Hi Everyone,

We just posted a recap for Baltimore, Denver, NYC, and Niagra Falls. Read the full post here.

In Baltimore, regulars and new attendees gathered for a presentation for both affiliates and merchants on closing out strong in Q4.

Kim Salvino and Amy Ely covered a variety of topics that were also recently covered on the following two podcasts:

How Merchants Can Make Q4 Better for Affiliates
How Affiliates Can Get The Most Out of Q4 by Talking to Your Merchants

Key Merchant Takeaways:
  • comScore 4th quarter sales reached $39 billion in 2009 and $43 billion in 2010 – presenting a huge revenue opportunity this year
  • The largest online sales day in 2010 was Cyber Monday and the peak week was December 5-12th
  • Plan out a promotional calendar and the dates you’ll provide relevant creative to your affiliates
  • Send a list of best sellers, new Q4 products, and (for PPC affiliates) suggested keywords
  • Update data feeds daily and consider “changes file,” top sellers, and category specific sub-feeds
  • DO NOT plan major site updates or affiliate network changes in Q4
  • If your gift cards are commissionable, let your affiliates know, if they aren’t – why not?

Key Affiliate Takeaways:
  • Don’t wait on the merchant – know what you need well in advance, and don’t be afraid to ask
  • - If you use data feeds, ask for custom sub-feeds by age or gender that appeal to your audience or feeds with top sellers, sale items, or new products for the holiday shopping season
  • Plan out a promotional calendar and the dates you’ll need relevant creative from merchants
  • - Click here for a great example from Tricia Meyer
  • Consider creating a media kit detailing your audience demographics, planned promotions, and communications channels you use (email, PPC, etc) and send to potential merchant partners
  • Ensure your content and ads aren’t displaying expired promotions
  • Consider posting gift guides, engaging your audience with email newsletters
  • Pay attention to top sellers on Amazon

In Denver, 18 attendees joined a presentation from Ernie St. Gelais on how to run the business aspects of your affiliate business. His discussion covered several aspects of affiliate marketing, including working with multiple networks, promotion strategies, and best ethical practices in the industry.

In New York, Michael Streko from Knowem.com discussed treating your affiliate sites as a business instead of a hobby. He gave examples of how to create a very tightly niched local site that can be monetized, not only with affiliate marketing, but also by advertising from offline businesses. A key takeaway was “find a need and fill it.”

After a lively discussion with Michael, the 20 attendees broke into smaller groups based on the main discussion and continued to network.

In Niagara Falls, it was a mashup of Toronto-Meets-WNY, complete with their own hashtag (#ASEH). Liz Gazer provided a full recap below


Affiliate Summit Toronto-Meets-WNY Meet-up in Niagara (#ASEH)

The Toronto Affiliate Summit Community met up with Fort Erie/Western NY area Affiliate Marketers at Syndicate Restaurant & Brewery in Niagara Falls, Ontario this past Tuesday for what may become a quarterly gathering of Toronto-Meets-WNY affiliate folks.

Organized by Liz Gazer, the event attracted a mix of 17 advertisers/publishers & agency reps. The group congregated in a private area overlooking the microbrewery for a networking Happy Hour over Syndicate’s signature craft beer and wings courtesy of Growthspurt Media, before enjoying 2 informative presentations led by Eric Nagel of http://www.ericnagel.comr & Eric Schwarzer of Caledonia-based AllSpun Monetization Consulting Services.

Happy Hour was followed by an insightful presentation on the fundamentals of improving on-site SEO by Eric Nagel of http://www.ericnagel.com and then, a fun, high energy presentation by Eric Schwarzer on “16 Random Things to Maximize Productivity, Mindset & Achieve Bigger Goals”.

Key takeaways from Eric Nagel’s presentation included:

  • On-site vs. Off-site SEO
  • You control on-site, others control the off-site SEO
  • Trust Rank – who shares and links to what you said and who you are,matter more and more each day
  • Microformats (the rich snippets of data that determine how your listing appears in the SERP’s) – know how to use them to give uniform structure and help search engines read your data
  • Quality back links from trusted/relevant sites/pages (quality vs. “just” quantity)
  • How to Optimize HTML tags for better indexing/page rank
  • How to Improve Site Speed (now also used by Google as one of 200+ factors in determining search rankings)

To review Eric Nagel’s full presentation, visit: On-Site SEO: Affiliate Summit Toronto Meetup Presentation
Eric Nagel can be found at http://www.EricNagel.com or on Twitter (@EricNagel).

Key takeaways from Eric Schwarzer’s presentation (primarily aimed at work-from-home types but offering sound advice everyone can use), included:
  • Activity does not = Accomplishment. Make sure the things keeping you busy are contributing to your success
  • Stay organized with lists
  • To do (important tasks that contribute to overall business objectives)
  • To don’t (unproductive habits & distractions go here)
  • DONE (accomplishments/achievements to reflect on during times when you feel like you are spinning your wheels)
  • Find your ‘Zone’
  • Self-analyze your working habits/patterns and aim to tackle biggest tasks during your most productive time of day
  • Dress for Success
  • Create a daily “get ready” routine and stick to it
  • Especially for work-at-home folks, the temptation to stay in PJ’s all day can be huge. Do whatever it takes to put yourself in a professional frame of mind each day even if it means just putting your shoes on, to work in your kitchen
  • Identify Strengths and Build on them. Identify weaknesses and either pay someone else to do it or study/train to turn them into strengths, but don’t waste time fumbling the ball
  • Everyone Experiences Failure – at some point
  • Successful people get up when they fall down and keep on truckin’
  • Don’t let failure keep you down. Learn from it and move on
  • Set realistic goals. Achieve them. THINK BIGGER. Repeat.

To review Eric Schwarzer’s full presentation visit: Niagara falls ASEH Presentation.
Eric Schwarzer can be found on Twitter (@schwarzer) or on Facebook.

For more information about Growthspurt Media visit Growthspurt Media | Facebook
Liz Gazer can be found on Twitter (@lizgazer).

For more information about the Toronto Affiliate Summit Community, visit Toronto Affiliate Marketing Community (North York, ON) - Meetup.


Thanks to everyone who attended meetups this month and we’re looking forward to plans for October!