AWA Giveaway + Blockchain World Conference in Thailand

Howdy my dear FitAffiliate readers, apologies for taking so long to post, I took a hiatus from writing as I lost interest for it and got too busy with life, campaigns, travel and gym injuries. I have since developed accumulative overuse injuries in many parts of my body, mainly my arms below the elbow (golfers elbow) and my right knee.

Not particularly fun to deal with and has been quite a frustrating, given my passion for fitness and bodybuilding which is impeded by these injuries. I still make it to the gym regularly, but the focus has shifted now more on mobility and stretching.

I am going to be trying more alternative therapies (I tired Shockwave therapy to no avail) to help speed up the healing, such as PRP (Platlet Rich Plasma), as I have been bouncing from one injury to the next and not a lot has been helping.

I have also been living in Toronto, Canada for just over a year now, which has a nice change of pace compared to Melbourne, and a much better time zone for an affiliate. It is also a really great place to network with others in the industry as it’s quite the hub, with many networks (DFO/Kainero, JumbleBerry, Oasis Ads, Mundo), traffic sources and affiliates based in Toronto.

I have also just completed visiting my 32nd country, adding to the list now are Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Romania. I also visited some places I’ve never been to before, such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos in Mexico and Seville in Spain.

Rope Swing @ The Blue Hole, Saint Ann, Jamaica

Help A Brother Out

Recently, the affiliate industry banded together to show some love and support for a dear friend, Andreas Funkl, whom had an accident recently and suffered a broken neck, fracturing both his C4 and C5 vertebrae. There’s a GoFundMe page which you can find here if you’d like to donate to the cause. Stay strong Andy, you can do this!

Stay Strong Andreas!

Industry News/Updates

 

I wanted to touch lightly on the state of the industry before I get into the details of the giveaway. We’ve now entered Q4 of 2017 and things are about to get really interesting in 2018 with rumors that Google is going to reign down with all their might and f*ck shit up like they did (and still do) with their search engine algorithms to mess with black-hat SEO techniques and penalize those for using those tactics.

However, this time it will come in the form of an Ad-Blocker for both Chrome Desktop and Mobile which apparently will be enabled by default, blocking what are considered to be ‘annoying ads’, which I’m sure if you’ve spent enough time browsing the internet, you would’ve come across these. It seems like the industry is on edge about it and it’ll be very interesting to see what pans out in 2018 when this apparent update is rolled out.

Now may be the time to switch focus on more whitehat campaigns or traffic sources which are less likely to feel the heat from Google. The people that will be affected mainly are those who work with POP traffic, perhaps some lower quality native traffic (RevContent, Content.ad), interstitials, and anything non-conventional.

A lot of people are complaining that Facebook Cloaking is a much harder game to play this year compared to last year, although that seems to the news every year. Same rings true for those cloaking Google. Their detection methods are getting better and approvals are getting stricter.

All in all, the industry is still very lucrative, but I’m not sure how many affiliates will survive the wrath of Google, as whatever is left that is working will become more competitive and a lot of affiliates will struggle to adapt and shift into other industries.

Disruption – Let’s Talk Crypto

Speaking of other industries. One that has been very hot and has garnered more attention from the affiliate space this year is Crypto, aka Blockchain Technology. If you haven’t heard of these, you would’ve had to of heard about Bitcoin by now, and if not, you must live under a rock.

This year has seen insane growth in the industry and a lot of people have gotten rich from it. The common strategy is to participate in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) to obtain bonuses and discounts, and then flip the coins for a nice ROI, or hold on if you believe in the project. Given the insane growth, and many startups amassing 10s to 100s of millions in such a short time, red flags have been raised and governments are clamping down. Regulatory bodies have stepped in such as the SEC, the Chinese and Korean governments, in order to regain some sort of capital control. This overbearing of government power over decentralized technology was just a matter of time, as with everything, there are scams, there are people trying to get rich and stepping over others, people getting hacked and just a lot of money flying around by newbie investors hoping this is their ticket to riches.

I myself have been investing and learning about Crypto for several months now, and I have endured some recent bloodbaths, such as when China decided to ban ICOs. My portfolio is in the red quite a bit, but that’s the nature of the game. You must be willing to risk what you can afford to lose and you cannot have an emotional attachment to that money. There are lots of speculators, and there is a ton of competition to get involved early in ICOs/pre-sales as there is money to be made and where there’s money, there’s sharks. Some are claiming that crypto is a bubble waiting to burst, much like the DotCom bubble. The industry is incredibly volatile and could come crashing down some day, but right now it still feels like a very immature market that has a lot of potential to grow once more Hedge Funds get involved as well as the general public being able to invest without being tech-savvy.

More Conferences + AWA Giveaway

Affiliate World Europe 2017

Speaking of Crypto, the guys from STM Forums have done it again. They’ve gotten together leading experts of the crypto world and are organizing a conference strictly for the Blockchain space, called Blockchain World Conference, which will be held in Bangkok Thailand right before Affiliate World Asia on the 4th of December. AWA will be held on the 6th and 7th of December.

I have another pass to give away for AWA valued at $659. All you have to do to participate is share this post on Facebook or Twitter and comment on this post, with a link to show you shared this on social media. That’s it, do this and the ticket could be yours!

I HIGHLY encourage affiliates, experienced or not, to attend this conference as it is simply the number 1 conference in the affiliate space, which typically brings together many of the top experts in marketing space, including copywriters, ecommerce gurus, media-buying ninjas, networks, traffic sources and much, much more. There are always meet ups and this is a very good reason to get out to Thailand, one of the best that South-East Asia has to offer.

 Automate Automate Automate

Automate as much as you can to improve efficiency. Hire a developer if you aren’t a coder yourself to help out with creating tools which make your affiliate life easier and more efficient. This also helps to remove the human element of emotion when statistical significance reigns king. One example of something I’ve developed myself, is a PHP based tool that takes the CSV reports from my Thrive install and parses it based on some customizable inputs (such as upper and lower limits in regards to spend, profit/loss, CTR, clicks etc..) and spits out optimization suggestions based on my own set of rules catering to “Rule of Thumbs” that I use, combined with some statistical relevance/significance. It also spits out a set of parameters according to certain traffic sources, to mass manage bids and targets by providing the correct format for each traffic source I am running with, speeding up the process of something that used to take hours to do, into something that now takes minutes.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

The beauty of this is that now, outsourcing work such as campaign optimization can now become much easier to do. Some traffic sources don’t have great APIs to work with and Thrive unfortunately does not support exporting CSV reports via the API yet, but in some instances, the API can be very useful for automating updates.

Happy hustling friends!

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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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