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One Terrifying Night in New Jersey

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To say the past week was intense would be an understatement. I think the better words are “life changing” and “shattering”.

At this time last week we were getting ready for Hurricane Sandy to hit the Jersey shore. Everyone said it would be the worst storm to hit the North East in a hundred years, and maybe even ever!

No one really knew what was coming, but it was going to be much worse than many of us though. A week later and it’s just another day for the majority of the country, but those who were on the coast and in the path of Sandy, it’s still a hellish nightmare.

Seeing a natural disaster on TV is much different than going through one on your own. I am no longer on just one side of the story. The night of October 29th, 2012 is one I will never forget.

As of right now we are without a home as it’s been completed flooded, my office completely gone, the Hummer likely destroyed, one car saved and the future up in the air.

Before jumping to where we are at right now, let’s start from the beginning.

(This was the before and after view from the back door of our house. Note the fence is four feet above ground level, which is another two feet above the water in the first pic. The second pic is from the morning after from our second floor.)

Monday Mid-Day

For anyone in the North East, you will surely remember that all of the news was focused on the coming storm Sandy. Most people lost power early. My parents power went out around 4pm and we didn’t lose ours til around 7pm.

Earlier in the day it was mostly windy with a bit of rain. We live on the water (lagoon to bay, leading to barrier island than the ocean). We thought it would be best to throw up wooded boards on the back sliding door just in case the winds got too extreme and the water decided to rise 8 feet and reach the inside of the house.

It still wouldn’t be a few hours til the storm hit land in Atlantic City, but the warnings and effects were surely being felt.

Early Monday Night

As mentioned, the power went off around 8pm, then shortly after the rain and winds started to come. It didn’t even matter that it was raining, it was the storm surge that everyone was worried about. Throw in the full moon and the high tides and we were destined for disaster, but how high would the waters come?

Everyone on our streets talked about how they lived there for 40+ years and never had seen the streets fill with water, so there was never a history of flooding in this area.

I was out that night around 9pm to take Foxy out one more time before staying inside. There were already shingles and gutters being ripped off houses and power lines down and on fire.

Late Monday Night

It wasn’t til 9pm that the water started to rise up to the bulkhead then into the backyard. The power was already off and it was very hard to see outside, even with the use of flash lights. However, I could still see the tide and waves coming closer and closer to the house.

Soon enough the water was against the back bedroom wall which is the closest part of the house to the lagoon. You could hear the waves hitting the house while we were in it, along with the crawlspace filling with water and hitting beneath the floor.

The water was very close to the house and I said it was time for us all to get serious and for me, Reena and Foxy to move up to the second level we have in the house. It’s not a full second floor, but more like a loft area, which means it’s open and we can see most of the house from the second floor.

I kept running down stairs to see where the water was at and doing everything I could to save any last items in the house that were still on the ground level. I opened the door leading to the garage and the water was less than an inch from coming into the house.

A few seconds later I ran to the back door and sure enough, the water was slowly flowing across the tile floors throughout the house. I ran to the office and the same thing, ecxect it was now coming through the walls of the house and floors.

There was nothing I could do.

From this point on I just kept doing everything I could to save whats left in the house to be saved and move everything to a higher surface.

Fast forward an hour or so and the water is now flowing throughout the house and two feet high. I’m still running through the house, the water is freezing and loaded with gasoline from all of the cars and boats out side.

No idea how high the water was going to get, and the chance of a rescue at this point was near impossible.

We were fortunate enough to have a house with two levels. I can’t imagine going through this same experience in a one level home.

The rest of the night would be spent wondering when this horrible tide would ever go down and how high the water would eventually rise to.

While all of this is going on, I’m continually texting my dad (who was also without power and desperately trying to get to us, but was impossible) with updates from my phone, which amazingly enough lasted through the night to the next day.

It wasn’t til early the next morning that the water actually started to pull back, which was still only about a foot.

Tuesday Morning

The next morning was nearly just as intense as the previous night. Still flooded and no idea what to expect, except we now at least had light.

Here’s a memorable picture of the first thing I see when I opened my front door that morning… still with nearly two feet of water flowing through the house.

I had pulled the Hummer up to the house as close as I could the previous night and it was still more than half under water. Fortunately I had moved it closer, as I was able to climb on top of it from my front step and be able to see what was going on.

The local fire and police department has rescue missions going on throughout the whole previous night and current day. The problem was the water was still flooded so high that the military vehicles still couldn’t get through. There were also fire trucks, cars and boats stranded in the middle of streets, which meant no one could get past them.

A tractor had come and picked up the people two houses down from us who were in a one level house. They had to sit in the front bucket of the tractor. No one was going anywhere… not to mention there was random floating boats sitting in the middle of the streets.

Later in the day a boat came and rescued two older ladies in their 90s at the end of the street. It wasn’t til around 3pm that a huge monster truck came to rescue me, Reena and Foxy along with a couple other families on the street. These guys were pure heroes and not even part of the fire department or police force.

After Sandy…

There really is no “After Sandy”, as we have just gotten started. The important thing is that we made it out alive and in tact, which is what many people in NJ simply can’t say.

While the mainstream news were quickly turning away from Sandy, the aftermath is still there and much worse than the media projects and what people are lead to believe. Even the inspectors and FEMA people are saying this storm is worse than Katrina because of it’s massive power and wide spread damage.

In the end we went through hell, the house is done and the office is wiped out, but we are safe. Next we will have to go through all of the insurance processes, working with FEMA, ripping down the walls and rebuilding the home.

There is really so much more going on then I could possible remember and document on here right now. I will keep you updated as we progress.

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Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17

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Thousands of internet marketers, entrepreneurs, content creators and brands will ascend upon Las Vegas this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Not only has Affiliate Summit become one of the largest affiliate and internet marketing conferences in the world today, it’s also one I’ve been closely associated with ever since the beginning. From it’s first conference in a small room in New York City with just a couple hundred people to now having more than 5,000+ attendees and conferences twice per year, it’s always been great to attend as both an attendee and speaker.

At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to discount Affiliate Summit as just another networking of marketing conference. The relationships, businesses and life experiences that are a result of the event is second to none — which I why I always recommend everyone to attend, no matter their current level of expertise.

By the way… if you are attending, don’t miss the awesome “How to Become a Millionaire Blogger” panel with myself, John Chow, John Rampton, and Syed Balkhi. It’s almost always standing room only, and rated as one of the highest attended and most valued sessions of Affiliate Summit.

Affiliate_Summit_West_2017_Agenda2_-_Affiliate_Summit

Over the years I’ve literally met thousands of people through the conference and built many powerful relationships and business opportunities as well. With each new year, new speakers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers will take the next step in becoming financially independent, starting a side business or simply changing the world in some way or another.

To help you not only get inspired for this year’s Affiliate Summit West conference but also get inspired with just a glimpse of the talent at this event, I wanted to highlight some of my previous podcast guests, who will also be speaking at #ASW17. Enjoy, and I hope to see you there!

Inspiring Stories and Marketing Tips from Affiliate Summit Speakers

Below you will find a list of speakers currently on the agenda for ASW 17. However, through my podcast I’ve interviewed more than 80 different industry experts… many of which who will be also attending the event in one way or another. Be sure to check out the full list of interviews here.

Shawn Collins and the Affiliate Summit Empire

Shawn Collins of Affiliate Summit

Shawn Collins the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, which has become the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world today.

I’ve been good friends with Shawn for a while now and we’ve both been able to experience the affiliate marketing industry completely transition and develop over the past 15+ years. We were both in attendance at the Affiliate Force cruise, which was one of the first attempts at an affiliate marketing conference, but knew it could be done better. At that point Shawn and Missy decided they could do it better and the rest is history!

John Chow, the Master of Blog Monetization

John Chow

John Chow is one of the most well-known and successful bloggers in the world. If you’ve ever Google’d “how to make money online” or “how to make money blogging”, you’ve probably come across his name and site several times.

The amazing thing about John Chow was that he was never supposed to make money with his blog in the first place. What was originally just going to be a blog on his personal life and what he ate for lunch, soon became a “money making case study”. As John learned new and exciting ways to monetize his blog content and audience, the money just kept rolling in.

Jump forward several years later and his blog is now generating over six-figures per month, and most of it recurring and automated through his amazing sales funnel system — all of which John talks about in this episode.

Rachel Honoway, From Intern to CEO

Rachel Honoway

Rachel Honoway is the CEO of For Me To Coupon. However it’s not her current position that we are focusing on, instead it’s the great journey that’s led her to where she is today.

The start of Rachel’s journey in the world of online marketing is nearly 20 years in the making. Rachel’s first job was at an internet marketing company called Kowabunga, where she first came in as an intern. As the company continued to grow in size, so did Rachel’s daily tasks and her job title. The company was soon acquired and Rachel was then managing more of the company than ever before. Once leaving Kowabunga, Rachel had a wide range of opportunities over the years before ending up at For Me To Coupon, where she is the CEO today — which is all discussed in this latest episode.

Syed Balkhi, the Wizard of WordPress

Syed Speaking at Fincon13

Syed Balkhi is not only a master at WordPress, but he is also an awesome entrepreneur.

Since an early age Syed has always had a passion for business and building success. This could be seen from the early years of his life when he was just a kid in Pakistan and selling greeting cards. Then later in life while in high school, Syed started developing sites of his own while quickly discovering what the internet had to offer.

Today Syed runs some of the most powerful and heavily trafficked sites in the world… and yes, they are all powered with WordPress!

Stephan Spencer and the Science of SEO

Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He’s also the author of Google Power Search and co-author of The Art of SEO… so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking sites in the search results.

How sites rank in the search results can go all the way back to before 2000, which is when Stephan and his NetConcepts company started getting heavy into SEO services. The thing about SEO is that it’s always changing, so to be one of the best SEO experts in the industry, Stephan is continually at the forefront of the industry and connecting with some of the most successful experts, businesses, and brands in the world.

Geno Prussakov Shares his Affiliate Management Tips

Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov is an affiliate marketing expert, author, and international speaker.

In the world of the internet, being an expert is key. Geno has mastered the art of affiliate marketing and affiliate program management and through this expertise has been able to grow his personal brand and business at the same time. As the author of many best-selling books on affiliate marketing, and also haven spoke at 50+ different conferences on such topics, Geno is the voice many people turn to when looking for answers to their affiliate marketing questions.

Having trained thousands of marketing professionals through his various books and online blog, Geno also went on to create Affiliate Management Days, which is a conference solely focused on the art of successful affiliate program management.

Oliver Roup Wants to Make Every Link Intelligent and Valuable

Oliver Roup

Oliver Roup is the founder and CEO of VigLink, a company that helps content creators make money through the use of affiliate marketing, while not having to deal with all the complexities of individual tracking, manually creating links and joining multiple programs.

Before getting active in the online marketing space, Oliver had accumulated quite an exciting resume of previous work with Space X, Microsoft, Paul Allen and many others. However, what might be Oliver’s most exciting experience to date was taking his business at Viglink from an idea to the flourishing business it is today.

For Oliver, this isn’t something that would happen overnight. Instead, it was a long journey of meeting with investors and VCs, trying to convince them that his idea was worth their time and investment. After many failed attempts, Oliver finally found an investor that was interested and things started to move fast!

Years later and over $20 million dollars in funding to date, the company continues to grow and scale in size while also helping sites of all sizes make money with their content while also connecting them with some of the largest brands and advertisers in the world.

Russell Brunson and How to Create Killer Sales Funnels

Russell_Brunson_of_ClickFunnels

Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and the founder of DotComSecrets and ClickFunnels.

While finishing up his last year in College, Russell wanted to figure out a way to make enough money so he could continue with his passion for wrestling and to take care of himself and his girlfriend. After dabbling in the online marketing space and going through various failed projects, Russell discovered that one of the most successful ways to make money online was through the use of ebooks, guides and selling information. While messing around with some friends, Russell wanted to create a potato gun and went to the internet to find out how to create one. Once he found that there was nothing out there, he quickly threw one together and made a little course of his own on how to do the same.

Jump forward several years and today you will find Russell Brunson with all of his attention focused on ClickFunnels, a WYSIWYG editor and seamless way to create high converting landing pages and sales funnels. Not only has ClickFunnels become a huge success, it’s also taught Russell how to grow and scale a company, while also learning how to remove distractions and only focusing on what matters most.

John Rampton and Living the Dream in Silicon Valley

John Rampton

John Rampton is an online entrepreneur who has become a master at pay per click marketing, but even more importantly — making connections and networking with the right people.

I first met John Rampton several years back when he came up to me and asked for an interview while at Affiliate Summit. Since then we just seemed to click and started working on various projects together. In addition to being the Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal, John’s writing can also be found on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Entrepreneur and many other top media outlets and news sources.

One of the major reasons for John’s success in the world of online marketing can be attributed to his outgoing attitude, willingness to help others and talking with just about everyone he meets. Each of these are all required skills for making it in the world of business and forming new partnerships. With all of this in mind, it only made sense for him to leave his home state of Utah and make the big move to Silicon Valley, CA — the central economic focal point for everything internet!

Thomas Smale and How to Buy and Sell Websites

Thomas_Smale

Thomas Smale is the co-founder of FE International, a company that was founded in 2010 that focuses on website brokering for mid-market online businesses.

Back in 2009-2010 Thomas wanted to get involved in the world of online marketing, but with little technical experience, his options were limited. It was then that he fell upon the concept of buying and selling websites for himself. With only a few hundred dollars at a time, Thomas began buying and flipping websites and getting quite good at it in the process. As his reputation and experience in this space started to grow, so did requests from other individuals asking for his support in selling their own websites — thus, a new business venture begins!

Today Thomas is the co-founder of FE International, which has offices in two different countries and 11 team members — all with the focus on website brokering and mastering the art of buying and selling websites.

See you at Affiliate Summit West!

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10 Strategies to Take Your Facebook Marketing to the Next Level

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How should brands that rely on Facebook marketing shift strategy in light of Facebook’s latest newsfeed update (which makes brand pages more dependent on users sharing posts with friends)?

Facebook, with over 1.7 billion users, is a powerful marketing platform for any business. It allows you to reach consumers on a platform that they are already using every day.

But when users told Facebook that they wanted to see more stories from friends and less promotional content, Facebook implemented a news feed update that gave them just that. So what does that mean for your marketing efforts?

Facebook Marketing

Businesses now need to work harder to ensure that their content is shareable rather than promotional. We asked ten entrepreneurs from YEC to share their best tips to ensure that your content still makes it on the news feed.

1. Be the Supplier for News Breakers

Step back and think about the sharing behavior of your own friends. They always want to be the first to share content that others have not already seen. Be fast and be first to break new stories relevant to your audience. Your Facebook page fans are more likely to share exclusive and engaging content to their own personal audiences if they feel it’s fresh and new.

– Anthony SaladinoKitchen Cabinet Kings

2. Stop Selling and Start Engaging

Unless you want to pay Facebook to promote your content, you need to push more content that your audience is likely to share. The more shares and likes you drive, the more reach you get with your content. With Facebook’s recent change, the key is to stop using Facebook to sell and instead use it to educate, entertain and engage your audience.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

3. Pay Facebook

Facebook is a public company. Any updates to its newsfeed algorithm are meant to help the company maximize its return to shareholders. My advice? Play the game. Pay Facebook its advertising dollars to ensure your content gets discovered. The cost to create content (designers, copywriters, etc.) is usually more than advertising. Budget a little extra for Facebook ads to produce your best content ROI.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

4. Embed Interactivity

Reduce the number of links that you post on your page and focus on embedding content – articles and videos – into Facebook instead. Since Facebook users prefer to stay on Facebook, giving them content without sending them away will help to guarantee they actually share your content, which will then place you in front of other audiences. Share stories that are informative, not promotional.

– Marcela De VivoBrilliance

5. Focus on Proven Tactics That Yield More Shares

Tactics like video content and helpful advice are some of the most commonly shared type of posts, so businesses should redirect their content strategy toward these tactics if they haven’t done so already.

– Peter DaisymeDue Invoicing

6. Diversify Your Marketing Strategies

It is not a good idea to be solely dependent on just one marketing platform. In this fast-paced world, change is inevitable when it comes to marketing via various social media platforms. Diversify your marketing strategies across numerous platforms because safety comes in numbers. If changes on one platform don’t suit your business, move your marketing money to another.

– Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty

7. Make Ad Campaigns Pop

 With social media platforms now “competing for screen time,” companies need to make their advertising campaigns funny or memorable. We always remember those funny Super Bowl commercials, share them and talk about them. Making an emotional connection through storytelling will make potential customers remember your brand and create more buzz.

– Nemoy RauUS Biometrix

8. Network and Be Personal

You need to connect with friends and family on a personal level. Then you can market your services, just like you would in real life. You would not consistently blast your friends and family with announcements of your services, so don’t do it on Facebook either. However, a well-placed announcement for something interesting or important can be effective.

– Peter BoydPaperStreet Web Design

9. Make Content Sharable, Then Pay

If you have the right approach, this shouldn’t be a problem. You’re already creating shareable content targeted to the right audience. But even if your content is popular, you’ll have to pay to promote posts to a wider audience. Find out which posts generate the most engagement and pay to promote them. For brands, Facebook isn’t the free ride to huge audiences that it used to be.

– Justin BlanchardServerMania Inc.

10. Provide Value

Facebook is a game changer for any business that can master it. By providing value to the users that share your posts, it will give them an incentive to do so more often. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, offer a coupon code to anyone who shares your post. If you’re providing a service, give the users access to an exclusive blog post for sharing.

– Chad KellerWUDN

 

The answers above are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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Affiliate Summit – Stories and Moments You Don’t Want to Miss

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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