January 2010

Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

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Internet Marketing from the Real Experts is a collection of affiliate, email, blogging, podcasting, video, search engine, and social media rock stars that break down the how and why of Internet marketing in a clear, easy to understand way.

The dozens of contributors in the book are the people that do this stuff every day, and the chapters in the book are comprised of their voices, their ideas, their action items, and their lessons learned from mistakes – all for Internet marketers to grow their business the day they start reading the book.

Internet Marketing from the Real Experts is the first book from Velocity NYC Press, an imprint of Morgan James Publishing, and a division of Affiliate Summit.

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“And in the kingdom of transparency, he who creates technology to foster conversation is king” – Unknown

For years, many networks have taken a cryptic approach when it comes to connecting their advertisers with their affiliates in an effort to avoid the direct collaboration between the two and protect the network’s “cut” of commissions.

In my opinion, the lack of transparency is *one* of the major reasons why the affiliate marketing and performance-based lead generation industry has gotten a bum rap in years past.

As our industry matures and the need for transparency increases, those networks that foster a collaborative environment will wind up with the keys to the affiliate marketing kingdom.

To that end, I was pleased to hear about the launch of ShareASale’s Affiliate Aquarium during Affiliate Summit West 2010.

The Affiliate Aquarium is a social platform located within the ShareASale network which connects affiliates with merchants in all the usual “socially acceptable” ways such as searching and friending, groups, blogs, events, etc.

According to the ShareASale blog:

…Our goal is to create a more open communication platform where Affiliates and Merchants can be introduced to each other based on their mutual interests (either professional or personal). It has been our experience that increased communication leads to greater realized profits for both parties.

I for one am pretty stoked about the collaboration opportunities from both a merchant perspective (Affiliate Summit runs its affiliate program on ShareASale) and an affiliate perspective (I’m also an affiliate on their network.)

Missy Ward in the ShareASale Aquarium

So, I spent some time swimming around the Aquarium today and found a ton of folks that I already know as well as some prospective affiliates to work with on the Affiliate Summit program and a few good merchants to feature on MissyWard.com and a few of my other sites.

To kick things off, ShareASale has also announced that they will donate $5.00 to the Mercy Corps efforts in Haiti, for each ShareASale affiliate or merchant that sets up their profile in the Affiliate Aquarium between now and January 31st. In addition, they will match the donation up to $15,000.

So my advice to any ShareASale merchant or affiliate is to set up your profile in the Affiliate Aquarium and find out how transparent conversation through social networking can really boost your profits and give Haiti a helping hand.

Then swim on over and Friend Me 🙂

Patrick Dempsey and Missy Ward During the Avon Walk for Breast CancerLast September, Team Affiliate Marketers Give Back participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. During that walk, we raised over $53,000, but that wasn’t the only highlight for me.

As a top-fundraiser of the event, I had the opportunity to meet my celebrity crush, Patrick Dempsey, who I’ve been a fan of since the first time I saw him in Can’t Buy Me Love (1987). 🙂

And yes, while many people adore him for his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka Dr. McDreamy) on Grey’s Anatomy, my admiration for him stems from his commitment to giving back to communities through his efforts with the Avon Foundation and the his opening of the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing.

So when my contact at Avon called me to tell me that as a Top Fundraiser for the Avon Walk in LA this past year, I got into the “The Dempsey Racing Champions’ Circle“, I think I nearly deafened her with my screams.

So this weekend, I’ll be in Daytona Beach for the 2010 Grand Am Rolex 24 Race with a few other top fundraisers from the various 2009 Avon Walks. We’ll be hanging in the trenches as “Pit Crew for a Day” with Patrick and the Dempsey Racing Team, and going for rides in the Grand-Am VIP Pace Car amongst other scheduled activities.

Missy Ward wearing RichWitness.com ApparelAnd, just in time for the event, I’ll be wearing a couple of the shirts I received this week from Monica Griffin, the CEO of RichWitnessWear.com, whose “9Line Ribbon” supports breast cancer patients and their families.

So yeah, I’m pretty darn excited about the entire weekend and pleased to announce that Team Affiliate Marketers Give Back will again be walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this coming May 5-6 in Chicago. If you’re interested in walking with us this year, or just need a little encouragement to push you into it :), please shoot me off an email.

From what I understand, WordCamp Chicago is taking place the same time. But seriously…Boobies totally trump WordPress conferences. Everyone knows that! 😉