Affiliate Summit, Here I Come!

Affiliate Summit is the premier affiliate marketing conference in the world…I’m pretty sure. I’ve wanted to attend for the past few years, but have always passed on it, mainly due to financial reasons. While the passes are not outrageously expensive (as far as Vegas conventions go), the event is a bit costly when you add in the travel & hotel expense, plus it’s held right after the holiday season — a time when I’m usually reeling financially. 😉

This year, however, I was on the ball and noticed that the folks at Affiliate Summit were hosting an essay contest where they were going to award up to 50 free VIP passes for the winning submissions. A month ago I decided to throw my hat in the ring and try for one of those golden tickets. The VIP passes are valued at over a thousand bucks, so I figured if I could grab one of those, I’d manage the rest. It would still cost me a bit of dough, but the value I’d get from it would far outweigh the cost of a hotel room, gas, and a few twenties I’d be feeding into the video poker machines and dropping on the Blackjack tables. 😀

Alright, so…to be considered for the Affiliate Summit “Scholarship Program”, contestants had to write a pretty succinct essay of no more than 300 words, on 1 of 3 different topics. I chose the topic, “What Do I Hope to Accomplish in Affiliate Marketing?”

Well, I’m happy to say that…I WON!

Charlie Finding the Golden Ticket

I don’t know what sort of competition I was up against, but hey…no matter, I’m headed to Vegas in January – for what will likely be the most eye-opening opportunity of my entrepreneurial career.

As of right now, Affiliate Marketing is responsible for roughly half of my modest income, with the other half coming via my freelance web development business. I enjoy both endeavors immensely, but if I had a choice, I’d love to become a successful full-time affiliate marketer.

Both businesses compliment one-another quite well, since they both rely upon web development and good SEO practices. As a web developer, I’m always being pushed to find new ways to present content, incorporate new design techniques and improve website functionality. Being an affiliate marketer, I’m always keeping up on current SEO and internet marketing trends. The two go hand-in-hand, really.

However…nothing appeals to me more than being able to create and monetize projects of my own. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE providing services to satisfied clients, but there’s something to be said for not having to answer to anyone but myself, plus it’s nice to work at projects that interest me.

Affiliate Marketing is a tough business, with a lot of competition and many rules to adhere to, but those who are successful at it enjoy a great deal of wealth, satisfaction and freedom. I hope that one day I can be one of those successful individuals.

Although I’ve already far exceeded my initial goals in affiliate marketing, I’ve gotten a taste of what is possible and am eager to strive for much greater success. I am so happy to be able to attend Affiliate Summit in 2013 –I feel that it is going to be a career-changing opportunity for me.

Anyway…here is what I sent them, in case you’re curious. And by the way…I wasn’t chosen strictly on my writing prowess and stated goals 😉 — they also judged me based on my existing efforts, e.g., the websites that I showed them.

What Do I Hope to Accomplish in Affiliate Marketing?

My primary goal in affiliate marketing is to establish an income that will provide security, peace of mind and a sense of freedom – for myself and my son. In addition, I would like to continue enjoying the satisfaction that goes along with being self-employed. I also want to publish content that adds value to the web, as well as build sites that I am proud of. Lastly, I would like to become enough of an authority in this chosen career so that I may offer my knowledge, services and experience to others endeavoring to make money in affiliate marketing.

I first started exploring affiliate marketing in 2008, as a way to learn SEO and to earn a bit of extra money while I was building a freelance web development business. From the moment I started building my first site, and even before I made my first dollar, I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue with vigor. My first couple of sites were failures, but I continued on…constantly researching and educating myself by way of various forums and marketing blogs.

After months and months of hard work, I was able to get some traction in a particular niche. Although the site’s earnings were very small at this point, the satisfaction gained from all of the traffic I’d been acquiring was quite rewarding.

Now it’s a few years later and I’ve had some success in this arena, but nothing beyond what many would consider a respectable “side income”. I manage a few different sites these days, but nothing I’ve done thus far has “turned the corner”, so to speak.

I’m hopeful that next year’s Affiliate Summit experience will be the catalyst that enables me to soar to new heights.

For more information on next year’s Affiliate Summit, including the mammoth list of companies registered to attend, please visit the Affiliate Summit website.

Freakin’ Rudy is gonna be there delivering a keynote…how badass is that..?!

I can’t wait!!!

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