Affiliate Industry Preview: Affiliate Summit’s Shawn Collins

As part of the ReveNews 2012 Affiliate Industry Preview Series, I interviewed affiliate marketing industry leaders to get a sense of their plans and goals for 2012. Today’s interview is with Shawn Collins, Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit.

Angel: How do you feel about the health of the Affiliate Industry overall?

Shawn: As far as I can tell, the industry is very healthy these days. The primary indicator for me is Affiliate Summit, and our attendance has grown consistently year to year since we started in 2003. Recessions, state legislation, and other hurdles have not stopped or even slowed the growth.

Angel: Beyond posting coupons, how would you like to see affiliates use social media?

Shawn: I think we’re still just figuring it out. I am using social media as a means to effectively broadcast my content, and I see more and more affiliates using social platforms like Shareist and Pinterest to build their affiliate activities.

Angel: What excites you most about mobile?

Shawn: Just the sheer opportunity with mobile has me licking my lips. As smartphones and tablets mature, mobile is sure to be a brave new world for affiliate marketers.

Angel: What type of affiliate (coupon, loyalty, etc) would you like to see more of?

Shawn: I am biased, because I’ve been an original content affiliate since 1997, but I would really like to see more affiliates produce their own content. And not that garbage with spinning software—real, original, quality content!

Angel: A lot of scrutiny has been placed on the SOPA legislation. How will it impact things if legislation like it passed?

Shawn: I suppose the most direct impact could be that affiliates will be hampered when trying to get their information distributed.

Angel: How did Illinois passing the so-called Amazon tax impact the industry? Have we seen the worst of it?

Shawn: I think the starkest example was Tim Storm moving the operations of FatWallet. So many other affiliates are one-person shows, and they don’t have the ability to move, so they were effectively forced out of the business by a bunch of ignorant politicians. It is my hope that we see federal legislation in the near term to make state laws superfluous. But that’s hard for me to even say, because I’d always like to see less government, and if CAN-SPAM is any indication, the good guys suffer and the bad guys go offshore when the government gets involved.

Angel: Are you surprised by the growth of the regional Affiliate Summit meet-ups? What are your plans for them?

Shawn: Not at all. There is such a hunger for information on the local level by so many folks who don’t have the time or money to make a trip to a conference. It’s been fun to see the meetups help some people break into the industry and others mature their affiliate marketing efforts. I’d love to see the meetups expand to more cities and countries, and maybe even have a series of mega-meetups in various cities where we do a day of workshops.

Angel: What are Affiliate Summit’s goals in 2012?

Shawn: We’d like to grow in all areas, not just the physical conferences. We want to expand our reach with our webinar series, meetups, FeedFront magazine, and the audience that watches our free videos of sessions from past Affiliate Summits.

I’d like to thank Shawn Collins for taking the time to participate in our interview series. Tune in tomorrow when I talk to Anthony Clements and Kevin Edwards of buy.at.

Photo credit: Shawn Collins

About Angel Djambazov

Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.

For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.

Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and MedicalRecords.com. His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags, Onlineshoes.com, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for ReveNews.com and ReveNews.org.

Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.

You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.

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