are some of my favorite CPA networks: harder to get into than other networks, and normally require a brief phone interview before being approved.
Neverblue sign up page
Marketleverage sign up page
Azoogleads sign page
Clickbooth sign up page
Copeac sign up page

 

Mobile CPA networks

This is a CPA affiliate network dedicated to mobile offers. I am aware of two more such networks, but since I have not used them myself (yet), I’m not listing them.
Sponsormob sign up page

 

Offer directory

An excellent resource for finding offers and comparing commissions across networks.
Offervault

 

PPC: Keyword spying tools

If you’re doing any PPC at all, you really need a keyword spying tool. I used PPCBully 2.0 and thought it’s great.
PPCBully 2.0
Affportal – has a lot of useful tools for PPC campaigns

 

SEO/Blogging: Keyword research tools

If you’re creating search engine optimized niche sites you must do your keyword research.
Micro Niche Finder: superb tool, and even has a ‘brainstorming’ function which just finds good niches for you on its own.
Market Samurai: superb tool which just gets better.
Google Keyword Tool: a good place to start

 

SEO: Link building

eZArticleLink: If you need links, this is a good resource – there’s even a free version!

 

Pay Per View Networks

I included only some of the PPV networks I use.. since this is an introductory talk, I’m not sure I would recommend on PPV being the starting point. However, I didn’t want to leave this out.
DirectCPV
AdOn Network
MediaTraffic

 

Pay Per View Resources

If one does do PPV then Affportal is a must. An absolutely fantastic – and mandatory – resource for PPV which just gets better.
Affportal

 

Email marketing Resources

Here too I only mentioned the one tool I use. Yes, there are others, but this one is the best.
Aweber – best email marketing tool

 

Twitter resources

This is probably better phrased as ‘Twitter monetization resources’.
Ad.ly
SponsoredTweets

 

Media Buying resources

This is useful for anyone doing demographics research for the purpose of media buying. Most definitely not for new or even intermediate affiliates!
Alexa
Quantcast
Compete

 

Domain registration

I registered more than 60 domains with Namecheap and don’t have a single complaint. They’re also the cheapest. In fact, I’m going to register one, possibly two, domains right after I finish this blog post…
Namecheap

 

Domain hosting

Unlike domain registration, I’ve had my share of hosting accounts and was very unhappy with most. However, Hostgator is excellent: very good service, high reliability, quick and friend customer support. Definitely better than the other accounts I used. Even their pricing is competitive!
Hostgator

 

Facebook advertising resources

Since it’s hard to do split-testing with Facebook because there is no way for the average user to get a bulk upload tool, the Facebook Ad Manager is a must in order to do any serious Facebook advertising.
FB Ad Manager

 

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Twitter Money

 

A conversation I often have with fellow internet marketers who are not in Twitter is: is it worth the time investment from a financial perspective? Usually I am told that this is obviously not the case, and thus, disregarding the fact it’s a good way to befriend people, it’s not a good investment in terms of time and money.

 
Although I know some people who have been monetizing Twitter rather successfully, my answer is: yes, this is right in the short term, but no in the longer term. Yes, I’ve made some money using Twitter with SponsoredTweets and Ad.Ly, as well as the occasional affiliate offer, but overall if one wants to monetize his time, then there are definitely easier to make money online.

 
That being said, every day I meet great people and make many useful business connections. To use one example, if it weren’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have met the incredible, pancake loving, Darren Williger (@williger) who invited me to participate as a panelist in a webinar series which is not only great fun, but will be monetized soon as well. Nor would I have been invited to ad:tech as press (yes, I came thanks to this blog – but ad:tech heard of my blog through Twitter). Or be invited to the MarketLeverage VIP Yacht Party during Affiliate Summit East (which obviously was an event many would have paid to participate in and was incredible from a networking perspective).

 
Personally, I think this is just the beginning. The more time passes, the more people I know, the greater my online presence and the possible networking that I can do. So judging Twitter just by the immediate ROI is a mistake, in my opinion. Ask me again in 6 to 12 months and I’m confident I will have significantly better examples than the ones I’ve given.

 
This conclusion is emphasized by the fact I’ve been very active on Twitter for a rather short amount of time – only since the end of July 2009 (though I did register in March).

 

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adtech New York

Although I was not sure I’ll be attending ad:tech NY 2009 until the last moment (because of various family and personal illnesses), I’m certainly glad I did. Overall, I can say it was a blast! Bigger than the last conference I attended, Affiliate Summit East (ASE), but somehow less overwhelming too – perhaps because there were more companies that really did not relate to anything I am doing.

 
After thinking about this for a while, I’ve decided to break my ad:tech summary into three separate posts. One describing my personal experiences, the other describing a few companies I got a chance to talk to, and the last describing the (few) sessions I attended. This is a good point to mention that unlike in ASE, this time I came as press.

 
udi schlessinger's press badge

 

Journalism's very best

Journalism's finest



 
Where shall I begin? Ad:tech took place at the Javits conference center and was enormous. It took me about 15 minutes to just find where I can obtain my press badge. But it was well worth the effort, since after getting it, I saw the monstrous line for ’standard’ passes – there must have been hundreds of people waiting in line!
 
As you can see, it was pretty crowded

As you can see, it was pretty crowded



 
Since this was the first time I came as press, I was very determined to do my job properly. About 1-2 weeks before the conference started, I started getting requests from companies to interview them. Since I got so many, I tried to only pick those that are relevant to me/my background in a way. Despite this filtering I must’ve set meetings with about 15 companies.

 
I started walking the exhibitor booths. The first person I bumped into was Eric Schechter, Clickbooth’s Social Media Manager and a really great guy. I don’t know whether you’re familiar with Eric’s videos (here’s one for example), but he makes the most hilarious videos for Clickbooth. I politely asked him to participate in one of the videos and when he hesitated I resorted to begging. Hopefully I’ll participate in one of those – when crazy is required, I’m always the first to raise my hand ;) .

 
Later I bumped into my ex-boss and CEO from 7 years ago (in my previous career as a technical lead/software architect, I created/redesigned almost all of the company’s products). Since both of us changed industries during this time, we were both quite shocked to see each other. Certainly a surreal experience for me. I also bumped into a friend I haven’t seen since 1992 (another surprising incident). Considering several friends of mine attended ad:tech and I didn’t see them even once since the place was so big, I consider the former occurrences one of those weird coincidences that occasionally happen.

 
Although I had a press pass and was really eager to attend some of the sessions, I spent the entire first day almost exclusively running from one meeting to another. Almost surprisingly, this was actually a lot of fun! My first instinct was to ‘pat myself on the shoulder’ for setting meetings with so many companies that are truly interesting and relevant for me, but after talking to several company executives, I realize that the filtering was mutual: it seems many – if not all – contacted me because my background was relevant to them. Most were familiar with my blog and background.

 
I’ll describe those companies in the next post.

 
Although I did get to attend a few sessions, I simply didn’t have enough time to attend as many as I wanted. Fortunately the third day consisted only of sessions, and most people were gone by then (no more exhibitors).

 
In addition I spent a lot of time talking to the various companies – there were just so many! Interesting how my focus changed in the past few months. In ASE I was primarily interesting in finding unique affiliate offers, so had a lot of conversations with both large and small affiliate networks. But now my hands are pretty full in this respect, so this time I was more interested in finding interesting/cheap/unique traffic sources, so primarily was talking to ad networks and other companies that offer equivalent services.

 
During the day I met many friends I know from the NY affilate meetups, from ASE as well as some of my affiliate managers from some networks that I have not met in person until now. It was great seeing Casan Van Langen, my affiliate manager from AzoogleAds, and finally meeting Melissa Emmett, my affiliate manager from MarketLeverage.

 
Also great to meet friends I know, such as Dina Riccobono (from MarketLeverage), Heather Smith, Miki Rapoport (see his picture below closing a 7 figure deal – a moment I was lucky to capture in real time), Ian Fernando, Ken Chen, Steve Fulop, and many more.

 
Miki closing a big deal

Miki closing a big deal



 
I also had a fantastic meeting with Richard Young (from Arcamax publishing). Just like the last time we have met, we had an absolutely great conversation. I wouldn’t have met him if it weren’t for the yacht party in ASE!

 
One fun thing about ad:tech was the Twitter board. There were a few of those, and they included tweets that mentioned the #adtechny hashtag. I think this was moderated, because I found myself talking to a guy next to it and neither of us saw our tweets on the board. Though eventually I did manage to get one in ;)

 
The full Twitter board

The full Twitter board



 
My tweeted message

My tweeted message



 

Parties

A major aspect of these conferences is the after hours parties. Irritatingly – but understandably – they all took place on the first day. I’ve been invited to six separate parties on Wednesday, and planned to attend three. Unfortunately, I forgot to RSVP one (Clickbooth’s). I went to Azoogleleads’ heaven and hell’s themed party which was awesome (and really embarrassed my wife when I wore the glowing red horns, unlike the standard ‘cloth’ ones, during the entire time. Hey, what’s wrong with some attention? :P ). Unfortunately I can’t provide a picture (believe me, I want to!) because the photographer seems to have omitted it from his website, and did not respond to my email…

 
heavenandhell

 
Later I went to the VIP Mix+Mingle event (organized by Advertise.com, Adknowledge and GenieKnows) – which was tons of fun as well. Still need to find my picture which was taken there somehow.

 
I felt kind of stupid when I saw Clickbooth’s party was right across the street from the VIP Mix+Mingle event, and I couldn’t go because I didn’t RSVP… Eric later chastised me for not calling him (I didn’t have his number!).. next time.

 
I also had to miss the BlogUp, an event organized on the second day that aimed bloggers to meet other bloggers – since by then I started feeling unwell again. Based on what I heard, it was a big success and a lot of fun.

 

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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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Affiliate Summit

The Affiliate Summit (Affiliate Summit East 2009) begins tomorrow. Although I’ve participated in a number of academic conferences (and presented in most), I have to admit I’m particularly excited for this one, as I’ve never been to this type of conference.

 
As a silver pass member, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend many of the lectures I would’ve liked. But it almost doesn’t matter: there are so many people I wish to meet, and have set up meetings with, and there are going to be plenty of networking events and parties (Missy Ward’s party list). This is definitely unlike any academic conference I’ve attended!

 
Since I won a ticket to MarketLeverage’s VIP Yacht Party, it’s obvious I’m particularly looking forward for this social event!

 
I’ll try and provide the highlights of every day from my perspective. Hopefully I won’t be too thrashed after a long day of networking and excitement!

 
Here’s the summit’s agenda, and in PDF version.

 
If anyone outside of town hasn’t seen my list of things to do in NYC, you may want to check it out.

 
This is going to be short so I’ll finish now. Can’t wait for the summit to start! And the coolest thing: unlike most visitors, since I’m a local – I get to sleep in my own bed at home every night. The hotel is about 15 minutes away by Subway from my home ;)

 
P.S. If you read this and see me in the summit, come say hello! I’d be very happy to meet you.

 

 

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