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Affiliate Summit Conferences: NYC August 15-17 + Las Vegas January 9-11

The Official Magazine of Affiliate Summit Issue 10 | April 2010

4,125 Affiliate Marketers in Vegas!


Affiliate Summit West 2010 Recap
Page 13

How to Kick the


Hype Habit
By Rosalind Gardner
Page 3

Walking the Straight


and Narrow
By Dush Ramachandran
Page 17

Increase Conversions
by Shooting Your
Designer
By Tim Ash
Page 28

www.affiliatesummit.com

Table of Contents
Cover photo: Dr. Robert Cialdini
Photo by Brad Crooks

03 How to Kick the Hype Habit 12 Learning and Building 24 Understanding the Mindset
By Rosalind Gardner Through Relationships of Affiliates
By Patrick Vesperman By Joris Toonders
04 The Work-at-Home Dad:
Finding Balance 13 Affiliate Summit West 25 Your Lifestream as One Big
By Daniel M. Clark 2010 Recap Affiliate Link
By Shawn Collins By Brian Littleton
06 Behind the Scenes of
26 New Look at Affiliate
Colorado’s Affiliate Tax Fight 17 Walking the Straight
By Jeannine Crooks and Narrow Motivation
By Dush Ramachandran By Geno Prussakov

07 Of Golf and Affiliate


19 Are You Using Twitter 27
Ask Shawn Collins:
Marketing Do Affiliate Marketers
the Right Way?
By Matt McWilliams By Matt Enders Need a Blog?
By Shawn Collins
08 Increase Your Productivity 20 Co-Registration 101
and Decrease Your Workload By Blake Hamann 28 Increase Conversions by
By Brian Williams Shooting Your Designer
21 Should You Listen To Your By Tim Ash
09
Dealing with an Advertiser’s Affiliate Manager?
Landing Page Changes By Bryn Youngblut
By Ian Fernando
22 Upcoming Events
10 Does Making S@#! Up for
Attention Work? 23 MasterCard Massacre Paves
By Jim Kukral Way for Industry Leaders
By Laura Miller
11 Mobile First for Google.
How About You?
By Michael Martin

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 1


Issue 10 | APRIL 2010
Editors’ Note – 10th Issue
™ The Affiliate Marketing Cowboy
Affiliate projects started and abandoned;
STAFF blog posts, Tweets and forum posts made
without thinking - those will be around
Co-Editors in Chief long into the future; great ideas left on the
Missy Ward, Shawn Collins drawing board.

Co-Publishers “I got a life that most would love to have;


Missy Ward, Shawn Collins But sometimes I still wake up fightin’ mad”

Working from home, flexible hours, freedom.


Contributing Writers It’s a great arrangement if you can make it
Tim Ash, Daniel M. Clark, Shawn Collins, Jeannine work.
Crooks, Matt Enders, Ian Fernando, Rosalind
Gardner, Blake Hamann, Jim Kukral, Brian Littleton, Though it’s not easy and nothing is a given.
Michael Martin, Matt McWilliams, Laura Miller, Of course, you know that already. Maybe
Geno Prussakov, Dush Ramachandran, Joris that’s why we get a little tense some days.
Toonders, Patrick Vesperman, Missy Ward, Brian
Williams and Bryn Youngblut “The urge to run, the restlessness;
The heart of stone I sometimes get;
The things I’ve done for foolish pride;
Graphic Design
Lynn Lee Design
Shawn Collins The me that’s never satisfied”

We’re a competitive bunch. If there is an


Magazine Coordinator The affiliate marketer is a unique animal. It average EPC for an offer, we want to do
Amy Rodriguez takes all kinds and there are many paths of plenty better. If our competitors are making
an affiliate. X with a network, we want to hit 2X.
Affiliate Summit
1253 Springfield Avenue, Suite 327 We’ve got those focused on blogs, mobile, Trying to be top dog for the sake of it isn’t
New Providence, NJ 07974-1935 PPC, content sites, video, SEO, coupons, prudent business, though. No matter, we’re
tel (417) 2SUMMIT (278-6648) email, and any number of other methods to driven by our super-ego.
fax (908) 364-4627 do it.
At the end of the day, we are our business,
Articles in FeedFront Magazine are the opinions Some wear a white hat. Others wear a black so we’re bound to be unsatisfied by anything
of the author and may not necessarily reflect the hat. We’re all working the frontier together less than self-actualization.
views of the magazine, or its owners. FeedFront and apart for some sort of common goal...
Magazine always welcomes opinions of an
You’d never know I just took one intro
starting up and building something of our
opposite nature. psychology class back in college. Actually, it’s
own to pay the bills and enable us to live this
pretty clear, isn’t it?
life.
For more information, visit: www.FeedFront.com
“We ride and never worry about the fall;
I think country music artist Tim McGraw
I guess that’s just the cowboy in us all”
Interested in advertising? Please visit captures us all pretty well in his song, “The
http://feedfront.com/advertising/ or email us at: Cowboy in Me”. We didn’t get into this business to be safe. It’s
contact@feedfront.com
a constant gamble with so many variables,
“I don’t know why I act the way I do;
but that’s part of the beauty.
© 2010 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Like I ain’t got a single thing to lose;
Authors Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy; We’re constantly trying to tame the wild
I guess that’s just the cowboy in me” horses of affiliate marketing. Yeehaw!
Let’s admit it, we’re not rocket scientists.
More like mad scientists. We know what we
should do, but we don’t always do it. Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and
Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine.
Like many of you, I’ve got a past littered with
PPC campaigns that blew out credit cards,
because I wasn’t paying close attention; or
years of valuable content lost, due to a failure
to back things up.
How to Kick
the Hype Habit
By Rosalind Gardner
Rosalind Gardner

As an affiliate marketer, you’re far too smart certainty. More than a few affiliates have Use the copywriting strategies above to
to fall for a line like “Make $100 Million (Lose had their ClickBank and AdWords accounts create something better than “grab a sucker
20 Pounds, Score a Hottie, Cure Your Acne) by suspended for making false benefit claims quick” hyped-up copy that might make a
Tomorrow – Guaranteed!!!” Right? about their merchants’ products. If you’d few quick sales, yet destroys your long-term
prefer to stay out of court for deceptive business prospects.
Well, if you’re under the mistaken impression advertising – keep it real.
that your prospects are somehow less savvy Work at it. You can have a more lucrative
than you, or that the best way to promote 2. Stay away from the CAPS lock. You don’t and sustainable affiliate business when you
products online is by mimicking the copy have to SHOUT at your prospects to get strive to diffuse skepticism, forge emotional
that shows up in your spam folder, it’s time to your point across. Just one exclamation connections and create relationships with
reconsider your approach, as all but the most point is all you ever need, if an exclamation prospects who trust you with their hard-
indiscriminate and unsophisticated buyers point is required at all. Attract and appeal earned cash.
are sick and tired of hype. to a broader, more intelligent audience
with simple and direct wording, without Learn to craft copy that builds trust and
Like you, they have endured “snake oil” the cheesy styling gimmicks. credibility with intelligent people - like
pitch bombardment for years. And with less yourself.
money to spend in this down economy, smart 3. Don’t sell. Avoid “buy it now” and other
shoppers are even more resistant to blatant aggressive sales terminology to create false
sales copy. Write just one word to make the urgency and make the quick sale. Your job Rosalind Gardner is the author of the best-
needle on their B.S. detector flicker ever is to educate readers so they can make selling “Super Affiliate Handbook” and her
so slightly and you’ve killed the potential well-informed buying decisions. Leave it up various blogs and consulting services can be
for a sale. Worse, you have also lost the to your merchant to seal the deal. accessed through RosalindGardner.com.
opportunity to build a profitable long-term
relationship. 4. Be patient. Hype-up copywriting is
a symptom of laziness. A sustainable
If you really want “killer” conversion rates business takes time to develop, so don’t
and “eye-popping” commission checks, learn rush. Make the effort to create rapport
to tone down your “amazing” promotional with your audience by getting to know
vocabulary and kick the hype habit with the who they really are - their problems, wants,
following 5 tips. needs and desires.

1. Avoid making absolutist claims. Unless 5. Be empathetic. Communicate your


you are the one person on planet who can understanding of your readers’ situation on
predict the future, don’t offer guarantees an emotional level to build trust and the
which cannot be delivered with absolute basis for a long-term relationship.

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 3


The Work-at-Home Dad:
Finding Balance
By Daniel M. Clark
table and 15 boxes of comic books in it. The corner desk
has no chair, and the monitor has no computer attached
to it. My printer is in there, wirelessly networked to my
laptop, which resides on my living room coffee table. My
office isn’t my office; my living room is my office. I get
work done and get to hang out with the kids.

3. Let the kids interrupt you occasionally


The work I do allows me the freedom to be
interrupted—something regular listeners of my podcast
can readily attest to. Never has my business suffered
due to an interruption by the kids. Welcome it! They can
be a great stress reliever during a rough day.
Daniel M. Clark
4. Make the kids part of your work
Depending on the kind of work you do, this might not
I’ve spoken with a lot of people about their work situations be possible for you, but I know several affiliates that
at events like Affiliate Summit, in forums and on blogs. In incorporate their kids into their business efforts. Kids
my informal polling, the number of people in our industry are great at offering unfiltered feedback and coming up
that work at home far exceeds any other industry I’ve ever with ideas; they’re great at jumpstarting your creative
worked in. Many of us have kids of various ages, which can juices, too.
make for some interesting work days.
5. Don’t forget your spouse
Working at home when kids are around can be a challenge. Make time to spend with your spouse without the kids.
If the kids aren’t of school age, they’ll certainly want your This is often easier said than done, but it’s vital to a
attention during the day, and finding a balance between healthy relationship.
work and family is paramount to a healthy, stable life.
I’ll occasionally read something on Twitter, usually from
I’ve worked at home and been the primary caregiver (we someone that likes to post “motivational poster” one-liners,
never utilized day care) for over four years, and these are a to prove that they’re not wasting time watching TV. They’ll
few of my suggestions. say that that they’re “a winner” because they’re “killing it” by
cutting out all the so-called fluff in their lives.
1. Blow off work
We generally like to brag about how our sites make If you’re not working to have time for fun with your family
us money while we’re sleeping, right? If your sites are and friends—yes, even occasionally watching TV—what are
giving you an extra six to eight hours of income, take you working for?
advantage of it! Spend an extra half hour having lunch
with the kids. Leave your home office at 3 or 4, instead
of 5 or 6. You’ll still come out ahead with a few hours of Daniel M. Clark is a blogger (danielmclark.com) and one half
extra “sleep time” income. of the Geek Dads Weekly podcast (geekdadsweekly.com), a
show aimed at dads dedicated to raising kids in a digital age.
2. Make your living room your office
Who says you have to work in your home office? My
home office currently has my son’s crib, his changing

4 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


By Jeannine Crooks

Jeannine Crooks, Photo by: Brad Crooks

Behind the Scenes of Colorado’s Affiliate Tax Fight


On the Saturday following Affiliate Summit Fortunately Colorado affiliates like to received a personalized packet including
West 2010, the first email alert came: “Over network. Consequently, we had several detailed information about the impact on
the summer you alerted us to legislation that meet-up groups willing to flood the email their districts.
would harm affiliate marketers. House Bill boxes of target legislators. In fact, one
10-1193 was introduced yesterday, requiring Senator pleaded with us to turn off the The next day, negotiations began to remove
any out-of-state retailer with affiliate referral emails. We didn’t. Affiliates also posted “affiliates” from the bill’s language.
relationships to collect sales taxes.” relentlessly on legislator’s Facebook pages
and replied to them on Twitter. Marc Braunstein, ShopAtHome.com and
Sure enough, the Affiliate Tax fight had David Asseoff, Adperio.com (formerly
come to Colorado. For the next three weeks I’ll be honest – testifying before the CPAStorm) provided tremendous corporate
life revolved around this effort, navigating House and Senate Finance Committees resources, including legal counsel, public
through the intense, complicated process was terrifying. The legislators, especially relations, and even hiring lobbyists on our
necessary to fight – and win – on Capitol Hill. the Senators, were very intelligent and behalf. Both filled the audiences with their
I was lucky enough to have a front row seat. asked tough questions. However, some staffs during Finance Committee testimony.
of the questions had nothing to do with
First, forget everything you learned in Civics our issue; their sole purpose was political I am grateful to those who helped, shocked
Class. Second, it’s important to know that grandstanding for the record. I had to watch at those who didn’t, and ready to support
there was no single “eureka” moment in the every word I said so it couldn’t be used anyone else who faces the same challenge.
fight. We’ll never know specifically what against us later.
turned momentum our way. Success came The battle is ongoing in Colorado and other
from the combined efforts of hundreds of Over 70 people signed up to testify; states. On Monday, March 8th, Amazon
affiliates. ultimately only a handful spoke, but the terminated all of their Colorado affiliates.
Committee could not ignore the sheer
In Colorado’s case, the bill’s primary purpose numbers who showed up to protest.
was to generate revenue to offset a budget Jeannine Crooks is the Director of Affiliate
shortfall, using the pretense that small Jen Goode, Ken O’Donovan, Franklin Baker, Marketing for OneBigPlanet.com, a marketing
bookstores suffered since Amazon wasn’t Anita Edge and I spent an entire day visiting company providing turnkey and customizable
required to collect sales tax. Rebecca 21 of Colorado’s 35 senators. Since it is member savings & loyalty platforms.
Madigan, the Performance Marketing unusual for average citizens to show up at
Association’s Executive Director, helped us the Capitol to discuss a bill, this was a true
build a solid case against the tax, using the advantage. We politely but firmly explained
revenue collection angle. why HB-1193 would wipe out our jobs and
still not raise tax revenue. Each Senator

6 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Matt McWilliams

Of Golf and Affiliate


Marketing By Matt McWilliams
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You are the same today as you’ll If they remain unsupportive or critical, they have one of two choices:
be in five years, except for two things, the people you meet and the get on board or get out of the way. That means you may have to
books you read.” end some friendships or avoid certain people until their attitude
improves.
For affiliates, perhaps it could be worded, “You are the same today
as you’ll be in five years, except for the people you follow on Twitter, You must make the choice to fill your mind with knowledge from
the posts you read in forums, and the blogs you peruse.” people who make you feel better, inspire you, and teach you how
to improve. It will have a huge impact on your current and future
I grew up playing golf and one of the lessons I learned as a kid was
success.
from the late instructor, Harvey Penick.

“Don’t go to dinner with bad putters.”


Matt McWilliams of Legacy Learning Systems (www.learnandmaster.
What? How does that apply to business or marketing or well…
com/affiliates) is the 2010 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award Winner for
anything outside of golf?
Affiliate Manager of the Year.
What Penick was saying was that if you want to be a great putter,
hang out with great putters. Penick was suggesting that to learn
more about putting and developing the right mindset for success,
you must associate with great putters.

Go to dinner with them. Practice with them. Pick their brains and
observe their attitudes, preparation, and routine.

The same goes for learning or improving at anything. If you want


to learn how to develop a great marriage, hang out with people
who have been happily married for 10+ years, not your two college
buddies who recently got divorced.

If you want to get into better physical shape, hang out with people
who are active and eat healthy, and stop meeting your pals for
greasy burgers and fries for lunch.

If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, stop hanging


out with affiliates who whine all the time about the industry, their
merchants, or their performance. Quit reading posts from people
who discourage you. Quit associating with friends who tell you that
you need to get a “real job.”

Instead, find people who have a positive attitude about affiliate


marketing and support you in your efforts. Find people who have
been doing this for a while, had their ups and downs, failures and
successes, and associate with those people. Find members at a
forum like ABestWeb who are positive and helpful and read their
posts.

In your personal life, make sure that your friends and family support
you. They should understand that you are working; not playing
on the computer all day, and that you are committed to being
successful.

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2010 | 7


By Brian Williams

Increase Your Productivity and


Decrease Your Workload
As an Internet marketer since 1994, like you,
I began every day writing down the short
list of tasks I needed to do, and the long list
of tasks that I was either following up on or
doing for others who did not.

My biggest challenge was finishing my short


list every day and failing to invest most of
my time doing the highest value activities.

When I mastered the “Seven Habits of Highly


Successful People” and “The One Minute
Manager”, my success blossomed and my
results soared. My secret is so simple you
may have to read this twice to grasp it: I
learned to only do work that was AT my pay
grade, and stop doing work below my pay Brian Williams
grade.

This is not to say I ignored work below


Companies failing to outsource staff will favorite, cleaning out my email inbox are no
my pay grade. I literally mean I stopped
eventually die. The few companies that are longer tasks that I personally do.
doing it and made sure others finished it
able to put off the employee outsourcing
automatically. These get done by my virtual (overseas)
model are in a niche where competition is
low. team.
New World Thinking
Today the world has become more efficient For between $400 and $700 per month,
The dynamics are such that an affiliate
than forward thinkers like Steven R. Covey you can hire a full-time virtual employee. I
marketer who embraces and masters virtual
and Kenneth H. Blanchard ever imagined it repeat: Failure to embrace outsourcing and
staff outsourcing will take his business
would be. affiliates will die, just like the manufacturing
to the next level and stay ahead of lesser
competition. business died in the USA.
Internationally ubiquitous communication
systems like Skype, GoToMeeting and
So, What Do I Outsource?
Screencast go everywhere - including third
Fortunately for affiliates, many companies Brian Williams is an affiliate marketer and
world, English-speaking countries with
offer outsourced staff that match the needs President of Pear Lake Partners, LLC,
young, talented, hard working and Internet
we require to be successful and focus our www.pearlakepartners.com a full service
savvy superstars.
time on higher value activities such as Internet Marketing provider; was part of the
Virtually speaking, this has led to a form strategic niche building and tightening founding team at uBid.com, and launched
of business that was unimaginable 20, 15, relationships with our affiliate managers. internet lead generation at Toyota USA.
or even 10 years ago. It is the virtual team
For example, SEO, PPC management, copy
business.
writing, website design, blog creation, link
Today, growing companies are taking building, social bookmarking, viral video
advantage of outsourcing their staff marketing, video editing, keyword research,
to increase capacity and profitability. A/B split testing, reporting, and my personal

8 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Dealing with
an Advertiser’s
Landing Page
Changes
By Ian Fernando
Brad Crooks
Ian Fernando – Photo By

Affiliate marketing is an working with. It is very likely changes, it can display the underutilized by affiliates.
industry that keeps changing. that the affiliate will find out changes for you to see.
It is imperative that you keep simply by noticing a drop in Keeping on top of your offers
on top of what is going on conversions. Unfortunately, ChangeDetection.com is and campaigns can be the
as it can greatly impact your by that point, it comes with a a Web-based service which best thing you can do if the
business. loss of income. also detects changes and network or advertiser does
sends you a notification via not detect it first.
One such change that Luckily there are some sites email. Change Detection
happens often on the CPA out there that will help you creates a log for the page or
side of the industry is the be proactive with a problem in this case, the affiliate offer. Ian Fernando is the Founder
constant modifications to such as this. When it detects a change, it of IANternet Media LLC and
advertiser’s landing pages. notifies you. Blogger/Affiliate Marketer at
These types of alterations InternetOwl.com is a IanFernando.com.
can damage your business, desktop application. You Change Detection currently
especially after the affiliate simply tell it which Web page only monitors text changes
properly targeted and to watch and it will check and not HTML changes. For
optimized their jump page for changes periodically. If it example, if an image has
variables to make the offer detects a change either by changed, you are not notified
convert. HTML or text, Internet Owl of the image change - only
will send you an email when the change in the body of the
The worst part is that in all the page changes. text.
probability, the affiliate will
never get notified by the The best part about this While these services have
advertiser or the affiliate desktop application is when been around for a while,
network that they are Internet Owl finds some they are definitely being

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 9


Does Making S@#! Up for
Attention Work?
By Jim Kukral
food, beverages, lodging and Your potential customer is looking
merchandise. Attention equals for something from you that they
revenue. can latch onto, and telling a story
is a great way to give it to them.
Think about how many millions I’m not talking about having a
of people have visited Loch Ness robust “about page” on your Web
in Scotland to try and catch a site (which is important to have,
glimpse legendary Nessie, the yes). I’m talking about creating
Loch Ness Monster? Or, the a story out of your brand. What
money made off of tracking is unique or different or fun or
down Bigfoot, or the lost city of sad or amazing about how your
Atlantis? How many historical business or career came about?
societies have claimed ghost Tell that story, and if you don’t
hauntings to get more people have one, make something up.
through the doors? How many
people have traveled to Area 51 in Storytelling is an art in many
Roswell, NV to see for themselves ways, but it can be learned.
if aliens do in fact exist? Successful copywriters are master
storytellers. They are able to tap
The answer? A lot. More than into the emotions of their readers,
you can count, and they’re all engaging them and leading them
customers. to an eventual ending. In the
There’s no reason you can’t make world of marketing, that is the call
something up to get attention to action, and until you have a
for your business. Your customers strong call to action, you’re never
might even like a nice ghost going to be able to turn attention
story. The point is that making into revenue.
things up sometimes just works.
Sure it does. It happens all the
Consider a made up idea to be
time.
marketing, because that’s part of The preceding is an excerpt from
For instance, a town in Israel is what good marketing is... telling Jim Kukral’s book Attention! This
claiming a mermaid shows up stories. Book Will Make You Money, which
at night to frolic in the sea for all will be in bookstores in August
All marketers do this in some 2010.
those that want to watch. Local
way or another. The difference
officials are now offering a cash
between the good marketers and
prize of $1 million for the first
the bad ones is that the good
tourist to take a photograph of
marketers embellish and create
the mermaid. Look, we all know
and entertain to help convince
there is no mermaid, so nobody is
you of a need for their product or
going to make the million bucks.
service offers, and the bad ones
But, it likely drives a lot of tourists,
are just trying to deceive you.
and tourists spend money on

10 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Mobile First for Google.
How About You? By Michael Martin
Michael Martin
Mobile has been declared to be the focus of marketing with
statements of next year almost as long as Red Sox fans had
been saying it during their 86 year drought.

2010 is finally the next year for mobile marketing as Google


CEO Eric Schmidt declared it so at the Mobile World Congress
with Google’s new mantra of “Mobile First”.

On the same day, Facebook essentially echoed this focus


as they affirmed 2010 is a watershed year for mobile with
approximately half their users already accessing the service
via a mobile device.

Why it’s important to these major Internet companies is the


same reason it’s important to affiliate marketers as mobile is
quickly becoming the most popular endpoint for users. This
endpoint for users is done on a personal device that is more
engaging and direct while also being timely and location
aware.

The iPhone truly brought smartphones into mainstream use


in America, and Android takes it a step further, similar to
IBM PCs proliferating over the inroads that Apple and Macs
paved. Over 100 different Android devices will be available
this year, along with the new iPhone 4.0 & Mobile Phone 7,
as they blaze an Oregon Trail to a new Wild West for affiliate
marketers to lay claim to.

This new frontier will quickly advance to full mobile TV and


video, along with a dominance of augmented reality merged
with location aware social media and gaming.

Will you be amongst the first in the mobile gold rush?

Michael Martin PMP is the SEO Director at Resource Nation


based out of San Diego, California.
Learning and Building Through
Relationships By Patrick Vesperman
In March of 2009 I was asked by the Marketing Manager here at I
MagnetStreet, “How would you like to start and run an affiliate
marketing program?” My response was, “What’s affiliate marketing?”

He handed me Geno Prussakov’s book, “A Practical Guide to Affiliate


Marketing”, and said, “Read this.” So I did. And, I was hooked.
Accordingly, it was the beginning of our program and my entry into
affiliate marketing.

One year later, I reflect on the program and all that I’ve learned about
affiliate marketing and can boil it all down to one thing: relationships.
If it weren’t for relationships, I wouldn’t be actively leading an affiliate
program. Rather, I’d most likely be passively watching it fail.

You see, right after I finished Geno’s book, I was inspired to call him
and ask for help as I knew I couldn’t start a program by myself. That
initial conversation spawned a valuable relationship. To this day, Geno
helps me by answering questions, providing suggestions and even
warning me about potential mistakes. Although Geno is the primary
contributor, I can tell he still values our relationship.

After a few months, I was at a point where I wanted to continue to


improve our program but didn’t know how. Melanie Seery with
Affiliate Advocacy ended up reaching out and providing me with
ways to progress. After talking with Melanie on the phone, we met at
Affiliate Summit West. She came right up and gave me a hug. A HUG!
Who does that, except someone who values relationships?

Around this same time I met Matt McWilliams at Legacy Learning


Systems. I was looking for advice and he responded to one of my
questions. He could have emailed me and that would have been that.
Instead, he called. He didn’t have to, but because he called, Matt and
I continue to correspond and find that we have more in common than
just our roles as affiliate managers.
Patrick Vesperman
Next, I decided it would be a good idea to ask my affiliates for advice,
as many of them know much more and I do. Ratna Venigandla, from
RedTagDeals, responded. While at Affiliate Summit West, I met with challenge you to stop leveraging your relationships and start valuing
him and he shook my hand like we were old friends. Ratna provided them.
me with a great perspective as an affiliate. He is a very genuine person
and understands the importance of relationships.

Many marketing and business “experts” suggest leveraging your Patrick Vesperman is the Affiliate & Social Media Manager at
relationships. Don’t. Leveraging is a form of exploitation. Don’t take MagnetStreet and was nominated for Best New Affiliate Manager in 2009
advantage of your friends; engage with them. Call them. Hug them. by ABestWeb.
Ask for help and provide help without expecting anything in return.

Relationships are more than being Facebook friends or Twitter


followers. It’s reaching out with assistance or being humble enough
to ask for it. We are created to be in relationships. Human interaction
(whether a hug, a genuine handshake or phone or face-to-face
conversation) is vital to success in life.

12 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Affiliate Summit West
2010 Recap

The first day of Affiliate Summit West 2010 started with a


series of educational sessions and the opening of the Meet
Market, which was divided into two rooms for the first time
to accommodate growth.

Networking events were taking place all around Las Vegas for attendees of
Affiliate Summit. I headed to the ShareASale Under the Stars Party and had a
blast.

There were all sorts of games, food, open bar, a moon bounce, gaming tables,
karaoke and more. Great time!

The last thing of the night was the Strike Out Breast Cancer Midnight
Bowling Fundraiser, where over 100 folks turned out at midnight to bowl and
raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sadly, I didn’t manage to break 100.


FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 13
The second day of Affiliate
Summit West 2010 started
with a keynote address by
Dr. Robert Cialdini.

The talk from Dr. Cialdini


took place in front of a
packed house at the Penn
& Teller Theater in the Rio
All-Suite Hotel & Casino in
Las Vegas.

After the keynote, crowds filed into


the exhibit hall, which was bursting at
the seams throughout the day.
Sessions were well attended in the morning and afternoon, too. And even more crowds kept the hallways busy with
informal networking.

The second day of Affiliate Summit West 2010 also marked


the first time we held two networking events, Affiliate
Showcase, where affiliates hosted tables and merchants
could sit down and do business with them, and then the
Vertical Exchange, where tables were broken up by vertical
and affiliates and merchants in the same niche could find
one another.

The conference agenda for the day ended with Ask


the Experts tables, where six folks presided over
roundtables on various discussions.

There were many networking events in the evening, but the


one I attended was the Affiliate Summit Trivia Tweetup.

There were dozens of us broken up into four teams to battle


it out on Trivial Pursuit on the Wii.

All four teams got each of the six wedges, but there could be
only one champion.
The final day of Affiliate Summit West 2010 began
with the fourth annual Affiliate Summit Pinnacle
Awards.

The Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards are affiliate


marketing’s most prestigious, competitive honor
for the leaders in the space. Award winners are
recognized because they are innovative leaders with
vision and influence.

And the winners were...


Affiliate of the Year: Nicholas Koscianski
Affiliate Manager of the Year: Matt McWilliams
Exceptional Merchant: eBay Partner Network
Affiliate Marketing Advocate: Angel Djambazov
Best Blogger: Jeremy Schoemaker
Affiliate Marketing Legend: Scott Jangro

The awards were


followed by a
keynote address
from Brian Clark,
Co-Founder of DIY
Themes

Then there were a series of breakout sessions, as well as


the final day of the exhibit hall.

The conference wound up with the GeekCast.fm Live session,


where podcasters from GeekCast.fm took questions and discussed
industry issues.

Thank you to all of the folks in the industry that came out for
Affiliate Summit West 2010 – it was great to see you all.

Affiliate Summit West 2010 ended up with a total of 4,125


attendees, making it the biggest of all 14 Affiliate Summits to date.

Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of


FeedFront Magazine. All photos by Shawn Collins

16 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Dush Ramachandran

Walking the
Straight
&Narrow
By Dush Ramachandran

Five Golden Rules to stay Does your site automatically play a video the visitor buying the product through your
without an easy way to stop it as soon as a affiliate link, you need to state that clearly.
on the right side of the FTC, visitor arrives? Are visitors, who try to leave
the site, being presented with a fake chat Provide genuine value: Whatever you do,
Google, MasterCard and Visa exit script enticing them to stay? These are attempt to provide genuine value to visitors.
features of sites that real human visitors If the information you provide on your site
Several marketers recently had their find annoying. Google takes notice of these is available for free elsewhere, attempt to
businesses severely restricted or completely features and you will find your landing page provide real value by aggregating information
shut down by the actions of the Federal quality scores going down as a result. found in a number of different places.
Trade Commission, Google or the credit card Providing information that is available (albeit
companies, seemingly with little warning. Do not try to trick or trap your visitors: for free) in five different places, aggregated
If visitors are coming to your site to get in one place may represent more value
There is a lot of confusion about how to stay information or find answers to a question, than merely reproducing information found
on the right side of the law and avoid these do not require them to become members elsewhere.
traumatic problems. or subscribe to your site, unless you’ve
specifically told them in advance that Following these simple rules and exercising
Here then are five golden rules to avoid membership would be required. Google will common sense can save you and your
trouble: be inclined to view this type of entrapment as business a lot of trouble.
annoying and your landing page quality score
Be truthful: This would seem to be an will likely suffer as a result. Similarly, credit
unnecessarily obvious piece of advice, but card companies frown upon forced continuity Dush Ramachandran is VP of Sales and Business
think about it. Are you being completely programs where the visitor is obligated to Development of ClickBank, and is responsible
truthful on your site? If your site is sprinkled subscribe to a membership program to access for ClickBank’s relationships with its affiliates
with ‘white lies’ which cannot be backed a product. Give visitors what you promised and vendors, other strategic relationships.
up, the FTC will not take kindly to this them and sell them additional products when
type of content. If the product review they are satisfied.
you’re providing on your site is thin and
unconvincing, you are unlikely to convince Disclose your interests clearly: The FTC
Google that your site merits a high quality requires that Web site owners who write
score and consequently your traffic will suffer. reviews openly disclose their financial interest
in the review. In other words, if you got a
Do not annoy your visitors: Ask yourself free product to review, you need to disclose
if you would enjoy your site if you visited it. that fact. If you stand to gain financially by

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 17


Are You Using Twitter
the Right Way?
By Matt Enders
Matt Enders

No, this is not another article asking other person to know you are to say if you constantly push your own
“Do you have a Twitter account for your talking to them. agenda, regardless of what the group
business?” or “How much time do you is discussing? Of course, the answer is
spend on Twitter?” Rather, this article is 3. Use a lot of hashtags in your tweets. no. Why would you treat Twitter any
going to challenge you to ask yourself This adds your thoughts into much differently?
about your current Twitter strategies. The larger conversations.
key question is, when you Tweet, are you Social media as a whole is about
talking at people, or are you conversing 4. Similarly, search for new hashtags becoming likable, while portraying
with people? that you find interesting or useful. a true image of yourself, and having
Join in those conversations. as many people as possible show an
We all know that social media, interest in what you have to say. People,
Twitter included, is meant to be a by nature, like to feel important and
5. Reply to everyone who sends you
communication tool . What it truly boils connected to the things they care about.
an @ message. No one will want
down to is an opportunity to converse in If you want people to care about your
to converse with you if you are not
a much more real-time, collaborative, and message, make them feel important and
willing to throw the conversation
interactive setting. connected to it by engaging them in
ball back to them.
conversation.
If you want to achieve success through
Twitter, stop trying to lob your messages 6. Use auto-responders for your By conversation, I mean both your
out there, hoping someone will catch followers with caution. If you must conversation and theirs. Social media is
them; and instead initiate and facilitate use one, keep it simple by just a two-way street. You get what you give.
conversations. Here are some of my best saying hi or thanks for the follow. Make sure you are contributing in a way
tips: which will give you the return you seek.
7. Do not automatically follow
1. ReTweet often. But, do not stop everyone who follows you. This
there. Always add your own is a quick way to make Twitter
thoughts or opinion to the original Matt Enders is the CEO of MGECOM, Inc.,
overwhelmingly useless.
item that you found ReTweet- a leading outsourced affiliate program
worthy. It is perfectly acceptable to management firm.
post two or three Tweets in a row for Picture this… You are in a crowded room
this purpose. talking to a large group of people at the
same time. There are no speeches or
2. Tweet plenty of @ replies. stages; it is just a gathering with friendly
Remember, you are having a conversation. Do you think people
conversation and you want the would pay attention to what you have

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 19


By Blake Hamann

101
Co-Registration

Blake Hamann

Co-registration is a simple and cost- targeted list design, market-ready data Co-registration data is one of the strongest
effective method to generate prospects for hygiene services, data validation and marketing sources available in our business.
mailing lists. Whether for loyalty programs, management. You can maximize your co-registration
subscriptions, memberships, or other online/ campaigns without bleeding overhead
offline customer acquisition and retention Co-registration allows clients to build
dollars by understanding the difference
programs, co-registration data can be your targeted databases of qualified consumers
between what motivates casual web surfers
ace in the hole. interested in their products, services,
versus your target buying audience.
company, brand or special offers.
Many publishers and incentivized Even with all the advances in technology and
marketers have taken notice of the revenue Whether purchasing a simple mailing list
database quality, co-registration still requires
opportunities granted by co-registration, or a more complex database with targeted
immediate deployment by the marketer. This
resulting in a massive influx in the number of segments, it is essential that you get the best
is especially true for marketers where their
sites where it’s offered. Co-registration is an return on your investment. Co-registration
primary purpose is to build their list.
excellent way to increase sales in the short data has been around for years, and while in
term, but its importance goes beyond the the past, there was a focus on quantity, it’s Capitalize on your co-registration leads to
quick buck. It can also protect your current now all about quality. build a quality database through constant
email campaign from lost future revenue due contact. Follow up quickly on your leads by
Everyone has a different outlook on what
to natural attrition, opt-outs, or dead email tailoring your marketing campaign to your
a quality list is, but the bottom line is
addresses. offer, and reap the rewards.
profit margin. In order to maximize ROI, it’s
Mere numbers in a database can provide necessary to find the co-registration sources
the shotgun effect, but how can you reach that work best in your marketing model.
Utilizing co-registration data within your own Blake Hamann is the Vice President of Marketing
your target audience who will be the most for Right1Data who specializes in custom opt-in
receptive to your offer? list allows you to expand your marketing
platform to new heights. business and consumer marketing data.
Without rapid, easy access to all market
data and database technology available, Depending on the volume of the third-party
pinpointing the most qualified buyers can still site, large lists can be accumulated virtually
be a search for the needle in the proverbial overnight. Co-registration provides you with
haystack. a steady stream of leads, but it’s up to you
to convert them into customers. Successful
In order to make co-registration data a co-registration practices require a working
valuable asset you need to take a systematic knowledge of online media buying and
approach in the acquisition, multivariate- detailed familiarity with your audience.

20 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Should You Listen
To Your Affiliate Manager?
By Bryn Youngblut
I remember when I first started doing affiliate marketing; I succeed and will do whatever it takes for that to happen -
thought most of my affiliate managers were just pushing whether it be getting custom creatives and landing pages
offers on me because they needed volume on them, done for me or working to get me approved to try new
regardless of how well the offer performed. When affiliate marketing methods that the company did not previously
managers operate with this mindset it can become a real allow. This gives me a huge advantage.
problem.
This article is not meant to be disrespectful to anyone in
While part of the job of affiliate managers is to assist us with the industry, but in my opinion if I was a manager at some
mundane tasks, such as placing pixels and letting us know company and my job was to assist people with running
the latest “hot offers”, I’m finding that many networks are campaigns that not only earn the affiliates commission, but
hiring people that can only perform these basic tasks. likely earned a commission or bonus for me as well, it would
only be right that I knew the business inside and out.
I believe networks that don’t care enough to hire
knowledgeable affiliate managers are only hurting
themselves. For example, when I ask my manager simple
affiliate marketing questions related to the offers and they Bryn Youngblut is a full-time entrepreneur and affiliate
can’t even understand basic industry terms, like CPV (cost marketer. He blogs at www.bryn.me
per view), PPC (pay per click) etc., that’s a big problem.
Networks should require a certain level of experience from
their affiliate managers. After all, they are managing people.
If the manager has never promoted an affiliate offer before,
how are they qualified to manage others,
let alone be able to give advice on how
to make certain campaigns succeed?
I’ve had experiences with the worst
and perhaps some of the best
managers. It doesn’t take long before
you realize just who you’re
dealing with.
A positive example
I have is my great
relationship with the
network Mediatrust
and my manager
Geofferson. Not
only does he go
out of his way
to let me know
about the high-
performing offers,
he operates in a
similar mindset
as me. Geofferson
wants to see me

Bryn Youngblut
UPCOMING EVENTS
Mark your calendars for the following upcoming events.

SOBCon 2010 Digital Marketing Days Affiliate Summit East 2010


Chicago, IL New York, NY New York, NY
April 30 - May 2 June 14-16 August 15-17
www.sobevent.com www.dmdays.org www.affiliatesummit.com

Search & Social Spring Summit LinkShare Symposium Search Engine Strategies
Tampa, FL New York, NY San Francisco
May 3 June 22 San Francisco, CA
www.searchsocialsummit.com www.linkshare.com Aug 16-20
www.searchenginestrategies.com
Conversion Conference BlogHer ‘10
West 2010 New York, NY
San Jose, CA August 5-7
May 4-5 www.blogher.com
www.conversionconference.com
Audience Conference
Search Marketing Expo New York, NY
Advanced London August 14
London, England www.theaudienceconference.com
May 17-18
www.searchmarketingexpo.com

a4uexpo Munich 2010


Munich, Germany
May 18-19
www.a4uexpo.com

New Marketing Experience 2010


Dallas, TX
May 26
www.nmlevents.com

Search Marketing Expo


Advanced Seattle
Seattle, WA
June 8-9
www.searchmarketingexpo.com

Search Engine Strategies


Toronto
Toronto, Canada
June 9-11
www.searchenginestrategies.com

22 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


MasterCard Massacre
Paves Way
for Industry Leaders
By Laura Miller
Laura Miller

Once again, affiliate marketing was These advertisers count on a certain practices,” which are guidelines that
jolted by the swift moves of outside rebill percentage and retention rate in these advertisers must follow to get
forces. The sudden mass exodus of order to recoup their marketing costs. new MIDs. These “best practices” are
MIDs (Merchant ID’s) by MasterCard Since they were unable to process a foreshadowing of the predicted
swept many advertisers just in time for rebills, most customers were written guidelines that will be published by
the New Year. off as a complete loss. the Card Associations, so it is best to
begin optimizing according to these
It had been rumored that the FTC So, now what? changes now.
(Federal Trade Commission) and
Credit Card Associations, which We change. We adapt. A few years This is an extremely exciting time for
encompasses Visa and MasterCard, back, many networks eliminated anyone looking to enter performance-
had been meeting to develop incentivized traffic. Those publishers based advertising. It is going to be
guidelines that would regulate our evolved and learned new promotional those companies who look at the
industry. These guidelines have yet to methods. Advertisers who were reliant changing times as an opportunity to
be published, so it was the abruptness on this traffic source learned how to gain a competitive advantage that we
by MasterCard which caught many fully optimize the other traffic types will see as leaders for years to come.
industry players off guard. those networks accessed.

The number of advertisers and/or More recently, the FTC came out
actual MIDs that lost processing is with new guidelines. Publishers and Laura is the Director of Advertising for
a direct result of a few “bad apples” advertisers, once again, complied Clickbooth.com and leads Clickbooth’s
that unfortunately bled across the and changed to meet these new team of Advertising Consultants.
compliant and ethical advertisers. requirements.
There was no advance notice This latest blow does not dictate the
passed down from the bank to the death of trial products or the end of
advertisers. The advertisers typically subscription-based programs. This
found out after they stopped receiving simply opens the doors for those
new orders. advertisers and publishers committed
The advertisers that MasterCard to this industry.
targeted were the trial plus continuity The short-term players who saw our
merchants. The continuity piece of this industry as an opportunity “to get
business model was the portion that rich quick,” will fade. Those that are
caused those advertisers the most committed to success will prevail.
heartache, as they could no longer
bill any customers that had already Many of the affected advertisers are
enrolled into their programs. processing again. Several merchant
processors have instituted “best

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 23


By Joris Toonders

Joris Toonders

Understanding the Mindset of Affiliates


Affiliates like to compare the performance volume you’ll generate via this channel. Work on conversion optimization,
of several advertisers to be sure they’re everyday
monetizing their traffic the best way. It’s Start your affiliate program with a fixed
easy for them to do so by looking at the CPC Your conversion rates can influence the EPC
advertiser’s EPC (Earnings Per Click). greatly. When your conversion rates double,
Many affiliates with niche Web sites are
the EPC of your program can multiply, too.
Here is an example of how to calculate EPC: promoting several competitors within one
Use analytics tools to measure the way people
site. When you’re kicking off your affiliate
are using your Web site. Be sure to run split
program, it’s necessary to make it very
• An affiliate refers 10,000 visitors to a tests and multivariate tests daily and inform
attractive to them in order for the affiliate
Web site that sells clothes. affiliates about the conversion developments.
to give your program a chance. Since
The higher your EPC is, the happier your
• These visitors purchase $8000.00 in your program is new to them and they are
affiliates will be and the likelihood of them
products. unaware of your EPC, one way to minimize
sending you more traffic will be greater.
• The affiliate receives a percentage of their risk is by giving them a fixed CPC in the
this revenue, so if it’s 10%, they will earn first month.
$800.00 in commission. Joris Toonders is the founder of Yonego B.V., and
Share important information with affiliates
ROI driven Internet Marketing company which
• $800.00 divided by 10,000 visitors = generates millions in revenue for its clients.
When you give your sales people more
$.08 EPC.
information, it’s easier for them to sell your
products and services. That’s also the case
As an advertiser, you can influence EPC using when you work with affiliates.
these important strategies:
Tell them which products are doing well,
Your affiliate commission is important new product launches on the horizon, PR
efforts you have going on, average order
Think about the commission you can pay value, and how they’re performing against
to your affiliates. While it is important to other affiliates. The more information you
mind your margins, it is equally important to can provide to affiliates, the more you can
remember that affiliates take the full risk. The get them to generate leads and sales for your
higher the commission you can pay, the more business.

24 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Your Lifestream as
One Big Affiliate Link
By Brian Littleton
“Hobbies of any kind are boring except to people who have car technician? Have you been to the local deli today know
the same hobby.” - Dave Barry what soup they are serving? You get the point.

I’m reminded of that quotation every time I try to explain It is extremely likely that the solution you found can
Twitter to anyone, or defend its worth. As a performance help someone else. No matter how easily
marketer, or someone on the verge of entering into our the solution comes to you, never make
world, this is a critical piece of information to understand. the assumption that the problem isn’t a
It may sound counterintuitive, but your lifestream (the big one to someone else.
daily journal of your life) is worth money.
Start with a WordPress blog and, quite
From where I’m sitting, I’ve can safely say that lifestream simply, just start posting everything
marketing has kicked off more performance marketing you do regarding your area of
careers than likely any other cause. Today, getting involved expertise. It doesn’t have to be
is even easier, due to the development of sites such as technical, nor does it have to be
Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. difficult. It just has to solve a problem.

There is virtually no barrier to entry nor learning curve. Use keywords or titles in your posts that
Lifestream marketing simply involves telling the world match what you would say if you were
about what you are good at and what you enjoy. asking the questions. For example: “What are
the best low-fat Thai recipes?” Think about
One of the largest communities of lifestream marketers
how another person would ask the question
includes those in the Tech/IT/Development world.
and tailor your post to that. If you stick to it,
Developers know that if they run into problems they can’t
you’ll likely end up with a decent amount of
solve on their own, simple Internet searches can yield
traffic that you can begin to monetize using
hundreds of results. This same principle holds true across
affiliate marketing.
all hobbies. At some point, an individual will come to
the same bridge that an old pro has already crossed. This
particular niche has developed some highly recognizable Brian Littleton is the President & CEO of
names such as “Experts Exchange”. ShareASale.com, Inc., a
performance marketing
There are other niches that are much less developed, and
network based in
are essentially wide open audiences waiting for someone
Chicago, IL.
to speak to them. While there is no current data on this
theory, to my knowledge, my educated guess is that the
majority of money to be made in lifestream marketing
encompasses problem solving.

As most searches on the Internet involve finding an


answer to a question (especially those embarrassing
to ask in public), so think about what you do well. Are
you good at fixing computer problems? Do you have
experience repairing air conditioners? Are you an expert

Brian Littleton
New Look at
Affiliate Motivation
By Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov

A year ago I came across an article on that we can talk about motivation” (italics realistic goals, and (iv) continuously motivate
motivation in a January 2003 issue of mine). by a bouquet of tangible and intangible
Harvard Business Review. It was authored by incentives?
Frederick Herzberg, a famous management Super affiliates inevitably come to mind. They
psychologist. As I was reading through do not need much outside stimulation. They Fryer also proposed several practical
it, it struck me that making all things go are not joining an affiliate program because techniques that make one a better motivator.
right within any given affiliate program of activation or even performance bonuses, I have hand-picked those immediately
-- i.e. having a 100% affiliate-friendly Web but because they have a plan on how to relevant for us:
site (without “leaks”, with well-converting succeed with it. They are intrinsically prone to
• Start with the truth
wisely-formatted landing pages, etc), growth, learning, continuous advancement,
running ongoing bonus campaigns, and internal recognition. • Appeal to greatness (once-in-a-lifetime
providing performance-based commission opportunities, etc)
increases, satisfying every possible creative With novice, or unconfident affiliates, you
• Make them proud
need affiliates may have, providing a well- do want to be the “battery charger” in the
categorized detailed product data feed, and beginning; but gradually lead them to a point • Stick to your values
so on -- has little to do with real motivation of where they are mainly motivated from within • Provide constant and consistent
affiliates to perform for an affiliate program. -- by interesting opportunities in the affiliate communication channel
campaigns you run, and growth potential.
Herzberg wrote that “things that make • Build trust
people satisfied and motivated on the job Another article that comes to mind is • Care for the little guy
are different in kind from the things that Bronwyn Fryer’s “Moving Mountains” (Harvard
make them dissatisfied”. Additionally, at one Business Review, 2003) article. Fryer wrote: • Set different incentive levels
point extrinsic motivators (your bonuses and “There’s no trick to motivating others. It
prizes) stop being motivating unless they are requires a clear, unbiased understanding Best of luck becoming a better/deeper
replaced by more profound sources. of the situation at hand, deep insight into motivator!
the vagaries of human nature at individual
This is because true and lasting motivation and the group levels, the establishment of
always comes from “interesting work, appropriate and reasonable expectations and Geno Prussakov is the Founder of AM Navigator,
challenge and increasing responsibility” as goals, and the construction of a balanced set and author of “A Practical Guide to Affiliate
“these intrinsic factors answer people’s deep- of tangible and intangible incentives.” Marketing” and “Online Shopping Through
seated need for growth and achievement.” Consumers’ Eyes.”
Do you, as an affiliate manager have (i) a clear
Herzberg also emphasized that a manager and truly unbiased understanding of the
“can charge a person’s battery, and then situation, and (ii) deep insight into what your
recharge it, and recharge it again,” but “it is affiliates want/need both individually, and
only when one has a generator of one’s own cooperatively as an industry? Do you (iii) set

26 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


Ask Shawn Collins:
Do Affiliate Marketers Need a Blog?

Q: I am new to Social Media. I am thinking of either starting a blog, or article marketing,


maybe a Web site. However, I don’t know which would be the best idea. Since I don’t
sell anything, I don’t know if the Web site would work. My question is… do you need a blog to
do affiliate marketing?

A:
The short answer is that you don’t need to Got an affiliate marketing question? Go to
have your own Web site. You can use Google AskShawnCollins.com to ask it and it will be answered at
AdWords or one of their competitors and buy http://blog.affiliatetip.com.
targeted traffic to drive straight to a merchant.

Please note that some merchants prohibit this, so you will Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-
have to read the terms of the affiliate program to be sure it Chief of FeedFront Magazine.
is permissible.

Anyhow, if you’ve
got more time than
money, I’d suggest
going with a blog or
other type of site and
just start developing
it.

Pick a topic that is


some sort of passion
of yours, so you will
stick with it.

But if you have some


money you can invest
Shawn Collins
in affiliate campaigns,
go ahead and get
started using PPC
without a Web site.

If you go with PPC, be aware that it takes a lot of testing and


close monitoring, or else you could be out a great deal of
money.

FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | APRIL 2010 | 27


Increase Conversions by
Shooting Your Designer
By Tim Ash
Registration at Affiliate Summit East 2009

Tim Ash

I do not mean the title literally, so don’t send Here is a short list of the more common visual • Animation or video – All of the other
me hate mail. But, graphics designers are transgressions found on landing pages: design sins on the landing page pale
rarely trained in maximizing conversion. The in comparison to the aggressive use of
best ones pride themselves on being non- • Wild background colors – Many motion, animation, and video. Images
conformists, and their ability to “think outside landing pages use dark and dramatic and text that pulsate or revolve; image
the box”. They are bored with doing regular color themes. Often the background slideshows that use wild fly-in transition
production-oriented graphic design work and of the page or large sections of it effects; intricate animation sequences
like to keep themselves entertained by doing are black or fully-saturated bright that draw the eye and full-motion video
something new and interesting on every colors. Unfortunately these kinds auto-plays on the page – yes, these
project. of color choices often create a dark attention-grabbing tactics are very
and brooding atmosphere, or imply powerful. Unfortunately they are rarely
Maximizing profits requires putting aside
something so exotic that it would only tied to the desired conversion goal on
your own corporate and personal needs and
appeal to teenage male adrenalin the landing page, and only serve to
considering everything from the perspective
junkies. squander a few precious seconds of the
of your visitors. Only they matter, and without
limited visitor attention. Never deploy
them you would not have a business. • Garish text – Page text and headlines
rich media on your page without
are haphazardly placed on the page
The key to effective landing page design testing it first to determine its impact
and often use very large font in high-
is clarity. The visitor should be focused on on conversion.
contrast colors. Font sizes are often
taking a simple path that leads to the desired enormous, and are further emphasized
conversion action. This simple path should by the use of edging effects, drop “Boring” works. And it makes you a lot more
arise out of the Zen-like stillness of your shadows, color transitions and fades, money – that should make it a lot more
landing page. and fill patterns. exciting.
Worst Practices • Visual embellishments and flourishes
Unfortunately many landing pages are at – Even simple page elements such
the opposite end of the spectrum from this as box edges are emphasized y drop Tim Ash is the CEO of SiteTuners.com, the
desired state because of the heavy hand shadows, glow, or other effects. Simple author of the bestselling book, “Landing
of the graphic designer. They scream and round disks in bullet lists are replaced Page Optimization”, and chairperson of
demand the visitor’s attention. They are a by colorful graphical checkmarks or ConversionConference.com.
visual assault on the senses that force the other icons. Neutral background space
visitor to determine which of the many to the sides of the landing page is
striking visual elements on the page is the often filled in with intricate patterns or
important one. photographic images.

28 | APRIL 2010 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE


ASE10
AUGUST 15-17 - HILTON NEW YORK

ASE10

Register today @ www.AffiliateSummit.com

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