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.

Don’t Let Your Silence Affect Our Outcome

by Missy Ward in Affiliate Marketing   &  ,   6 Comments

For an industry that is comprised of more than 200,000 businesses and individuals, according to the Performance Marketing Association, and is expected to reach $3 Billion in spending this year, according to Forrester Research; the affiliate marketing industry as a whole has not succeeded in communicating its message, has  failed in its efforts to raise awareness of its economic standing and more than likely, has inhibited its growth.See No Evil, Speak No Evil - Affiliate Marketing

You might think that is a bold statement, but quite frankly, we’ve used the “we’re a fragmented industry”, “we’re hustlin’ just to keep up” and the “let someone do it” excuses for too long, which I strongly believe has cultivated our current apathetic culture.

Sadly, our enemies count on our impassivity.

From out-of-context attacks from ill-informed reporters such as Ane (aka Anne) Howard, who called our industry “spammers” in a recent article she penned, to which very few industry constituents responded; to the deficient support from affiliates and merchants in the fight against Affiliate Nexus Tax in the affected states; it is abundantly clear that our silence has had a cost.

Whether you recognize it or not, our industry is evolving and in order for it to continue thriving the way it has for years, we as an industry need to speak up with one voice.

What can you do to help affiliate marketing?

It is time for all of us to address the challenges facing affiliate marketers, highlight the massive benefits specific to our industry so that other groups can grasp it, provide solutions that government entities can put into action and present a more united and synchronized front to the world.

Yes, this takes education, coordination and time. But, if we all commit to investing a small portion of our time into strategic thinking, planning and communicating, we can reduce the impact that our silence has had upon us.

I urge you to keep abreast of regulations, laws and the political landscape that impact the online marketing space; align yourself with like-minded, business associates and learn how to recognize and combat the bad players; ask questions, get involved and encourage others to act.

But most importantly, I encourage you to speak up. With your vocal commitment we all can help ensure the sustainability of our industry as we navigate its evolution.

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Missy Ward

Co-Founder & President at Affiliate Summit, Inc.
Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, itsaWAHMthing.com; the Co-Publisher of Revenews.com, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. If she's not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on her part and it will be corrected soon.

Comment & Add Your Voice

1 Vinny O'Hare July 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

First thing we need to do is get rid of the word performance marketing. It confuses people and every time I see it I think of people juggling in the circus or playing guitar for money in the subway.


2 Missy Ward July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Vinny, I just spit my diet coke. I’m still very partial to “Affiliate Marketing” myself and don’t think I will ever sway 🙂

3 Sarah Bundy July 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

Hi Missy,

Great post and I can’t agree more! I’m all for speaking up about issues in the space and joining forces to create positive change. I will never say no to contributing to the betterment of this industry. Anyone want to call me to fight for anything that will help us grow in a positive way call or Skype me 604.560.2542 | sarah.villeneuve.bundy and don’t be shy! I’m happy to discuss strategy with anyone, issues and potential solutions to problems with anyone. And anyone who would like to help in educating the public and those less experienced in the industry please call me. I am working on a project now that once ready will indeed better the industry as a whole. Missy, if you ever want to discuss this more, I am all ears and ideas. This issue is very important to me. Thanks for your post!


4 Missy Ward July 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Thanks Sarah!

5 Rachel Honoway July 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

Amen, Missy!

And, for anyone feeling a little lost on how to get involved, or how to get their voice heard – these aren’t ambiguous suggestions, there are real action steps affiliates and merchants can take to become an active part of advancing our industry.

First, attending AffiliateSummit and following you and Shawn is a must. You are central players in this space who consistently and generously share what you know with the industry and you’ve put together an amazing event that holds us all together like glue.

Second, joining the PMA (the Performance Marketing Association) is a good step. This organization is lead by a board of some of the most influential online companies (like Google) and the most respected companies in our space (like ShareASale). With a relatively small number of members, a mainly donation-based revenue stream and little fanfare – they’ve led the fight against the Nexus tax with lobbying and lawsuits (like the Illinois lawsuit that they won!).

Thanks for continually raising awareness and rallying the troops, Missy!


6 Missy Ward July 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Thanks for doing that follow up! It’s perfect.

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