Celebrating Women in Affiliate Marketing (Part 1)

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Celebrate affiliate marketing womenToday, on the International Women’s Day, celebrating women in affiliate marketing, I am excited to bring you a super compilation of interviews.

Having reached out to numerous fine ladies in our industry, we were pleasantly astounded by the response rate. Within just a few days we ending up interviewing more than 40 ladies from all around the world, working both for giants like Microsoft and Sprint, Uber and Shutterstock, as well as self-employed women who live and love affiliate marketing every.

I’ve asked every participating lady the same set of questions. It was equally as interesting to trace the similarities in their answers, as spot the differences in them.

The full compilation of interviews ended up being too large to publish in one post. So, to make this content more digestible for our audience, as well as to give each of the participating ladies the due spotlight attention, I have decided to split this into a two-part “publication”. Today, I am excited to bring you the first part.

Happy Women’s Day to all ladies! Without you and your light, this world would’ve been dark and hopeless. Enjoy your day!! We love you. Very much!

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Alexandra Forsch in affiliate marketingI don’t think there is a single best decision I have made in my career. However, typically great decisions turn out to be those that are made when taking a leap of faith and trusting in my abilities over making room for self-doubt. I have found personally that men have been equally supportive of my career, which I am grateful for. It really is time to move away from having gender influence what anyone can or cannot achieve professionally, and we are all empowered to change things for the better.

What you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of our North America journey, which began nearly a decade ago with a handful of incredibly motivated women and men, championing one another to grow and succeed. Collectively, we have done some tremendous work, including successfully growing our US operations for both Awin and ShareASale, developing new business partnerships, and strengthening our position as a thought leader in the industry.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

The affiliate channel is built on trusted partnerships. Understanding the value women and men can bring to the channel and clearly communicating this value to partners will be key to success, especially at a time of ever evolving conditions including the turbulence over the past year, which we expect to continue as we move through 2019. These challenges to the channel – whether it was the pervasiveness of adblocking, high-profile data breaches, the launch of stringent data protection laws or brand backlash against opaque digital supply chains – are set to endure with a similar mix of obstacles. As women step into the industry, I encourage them to not only work to anticipate these (and any) new hurdles before they occur, but to create potential solutions to this so – should they need to put something in to action – they and their business are prepared. It’s this proactivity and forward thinking that will set them up for continued success in affiliate marketing as it’s an industry that is never stagnant.

What women inspire you and why?

There are many great women that inspire me daily based on their characteristics and qualities. Women who know who they are and what they stand for, trust in their abilities and with this, achieve greatness while uplifting other women. The local Word Trade Center Institute in Baltimore organizes an annual event called ‘Women Spanning the Globe Leadership Conference’ which celebrates women leading change. I enjoy this local event as it gives women a voice. Learning of their journeys is both fascinating and inspiring and a great reminder that we all hold the power to empower women in our career and life.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Honestly, I wasn’t as I really don’t think in gender-specific terms – we celebrate all staff at Awin and ShareASale. However, as a result of this post, I am reminded that we can always do more. Discussing ideas with my female colleagues, we decided on organizing shout out sessions to acknowledge all of the accomplished females on the Awin US team. Whether it’s going above and beyond the scope of their job role, championing other team members to succeed, or always working to put a smile on the face of others, we will take a moment to give a much deserved shout out to the hard working women I have the pleasure of working with and being inspired by every day.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Andra Ioana in affiliate marketingWork wise, I feel that the best decision I’ve made was to quit the full time employee status and start working as an independent contractor (with its pro’s and con’s). On a personal level I’ve taken a couple of big steps as well in the last years like moving back to my hometown, starting a family and changing the world from the inside out.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

When I’ve started working in affiliate marketing back In 2010 I was young and ambitious but I got quickly overwhelmed by the predominant masculine space of the sports betting industry. So I took a couple of years break from affiliate marketing and focused on other digital marketing related jobs.

My advice to the ladies that want to break into affiliate marketing is to take the challenge and take it to next level because this industry needs more affiliate managers with good listening and creative skills.

What women inspire you and why?

I am inspired by the women who raised me to be who I am now, my grandmother and mother. But I also guide myself by the words of Mother Teresa who said that if you want to change the world go home and love your family.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Here where I live the Women’s Day is very popular among ladies and there’s plenty of parties dedicated to them. This year I am not attending any party but I will start my day with one hour of massage therapy.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Cindy Ballard in affiliate marketingInitially I was fortunate to work with my youngest daughter in the pet industry. I then left that and I was then thrilled to be able to work with my oldest daughter in Affiliate Marketing. Being able to work in the same industry with your children can sometimes be tough, but its also great to be able to relate to them on a daily basis and talk with them and often times be educated by them. It helps form a bond that you don’t otherwise get.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m most proud of raising my daughters to be independent women, hard workers and good-hearted.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Be patient. Affiliate marketing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. The industry changes daily and keeping up with the constant changes is very necessary through conferences, webinars and friendships.

What women inspire you and why?

My biggest inspiration in the industry is Tricia Meyer. I don’t think I have ever met anyone as educated, loyal and progressive in the industry as her.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I will be attending a local Women in Business Luncheon.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Debbie Azoulay on affiliate marketingThe best decision I ever made was to trust my gut and to ignore the naysayers around me. Up until a certain point in my life, I was guided by the expectations of others. The moment I decided the noise around me was just that, it changed my life. I decided not to react to things that were happening around me but to actively make my own choices. Whether it be pursuing something new, something challenging, more interesting, more demanding, more satisfying, it all begins with making that decision.

What you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of being a working mother, showing all five of my children, especially my three daughters, that woman do not need to adhere to antiquated compromises and choose between career and family. I am proud to be an example of a healthy work-life balance.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Never assume it can’t be done. The world of affiliate marketing is dynamic and evolving so allow yourself to be creative, think outside the box and never believe that any idea is stupid or not worth pursuing. Don’t second guess yourself and push for what you believe in. Being a woman is never a limitation but something that can be used for the positive. Don’t be demure! Networking is your strategic tool which should be approached with confidence and conviction. Be intuitive and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What women inspire you and why?

Cecilia Payne, born in 1900, was the most eminent female astronomer of her time, discovering that stars are largely made up of hydrogen and helium. All the men discredited her theory and many years later when she was proven correct, Payne became the first female to be appointed Professor at Harvard University. On a more personal level, I feel compelled to mention my paternal grandmother. She was a strong independent woman who in the face of adversity was able to overcome the struggles in her own life and do amazing things for hundreds of others. She was a role model in all aspects of her life and continued her charitable work until the age of 92.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I am fortunate to be working in a company that promotes gender equality, with over 45% of all departments are female employees. Promo.com embraces the value that women bring to the table – we celebrate Women’s day here all year round!

Desiree Toto in affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Taking a risk and switching career paths later in my career from client services to product development.

What you most proud of doing?

Watching the success of other women I have mentored within Affiliate.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

To be successful you need to have the capacity to be creative and analytical while having a foundational understanding of technologies. These competencies along with building industry knowledge will be key to your success.

What women inspire you and why?

Personally I receive inspiration from the people I interact with on a daily basis. Part of what brought me to CJ was the amazing group of women leaders that not only where successful in their careers but balancing their home lives. Working with these women gave me the confidence to fully invest in my career and start a family.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Having a daughter, and being a female leader, I treat every day like International Women’s day and it’s important to set a good example every day.

Elena Potoupa in affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

In business: starting my own business although nobody believed in my ideas. On the personal level: having kids.

What you most proud of doing?

Completing 3 degrees by 22, getting Affiliate Marketing industry awards and being interviewed by NBC.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Nowadays, women in affiliate marketing are no longer a minority. It was totally different 10+ years ago. Resources also were not available, and we all were learning as we go. So for anyone who wants to try out affiliate marketing, just do it. Learn about industry, read through multiple available sources, check out industry events, make connections, and have fun while you are doing that!

What women inspire you and why?

Women that are self-accomplished, but not stuck-up. Women who are independent, but still feminine. Women who can juggle work and family gracefully.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

This day is very much celebrated by people from the former Soviet Union. Women get flowers and gifts. It’s sort of similar to Valentine’s day, but just for women. I would love to get spring flowers (lily-of-the-valley, lilac, tulips are my favorite) and to go out for a special dinner.

What you most proud of doing?

Hannah Wharrier in affiliate marketingI feel very passionately about addressing the gender pay gap and I have personally put the issue on the agenda at Clarion Events (the owner of Affiliate Summit). When the pay gap was announced initially I had a good moan about the lack of women in the senior quartile and then decided to try and take ownership for improving it. It’s a journey, one which we are barely even beginning but I’m proud that the issue is being taken seriously and that I am helping build an action plan to keep narrowing that gap and build a more diverse workplace.

What women inspire you and why?

I quote Sheryl Sandberg on a daily basis and even have a giant picture of her face next to me at work. I’ve read Lean In too many times to count. Her mantra of “Done is better than perfect” is exactly the kind of culture we are trying to build at Affiliate Summit — encouraging everyone not to fear making mistakes nor to always search for utter perfection. She has also used her vulnerability to propel her into an incredibly powerful position in a way I don’t think we have seen so publicly before.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I am lucky enough to be good friends with, and work alongside, some really incredible women — I plan on telling them all how grateful I am to have them in my life.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Hero Grigoraki in affiliate marketingAs contradictory as it might sound, for me it’s been moving away from a channel-specialist role to wider remit digital marketing. I believe having a 360 view of digital, e-commerce, product across various verticals is an asset to being able to evaluate opportunities. Being overspecialised in one channel and one vertical can be very productive, but also extremely limiting for a professional in the long run.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m self taught, learned on the job and persevered; I take great pride in having taken something very few people understood at the time and making it successful for both myself and the companies I’ve worked with and for since then. I’ve had the great fortune of having help from some wonderful people along the way and some very inspirational bosses, whose mentality allowed for individual initiatives and aspirations to flourish.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

The beauty of affiliate marketing, and digital overall, is that it’s both marketing and technical, they go hand in hand. If there’s one thing that makes a big difference in this industry is understanding the tech aspect of this complicated business. There’s too many people who only talk marketing lingo and shy away from the technical remit, so I believe having that in your armory gives you a much better traction across the board.
And never let a man talk you down, sexism is still too prevalent the higher up you move in hierarchy, so fight it!

What women inspire you and why?

Inspiration comes from such diverse routes. For me, it’s rarely been the highly successful, highly visible women in business; it’s mostly been individuals who’ve fought against adversity, persevered when things weren’t going quite their way and maintained their values, ethics and positive thinking. It’s easy to give up, it’s easy to yield and accept below par solutions, but it’s hard to stick to your guns and plow on.

I always find people who’ve overcome serious health battles as the most inspirational of all. Kristina Vogel is to be admired. And women in art and science – Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Marie Curie, Sunetra Gupta.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

The plan is to get together with my 3 childhood girlfriends on the Saturday, so none of us have the excuse of having to work ‘til late, and have a nice evening together. I’m not a big fan of big public celebrations, but I know quite a few events are being planned for the 3 days, so might drop by.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Julia Hochstein in affiliate marketingTo be someone who says “yes”. My first job out of college was boiler room cold calling. I was always frustrated by people who wouldn’t give me at least 3 minutes on the phone. My general rule, since then, is that a well-crafted pitch will always get a bit of my time. It’s how I ended up in affiliate marketing, how I made leaps to unknown startups, and most importantly how my husband earned his first date, despite his favorite football team being my team’s rival. Being open to possibility is the best life choice I can recommend to anyone.

What you most proud of doing?

Professionally, I am proud of the affiliate program I’ve built at Zoro.com. Until this year, I was a team of one, building a program that has become an integral part of our company’s growth strategy. Personally, I’m proud to be a working mother who can show her daughter daily what it means to have a career I love while being equally devoted to my family.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

As women, we are often conditioned to build rapport first. That’s okay, and is definitely a strength in this industry. But it’s even better when you can build rapport using amazing data. While relationships are the key to working with affiliate partners, the ability to effectively employ data strengthens your strategy and creates a better foundation for the relationships you are building. Take an interest in learning how to work with data. Whether it’s being fluent in SQL or Excel, you will set yourself apart from the crowd by being someone who is comfortable using data and other fact based metrics to tell the narrative.

What women inspire you and why?

As cliché as it sounds, my mom. She was a nurse for 27 years, gave up her job to take care of my grandparents and then survived an almost life ending motorcycle accident. She is brave, caring and courageous, and showed me how to enjoy my job without compromising motherhood. Being fair and working hard were two key values taught in our household daily, both of which have proven critical to my success. An honorable mention goes to Carolyn Tang Kmet, my first mentor in this industry and a superwoman in the same echelon as my mom.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

For those without plans, I propose the following. Find your favorite bottle of wine and if possible, a copy of the HBO film, Iron Jawed Angels. This film highlights the final years leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment and is beautifully directed to bring women such as Alice Paul and Lucy Burns to life. Anytime I feel the need to recognize or celebrate the strides we’ve made, I reach back to this film. In all reality though, I’m the mother of a three year old. If I’m lucky, it’ll be early to bed for her and a glass of wine for me while I check some emails before falling asleep. You’re welcome to be jealous of my amazing plans.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Julia Stead on affiliate marketingTwo major ones come to mind. First, going back to school to get my MBA after having worked for 4-5 years in communications and affiliate marketing. It gave me a strong foundation of business essentials that helped bolster my confidence, knowledge, and skillset, to really expand my career trajectory. Spacing it out from my undergrad degree gave me the time to gain invaluable entry-level and early management experience hands-on, and ensured that pursuing a higher level of education was something that I truly wanted to do and thought I would benefit from, rather than just following an auto-path in my early 20’s.

Secondly, choosing a partner (my husband of 5 years, Ronnie Regev) who is fully supportive and interested in my career goals and trajectory. This has enabled me to find balance in my personal and work life, and accomplish a lot of career growth while growing a family. Things that frankly would’ve just been really hard to do without such a strong counterbalance at home and someone who believes in sharing our respective work and family loads equally.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m most proud of everything I’ve been able to accomplish with our amazing team at Invoca. Setting challenging but exciting goals for myself and the company, and surrounding myself with hard-working, passionate, creative and genuinely delightful people has meant I’ve been personally able to help build and grow a fantastic marketing team, and be a part of creating the value that Invoca delivers to all it’s customers. Being part of a rapidly growing company that is focused on delivering best in class, innovative products to market can certainly be difficult, and I’m proud of everything I’ve learned through the challenging times, and celebrated through our success.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

I’d recommend to first think about what aspects of business interest you most, and then seek out the right type of affiliate marketing opportunity that aligns with your skills and interests. One of the great things about affiliate marketing is all the different roles and relationships that make up the ecosystem. For example if you love the creative aspects of marketing, analyzing different ways to drive engagement with advertising, testing out new traffic generation ideas, etc, being a publisher might be a great fit. Or if you love building relationships and managing business partnerships, then managing affiliate programs through a network might be right for you. To be your best at something, I believe you need to have a combination of genuine interest and passion for it, combined with a hunger to learn and/or experience and strong aptitude for the skills required.

What women inspire you and why?

Female business leaders who are passionate, and good at what they do, while maintaining a happy and fulfilling personal life, are most inspiring to me. This is because it’s what I aspire to in my own life, and I know it’s difficult to achieve. So seeing how other women have accomplished it motivates me and also helps me feel supported. An early example was the CEO of the first real ‘career’ job I had, Nicky Senyard. She was successfully building 2 affiliate networks and software platforms (Share Results and Income Access), while raising a very young son and seemingly having a great time while doing it.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Well I just gave birth a month ago to my second son, so I’m on maternity leave and life is a little hectic and sleep-deprived these days. I’m hoping to make it out to a local Women’s Day networking happy hour here in Santa Barbara, or if that doesn’t happen, I’m getting coffee with one of the amazing female leaders I work with at Invoca.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Kirsty McCubbin in affiliate marketingQuitting my day job after making money in affiliate marketing for just 6 months, and immediately dashing off to Australia to travel. The sheer joy and freedom was, and still is, intoxicating.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m proud to still be here making money on my own terms after 16 years. I’m grateful that affiliate marketing has given me the opportunity to not only work, but also choose when, how, and where to live life.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

From my side of the table — bring your self-belief and jump on in, the water’s lovely! Women can bring a different perspective to the search for revenue streams, which is incredibly powerful in finding success.

What women inspire you and why?

Shout out to all the Mums nailing the juggling act every single day. You’re rocking it, and my admiration is infinite.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I’ll be sharing stories of strong women in all walks of life with my two beautiful little girls.

Kristy LoSapio on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

To stop worrying about what other people think. It has made my life infinitely better.

What you most proud of doing?

Raising my kids. They are pretty awesome young people, and I work really hard at being a great mom.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

I don’t think my advice only applies to affiliate marketing; it’s really true of any area you want to move into. If you don’t have experience in the area, do everything you can to learn about it. Network, network, network, and anyone you speak to, tell them what you’re interested in doing and why. If a passion for something comes through, people are more likely to help you. Everyone loves enthusiasm and initiative.

What women inspire you and why?

Too many to fit here! But a few of my favorites:

  • Serena Williams — the ultimate competitor. I’ve never seen anyone work harder, and she does it all for herself.
  • Michelle Obama — a brilliant, accomplished, authentic class-act who has always stayed true to herself.
  • Abby Wambach — a truly great, humble and inspiring leader who is the ultimate in “lead by example.”

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I wasn’t, but now I’m thinking maybe I should!

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Ksenia Kostina on affiliate marketingSaying “yes” to my husband 11 years ago and in terms of business didn’t quit doing business during crisis in 2014 when everything seemed to go wrong and Leadgid had a lot of debts.

What you most proud of doing?

Combining running several international businesses and raising 3 small kids

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Go for it.! There are not many women in affiliate marketing and it’s an advantage. You will get noticed easily.

What women inspire you and why?

I am inspired of woman who manage to combine their career and family life and look amazing. Especially after their fifties

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I will probably invite my mom and mother-in-law over for a nice dinner at or place and order nice unusual deserts to make my daughters happy.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Larisa Summers in affiliate marketingIn thinking about this question, I’m realizing that my life has been a series of mostly good decisions, but certainly also a few bad ones and mistakes along the way. The best decision has probably been an internal one, which is to take responsibility for the fact that my mindset and attitude directly impacts my outcomes. I have fully embraced how much I have yet to learn, and how much everyone around me can teach me something new. A close second is to realize that the relationships you build in your life – both personally and professionally – drive much of your capacity for success and growth. If you become a composite of the people you spend the most time with, or the information and media you most consume, how will that shape who you become? I try to choose wisely!

What you most proud of doing?

I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built over the years with so many amazing people. I just spent the last few days at a major retail tradeshow, and ran into so many old friends and colleagues. The work we did together was fun and important, but it’s the people themselves who make life interesting and give life meaning.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Don’t be shy to reach out and seek advice from those already in the business. There is so much great information out there (especially online), but you’d be surprised by how many people are willing to share their stories and learnings with those just starting out. Become a sponge and learn as much as you can, then apply your unique personality and talents to make the job your own.

What women inspire you and why?

Without a doubt, this is the most exciting time to be a professional woman — in business, government, sports, media, etc. I see a lot of women just totally owning who they are, and it’s so inspiring to see their intelligence, courage and creativity having such a huge impact on the world. In business, I admire Katrina Lake (who founded Stitch Fix) for the business she built with relatively little funding by Silicon Valley standards. In media, I’ve been so inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith‘s Red Table Talks. She is taking on major cultural issues with an intelligence and sensitivity that is inspiring and thought-provoking.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

We are getting a group of women together at Optoro to volunteer at a women’s shelter. Our company encourages community outreach efforts every quarter, so we are taking some time to give back to our local community in Washington DC.

Lisa Picarille on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Moving from Boston to San Francisco in 1990.

What you most proud of doing?

Winning two national press awards for stories on Steve Jobs and Apple.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Be vigilant in continuously expanding your network of connections. This industry is built on strong relationships. Never stop learning. Affiliate marketing is always evolving and understanding new developments and technologies often inspires innovative affiliate strategies. Help others. Sharing, mentoring, and being a resource helps the entire industry grow and flourish.

What women inspire you and why?

There so many inspiring women — from those who changed and made history to current females leading by example and standing up for the rights of women and all people. But there are many inspiring women that are overlooked. They are raising families and bringing up strong, independent, mindful children that will be prepared to make valuable contributions to society and maybe even change the world.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I’m having dinner with a group of my girlfriends and we will be toasting how much we love, support, and respect each other through all of life’s ups and downs.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Missy Ward on affiliate marketingThe best decision I ever made might not have been my most rational. I was working as a VP of Marketing for a company for 10+ years. I was one of their first employees, and together with my colleagues, we grew the company to $125M annual revenue. I worked my tail off – sometimes 70+ hours a week – all while juggling life as a newly single mom of a toddler and quite honestly, living paycheck to paycheck. In my 11th year, a new COO was hired who believed in an “open book” policy, and I was given the ability to view salaries and bonus structures for everyone around the company. At that point, I realized I was earning nearly 40% less as staff in comparable positions. I gave my 2-weeks notice that day without allowing for any counter offer or having another job lined up. If it wasn’t for that COO, I might still be working for that company, and Affiliate Summit might have never started.

What you most proud of doing?

There have been many highlights in my career, but I guess the one that I’m most proud of (besides Affiliate Summit) was starting Affiliate Marketers Give Back, an organization I founded back in 2007. AMGB raises money for organizations that support breast cancer research, treatment, awareness and community programs through combined efforts within the affiliate marketing industry. I’m delighted to say that, to date, we’ve raised over $625,000.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

If you don’t describe yourself as being tenacious, consider another industry. Affiliate marketing takes stick-to-it-iveness. There is no magic bullet nor a foolproof way of mastering the affiliate marketing landscape. Like any industry, it takes time, effort, and optimization to succeed.

What women inspire you and why?

Katie Couric is my girl crush. She is someone I’ve drawn inspiration from her for many years. Katie started in a male-dominated industry and is now every bit as powerful as her male counterparts. One of my favorite moments of her career was when she underwent a televised colonoscopy on Today, after losing her husband two years prior from colon cancer. She turned her tragedy into a teaching moment to help other people and shattered the norms of network television.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I’m planning on surprising a few women that I surround myself with to show them my gratitude. I’m also packing for Affiliate Summit Europe 2019 in Amsterdam because I’m leaving the next day!

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Nicole Pace on affiliate marketingProfessionally speaking, it was the decision to be a working mom. As difficult as it was, I believe that my choice was the best for my family and me. It has given my daughters the opportunity to see their mom grow, flourish, sometimes struggle, and often be inspired about work, and this has left a positive impression on them.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m most proud of the teams that I have been a part of, and those that I have led. Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate that members of my team have had long-standing tenure and I would like to think that my leadership approach had an impact on this.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

As in any industry, learning all you can about the business is critical. Broaden your understanding of the industry’s history, the present landscape and where the future lies. And if you are trying to make the leap from one career to another, take stock of all your skills and recognize how they can be transferred to your role in a new industry.

What women inspire you and why?

Maya Angelou, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sallie Krawcheck to name a few. And closer to home, my mom for all that she has taught me about how hard work and dedication can lead you to amazing things.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I’m taking the day off to spend time with my three daughters who provide me with endless inspiration, insight and humor.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Rachel Honoway on affiliate marketingWow! Tough question right off the bat! My mind immediately jumps to personal decisions like saying “yes” when a funny guy in college asked me out on date, and saying it again years later when he asked me to be his wife. Or deciding to have our first child, and later adding a second to the family. Those decisions led to the most important relationships I’ve ever had and the deepest love I’ve ever felt.

But, on International Women’s Day I also think that it’s important to layer on the decision I made to also choose dedicate a large part of my time and energy to my career. This decision has led to an amazing set of experiences, meaningful relationships, and a sense of fulfillment that brings me joy year after year.

What you most proud of doing?

I feel most proud when I am able to help someone bring out the best in themselves. As a mom, I strive to create opportunities for my sons to shine and to support them as they face challenges, reminding that they have it in themselves to meet the challenge, work through it, and come out stronger on the other side.

As a manager and a business leader, I strive to do the same for employees, colleagues, and partners. My favorite experience is when someone thinks they “can’t”, and with enough space, a little encouragement, and a whole lot of trust they figure out. It’s great to see them exceed their own expectations and get to feel a sense of accomplishment – I love to watch for the little spark of “Check! What’s next?!”

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Dive in. Ask a ton of questions. Meet as many people as you can and ask them for their stories and advice (you’ll probably want to go to Affiliate Summit to do that!).

Do ten times more listening than talking in the first year or two. You’ve got a lot to learn and an industry full of people who are generous with their time and advice. Take advantage of the free education.

What women inspire you and why?

I’m inspired by women who are happy with who they are and who accept that the quality of their lives are based largely on the choices they make. While there are countless famous women who have these characteristics — I’m most influenced by the women closest to me. I was raised by a strong woman who was supported by other strong women — and now surround myself with strong women who enjoy their families, strive to be successful in their own careers, and carefully choose where their time is spent.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

I will watch for inspiring stories and will hope to see some familiar names as I scan through articles and posts throughout the day.

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Rosalind Gardner on affiliate marketingOther than deciding to share my life with my best friend, Ed, and then adopting Jasper the Chocolate Labrador together; the best decision I ever made was to seriously pursue affiliate marketing as a way to earn ‘supplemental income’, a.k.a. ‘fun money’.

To my utmost surprise and delight, doing so allowed me to quit my full-time job as an air traffic controller at the age of 40, a scant 2 years after I started my first website, and enjoy a wonderful lifestyle for the past 2+ decades that would have been unattainable had I stayed with my ‘day job’.

What you most proud of doing?

I do my best to avoid the ‘sin’ of pride as it truly is deadly, so I’ll just say that I’m most happy and gratified to know that my efforts to teach affiliate marketing through my blog and book have in some small way helped so many learn to earn a full-time income as I did — as bloggers who monetize their sites with affiliate marketing.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Cast aside your fears because there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you are passionate about your topic and honestly want to help others learn about that topic. Simply decide that you want to become a food, beauty, mommy or any other type of blogger and dive right in by starting a blog and writing about what you love. Don’t fret too much over SEO or the look of your blog. You will learn all that you need to know along the way, if you are persistent.

More importantly, just be you. Don’t try to write ‘perfectly’, because ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist. Write your articles just as if you were talking to a friend. Your visitors will appreciate and respond to your honesty much better than if you try to sound like a professor.

What women inspire you and why?

Any woman who is courageous enough to take a leap of faith and pursue her dreams inspires me and has my admiration. I am especially grateful to the food bloggers whose delicious, easy recipes have inspired me to cook healthier meals more often.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

Yes. I’m going out to get my hair done and then Ed and I are going to chow down at an all-you-can-eat crab buffet at the local casino. And I truly mean ‘chow down’ — crab as the appetizer, the main and dessert! That’s a truly special occasion for those of us who otherwise tend to watch our cholesterol intake. 🙂

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Tricia Meyer in affiliate marketingProfessionally, going to law school opened up my world. It’s the only time I have ever lived on my own, and I spent 3 years not only learning the law but more importantly learning to see issues from opposing viewpoints.

What you most proud of doing?

It’s cliche, but I’m most proud of my daughters. They are a reflection of my own morals and work ethics, and so I share in their accomplishments.

What advice would you give to women trying to break into affiliate marketing?

Network as much as possible. Affiliate marketers tend to move around the industry quite a bit and it is helpful to form relationships even with competitors because you may one day end up as collaborators.

What women inspire you and why?

My mom will forever be my biggest inspiration because she is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. She has always held multiple jobs, leadership roles, and volunteer positions at the same time and is a natural leader.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate the International Women’s Day?

My plan is to read and share all of the blog posts about the great women in our industry!


So, there you have it… I hope that these frank and open answers opened your eyes to a new perspective, regardless of your gender.

Stay tuned for “Part II”, and your comments are most welcomed. That’s what the “Comments” area under this post is for. No comment will remain unanswered.

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