My father used to say, “You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly. How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life.” – Lee Iacocca
With Missy Ward, Co-founder of Affiliate Summit

With Missy Ward, Co-founder of Affiliate Summit

I recently had a chance to attend our industry’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.  There is a summer event as well on the East Coast but I think after the holidays, everyone is ready to talk about what they have experienced in the past year to share their successes and learnings.  I’ve been part of this community of online marketers off and on for the past 10 years and have seen many of its changes.

As the Web changes we are continually reminded of what it takes to succeed and that is why although Affiliate marketing is not the most high profile parts of the industry, it is the part I enjoy most.  Affiliate marketing is no different than the traditional Avon salespeople who used to go door-to door selling beauty products.  It was community marketing at its finest.  Now with the internet, you have the ability to reach more people.  if you can convince others on the Web to consume products based upon your recommendations or input, you could earn money.

On the Web, these affiliates are your salespeople. Who are affiliates? Our Keynote was delivered by Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV and he gave the best definition of affiliates.  He said, “For the most part, affiliates are lazy but the best affiliates are like Rocky, they wake up in the morning eat raw eggs and do push ups on rocks.”  That is what I love about this industry, these are hard working earnest people who are looking for a new way to skin a cat.  In every company I’ve been in, I always get the questions, “What the heck are your affiliates doing? How can they do that?  They can’t do that, can they?” Now with the fragmented Web and people spending more time surfing the Web (accordingly visiting 75% more sites than they did last year).  Truly amazing.

Well despite the quiet wealth accumulated by those in the industry, the industry as a whole is caring and I am proud to be part of this business.  One of the founders of the Affiliate Summit is Missy Ward.  She and her business partner, Shawn Collins, are industry veterans.  They have both been touched by breast cancer and make a concerted to intertwine their conferences with fundraising.  Missy participates in breast cancer walks and at their conferences they have incorporated some fun and games to raise money in the fight against breast cancer.  Check out

Thanks to Missy and her partner for not only helping our industry to thrive, but also for making sure all of our hearts are in the right place.