One of the perks of heading to Affiliate Summit West at the Rio hotel this coming January is the opportunity to meet the various guests on the Friday Podcast, some for the 1st time and some of the 10th time.
Next on the list would be the terrific networking events and parties, especially the near legendary ones hosted by the ShareASale affiliate network, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to bring home a polaroid with SAS founder Brian Littleton in his trademark sweatervests.
This isn’t to say that the sessions are to be unrated. (more…)
In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to 3 top PPC (pay-per-click) affiliate marketers. More than that, I’ve had the opportunity to gain insight into how they operate their businesses as well as set up and fine tune their PPC campaigns.
Although I shouldn’t have been that surprised, still it’s quite amazing how different their approaches are from each other. Which goes to show that there are multiple avenues to achieve your goals with PPC and affiliate marketing.
Note: I’ll be painting in broad strokes here, so expect some generalizations.
(left-to-right) Jeremy Palmer, Amit Mehta, John Hasson
Jeremy Palmer is a name that comes up often, especially if you’re a Commission Junction (CJ) affiliate or if you attend the Affiliate Summit. I’ve found that Jeremy and I use a similar approach in looking at offline research avenues, including books, magazines and reports to research niches, and develop deep, content rich sites.
Given his experience as a web developer, I guess it’s not surprising that he tends to build sites from the ground up. Also, having presented and watched his Black Ink project unfold, I’ve seen how Jeremy uses a systematic approach to building his campaigns.
The Twitter team has been working overtime with fixes intended to resolve the growing pains associated with the microblogging service, with regular updates at the Twitter blog and the Twitter status blog.
I am a little surprised and disappointed that several core Twitter features have been disabled in the interim.
The loss of private messaging I can live without (for the short term), but what happens when you are handicapped in your ability to follow conversations?
Witness the page for Jeremy Palmer’s Black Ink Project:
The pages show the twits originating from Jeremy, but the “With others” tab which you could click on and see the 2-way conversation is now missing.
If you want to track the conversation, you’d have to hit the “in reply to” hyperlink.
[At least that's how I remember how I used to track conversations...]
So if you’d like to follow an active Twitter user, you’d be hitting the “in reply to” link pretty often and opening up a bunch of windows and study the timestamps and figure out the chronological sequences.
I may be wrong, but I thought the purpose of these technologies was to make things easier, rather than give me some weird sudoku-like puzzle to figure out what goes where?
Having installed the latest version of the Flock social web browser (based on the Mozilla code, which Firefox is based from), I noticed that there’s an integrated Twitter module.
I had a great time presenting a session on social marketing and web 2.0 technologies for Jeremy Palmer’s Black Ink Project today and it fired off a couple of thoughts on how Internet marketers can leverage their brand to enhance their business.
Especially if you’ve been traditionally focusing on PPC or Search Engine Optimization to generate leads and sales, these strategies can give you a couple more tools for your arsenal.
Social marketing is all about open communication and visibility. (transparency and honesty are key too).
If you don’t already have an online presence, look at how you want to position yourself.
At the heart of it, a Dell computer, an Apple iPod or an Asus Eee PC is just a bunch of circuit boards and electronic chips soldered together and encased in an aluminum or polycarbonate case. It’s marketing magic that imbues these objects with the emotional associations of style, ease-of-use, prestige, etc.
In his book, “All Marketers are Liars”, Seth Godin mentions how consumers are actually the ones lying to themselves. They imbue products and services with these larger-than-life characteristics and spending their income on “driving machines” and believe that a computer can help them “think different”.
If you’re an online marketer and you aren’t already picking up these tips to up your game, you could be missing out on the massive leverage these strategies provide.
Pickup artists like Neil Strauss AKA Style, Erik Von Markovik AKA Mystery talk about creating personas or social avatars. I don’t see this as very different from a brand that a company creates.
One question might be asked “So, how do I create my identity if I’m new to this?”
Answer: Create your identity based on what you want to be (your outcome) and strive towards it. An avatar is your desired outcome, you build it as a goal you want to achieve.
Having it consistent with your personal thoughts, values and attitudes will help you market via social media and web 2.0 with authenticity and brutal effectiveness. Projecting a picture of yourself as something you’re not is going to be a fruitless exercise down the road.
The pickup artists have put a practical application to Robert Cialdini’s concept of social proof – the idea of DHV’s or Demonstration of Higher Value. In Internet marketer speak, that’s becoming an authority site in your niche. (ok, I’m extending the concept further from its original position).
More importantly, social marketing still represents a pool of huge untapped potential – something like the Excalibur buried in a block of stone. The secret here is that anyone can be the “King Arthur” that pulls it out and unleashes its potential – it’s a matter of stepping up and taking action.
This clip with one of Mystery’s lieutenants, JDog, address the issue of creating avatars. Read between the lines and the same principles of focus, rather than “peacocking” will equally apply in your business too.
There’s a pretty active discussion on Jeremy Palmer’s Quit Your Day Job forums about whether its better to be an affiliate or a merchant. (I’m paraphrasing the intent somewhat).
I’d expand it to encompass taking on a network role in the merchant-affiliate equation too.
I don’t think any of the roles are necessarily “better”, because all the parts help to complete the system.
Trying to come to the conclusion that one is “better” than the other is like saying a car engine is more important than the tires. In that case, take off one of the tires and try driving off.
I’ve had the opportunity to take up roles in all 3 positions, and its been an educational experience.
I identify with the points several of the affiliates raised about not having to deal with customers, refunds, frustration, etc. At the same time too, once you have several products development cycles and product launches under your belt, and you create systems to deal with not only problems, but solutions at enhancing your business competitiveness, you bring your business to a new level.
I personally like being in the product owner/merchant role, because (more…)