September 17, 2018

It’s been too long since we announced a dinner guest…

So we’re fixing that now.

Our next guest generated over $100,000,000 in Ecommerce sales.

He is one of UK’s leading FB Ads experts, so much so that he is also a trusted advisor with Facebook when it comes to their products and services.

He has also shared his story with us in an interview.

And, if you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you also know that he started a great group called the Facebook Ads Experts Academy, which brings plenty of great tips.

We are talking about Depesh Mandalia of course. Many thanks for accepting our invite!

He is joining Andrew Payne and Paul Jeyapal at the dinner table in Bangkok, where one of you is also invited.

Just gotta go here and enter the giveaway! And don’t forget to share it to get bonus entries!


GENERAL

Here’s why you shouldn’t build your business on rented space

We’ve said it before and we have to say it again – when it comes to affiliate marketing, e-commerce or whatever other digital business, you should be very careful about building your business on another company’s grounds.

You will be affected by any change they make. Building a business that depends on Facebook is the most common one in the digital space these days.

We’re not saying this because FB did something bad for our business… We’re saying it because even big players like the UK based viral content publisher, Unilad, also ran into issues.

They’ve built their business model around creating viral content on Facebook, and it was great… Until Facebook started heavily limiting organic reach of viral content.

Yes, you will run into gurus saying that “organic reach is still a thing”. Facebook and one of their relatively big publishers disagree.

Unilad is not doing great financially either… It could be a case of “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”.

It’s not just Facebook though. If you accept money online, you probably use PayPal – well, how can you have a business if you can’t get paid? Exactly! You can’t!

While this is a bit outside of businesses our readers run, it shows the power that one or a handful of platforms have.

PayPal has banned many, many ASMR content creators.

Why? Simply because their content was deemed “too sexual”. Unfortunately, we don’t have a good idea how ASMR became popular.

We read the article by Engadget, then did some googling, saw a few Twitch streamers.

What we’ve learned? Uhm, exactly what we said at the beginning – you shouldn’t build your business on rented space.

Just so you know, what PayPal said is they don’t have anything against ASMR – but it happens to be the case that just about all ASMR content creators are attractive women.

So, PayPal is the judge of what is “too sexual”, just like FB judges that for ads…

PayPal and other payment processors are a tough one for dropshippers too and there’s no easy solution.

The Crew’s take:

Don’t let the fact that some companies have power stop you from trying and from building your business but… Understand you will are probably underestimating the risk from such changes because you cannot plan for them. 

“Out of sight, out of mind” the saying goes, and such drastic compliance or algorithm changes are almost always out of sight.

A solution? As you grow, try to build your own platform, where you and your audience interact on your own rules.

It’s one reason we like email to deliver you these messages. We feel this rather direct communication avenue creates a more open, honest connection and community.

We didn’t know about this guy but here’s an update… 

We featured a good tip by David Dundas about how to use Instagram to build custom audiences.

Well, while the tip is still good, we think we have to bring this to your attention in case there will be situations in which you do business with David.

He was the CEO of a popular traffic source a few years back called Decisive.

That ad network closed down and left some affiliates with 6+ figures in deposits totally gone. We knew about the ad network, but we didn’t know David was the CEO responsible for all this.

Loz Green brought this up in a comment on the original post, check it out and be careful out there.

Whenever we bring up a good tip please don’t assume we also recommend doing business with that person. Do your own research before you take such a step!

Dynamic parameters rolling out again?

Facebook and URL parameters… They were there, then they stopped working because of some potential security issue.

You’d think FB has the tech-power to do this right and maybe this time they actually fixed it for everyone.

URL parameters seem to be rolling back in. This started on September 11, according to this post by Depesh Mandalia.

Some people still had the feature enabled but if you didn’t – check your accounts!


E-COMMERCE

Amazon is not safe from data scandals either

OK, you probably thought that Amazon has a darker side too. As great as they are with customer service, they’ve been in the news for bad stuff too.

The latest is this scandal about employees being bribed to delete negative comments or to reveal real emails from those reviewers.

Amazon gave the standard reply that they don’t allow this, they take it seriously, yadda yadda. Standard corporate talk.


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POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

“Whatever floats your… cow?!”

You’ve heard of offshore wind farms, now get ready for offshore dairy farms! Coming complete with 40 cows (for now)!

Dutch company Beladon is creating a floating farm, which will be in the middle of the Port of Rotterdam, a three-story structure anchored to the ocean floor.

The cows will have access to pasture, will be milked by robots, and manure will be gathered to be used either as fertilizer or energy generation, with the excess going to local farms.

The dairy products made on the farm will also be sold in the local area, which is the whole point of it being close to the city.

Beladon engineer Peter van Wingerden, who came up with the idea of the floating farm, said the thought came to him after he witnessed the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2001, having been there coincidentally to work on a floating housing project.

Delivering food was made difficult to impossible due to issues such as flooding and breakdowns of the infrastructure, resulting in shortages of fresh produce.

“Seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, I was struck by the need for food to be produced as near as possible to consumers,” he stated.

It is an interesting concept for sure, and we are curious to see whether floating farms turn out to be a staple of the future!

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