Day one of Affiliate Summit East 2014 got off to a great start with a wonderful session led by Jeremy Palmer and David Vogelpohl titled The Super Affiliate Toolkit for WordPress. The session was extremely informative and though geared for those with intermediate experience, I saw quite a few very experienced bloggers were in attendance. Jeremy and David filled their informative presentation with explanations of WordPress tools and great tips including choosing a host, framework, plugins and maintenance. After the session ended every one agreed that it was a fabulous session.
One of the key takeaways for me was the discussion of choosing a plugin. Jeremy explained that choosing a plugin is more than finding one that does what we want. Plugins can affect the load times, the ranking and overall performance of your blog. By examining “the big five”, we can ensure we find a plugin that actually helps rather than hinders our blog. What are the big five? Examine the change log to make sure the plugin is updated to on a regular basis for different reasons including to patch security vulnerabilities and keep up with WordPress updates. Check the popularity of the plugin and look at the support tab. If support requests are not responded to, its probably not worth the risk or hassle of installing. Check the developers tab to see who they are and what they do, the developers reputation and history. Finally, read the reviews to get a general idea of how the plugin performs. It is important to weigh all the factors and not rely on just one.
Jeremy and David also spoke about security and maintenance measures we all need to take and suggested their favorite tools for SEO. They reminded us to recognize that plugins can slow load time or create errors so we should be particular about what we install. Their presentation was informative and held your interest, so be sure to catch the video if you attended ASE14 but missed thesession. You also can (and should) follow Jeremy and David on Twitter.
Day one of Affiliate Summit was great. Affiliate Summit East is reported to have over 4,000 attendees and it was quickly very obvious that we were everywhere. As we became familiar with the layout and figured out how the elevators worked, we all quickly caught up with friends. After meeting up with my newcomer for coffee, I attended the newcomer session where I met more attendees who were there for the first time. You can read more about the Newcomer Session. From there it was on to the first of the four sets of breakout sessions. As usual, there were many great sessions to choose from. Thankfully, all of the sessions are videotaped so you don’t have to miss out on anything.
The Meet Market opened at noon and gave everyone a chance to network. With a packed Meet Market, the excitement was contagious and networking overflowed the room and was seen throughout the Marriott. One of the great things about Affiliate Summit is the networking possibilities that are open to everyone, regardless of experience. Every affiliate has the opportunity to connect with a merchant or network to begin a mutually beneficial relationship. It is opportunities like these that allow everyone to grow.
In addition to the Super Affiliate Toolkit session I attended in the morning, I sat in on “Successful Content Marketing in 30 Minutes a Day” presented by Scott Jangro, President and co-Founder of Shareist. Scott broke down content marketing into a step by step process using the acronym of PPDM; Plan, Produce, Distribute and Measure. While maybe not the most creative acronym, Scott’s approach summarized the necessary steps involved in successfully creating and marketing content. There is no magic button, each step does take work but if we make a schedule for each step you can be successful. We were given a schedule for a five day week, not only is it functional plan, it is a great reminder that even entrepreneurs need time off. Scott shared several wonderful ideas and his explanation of the process of curation was very informative. Definitely take the time to view the video if you didn’t catch this session. Quite a bit of the information in this session is applicable to other aspects of affiliate business. Follow Scott on Twitter. The sessions at Affiliate Summit are classified as beginner, intermediate or advanced and this intermediate session was attended by a range of abilities. After the session, as I spoke to a few of the attendees, all agreed that they learned something.
As the activities at the Marriott drew to a close Sunday evening, we all began to get ready for the informal networking and parties and looked forward to day two.