ASW – Mischief. Mayhem. Cookies.

This was definitely the best ASW yet and I had a blast. We got in on Saturday night and headed to check in at the Palms Place. We were pretty blown away when we walked into the suite. A lot of people asked us what celebrity owned it, and we aren't 100% sure (they wouldn't tell us). We even searched some property records but came up with nothing. What we do know is that Eminem, Hulk Hogan, and Jessica Simpson have a penthouse on that floor (and there are only a couple) so take your pic and tell people you partied in Eminem's penthouse ๐Ÿ™‚

View from the Balcony at night. It was really weird being higher than the actual Palms hotel…

Even cooler when sitting in the hot tub

It was a little unnerving leaning up against the glass looking down 57 stories, but one of the most amazing views in all of Vegas.

A couple shots during the daytime…

The inside was great too…

Sunday – Up at 7am to get ready for the mastermind and party…

The mastermind went really well, and judging by the comments I got afterwards everybody else though so too. I didn't quite know how this would turn out, because it was the first time we did a mastermind of this length. We managed to stay somewhat on schedule thankfully!

I went first and presented 3 concepts/case studies I had been working on lately. They were pretty interesting ideas and I gave everybody some solid long term strategies.

Chris was next up and talked about how he started as a total newbie and what he learned on his way to becoming a super successful affiliate. This was a great talk because Chris really outlined what he did right and wrong on his way to success.

Next was a quick lunch followed by Stefanie's presentation. Stefanie talked about some SEO strategies and showed the effect different experiments had on her rankings.

J-SiN was next and presented on PPV and host and post. I think this really opened up people's eyes to the opportunity with host and post and just how much you could do with that data.

Adam was next, and talked about the mindset and strategies he uses. This presentation broke the Aff Playbook records for most profanity, shortest tie (shirt tie), and most laughter.

Jason from Ads4Dough finished up the presentation. This was a great talk and I think very motivating for a lot of people. Jason has a unique perspective as the owner of one of the top affiliate networks. Jason's talk focused on what he sees as the biggest opportunities for affiliates right now. He also shared the story of an affiliate who recently did $95 million in revenue in a single year. This talk really opened people's eyes to just how much money is out there if you are willing to work for it.

We had a really cool truck limo type thing waiting to take a few attendees over to Caesars who wanted to go to the Adsimilis meetup. I had pics of this but they got deleted off my phone ๐Ÿ™

After the talk, we did our party preparations. A big thanks to jleone and lonelyplanet for helping carry up all the beer! We didn't have too long to prepare before people started showing up.

Of course, we had a huge cookie table thanks to Stefanie.

I was told these cookies had a very high CTR (chomp through rate). These were a huge hit and went great with all the alcohol we had on hand…

groomez, lucidpsimc, and woyshush1 decided to jump in the hot tub…

The party was a ton of fun. I really wished I could have talked to everyone longer, but the night went super quick. Oh…the cat waitresses. So, the day before we left, we made a mad dash to the costume store and got some ‘sexy cat costumes' (felt a little silly asking the clerk to show us where those were). I confirmed several times with the girls what time the event was, etc. and somehow they BOTH managed to flake!

The next day we got up, checked out of the penthouse (with a tear in our eye) and headed to the show. CTRtard and I walked the floor for 5 minutes and decided it was stupid, then walked it again for 5 minutes and decided to leave. The floor is ok if you want to check it out, but not where the real business gets done. There seemed to be less affiliate networks with booths this year. Gone were the giant corner booth, in favor of small ones or not having one at all.

The weirdest thing we got on the floor was some ‘flavor inhaler' thing (like an e-cigarette except with flavor?) that was supposed to be some weight loss thing. I got vanilla cupcake but threw it away as I thought of carcinogenic toxins flowing into my lungs.

Next, I went to lunch with Stefanie, CTRtard, Jonathan Volk, J-SiN, Justin (Affbuzz) and the Tapit crew at the Bellagio buffet.

Me with the Tapit guys

Afterwards, I had a meeting with the VP of Traffic Vance. He told me some really cool stuff that TV is coming out with this next year, that I can't mention yet, but it's going to be very good for affiliates. TV wanted to know what affiliates were up to these days (traffic and offers) so we talked a bit about that. We are going to be working on a few things together concerning affiliates and Traffic Vance that I'm really excited about.

After that, we went and checked into the Aria. It was nothing like the Palms Penhouse, but still a pretty cool hotel. Then it was off to dinner at Spago with Stefanie, Chris & his wife, Hung (Chris' business partner), J-SiN and his wife, Browie and his wife, and CTRtard. Stefanie and I then headed off to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. Very cool show if you haven't seen it.

We had plans of going out afterwards but 2 days of almost no sleep and constant talking were taking their toll so we headed back and crashed.

Every year at ASW there seems to be a theme you pick up on by talking to everyone. The theme this year was definitely that affiliate marketing is great as a starting point to building a real business. I was pretty glad to hear people talking like this because it's something I've been trying to convince people of for a while, and one of the core concepts of the Aff Playbook forum. There seems to be (on average) a 1-3 year longevity for people doing pure affiliate marketing (traffic to cpa offer arbitrage). Most people then get into starting their own traffic source, ecommerce, product, network, app, etc. This theme was really consistent with everyone I talked to, and most of my affiliate friends are either working mostly on their own business, or headed in that direction.

I'm not saying there is no money in running traffic to offers. The $95 million/year affiliate Jason spoke of is proof enough of that. My point is that it's pretty tiring babysitting campaigns all day and night, dealing with networks, traffic sources, etc, etc. and eventually people grow tired of that and see the value in building an actual business.

There is also a definite divide between a new generation of affiliates and the older generation. Most (not all) of the new generation, younger affiliates are really into the traffic arbitrage thing with no intention of doing anything else while the older generation has done that and sees there is more money to be made elsewhere.

Some other random thoughts from the show…

– Fraud is rampant in the CPA space. There are networks out there running almost nothing BUT fraud traffic.

– The pushier the people at booths are, the less I want to talk to them.

– For every traffic source of offer people say is dead, I met people who were doing really well with them.

– The smartest people don't make the most money, and sometimes seemingly stupid people make a killing. It's all about not outsmarting yourself.

– Nothing replaces face to face contact. If you want to grow your business, nothing can beat meeting people in person.

– There are fewer and fewer CPA networks I actually want to do business with.

– As successful as you think you are, someone else is making 50x what you are.

– There is more opportunity to become a millionaire online than hardly anyone realizes (with affiliate marketing and other businesses).

A special thanks to Ads4Dough, Dream Marriage, and Beyond Hosting for sponsoring the party. I also really want to thank Stefanie, Adam, J-SiN, Chris, and Smaxor for helping put on a great mastermind.

Thanks also to the people who attended the mastermind. I hope you got a lot out of it! Last but not least, thanks to everyone who came to our event. It was great meeting new forum members, and seeing people again.

Definitely try to make it out to the next's a great opportunity for you professionally and personally ๐Ÿ™‚