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.

I just finished reading a post that my business partner, Shawn Collins had up on his blog, entitled Cynical Marketing, which really hit home.

In the post, Shawn talks about how there are some marketers out there that simply don’t get the fact that not everything they do has to revolve around making money. They forget that sometimes, it’s more important to just give back.

The timing of his post couldn’t be more relevant to me. You see, today I was approached by someone who read my post regarding me coming out of affiliate management retirement to help support breast cancer research and treatment – a cause that is very close to my heart.

This marketer had the chutzpah to ask me what my angle was and why on earth would I bust my ass to grow someone else’s company when there was absolutely nothing at stake for me.

Rather than chastising him for his ludicrous implications, I simply told him how I felt.

Giving is in my DNA and since affiliate marketing is what I do best, it seemed like a natural fit.

He followed up with a “you’re nuts.”

You know what, Mr. Cynical Marketer? Maybe I am.

But I keep very good company.

Aside from the folks that Shawn mentioned in his post that give back to the online marketing community without ever asking for a thing back (Haiko de Poel, Jr., Scott Jangro, Jim Kukral, Melanie Seery, Kellie Stevens), I can think of dozens of marketers (including Shawn, who neglected to name himself) who do the same.

Chris Brogan who takes the time to answer every single questions he’s asked on Twitter; Brian Clark who provides amazing free content on CopyBlogger.com everyday; Brian Littleton of ShareASale who takes the time to educate his merchants and affiliate marketers to both make the affiliate marketing industry better and push it forward; all of the folks that walked 60-miles with me to raise money for breast cancer research; Jeremy Schoemaker who provides dozens of case studies and tips to marketers to grow their businesses — the list goes on and on.

Now, it’s not to say that I’m averse to making money. I think I do a pretty good job at it. So do all of the people that I’ve mentioned above.

Maybe I’m just an idealist, but I believe that when one does well, there is an inherent responsibility to give back to the industries that have helped us get to where we are today and to help the less fortunate.

So, to all of the other idealists out there that give so much, with no strings attached – I salute you. Please keep doing what you’re doing. You ARE making a difference.

Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

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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, 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.

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