The Official Magazine of Affiliate Summit
Issue 6 | June 2009
Face of Affiliate Marketing
Super Affiliate Connie Berg Interview Page 17
3 Social Media Marketing Tips For Affiliates By Brent Csutoras Page 5
The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing By Jay Berkowitz Page 23
5 Ways to Keep WordPress Running Smoothly By Karen Jackie & Dana Rockel Page 28 www.affiliatesummit.com
Table of Contents 03 Things I Wish I Knew
10 Years Ago Jim Kukral
04 Guy Kawasaki Keynote
at SESNY 2009 Shawn Collins
3 Social Media Marketing Tips for Affiliates
Four Great Tools for Twitter Marketing
Who Owns and Controls Your Content?
How the Web’s Rich 06 Online_Charles_44254 is in Get Richer Charge of your Brand? Michel Leconte
ad:tech San Francisco 2009 Recap
15 Things to Look for in Affiliate Programs
10 Crying Need for Education
15 Gearing Up For Affiliate Marketing Success
20 Trust is a Two Way Street
Search Engine Pessimization: Don’t Make Google Cry
21 Affiliate Marketing Stats Amy Rodriguez & Shawn Collins
23 The Ten Golden Rules of
24 Compliance in Advertising
25 Affiliate Summit East 2009
How to Build Your Message with Twitter
16 I Wish I Was Rich Like You
27 The Tradeshow Jungle
Five Minutes with Connie Berg
5 Ways to Keep WordPress Running Smoothly
Karen Jackie & Dana Rockel
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 1
The New Age of Collaboration
Co-Editors in Chief Missy Ward, Shawn Collins
Co-Publishers Missy Ward, Shawn Collins
Contributing Writers Contributing Writers: Jay Berkowitz, Deborah Carney, Shawn Collins, Brent Csutoras, Ian Fernando, Ad Hustler, Karen Jackie, Zac Johnson, Jim Kukral, Michel Leconte, Dan Leman, Brian Littleton, Murray Newlands, Geno Prussakov, Dana Rockel, Amy Rodriguez, Mark Schumann, Stacey Sicard, Missy Ward, Andrew Wee, Chantelle White Shawn Collins and Missy Ward Lynn Lee Design
Proofreader Amy Rodriguez Affiliate Summit ** Please Note - New Address** 1253 Springfield Avenue, Suite 327
This issue marks FeedFront Magazine’s one year anniversary. While that may not seem noteworthy by many standards, in these times with nearly 50% of small businesses failing within the first year, we are humbled and encouraged by the cooperative effort of everyone involved in this magazine’s success.
New Providence, NJ 07974-1935 tel (908) 364-2767 fax (908) 364-4627 Articles in FeedFront Magazine are the opinions of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine, or its owners. FeedFront Magazine always welcomes opinions of an opposite nature. For more information, visit: www.FeedFront.com Interested in advertising? Please visit http://feedfront.com/advertising/ or email us at: email@example.com ©2009 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.
Things I Wish I Knew
10 Years Ago
By Jim Kukral
FeedFront Editor’s Note – 6th Issue
Issue 6 | JUNE 2009
You see, for many years affiliate marketers have been stereotyped as “lone wolves”. We’ve had a reputation for industriously working from our homes, with little to no social interaction, coveting our most secretive ways of making money online. Seldom could we be bothered with outside influences that would muddy-up our day. But, with the convergence of social media and affiliate marketing, and faced with industry-related challenges such as the Advertising Tax and unethical practices; affiliate marketers have embarked on a new age of collaboration – one that is filled with positive steps towards growing and further legitimizing our industry. Through the elbow grease of affiliate marketers around the country, the threat of harmful legislature that would negatively affect affiliates and merchants located in Virginia, Maryland and California, has been quashed. And, while the war is far from over, great inroads have been laid to ensure our voices are heard by the legislators
responsible for these bills. Formalized associations, Affiliate Voice and Performance Marketing Association have organized, comprised of affiliate marketers, focusing on taking control over affiliate marketing’s destiny rather than letting destiny continue to control us. Combined efforts of affiliate marketers have created new and profitable companies, raised substantial funds for charitable organizations and increased awareness of our growing industry through their blogging and speaking efforts. Lastly, were it not for dozens of marketing experts who so graciously provide the valuable content for FeedFront, the magazine would not exist. By engaging in collaboration, affiliate marketers have identified strategies for dealing with the problems we face, and have taken charge of shaping of our own professional futures – which look brighter than ever. Tired of flying solo, yet? “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller” Missy Ward & Shawn Collins FeedFront Co-Editors-in-Chief
I wish someone would have told me all this stuff when I first started in the Web business world over 10-years ago. Knowing these insights would have saved me thousands and thousands of dollars and years of wasted work, tears and stress.
Membergate for membership sites. These are the types of mission-critical items that every Web business person must have a solid solution for.
These five tips are for you; the Web business builder just starting out who wants to make a few (or more) bucks; or the experienced Web guru who has built a strong reputation online yet doesn’t know how to make money with it.
My favorite quote from a famous person is this one from Wayne Gretzky. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
1 – Lose the Ego
Is your ego getting in the way of you making money online? It probably is. Ask yourself these questions. 1. Is the thought of producing a onepage sales letter enough to make you throw up? 2. Do you believe that in order to be respected you cannot sell? You may imagine yourself as someone who’s “above” being a marketer. The truth is that while you may think being self-promotional is spammy and annoying, many people who trust you already are VERY interested in what you have to say and what kind of things you have to offer. 2 – Don’t Skimp on the Basics
When you’re starting out, it’s easy to go cheap on the basics. But if you’re serious about wanting to make money online, the sooner you invest a little bit of money into your efforts, the better. I’m talking about things like Web hosting, Web design, domain names and thirdparty solutions like Aweber for email or
3 – Don’t Wait to Try & Get Out of the Cubicle
Here’s what I know now. Of the shots I did take, not all of them panned out. In fact, more have failed than not, but the rest of them scored small to BIG for me, allowing me to be in a position today of owning my own Web business and working for myself. Take your shot, or stay in the cubicle. 4 – The Time to Work Hard is Now… or for the Rest of Your Life
There are riches to be made being a successful Web entrepreneur. But you have to want it and you have to give up some of the luxuries in your life for the moment. Sure, it’s a hard fact to face, but the reality is that every single successful person you know got where they are from sacrifices and hard work, not from video games and lots of TV. 5 – Solving People’s Problems = Making Money
If you solve people’s problems, you can make money. Look around at the successful businesses around you. Each one solves a specific problem for a targeted niche. If you can focus only on that, you will win. You can find out more about Jim Kukral by visiting TheWebCoach.biz. Jim Kukral at Affiliate Summit West 2009
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 3
By Shawn Collins
Y 2009 aki at SESN
The keynote address from Guy Kawasaki, “Nobodies are the New Somebodies,” at SESNY 2009 was about how Twitter can be used as a marketing tool.
what they are Tweeting unless it involves him? So why is that morally superior to following a smaller core of people and actually reading all their Tweets?
Here are the key points from Guy’s talk…
Forget the A-list - it is vastly overrated.
Some tools he mentioned to keep score of his follower tally: TwitterCounter, Twitalyzer, and Twitter Penis.
De-focus - you don’t know who will be your most important followers. Get lots of followers Guy related how Robert Scoble told him to auto-follow anybody that follows him, and he uses SocialToo to do this. He never unfollows people. He explained that the reason he auto-follows everybody is his lack of arrogance, and so that everybody can direct message him. But then he went into a sanctimonious rant, which seems to be common with the preachers of auto-follow, that it’s somehow wrong to only follow certain people vs. all. He went on to say that he doesn’t actually read the full Twitter-stream of those followers, but does respond to all DM’s and @ replies. So, he follows everybody out of a lack of arrogance, but can’t be bothered to read
Guy cites a steady stream of useful content as key to continually bring on new followers. One of his strategies is to go to StumbleUpon and Alltop to find stuff there to Tweet. He uses Adjix to shorten and track his URLs. In addition to tracking, it has a scheduling function and a Firefox bookmarklet. This helps to get people to ReTweet posts, and he also uses Retweetist to monitor RT’s. Monitor what people are saying about you Guy monitors the following query on Twitter search: guykawasaki OR alltop -alltop.com Copy Watch what other companies are doing and emulate their success on Twitter. But how to figure out who to copy? See twibs.com to track what companies are doing on Twitter.
Three Social Media Marketing Tips for Affiliates By Brent Csutoras When you represent your product or company, you provide the opportunity for users to question the intention of your submissions. You can be yourself on Twitter and Facebook, but when it comes to social aggregation sites, create a persona that is fun and interesting, and choose an avatar and a name that is easy to remember.
Some examples of good corporate accounts on Twitter: @comcastcares @jetblue @amazondeals @cirquelasvegas Search Guy talked about how he didn’t really get Twitter until somebody showed him Summize and the ability to search. Examples of finding people in certain geographic areas for business leads: scion near:10019 within:100mi seo near:10019 within:100mi Get the tools Guy uses TweetDeck, though he doesn’t like the limitation of monitoring one account at a time. So, he also uses Twhirl, so he can monitor and post with two accounts: @ guykawasaki and @alltop. He explained that @alltop is for him to spam and @guykawasaki is for him to push good links.
CoTweet was also mentioned as a tool for companies where multiple people need to be in a Twitter account. Squeeze the trigger He prefaced this one by saying it was bound to be controversial; TwitterHawk.com, which
Maintain and build a good profile Your social media profile says a lot about you as a user. Your name, links, and the activity you perform on a site, are visible from your profile page. Brent Csutoras
During the last year or so, there has been a lot of buzz about the success of marketing to social media news sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit. The amount of traffic, exposure, and links you can obtain is unparalleled to any other aspect of online marketing. People have also found that it is a lot harder than expected to get all the benefits social media has to offer, but these quick tips should help increase your success within the top social media news sites. When creating your profile… don’t be your company or your product Social media sites want to believe that all content submitted is done so without any benefit to the submitter.
Avoid linking back to your professional or personal sites, use a separate IM and email account, and don’t try to market your brand or product from your profile. When you provide information that links your account to you or your product, you again provide the opportunity for users to question your motives for participating on the site. It is also important that your stats make you look like a good user. Avoid only voting for your own submissions, don’t submit content from just one or two sources, and don’t add too many friends at once. Top users will look at your profile when they consider whether to befriend you or not.
Not every piece of content you produce is worthy of submission to social news sites. Only share your best articles, once content becomes popular, it is the quality of the content that will dictate if people link to you or share your story with others. When you do submit your content, it is easy to feel like you have to send to all of your friends and relatives to get as many votes as possible. However, this tends to backfire and result in failure more often than not. Social media news sites realize that people will attempt to game their system by artificially inflating vote counts. In lieu of this, sites have spent a large amount of time working on their promotion algorithms to fight off gaming. Of course, sharing and promoting your campaign is good, but try to make it as natural looking as possible. There are many things you should consider in order to succeed in the top social media news sites, but these tips should get you going in the right direction. Good luck and remember… Be Social. Brent Csutoras is a social media consultant and speaker, who writes regularly at BrentCsutoras.com.
Don’t submit sub-par content and avoid over promoting
(continued on page 12.)
4 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 5
San Francisco By Brian Littleton
Brian Littleton at Affiliate Summit East 2008
Online_Charles_44254 is in Charge of your Brand? Until the recent sweeping effects of social media, companies generally were in charge of their brand perception. Companies dictated to us regarding specific products, who the market leaders were, and the reliability of their customer service. Even awards given for things like “Industry Leading Customer Service” came from a closed-looped organization. The modern combination of powerful search products and social media has created a newly empowered consumer who now dictates, as much as anyone else, how brands are perceived online. How can you position your brand for the best possible survival rate in this new online reality? Create positive online ambassadors If you take good care of your customers, they will have good things to say about you online. This offers you an opportunity to mold a happy customer into an online ambassador for your brand. Legitimate customer praise is always better than company generated buzz, so take this opportunity to interact with your customer and help inspire them to take the leap from customer to ambassador.
6 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Don’t be afraid to jump into a conversation and just be real. Customers are just like the rest of us and they love to feel like they have a connection greater than just ID numbers. Be genuine and gracious and you are likely to build up a great group of ambassadors.
surrounded by potential customers. Monitor those vanity searches There are a number of tools that can be a great help in managing your online reputation. Google Alerts and Twitter Search are two that you should be using to on a very regular basis.
Never talk back on the defensive A customer who feels passionate enough to speak negatively about your brand has likely had a bad experience. Unfortunately, this happens to even the best-intentioned business and is unavoidable.
Watch out for incorrect information User-generated content is powerful, and you could find yourself in a position where the majority of perception surrounding your brand is simply incorrect if enough people talk about it. If you encounter incorrect information it is important to counter it as soon as possible before it becomes assumed fact.
When interacting online, it is important not to blindly defend yourself from criticism. Instead, just accept that things didn’t turn out well and put forth a message of apology combined with real action to back up your remarks. Never talk back in anger even if the criticism becomes heated; there is no positive outcome for a brand in an online war of words. Think of yourself in a crowded retail store surrounded by potential customers and one angry one; starting a screaming match would not be productive when
The online world is vast, but using tools available allows for a great deal of understanding about how your brand is perceived. Don’t be shy in engaging the conversation online about your brand; be respectful and honest in accepting praise and criticism alike and you’ll be in a good position to further the image of your brand. Brian Littleton is the President/CEO of ShareASale.com, Inc., a retail-focused affiliate network for businesses of all sizes.
By Shawn Collins ad:tech San Francisco 2009 took place April 21-23 at Moscone West. The show kicked off with a keynote from Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia. On the way to the keynote, I got a peek at the Affiliate Summit Beer Garden before it opened. I was covering the conference as Twitter press, so here are some of my Tweets from the Jimmy Wales talk. @affiliatetip: @mikebuechele just heard about http://marvel.wikia.com at @ jimmy_wales keynote at ad:tech - you edit there? #adtechsf @affiliatetip: @search_iago I thought Alexa references from @jimmy_wales were odd - rankings are legit to people who rank high there, I guess #adtechsf There were big crowds at registration after the keynote. I guess nobody heeded my advice via Twitter the day before. @affiliatetip: Get your ad:tech badge now - no lines http://bit.ly/qXdAO I met up with Lisa Picarille in the late
morning to record our weekly Affiliate Thing podcast. We went across the street from Moscone West and recorded the show outside. Watch the Affiliate Thing video on GeekCast.fm to see how we dealt with an army of loud children, a cab that thought it was okay to drive on sidewalks, and an attack raven. Towards the end of the first day of ad:tech, the Affiliate Summit Beer Garden was filled up with thirsty networkers. On the second day of ad:tech, one of the highlights was a panel, sponsored by MediaTrust, with Kelly Powers (Zazzle), Jarvis Mak (Havas Digital), Steve Schaffer (Vertive), and Peter Bordes (MediaTrust). The panel was moderated Neil Strother (Forrester Research). That evening, I attended a nice dinner with the eBay Partner Network team and heard about their latest news.
affiliates great to chat with you all at dinner last night #adtechsf I was able to catch the keynote interview on April 23 with Kevin Rose, Founder and Chief Architect of Digg, which was conducted by Evan Hansen of Wired. They were discussing questions that were texted during the session, and I submitted a couple, including, “Have you considered running affiliate ads on Digg?” Apparently, that one was too hot to handle, because they didn’t use it. I said my goodbye to ad:tech with one last Tweet as I boarded my plane back to New Jersey. @affiliatetip: guy with popped collar and mini dog on my flight - don’t think I like him. Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine.
@affiliatetip: @Justdrive @ mediatrustpete @trishalyn @ebay_ (Photos continued on page 8.)
(ad:tech continued from pg 18.)
15 15 Things to Look for in Affiliate Programs By Dan Leman
Below are 15 things that I look for in an affiliate program.
1. Show me the money. Let’s be honest, although being able to help people by pointing them to a quality product is the icing on the cake, the main reason we are marketing is to make money. So the question is “How much will I make per visitor I send?” You have to take into account BOTH earnings per sale and conversion.
7. Advertising materials and copy. Call me lazy, but I have enough to do without having to write copy for other people’s campaigns. I like to have them say “cut here, and paste, click send, collect the money”. 8. Support /Contactability. Is the staff available through, Skype, phone, email, AIM, Twitter, Facebook, or all of the above? Are they easy to reach? Do they speak your language?
2. Will my list love me or hate me for promoting this? If you’re sending them to quality free content, they will love you for it. If you are sending them to a sleazy sales letter, it will cost you brownie points.
9. 2nd tier program. A great way to make a little extra on a campaign is by contacting other affiliates you have a relationship with, showing them a product or service they might want to promote as well.
3. I want my money back. A high return rate can do more harm than just to your commissions.
10. Does the product or service provide value for its price? This point was originally going to be about the quality of the product, but let’s face it; you can’t expect the same quality product for $27 as $2700. So, is the value for money there?
4. Reciprocity. Are you able to get them to promote your product? 5. Continuity. I love the thought of continuing to earn monthly for every sale. 6. Upsell, downsell, crosssell. Does the program offer an upsell? What about a limited version to scoop up some extras… or a crosssell? More importantly, do the affiliates get a percentage of these sales?
13. Click and sales tracking. Do you have real-time, instant-access to click and sale reports?
14. Competitions and prizes. I admit it, I am a little competitive. While it’s not exactly a make or break factor, I like affiliate programs with competitions and cool prizes. 15. The last (but not the least) Minimum payment, payment method, payment frequency. While it is difficult to find programs that include all of these features, the more the program offers, the better. Dan Leman is CEO of TheBossBuster. More information can be found at affiliate. thebossbuster.com.
11. Have all the materials been field tested? Ideally, split–tests should have been done on the campaign to ensure the highest conversion possible. 12. Cookie duration. How long does the cookie last? Obviously, the longer, the better.
Top to bottom: 1.Kelly Powers (Zazzle), Jarvis Mak (Havas Digital), Steve Schaffer (Vertive), and Peter Bordes (MediaTrust), and Neil Strother (Forrester Research); 2. Kevin Rose, Founder and Chief Architect of Digg, and Evan Hansen of Wired; 3. Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia 4. Crowds registering at ad:tech; 5. Affiliate Summit Beer Garden during ad:tech
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 9
CRYING NEED FOR EDUCATION iii) Continuous Education. Commit to a systematic self-education through affiliate marketing blogs, forums, and related news portals. Between changes in legislation, new unethical affiliate practices, and other rising threats, merchants have much to keep track of. Subscribing to RSS feeds of the abovequoted resources will help you to stay on top of the industry’s news, trends and tendencies.
By Geno Prussakov It’s been said that the majority of problems in the affiliate marketing industry stem from the lack of merchant training and education. During a recent interview I conducted with an outsourced program manager, a super affiliate and an affiliate network’s director regarding issues in the affiliate marketing industry, the first interviewee pointed to the “merchant’s lack of knowledge”; the third one stated that merchants are predominantly “uneducated”; while the second interviewee mentioned that there is “only one main problem; a lack of ethics on the part of a few players.” The topic of ethics is an underpinning theme of the larger industry’s problem, and every one of my interviewees has pointed to it. However, prior to addressing the ethical problems it is imperative to underscore the importance of merchant education. One way to define education is to call it a “process that provides knowledge, skills, moral values, and understanding required in the normal course of life.” (Amos, Ristow, et al, 2009, Human Resource Management, p. 324). I especially appreciate the incorporation of “moral values” in this definition. Without the “knowledge” and “understanding” of the proper ways for the affiliate marketing channel to function, merchants cannot discern the improper ways. Therefore, dealing with all other industry’s problems should start with tackling the problem of the lack of knowledge.
Effective affiliate marketing education entails: (i) establishing and maintaining a solid theoretical basis, (ii) modifying theory to fit the context that the affiliate marketer works in, (iii) staying on top of the most current industry’s developments, and (iv) teaching others. i) Theory. This is an area most frequently overlooked by affiliate marketers. The fact that our industry is young does not mean that it has a right to exist in a de-theorized mode. Reading at least two books a month is a must for every affiliate marketer. Among the directly applicable subjects, I personally enjoy works on leadership, motivation, consumer psychology, website usability and analytics, to mention but a few. ii) Contextual Adjustments. Allow your context to shape the theory into a strategy – a thorough and methodical one.
iv) Teaching Others. Seneca, an ancient Roman Stoic philosopher is known for saying that “People learn while they teach.” Learning is always mutual, and while sharing the knowledge with others, the instructor deepens his/her own knowledge as well. Some twenty centuries after Seneca, the famous American novelist, Richard Bach, wrote: “You teach best what you most need to learn.” Start a blog where you would continuously share your knowledge with others. It will help you more than you know. Self-education will take time. But it is time well-invested. So start today! Geno Prussakov is the CEO of AM Navigator, and author of “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing” and “Online Shopping Through Consumers’ Eyes.”
Search Engine Pessimization:
Everyone is interested in increasing their search engine visibility, yet they often overlook the basic principles of Search Engine “Pessimization”, making it exceptionally difficult for Google and others to see their landing pages. Before you invest time and money into fully optimizing for search, you must do these three very simple things to prevent Google and other search engines from overlooking your landing page or giving it an extremely poor rank. Additionally, if you have already implemented an SEO project, you should check to see if these items were missed. Google Doesn’t Understand Your Images Titles, headings, and key quotations are not visible in graphics formats. Therefore, any content that needs to be searchable should always be in plain text form. If images are required, place ALT attributes on all graphics that take the place of plain text. Thus: WRONG: <img src=”/images/headline. jpg”> NOT SO GOOD: <img src=”/images/ headline.jpg” alt=”This is the headline!”>
10 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Don’t Make Google Cry By Mark W. Schumann
the examples provided by Google (search “ google sitemap protocol” in Google). Sitemaps are typically uploaded to the root (top-level) directory of your domain. Implementing these fast and simple techniques will avoid making Google cry when it visits your site and help searchers find your content. Mark W. Schumann, who makes software projects not suck, shares his paper on the eight ways that projects go bad, and how to fix them, at http://criticalresults.com/ freestuff.html.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 11
Four Great Tools for Twitter Marketing By Ian Fernando business or interests. Having this option enables quick and easy targeting of groups or individuals for your marketing purposes. TwitScoop.com
TwitScoop.com is an advanced system that allows you to see real-time trends in conversations as they occur. You can also view the history of a niche or keyword phrase during a 6-hour, 24-hour, and even 3-day time frame; allowing you to measure the trend’s credibility. Ian Fernando
(Kawasaki Keynote continued from pg 4.) enables you to set up searches and then automatically post tweets to respond to other Tweets with your keywords in them. He joked that it is the “ultimate spamming tool”. Not sure what the joke is there that’s exactly what it is. Guy gave an example where whenever there is a search for Britney Spears, he auto-posts to tell people to go to a page on Alltop about Britney. He opts to manually approve the Tweets, so they don’t go to people that are Tweeting negatively about a given subject, because these posts cost $0.05 each. Guy mentioned that Twitterhawk records when you’ve sent a Tweet to somebody, so you don’t send more than one to them.
In recent months, Twitter has received a lot of buzz, with large companies and celebrities alike beginning to use the application to its full potential. As a social tool, its increased popularity has created a lot of news (and noise) for our minds to gather and absorb. For the marketer though, the question is; how can we capitalize on the popularity and capabilities of Twitter for our marketing needs? There is an abundance of content on Twitter just waiting to be deciphered and used for our own specific needs. Fortunately, a surplus of new Twitter applications are being produced daily; designed to take advantage and manipulate Twitter’s limitless capabilities. Let’s examine some of the powerful websites and applications. search.twitter.com
Search.twitter.com (formerly known as summize.com) is a search engine for Twitter.com. This search engine is almost as popular as Google itself. Using this platform you can easily find conversations mentioning specific keywords or terms related to your
12 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Monitter is similar to TwitScoop in that it displays real-time conversation containing your keyword or phrase, however, it does not show trends. Its benefit resides in the fact that a user can have multiple windows open displaying conversations simultaneously. TweetDeck.com
Make it easy to share Have a link on your site to share content on Twitter - he has these on AllTop. Also, he uses Twitterfeed to enable people to sign up to have his Alltop News Feed posts appear in their Twitter account. So far, 590 people have opted for this feature.
TweetDeck is an all-in-one desktop platform which houses all your friends, replies, direct messages, and even a separate window for Twitscoop. You can also monitor multiple keywords, group specific followers, and look up a person’s profile without ever leaving your desktop. One drawback is the 10-column limitation.
And, Guy claims lots of people have told him that they have more conversations going on, because of his auto-Tweets, as they are more interesting than their own Tweets. Sad.
With a cornucopia of Twitter application tools now available, Twitter Marketing has been simplified and offers a straightforward way to increase website and business traffic. Additionally, as the internet becomes more and more social, Twitter can be used to help balance everything out.
Take the heat: UFM Guy finished with his perspective that if somebody doesn’t like your tweets, tell them: UFM = unfollow me.
Ian Fernando is the Founder of IANternet Media LLC and Blogger/Affiliate Marketer at IanFernando.com.
He mentioned that he got a custom setup from Twitterfeed, and thinks it is a good option if you have lots of evangelists.
Lastly, his take on spam is that if he does it, it’s clever marketing. If somebody does it to him, it’s spam.
Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine.
By Deborah Carney These days, it seems as though there are more places to host your content for free, than there are paid hosts. Between the free sites and social networks where you can have a profile, a page or even a blog, there are many people questioning whether there is any benefit to hosting content on their own domain versus driving their visitors to a site that they do not own. If you’re a marketer, the right answer is to use your own hosted website as a home base and utilize all those “other places” as traffic cops to direct the traffic safely to your home. That being said, should you decide to explore the free hosting route, it is important to review their Terms of Service beforehand for potential pitfalls. For instance, Blogger, Typepad and the hosted version of WordPress all have clauses allowing them to remove any content they deem in appropriate. Additionally, WordPress controls whether you can advertise on your blog or not. And while Blogger provides the ability to publish from their site to your own domain, they also
can remove your content from your domain as well.
GeoCities is another example of a place where people hosted for free for years and years and thought they would never have to worry. Yahoo is shutting it down. Several other “free” hosting services through the years have done the same, some vanishing into the night without warning. HyperMart changed from free to paid accounts. If you didn’t upgrade, *poof* your content was gone.
While free sites have their place, and social networks are certainly great places to have a presence, it is important that your social marketing efforts be used to drive traffic to a place that is under your control; a domain you have purchased on hosting you pay for.
a myriad of other sites are wonderful for creating a presence and connecting with people. But don’t use your Facebook page as your presence on the Web. Use it as a funnel to send people to your space where you control the content and the ads. Anytime you rely on another company or their business model to host your content, you are playing with fire.
Deborah Carney (TeamLoxly.com) is an Affiliate Manager and Consultant that also hosts a podcast on Geekcast.fm to teach affiliates the ABCs of getting started (AffiliateABCs).
Additionally, be sure you keep a local backup so that if your host goes down, you can move that content to a new host without worry, and quickly. Anyone remember NBCi/Xoom.com? More recently, Podango? Facebook, MySpace, Squidoo, Flickr, YouTube and
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 13
HOW THE WEB’S RICH GET RICHER By MICHEL LECONTE “The greater the number and quality of Wikipedia articles, the greater the number of people will link to us, and therefore the higher the rankings (and numbers of listings) we’ll have on Google.”
of hundreds of thousands of Wikipedians. Utilizing interns or offshore writers might be good sources to cost-effectively meet the quality threshold.
Gearing Up For Affiliate Marketing Success By Andrew Wee
While every affiliate marketer coming into the industry has aspirations to be like one of the top affiliates, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park for many. Informal research shows that a large proportion of new affiliates enter the industry expecting that success will fall into their lap, only to discover that reality is vastly out of synch with the picture of success they see themselves in. Fact #1: Drop the dream and focus on affiliate marketing as a real business. You might have read blog posts about affiliates buying a new house off the efforts of their Christmas campaign, or going for vacations funded by their marketing efforts every other month.
In January 2001, a feeder project to Nupedia with the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia, and the supporting technology choice of using a wiki, gave birth to Wikipedia. By the end of 2001, with roughly 20,000 articles, Wikipedia overshadowed all but three websites in terms of SERP visibility. Indeed, collaborative writing does create vast amounts of information, which, in turn, enhances visibility. However, Wikipedia’s organic search success is due to more than just content. Platform and Automation
Highly search engine-optimized pages, navigation, technical readability, and linking structure are all vital. Two hundred and fifty million internally optimized links help Wikipedia’s SEO efforts tremendously. Search optimized internal links across related and high-quality pages make a world of difference, but manual coding is not an option to execute deep links consistently over time. Additional flexibility is needed because websites and lead generation mini-sites are not geared towards being know-it-all encyclopedias. The good news is that search engines like when content is segmented across a number of domains (links spread across root domains is a sign of quality). Platforms that scale efforts across multiple domains work best. Wikipedia uses MediaWiki. What do you use? Quality is Key
Content should at least be equal to that of sites one wishes to beat in SERPs. This requires ongoing thinking in the absence
14 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Thirteen million articles filled with original and relevant content provide a good level of visibility. Wikipedia counts 165 million inbound links.
While it’s true that this is their lifestyle now, you will discover that many of these affiliates have been working at this for some time, and they have paid their dues along the way.
However, what is less known is that pages start with a nominal value, in terms of page rank. As a result, the more pages there are, the more page rank is created which can be passed throughout a network of pages and websites.
It pays to talk to an active affiliate at an event like Affiliate Summit and hear how they got started and their lessons learned along the way. Other resources include podcasts on the GeekCast.fm network or even my Friday Podcast series (WhoIsAndrewWee. com/podcasts).
Manage Link Equity
Wikipedia works as a vortex that sucks out inbound link equity (a.k.a. Google Juice) from outside the network and never sends it back. This is due to the systemic implementation of the infamous rel=”nofollow” tag. Links should be followed within one’s corpus of websites as well as contextual outbound links to authoritative websites. “No follow” tags should be used for others. Most of this can be automated.
You’ll often learn that any aspiring affiliate will face a variety of challenges and obstacles as they build their business. Dealing with and overcoming these challenges are an important part of becoming successful.
to be multiple tips, tricks and strategies you can use to make each method work. This can paralyze affiliates and result in their avoiding PPC or other forms of marketing because it seems “too complex”. However, the only way to get over this hurdle is to actually do it; investing time to set up a campaign, allocating a budget and measuring the results. In many cases, you can expect your first couple of campaigns to be in the red. Achieving the break-even point on your commissions vs. marketing spend should be your first target. One unhealthy way to look at your marketing spend is as a loss or even “throwing money into the gutter”. Take broader perspective and see that you are paying to collect market data, which you can use to refine and optimize your campaign into a profitable one, and you are taking steps to build a concrete business. Andrew Wee focuses on blogging, affiliate marketing and social traffic generation and blogs at http://WhoIsAndrewWee.com.
Often, it helps to think of yourself as a business owner, rather than an affiliate, who might be focused on shorter term, arbitrage-style marketing campaigns.
A technical framework built to scale should be selected and exceptions to the rules, managed. And, like Wikipedia, “the rich (will) get richer.”
Fact #2: Build expertise; but more importantly, be an active affiliate.
Michel Leconte is the CEO of SEO Samba (www.seosamba.com), an automation platform that agencies, marketers and affiliates rely on to scale search rankings across an unlimited number of websites.
It’s strange that some affiliates will use paid promotion methods like Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-View advertising without having read the documentation or guides that reside in the respective systems’ training area. Relying on secondhand information on blogs or forums can create a world of pain, especially if the campaign goes south. It’s important to be informed and understand your promotion method, especially if you’re investing time and resources into it. On the other hand, learning and mastering a new promotion method can be quite intimidating, especially since there seem
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 15
Connie Berg at Affiliate Summit East 2008 - Photo By: Tris Hussey
I Wish I Was Rich Like You By Zac Johnson
There is probably nothing more insulting or demeaning for a successful person to hear than “I wish I was rich like you!” Unfortunately, there are some people that neither realize, nor appreciate the amount of effort it takes to get to where many successful people are today. are you. Work is an inanimate thing and can be made lively and interesting only by injecting yourself into it. Your job is only as big as you are.” - George C. Hubbs “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” - Peter Drucker (Author known for predicting many of the major developments of the late 20th century)
How many times have you heard or even said, “I wish I was rich as Bill Gates”, “I wish I could play golf like Tiger Woods“, yet have never took the initiative to start your own business, or even sign up for a golf lesson. While many are sitting back wishing, the successful people are DOING! With that said, here are a few motivation quotes from people over the years that have experienced success and failure. “To be successful, you must decide exactly what you want to accomplish; then resolve to pay the price to get it.” –Bunker Hunt (Former billionaire that lost his fortune) “If your work is becoming uninteresting, so
To have success, you must put forth an investment. That investment can be almost anything, ranging from time, training, and work to just reading or listening. Your success starts with you. If you are afraid of failure and the possibility of losing money by trying to start your own business, you most likely won’t succeed. Look at how many people have spent $100,000+ to go to college for 4 years (or more), and end up with a job they hate, or no job at all. In the end, this was still an investment of time and money, putting many on the path to the career they were looking for. Why are so many people so scared of spending a few dollars to test their ideas, but so ready to pour everything they have into attending college? It takes a different type of mindset to be your own boss, but that is your decision
to make. Not everyone has what it takes to make the plunge, that’s why so many people are “wishing” instead of “doing“. No big success was accomplished in one day; today is the day for you to start working towards your goals. Zac Johnson is the President and CEO of MoneyReign, Inc. You can read his blog at ZacJohnson.com.
Five Minutes with
Connie Berg is one of the most respected names in affiliate marketing, where she has earned a reputation as hard-working and an innovative affiliate in her ten plus years in the business. Among her industry accolades have been the LinkShare Golden Link Most Vocal Advocate Award in 2004 and the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award – Affiliate of the Year in 2008. FeedFront’s Co-Editor-in-Chief, Shawn Collins, recently talked with Connie about her career, fighting the advertising tax in Minnesota, and which Aerosmith song sums up her life.
16 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 17
Five Minutes with
and not post on FlamingoWorld.com. On ForMeToCoupon we don’t earn any commissions on any sales, those go to the affiliates using our service who are active in the programs. Shawn: How many people do you employ? Connie: I have 6 employees, whom I also count as friends. All work from home. One is my exhusband. Shawn: If the advertising tax passes in Minnesota, do you think you would have to lay off staff? Connie: I don’t foresee having to lay anyone off since we still need staff for ForMeToCoupon. We have a lot of ideas we want to implement. We know that we can’t keep all our eggs in one basket, we have to have a game plan, in this industry anything can happen so we have to be prepared and have more than one niche. Missy Ward, Connie Berg, and Lisa Picarille at 2008 LinkShare Golden Link Awards
Shawn: What was the first domain you purchased? Connie: My first domain was FlamingoWorld. com in 1998. Shawn: Most people know you for FlamingoWorld.com. How did you get started with it? Connie: I was really poor and found out there were coupons for online stores so I started a website to collect them for myself. Then I found that on some of the store websites that they had this thing called an affiliate program where you got paid a percent of the purchase. I figured I would sign up and use the commission as a rebate. Somehow, I don’t know how, others found my site and started using the coupons and my links. I got the flamingo theme from an old boyfriend; he used to call me Flamingo Girl. Shawn: How about ForMeToCoupon.com, what is that project all about? Connie: For a long time coupon affiliates, myself included looked to the networks to give us consolidated, accurate data feeds of their merchant’s coupons, sales and special offers. Tired of waiting, a light bulb went off in my head; instead of looking for the solution I would be the solution. ForMeToCoupon offers an automated, customized affiliate coupon feed
and deal feed from across all major networks. It covers all kinds of deals -not just coupons - but also rebates, clearances, product deals, deals of the day, and free shipping deals.
I do have 2 favorite networks. ShareASale and AvantLink. Both are honest and ethical networks and I deeply respect the people who run them.
Shawn: What has been the highlight of your time in affiliate marketing to date?
Shawn: You’ve been a vocal opponent of the advertising tax issue in Minnesota. Have you been in touch with your lawmakers?
Connie: The highlight has been all the wonderful people I have met whom I now call close friends. Some of the best people are in affiliate marketing. When I go to affiliate events it is like a family reunion. I have also gotten a better education in business than I could have gotten if I had taken business course in college. There are so many smart and inspiring people in the industry, they constantly challenge me and spark ideas. Shawn: What has been the lowlight? Connie: The cheaters, those who try to game the system. Those who find ways to steal sales and commissions from other affiliates and the networks who look the other way. There are a lot of unethical players out there. For each one that is outed there are ten that no one knows about. Shawn: Which affiliate programs are your favorites? Why? Connie: I don’t have a favorite program but
Connie: I went to one hearing where they postponed hearing on the issue. Since then I have sent emails, letters and had a few meetings with lawmakers. Shawn: I saw that you blogged, “Minnesota Affiliates Where Are You?” Have more Minnesota affiliates stepped up to fight the advertising tax? Connie: I have heard from 2 affiliates in Minnesota total. I don’t know if there are no other affiliates in Minnesota that are active or that would be greatly impacted; if they don’t understand the issue or if they just don’t care and want to leave it up to others to take care of. Shawn: Are you concerned about the impact if the advertising tax passes in Minnesota? Connie: I am hoping the Governor will veto the bill, but if it passes I think I will lose a lot of merchants. However, we are hoping to keep some to use just in ForMeToCoupon
Shawn: What is your favorite site today
(not including anything related to affiliate marketing)? Connie: I love TMZ.com, it is a nice distraction from the day-to-day grind. It is fun to see celebrities acting stupid and it makes me realize that my life is pretty good compared to some of them.
Shawn: Complete this sentence: Affiliate marketing was __________ five years ago, but now it is __________. Connie: Complete this sentence: Affiliate marketing was fun five years ago, but now it is a lot of work and politics. Shawn: What’s your favorite movie?
Shawn: You’ve sponsored music festivals to promote FlamingoWorld.com. Have you used other strategies to promote your site? Connie: Most of my promotion is word of mouth. I sponsor Rock-Fest every year in Cadott, Wisconsin and that is about it for organized promotion.
Connie: Anything with Johnny Depp! My other favorite is Gone With The Wind. Shawn: If your life could be summed up in an Aerosmith song, which song would it be? Connie: Living on the Edge, although I wish it were Love in an Elevator!
Shawn: What is the last book you read? Connie: The last book I read was “Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s “, by John Elder Robison. I also read a lot of true crime books. Forensics fascinates me.
Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and CoEditor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine.
By Ad Hustler
is a Two Way Street
Affiliate marketing is an industry based on trust. We, as affiliates, need to trust that advertisers and affiliate networks are treating us fairly. My advice to you is to trust no one. Make all of your decisions based on hard data.
By Amy Rodriguez & Shawn Collins
The 2009 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, a compilation of survey data from more than
All too often, affiliates start to suspect that something is wrong with the offer they are promoting. Conversion rates start at 20%, then after a week fall to 5%. Why would that be? Is it scrubbing, shaving or is the offer not tracking properly?
450 affiliates, has been published. This is the seventh annual edition of the report.
Forums such as WickedFire are littered with these types of threads.
The survey covered a wide array of issues
If you contact the network to complain about the drop in conversion rate they will often say “the offer is tracking fine.” And that’s it.
from the affiliate perspective. Areas covered in the survey included preferred
There is a simple test that you can perform to see if you’re getting ripped off. Collect the leads YOURSELF! Let’s say you are running a lead generation offer:
Affiliate Marketing Stats
methods of commission payments, Ad Hustler
preferences of network vs. independent affiliate programs, where affiliates find
3) Turn your traffic on and collect any leads that come through.
If affiliates are willing to test ads, landing pages, offers and more, we should also be performing tests to make sure that the advertiser or network is not blatantly stealing from us. We, as affiliates, should no longer accept any form of shaving or stealing our leads.
4) Compare conversions against the stats you have collected on the affiliate network.
For an industry based on trust, there are an awful lot of untrustworthy companies operating in it.
The report is currently available to
Is there a huge discrepancy between the conversion rate of the offer and the conversion rate of the identical page you control? If so, then it’s time to contact the affiliate network and show some proof.
Ad Hustler has been advertising online for more than 7 years, and you can read his case studies at www.adhustler.com
1) Take a screenshot of the advertiser’s landing page. 2) Pop a form on it that looks like the advertisers original form.
affiliate programs and more.
download for free at www.affstat.com The following are excerpts from the report.
The affiliate network may or may not care; it depends whom you’re dealing with. If you can’t get an amicable resolution or answer as to the discrepancy in conversion rates, you can collect the information yourself and monetize it privately. (continued on page 22.)
20 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 21
(Affiliate Marketing Stats continued from pg 21.)
The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing By Jay Berkowitz An Excerpt from Chapter 1: Golden Rule #1 – There are No Rules When I sat down with Shari McConahay at Annie’s Costumes for our first business meeting, she confessed to me that she was a little confused by Internet marketing. “We tried banner advertising and we got some sales, but we’re not sure how well it worked,” she said. “We want to try email marketing and I keep hearing that search engine marketing is the only way to go. Another expert told me that affiliate marketing is the only strategy for us. I just don’t know what the answer is.” I explained, that in my experience with Internet marketing, there is no perfect answer for any one website, and sometimes, one strategy that works well for six months may start to slip after a couple of months. This is the genesis for Golden Rule #1 – There are no rules.
Jay Berkowitz is interviewed during Affiliate Summit East 2007
shopping lists andexpert advice through the computer.
I told Shari that traditional offline advertisers follow a set of “rules” or conventions. They do research to determine consumer wants and needs. Sometimes they even show consumers ideas for ads in focus groups, and ask them how they would react to the ads if they saw them on TV. Then they take the consumer feedback, modify the strategies and the creative and produce the ads. On the internet it is fast and inexpensive to test different ads, different offers and different types of advertising.
At the time, the eDiets sign-up was six pages long. We tested a short three page sign up with current, fashionable feminine colors. We ran what is called an A:B Test for about one week: half of the people who came to eDiets saw the existing six-page sign up (version A) and half of the visitors were presented with the new softer colors and resulting three-page sign up (version B). I asked Shari which version she thought ‘won’ in the test, that is which version signed up a higher percentage of visitors as customers. She said “The shorter, three page test with more feminine colors won, didn’t it?”
In 2002, I joined an aspiring dot-com company called eDiets, following my experience marketing big brand websites, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Sprint. eDiets didn’t sell any physical products. When a customer signed up for an eDiets diet, they received online meal plans, menus,
I explained, “Much to my surprise, my three-page test didn’t deliver more sales, in fact, the old six page, darker colored sign-up process was about 10 percent more effective than the new test.” However, one page on the new three-page sign up was very effective in convincing
people to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Our next step was to develop a new version of the six step sign-up process with a revised eNewsletter sign-up page. The new version generated more sales and more eNewsletter sign ups. Jay Berkowitz is an author, keynote speaker, blogger, podcaster and the founder of an Internet marketing agency. You can find links to all his stuff at www.TenGoldenRules.com.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 23
Tim Ash at Affiliate Summit West 2009 - Photo By: Brad Crooks
Compliance in Advertizing By Stacey Sicard It is a never-ending battle to compete with this ongoing problem and until the non-compliant advertisers feel the repercussions of remaining non-compliant, things will not change. Even though there are no strict laws published at this time regarding compliance, if the networks and publishers are all on the same page with the recent guidelines the FTC disseminated, it would be much easier to rise to the top. This industry needs a clean, fresh start on how we promote products. As advertisers, we have become accustomed to sky-rocketing CPA’s and higher re-bills on products. The last thing we need is for a handful of non-compliant advertisers to ruin it for the rest. We, as an industry need to come together and set realistic limits for all to follow. There’s enough of a market for everyone to have a piece. Stacey Sicard
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has taken action in the recent months to target advertisers in the nutraceutical market for advertising deemed misleading. I couldn’t be more thrilled. This is something that is long overdue and unfortunately, even with the changes that have been made by those who are FTC compliant; the acceptance by most advertisers is slow at best. The FTC has come down on some continuity program offers for statements claimed in their advertising and have offered guidance to those willing to make the changes on their own. The advertisers that are in it for the long run have adhered to the requests from the FTC, whereas those that are in it for the short term are making it very difficult to compete. The company where I work has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on compliance lawyers and has made the required changes to our landing pages and creative. Unfortunately, we are seeing traffic by some long standing partners and networks redirected to non-compliant offers which continue to convert higher on the front end. With enough complaints to the FTC from consumers, eventually the non-compliant offers will have their merchant accounts pulled, close shop and reopen within days, peddling a new offer. It’s frustrating to be among those trying to run an honest campaign with a legitimate offer.
Stacey Sicard is the Director of Marketing and Advertising at E4 Media and the founder of TheAffiliateCore.com.
Affiliate Summit East 2009
Speaker Preview Affiliate Summit East 2009 is taking place August 9-11 in New York City. The agenda is packed with three days of educational sessions. Here are some of the speakers and their sessions you can look forward to attending. SEO Tools You Can Use Today
Wil Reynolds SEER Interactive Associate Twitter @wilreynolds What will attendees learn if they attend your session? We’ll review the pros and cons of some of my favorite (and many unknown) web tools. Expect to learn how to use YouTube to build links, along with advanced strategies like using no-follows and other tactics to help maximize your internal link power to the pages that need it most. What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? If you’ve ever seen a competitor outranking you for some of your key terms this session will give you the tools and strategies to put up a good fight. The people, I look forward to interacting with and learning from all of you guys! Getting Noticed FAST
Lisa Picarille LisaPicarille.com Consultant Twitter @lisap What will attendees learn if they attend your session? How a handful of savvy online marketers have leveraged the latest social networking tools, along with good old-fashioned networking, to go from virtually unknown newbies to instantly recognizable (and well-respected) names in the affiliate marketing space in just one year. Attendees will learn the tips, tricks and proven techniques that made these personal branding efforts highly successful.
What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? Affiliate Summit is always the perfect combination of education and networking that enables me to take away practical advice, expert opinions and real-world lessons that move my business forward. Plus, the show always manages to incorporate some fun implementation of cutting-edge technology that ends up being critical to me down the road. Seven Deadly Sins of Landing Page Optimization
Tim Ash SiteTuners.com President & CEO Twitter @tim_ash What will attendees learn if they attend your session? How a few simple fixes to common problems can skyrocket your conversion rate. What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? Power networking and hanging out with positive enthusiastic people Organic Site Review Panel
Scott Polk Bruce Clay, Inc Sr. SEO Analyst / Evangelist Twitter @scottpolk What will attendees learn if they attend your session? Real-world SEO recommendations on how to improve their organic listings in Google, Yahoo and MSN Live search engines. Attendees will have the opportunity to have their websites reviewed in real-time by a panel of experts in the SEO field. What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? I am definitely looking forward to the networking opportunities, both professional and personal that always occurs at Affiliate Summit. Also, new business opportunities and partnerships
with some of the smartest people in internet marketing. Social Media Marketing for Affiliates
Brent Csutoras Brent Csutoras, Inc. Social Media Consultant Twitter @brentcsutoras What will attendees learn if they attend your session? A comprehensive understanding of the benefits to marketing within the top social media aggregation sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. Through the many examples and tips the panel will provide, attendees will learn how to use these social sites as a brand, visibility, and link building tools. Basically if you want to know what social media marketing is really all about, this is the panel for you. What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? This being my first time at Affiliate Summit, I am really looking forward to meeting and networking with the attendees. Web 2010 - Ten Trends Defining Your Future
Jay Berkowitz www.TenGoldenRules.com CEO Twitter @JayBerkowitz What will attendees learn if they attend your session? The ten leading trends that will allow businesses, individuals and affiliates to succeed online in 2010 and beyond. What are you looking forward to during Affiliate Summit East 2009? I am looking forward to the affiliate marketing community taking on the Big Apple and shaking it up! Register at www.AffiliateSummit.com passes are expected to sell out within a couple weeks of Affiliate Summit East 2009.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 25
The Tradeshow jungle
By Chantelle S. White
How to Build Your Message with Twitter By Murray Newlands Twitter is an amazing tool for building your message, and an exciting platform for efficient conversation and marketing. Success on Twitter comes with connections and meeting new people, building your network and being part of an incredible, ongoing conversation. Here are a few ways I recommend using Twitter to build your message: Build a Solid Profile
The profile on Twitter has six parts: Name, Location, Web, Bio and your Following/ Followers count. Use your “Web” slot to link to your personal or business blog. If someone likes your Tweets, they need to be able to quickly find out who you are and how to learn more. Your link should add value to the experience rather than be a direct link to a sales site. The “Bio” section is a quick description of you- choose keywords that show personality. Build Targeted Networks
Twitter is about relationships. I’ve heard Twitter described as being at a cocktail
26 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
party or a soccer stadium where you can hear what everyone is saying. One benefit of being able to see what so many other people are saying is that you already know what they are into, what they support, what they talk about.
conversation as the basis for a blog post, or use it as a vehicle to test out new ideas. One of the keys to being relevant on Twitter is to add value, and by guiding a conversation around your cause, you are guaranteed to do so.
Use the “Find People” function on the menu to search for people in your field or with similar interests. Follow them and see who they talk to with @ messages, or ask them who else they are connected to. Your network is a great resource to answer questions and pass on leads. It is also a way to extend your audience. When you ReTweet someone else’s Tweet, they notice.
A great way to extend your reach is to find ReTweet partners where you ReTweet their messages and they ReTweet yours. Start Targeted Conversations Start a conversation and then guide it. Whether directly contacting individuals or Tweeting general questions, starting a conversation makes you visible. You can tailor questions to bring up an issue where you are an expert, and use the
Twitter competitions get people involved, bottom line. Competitions can require people to follow you, ReTweet a message, post something to their Facebook status, or read a recent blog entry and comment or find specific information in the post. All of these strategies are strong because they engage people with your product or website and get your message out to potentially thousands of people. Twitter competitions build awareness, promote engagement and make your network more visible. Murray Newlands is a Green Online Marketing Specialist & blogger in affiliate management / affiliate marketing in the UK & US.
Whether you exhibited or plowed your way through the multiple exhibit hall floors, you’ve had firsthand experience in the value of human interaction. In a world of multiple communication tools it’s more important than ever to place a face with the voice on the other end of the line. But in reality, it is a combination of your polished soft skills and diligent follow up that’s imperative in turning those handshakes into dollars and cents. Proactive Preparation: Know Your Audience
• Review and scrub your Rolodex against the exhibitor list. –– There is no better time to revisit contacts whose venture never made it to fruition. • Assess the speaker list and proactively arrange to meet with individuals/firms. –– The majority of speakers are the decision makers so take advantage of starting a dialogue after sessions. Qualifying New Leads: Listen Twice as Much as You Speak • Always initiate an introduction with an open-ended question. –– Passionate individuals enjoy speaking about their business (and themselves). Encourage this and you’ll quickly know whether there is potential for a lucrative partnership. • Receive a pitch before giving yours. –– You have a window of forty-five
seconds to certify if the individual(s) before you are a fit for your business model. –– Time is of the essence, thus give the courtesy of listening to a thirtysecond elevator pitch and follow up with a validating question. This will ensure that you’re capitalizing on your time (during the conference), proactively qualifying your prospects (shorten your follow-up time), and it may present innovative business ideas which you may not have otherwise incorporated. Capitalizing During Primetime: Hustle While You Wait
• Schedule new prospect “meet & greets” during breakout sessions. –– Save longer meetings for individuals that you have an active pipeline of business with.
–– This will ensure you can pick up right where you left off and secure the next course of action. • Swift and immediate follow-up will ensure your correspondence is received first and most likely addressed first. –– You truly have only a two to three day window to effectively follow-up and make certain that your message is conveyed most efficiently. –– While your prospect is being flooded with calls and you’re playing catch-up into the week following the show, a quick follow-up will guarantee that you/your firm are kept top of mind. Miss White joined the MediaTrust Business Development team in 2008 where she’s responsible for strategic partnership alliances, new business development and portfolio management.
–– New prospects/projects only require two to five minutes (tops) to qualify any potential business and further action steps should be ironed out in the follow up call. • Spend any downtime in a public gathering area (i.e.: hotel lobby). –– Public spaces receive the highest enter and exit traffic, so there is a 90% probability that you’ll reconnect with an old associate or a potential prospect. Follow Up: Three Day Window to Close the Sale
• Take notes on all business cards exchanged in real-time.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | JUNE 2009 | 27
Five Ways to Keep WordPress Running Smoothly
Dana Rockel & Karen Jackie host a roundtable on WordPress at Affiliate Summit West 2008
By Karen Jackie & Dana Rockel Here are some easy steps you can take to ensure that your WordPress blog is running optimally.
1. Choose Your Host Wisely While it’s tempting to go for a shared plan that’s under $5/month, you have to remember you get what you pay for. As your site gets popular, you may need to consider upgrading to a virtual private server, a dedicated server, or even a cloud solution. These plans can often guarantee better uptimes (especially when you land on the home page of Digg) and offer superior performance overall.
2. Fight Spam with Plugins It’s no accident that Akismet is WordPress’s most popular plugin (and not just because it’s included with your install). It really stops most spam in its tracks. Want even more protection? You can supplement Akismet by installing Simple Trackback Validation (to thwart pesky trackback spam) and Bad Behavior. As spammers get more sophisticated, so do these tools. No blog should be launched without them.
3. Back It Up Remember you can’t rely on your host alone to get your blog’s data back. As with any website, there are many, many points of failure, including lost files, corrupted databases, plugin breakages, and software upgrade errors. Install the
28 | JUNE 2009 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
WordPress Database Backup plugin for peace of mind. (Bonus Tip: create a special Gmail account and have your backup files sent there daily). When things go wrong, you can restore to your last good known configuration and be back running quickly.
4. Watch Those Upgrades If you are running a newer version of WordPress (2.6 and above), you can be bombarded with prompts to update your out-of-date software. If you have a lot of plugins or a customized theme, you should think twice about blindly pressing any update buttons (see #3 and do a backup first!). Also, please delete any “automatic upgrade” plugins, which have been known to lock many an admin out of their dashboard due to incompatibilities. Learn how to create development server and test out your upgrades before applying them to your production site.
5. Why is My Blog Slow? There can be many reasons why your blog is behaving up like a snail. Common causes can be traced to: • Your host or your plan (see #1) • Running too many potentially conflicting plugins (pare them down when possible) • Using too many widgets (which may be poorly coded)
• Relying on external services (when you pull in files from Flickr, Twitter, or YouTube, for example, it means you have to wait on them to serve up images, tweets, and videos from their sites.) • Using a free, off-the-shelf theme (they can be programmed poorly or even have rogue code within them) Toolbox • WordPress – http://www.wordpress.org • Akismet – http://wordpress.org/extend/ plugins/akismet • Simple Trackback Validation – http:// wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simpletrackback-validation/ • Bad Behavior – http://wordpress.org/ extend/plugins/bad-behavior/ • WordPress Database Backup – http:// wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-dbbackup/ Follow these 5 tips and you’ll find that your WordPress blog is more stable and easier to manage. Karen Jackie, is the Principal and Chief Architect of Ideas and Execution of ContentRobot and Dana Rockel is the Principal and Chief Engineer of Design of ContentRobot.