Competitive Research

Keeping an eye on your competitors is an important task to do regularly. This will help you get ideas and notice trends.

Competitive research

The good thing is that many competitors will make it easy for you by maintaining Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, Facebook pages, as well as making blog posts.

Right now, go and follow any of these that are out there for sites similar to you, or those you hope to compete with in the future.

No excuses here, because it doesn't cost anything to do this. It's just a matter of investing some of your time to learn and grow your business.

Another thing I would recommend is to monitor changes to the sites of your competitors. This is actually easier than you might think.

There is a free service called ChangeDetection where you can put in URLs of pages to track and you'll get email alerts when there are changes.

And when you get these updates and changes from your competitors, make sure to check them out and take note of what they are doing.

This is a great way to get inspiration and identify trends.

Networking at Meetups and Conferences

While you can learn about affiliate marketing online, I think there is no substitute for face to face networking and learning.

Meetups and conferences

A couple years ago, I moved from New Jersey to Texas and didn't really know anybody in my new city. So I went to and searched for affiliate marketing.

I found a number of relevant meetups and joined.

Soon after, I was attending the meetups and seeing quality speakers for free, as well as meeting lots of helpful folks while networking.

Since I found the meetups to be so useful, I started up a local affiliate marketing meetup, and later we created Affiliate Summit meetups across the U.S. and Canada.

And then there are affiliate marketing conferences. It's a little tough to be objective, since I co-founded Affiliate Summit back in 2003, and it has become the biggest industry conference in the world.

There are other conferences, mostly run by the affiliate networks, that I attend, but I'd suggest investigating Affiliate Summit when you get to the point that you can invest funds in your affiliate marketing business.

But don't attend conferences before you can afford them. While you are working towards having a budget for conferences, you can see past Affiliate Summit sessions on YouTube.

As I mentioned, Affiliate Summit was founded by Missy Ward and me in 2003 for the purpose of providing educational sessions on the latest industry issues and fostering a productive networking environment for affiliate marketers.

Attendees at Affiliate Summit events break out into five main categories: agencies, affiliates, merchants, networks, and vendors.

The conference features a number of keynote addresses, as well as dozens of breakout sessions, plus three days of exhibitors and networking.

Affiliate Marketing Blogs and a Magazine

The landscape of affiliate blogs is frequently evolving with new people starting up and others disappearing for different career paths.


In 2012, Affiliate Summit asked conference attendees for their feedback on their favorite affiliate marketing blogs.

The top 25 affiliate marketing blogs were compiled to help affiliate marketers in their search for the latest affiliate marketing trends, resources, and advice.

Here are the Top 25 Affiliate Marketing Blogs of 2012 listed in alphabetical order. You can find a wealth of information on affiliate marketing from these great blogs.

  1. Ad Hustler Blog
  2. Affiliate ABCs
  3. Affiliate Marketing Blog
  4. Affiliate Marketing, Business Strategy & E-Commerce 3.0
  5. Affiliate Summit Blog
  6. | 100% Praxiswissen Affiliate Marketing
  9. AM Navigator Affiliate Marketing Blog
  10. Dukeo
  11. Eric Nagel
  12. Experience Advertising
  13. FeedFront
  14. Finch Sells
  15. Inside the Secret Life of a Super Affiliate –
  16. iPyxel Creations
  17. John Chow dot Com
  19. Marketing Gorilla
  20. Merchant ABCs
  23. Nickycakes
  25. Skimlinks Blog
  26. Tricia Meyer, Affiliate Marketer

In adding the list, I realized there were 26 blogs included. Oh well, consider that a bonus resource for you.

FeedFront MagazineAnother free affiliate marketing resource for you to check out is FeedFront Magazine.

FeedFront is the official magazine of Affiliate Summit. The magazine is dedicated to bringing ideas, resources, and opinions from Internet marketing innovators to you before your next project or venture.

That's the reasoning behind the name – you get the insight on the front end, rather than feedback after you've executed.

Articles are one-page and written by folks in the industry that actually do what they're writing about. The magazine comes out quarterly and it's free to U.S. addresses.

There are links from the FeedFront site to all of the past issues.

Subscribe to FeedFront Magazine to get it in your mailbox.

Affiliate Marketing Education

Affiliate marketers should consume a steady diet of information to continually evolve their businesses.

Get your affiliate marketing education

There are a variety of free and paid resources out there to learn the latest industry news, tips, and resources for affiliate marketers.

Take advantage of these opportunities to improve and make the most of your affiliate site(s).

Keep your affiliate marketing business healthy – this is a constantly changing industry, and it is vital to stay in the loop.

Good luck.