2011 is almost over and it was quite a year both personally and professionally. As I was looking back over everything writing this post, I was surprised by just how much we had grown.
As most of you know, we changed our name from PPV Playbook to Aff Playbook. This change reflects the fact that the forum has tons of content in addition to PPV. I was a little nervous about the name change because ‘PPV Playbook' was so well branded. I really wanted to not appear just focused on PPV however, so decided to pull the trigger. The name change was really well received and I'm glad we did it.
2011 saw solid growth of the forum and each month we set a new record. One of the things I am most proud of is all the success stories to come out of the forum. We had people posting everything from their first $1 of profit, into the thousands. Here are just a few…
What's even more impressive is the people whose lives have been changed as a result of joining the forum. That might sound a little cheesy I know but I meet a lot of affiliates at shows who tell me how they got their start on the forum.
We continued to deliver awesome case studies & lessons. It was really cool that we had so many members sharing their case studies too. It's always great to get ideas from multiple sources. We didn't just have your run of the mill ‘My campaign that made blah blah on blah blah traffic source' type case studies. We had some of those sure, but we also had case studies on building email lists, direct mail, product creation, offline marketing, and even manufacturing. Here are a few examples…
Another addition in 2011 I am really excited about, is the addition of the adult marketing section. This section is lead by an adult industry veteran, and the content is really great!
We continued our webinars and had some great guests like Traffic Vance…
Corey continued to develop the Affportal toolset with great new additions like the jQuery landing page generator. We also got some API access to build out the SEO toolset. Corey has a new tool coming out (preview in the forum) that I can't talk about publicly, but it's something that everyone is going to want. Funny story – I've know Corey for years, yet only met him for the first time in person at the last ASE!
Speaking of ASE, we had a lot of great meetups – ASW, adtech SF, ASE. We do them at most of the major shows and they are always a great time. Instead of doing the loud music and activities, we usually keep it mellow with drinks and networking. People love these events because they can actually hear each other and talk. I know a few people who have developed very profitable partnerships from meeting at our parties.
If you're going to be as ASW, you should come to our celebrity Penthouse meetup.
2011 was also the year everyone decided they were going to start a forum. This was …flattering? Funny? Entertaining none the less. Some people found out that Vbulletin + a few case studies wasn't quite the easy money they hoped.
I'll take it as a compliment if I make running a forum look easy, because it's anything but. To do it well anyway. The increased number of forums actually helped solidify what Aff Playbook is all about. Based on all the comments I received, people realized that Aff Playbook is full of helpful people who are interested in building a real business.
In 2011 I started some new businesses. Some went well, but some totally bombed. I'm going to be documenting those in the forum. I think you can learn as much by failures (and often MORE) than you can from success. One of my most recent ventures has some potential venture capital funding. We are really excited about this and it will also open up a whole new area of growth for the forum.
Thanks & Stuff
I have a lot of people to thank for all their help this last year. In no particular order..
My friend Mark from CTR Tard did numerous projects for me and helped me out of a few technical jams. He helped finish the move to Aff Playbook, and got the mobile version of the forum working.
Corey for bouncing ideas around with me. We've had a lot of good ideas, some bad ideas, and everything in between. I'm glad we get along so well.
My awesome mods (some who have come and gone) Lee, Tracy, Jon, Mike, Joe, Mark, Andrew, Brian. I hope you guys know how much I appreciate all the help. I know you are busy running your own businesses and can't always post, but I really appreciate all the help.
My cats, who somehow became super affiliates and Affbuzz mascots. I would also like to say thanks to my friend Justin from Affbuzz. He was one of my first good friends in the industry and has helped me a lot.
Adam Bunch who has helped out in the forum (when he feels like it) and our mastermind sessions. It seriously wasn't too long ago that Adam was a forum member struggling for success. He told me “I'm just going to build 5 campaigns every single day from now on”, and it wasn't too long before his income grew exponentially.
I also want to thank all my members for helping grow the forum. I try to help you guys as much as I can whether it's telling you to suck it up keep going with a campaign, or trying to make the content in the forum the best it can be.
2012 is going to be the biggest year for the forum yet. I'm not going to outline everything just yet, but you won't want to miss this. We'll have the usual great case studies, lessons, and webinars, but even more resources and opportunities for members to grow their business beyond what most affiliates achieve.
Have a great New Year!