I submitted a speaking proposal for Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. If you know me you probably know I am usually not one to speak at conferences. Besides the two Geekcast live sessions that I did I really haven't spoken at any of the conferences that I have attended. This is about to change for 2012.
What Changed My Mind
A couple of things changed my mind. Last summer I went to a conference and attended a session on making a profitable website. There was so much information that was either wrong or out of date that I couldn't contain myself. I just sat there shaking my head in disbelief as the speaker went through the presentation. I almost walked out but I was curious to what he was going to say next. I actually had my blood pressure rise during the session and felt myself getting madder every minute. The question and answer session was filled with really newbie questions and not only were they getting bad information during the session, they were getting it in the Q &A part as well. I felt bad for the newbies in the session and for the next few days I couldn't get the newbie questions out of my head.
Another thing that had me realize that it was time to speak was comments left by newbies. Whenever we record a podcast on affiliate marketing we get a bunch of questions that to me are second nature. I realize that people need this information and they either just don't know where to look or they just don't know where to go for it. I find myself time after time answering the same questions over and over again. There must be a place for this information and by public speaking and having it on video eventually there will be a place I can send newbies for information and help a lot more people improve their website in the process.
I Review A lot of Websites Everyday
As an affiliate manager I look at a lot of websites that apply to our programs and the quality of some of the websites are really bad. There are some free templates that people use that actually hurt their rankings or in some cases they get their websites banned without even knowing it. I am amazed that people make websites and expect to get traffic to it. There are at least 10 things that they could be doing better at first glance. Even worse they don't install any tracking at all so they have no idea what they are ranking for and where they can improve. I can tell that these same sites don't do any keyword research to see what people are actually searching for.
I put together a list of things I look at and presented it at the New York Affiliate Summit Meetup. We only got through 3/4 of the list because people were asking me questions. Some of the questions were really basic and I spent a lot of time on these questions instead of going through my list. When people asked me what site they could go to for more information I didn't even have one to give them since this information I learned years ago. One of the people at the meetup hired a local SEO company that basically took a lot of their money and messed up their site. It killed me when I got home and looked deeper into their site. I am putting together a page now that will eventually have every place I go to for this basic information. It will probably never be 100 done as things change fast online.
I speak to a lot of people in the affiliate marketing industry and once or twice a week I get asked why I don't speak in public about some of the stuff I know. I shared my list from the meetup with a few people and they asked me why I haven't spoken on this topic before. I get the “You are a fountain of information” at least once a week.
I like helping people and if I can do that by speaking to a crowded room then so be it.