Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

 

Colombia and ASW Recap

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

What’s going on guys?

It’s been ages since I’ve written (actually since my last Colombia trip in August). I wanted to do a quick recap of my second trip to Colombia. This time I put together sort of a mastermind / vacation with a few affiliates that I know personally and work with. December was a really great time to visit, considering the weather was way nicer than it was in NYC and the city itself was gearing up for Christmas celebrations and that meant lots of lights, parades, and fiestas.

This is the place I found for us to stay at for the month. I decided to do a little video tour of the penthouse. Check it out below:

While a month might seem like a long vacation, we actually all worked for about half the day and then explored the city for the rest of the day. There was an awesome outdoor row of restaurants sitting atop the mountain and we would sometimes bring our work there and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the city while working on our campaigns. While there, Ian Fernando and I actually filmed a Q&A for affiliates that had questions about how to improve their campaigns. Check it out the video below and the transcript on Ian’s blog:

Following our stay in Medellin, we all headed over to Cartagena, a coastal city of Colombia, for about a week. There was a huge electronic dance music concert called SummerLand going on featuring Dash Berlin, Armin van Beuren, Avicii, and a whole host of other really awesome internationally known DJs. We figured it’d be a great way to bring in 2014 and end our trip and it was. We all had a blast and who could complain about ringing in the new year in nice 85 degree weather? Of course this didn’t make a lot of my northeast friends happy :)

summerlandpic

After Cartagena, I returned back to Colombia for about a week before flying straight to Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2014. Well not really straight there considering the initial delay which resulted in having to take a multi-connection flight, but in the end I made it to Vegas, which was a good thing considering I was speaking there on a panel regarding Affiliate Marketing Strategies on Facebook with Ian and Jj Alan.

me-speaking-new

The session actually went really well and according to the post-conference feedback as well as attendees coming up to us after our session, people really enjoyed our session and learned a lot. It was a really great experience to have been able to field questions from such an intelligent audience and help provide them with strategies that they could use to better their businesses. It was odd and humbling at the same time to be the speaker being approached after the session and everyone trying to get a minute to ask their question. I hope I was able to help a lot of people and I definitely think I’ll be speaking again at some event in the future. Also, a big thanks to Shawn and Missy for giving us the opportunity to speak!

Another reason I was glad to have made it to Vegas was that I was hosting my first dinner at the STK Steakhouse in the Cosmo. Profit Kings Media was gracious enough to sponsor the dinner and it turned out to be really beneficial to everyone there. This was a very private dinner and only a few of some of the brightest affiliate and marketing minds I know were invited. I wanted to keep it small so that it didn’t become so big to the point where it wasn’t personal anymore. I got a lot of great feedback from the dinner and it actually spurred a lot of new business relationships following the Summit. Yousif Yalda, owner of Profit Kings Media, and his awesome team were key to making it happen and they did a great job of making it an awesome dinner. If you’ve never worked with Yousif before, I highly suggest you reach out to him. I was one of his first affiliates and he’s made many more affiliates after me rich, so that tells you something.

Here are a few pictures from the dinner:

affiliate summit dinner

 

photo (17)

photo (19)

photo (18)

Once again, thanks to everyone that came out to dinner! It was great having everyone.

I’m pretty glad I went out to Vegas to attend ASW as truth be told I was kind of on the fence being all the way in Colombia enjoying 75 degree weather. Truth is every time I go out to a show I always gain at least one piece of knowledge, or one new relationship, that helps me grow my business not to mention the motivation it provides to hustle when you get back. It’s also always fun to see friends again that you haven’t seen in a while – it’s almost become a reunion of sorts for me which is awesome.

Now I’m back in NYC grinding out the rest of this winter and blocking out any distractions as I’m focused on growing my company. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been posting as much. Nonetheless, I have a lot of hopes for this year and new projects down the pipeline. I’m excited to see what the new year brings and looking forward to being at the next show in New York!

As a side note, I’ll be re-releasing the Rogue Affiliate System soon after adding new content to it. If there’s anything specific you guys want me to cover in there, let me know!

Thanks for reading and continuing to read. It’s always great to meet readers face to face when I travel or go to a show and I really appreciate everyone that takes the time to read and comment. More frequent posts to follow!

– Rohail

 

Where the hell have I been?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

It’s been more than half a year since my last update and I know you’re all probably wondering where the hell I’ve been (sarcasm).

Honestly, I just had so much going on and somewhere in there I kind of lost the desire to write. But I’m back now, and here’s a quick run down of what I’ve been up to:

March 2012 – Moved to NYC near Time Square. This was a blast while it lasted and after living there I honestly don’t think I can live anywhere else. Unfortunately, I was in Barcelona at the time my lease was coming up for renewal and I lost it and I had more traveling to do ahead so I decided to take another look at NYC when I’m done traveling.

August – Affiliate Summit East was definitely a memorable one and it didn’t hurt that I lived close to the conference.

September – Headed to the Adsimilis meetup in Amsterdam, which was as always a great time. We decided to get an apartment off of AirBnB that was right on the canal in the Red Light District and were right in the middle of everything. Adsimilis did a great job of treating us with a boat trip around the canal and had a solid panel of affiliates as well as the CEOs of WhatRunsWhere and HasOffers. This is definitely not a meetup to miss and if you haven’t been to Amsterdam before, here’s your excuse :)

Following Amsterdam, I headed to ad:tech London with a short stop in Brussels with a few NJ affiliates including Ian Fernando and met up with Oliver Kenyon from CPAFix and got to check out what the show in London was all about. Truth be told it was way smaller than NYC, which was to be expected, but it was still productive. There were lots of agencies and networks present, along with the usual representatives.

After London, I flew to Barcelona where me and a friend checked out for about a week. Barcelona was a cool city and we actually got to connect with a few big affiliates there that we had actually met in Amsterdam at the Adsimilis meet up. Barcelona seemed like somewhat of a haven for affiliates other than the usual ones you hear about in Thailand. The weather was perfect, the women were gorgeous, and the beaches / nightlife were incomparable. We got the check out an FC Barcelona game which was pretty cool after showing up to the stadium and buying the tickets off of some street hustlers. Surprisingly, they worked.

After Barcelona, we took the high speed train to Madrid where we stayed for about 4 days. Madrid was a much more historical and metropolitan city. There was a famous painting by Picasso that everyone told us we had to check out so we did that and soon afterwards joined in with the Madrid protests, which was honestly more like a party with people smoking and drinking while holding up signs. It was nothing like what they were showing on TV here in the US – way more calm even though there were helicopters swirling around and a barrage of SWAT and police vehicles around us. We got to check out a Real Madrid game towards the end of our trip, which was an awesome experience (try comparing a soccer stadium full of fans to a baseball stadium full of fans and you have no comparison).

Finally after Madrid, it was time to go back home. Here are some pics from the trip.

November – Ad:tech New York was right around the corner so I checked that out while I was there and got to connect with some new and familiar faces. After this I was completely conferenced out. For the rest of November and December I did nothing but work on campaigns. In fact, I was part of the Hunger Games on the StackThatMoney forums, which was an awesome experience. If you ever get the chance to try to compete, then definitely do so. I got to connect with some really solid affiliates and we had StackMan as our mentor which was priceless.

December – I traveled to South Asia for a wedding which was an interesting experience nonetheless. I always tell people that they should try to travel somewhere off the beaten path because it truly gives you some perspective. We truly are lucky to live where we do and I most definitely realized I took a lot of things for granted while living there. Not knowing whether or not you’ll come back alive after leaving the house because there might be an attack or being constantly paranoid because you could get robbed at any moment kind of makes you think about how lucky we are to not have to worry about those things. I enjoyed my time there and I would do it again, but all in all, I was glad to be home for the two days that I was before ASW.

Street hustler

January – Having just got back from ASW, I have to say it was worth it. Even though I was dead tired from traveling, I still tried to make the best of it, because as we all know picking up even just one tip from ASW or ASE can pay for your trip a hundred times over. Look for a dedicated post on ASW soon.

In addition to getting burnt on some campaigns, he past year was also rough because I was in an up and down relationship, but now I have a lot more time to focus. It sucks, but it’s the reality of the fact that not everyone can or should have to handle the lifestyle that comes with this business or any business. The fact that affiliate marketing is not a one time and done thing and that offers always come and go makes it unstable but lucrative when it does work. There’s also no time clock and I could literally work every waking hour and often times I do. It sucks to not have something you put a lot into work out, but I know what I want from life and I have to work towards it.

I am starting fresh now having lost my Facebook accounts and having had a few tough learning experiences this year. It feels like I’m back to where I started, but I know what I have to do. I am looking forward to rebuilding my business with an intense focus and working on what I’m good at instead of trying to chase every rabbit and work with every network. I have the capital and the experience behind me so now it’ s just a matter of making it happen.

 

A4D Recap and My Move to NYC

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

A little late on the recap of my trip to San Diego for the Ads4Dough meetup, but I’ve been really busy ever since leaving for San Diego as I just moved to midtown NYC a day after I got back. So if there are any NYC affiliates that are down to chill and talk biz, just holler!

Now if there’s one word to describe  the A4D meetup that word would be awesome. I’m really glad I went for not just the tidbits I picked up but also for meeting some really big affiliates, which was just as motivating. Here are the highlights:

Thursday – I got into SD in the evening and decided to keep it pretty low key. Ran into an affiliate at the airport (thanks to twitter) and the both of us along with another affiliate I had met in Amsterdam got some dinner and hit up a few spots in downtown.

Friday – The weather was just awesome so we had to take advantage and hit up the beach. After all that, we geared up for the party at Basic Bar where Jason had a whole area cordoned off for us and kept the party going with drinks and pizza after pizza. It was a great chance to meet the team and other affiliates both local and from around the country that had came down for the event.

After a couple of hours everybody headed to the party at Fluxx where Jason had a few tables reserved for us. The venue was definitely up there…I didn’t expect to find a club in San Diego that would be on par with places I’ve seen in Miami and Vegas. The music, effects, rotating cage with hot girls dancing in it, along with a giant light up robot all made for an interesting experience. We stayed there til around 2 and a few people headed home even before that which was probably a smart move considering the actual meetup started at 9am the next morning.

Saturday – The big day. This was my first A4D meetup as I couldn’t make the one last year. I have to say the trip was definitely worth every penny. This “seminar” was unlike any other that you’re probably used to at different exhibit shows. It was a lot less about the technical aspects and details of an affiliate campaign, but more so about the mind set that makes an affiliate great. Here we were sitting in a room with the likes of Jason talking about how he had a campaign making them $40k profit a day and with Stefan from Zeeto Group who went from being a solo affiliate in college studying as a student from abroad to running an actual company with an amazing office and 55 employees. There was still a bit of technical info as well as we got a really good run down on how to set up and manage media buys

I mean this is stuff you just don’t get at your average conference. There was a lot of high-level thinking revealed by many of the speakers and it was great to see their thought processes and what differentiates them from your average basement-dwelling affiliate. As with everything, it’s more about the philosophy and your business foundation than anything else. The difference between the affiliate making $500 a day and $5000 a day becomes very apparent when you just look at the mindset of people like Jason and all the speakers at the event not to mention many of the attendees.

If you didn’t make it out this time, definitely try to make it out to the next one. A big thanks goes out to Jason and the rest of the Ads4Dough team for putting together such a great event and all for free. It’s amazing what these guys do and it’s no wonder they are so well respected in the industry. I remember when A4D had just started and they continue to be one of the few remaining boutique networks that maintain a strong personal relationship with their affiliates. Jason is one of the smartest guys in the industry and it’s almost intimidating how much he knows not only about this space, but about business in general. Honestly speaking though, and I’ve run into Smaxor a few times at industry conferences since 2009 – here’s a guy 6ft something, larger than life presence, but when you talk to him he’s incredibly down to earth and willing to talk to anybody about their business and couldn’t be a nicer guy. If you’re not already running with them, go check them out at www.ads4dough.com.

Some pictures from the trip:

 

pacific beach san diego

fluxx

hard rock san diego

a4d meetup

 

New Blog Design & Updates

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Welcome to the new blog. It’s a new year and I figured it was time for a new and more official design.

What else is new? Well the RevenueWire Live Dangerously contest just ended and man there was some tough competition. No worries though, I just bought laps around the local track with the Lamorghini Gallardo, so look for a post on that. That’s my reward for the month – I get to test out my dream car if I reach my profit goal for the month.

The Ads4Dough meetup in San Diego is also going down next month and I just booked my flights and everything for it. Really looking forward to the trip as I’ve never been to San Diego and it’s one of the places I’m considering moving to (alongside Austin, Orlando, and NYC).

In industry news, a lot has been going on such as Verizon killing all pin submits, which looks like it’s going to have a ripple effect to the other carriers. There was also Facebook’s IPO and the upcoming release of mobile ads since half of users log onto Facebook using their phone. The IPO is looking to be a good thing for now for affiliates as Facebook is going to need to prove their valuation by coming up with better ways to bring in revenue (more ads).

Also, if you haven’t been following, NickyCakes has launched CakesTV, a weekly web show with a gathering of well-known affiliates in the space talking about the industry. If you haven’t checked it out yet go watch episode 1 and episode 2.

Finally, if you didn’t see it yet, I was featured on the MobAff blog for generating $22,000 in mobile revenue on that network alone and being the second top affiliate for January. There’s tremendous opportunity in mobile right now and I believe it will only continue to grow. Check out the post for some inspiration.

That’s all I have for now. Catch you in San Diego if you’re attending.

Yes, I’m Alive

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Definitely been a minute since I’ve put out an update. Not that a lot hasn’t been going on. I just don’t like posting when I’m not making money. And by the lack of posts and income reports you can tell it’s been a rough few months!

A part of that is because I was travelling most of August. After hitting up Chicago, I headed to Amsterdam for the Adsimilis meetup, where I spoke on the Facebook marketing panel, which was pretty awesome. Following that, I decided to backpack around Europe for three weeks and explore Berlin, Prague, and London. It was definitely a wild and interesting experience at the same time. It was kind of cool to just rough it and backpack my way through Europe and meet people from all over the world along the way as I chose to stay in (quality) hostels and not splurge on four star hotels everywhere I went. Let me just say that hosteling it is definitely the better option if you want to meet other backpackers and not feel so isolated because of the cultural barriers. Most backpackers were from Australia, Canada, and around Europe. I didn’t meet too many Americans in my travels…not even in London, which I thought was strange. Some pictures from the Adsimilis meetup:

Rohail Rizvi and Sean Mulkeen

Sean Mulkeen and I

Anyway, following my little europtrip I flew straight to NYC for Affiliate Summit arriving on Sunday evening. The conference, although a bit shorter for me this time, was definitely a good one. This was the biggest Affiliate Summit to date with almost 4,000 attendees. I got to meet up with affiliates I knew and talk business with some of my favorite networks. Also hit up the main parties hosted by MundoMedia, Clickbooth, and EngageBDR. I did miss out on Affiliate Ball though as it was too late, but I heard it was a blast.

After taking a few days to recover after my more than month of constant traveling, I got back to work with all that I’d learned from Chicago, the Adsimilis meetup, and ASE. These conferences and meetups are just so vital to your growth as an affiliate, there’s no reason not to go. The only reason would be that you’re traveling too much and working too little, which I sort of felt like. I told myself there would be no more traveling or conferences until I have another few profitable campaigns. Well I hope that’s the case by November 18th, because I’m flying out to the Puerto Rico meetup courtesy of NDemand Affiliates. This meetup by the way is looking to be pretty awesome as I’ve mentioned before. Mike has got the whole thing planned out, and it’s looking to be an epic weekend. If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, go do that now here.

As for my campaigns, I’m definitely putting in work these days. Trying all kinds of traffic sources and offers from mobile to adult to pop unders. The hardest part is to just focus on one campaign to make it profitable instead of jumping from one thing to the next. So far I’ve dumped a lot of money into testing without results either due to low quality traffic sources or just not testing enough. It’s hard to know which it is sometimes and even tougher when people are touting traffic sources they’ve never even used. Hoping to find some winners in the next few weeks though. I am really putting in work and just want to take it to the next level now. The affiliate space has gotten tougher this year for sure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities. If I can’t make it big by the end of this year, I quit affiliate marketing. Let’s see what happens.

 

 

Chicago

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

So I’m back from my quick 5 day trip to Chicago and it was definitely a blast. Glad I went.

On the first day I went straight to the Pre-Affiliate Summit meetup / Meetup202 Chicago hosted by Jason Rubacky. The meetup was being hosted at a nice Greek restaurant in the “Greektown” part of Chicago, and it was still a pretty cool set up 😛  We had our own room and it was a more intimate setting with a round table set up as opposed to a huge meetup where you don’t necessarily get to talk to everybody and engage in a discussion as a group. I got to meet Jason there as well as a few other affiliates including Darryl Thomas Jr. and Max. I didn’t think I was going to pick up a lot of info just purely based on the fact that there were affiliates of all levels present and we had to cover some basic stuff being a public meetup, but it was actually pretty informative. Jason went into a lot about SEO and CPS as well as how to capitalize on trends. It’s amazing how much money and potential there is on that side of the fence. Definitely opened my eyes to the world of SEO and CPS for sure.

After the meetup Jason and Max were cool enough to show me around the city. We first grabbed dinner at Bar Louie and then went off to explore downtown. Here’s a pic of us at Howl at the Moon (aka the cougar bar lol):

 

Look at that hurricane! Def had a good time checking out downtown my first night in with these guys. It was an eventful week to say the least. I did most of the touristy things like take the architecture cruise around the Chicago river, go up to the top of the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), check out “The Bean” at Millenium Park, and grab a burger from Billy Goat Tavern (where you better order a double cheezburger or else face public humiliation from the Chef. Thankfully, Jason had my back and the ordering was a breeze lol).

I also got to meet up with Ian Brennan from LFM Network, which was cool and treated me to wings at a cool west Chicago bar. From there I rushed to catch the fireworks over the Chicago skyline, but missed it by just a few minutes. I made up for it by walking 2.5 miles back to my hotel to check out all the cool landmarks Chitown had to offer in the dark and there were a lot! For example, I ran into cool works of art in the middle of the night:

And of course I got to check out the Sears Tower, which was awesome:

And that was pretty much my trip to Chicago. Definitely had an awesome time. Thanks to Jason, Max, Darryl, and Ian B. for hanging out and showing me the city!

Now off to pack my bags for Amsterdam tomorrow.

Chicago – Amsterdam

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I’m writing this post from the WordPress app on Android so forgive me for its brevity 😛 If you blog, it’s a pretty clean app so check it out.

I’m currently en route to the airport on my way to Chicago. I’ll be hitting up the pre-Affiliate Summit meetup at the Pantheon restaurant in downtown tonight and then checking out the city for the rest of the week and hopefully hanging out with some local affiliates. If you’re in the area give me a shout and maybe we can connect.

I’ll also be heading to Amsterdam for the Adsimilis meetup a few days after I get back from Chicago. A lot of affiliates I know are hitting this one up and so far its looking to be an excellent international meetup. I can’t wait to check out the Dam and then do a little eurotripping afterwards. If you’ll be there as well let me know!

Alright time to go check in I will catch you later.

Miami 2010 Recap

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
Just about to head back to Jersey from Miami now and it’s been one hell of a trip.
I flew in with Ian Fernando as he was traveling to speak on the panel for Performance Marketing Expo and I was going to check out the city for a potential move there and for a much needed vacation.
Here’s the recap from Sunday to Thursday night.

Day 1 –

Me and Ian get to MIA at around 3pm and he had a pick up service waiting with a Benz which was pretty cool.
We checked into Eden Roc resort which is on North Beach right on Collins. The hotel was pretty nice and definitely had a Miami flavor to it. After we got situated we headed to South Beach for the night and checked out Clevelander’s, Mangos, and Nikki Beach. We got there pretty early and skipped cover thanks to “Boom Boom” a random promoter we met out on Ocean Drive. At Nikki Beach we met up with another affiliate and his girlfriend, but soon decided to call it a night as we were pretty beat.

Day 2-

Monday we hit the beach and decided to just chill out. We headed to south beach, grabbed some bar food, and Ian showed me around the main area of South Beach which was cool. We headed back to the hotel after that and later went back out to South Beach, but the scene was pretty dead.

Day 3-

Tuesday was the first day of the Performance Marketing Expo, which I wasn’t attending but for which Ian was on the panel. The day went by kind of slow, but we ended up having a baller night out at Cameo with bottle service thanks to Ian. We were there with Eric from Clickbooth and another affiliate friend. The club was pretty amazing and the music was finally spot on. We all ended up having a great night.

Day 4-

Wednesday was a sleep in til 2pm day for me thanks to the night before lol. That was okay though because it was pouring outside all day. Tropical storm Nicole was coming up from the south and it was directly over Miami. Luckily, by the next day the storm headed north east and we got pretty lucky. It could have been much worse. The rain finally cleared up around 11pm and I decided to checkout club Liv which was right next door at the Fontainbleua hotel.

Day 5-

The weather cleared up on Thursday thankfully and so it was a good time to take advantage of the warm clear skies. For the night, I joined up for the IANteract dinner which was sponsored by ModernAd Media. They treated us to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in the Hard Rock Casino. Following that they took us out to a club and balled out for us with a couple bottles. It was definitely a good time out getting to know some of the ModernAd team and made for a memorable last night in Miami.

Day 6-

Friday was our last day. We didn’t do much except check out from the hotel and go into Miami city to check out a condo I wanted to see. Although, this day wasn’t without it’s surprises. Our original flight was scheduled for 8pm, but we luckily (or not so) were able to get on an earlier flight for 4pm since we got to the airport early at 12pm. Then we found out it was delayed to 7pm, but it ended up only being delayed to 5pm. So we all got on the plane at 5pm and didn’t take off until 9pm! The plane had a flat tire and the mechanic had everything to change the tire except the right jack to lift the plane! Crazy. So essentially our entire trip out went from 12pm to 12am midnight when we finally arrived in Newark. On top of that it took half an hour for Continental to get our luggage out of the plane. But at least we got home alright.

And that about rounds up my trip. I definitely liked Miami and definitely think I want to move there at least for the winter. I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of affiliate networks and affiliates as well present in the Miami/Florida area along with the number of conferences that have been going on there recently. It seems like it’s the up and coming spot for the industry and it’s certainly not a bad place to be.
 
Hi, I'm Rohail, affiliate marketer and serial entrepreneur. Follow my trials and triumphs in affiliate marketing as I give you an inside look at the industry and what it takes to be successful.

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