My Week On The Web – Far Travelled Freebies

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I’ve been back in Australia just under a week now and getting caught up with my sites. Alas, I’ve had to renege on my promise to not work upon my return as we have to sort out some Google Adwords issues I’ve mentioned previously and get our new site up and running.

Seeing as I’m at my desk anyhow I thought I’d get back into my semi regular Friday posts and let y’all know what I’ve been up to and some of the stuff I’ve been reading about.

Don’t Know Your Canonical From Yer Elbow?

Confused by the difference between 301 redirects and rel=canonical? I know I was, but thanks to this extremely comprehensive guide from the lovely people over at SEOMoz I now need wonder no more! Basically 301′s are for your everyday site and content moving situations, redirecting traffic from expired content to the most relevant page on your site, and preventing multiple home page versions from being indexed. The canonical tag can be a much easier to use alternative, is handy for letting search engines know about pages which may be duplicates where a 301 is inappropriate, and stopping automatically generated URLs such as those containing session id’s being indexed.

Simple eh? If, like me, you’re a bit behind on the wonderful world of canonical fun catch up here!

Could You Make A Better Job of a Site Than Someone Else?

A great post from the very entertaining Finch pointing out that there may be financial opportunities to be had by taking on someone else’s dud project and adding a bit of affiliate magic. If a site’s current owner doesn’t have the mindset to monetise a project, maybe you do!

A4U Awards – The End Of The Blog Awards

Entries for the 2011 A4U Awards are now open. I see that the best blog category is now defunct as my fellow blogger and current holder of the accolade Jason Dale pointed out.

The reason is “due to the lack of active bloggers”, and to be honest I agree with Matt & team’s decision completely. Without a larger pool of bloggers I think the award was going to get a little bit pointless this year with no new blood for voters to consider. They’ve said if the pool expands they’ll revisit having an award for affiliate blogs. I’d love to see more people blogging within the UK space so here’s hoping the award will resurface at some later date.

Think There’s a lot of Money in 2nd Tier Affiliate Marketing?

Well think again! John Lammerton has referred just oodles of new affiliates to UK networks, some of whom are now pulling in very nice monthly amounts of up to five figures per month. So did he write his post from his private yacht moored off Capri? Well, maybe not

Whilst we’re talking about Mr Lammerton, he’s recently started a brand new and original feature called “Ask Lammo” *cough* ;) If you’d like to ask this experienced affiliate marketer and owner of Easy Content Units any questions just use the little box in the bottom right hand side of his site.

It’s ages since I had any Ask Kirsty questions (between John and Affiliate Doctors perhaps I’m being edged out of the market?!?!). So if anyone has any problems they’d like unpicked and analysed for public consumption please do drop me a line.

Are These The Furthest Travelled Affiliate Freebies Ever?

As you may or may not remember, we picked up a fair few freebies from various sources at the A4U Expo. To prove that there’s no lengths an affiliate won’t go to in order to bring home their conference goodies here’s a picture of our stash which has travelled on no less than 7 flights since we were in London at the Expo.

By far the most impressive feat is the transport of the 6 Peroni glasses my Duncan liberated from the opening party with the help of two willing accomplices with very large handbags. Fitting them into our already stacked to the brim luggage and actually keeping them in one piece ended up being the mission of the century. They now have just as much sentimental value as our wedding crystal and serve as a reminder of just how much an affiliate values a good freebie ;)

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Affiliate Inspiration From Far Off Places

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Actually, I think a far more appropriate title for this post would probably be “why it’s impossible for Kirsty to have a real holiday”. Having just got back from a very, very cool trip I want you to know I was thinking about affiliate marketing and this blog at some very improbable junctures!

Its clear that my passion for affiliate marketing is verging on the obsessive. I couldn’t stop those insistent little analogies popping into my mind when I was supposed to be concentrating on some of the world’s most impressive sights.

Pompeii – Don’t Build Your Business on The Side of a Volcano

"So we'll build the main plaza so that scenic volcano sort of dominates the town. Whats that? Nahhhh.... it won't go off!"

When our Roman chums built this amazing place they knew Vesuvius was a volcano – they just didn’t realise it was an active one. I was quite shocked to find there are 700,000 people living in the Naples area today. If this old lady blows her top (a trick she’s long overdue to perform) there are hundreds of thousands of unlucky residents in the danger zone. There are also some fairly firm doubts about the effectiveness of the evacuation plans

Seemingly madness, but there’s a huge number of dodgy adwords accounts, sly cookie stuffers, website copiers, and naughty fraudsters determined to make that easy buck building their empires on shaky ground. If you’ve based your income on something a little bit dubious, have been getting away with it for a while, and think you’ll never be caught – think again! There’s nothing worse than being shaken from your bed at 3am by the distant rumbling of a financial pyroclastic flow heading straight for your bank account. ;)

Much like Vesuvius it’s not a matter of if, but when.

Rome – It’s Not All About The Colosseum Darling!

When you think of Rome, you instantly think of the Colosseum - but it ain't the only amazing bit of tourist eye candy in the neighbourhood!

Affiliate marketing suffers from what I’ll call “Colosseum Syndrome” for the purposes of this little rant-ette. “So Bill, I hear you’re taking up affiliate marketing. What are you going to promote? Ah yes. Mortgages and Gambling – a wise choice. However, have you considered checking out the rest of the affiliate neighbourhood?”

Time and time again in affiliate marketing people target the obvious and don’t put any effort into finding out about any beautiful yet underrated gems that might be nearby, and much easier to exploit without having to fight through crowds of competitors.

Not far from the Colosseum and only 4 other people there.

Leaning Tower of Pisa – Solid Foundations Are Essential!

Duncs refusing point blank to do the traditional holding up the tower pic (thank goodness or I'd have started divorce proceedings).

The Tower of Pisa was built in 3 stages, each stage tried to correct the obvious lean which means this tower has levels hanging all over the place to try and give the impression of a straight, well built tower. It was finally stabilised just a few years ago. Only took just under a thousand years to sort out ;)

This anaology would have been obvious to anyone, the only way to build your affiliate business is on foundations of hard work. Anything else and you’ll have to spend an unpleasant amount of time and money going back and doing the underpinning work which may, or may not, work!

Some Other Pics Sans Smug Analogies

Thanks for bearing with me during those, it was essential to my mental wellbeing that I get them out onto the blog as I couldn’t believe how they kept popping into my head when I was supposed to be busy touristing!

Nice was... nice although my Dad is looking unimpressed here!

Me on the cruise ship in a dress, behaving myself, wearing makeup, and hair done. Quick! Call Record Breakers!!

Checking out the local wildlife in Krabi, Thailand.Meeting the local wildlife in Krabi….

But the best bit of the trip… god it’s so good to be back home in Australia!

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The End of My PPC Affiliate Career is in Sight!

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It seems to happens without fail every time I leave my office for a significant stretch. Before we left on our little affiliate jolly I said to Duncs, “Well? What’ll it be this time darling???”

“What do you mean?” He said, looking up from his packing with the usual confused look he bestows upon my frequent random outbursts.

“What will go wrong when we’re away? What lovely little surprise will Google bestow upon us right at the point when we’re totally unable to do anything about it?”

Thankfully It’s Not PPC Armageddon

I’ve just returned from a blissful 10 days going internet cold turkey to discover that whilst I was gone my Australian underwear site has had a review and found a polite note from Google pointing out that my humble offering was in “violation of our Landing Page and Site Policies” and “the site is disabled within your AdWords account.”

Well gee thanks guys – my holiday was wonderful thanks!

But it Didn’t Stop There…

Upon closer examination I discovered that Blokes Undies had also been given the old QS thumbs down no less than 6 weeks ago and I simply didn’t notice (no dear John letter about that one though!).

Happily the reason for this was that the PPC was only about 15% of the site traffic and the slap coincided with a nice organic boost… so I actually ended up with a profit increase during September and subsequently didn’t investigate why the PPC traffic was 50% down in September. It was only today when doing my stats I realised that during October I’d had hee haw from Adwords and that every keyword in that campaign was wearing a shiny “rarely shown due to low quality score” badge.

Tightening The Noose?

I’ve always prided myself on adding value to the user and creating pages I didn’t consider to be “thin” pages. I’ve come through the various affiliate culls over the last 2 years totally untouched. Until now that is.

Does this mean Google is tightening it’s rules relating to affiliates, or have I just been lucky in recent times? I’m pragmatic enough to realise it could be either or neither of those two options.

One thing I do know about Google is that whenever you start to see such things appearing in your account it’s rarely a one off. Considering how much similarity in structure, content, and strategy the affected sites have to others still lucky enough to be blessed with Adwords traffic my days as a PPC affiliate may be numbered.

Am I Surprised?

Not at all. I’ve been preparing for this type of eventuality for quite some time and with some degree of urgency since I asked a very experienced PPC manager if I had anything to worry about with all the affiliate bannings that went on this time last year and got back an e-mail that basically said “be very, very worried if you rely upon PPC for your livelihood”. That was me told.

Since then, I’ve been feverishly working at building organic traffic whilst refusing to add any more to my Adwords account. My logic being that every adgroup and new domain added a greater element of risk for getting a ban.

Do You Think It’ll Never Happen?

Think again. Those two black marks on my account could well be reason enough for Google to slap me with a nice Adwords ban next time they decide to give a few more affiliates the shove. Far fetched? Not at all. I recently had a conversation with someone who had an entire account banned as a result of one long forgotten, ill conceived thin landing page. He’d fixed some dodgy old pages they warned him about after his “last chance” e-mail, only to cop a ban for the long forgotten page – which they hadn’t.

Draconian? Unfair? Probably, but this is Google we’re talking about and anyone who thinks common sense will prevail when dealing with them is clearly deluded.

What Will I Do Next?

Well, precisely what I’ve been doing already. I’ll continue to create decent sites that add value to the user and constantly strive to improve them. A majority of the PPC traffic I have relied upon in the past is getting too expensive for my margins anyway, so I’m no longer prepared to spend time and resources dancing to the Adwords tune.

For the last year I’ve been running my business on the basis that I will only continue to have Adwords traffic available to me in the short term rather than on a permanent basis. I’m happy to say that PPC now only accounts for around 16% of overall traffic to my websites. This time last year it was closer to 60% and a massive liability to my business.

Prior to leaving Australia I’d already started work on a brand new organic site to replace my now doubly slapped offering. There’ll be a slight gap until we can get home to do the 20% work remaining to get it up and running, but I’ll replace the PPC traffic with organic within a few months.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

So Adwords, like a selfish lover I’ll take what’s on offer for as long as you continue to provide it. But if you finally decide you’ve had enough of me I’ll walk on without breaking step and hope that your brother who provides me with lovely organic traffic doesn’t find out about our broken affair and give me the push. ;)

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Totally Expo’d Out

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I’m still tired and broken after an incredibly busy and hectic 2 days and 3 nights at the A4U Expo.

I went straight from London to spend time with old friends and have returned to my Mum’s with a bad case of the horror lurgey – so my apologies for the lamentably late round up ;)

The Sessions

Most of the sessions I ended up seeing were SEO related. I think this was mainly because I’ve been feeling a little rusty on that front recently and wanted to top up my knowledge . I have taken thousands of words of notes and there’s about 3 or 4 half formed potential blog posts that I’m hoping to get up in the coming weeks once I’ve had a chance to absorb and test the new info to try and add more of a practical affiliate slant to the info (and have some time for my feet to
touch the ground!)

I went to: -
Day 1
The 3 Pillars of SEO – an overview of techical, on page, and off page SEO considerations we’d all be foolish not to consider.
Advanced Analytics for Affiliates – An in depth look at getting more than just the standard unique visitor and bounce rate type malarkey from your analytics interface.
Becoming an Affiliate a Reality Check – no choice there really, I was on the panel.
SEO Ranking Factors – A good old panel type chit chat about SEO and its varied wily ways at present.
The Webgains Speed Networking Session – talking fast about affiliate marketing and champagne, two of my favourite things!!
Day 2
Feed and Microformat Optimisation – a fascinating session on how to get those review and events based listings into Google and a great case study with performance examples.
Expanding into Europe – Good info about getting started in Germany. Worth attending just to experience Marcus Tandler for the very first time. Very funny guy.
Link Building Strategies – Great insight into the Google brand update and some in depth analytical techniques. Made me very glad to no longer be involved in SEO but thoroughly fascinating!! Have about 1,000 words of notes on this session alone. One of my favourites I think.

The Hall

Pens-a-plenty, USB’s massages, drinks, games and lots of networks and agencies to chat to. I have to say my favourite freebie was the Tradedoubler chalk mugs. Affilinet were handing out some very nice energy drinks also which really helped Duncs and I wake up and make the best of the sessions on day two! Check out Hodge’s post on the Freebies here.

I have to confess I didn’t do a whole heap of networking in the hall, sticking to pre-arranged chats with people. I think the narrow focus of my affiliate business means that I was never going to find new business opportunities so I chose to spend time lounging on various comfy sofas drinking the plethora of free beverages on hand for tired affiliates and getting ready for the next information packed sesh.

The Parties

Well what can I say – if NippleTassels.co.uk or similar has not been regged by an inspired affiliate after the highly entertaining burlesque show at the Troxy I’ll be very surprised.

Although the opening and closing parties were pretty standard (almost quiet!) the middle night was simply superb. I’m a massive 30′s fan and loved every minute. Duncan looked more than slightly interested in the highly developed tassel twirling skills on display as well. I hope it didn’t give him any Xmas gift ideas LOL.

My Favourite Bits

  • A near death dancefloor experience at the hands of Dom “Fred Astaire” Hodgson. He decided to attempt a very daring dance move with me – but unfortunately I didn’t see him coming and was disconcerted to suddenly find myself travelling backwards at a great rate of knots and looking up at the ceiling.
  • The photo booth at the Troxy. Many a ridiculous snap was taken in there on the night – and one lovely chap in particular almost caused some marital discord by hijacking me and taking a series of pictures which my Duncan thought made his behaviour look “quite bad”. My mild mannered Kiwi other half saw the funny side – eventually ;)
  • Talking to a lovely chap from Mattressman.co.uk at the speed networking. Then another, and another, making 3 mattressmen in a row. By the end of all that bed related chat I was a convert – so don’t delay guys and gals sign up to their programme today. Huge range and great conversions!
  • Duncan hijacking the handbags of the lovely Existem girls at the first night party. You’d think he’d never seen a Peroni glass before, but he’s now the proud owner of no less than 6. He might not be a full blown affiliate but he’s got the hang of the freebies and taken it to a new level.  The burning, burning shame LOL.

A Great Conference

I’m very glad I made the effort to attend this year’s Expo – I thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions I attended and learned a lot that I’ll be able to put into practise when I go back to work in January.

The only thing missing was a lot of the usual affiliate suspects – I was sorry a lot of my old friends decided not to attend. Hopefully Matt & team will be able to tempt them back to future events as it wasn’t quite the same without them (although it did save me some nasty hangovers!!!).

I’m not sure when the next time I’ll get a chance to attend one of these events might be as I’m now planning to head back to Australia for at least 2 or 3 years. I’m sure by that stage the conference will be even bigger and better than ever. This year’s event was really a credit to the events team, so well done to them all :)

Read what others are saying about the conference here.

I’m off to pack for my cruise now, so more from me in a couple of weeks!

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Back in UK & Getting Ready for A4U Expo

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I’ve landed back in the mother country, my accent has become so Scottish my husband no longer understands me, and it’s T-Minus 3 days and counting till this year’s A4U Expo London kicks off!

Win a Ticket

If you haven’t got a ticket, Kieron Donoghue is running a competition over on his blog which closes end of play today (8th October). Just drop a line into his comments box and tell him what session you would most like to see and why you deserve to win the ticket. The comment he likes the most will win.

Only 11 comments there so far, and a bit of sucking up going on about Kieron’s own session – “Making it Happen : On a Shoe String Budget” which is running on day two. Can’t blame the suck-ees mind you, it does sound like a very interesting one and I’d say I’ll most likely be dropping in on that one myself.

Definately worth entering Kieron’s comp – so get your skates on and get over to his blog to enter now!

Speaking of Sessions Featuring Affiliates…

I’ve gotten myself onto the panel for “Becoming an Affiliate: A Reality Check” at the Expo Theatre on Day One. Turn up at 13.15 to 14.15 to see the goings on and ask us some questions.

I’m hoping for an interesting session so don’t be shy.

Don’t Forget To Say Hello

If you see me around I hope you’ll come on over and say hi. I’ve been starved of affiliate networking for two years now and really want to chat to as many people as possible. I’m a total chatterbox and love meeting new people!

Boring Affiliate Holiday Snap Bit

We stopped over in Bangkok for 3 nights on the way here and stayed at Lebua State Tower. We had a very nice suite right up on the 58th floor – I did feel a bit sick out on the balcony though. Was mind bendingly high! Thanks to Chris Johnson of Existem for the suggestion, they don’t only do conferences they do travel advice as well.

Here’s some pictures of what I’ve been up to whilst keeping my promise to myself to stay away from the blog.

The beautiful (but frighteningly high) view from our room! Thai approach to balcony safety standards didn't help ;)

Revisiting our backpacking days and trying out some street food on Khao San Road.


Renting a long tail boat and stopping to feed some fish at a temple along the Bangkok canals.


Visiting the very beautiful Wat Arun.

OK, that’s enough of boring you with our holiday snaps – I’m extremely excited about the Expo and can’t wait to tell all you guys about the goings on and interesting sessions I’ve seen next week.

Have a good weekend :)

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Getting That Affiliate Monkey Off My Back!!

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After no less than 20 days on holiday I’m finally at the point where I can just about relax and enjoy myself! Like many addictions the withdrawal from my usual working routine has been somewhat painful.

The Sky is Falling In!!!!

At least that’s how it felt for the first few days.  Several times a day I got the “affiliate horrors” because I wasn’t working (and after all, doesn’t that mean everything will go wrong???!) and I kept on getting my knickers in a right old twist over whether I was doing everything I should to keep my beloved business running smoothly.

However, like Chicken Licken my anxieties were ill placed. It transpires that to ensure my own personal sky remains roughly in the right place I don’t actually have to be permanently glued to my office chair.

As Important As It Is To Have Your Finger On The Pulse…

It’s also important to find some large chunks of time to exorcise the ever present spectre of affiliate marketing from your mind. Even when on holiday us affiliates are not great at stepping back mentally from their job. I think a large part of the reason for my semi regular pangs of panic has been that conflict between the part of me that is knackered after 8 months of work with very little break and the other part that is completely addicted to affiliate marketing.

Performance athletes couldn’t eat, sleep, and breathe their occupation 24/7 without burning out completely.They pause for significant rest periods to ensure they are fighting fit to give their absolute best when it really counts. Of course, Tom Daley doesn’t book himself a relaxing fortnight in the sun only to turn around on the beach and see an Olympic sized diving pool has sneaked up on him unexpectedly. For an affiliate the mere sight of an internet cafe can be enough to send them dashing from the beach back into the warm and welcoming arms of a good old internet sesh.

And The Final Fatal Flaw In My Relaxation Plan?

So here I am droning on about the importance of giving your mind a break and where am I? That’s right, in my office writing on this blog. A few major pangs of panic have been over the fact I’m not updating on here as much as usual. The signs of true affiliate addiction methinks ;)

The solution?  It’s clear I need to give myself permission to take a break. So dear readers, Kirsty will be attending “Real World Rehab” until the A4U Expo commences on 12th of October.

I’ll talk to you guys then.

Kirsty Out :)

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My Week On & Off The Web – Google Instant Search

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God Bless You Google – It’s Never Dull!

Ahhh… it’s always the same isn’t it? You decide to take a well earned affiliate holiday and Google turns around and changes all the rules on you!

The introduction of Google Instant Search this week has created widespread anxiety all over the internet. So is it the end of SEO as some have claimed? Frank Paul certainly doesn’t think so.

Of course the new structure of the Google SERPS will definitely mean we’ll see some changes. So far my own stats and traffic levels are pretty much unchanged but as always my attitude is that if I do take a hit I’ll not only find a way to fix it, but also to exploit it. I stand by my earlier comments about affiliates and adversity.

Paul Wright has made some interesting points about the impact of this on affiliate marketing with regards to brand bidding and the possible impact of the consolidation of search phrases away from those longtail searches that are so valuable to all us affiliates. On the other hand, Gregory Lyons thinks that the longtail will see an increase in volume over the longer term.

So to sum up, it’s uncertain business as usual in affiliate land. I’d rather look for opportunities in all of this than threats, I just hope my current “sabbatical” will still allow me to see them in a timely manner.

Speaking of which…

My Week Off The Web

I’ve not had a lot of time for blogging this week with the arrival of our guests, but I thought you guys might like a teeny glimpse of what’s been keeping us apart ;)

Me discovering that Elephants have runny noses.

Meeting a Monitor Lizard at Mapleton Falls.

Proof positive Australia's beaches are NOT overrated (or overcrowded)

Duncs doing some waterfront BBQ-ing... How's the serenity?

So would I like to move back to the UK? Hmmm.....

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My Week On The Web – Most Popular Affiliate WordPress Themes

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Short one this week… I’ve been far too busy trying to get my affairs in order to spend much time reading up on interweb type stuff. However I’ve decided to take a wee break from cleaning out my pantry (I kid you not, things were falling on me when I opened the door) to get a post pushed out.

Wanna Know What The Most Popular Affiliate WordPress Themes Are?

It’s a question that’s not too far from the lips of any affiliate either old or new. Check out this juicy snippet from the 2010 Affiliate Summit Affstat Report which was created from a survey of over 1100 affiliates and get the lowdon on the WordPress themes other affiliates rate.

On a related theme, I also found the gen on the most popular WordPress plugins.

Mackays Self Catering – Are You Serious??

Twice this week I’ve had spammy comments like the one below submitted to my travel website: -

Author : Mellisa Turner (IP: 122.173.79.187 , ABTS-North-Dynamic-187.79.173.122.airtelbroadband.in)
E-mail : mackaysarticle@hotmail.com
URL :
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=122.173.79.187
Comment:
Great stuff!!! Thanks for sharing this information… But I don’t understand why you use one picture four times in more pictures.

Mellisa Turner
Providing <a href=“http://www.mackays-self-catering.co.uk/” rel=”nofollow”>cottages Scotland</a>

I must confess I have absolutely no idea if this sort of activity actually works. I’m far too scared to try it because of the risk of penalty related heart problems. It’s surprising to see a business like Mackay’s Self Catering indulging in this. Such spammy blog commenting is usually from nonsense websites of an erectile disfunction or casino type nature.

Unsubscribe Me!

In other news, I’ve been streamlining my inbox in preparation for my 4 months of limited working time. I get hundreds of unneccessary mails a day, often relating to programmes I’ve no intention of promoting in the near future or merchants I do work with who don’t send out information of value to the way I promote them.

With that in mind, big up unsubscription related kidos to Affiliate Window and Webgains who have a handy little link at the bottom of each mail sent out to help you manage your communication preferences.

Yah boo sucks to Buy.at and CJ whom are going to cause me to have to perform some (possibly fruitless) searches of their FAQs and general affiliate admin areas.

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Affiliate Stuff is Going Back on The Road!

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Yeeeehaaawwww!!  Saddle up them affiliate horses because we’re shaping up to have a good old fashioned aeronautical hoedown here at Affiliate Stuff towers.  We’ve now officially booked an awful lot of flights and are T minus 1 day and counting away from taking a 4 month holiday.

As you can imagine, I’ve not had a lot of time for the old blogging this week as my head is awash with trying to get things shipshape on the business front, and making travel arrangements.

My Itinerary (So Far!)

September 1st to 30th – general Australian fun and close to home adventures with two close friends of ours. We will be based loosely at home but will be roving all over SE Queensland for some travel type fun.

October 1st – Fly to Bangkok – We’re staying here for 3 nights in an as yet undecided hotel. If anyone has any recommendations for tip top swish type places I’d love to hear them. Duncan and I will be giving ourselves a belated wedding anniversary treat so nothing less than lavish will do!

October 4th – Scotland!! We will be spending some time in the South West corner and having a family weekend to spread my grandmother’s ashes. It will be great fun and very sad all at the same time.

October 12th - London. We’ll be at the A4U Expo on the 12th & 13th before spending a weekend with our close friends some of whom we’ve not seen in 2 years. Very exciting!

October 21st - Mediterranean Cruise. We’ll be spending 10 days on holiday in the Med. We decided a cruise was the way to go because its a good way to get round lots of major cities fast and see lots of cool stuff in the limited time we have available. My Mum and Dad have come over all adventurous and are coming with us.

November 5th – Fly to Thailand. We are going to spend 6 nights winding down after our European fun in Koh Chang. Well, we think. Nothing booked yet so could go Samui or somewhere else it’s easy to fly to.

November 13th – Arrive back in Australia and head on home to collapse for a couple of weeks. No work will be done, just chilling.

A Great Way To Round Off Our Skive!!

December 1st – 2 of our fab friends from the UK are hitting Australia to do some touring, so we decided to spend some quality travelling time with them.

No plans other than we have booked a beachfront apartment on Bondi Beach for 6 nights around New Year. We’ll be in town for the famous fireworks too. :D

Anyone Else Around?

If there’s anyone who’d like to meet up with us at the Expo or even any Bangkok  affiliate types who’d like to join us for a drink one night do please drop me a line. Always keen to socialise with my fellow internet marketing addicts!

Nervous Excitement – Will My Work / Outsourcing System Do It’s Stuff??

I’m filled with nervous excitement about all of this – I will be trying to keep all the various bits of outsourcing running smoothly so have been trying to work out roughly how much time I need to find each week to do that and also keep half an eye on e-mails and so on.

If it works well I’ll know I’ve really cracked it so I’m excited and dreading it all at the same time. In the past such jollies for me have ultimately meant things sort of fell to bits as I travelled. If this works properly I should be able to do this and still make good progress with the business. The question is – will I manage it????

I’ll let you guys know in January!

Meanwhile I will still be updating this blog, but with what remains to be seen. A lot of my posting inspiration comes from my working experiences and thoughts – so we shall see what comes out of the complex maze laughingly known as my brain as things progress.

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My Week On The Web & Itchy Owie Caterpillar

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Happy Friday everyone, the weekend is in sight (even more so here in Australia) and it’s time for the best of Kirsty’s week on the web! I’ve changed the name from last week’s rather unimaginative “Friday Further Reading”.

Freaky FourSquare Creepout

Foursquare is a bit of a mystery to me. Of course this is not helped by the fact that I don’t own a mobile phone. However the experience that  Shea Syliva had back in July might make you think twice about how you use it.  Creepy stalker type stuff.  Turns out there really are some nutters hanging around on the internet…

Sell Your House The Affiliate Way

Shawn Collins’ rather beautiful house is on the market, and in typical affiliate style he’s delving into the sales process to try and generate a few targeted leads of his own. Personally I think a lot of Real Estate agents could learn a lot from this sort of highly targeted approach.

Itchy Owie Caterpillar

It’s been a while since I mentioned a creepy crawly experience. To be honest I’m getting used to all the critters here in the sub tropics.

However this week I made the startling discovery that if something as benign as a hairy caterpillar should land upon one’s unwitting neck  it can lead to several days of unfortunate itching and burning. Yes, that’s right. In Australia even caterpillars have poisonous bits on them.

Their official name is the processionary caterpillar (and god help me if I end up with enough in my garden for them to have a parade!) but I’ve re-christened them “The Itchy Owie Caterpillar” because that’s pretty much what they seem to create. General itchy owieness on unfortunate female affiliate marketers taking time out for reflection and a cuppa under a nice shady tree in their garden. Hmph.

Good Guy Of The Week Award

Thanks to Edwyn McFarlane of Affiliate Window who kindly dropped me an e-mail and sent me over some deep links after seeing a frustrated Tweet from me after things went a bit awry for me when I was trying to grab some links on the Awin affiliate interface.  Good to see them and some of the other networks engaging with their affiliates in this way. Thanks Edwyn!

Beware WordPress Theme Functionality

It turns out you really can have too much of a good thing with WordPress theme functionality. This post from Joost De Valk highlights how using  functionality to alter things like titles and descriptions which is included in a theme rather than adding yet another plugin to your setup can end up causing you unneccessary hassles.

Of course in my own case that hasn’t helped much – I currently have a 1,100 page wordpress site which has a broken SEO plugin meaning I can’t edit my existing carefully crafted titles and adding a new plugin will probably delete the lot. I’ve tried screaming into a bucket of water, but to date that solution has been unproductive.

And Finally…. Why Working At Home Is Both Good And Shit At The Same Time!

Want to see the truth of life after going full time as an affiliate? Check this out. And you thought it was all fast cars and glamour!

Have a good weekend everyone :)

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