From Munich to Melbourne to Bangkok [AWasia]

So I completely forgot to publish the first half of this post, which was a quick update to my recent round-the-world trip, so I am forced to couple it with my most recent trip to Thailand for AWasia.

As you may know, from my last travel-update post, I was in Munich, Germany to participate in Oktoberfest and meet with Timon H, an industry friend and ex-DNTX employee.

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

After Munich, I ventured off over to Budapest, meeting with Christina S. (FBQueen), who just spoke at AWasia in Bangkok. We met up a couple of times and I also attempted to explore the city, however, it rained a lot, so I mainly just worked from my AirBnB whilst there. Must revisit in summer.

In Budapest with FBQueen
In Budapest with FBQueen

I then disembarked and ventured off over to Italy, where myself and my good friend began our adventure in Pisa, being typical tourists and visiting the leaning tower. We then drove down to Florence to see what the hype was all about. Whilst we enjoyed ticking those things off the bucket list, there was a great lesson here, and that is, you should never ever drive in Italy, unless you’re in Sicily..

Not only are they insane drivers over there, the Italian’s have some awful laws that are basically designed to trap tourists. The city-centers seem to be littered with “ZTL” areas, aka, Zona Traffico Limitado (Limited Traffic Zones). To the unsuspecting tourist who was given a rental car and never warned, these are zones that you would never suspect exist.

Basically, they are all over Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Rome as well as other parts of Italy (normally big cities). They even exist in Taormina, Sicily, a place where, without a car, you’re pretty much unable to get around in, especially if you stay in accommodation way up in the mountains.

ZTL

So what are these zones? They’re basically zones restricted to local residents with permits only, and if you drive into them by chance, without a permit, a photograph of your number plate is taken, and you are then issued a ticket (apparently to your address back home) worth 80 euros or more.

Now, I can stomach one fine, however, from what I read, it’s very common to receive multiple fines at once, on the same day, and within minutes of each-other. So basically, just take a bus from Pisa to Florence if that’s the route you decide to take or suffer an annoyingly expensive surprise 8-12 months later.

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

On the upside, the food in Florence is second to none, and the rich history makes for an interesting visit. Unfortunately a few bumps in the trip made Pisa and Florence a sour experience, but all in all, I don’t regret going.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

After Florence, we went to Sicily, and decided to spend 6 days there instead of 3, as we had planned to also check out the Amalfi coast, but didn’t want to burden ourselves with all that transiting. Besides, the weather in Sicily was nicer, except for the last day. The sky opened up, streets were flooded, a landslide blocked the freeway and consequently, we got stuck in hours of blocked up traffic – missing our flight out to Rome. We had to rebook and still made it that night but we lost a whole day in the process. Thank god for pocket-espressos I guess!

Hotel Balcony in Taormina, Sicily
Hotel Balcony in Taormina, Sicily

After Rome, I flew over to Dublin for 5 days to meet with an advertiser and get a little down time so I could catch up on work before figuring out my next move.

I was highly undecided on whether or not I wanted to go to New York for Ad:Tech or directly to LA to celebrate Halloween and have a few meetings. I eventually decided flying to Melbourne to my dual 27″ monitors was a much wiser decision for work productivity.

Lessons Learned From Europe

  • You will get scammed in Hungary by Taxis. Be cautious.
  • Driving in Italy is foolish unless in Sicily. Even then, be careful during their high season.
  • Don’t leave your friend at bars in foreign countries when they’re highly inebriated. They tend to lose their phones, and get mugged that way.
  • Traveling is way too stressful when you only stay for a short time and constantly hop around.
  • Affiliate marketing isn’t dead – it’s just gotten a bit harder.
  • I need to build a team and work on building a real asset as opposed to pure CPA. The instability of CPA offers is brutal.

AWasia Bangkok & Koh Samui

If you weren’t lucky enough to get yourself down to Asia this month and attend the first ever Affiliate World conference in Bangkok, here’s what you missed out on.

It was a 3-day event, filled with speakers and panel-discussions with topics ranging from general affiliate marketing, outsourcing, mobile marketing and how to build an 8-figure business with an exit-strategy. Some of the panel members and speakers were exceptional whilst some could brush up a little on their public speaking. Some of the speakers who did an individual presentation or were part of a panel discussion included Ryan Holiday, Gerard Adams (Elite Daily), Tim Tetra, Benjamin Yong, Alexander Willemsen, Lorenzo Green, Charles Ngo, Steve Jukes (Jumbleberry) and many others.

There were even Google and Facebook employees who spoke on the panels and provided some crucial insight. The format of the conference I believe had an essence of inspiration from TED talks which I thought was a clever move. I really enjoyed the this conference, way more informative, interesting and affiliate-friendly and I think the STM owners are really going to run Affiliate Summit out of business if they can keep this up. Hats off!

AWasia - Zeno aka David Savory
AWasia – Zeno aka David Savory and Panel

A lot of solid information shared and great ideas sparked. There was also a meet-market and after-conference meet-and-greet drinks which, to say the least, was an exhausting activity. Turns out, going to all these meetups, conferences and conventions this year (about 10 in total) led me to befriend a great deal of people in the industry… many names of which I forgot… I blame it on meeting in environments which aren’t exactly conducive to memorization (damn you vodka!).

I even got to meet Finch (Martin Osborn) from finchsells.com in real life for the first time, and was notably surprised at the lack of testicle-jokes in our real-world conversation.

A large amount of people then extended the trip and went to Koh Samui, where many of us stayed at the same hotel (Casa De Mar) making for a great way to network in a casual environment with some incredibly smart and established people in the industry. Can’t be more thankful for the new connections and friends I have made.

In Koh Samui with Michael Brenner & Max G
In Koh Samui with Michael Brenner & Max G

Some key lesson’s from the conference

  • The industry is growing, and shifting actively. Adaptation is inevitable.
  • A lot of emphasis on finding your competitive edge / competitive moat in order to get ahead
  • Spend your time learning the biggest traffic sources and how to master them, instead of wasting time with smaller, lower quality sources. Something I don’t do enough of but will in 2016.
  • If you’re running sweepstakes, and your pages have a comments section, you can use that to your advantage to get extra ROI with extra creativity
  • Beard = Trust
  • Facebook Pixels should NOT be ignored. Building audiences is extremely useful
  • Finding the best way to structure a team is a fine balance, depending  on each person’s role, and which form of compensation works best (media buyers vs developers for instance).

The next conference will be set in Berlin. As far as I know, no date has been set yet and no details released. There’s a very high chance I’ll be there and hope to see you all there too.

Keeping Fit Whilst Traveling:

Yes, here’s that section that you’ll probably skip over. Make sure to revisit my blog when looking for a gym and traveling. I’ll have most likely mentioned it before.

Gym’s & Fitness Centers In Europe

Budapest

Life 1 Fitness

  • Nyugati location is a very new facility, quite big and has decent equipment.
  • Entry: First visit free, ~1100 forint (depends on location) thereafter
  • Address: Multiple Locations
  • Website: https://life1.hu

The bodybuilding mecca of Hungary

  • Great facility. All the equipment you need. A bit far out of the center though.
  • Entry: Free for first visit. ~1000 forint thereafter.
  • Address: Budapest Béke utca 21-27
  • Website: http://meccagym.hu/
Working out in Budapest @ Bodybuilding Mecca of Hungary
Working out in Budapest @ Bodybuilding Mecca of Hungary

Florence

Swan Gymnastic Center

  • Tiny little gym, old equipment. Does the job for a workout, although you’re probably in Florence to eat the great food and admire the historical sites.
  • Address: Via dei Pepi, 28, 50122 Firenze, Italy
  • Entry: 10 EUR

Trapani, Sicily

Palestra Et Club

  • Mid-sized facility, decent, but not great
  • Address: Via della Pace, 21, Trapani TP, Italy
  • Entry: 5EUR

Taormina, Sicily

Quaras Gym

  • Tiny Gym, not a lot of equipment. Only visit if you’re desperate for a workout. There doesn’t seem to be much else around. Also a bit hard to find.
  • Entry: 10 eur to drop in
  • Address: Via Giardinazzo 35, 98039, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/quarus.gym

Dublin, Ireland

FlyeFit

  • Since I stayed in Dublin 2, I went to FlyeFit, big facility, had most equipment you need. I got lucky and my Airbnb host was able to get me free entry for the duration of my stay. They have multiple locations.
  • Entry: 9 EUR
  • Address: Multiple Locations
  • Website: flyefit.ie

Gym’s In Thailand

Amari Watergate Bangkok

  • I stayed at this hotel so it was free to use their gym, which is surprisingly well equipped for a hotel gym. I believe you can pay to use the facility as well
  • Entry: N/A
  • Address: 847 Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Worlds Gym – Koh Samui

Elite Gym and Fitness

  • New equipment, though missing some stuff, pretty well equipped, indoor and not so muggy inside
  • Entry: 400 Baht
  • Address: Located on top of McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King and Pizza Company on the Chaweng main road.
  • Website: http://www.elitegymsamui.com/

If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends, and leave your thoughts below!

– Andrew, aka Andy D


If you’re looking for further Affiliate Marketing Guidance, check out StackThatMoney. Best community of experienced marketers from around the globe, exclusive meetups, follow along’s, tutorials and the knowledge of a thousand sun-gods.

Can’t Decide on Tracking Software?

I’ve recently switched over to a new tracking platform called Thrive by the guys over at iPyxel which I love. It’s still in development, but is constantly improving and making strides, and the best part about it is it can be self-hosted. The offer a 30-day trial and it’s $99 a month thereafter which is well worth the investment.


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Adventures: From Melbourne to Munich

Hello, G’day, Hola, Ahoj, Hallo, Mrhaba, Chaírete… These are the greetings of the past few months of my life. I’m back again with a travel update, maybe some industry insight, some tips, some lessons, some stories to tell your grandchildren. Oh and maybe some gym recommendations. I began writing this post from the train-cabin enroute from Prague, CZ to Berlin, DE. What a beautiful country-side.

German Countryside
German Countryside

I’m on my second round-the-world trip this year, hopping around to a lot of conferences, meeting with businesses, traffic sources, advertisers and affiliates as much as possible, increasing my network one day at a time. From the palm-trees of San Diego, to the picturesque islands of Greece, it’s been quite the exhausting adventure thus far. This trip began back in Melbourne, my birth place, where I spent 2 months regathering my life and wondering how the F I got to this point. It’s truly amazing. I managed to take advantage of my status and frequent flyer miles this time around to get upgrades into business class, which was quite nice, given I paid full price the last RTW trip I completed earlier this year.

In Carslbad, San Diego with Jason Akatiff of A4D
In Carslbad, San Diego with Jason Akatiff of A4D

Before I departed Melbourne, I reached out to the very-awesome girls, Eleah and Naomi from Adsimilis, to ask how to RSVP for their meetup in Prague, as I was planning to attend since I would already be in Europe for a few other events. Little did I know this would result in my first time public-speaking in many many years (do birthdays count?). I was invited to be a speaker at their event which was an honor and an experience I couldn’t pass up. I spoke on topics I am more familiar with (fitness, travel, staying productive whilst traveling). The other 4 speakers absolutely killed it. The line-up was Alexander Tsatkin (Angry Russian), Rohail Rivzi (suitcasemarketer.com), Max Teitelbaum (WhatRunsWhere.com) and Ryan Kauffman.

Adsimilis Meetup - Speakers - with Max Teitelbaum, Alexander Tsatkin, Rohail Rizvi and Ryan Kauffman
Adsimilis Meetup – Speakers – with Max Teitelbaum, Alexander Tsatkin, Rohail Rizvi and Ryan Kauffman

Back-tracking to the beginning of my trip, I started in LA, visiting good industry friends who I have often Joint-Ventured with (Alex Tao), then made my way up to San Diego for a few days to catch some friends. I then made my way over to Dallas, Texas for a meeting with an advertiser I’ve done business with for approx 3 years and generated 7 figures in revenue for to catch up. Next stop was New York City, the big delicious concrete-jungle apple, to attend Affiliate Summit East and to attend my good friend’s wedding (also an affiliate). ASE this year wasn’t as productive as last year, but the meetings I had were somewhat productive, some new things were learned and of course, the always over-the-top parties were attended.

Tropic Beauties Party in New York, with Sean Falls, Sonny Palta, Anthony Navarini
Tropic Beauties Party in New York, with Sean Falls, Sonny Palta, Anthony Navarini

After NYC, I flew over to London for 1 week, where I was supposed to have a meeting with a financial advisory firm, but I decided to cancel and just see a couple friends, catch up on work, go to the gym and prepare my liver for Amsterdam. I flew over to Amsterdam to party with F5Media and Zinq Media (organizers) for SAIL (happens once every five years). Zinq put together an epic show, hiring out a large three-level ship with open bar and finger food, entertainment and speeches as we cruised alongside other boats and ships.

SAIL Amsterdam with Dalin Hays
SAIL Amsterdam with Dalin Hays

At 11pm we were all escorted into private transfers to an unknown location, taken down a tiny Amsterdam-style alley way and into the back door of a ‘bar’ which also had an open bar. The girls serving drinks had kinky-collars around their neck, attached to a chain, which was attached to a roof. They were seated in chairs on a platform/stage serving drinks to intoxicated affiliate marketers, managers and the like. There was also one more surprise in this venue, a wall with holes cut out for you to poke your head through. On the other side were two bar-tenders, a wall of breasts and a jug full of ‘titty-milk’ which would be poured into your mouth from shot glasses by one of the eccentric bar-tenders.

"Titty bar"
“Titty bar”

Such a unique experience – Once again, thanks to Zinq Media (ZinqMedia.com) for the organizing this epic event. If you’re after lead-gen offers, hit them up.

The Bucket List

After Amsterdam, I and a good friend decided we must cross something off our bucket-list. The world’s largest food-fight: La Tomatina. It was guns blazing, tomato’s being pelted in every direction, my head throbbing by the end of it all. The day started with Sangria on an empty stomach, followed by more drinking, a Tomato-War, more drinking and a sun-kissed hangover by 2pm. “Sunglasses and Advil, that Tomato-Festival was mad real”.

 

 

After our Valencian stop-over, we trekked up to Barcelona for a few days to do a little sight-seeing, catch a few friends, before heading over to the Island of Malta – my potential future European home-base. I have been looking to relocate to either North America or Europe for quite some time now and Malta seems like the ideal choice right now due to their Residency and Tax Laws.

The fun stuff – Malta is a beautiful, history rich, warm country with a relatively small population of only 400,000 people and approximately 2 million tourists per year. The Mediterranean ocean water is a clear as it comes, there’s a lot to see and explore there. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Azure's Window, Gozo, Malta
Azure’s Window, Gozo, Malta

After Malta, we made our way to Santorini for 3 nights just to see it. I challenge you to take a bad photo in Santorini. Absolutely stunning. There isn’t a tonne of things to do, but it’s definitely one of the most picturesque places you can ever visit in the world.

Santorini
Santorini

We then boarded a ferry over to Mykonos, with intentions to attend the Clickdealer meetup, but failing to do so as the venue was impossible to find. Nevertheless, Mykonos is one fun island! I only stayed 4 days but it was a great time regardless of the failed-meetup attempt.

After Greece, I flew over to Frankfurt via Athens (with a cold unfortunately), then took a train to Cologne, Germany to attend DMEXCO. Due to the sinus issues, flying really killed me and blocked up my sinuses like crazy so I had a hard time hearing. I only attended the conference floor for about an hour and had to leave due to feeling unwell, but managed to get to the unofficial STM meetup and OMClub later that night for more networking.

Affiliate Meetup at OMClub, DMEXCO, Cologne, Germany
Affiliate Meetup at OMClub, DMEXCO, Cologne, Germany

The next day I was to depart for my trip to Prague. I was running to get to a train with my large suitcase and backpack, in the rain, in order to get to the airport on time and somehow allowed my wallet to jump out of my pocket. Great! I just donated 210euros to some lucky person. I quickly ran back to the apartment thinking I may have left it there, but didn’t find it. I rushed to an ATM, took out more money with one of my backup cards (ALWAYS travel with backup cards in your passport holder or backpack!!!) and hopped into a taxi. I somehow made my flight to Prague luckily! Just in time for the Adsimilis meetup. I had an excellent time. Thanks to Sean, Michael, Eleah, Naomi, Joanie, Rachel and the rest who helped organize it!

After Adsimilis’s meetup, The European Summit was on, which is for the Adult Industry. I focus mostly on mainstream offers and traffic so for me, the meetup was purely to network and see if I could potentially discover some new traffic sources.

Interesting Sponsor, PussyCash
Interesting Sponsor

Needless to say, I didn’t find much there but it was an interesting meetup to attend.

I’m in Germany now, in Munich, and attending Oktoberfest as well as seeing who’s out here and wants to network.

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

Have had some drama with a traffic source and of my servers (down time TWICE) recently has kept me on my toes.

More updates to follow regarding this drama… if I’m legally allowed to post about it..

STAYING FIT

Ooh, I love this topic.. I will be posting more info about this, stuff that I wrote for the meetup, as I think it’s important for the world to know, as opposed to how much I travel… For now, here’s what I found during my travels to stay in shape…

London:

Name: Jubilee Hall Gym

Website: http://www.jubileehalltrust.org/jubilee-hall/

Drop In: 11 Pounds

3-day passes available, not sure how you get them though.

I got lucky as I befriended a personal trainer in London so I got free-entrance.

Amsterdam:

Name: Health Club Jordaan

Drop-in: Not sure

Website: http://www.healthclubjordaan.nl/en/

1 week trial passes available, requires a deposit which you get back if you cancel your trial before the trial ends. It’s a small gym, not a lot of equipment, but should suffice for your non-weed-smoking days.

Barcelona:

There are three gyms in Barcelona that I have been to. Holmes place was expensive and crap so don’t bother. The one we went to only because it was close-by, but it isn’t cheap, is DiR. The other is cheaper but a bit far from where we stayed, and has a weird layout.

Name: DiR Gracia (they have many locations too).

Drop-in: 11 Euros

Website: http://www.dir.cat/en/clubs-dir/dir-gracia/

The cheaper alternative:

Name: “BCN Fitness”

Drop-in: 15 euro’s for 5-6 visits

Website: http://www.bcn-fitness.es/

Notes: the lady at the counter only spoke spanish when I went but someone helped me out to get by.

Malta:

We stayed in St. Julian’s, there’s a decent gym there with a OK weekly rate.

Name: Cynergy

Drop-in: 10 Euro’s

Weekly-Rate: 35 euro’s

Website: http://www.cynergi.com.mt/

Greek-Islands:

In Santorini we didn’t bother finding a gym but went on a few hikes in the heat which made up for it.

In Mykonos, there was a half-decent gym at the old hard-rock café which is now defunct, but it has no name to it as far as I know.

All I know is it’s about a 5 minute scooter ride from where we stayed, in the direction of Elia Beach from the Alexandros Hotel.

Drop In: from memory it was 10 euros per visit or 30-40 for a week pass from memory.

There really didn’t seem to be many options in Mykonos.

Prague:

Name: Fitness Kotva (Cybex).

Drop-in: 140 CKR

Website: http://www.fitnesskotva.cz/en/page/fitness-cybex

Tips: bring a towel and “indoor” shoes. They’re quite anal and strict there.

Berlin:

There’s a few options here, McFit has a 2 day trial pass but we never went.

Website: https://www.mcfit.com/de/probetraining.html

There was a gym that was close to our apartment that was 10 euro per visit and had a strict house-rule about not wearing any muscle tops.

The name was Fitness Point. OK Facility but the heaviest dumbbell is only 27.5kg. Wussies.

Website: http://www.fitnesspoint-berlin.de/

Munich:

So far have tried a few gyms. Munich Gym GmbH has a 39 euro week pass, but it’s a poor facility in my opinion.

I paid 10 euro for  a drop-in, and was far from impressed.

Website: http://munichgym.de/

Fit X is a bit far out, has a 2 day free pass and is a pretty awesome gym.

Website: http://www.fitx.de/

McFit also has a 2-day pass but I haven’t seen it yet.

Hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope some of it was inspiring, useful or helpful to your poor little souls without motivation to work harder and achieve a life of freedom.

Til next time…

– Andrew, aka Andy D


 

If you’re looking for further Affiliate Marketing Guidance, check out StackThatMoney. Best community of experienced marketers from around the globe, exclusive meetups, follow along’s, tutorials and the knowledge of a thousand sun-gods.

Can’t Decide on Tracking Software?

I’ve recently switched over to a new tracking platform called Thrive by the guys over at iPyxel which I love. It’s still in development, but is constantly improving and making strides, and the best part about it can be self-hosted. The offer a 30-day trial and it’s $99 a month thereafter which is well worth the investment.

Those on a smaller budget can still opt to go the CPVLab route, another favorite of mine but a little more outdated. It is, however, more suitable for PPV traffic if that’s your traffic of choice.

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