I Got Issue 30 of FeedFront in the Mail

Issue 30 of FeedFront Magazine came in the mail to me last week.

ff30_coverThis issue of FeedFront Magazine includes Is Your Business Planted or Buried? by Shawn Collins, 3 Common PPC Management Mistakes by Miles Olson, How to Write Content People Will Read by Helen Fang, Twitter Cards, and What Affiliates Need To Know by Kyler Patterson.

Also, affiliate recruiting emails, growing your Pinterest following, telling your brand’s story through testimonials, buying and selling websites, LinkedIn, leveraging coupon and loyalty sites, curation, fraud, monetizing apps, and more.

If you don’t get FeedFront by mail, issue 30 of FeedFront will also be distributed at the Performance Marketing Summit in Boca Raton.

Here are the articles for this issue:

  • Editor’s Note: Is Your Business Planted or Buried? by Shawn Collins
  • Learn to Leverage the Power of Reddit by Josh Waldron
  • 5 Tips to Successful Affiliate Recruiting Emails by Taylor Barr
  • Grow Your Pinterest Following Through Collaboration by Kimberly Danger
  • Tell Your Brand’s Story Through Testimonials by Missy Ward
  • What to Expect When Selling or Buying Websites by Victoria Duff
  • Growing your Affiliate Program with a CRM by Dustin Howes
  • Use Site Sales to Peg Program Performance by Julie Stepkowski
  • Key Issues in Mobile Ad Network Agreements by Slade Cutter
  • 3 Common PPC Management Mistakes by Miles Olson
  • 5 LinkedIn Steps to Build Your Business by Michael Yublosky
  • 5 Steps to Improve Your Email Strategy by Ellie Johnston
  • 3 Tips to Maximize Global Reach by Lisa Tufts
  • Optimizing Steps for Effective Paid Search Campaign by Sumit Dhawan
  • How To Grow Partnerships With Your Affiliates by Nadia Kuznets
  • The Style Guide for Conference Clothing by Ryan Zimmerman
  • How to Write Content People Will Read by Helen Fang
  • Be Authentic to Increase Conversion Rates by Keri Lyn Renner
  • 3 Tips to Leverage Coupon & Loyalty Sites by Bryan Flanaghan
  • Affiliates and Family: An ASW15 Aha Moment by Michelle G. Held
  • How to Prevent Fraud with PIN Submits by Jochem Gratama
  • Curate, Don’t Just Create! by Robin R. Talbott
  • Affiliate Summit West 2015 Recap by Shawn Collins
  • 3 Tips to Leverage and Monetize Apps by Sean McCormick
  • Affiliate Fraud Nearly Destroyed My Business by Monica Eaton
  • Twitter Cards, What Affiliates Need To Know by Kyler Patterson

The issue mailed last week, so it should be hitting mailboxes all over the U.S. any day now (if it hasn’t already).

If you can’t wait to see your copy (or you’re not currently a subscriber), you can download issue 30 of FeedFront.

Get a free subscription to FeedFront (U.S. addresses only).

Is Your Site Prepared for Mobilegeddon?

There was a lot of talk yesterday at Pubcon Austin about how Google was changing up their algorithm today to give preference to mobile friendly sites.

Man Clueless or Perplexed About Something

So sites that are not mobile friendly are expected to get diminished exposure in Google, hence Mobilegeddon.

Google has a mobile friendly test you can run for your site, as well as advice for making your site easier to access from mobile devices.

You want to see a result like this…

mobile-friendly-test

In the event you fail the test, it’s not too late to change up your site to make it mobile friendly.

If you are using WordPress, there are lots of responsive themes, which means they will automatically adapt to mobile devices.

I use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress, and I would highly recommend their many responsive theme options.

Good luck weathering Mobilegeddon.

Google Apps for Work is Great for Start-Ups

We moved our email from Microsoft Outlook to Google Apps for Work years ago, and I’d highly recommend the change for any small company.

google-apps-for-work

I love that everything is in the cloud for us – email, shared docs, calendars, etc., and it’s all easy to manage from our iPhones and iPads, too (not sure about the iWatch).

Plus, when a new employee comes on, it’s really quick and easy to get them set up, and there is no need to install anything. That’s a big plus for a lean company.

Anyhow, Google Apps has provided me with some coupons to share for 20% off for the first year.

  • AWV6U6KP3EQGR3
  • 3HDGAMUANMTMHE
  • AD7UPPVDNEYC4V
  • APKTGWKDXEKEMV
  • 3KXDERTF3ELWYE

So, only the first five people to sign up for Google Apps for Work will get the deal.

And yes, that’s an affiliate link – I would never encourage you to use a product or service I don’t personally use and find to be great.

30 Tips, Tricks & Tools to Save You Time with Social Media and Blogging

Ashley Coombe has written a new book. 30 Tips, Tricks & Tools to Save You Time with Social Media and Blogging, that’s packed with resources and personality.

30-tips-tricks-toolsShe mentions in the introduction that the book came about after giving a presentation, Advanced Social Media: 30 Tricks & Tools to Save You Time, at Affiliate Summit West 2015. That session was very well received, so much so that it was one of the highest rated sessions of the dozens that took place at the conference.

I really liked 30 Tips, Tricks & Tools to Save You Time with Social Media and Blogging, because it was filled with lots of useful resources I didn’t previously know about, and also it was a super quick read, so I was able to go through it quickly and get on to checking out the tips, tricks, and tools that Ashley had shared.

Also, the book is written in the fun style that is Ashley’s voice, and that makes an enjoyable read from what could have been a dry, boring presentation of social media and blogging strategies and tools.

Enter to Win the Robert Cialdini Scarcity Sweepstakes

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini is one of my favorite business books, so I am giving away some copies.

The book is the #1 best seller on Amazon in Marketing & Consumer Behavior.

I first read Influence about 15 years ago, and we booked Dr. Cialdini to keynote Affiliate Summit West 2010. I would recommend any marketer or business person in general read this book.

Influence details six universal principles of social influence:

  • Reciprocation
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Consensus
  • Friendship/Liking

There are only five copies of the book available in the Robert Cialdini Scarcity Sweepstakes, so enter now for your chance to win Influence.

Digital Strategy Insights Podcast with Sarah Bundy

Sarah Bundy, founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, has launched a new podcast called Digital Strategy Insights.

Sarah Bundy

Sarah will be interviewing folks in search, social and digital marketing for the podcast.

I had the privilege of being the first guest, and we chatted about the origin of Affiliate Summit, and what’s going on lately with the conference.

Listen to the first episode of Digital Strategy Insights.

The Journey I Took to be an Entrepreneur

I was just watching a video from a presentation I gave at David Vogelpohl’s AUSOME meetup at Capital Factory in Austin, TX, and I realized I never shared it.

no-limits

I talked about how going through two tough times in less than a year became the catalyst for me to go out and live the life I wanted to live.

Plenty of people start their journey as an entrepreneur, because they just have it in their gut. I was trying to be satisfied with working in a cubicle for somebody else.

I was never satisfied with it, though. But it took a couple shitty days to make me brutally aware that fear of failure is nothing compared to waking up one day and realizing that you tolerated life, instead of living it.

One of the people in the audience was uphappy about the lack of practical advice I shared, and she posted a review about it. Looking back, she never did respond to my comment on her blog post.

No sleep was lost.

Slides: Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery

Thanks to David and the Marketing Clique crew for having me at the meetup.

SumoMe is My Favorite WordPress Plugin Right Now

SumoMe is a fantastic plugin that has a variety of useful applications for marketers using WordPress.

I give this two thumbs up

I think to refer to SumoMe as a mere plugin is a disservice, because it’s a suite of powerful tools.

At the core of SumoMe are a number of add-ons for a blog to grow an email list, and they integrate with the major email solution providers.

But there are also a few options to enhance sharing, as well as content analytics and a heat map to measure visitor behavior and activity.

Plus, it’s free (there are some optional paid upgrades, many of which I’d gotten, because they are that good).

SumoMe.com is latest project from Noah Kagan, who will be a keynote at Affiliate Summit West 2015, taking place January 18-20, 2015 in Las Vegas.

4 Essentials for My Sanity and Productivity

tl;dr – My work days are broken down into four types of things I look forward to doing.

caffeine

Everything I need to know I learned from the Dead Milkmen. As guitarist Joe Geraro (aka Joe Jack Talcum) once sang on the song, The Secret to Life, “The secret to life is no secret at all.”

Well, it has been sort of a secret, but I’m going to let you in on it right now. It’s all about setting up little milestones in your day to look forward to doing.

I’ve got four things I like to do on each work day to maintain my productivity and a sense of sanity.

Energy

I like a nice sit-down breakfast of eggs, home fries, bacon, and all of that good stuff, but I usually can only manage to make that happen on the weekends.

So, I settle for liquid energy to start most work days. It’s typically an Atkins shake and Diet Dr. Pepper or Rock Star sugar free energy drink. Later on, I mix in a banana here and a cheese stick there. Plus, lots more Diet Dr. Pepper and occasionally coffee.

Is this ideal? No, but I like it and it gets me going. So don’t go and send me a link on Facebook to some article about how bad artificial sweeteners are for me.

Exercise

I make it a point to start most days of the week with some exercise. I’ll typically run, hike, or cycle. But occasionally, when I am crushed for time, I will use the treadmill desk that I set up in my garage.

I get in no less than 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days per week, and it really sets the tone for my day. I count on the exercise time to shake off stress and start my work day clean. Plus, when I am on the treadmill desk, I get work done.

Re-charging

In order to get the most out of my day, I need to step away and not work for periods of time. One of my favorite breaks is to take a nap in the late morning or early afternoon. I am ridiculously refreshed after I nap without an alarm, whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours.

Another out of the office thing I like to do is to meet friends or family for lunch. It can be a quick half hour or whatever.

Other days, when I am caught up and anxious for some sun, I’ll get out on a boat (with my iPhone to stay up on emergencies). All of these breaks help to reboot me, so I can start fresh into my work the next time I am at my desk.

Bonding

My schedule is crazy from time to time, but there is one constant on most any work day, and that’s sitting around the dinner table with my family.

I really value this time to catch up, decompress, and goof around with my wife and kids. When I’m camped in front of a computer for much of the day, this people time is so important, too.

This article appeared in issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in August 2014.

How Jason Calacanis Helped Our Business

I’ve been following what Jason Calacanis has had to say since he was publishing the Silicon Alley Reporter back in the 90’s.

missy-ward-jason calacanis-shawn-collins

Back in February 2008, Jason was a keynote at Affiliate Summit West 2008, and it was a privilege to have him up on the stage.

Anyhow, shortly after that he wrote a blog post titled, “How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)“, that is maybe the best thing I ever read from him.

I took action on one tip in particular…

Use Google hosted email. $50 or free per user…. how can you beat that?!?! Why screw with an exchange server!?!?

Up until this point, we weren’t using an Exchange server for Affiliate Summit, but we were all using Outlook, and it was a regular hassle with exploding .pst files and stuff.

So, after reading that from Jason, we moved to using what was Google Apps Email (I think) at the time. Now it’s Google Apps for Work.

Not only did it enable me to easily admin all of the email for the company, but with the huge storage capacity, nobody had to delete email to make space anymore. And no more days of lost productivity when .pst files were being repaired.

Plus, Google Apps for Business enables us to collaborate easily through Google Drive and Google Docs, and it’s really helpful to have the shared Calendars. I’d highly suggest making the move to any startup or growing company – it’s so worth the modest cost for the efficiency we’ve gotten out of it.

Thanks, Jason.