Affiliate Nerd Out

Publication Partnership Optimization : Adam Weiss on Life as an Agency for Content Sites

August 28, 2023 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 18
Publication Partnership Optimization : Adam Weiss on Life as an Agency for Content Sites
Affiliate Nerd Out
More Info
Affiliate Nerd Out
Publication Partnership Optimization : Adam Weiss on Life as an Agency for Content Sites
Aug 28, 2023 Season 1 Episode 18
Dustin Howes

What happens when you gather a digital consulting expert, a die-hard Mets fan, and a fidget tool aficionado all wrapped into one? You get Adam Weiss, CEO and owner of Weiss Digital Consulting, as our intriguing guest, leading us on an inspiring journey through the labyrinth of affiliate marketing. With his two-decade experience, Adam weaves a vivid picture of the affiliate landscape, guiding us through the maze from his early industry days to his current consulting role. Strap in as we journey through the intricacies of the landscape, exploring its diverse terrain and learning how to monetize publisher sites.

Brace yourself as we break down the complexities of the affiliate space in the company of our affiliate savant, Dustin. As we map out the affiliate space, we discover how coaching and consulting can serve as your GPS, accelerating your on-ramp into this industry. We delve into how the affiliate landscape shifts and morphs, dependent on the business life cycle, and explore how a sub-affiliate network might just be your secret weapon. Plus, we'll reveal why building one-on-one relationships with merchants could be your key to unlocking affiliate success.

In the climactic final segment, we turn our gaze to the future, exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands to revolutionize affiliate marketing networks. Find out how AI can sharpen your affiliate acumen, helping you zero-in on the ideal partners and optimize your programs. We highlight strategies to improve operational efficiency, enhance margins, and provide the ideal pitch to brands and publishers. Stay tuned till the very end as we unveil our next exciting guest and discuss more opportunities in the affiliate domain. Don't miss out on this insightful journey into the heart of affiliate marketing!

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What happens when you gather a digital consulting expert, a die-hard Mets fan, and a fidget tool aficionado all wrapped into one? You get Adam Weiss, CEO and owner of Weiss Digital Consulting, as our intriguing guest, leading us on an inspiring journey through the labyrinth of affiliate marketing. With his two-decade experience, Adam weaves a vivid picture of the affiliate landscape, guiding us through the maze from his early industry days to his current consulting role. Strap in as we journey through the intricacies of the landscape, exploring its diverse terrain and learning how to monetize publisher sites.

Brace yourself as we break down the complexities of the affiliate space in the company of our affiliate savant, Dustin. As we map out the affiliate space, we discover how coaching and consulting can serve as your GPS, accelerating your on-ramp into this industry. We delve into how the affiliate landscape shifts and morphs, dependent on the business life cycle, and explore how a sub-affiliate network might just be your secret weapon. Plus, we'll reveal why building one-on-one relationships with merchants could be your key to unlocking affiliate success.

In the climactic final segment, we turn our gaze to the future, exploring how Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands to revolutionize affiliate marketing networks. Find out how AI can sharpen your affiliate acumen, helping you zero-in on the ideal partners and optimize your programs. We highlight strategies to improve operational efficiency, enhance margins, and provide the ideal pitch to brands and publishers. Stay tuned till the very end as we unveil our next exciting guest and discuss more opportunities in the affiliate domain. Don't miss out on this insightful journey into the heart of affiliate marketing!

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd Out. I am your Nurturator, dustin House, spreading that good word about Affiliate Marketing. You're going to find me nerdin' out with industry folks every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and on LinkedIn Live and wherever you get your podcast. So please consider subscribing my nerd guest today, adam Weiss, ceo and owner of Weiss Digital Consulting. Thanks for joining me, adam. Thanks for having me, dustin.

Adam Weiss:

Good to be here, man.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. You can find Adam and I in here doing some live Q&A. If you have any questions about Affiliate, drop them on in there into the chat and we will do our best to answer your questions, but without further ado. Adam, who are you?

Adam Weiss:

You remind me of that scene in Zoolander.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah.

Adam Weiss:

Where he looks into the puddle and he's like who am?

Dustin Howes:

I. It's exactly what I was going for. You got the dirt, zoolander, look, you are the first person to pick up on that. That is the joke that I'm going after.

Adam Weiss:

I love it, man. I hope at the end of the show you unleash blue steel on your audience. What? Or now, who am I? I'm Adam. Good to be here. Where do I start? Professionally been in the affiliate space for about 20 years or so, spent a long part of my career at a company called Rakhten Advertising, formerly known as Linkshare, where I ran their North American business, and since then, about the last five years, I've been consulting, helping, advising, helping publishers, technology partners, folks like that in the affiliate ecosystem, with everything from strategy to monetization and partnership development. That's the work. Who am I?

Dustin Howes:

That's a gist, okay, I like you, jones, you weren't sure if you were going to go professional or like personal, and you went professional.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, I mean we can go personal. I mean you and I already talked. I mean the first time we spoke, I think we went full.

Dustin Howes:

I know you.

Adam Weiss:

We went full on. I mean, I was in the 80s baseball. I saw the Will. Clark jersey in the background. That's right. Will the?

Dustin Howes:

thrill and we went into it. Legend Legend Mike over at Martek he, he's not a big Will Clark fan, if you if you know that he's a big cups fan, I know that exactly and we'll talk to him apart in the tenet. So he's not a big fan.

Adam Weiss:

Well, I like to tell everyone I'm a I'm a long suffering Metz fan.

Dustin Howes:

I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah. But I'd also say, you know, suffering builds character as well, and the Mets have once again helped build some, some character this year.

Dustin Howes:

They sure do figure it out every year for you Really fun franchise to be a fan of. I'm sure there is hope. It looks good. It really looked good on paper, didn't it?

Adam Weiss:

But the thing is I still have hope.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, that's the key, right? I mean, if you don't have hope, like, where are you in life?

Adam Weiss:

Touche yeah.

Dustin Howes:

Alright, adam, I think I think we've got a gist of who you are Mets fan and affiliate monster. Anybody. Adam's a guest today because he hit this QR code, or he hit me up on Slack in the bar type record forum and wanted to be on board. If you would like to be a guest, just like Adam today, go to dustinhousecom, slash nerd or click this QR code and join me in a future episode. Adam's profile is now in the chat. You can grab Adam if you want to know more information about him. But let's get into your company. Why is digital consulting? How'd you come up with this name?

Adam Weiss:

I'm a branding genius, so I'd like to come up with this name. So it's funny. Actually, when I started, I was trying to figure out all the different things you need to do to start a business, is that?

Dustin Howes:

thing on the baseball in your hand now? Oh, I always do. Yeah, this is my fidget tool, sorry, that's all right, I like it.

Adam Weiss:

It's better than a basketball and something like this, I guess. So I was talking to a friend of mine and she was like don't worry about the name, the website, just like go get some business and learn and figure it out, etc. Etc. So I didn't actually put too much thought into the name. I guess in hindsight maybe I could have come up with something a little cooler. I'm still up into ideas if anyone out there has.

Dustin Howes:

I don't think you want to go backwards. I think the right way is like coming up with something really silly and then you revert back into like your name to brand yourself later on, once you get established.

Adam Weiss:

I guess. So yeah, I think you know it's. I always think there's something that would kind of make it more expensive in terms of explaining what I do when people look at it, and so it doesn't look like it's like just a resume pillar of some sort, when it's actually a real business that I've been running for the last five years. But yeah, that's my name. I could definitely tell you the family history in my name if you want, but I don't think your listeners really care about that.

Adam Weiss:

But yeah, so it was just a quick way to get started and you know when you're starting up your own business too. It's like the little things, like a domain being available, the LLC being available the state that you're registered and making sure all that stuff lines up. And it was. It was, honestly, it was just kind of like an easy thing, just to kind of to do. And here we are.

Dustin Howes:

Easy game. Easiest simplicity is sometimes the best there. So how'd you get into this consulting game you mentioned you were at a network for quite a while and gaining that experience, and then where'd you find this niche to fill?

Adam Weiss:

So I guess I tell a lot of people this, but I always felt or saw that the publisher side of the business specifically felt a little bit underserved, agree or disagree, but completely yes.

Adam Weiss:

It seems like there's. I always tell people there's a ton of great agencies out there managing advertiser programs, ton of great technologies out there helping support advertisers. But it always felt to me like the publisher side again, it's just a little bit underserved and there was a need for help strategically on multiple fronts entering the affiliate market you know growth in the affiliate market, developing partnerships, building relationships, understanding the ecosystem. The list goes on and on. So I sort of hung my hat out there and I was like these are some of the things I'm thinking about and I started talking to a ton of folks. I'm fortunate, you know from my time in the industry knew a lot of good people and I just started calling and talking to people and telling them what I was thinking, asking about pain points, problems they were looking to solve. Again, this is all on the publisher side and it helped me sort of formulate my thoughts around it and get rolling. And, to be honest, to this day I'm still always refining and tweaking the offering. But it's fun to work with publishers who, in my mind, are innovating, creating new and interesting technologies, driving what's happening from an e-commerce perspective and helping them strategically.

Adam Weiss:

I don't know if you've experienced this, but you know people who are entering the affiliate space. If you don't have sort of a map of everything that's going on, it could be confusing. Do I work with? I'm a publisher, so do I work with all these networks? What's a sub network? Who are these agencies that are managing some of the programs? But some of the programs I got a call the advertiser directly, or some of them, the network is the agency. Who do I call? What do I do? So you know that's a simplistic example, dustin, but just helping navigate, I think, is a big thing that you can really, you know, accelerate your entry into the space pretty quickly with someone to sort of help coach you through it.

Adam Weiss:

And then if you're in the space, there are folks who just need a resource senior resources that could come in and help build a plan, solve a problem, establish partnerships, put a strategy in place for a new revenue stream, whatever it is, and so that's sort of how I landed here. It's really just constantly learning, talking to folks and helping solve problems.

Dustin Howes:

Interesting and I agree that there is so many agencies out there helping merchants grow their affiliate program. It's what I do in a different kind of capacity. Why I built the course is to help that do-it-yourself solution before you get to like that agency level right, Like I'm supporting that side, but very rarely do I hear anybody in this industry servicing that publisher side. So love to hear more about like who you're servicing, like what kind of clients would be a good fit for you and what you're doing.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, so it really varies, right, it depends on a plethora of things in terms of who I can work with. I mean, I've worked with large coupon sites, I've worked with loyalty sites, I've worked with a lot of content sites, I've worked with different technologies and it's almost like a matrix of where they're at in their life cycle, you know, from early stage to late, to the model that they have set up and a bunch of other things. But I'll take a look at the business and understand what their problems are. So it's sometimes hard to put it in specific, like here are the three boxes, because everyone's different. Like I said, some of them it's we're just trying to get into the market. We need to understand how to navigate this.

Adam Weiss:

Some of them there's a level of maturity, but they know that there's a revenue stream to be had with things like paid placement or additional partnerships through new networks or new types of economics to bring into the fold. Some of them it could be we're thinking about exiting the business, like what does the landscape look like? Who are some potential partners for us? So it really embarrases, yeah, but it's great. It keeps it interesting and I feel, like you know, in the time I've been doing this, getting under the hood of so many different publisher businesses has been great.

Adam Weiss:

And the other thing I would say, dustin, is it's not just the affiliate revenue piece, it's the revenue piece, but it's also the product itself. And that could be, if you're a content site, that could just be the site itself or it could be a type of technology. And then the third piece is really the customer acquisition piece. Okay, so you could like I've learned, you know you could help on the partnership side and create a great potential revenue stream, but if they're not working on the customer acquisition side or they're not working lockstep, it doesn't matter how many partnerships you have if you don't have people reading your site, coming to your site, subscribing to your newsletter whatever, it is Great, great.

Dustin Howes:

You know one of my favorite folks to follow, adam Infroy. He's doing a lot of things really well in the space in terms of collecting lead generation and like helping publishers like learn how to monetize their blog right. And he's out there and one of the things he preaches is the importance of like creating a blog post and putting organic links in it to begin with, so Google will recognize you as an authority figure, not trying to just make money. You're trying to help people early on and then, once it gets to a certain level page visits that's when he goes and monetizes it. This is just kind of thing you would bring to the table with clients to take on.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah yeah, I mean I never would want to sell myself as an SEO expert, but understanding sort of the principles behind how to build your site and monetize it. If it's just strictly affiliate links, I think from a customer perspective you know to your point like you're not totally adding value. It's okay to have other links on your site to things that are helpful if they're not monetized right.

Adam Weiss:

I think, if you're just really providing some sort of content that adds value for an end consumer, everything else will sort of follow. Easy for me to say right. But I think that the focus is really. Here's something I believe in, here's a way I think I could be helpful, whether it's helpful in terms of learning about a product or even if it's helpful in terms of, you know, finding a coupon or getting cash back. I think, as long as you're sort of core focus is around doing the right thing for the customer, and then let your point of monetization comes afterwards.

Adam Weiss:

I think that's usually a good way to play it.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, great. And what about your strategy on the publishers themselves and like using a sub affiliate network? That's really easy to monetize, right, if you use like a big link to sovereign whatever you may be, they'll put links all over your site and help you monetize that way. But I would assume that you're having clients that are there and want to start making one-to-one relationships and make more money. Is that kind of the natural progression sites?

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, I think, generally speaking, the sub networks provide a great, great opportunity for publishers to ease their way in. Okay, like that, you've got tens of thousands of potential partnerships.

Dustin Howes:

Okay.

Adam Weiss:

And then I think it's really up to the publisher in terms of what their approach is, because, based on the resources you have, you might want to just stick with a sub network. Now I'm biased, having worked at a network and the ability to, you know, set up those direct partnerships, but it seems to, seems to me like the sub networks are providing a little bit more transparency over the years and the ability to sort of optimize from a rate perspective. But yeah, it varies from publisher to publisher in terms of what their approach is. I think usually, like in any business, your top 20% of your, your partners, you're going to want to manage directly. But I think the sub networks provide great coverage beyond those 20%. Or if you have the resources and you want to manage them all directly, a lot of folks go through your traditional rackets in CJ etc.

Adam Weiss:

But, to answer. What I think you know you were getting at is when you're starting out, the sub networks usually are a really great way to get things going, get things going really quickly because everything's aggregated. That's the biggest challenge, right, that the publishers have, I think, is the fragmentation. You got it. If you're an advertiser, you join, you set up your program on one network usually, right, yeah, that's sort of your approach into affiliate. If you're a publisher, you got to join Impact, racket, cj, a-win, skimlin, sovereign, etc. Etc. So it's it's a lot to manage, right, but the sub networks allow you to do that. They condense it for you.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, and speaking of managing, is there any tools that you're big on that puts all of that management solutions in one spot? Affilimate comes to mind as a possible solution. Right, I love what they're doing over there. I do OK, so is that one of their go-to. Yeah, that's the one.

Adam Weiss:

Well, I mean a lot of. What I'm doing, to be honest, is a little more strategic. I'm not putting in software or anything like that I might make recommendations though, but yeah, I mean like Affilimate comes to mind.

Adam Weiss:

I think they're doing a phenomenal job. There's obviously Trachonomics as well, broke and the team at FMTC that's always a go-to for publishers, and they're looking to streamline and consumer offers. Those are a couple that come to mind, but I feel like we're in a great time where more and more stuff is popping up in terms of tools being built to help out publishers, but for me, it's not so much here. Let me implement this particular technology. I'll more make the recommendations. If you're thinking about X, here are your options, and then I could make some suggestions off of that.

Dustin Howes:

OK, got you. Well, now that we're on the subject, affilimate is one of my favorites out there, so go to dustinhousecom slash Affilimate. I'm a big person, so I put all of my affiliate links and standardize it and do a quick redirect. Is that another one of your suggestions for publishers out there?

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, what made you choose Affilimate to set up Trus? Because I think they're great. I think they're doing a great job.

Dustin Howes:

Just market research altogether. In truth be told, affilimate helped them create their affiliate program originally and I like the tool. But they are much more focused on the agency side, which end up getting captured up by impact in the long run, but I like their tool On that side. I just stopped using it because Affilimate seemed like the next solution that was upgrading, so that's how I got there Awesome.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, awesome, love it. Yeah, great team there, great product. Definitely a fan.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I will have her on Eventually. I keep poking her to get on here, you should.

Adam Weiss:

Give her enough.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, absolutely All right. So let's switch gears a little bit here and I want to get you to defend your post here early. This is always a tradition on my podcast to oh wait, wait a second. We had a chat and I wanted to get to that really quick here. Khalid dropped a great question for us. Thanks for the broadcast. We rarely find live about affiliate marketing for pros. My question here is how the I'm going to say AI will affect affiliate networks, as seems to be helpful for advertiser and pubs. Any AI tactics that you're using or suggest to pubs out there, adam?

Adam Weiss:

Well, I think a lot of these technologies are starting to incorporate AI into what they're doing.

Adam Weiss:

I think, based on this question around how it will affect affiliate networks, I think one of the biggest challenges is finding the right partners, and a lot of that work happens through experience. You just know that these publishers work well for this particular vertical. But how do we find new publishers, how do we find new opportunities? How do we understand what's up and coming? And I think that's really where a lot of the AI that's out there will be able to support a lot of these programs.

Adam Weiss:

In terms of identifying partnerships that perhaps you might not have looked at previously but, based on a number of factors, I'm far from an expert on how it all works, but I would assume you can look at a bunch of different parameters around your program and what you're looking for and what's been successful elsewhere. And if you start to look at it from a benchmark perspective of here are a bunch of publishers who've worked for similar advertisers, or maybe advertisers you don't see as similar, but perhaps somewhere hidden there's a couple of skews that might relate to what you're doing. There are ways to. I think that it will help in terms of making partnership recommendations, which is really what I think the opportunity is. And then also, how do you optimize? What's the best way to optimize from an economic perspective?

Dustin Howes:

as well.

Adam Weiss:

Those are things that come to mind for me.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I think today, as it stands from the public's perspective, you build a piece of content that has high keyword volume and low difficulty if you're going the organic route. And once you build that piece of content, now you have to find the merchants that you want to support with this piece of content. And what's the process today? You go look up best. Whatever that keyword is software solutions or whatever it might be You're going to get a list from another blogger and you're going to go and join their affiliate programs. But I think there could be a better solution for publishers to find the right brands to work with, and maybe that's coming with AI. I figure somebody is going to be out there creating this product here soon.

Adam Weiss:

Well, I think there's two parts to it. There's the question around the affiliate networks, and that's where I think the opportunity to figure out who the right partners are who the? Partners are. But you touched on something on the publisher side which is to me outside of the affiliate networks, but the AI just sort of help from a content development standpoint. Now I'm certainly not advocating to have AI write all your content.

Dustin Howes:

Sure.

Adam Weiss:

Because, as a consumer, I want to know that almost literally, someone ran in those shoes that I'm about to buy. But I do think that there are probably ways that AI can at least help surface things like you're talking about. Here are gaps in the market, here are posts that haven't been updated in X time frame. There's probably ways to leverage it that create a little more operational efficiency content publishers, which then helps. Also when you have that operational efficiency, improves margin as well for a lot of them. So I think that's where there's an opportunity on the publisher side.

Dustin Howes:

Ok, gotcha, it brings up another point for advertisers out there. If you're on an affiliate network, you better be stuffing keywords on your profile page, Like with all the keywords you can possibly get in there. Utilize them, Because when publishers are going to search a keyword, you better show up. Too often do I see affiliate managers just forget this aspect on a network to put in the right keywords for whatever you're trying to rank for organically. And I would assume you would see the same when you're out there looking for good merchants to work with.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, I mean, there are merchants who have great brands that everyone wants to work with and are some that are just still unknown. But the reason why they're in the affiliate space right is to get coverage and to have publishers pick them up. So I think there's a lot of things that you got to do, depending on who you are as a publisher and what you're looking to do. I know that there's a lot of brands that often are pitching publishers to cover their products, sending samples and recommending pitches and things like that.

Adam Weiss:

So there's probably kind of a multi-pronged approach you got to take, and then also again, it depends where you are in terms of size and recognition as an advertiser.

Dustin Howes:

OK.

Adam Weiss:

In order to get that.

Dustin Howes:

Great let's. Let's just expand on that. Like you're getting approached, you've got clients in the publisher space and I'm an affiliate manager representing a brand. What's the best way to approach you with, like the best pitch possible to get you interested in in what I'm throwing at you?

Adam Weiss:

That's a good question. I think a lot of times, to be honest, you know from the work I'm doing it's the other way around, where you're helping publishers positioning themselves to brands Bottom line.

Adam Weiss:

it's like the two way street. Okay, it's got to be. I think when brands reach out, you know, want to understand who they are, what products they're selling. You know the nuts and bolts of the program, but you know you really want to understand what their brand messaging is, what they stand for, values, because you want to make sure that some alignment as well.

Dustin Howes:

But on the flip side for the publisher.

Adam Weiss:

I think it's all about as well. Here's the here's who we are. Here's what we stand for. Here's what we're offering. Here's why it should work. Here's what we're trying to accomplish. And then there's that layer of goals. What are you trying to? When I talk to a brand, I don't write away, I'm not like right away saying here's publisher X and it's 10,000 bucks, please come work with that. Right. It's more about you know. What are your goals as a company? What are your goals for the affiliate program? What's working? What's not working? What are you trying to achieve in terms of the mix of publishers you're working with? What are you investing in? What are you not investing in? How do things like influencer play into affiliate?

Adam Weiss:

How do things like, whatever it is, content, play into, affiliate. So really trying to understand and then that helps me say, okay, well, based on the publisher I might be working with at that point in time, here's where I see the fit, because I don't want to just throw something out there and they're like oh, we're not working with what I put coupon sites. I want to understand first what, how they, how they operate, what they look for. A lot of times they will work with coupon sites but there are certain parameters that they put on. So trying to understand and I feel like that's something that's maybe fairly basic but sometimes gets lost in the shuffle in the space Agreed. So sort of understanding what they're looking to achieve and then seeing how it lines up and sometimes it's not a fit, that's okay, we'll part ways as friends.

Dustin Howes:

The some of those basic fundamentals are the things I'm preaching in the course and the things I really plug in that people might be forgetting sometimes, that are especially good for for people that have a couple of years of industry experience that might need to get in there. Hey, anyway, khalid, really appreciate the question. Great question out there. Now we're going to move into that. Defend your post situation here at him and I scoured your LinkedIn for something controversial and you have nothing like everything was just top, top, top of, just top of water, like you just chill in nothing, nothing crazy. But one thing I did want to highlight is something amazing. I think you do and this is your update every quarter of this performance marketing publisher landscape. Tell me about why you even created this to begin with, and like, how long did this take you to like create?

Adam Weiss:

It is insane. It took me a while. You know I am a visual learner, I guess myself. So we were talking about earlier that sort of understanding the affiliate landscape and kind of who's who and man. It's been so long that I've kind of it's always been one of these things I've been working on like on the side and over over the years.

Adam Weiss:

I think every once in a while I would like you know, add a few logos. Or I'd speak to a friend in the industry and say what do you think of this? Is it missing anything? Is it categorized right? And I just thought it would be helpful for people to get a visual understanding of how best the affiliate publisher landscape is. And I probably guess what do you think, dustin? I think that's 10, 15% of publishers out there, maybe less. There's so many, I mean especially against the long tail.

Adam Weiss:

But I tried to cover a lot of the big ones that I knew are up and coming, ones that I saw in the space, and my hope is that you know it gives people a sense of like, wow, there really is a lot of quality distribution in the affiliate space and as an advertiser, I should be taking advantage of that, not only the advertisers who are currently in the space but that you know roughly 20% that are not an affiliate. Today, oh wow, I can be partnered with a dot dash Meredith property or her property or top cashback or racketeer or a capital on, or honey or whoever it is, and this is how I do it. So I wanted just everyone to sort of get that visual. It's not perfect and I would love I always love getting feedback on it. I've realized there's a lot of overlap meeting a loyalty publisher as coupons or a coupon publisher as content or a content publisher as deals. So I've got a lot of that feedback like, oh, this person should be here, this publisher be there.

Dustin Howes:

Everybody's a critic, right.

Adam Weiss:

Well, I appreciate the feedback, but yeah, but it's good criticism and I realized until I could like do like some sort of sort of like Star Wars three-dimensional.

Dustin Howes:

It's got to be a Vim diagram or like scoop into a little bit of a piece of there.

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, it needs to be something like I yeah, star Wars were like you know, I don't know like Minority Report, when they're moving the stuff around on the screen, like it's got to be something like that. But when it's two-dimensional it makes it a little bit harder. But I am constantly trying to improve it and you know, but I publish it, I will tell you. You know. So I, as you might know, I'm an advisor to Martek record, but I've been helping Mike out for a long time and he was the one who was like, just publish it. He's like it's good. He's like you want to be perfect, he's like you want to be perfect. And I was like, yes, he's like just it's good.

Adam Weiss:

So the advice I always seem to get throughout my career is like just do it, just just go, just do it.

Dustin Howes:

Great advice from Mike Mcnerney there. That is great. I'm going to go see this thing. Go to DustinHousecom slash pubs and that'll redirect you.

Adam Weiss:

It is a. Thing.

Dustin Howes:

It is. It is a one of a kind thing that is out there. Nobody else is taking the time to do that and like it's so true, like it doesn't need to be perfect, but you, this is an incredible resource. If you get a hold of a new client or a new job, this is the one place I would suggest people go immediately to go look at what kind of potential affiliates you could be working with with that new brand, and it's extremely helpful for me. I go back to it every time and I I make a hit list. I mean, I have contacts at these. All these publications not all of them, but like a lot of these publications.

Adam Weiss:

There's so many moving parts on this industry all the time, like people come and people go, but Dustin, would you, would you be willing to take down the Will Clark Jersey and put this up there in the background instead? Oh, I'm asking the hard hitting questions now, Dustin.

Dustin Howes:

Wow.

Adam Weiss:

I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I know the love for Will Clark.

Dustin Howes:

You know what? I could probably add it to the whiteboard, but like covering up, will you know what? I'll tell you what. If McNerney comes on and joins me, I'll put it over the Will Clark Jersey. But you got to send me the old big board here.

Adam Weiss:

I'll do it, but I will say, if anyone is listening, I would say I love you.

Adam Weiss:

No, yeah, it's right. I mean, whoever is. That's terrible. You can just cut me off right now. You just cut no to all the folks who will be listening or are listening. If there are publishers that are missing, please send them away. If you have thoughts on categories, on other ways to do, I can't promise, like I was saying, I can't promise I can make all the changes, because there's so many different layers, like we were talking about, it really does need to be three dimensional, but I really welcome the feedback and I also I'm sure you'd agree, Dustin, like I love just hearing about new publishers and who else is out there and that's been.

Adam Weiss:

The fun part is when people ping me and they're like hey, have you, have you heard about this? We'd love to get them into the landscape map, have you heard of them? And then I start to take a look or I'll talk to them and understand who they are and what they're doing. It's a great way to learn about new distribution out there, so I welcome that from all the listeners.

Dustin Howes:

And I welcome that as well. I want you to come and be my guest. If you're a publisher out there, I want to hear your perspective and I would love to have you on here. If you got something cool going on, we want to hear about it over here at affiliate nerd out. So I want to switch gears here one more time and talk about the right time for affiliate marketing, Like when you're taking on clients. Like what do you see as I get standard for taking on clients where they could really benefit from your help.

Adam Weiss:

So if you're not using affiliate today, but you have a recognizable brand, you have traffic and you're trying to figure out a new or alternate monetization strategy, that's the right time. If you are a startup and you have a plan in terms of growth, you've maybe raised a little money. You're thinking about raising money.

Adam Weiss:

It's a meaning it's something that you're putting a real concerted effort behind, and a lot of times when you are starting up, resources are thin. That's the time when I could help, I do think, although sometimes, like I was saying earlier, the traffic and the product and the partnership piece has to come together. There is something to be said about having the operational infrastructure to support it when the traffic is there. You don't want to have this influx of traffic and then be scrambling to figure out how do I incorporate affiliate into the mix. So I think it's another time or a lot of the folks I work with are mid-sized to large businesses who are just looking to solve a particular problem. So maybe something like time for affiliate, but the right time for Adam. You need some help, some strategic help in terms of creating new revenue streams or optimizing what you have. A lot of times it could just be a one-off project that you need someone kind of senior strategic to help you tackle. That's where I come in Fantastic.

Dustin Howes:

What's the best way for people to get a hold of you? Is it on LinkedIn?

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, linkedin, you can email me. Since we already talked about the long domain name, I have adam at wisedigitalconsultingcom or go to the site, or I'm on the more tech Slack as well.

Dustin Howes:

Great point on that. I can't emphasize enough, like the importance of a community. Just as we were talking about the publishers that you have listed on that giant thing, as I like to call it, it's going to cover Will Clark here, no-transcript Martech Record and the forum that we have there on that Slack channel is the community that is asking each other these questions about. Hey, anybody got a contact over here. I really need to get a hold of that, and the people that are out there helping this community are really incredible. It's a very nice aspect of what they're doing over there.

Adam Weiss:

That's the great part about the industry too. Everyone is helpful. You go to one of the conferences and you feel like it's old home week seeing people you know, meeting new people, people making introductions. That's a great part of the industry, in my opinion.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, awesome, yeah, awesome. Another industry that we are joined to, and how I know, adam, is the PMA. If you are not a part of the PMA and a member yet, go and join. Absolutely love the value of what they give you for your membership each year. What's your favorite part about the PMA here, adam?

Adam Weiss:

I love the research that they did. I mean, I still use it in terms of the market size. I think it's great to have a sense of how big our industry is. I think it was 9.1 billion was the number they threw out there. I think it's a sense that's so helpful to me when I'm looking at clients and understanding what their opportunity is. So I love that about the PMA and I hope they keep pushing out data like that.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, absolutely. There are some great benefits to being in this organization, so go and check it out yourself. Last topic, before I let you go here I know you spend a lot of time at the networks and that work life balance. You know agencies get a bad rap, but I feel like network life is like you're breeding ground for your young employees just getting into affiliate marketing. Do you think that's still true today?

Adam Weiss:

Yeah, I mean in terms of a growth opportunity for folks entering the space. Absolutely, I always say I feel like the network is the interchange of everything that's going on in our space. Everything passes through it at the end of the day Advertisers, publishers, they partner through the networks, track the transactions. We handle the transactions, the payments products, product feeds, reporting, analytics it's all happening through the network. So when you're working there, you really get like the proverbial. I know you did. I think you did a podcast on bad catchphrases in the industry.

Dustin Howes:

Yes, we did Clichets, for sure, Clichets thank you, I'm going to do it.

Adam Weiss:

So the 30,000 foot view was that on there. Did they mention that one?

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, we argued about whether it was 60,000 or 50,000 or 30,000.

Adam Weiss:

I think most planes are usually like 30, 35,000. But anyway, the 30,000 foot view of the industry. You really see it all and so I think coming into space for me. I started working on the publisher side of the business 20 years ago and I really feel like being at the network because I was able to see so many different businesses and things happening. It really was a great perspective and a great introduction to the industry. And then I've seen over the years folks who've worked for me and worked at the network go on to work at brands, work at publishers, work at agencies, start their own agencies, become senior people at brands and agencies. So to me, from where I've sat, it's really been a great breeding ground for folks in the industry to learn and to grow.

Dustin Howes:

Absolutely Totally agreed. My first job in this industry is at CJ and it took me three positions and five interviews before I got hired into that third position that I went for, and it's because I didn't have any industry expertise. Everything could prepare you for what affiliate marketing is. Except for doing your best to prepare for those kinds of interviews, and if you know anybody in this industry that would, you would like them to get their first job in the industry. Have them go check out performancemarketingmanagercom, the online course that teaches you everything affiliate marketing and how to create and scale and affiliate program.

Dustin Howes:

All right, that's enough for today here. For those of you that are constantly on here, my guest on Thursday is going to be another veteran. Chuck Hamrick is going to join me from a bot link hanging out. If you would like to be a guest on affiliate nerd out, go get this QR code and be my next guest. Go to dustinhousecom slash nerd. And if you would like 15 minutes of my time to talk about anything affiliate, go to dustinhousecom slash pod. That's it for me. Adam, really appreciate your time. Thanks for coming in and learning out with me.

Adam Weiss:

Thanks, dustin, it's fun man, all right.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome, I'm trying hard, you all today.

Affiliate Marketing and Consulting in Industry
Navigating the Affiliate Space
AI's Impact on Affiliate Marketing Networks
Affiliate Marketing and Industry Insights
Guest Announcement and Affiliate Opportunities