ShoutMeLoud at Affiliate Marketing Summit 2016: Experience & Takeaways

This one is going to be fun..!

When was the last time you expanded yourself out of your comfort zone?

I did it recently & I could tell you it was challenging initially, but it turned out to be one of the best decision in recent time. It changed my life for good & such journeys can change yours too. 

In this personal blog post you will find many exclusive details about my recent journey to the other side of my world. Before that, let me walk you through this memorable journey of mine:

When I started ShoutMeLoud on 1st December 2008, it was just one of the many things I wanted to do in my life. Over the time, ShoutMeLoud changed mine and million others life who believed in our ideology of being our own boss.

In the past 7 years, I representing ShoutMeLoud, attended numerous world class events such as:

These are just a few of many events that I can recall at this time. As an individual, it’s an honor to participate in such world class events & represent a brand like ShoutMeLoud. One thing which was common in all this was; it happened within the country I live in. I was around the people I have grown up with & more or less I was in my comfort zone.

Last year, I decided to expand myself on personal level & thought of doing things which seemed so unrealistic for me. This was when I got to know about two summits which were happening in 2016:

I realized that its about time I should go out of my comfort shell & do something which can probably expand and flourish my horizon. Since I don’t count life-based on money; I booked the tickets for both the summit. (Apparently I’m not going to Social Media Marketing World (April 17th-19th) & you can buy 1 ticket from me for $897 Regular price $1197)

It was after 7 years I went for an interview (Visa interview) & my heart was pumping the same way when I went for my first job interview in 2007 for L&T. (I was rejected 3 times in campus interview before I was selected for Accenture. Sigh!). I was unsure if I would get my Visa approved since I’m just a blogger. To my surprise, it was easy to get the visa approval & guess what; I got U.S. visa approved for the next 10 years. I wish I could explain that joy of getting the approved visa.

I believe it was 5th December 2015, and that’s when I started making my travel plan. I also got to meet a friend named Aishwin Vikhona, who is a well-known domainer from Aurangabad, Maharashtra & was going for Namescon happening at the same time in Las Vegas. (Aishwin is the guy on left & do notice his custom T-shirt).

Asihwin Vikhona
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It took me almost 17 hours to reach Los Angeles via Qatar airlines & with that my first trip to U.S. started. The very same day, Aishwin travelled from New York & met me in Los Angeles.

To be honest, I was ecstatic to be there; since everything was new & unexpected. We picked up a hotel to stay (Stay on main) for next 2 days. We explored LA before moving to Las Vegas for our endeavour. This was my first time being so far from my home & let me tell you one thing; this was a life changing experience.

LA experience
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After spending two days in LA & traveling to some well-known place like Universal Studios Hollywood, Santa Monica.We booked the bus from Los Angeles to Las Vegas using a company called Greyhound & reached Las Vegas on 9th January.

Greyhound bus
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It took us about 6 hours to reach Las Vegas & then we checked in into our Hotel: The Flamingo.

Flamingo hotel LAS Vegas
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View from Flamingo hotel Las Vegas
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View from The Flamingo

Affiliate Summit West 2016 experience:

The Affiliate Summit West 2016 happened at “The Paris, Las Vegas” Hotel. My expectation from this summit was to learn latest tricks of the trade & meet online friends that I knew for long.

Before, I went to te summit I messaged few of the bloggers whom I wanted to meet for long. I met Syed Balkhi for breakfast on 10th January (First day of the summit) & it was like I’m meeting someone I knew for ages. Syed shared his journey of humble beginning & how he became a public figure with his hard work & persistence.

Harsh Agrawal and Syed Balkhi
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Harsh Agrawal & Syed Balkhi

I believe it happens when you meet people with the same frequency. I also met Zac,  Shawn on the first day of Summit.

Harsh and Shawn Collins
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Harsh (L) & Shawn Collins (R)

Zac was a delight to meet & probably one of those people whom you find the same in his online & offline presence.

Harsh Zac Johnson
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Harsh (L) & Zac Johnson (R)

One thing which I did good & I suggest you to do the same before going for any summit is, always make a list of the sessions you wish to attend. (I have shared many tips at the end which would help you plan for such summit in future).

This would ensure you have your personal agenda up & running. I attended selected sessions such as by pro-bloggers, by David from WPEngine, Keynote by Kerri Pollard & another session by Rachel Honoway.

Unedited Personal notes from Affiliate Summit West 2016:

Here are the unedited rough notes from all of the sessions that I attended:

Notes from Pro-Blogger session:

Pro Blogger session
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From L To R: Zac Johnson, Syed Balkhi & John Rampton.
Struggle/Distraction with Blogging:
@Syedbalkhi Talking about how not to struggle with blogging.
  • Set Short-term goals that lead to long-term goals.
  • Don’t diversify income source too early. Focus on one earning source initially & diversify it later.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others. You should be the better version of yourself.

How much time we should spend on Visual Content
  • Focus on making your blog/content visually appealing. Spend more time on promoting your content at the same time.  It helps authority & make it easier for users to navigate & use.
  • Add more value in your article compare to others in your niche. The quality of video or images matter but the most important that is the value you are offering. Have it usable & great content.
  • EMV headline analyser: To create emotional value headlines. Higher %age will get more clicks.

How to Drive traffic apart from email
  • (Advance search to find emotions)
  • Guest blog: engage with editors on social media. Share their stuff on social media.
@Zac Johnson:
  • SEO: Focus on guest blogging to gain backlinks from relevant blogs

ROI of video blogging:
Embed other videos on your blog: Add value to your content. It increases time spent on the page. Here are the benefits you going to get:
  • Time spent on the page has increased
  • Scroll depth has increased.
  • All the above factor improves SEO.
@Zac Johnson

Talking about distractions on a blog:
Zac Johnson:
  • Having a bad pop-up window can hurt the revenue of your blog (Clicks on Affiliate links,
  • Build individual pop-up for every post
  • We (OptinMonster) serve 7 billion popup impression & use for hosting OptinMonster.. Don’t use pop-up the wrong way. (Ex: Checkout page)
  • Use better targeting.
  • Use Exit intent
  • Email subscriber should mean more sales & not one sale.
  • Use timed pop-up
  • Use Scroll based pop-up.
  • Make it relevant to the article
  • Use content upgrade (60% optin rate – personal experience)
Automation stack: Email
Zac Johnson:
@Syed Balkhi
Tools to create videos:
  • Camtasia, Screenflow on Mac
  • Camera show: Slideshare, Screencast
Zac Johnson:
  • Track site based on revenue.

@Davidvmc from @WPEngine on Optimising WordPress for Affiliate.
David from WPEngine
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Useful & recommended WordPress plugins:
Test Usability:
Security tips for WordPress blogs:

Keynote speech: Kerri Pollard
Affiliate Summit West Keynote speech
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At the end of the day, all employee had to fill up a diary
  • Did you have a good day? Yes/no
  • Did you have a bad day? Yes/No
  • Give Decision-making power to your employee.
Engage with your employee:
  • Her company spent 720 million$ in engaging.
  • Employee engaging survey (Once a month *Personal note)
  • How would you rate X company to your friends or family on a scale of 1-10

Here is how she suggested to see the score & take actions accordingly:

  1. 9-10: Promoter
  2. 8: Passive
  3. 0-6: Not a happy employee
Glassdoor: Website to share details about the company they working anonymously.
  • Relationship with management (Ex: CJ used to organise Townhall style meeting )
  • Friendship with Fellow members
  • Growth Opportunities
Focus on engagement more than satisfaction
Ex: Throw a Costume party and identify the one who don’t want to participate. Help him become a part of the group.

And this quote by her:
[Tweet “”Do not tolerate the brilliant jerk. The cost to teamwork is too high.””]

Here is the complete video of her Keynote speech:

Subscribe on YouTube

Rachel Honoway: CEO FMTC
Rachel Honoway
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Managing a Geographically Dispersed Staff
  • Reward employee for excellent customer service
  • Hubstaff: track how many hours employees are working
  • Slack (I’m also using it & it’s awesome)

How was the overall experience of Affiliate Summit & Should you attend it?

Being away from home it was different experience & an unexpected one. Thanks to people like Syed, David, Rajat, Writamvar, Archana, Desh & many others who made the whole trip “A home away from home”.

I learned a lot meeting new people & traveling to unexplored places. I believe traveling itself is life changing & going to a place where you meet people who share the same passion as yours is priceless. Here is my main takeaway from the U.S. trip:

[Tweet “Life is not only about proving yourself to the world but living a life that you truly believe in.”]

Next Affiliate Summit: July-August 2016, New York

Affiliate Summit is the bi-annual event & happens every year since 2015. The next one is happening in New york from July 31st-August 2nd 2016.

You can register yourself here.

It doesn’t matter from which country you are from; by attending an event like Affiliate summit you would be spending time with like-minded people. You can see more pictures from Affiliate summit here. There is a lot to share & I will save some of the best bit for upcoming posts. It’s nearly impossible to share experience of 3 weeks within 2500 words.

Practical Tips for attending your next event or Summit:

Here are few suggestions that would help you to make most of Affiliate summit or any other Summit that you would attend in future.

  • Make a list of sessions that you wish to attend.
  • Make a list of people you wish to meet. Also, make an appointment for the same.
  • Be ready with your quick introduction. Even if you feel you don’t need to introduce yourself, this could help you connect people.
  • Don’t just speak about who you are and what you do but do spend time listening to people. If you listen to understand others, you would hear a lot more than what’s said.
  • Such events are tiring by the end so mentally & physically prepare yourself for 3 days.
  • Carry Protein bar to give you a quick energy boost.
  • Don’t be shy to use your camera for taking pictures or videos. Feel free to ask people for the interview or video bites.
  • Carry your business cards. A lot of it!
  • When you take a business card from someone, add a note on it to help you remember them later.
  • Carry portable charger (It’s a mobile saver).
  • Carry a bottle of water or anything to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Don’t forget to carry on connection even after the event. Do remember, more than getting the business, such event helps you to connect with like-minded people. You will get more than quick profit when you meet & talk to the people with perspective in their life.

You can also check out these exclusive virtual tours of Google HQ & Coursera office.

You can check out more pictures from the tour on Facebook:

I would be attending more of such summits in future & will be sharing my experience & learning with you.

For now, I want to hear from you:

  • When was the last time you did something that changed your life for good? What was it?
  • What is the next thing you going to do which would move you out of your comfort zone?

If you enjoyed reading this story, do share it on Facebook & Twitter.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

42 thoughts on “ShoutMeLoud at Affiliate Marketing Summit 2016: Experience & Takeaways”

  1. Gourav singh

    Hellow harsh sir , its really a motivating blog for me i also wanted to achieve big things in life just like you did, you were always be my motivating person which gives me the confidence to do big things in my student age that,s the reason behind i join blogging its change me a lot.

  2. Jayesh

    hey harsh i think you’re enjoying your life with work great life….i think also i will this type of life one day

  3. Kalpana Sharma

    Hi Harsh,
    It is really so inspiring and motivating. I also want to attend such summit one day. You are truly an inspiration for millions of people like me.
    And Thank you for sharing your notes with us that too for free πŸ™‚ I believe we can get benefited if we follow them and I am going to do this.
    Once again, Thank you so much for sharing such great and useful article and guides with us.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Happy to help. Keep me updated on how it all works for you!

  4. Rizwan

    You work hard and now God give you the result. Congratulation for attending this beautiful event with great Blogger.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks Rizwan. Thank you for the comment.

  5. Shawn Collins

    It was a pleasure meeting you in Las Vegas. I hope to spend more time getting to know you in the near future.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Yah it was brief meeting but it was good to meet you in person. Thanks for putting such as awesome show. We will meet again. πŸ™‚

  6. Sanjeep

    Thanks for sharing your information with us Harsh and it seems you had amazing experience..

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Travelling is always a learning experience. Had a lovely time in the U.S.

  7. Sanjeev Meena

    Harsh, you make me jealous of you. I also want to have this type of travelling experience, it’s seems so cool.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      I hope this jealousy is good & make you also come out of the comfort zone. πŸ™‚

  8. Pankaj Dhawan

    I thoroughly enjoyed this memorable summit you had you have shared here. I am sure you must have learnt and enjoyed a lot. And most of all, I can understand the inner bliss you might have had felt getting approved for US VISA, it is not that easy to get it on the first place, kudos!
    Keep sharing your experience like this one, for those who can’t attend, this would be the best place to learn just like they were there.

    Thanks Harsh

  9. Phagu Mahato

    Thanks to share Personal notes about Affiliate Marketing Summit 2016. I always read your all posts, after this post I am feeling different experience , I like all points of Practical Tips for attending any events

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Do attend one in coming days & come back share your learning & experience with us.

  10. Michelle

    Hi Harsh,
    I’m so glad we met and got to hang out. I loved seeing all the pictures from your adventures following Affiliate Summit. Cheers, Michelle

  11. Archana Kapoor

    Thanks for the mention buddy…. The husband has already spoken and I reiterate the same thing…. We look forward to having Shallu and you over again soon for lots more fun! Much love from both of us πŸ™‚

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      It was lovely meeting you & Desh. Thanks for hosting me & showing me around. We will meet again!

  12. coralcrue

    it was so amazing to read everything you had to say about the event πŸ™‚

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for dropping by @Coralcrue. Glad you enjoyed reading it. πŸ™‚

  13. Mohan Kumar

    Hi Harsh,
    You inspired me a lot and and i learned a lot from SML, And coming to the poinst pictures were too beautiful
    You had a great time with bloggers.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Good to hear that @Mohan. It’s good to share your good moments with everybody.

  14. Philip V Ariel

    Hi Harsh,
    What a joy to be here again to read the rest of the story as you promised to come with!!

    It’s indeed a great jjoy to hear your experiences from the other side of the shore!!

    Well narrated with a good number of links and videos, oh my it take lot of time to go thru all posted athose at one go, still I checked few videos and links, those are really amazing especially the videos on SEO!
    OH my lot of things to learn. The pics are lovely too!! Oh my again the random snippets from the experts are really worth takeaways! Of course the tips at the end of the post is worth notable for a future traveller! I am bookmarking it for my future use/travel LOL

    Hey hey one sad thing to note is that, we could not find or locate a anything about the Wonderful Hyderabad shout meet held in my City! In fact your 2015 shout meet Delhi to Kanyakumari Pan India Tour you touched 11 cities but very few only you featured in the shoutmeet button provided in the text. How come that!! Hope you will be providing those in the next posts!

    Anyways good to hear that you will be attending more such summits in future!
    Wish you all the best!
    Waiting for the next installment to come on this line.
    May you have a great and profitable weekend.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for dropping by . Glad you enjoyed reading it. πŸ™‚
      I wanted to update ShoutMeet but eventually got swamped with travelling & couldn’t finish writing about all other chapters of ShoutMeLoud.

      Hopefully this year I wouldn’t miss it & we will have a great time again!

  15. Desh

    Hi Harsh – thanks for the mention and your lovely pics and note! πŸ™‚ It was an awesome experience to be with you when you were home! Archana and I look forward to seeing you again!

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for hosting me & for the good times. Also, congratulations for your blog & new design looks great. Let’s meet again! πŸ™‚

  16. Destination Infinity

    Super Harsh. Travel more in the future too and give us useful info like this πŸ™‚

    Destination Infinity

  17. Palla Sridhar

    Hi Harsh,
    I felt your experience reading through the article. The important point of which sessions to attend without getting tired, is very useful for newbie goers. You could have put another section which said, “New things learnt at the summit”. In my honest opinion, “Affiliate Marketing” is something you cannot learn in one-day. You need to have a master and at the same time will to experiment. You have made proud of the fact, that an individual blogger can go long distances with proper effort and planning. Kudos. Share it as usual. πŸ™‚

  18. Manu Ajay

    One of the interesting posts and hope I learned something from it and all the best harsh

  19. Akram

    Hello harsh

    Really it was cool pics and i thought u had a great expirience in affiliate marketing summit USA… and also i would like to tell u that it is every blogger dream to visit Google HQ and u have proved it which u hav posted last month and Thanks lot for sharing this motivational info and pics.. hope to see u in Facebook HQ soon.

  20. Raaja Anandhan

    Hi Harsh,

    You have got an excellent opportunity to spend time with great bloggers like john chow, zac & syed. While reading this post, i had a feel of attending this event with you. Am also having desire to be a great blogger, may be it will take time, but one day i will. Anyway congrats for attending this great event.

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