Kudos to Itay Paz and his Affilicon crew. That was one well-oiled (well-coffeed?) machine of a conference. My favorite thing (seriously, I’m sentimental this way): A charging station for laptops / Blackberries, complete with orange t-shirt clad babysitter. I felt like I was dropping my kid off in the play room at the mall.

Charlie Kalech, Harlan Kilstein, and Ran Aroussi on Crackberry, Affilicon '09

During the Drill: Charlie Kalech, Harlan Kilstein, and Ran Aroussi on Crackberry, Affilicon

What is Affilicon? Find out here in time for next year. In a nutshell: A two-day seminar  / networking-intensive expo with the goal of teaching Internet marketers and affiliates (and copywriters!!) how to sell mostly intangible stuff to lots of people you’ll never lay eyes on and make money on it.

Where do I sign up? Apparently, not on my own RSS feed, which lacks nearly every element required to make people click and “commit”. Who knew my lovely, highly labor intensive homepage was an “opt in  / landing page?” (Thanks, Andrea Yager.)

I was told by copywriting guru and marketing mutineer Dr. Harlan Kilstein that I could continue to be a starving artist and fish for minnows, or get some balls, drop the pretense, and fish for bass. That kill(stein)ed me.

Here are eight other things I learned yesterday at Affillicon ’09 (Twitter: #affilicon09):

 1. “While we try to build a better world we need to be prepared against evil forces.” – pink flyer handed out at the entrance….Great way to market the Defense Exercise. (I didn’t even hear the siren downstairs, but I’m all prepared now. I think.)

2. Lots of (if not most) marketers need copywriters, but only half of them know it, even though they often barely speak English. This is a redux of my Israeli road sign / restaurant menu pet peeve. An English Bagrut in 10th grade, and everybody’s William Safire.

Listen up guys: Writing – writing WELL – is a profession. How is it that a country full of Jews forgot this? At LEAST get someone to proofread for typos on your homepage. Would you let me write your backend code when I don’t know Drupal from Nepal and have never met a Joomla? No? And you shouldn’t be writing your own copy.

3. Never say something to a panel participant you don’t want repeated in front of hundreds of people, like: “So this woman asks me about monetizing her site and wonders about compromising her art, she goes, but there’s poetry on my page….chuckle, chuckle…” (Corollary: Never say anything to or about a writer / blogger you don’t want blogged.)

4. The people who run casino and gambling sites look EXACTLY like you think they will – Boy Band goes to Cyprus. There were even gamer girls in leatherette pants. You should come next year, ck.

5. I can drink a literally unfathomable amount of coffee and enjoy every sip.

6. Which brings me to this: To be a successful Internet marketer / optimizer / etc, you will most likely need to have ADD. Don’t worry, you can develop this later in life, too. Hey, I love your shoes! What was I saying? Oh yeah. Several of the people on the panel, when asked why they went into the field, cited a loathing of school and 9-5 jobs, and a desire to have an informal, flexible, pajama and café / club based life, while (wait for it) making lots of money….

7. …Which brings me to this: Sure are lots of people trying to be affiliate / Internet marketers. I had guessed that already on the basis of my Twitter following.  Any ideas from the esteemed gallery on how there is enough work out there for all these people, the more established of whom seem to all be earning well? (Or is that just marketing?)

8. Which in turn brings me to the best thing I learned all day, from the aforementioned Yager: ‘I am an expert because I say I am.’ This runs so counter to my training that I almost choke on it, but apparently, it’s how you do it. Look for me as a speaker at next year’s Affilicon, a copywriting rags to riches story. Really.

(That statement was the equivalent of a batter pointing over the wall, out of the park… And the crowd goes wild.)







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