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As 2013 begins and I start setting goals for my business for 2012, I need to take a look back at what was 2012 and see what worked and what didn’t. It was definitely a year for a lot of changes for affiliate marketers and I feel blessed to even still be in the game. That said, it took a lot of work and trying new things–some that worked and some that didn’t. So what was important for me in affiliate marketing in 2012?
Affiliate Summit (and Pinnacle Award)
I started off the year with a bang and high hopes. Affiliate Summit West 2012 rejuvenated me and helped me regain my focus after slacking off a bit. I was awarded the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Best Blogger and decided that I had better keep up my blogging to prove that I deserve it. I did well with that for 11 months (let’s not talk about December). What could I have done better? Planned more blog posts for sure. Scheduled them out for December when I knew I would be too busy to write. In other words, I should have practiced what I preached. But it was a good way to start the year.
Pinterest took up a lot of my time early in the year. I wrote about how affiliate marketers could use it and even conducted an Affiliate Marketing and Pinterest Webinar. As expected, a lot changed with the site over the year. By the end of it, I was barely paying any attention. I’m glad I jumped on it when I had the chance to stay ahead of the curve. However, I’m not sure I got much out of Pinterest besides a few backlinks.
Wine Club Group
One of the most significant things I did in 2012 was partner with Todd Farmer and Eric Nagel to create WineClubGroup.com. It was ambitious. We set high goals for ourselves despite the fact that the work was all going to have to be done in addition to our regular work. We held each other accountable and drew on each others’ strengths. You can read more about what we did in my post Mastermind Success: Our First Joint Venture. Although we didn’t make enough money off of it to quit everything else that we are working on, we certainly made enough to show that what we teach other affiliates works. Do your research. Build a site with quality content. Use video. Grow your social reach. By the end of the year, we were ranking well for over 100 “buying keywords” and know better what we need to do in 2013. And throughout the process, I learned a lot from Eric and Todd about how to make my other sites stronger.
Affiliate Tax in Indiana
Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote a post about the Affiliate Tax in Indiana. The crazy thing there is that I could write almost the exact same post today and suspect that I will have even more work to do with it in the next few months. Last year the governor saved us, but this year we have a new governor. Stay tuned on that one. It’s still a story very much developing.
Affiliate Marketing Plan (AffPlan)
In July I announced that I was joining Todd in AffPlan. I have to admit that he has done most of the work on it. I really believe in what we are trying to do. Affiliates need education and I think we are the people who can do it. We just need more time!! Hopefully I will do better with it in 2013 than I did in 2012. Please hold me to that, Todd.
In October I took the biggest step for Sunshine Rewards that I have taken in years. After being approached by Carrie Rocha at Affiliate Summit East, I decided to white label SR to join with Carrie to create PYD Rewards. We’re just pulling the first full quarter of data right now, but I am encouraged by it. It’s a great way for me to take work that I am already doing and branch out to 1) earn more money myself, and 2) help a fellow affiliate earn more money. This is the ultimate step in scaling my business besides just trying to find more customers. It’s a tremendous opportunity that I hope to develop even more in 2013 by integrating more into the white label site and picking up more white label partners.
Odds and Ends
Throughout the year so many other things came along to pull my attention. Search engine algorithm updates. Google authorship (and my little scare last week when mine disappeared!). Lots of talk about attribution in reporting. Facebook Promoted Posts. My new Daily Deal newsletter powered by Aweber and my forum.
In the end, I have to admit that while the year wasn’t as successful financially as some others have been for me, I feel good about the work that I did and my place in the affiliate marketing community. Here’s to a 2013 filled with even more success!
What was new with you in affiliate marketing in 2013? What are you most proud of?