Getting A Taste Of The Dot Com Lifestyle At Affiliate Summit West

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Affiliate Summit West Las VegasAffiliate Summit West landed in Las Vegas and let me tell you, if you are thinking of attending the next one, do not hesitate!

It is the biggest affiliate conference on the planet, where you can meet your blogging heroes and party the night away.

Dot com style!

It was a blast and the contacts & connections I have made are priceless.

So let’s take a look at what makes Affiliate Summit awesome!

Extra Thanks To ShareASale

Without the ShareASale team I would never have attended the Affiliate Summit conference.

Brian Littleton (ShareASale CEO) reached out and offered to cover the cost of the flights and conference ticket.

This was down to how well the blog did in the Affiliate Summit Best Blog award votes which I eventually won taking 38% of the votes. You, the readers are responsible for that.

The entire ShareASale team pitched in to help plan my trip and took care of me while I was there. It is much appreciated!

Special mentions go out to Brian, David, Erica, Lindsey & Nick.

Flying To Affiliate Summit Las Vegas In Style

What I didn’t expect ShareASale to do is book first class flights from Manchester to Las Vegas.

My regular readers will know I travel a lot and I usually take the cheapest option, even if that does mean hanging off the side of a bus.

So you can imagine my reaction to find that Brian had splashed out over $8,000 on first class flights.

first class cabin

They had seats that turned into flat beds! The air hostesses would even ‘make the bed’ for you and pull out sheets, duvets and pillows!

I have never really being one for food on flights, I alway skip over it because lets face it – it’s disgusting. That was until they put this in front of me-


main course

I turned that into poo quicker than you can blink!

They also slaughtered you with free booze, slippers, pyjamas – you name it!

You even got this little bag of shampoo, conditioner, a comb and this…


A Razor!!! After all the hassle of security they just handed me over a razor. That’s the sort of thing that can get you the rubber glove treatment at security!

Have I Sold My Soul?

I started to think, why would a company spend over $10,000 to get me there…

Had I sold my soul?

I asked Brian Littleton (ShareASale CEO) why they went to that trouble and it turns out ShareASale are not your average affiliate network.

Most networks just focus on landing the big money merchants, but Brian wants to be different. He wants to build relationships with bloggers & affiliates and get them in the same room as his merchants.

As someone that has worked on both the merchant side and the affiliate side that approach is really refreshing. Most networks are just interested in charging merchants extortionate setup fees and skimming the commission for the accounts lifetime.

But ShareASale are going that extra step to connect their affiliates with their merchants on a personal level. Rather than just blasting out the best offers this week.

So if you are a merchant looking to launch a successful affiliate program take a look at what ShareASale can offer you – as you can see, they are not your average affiliate program.


So I can safely say I haven’t sold my soul. If memes are to be believed, I didn’t have one in the first place anyway.

Affiliate Summit West Venue

Affiliate Summit was hosted at the Paris hotel which is slap bang in the middle of the strip and right opposite The Bellagio.

This was the view I had from my room in the hotel.

Affiliate Summit Las Vegas room view

It was the perfect setting to get all of the best affiliates in the world in one place!

The Sessions

There were a bunch of different educational sessions running across Affiliate Summit hosted by some of the most experienced people in the industry.

We had sessions with John Chow, Jeremy ‘Shoemoney’ Schoemaker , Zac Johnson, Rae Hoffman & many many more.

You can check out the full list of sessions right here along with all of the presentations.

I only had time to check out a few of them though.

First Timers Orientation

Shawn Collins

As this was my first Affiliate Summit conference I hit the orientation hosted by co-founder Shawn Collins.

He takes you through everything you need to know and how to get the most out of the conference. He also handed out packs of treats and a couple of books!

YouTube video

If you do attend the Affiliate Summit conference for the first time I highly recommend you check it out!

Thanks to Shawn for sorting out access to the blogger lounge, I had some of the best conversations in there!

Writing Pages to Rank in the Search Engines

Adam Riemer

This session was a basic look at on page optimisation – there were some great tips for beginners-intermediate SEO‘s.

Unfortunately I was called out half way through so had to make an exit.

Secrets of Top Six Figure Bloggers

John Chow, Zac Johnson, John Rampton, Syed Balkhi

This was one of the sessions I was more excited about – I have read John Chow & Zac Johnsons blogs for years and had crossed paths a couple of times online in the past.

The talk was great as each blogger shared their perspectives on a range of blogging related subjects.

Generating Affiliate Income with a Branded Blog

Rae Hoffman (sugarrae)

Another blogger I have followed for a while is Rae Hoffman. I jumped into her talk without hesitation.

She shared her strategy for starting with a blank piece of paper to build a branded affiliate blog.

The Parties

There were 3 awesome parties open to all Affiliate Summit West Las Vegas attendees with open bars and superstar performances.

ShareASale Superheroes VS. Supervillains

The first party to kick things off was ShareASale’s Superheroes VS. Supervillains – with optional fancy dress and an open bar it was a great opening.

They also had amazing tableside magician Joel Givens performing. I got up close and personal with him at dinner the next evening, I have never seen table side magic like he does it.

He is so good, he had to remove all his videos from YouTube because everyone was stealing his tricks!

Affiliate Ball

The Affiliate Ball was hosted at the Chateau nightclub and again, the open bar ensured the drinks were flowing.

The night was hosted by Flavor Flav with performances by B Real (Cypress Hill) & Too $hort.

While it was an awesome party the jet lag got the better of me and I was falling asleep drink in hand so knocked it on the head early doors!

Affiliate Nation

Last but not least was the Affiliate Nation party at club Tao. The same deal applied, open bar and awesome performances.

This year featured performances from Warren G, Tone Loc, 2 Live Crew, Young MC & V.I.C.

Affiliates certainly know how to throw down the best parties! There is no doubt about that!

Never Meet Your Heroes

Whoever said you should never meet your heroes is an idiot.

I’ve been a long time follower of John Chow, Shoemoney, Zac Johnson, Missy Ward & Rae Hoffman to name a few. I’ve read their blogs for years and any books they have published.

Affiliate Summit gave me the opportunity to meet and network with my internet marketing heroes.

I bumped into Shoemoney, spent time with John Chow in the blogging lounge and went to dinner with Missy Ward, Rae Hoffman and the ShareASale team to name a few.

John Chow - Syed Balkhi - Shoemoney

Each and everyone of them was open and approachable, it was great to finally meet everyone!


Hulk Hogan really stole the show at Affiliate Summit promoting HostAMania which offers 6 months free hosting!

The #ASW14 twitter hash tag was going absolutely crazy for the hulk!


They did a great job promoting the new company and blew HostGators crappy basketball game stand out of the water!

Planting The Seed

The biggest value Affiliate Summit provides is the opportunity to network and form relationships. Don’t be scared to talk to strangers…

 If they have an Affiliate Summit badge they want to talk.
It’s easy to shy away from people but approach the conference with an open mind and speak to as many people as you can, you never know what might happen!

I have only been back for a few days but those new relationships are already opening some doors-


WPEngine have being testing my patience for the past few months now.

The backend of the site is awfully slow, it takes nearly 40 seconds to login, 30 seconds to approve a comment – all that extra time adds up. The front end is razor fast though!

Support used to be awesome and take ownership of issues, now it seems they just push them back on you.

They even deleted a bunch of data from the live database without my permission OR taking a backup first.

So when I spotted co-founder Ben Metcalfe we had a pretty direct conversation. Needless to say they now have their best talent looking to resolve the problem.

It’s just a shame I had to fly half way around the world for that to happen.

Your Legal Questions Answered

I spoke to Paula Brillson (DigitalLawGroup) who has agreed to answer all of your legal questions on the blog free of charge.

If you have a legal question you want an answer to, then just post them here.

I will get them all answered for you!

CDN Case Study

After speaking with a couple of guys from MaxCDN in the bloggers lounge I managed to hook up a special treat for you.

I use MaxCDN across most of my sites so I have spent this weekend collecting data for a new case study.

You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes!

Opt In Case Study

I had previously tested a popup opt in on the blog that had poor results. I spent some time with Syed Balkhi (who runs WPBeginner) and he offered advice on how to improve things.

Off the back of his advice, I’m going to deploy a new test this week to collect data and report back.

Improving Outreach

I spoke to Michael Geneles who is the co-founder of PitchBox about his outreach system. I grilled him very hard on the tool and he knocked everyone of my questions out of the park.

Based on that I set him the challenge to use his system to promote this post, promote my free seo tool and recruit affiliates.

Expect an awesome case study off the back of this.

Competition Prizes

I’m not going to ruin any surprises here but I was able to secure a huge range of competition prizes for everyone.

I’ve given away thousands and thousands of dollars worth of tools and software the past year.

It looks like that trend is going to continue this year =D

See You At The Next Affiliate Summit

All in all the Affiliate Summit experience was an awesome one.

3 days of wild partys with the most talented and experienced people in the industry.

Whats not to love about that?

The connections and relationships you make will be priceless.

Affiliate Summit East takes place in New York on August 10th-12th. I will see you there!

63 Responses

  1. Matthew Woodward

    Thanks very much, glad you found my blog

  2. "las vegas seo expert"

    Great site you have got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing
    like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals
    like you! Take care!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 31st, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Hey there, thanks very much

  3. Carlos

    I never thought there were these kinds of summits about seo and affiliate based themes! After reading your vlog I really want to participate in these kinds of meet ups. Once again thanks for the great info. After each article that I’ve read from you I’m really starting to improve on my knowledge about seo and internet marketing overall. Thanks once again! Great article!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 19th, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Perhaps our paths will cross at a future event :)

      The beer is on me!

  4. Felipe

    Let me know next time you are in Vegas Matt.

  5. lienah

    I like blogging, too. However, I am still questioning why I cannot attract many audience after using many tips to improve my blog. Sometimes I was disappointed and wanted to close my blog.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 26th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Well for the first 6 months you should expect lots of hard work and very little reward.

  6. Dani

    Awesome. I would love to attend some day. Loved the pictures with Shoemoney and John Chow. Although, Chow seems to be uploading to YT nowadays only him lunches. Even the car videos were better – but he is John Chow, he can do whatever he wants :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 25th, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Haha yeah he can :)

  7. Roland

    It was really nice to see those pictures! Hulk Hogan is kinda broken and he is doing any kind of advertisements those days. I am not sure if you heard about his recent divorce.

    Speaking of the parties, all of the guests were men? Or did you enjoy a balanced mixed party up there? ; )

    Congratulations Matt for winning the award of the affiliate summit. You truly deserve it as your blog has always been useful full of quality content. Just to note it, we voted for you as well when you sent us the mail asking for our vote. I didn’t confirm it if all of my team voted for you as well, but surely i did!

    All the Best!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 24th, 2014 at 8:43 am


      He seemed ok, the most bizarre thing about him is he used to be a few inches taller but all the surgerys have taken their toll on his body.

      Yeah there was a good balance lol

      Thanks for the votes :)

  8. Jason Chesters

    Hey Matt,

    Great post, been to Vegas a few times and love the place. Hopefully I’ll have chance to attend the summit one year!

    Really looking forward to your final views on Pitchbox! Hope you do a good review/case study on it!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Have you used Pitch Box yourself?

      • Jason Chesters
        January 23rd, 2014 at 11:13 pm

        No I’ve not used it, by good review I meant I hope you do a detailed write up about it :-) I’d be interested to see how it all works!

        • Matthew Woodward
          January 24th, 2014 at 8:49 am

          Ahh I see – going to have a call with the CEO on Monday and setup some campaigns. Once I have the data, you’ll have the post :)

  9. Stuart McLeod

    Inspirational post Matthew, I would be surprised if anyone read this post and didn’t want to get themselves to the next Affiliate Summit!

    Hulk Hogan, still a legend! lol

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Let’s hope so – I’ll even buy the beer ^^

      • Stuart McLeod
        January 23rd, 2014 at 5:34 pm

        I’ll hold you to that ;)

        When you leaving this beautiful UK wet weather for the sun in South America?

        • Matthew Woodward
          January 23rd, 2014 at 10:31 pm

          Not for a few months yet!

  10. Mikr

    Are planning to attend the bhw conference in vegas?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:04 am

      I have registered but not heard anymore

  11. Pedro

    Hi Matt,

    Nice write-up! One day, one fucking day, I’ll attend one of these parties. I joined ShareASale 6 years ago and didn’t do ANYTHING about it. Shame.

    We exchanged a few words two weeks ago (I criticized your blog design, remember? :D ) and I actually have been procrastinating less and doing more since that. Thanks, yet again, for reminding me that there’s money to be made with reputable affiliate networks such as ShareASale.

    Sweet plane ride, congratz! ;)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:04 am


      Good luck with your ventures, nice to hear your moving things forward!

  12. Charles Floate

    Looks like you had a cracking time man!

    I’d love to attend but as I said in the email, I won’t be 21 for a few years to come :P Looking forward for my 21st in Vegas though ;)

    You shall be invited, though not sure we’ll be first class :P

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I’m sure we’ll sort something out! Snowbombing first!

  13. Iman

    Awesome! This is a good experience, Matthew!

    I want to attend Affiliate Summit event, my goal is the next year. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Will see you there then!

  14. Steve

    The Hulk looks like he could crush your delicate little white hand in a heartbeat in that photo haha

    Great rundown of the event, thanks matt

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:07 am

      I think he could do that to 99% of people lol

  15. Jo

    First class fight!? Damn… Hard work really pays off. Congrats.

    Btw, wil you post YouTube Marketing & Optimization part 2 soon?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 22nd, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Yes that should be published this week :) Well thats the plan anyway

  16. MikeWhite

    The first class looks amazing i guess i have to try that one day ;)
    I think i have to go to the summit one day!
    Have you ever heard of the Underground Online Seminar?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Never heard of it sorry =\

      • MikeWhite
        January 21st, 2014 at 11:19 pm

        realy? you have to check it out and i think you should go ;)

        • Matthew Woodward
          January 22nd, 2014 at 11:08 am

          I’ll take a look thanks!

  17. SheikhOvais

    Well Matt, that’s you! You took us straight to Las Vegas right from our home ;) now I can easily imagine how fascinating that experience would have been.
    My very very best wishes for your success this year.
    I hope I’ll be able attend these summits someday :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I’ll be happy to grab a drink with you when you do :)

  18. boylamn

    Thank you Matt I’ve enjoyed reading this post. It has been fantastic as usual.
    by the way I think the ShareAsale team did well by covering the cost of the flights and conference ticket, cuz you deserve better than that If it’s compared to what you offer to us for free.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:11 pm


      I don’t think I deserve anything special for what I do, but its nice to know its making an impact.

  19. Bo

    I read, I shared, I clicked.
    Have to say I don’t like slideshare’s site for finding things. I REALLY want to listen to/read Generating Affiliate Income with a Branded Blog by Rae Hoffman. I’m a big fan of hers.

    Couldn’t find it. Did a search on bar – nada.

    PS also enjoyed this post :)

    How to find?

  20. Karl

    You look tiny next to Hulk Hogan, better prepare for August and hit up the gym :D

    Hope to hit up affiliate summit soon, doubt it’ll be this year but.. eventually :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Haha and the funny thing is he used to be a few inches taller before all his neck/back/knee operations!

      I’m a swimmer anyway, bulky guys can’t hack the free dive!

  21. Pratik Unadkat

    Awesome read Matthew.

    It is true that often conferences like these opens up a wide door of opportunities, no doubt – unless you shy away!

    Btw, yes, Wpengine is slowing down the things. The load times of your blog these days are unfortunately incredibly slow. I read it here and I thought I would just alert you.

    And about the WpMonster by Syed (I guess that’s what you are talking about?) yes, that is a great tool and I have an eye on it as well since quite a while. Exit intent is something that is growing rapidly and lot of big companies are implementing it too and I have seen some case studies showing a sizable growth. Definitely worth a try in my opinion.

    Again, an awesome read definitely. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:16 pm


      There was one guy complaining about how it wasn’t worth the money outside but he was so negative and cold he was hard work to talk to.

      Yes OptInMonster is what I’m trying, I set it up on the staging server and was impressed with how simple/clean it is and unlike competing plugins it is very lightweight on resources. The exist intent actually works like it should do as well.

  22. Josh May

    Wow that’s awesome that ShareASale did that! I knew you mentioned they paid for your ticket, but pretty cool that they did all that extra stuff for you.

    I’d love to go to affiliate summit sometime, I just haven’t had the chance to make it. Maybe this Summer.

    Sounds like it was a blast though!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Yeah that was pretty unreal of them. They gave me an experience I wouldn’t normally have bought for myself. No words for that!

  23. Rahat

    Looks like all of the hard work is paying off. I’m happy for you Matt. You’ve managed to build an empire in a couple of years.

    Very inspiring.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks Rahat – perhaps I’ll see you there one day :)

  24. John

    Will you be paying for the next one?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      For sure! I’ve caught the summit bug ^^

  25. Gurjit Singh Khehra

    Great Bro. Glad to know that you WON the award. It must be a great experience to meet the gurus of Blogging and Internet Marketing. I am surely going to visit NY on next Affiliate Summit, if I’ll have enough money to afford ticket and flying :)
    Thanks for the review.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks – it would be great to see you over there!

  26. yisroel reiss

    Thanks for this, Matt. Very insightful. Maybe I will just have to fly in from Israel next year to attend.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 21st, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      That would be a long trip but totally worth it!

  27. B:yond Borg

    I’m so envious Matthew but having followed your blog closely (I have you in my Taptu app on my mobile right at the top!), you deserved the first class trip to Vegas, well done.

    Man I can’t believe you met the Hulkster too!!

    Anyway, i’m aiming to be the first internet marketer/dj blog owner to make it (somehow) in the DJ mixing community. What I mean is I want to make my blog ( at one that earns me money via internet marketing/affiliate earnings/social media so I can earn a full time living from it.

    I don’t exactly know how I am going to do this yet as there are very few related (as far as I can find) offers and ways to make money do this type of thing but I am determined to find a way or create a way of doing this in 2014. Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated.

    Kepp up the excellent blogging Matthew and I llok forward to what you have in store for 2014!

    B:yond Borg

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:18 am


      Don’t worry about the ‘how’ just focus on the goal and dedicate yourself 100% to achieving it.

  28. KongWing

    It is good to see how Affiliate Summit looks like and what you can learn it. Thank you for the tips and sharing your experience.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:20 am

      No worrys perhaps I will see you there :)

  29. Tyler

    Do many gray-type hat SEOs attend? I went to MozCon this year and felt like I was at a religious gathering to worship permission marketing and Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:20 am

      There weren’t any sessions geared towards that direction

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