I mentioned in my previous post that I spent the past weekend in Atlanta for the 4th Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems (NAMS) workshop. Now that I’ve caught up on sleep and laundry, I thought I’d share a few highlights of this 3 day conference with you.
The conference is put together by David Perdew who does an amazing job. He invited me to attend as an aide this time which helped me realize just how much work goes into an event like this. Here he is with Nicole Dean, instructor, friend and my roommate. I recommend you take a look at her blog at http://www.nicoleonthenet.com/
Nicole and I have been friends for years and had a great time brainstorming during the event. Which brings up a good point:
Put some thought into who you want to share a room with at an event. You will have some time to connect, work and brainstorm with this person.
One of the reasons I highly recommend the NAMS workshops is the fact that it is broken down into different tracks or rooms. This go around David put together 4 different tracks (beginner 1, beginner 2, intermediate and advanced). This helps make sure that you learn exactly whatÂ you need to move forward no matter where you are at with your online business.
Being an aide in the beginner rooms came with an unexpected bonus. I ended up watching some presentations and workshops that I probably would not have otherwise. During past NAMS conferences I spent most of my time in the Advanced Room, which certainly has helped my business, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I learned in the beginner rooms. It’s always good to be reminded of basic skills that we all let fall by the wayside as we tackle more complex tasks.
Denise talked about basic blogging skills including writing compelling titles and posts that include a strong call to action.
Following her presentation she led us in a brilliant workshop that walked us through a content idea exercise that resulted in an editorial schedule with 35 blog posts titles. It’s a simple strategy that I’ll be using regularly. In fact, this blog post was one of the ideas I came up with during the workshop.
Big Lessons Learned:
- Plan your posts ahead of time so you can focus on just writing them.
- Don’t overextend yourself. Writing just one or two posts per week is fine.
To learn more from Denise, visit her blog at http://www.buildabetterblog.com/
Lynn Terry talked about her powerful “From Start To Profit” strategy which takes us all the way from ideas and market research to a profitable website.
Big Lesson Learned: Don’t get distracted by too many new ideas and strategies. Stick with one until it becomes profitable, then rinse and repeat.
To learn more from Lynn visit her blog http://www.clicknewz.com/
The downside of having 4 different presentations/workshops running simultaneously is that you will not be able to attend all of them. I would have loved to sit in when Karon Thackston talked about copywriting and Jeff Herring about repurposing content.
By biggest personal highlight was overcoming my fear of public speaking (which is kinda important since I was invited to be an instructor at NAMS 5 in January).
It all started innocently enough when David asked me to work with a small group of beginners teaching them about setting up a squeeze page. It was a very informal setting in the lobby as you can see in the picture.
Being able to share some of what I’ve learned over the years in an informal setting outside of the presentations has always been one of my favorite parts of going to NAMS conferences.
Next, my good friend Nicole Dean startled me into being on the “Affiliate Marketing Dating Game”. At the end of day 1 of the conference, David set up two “Dating Game” type activities.
First up was Kathleen Gage who asked 3 affiliates questions about how they would promote her product. It was interesting to see all the different approaches people took in promoting an affiliate product from blogging and tweeting to more traditional methods like writing reviews and sending an offer to their email list.
Next up was Nicole Dean in her role as super affiliate. Her task was to ask 3 product owners questions about their affiliate programs to determine which one would be the best fit for her. Right before the game she asked me to volunteer as one of the product owners with an affiliate program.
I as a bit nervous (particularly about not being able to hop on the barstool in front of the whole room), but since I was “just” talking about my affiliate niche pack affiliate program and one of my best friends was asking the questions, I quickly overcame my fear of public speaking and actually had a pretty good time playing the game.
As with the previous one, it was very interesting to hear the different approaches to affiliate marketing and we ended up sharing quite a bit of knowledge about different systems, cookies, commissions and such.
Most importantly though, it gave me the confidence to be part of a Keyword Research Panel the following day. Karon Thackston, Lynn Terry, Dan Morris and I spend 90 minutes talking about anything from the importance of keyword research to what tools we use to how we approach the research in the first place. David Perdew lead us in this discussion and then turned the audio into a product that workshop attendees could sell as affiliates. Quite a few people made their very first affiliate sales this way.
I ended up buying it myself to be able to listen with a pen in hand to what Karon, Lynn and Dan (all of them brilliant online marketers and researchers) had to share. You can order your own copy of the recording for $17 at http://www.affiliatetreasurechest.com/keywordresearch
Big Lesson Learned: When you step outside your comfort zone you will seem amazing growth both personally and in your business.
Overcome your fears, try something new, learn and apply a new skill. Take some action and watch your business grow.
What can you do this week to step out of your comfort zone?
P.S. I hope I’ll see you at NAMS 5 January 27th – 31st 2010 in Atlanta GA.
P.P.S. If you attended NAMS 4, I’d love to hear what you thought about the conference.