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  1. #1
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    July 2, 1995, made my 1st affiliate sale
    Today, I've to celebrate an anniversary.
    I made my first affiliate sale on July 2nd, 1995. 12 years ago.
    I started my first website during January 1995, it was already a niche website, focusing on only one product line. Thanks to an outstanding man, Peter Granoff, I linked my first site to others and soon the first sales were rolling in.
    I had a hard time to find merchants, there was few visionary websites like Virtual vineyards at that time, but soon, I got also affiliate sales from CDNow thru their buyweb program. It was the beginning of a great story. Never had a day without sales in 12 years. The challenging part was not to sell but to get your affiliate commissions. What a nightmare!
    Then, one year later in July 1996 I joined Amazon program, LinkShare in 1997, CJ in 1998... The networks saw the need for a "trusted third party" to collect our money but they failed miserably to protect us. Shame on them.
    Anyway, still having sales everyday. Maybe not as much as in the golden years (Up to 600 a day) but I'm not going to complain.
    I wish everybody to have sales for as long as me.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Great post, Zeus! You have me beat by almost 4 years.

    We need to get Haiko to update your Title now. It still says 10 years.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Congrats my friend ... I'll wait till Monty's to celebrate with you ....
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    December 30th, 2006
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    Wish I had your experience.

  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    1999 was a great year to start. Business was booming. After that, if you were able to survive the dot.com crash everything else was just a piece of cake.
    Some of my affiliations with Indies are 10 years old and they are still strong. They have very few affiliates and for most of these merchants my sales represent a big share of their business. I respect them, they treat me right. I never had a conflict with them.

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I wish I could be at Monty's, Andy. It's not going to be this time, the Summit would have been a good excuse. Even if I don't need an excuse to have a drink with you, it would have been a pleasure. One of my daughters is getting married in Sweden and I've to fly the family from Atlanta and Orlando to Stockholm. One of these days, Andy... I promise.

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    May 10th, 2005
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    Beautiful anniversary, Zeus. Congratulations!!

    Geno

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2007
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    Happy Anniversary!

    Your post is sure to inspire and motivate many. 12 years is very impressive.

    Congratulations on your daughter's wedding as well.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager David Carter's Avatar
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    March 8th, 2006
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    Great news Zeus! Me and Dave started in the business in `95 and never looked back! It truly is a great market to be in and thanks to visionaries like yourself it has a brilliant future! Keep up the great work!
    David Carter
    MagazinesQuick.com

  10. #10
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Thanks Geno, David and Kim. We all need motivation from time to time. I think you still can start today and do great with Affiliate marketing. There's so many ways to promote a product or a merchant and so many new opportunities. To be an old affiliate is not always an advantage. We remember the good old time instead to think of new ideas. I've to force myself to innovate and try new concepts.

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    Happy anniversary Zeus! Great story!

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Congrats on 12 years. I wish I knew about this back then

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Inspiring. Will be good for the newbs to see this I've been online 12 years but didn't discover affiliating until Amazon and CJ got rolling.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    March 13th, 2006
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    Zeus,

    I do sooo enjoy a good success story. I bet the 12 years seems like it was just yesterday, huh? You've been through a lot of changes the past 12 years, and it sounds like you've made the most of it. Thanks for sharing your 12 year anniversary with us. Continued success to you!

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  15. #15
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I still have the T-Shirt of the first Affiliate conference organized by Jeff Bezos. It must be a collector now. It was nothing compared to the crowd at the Summit. Amazon is an amazing program. I've not always be happy with them, quite often I saw them as a competitor but they were able to overcome all the pitfalls of Affiliate marketing. I've always been paid on time even if it took them closed to 10 years to pay us every month.
    Yes, Trust, it was way easier to start 10 years ago. Much easier to get traffic and for sure the money was there. Some used to say, a page a day keeps the doctor away. I'm not sure a page a day is enough to keep you healthy anymore.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Thanks for the perspective Zeus and congratulations on all your successes. It's wonderful to hear how much you promote indies.

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I'm proud to know you! Congrats on hitting another milestone!

  18. #18
    15 years and counting
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    Sure, I saw a lot of changes but I had time to adjust. None were done really overnight. I saw the rise and downfall of many search engines like AltaVista... I've been hurt bad by the changes at Inktomi, we had a neat way to include our URLs in the SE. I saw the first days of Google still in labs. I enjoyed the traffic brought by 1000 of one word keywords like, food, wine, flowers, fashion ... ranked in the first 5 positions after Google went live. I survive the Dot.com crash. I had big losses mainly due to LinkShare hidding important information on their merchants. You see the changes coming but sometimes there's nothing you can do to prevent them. Google getting rid of affiliates or CJ pushing eBates and others to steal our commissions...
    I remember the first day I had the feeling to don't be alone as an affiliate. It was on CJ Forum, and Haiko was fighting them and some telecom merchants. It was a shock. I said well at least somebody with the same problems than me. Leader was there also helping newbies with helpful tips.

  19. #19
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Zeus,

    Congrats and best wishes on another 12 ;-) may your 600 sales a day record be shattered as innovation creates new opportunity!


  20. #20
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    Zeus,
    Congrats and best wishes on another 12 ;-) may your 600 sales a day record be shattered as innovation creates new opportunity!
    I don't give up easily. If you read some of my old posts, you'll see I lost 20% of my Affiliate Commissions every year since 2003. I was able to stop that change downward last year but I'm not expecting to get back to my best years. It requires a huge level of qualified traffic. You can't get that from organic traffic anymore, too much competition. And regarding PPC, I'm not Donuts, I'm no expert. And I don't venture in something I don't know. I've a few new websites with very interesting ranking in Google, I'm still trying ...

    Aunt Lily, to promote more my indies was my decision at the beginning. I don't wanted the main networks to benefit from my traffic. Then I got the help of Google, I mean most of my websites with network links got whacked by Google but the ones with indies links rose to the top. Nearly 80% of my commissions are coming from Indies even if I still have sales everyday from the networks (the qty is just falling slowly)

    Donuts, I wish I had your expertise. I'm lucky to have been at the right place at the right time and had enough experience at that time to ride the wave.

  21. #21
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    From one Greek god to another, congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment! I doubt there are many who can say they've made a living in affiliate marketing for 12 years.

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Zeus, congrats. That is a great milestone and one to follow as a great success story in the AM world.

    Here's to many more


  23. #23
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Congratulations! Thank for an inspirational post for those of us who are new forum members.

    And cheers to the indies! They've been my bread and butter all along, too.

  24. #24
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Nice Zeus

    Looking forward to celebrating the next 12 years with you!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  25. #25
    15 years and counting
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I'm quite confident affiliate marketing for "solo affiliates" will survive in the years to come. New networks like Shareasale and a few others are bringing back ethics in Affiliate Marketing and more merchants are trusting them. To our next 12 years!

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