Celebrating Women in Affiliate Marketing (Part 2)


On March 8, the International Women’s Day, I posted the first part of this super series of interviews with the women of affiliate marketing.

Women of affiliate marketingAs I wrote back then, the volume of responses I had received was nothing short of astounding, and I thought: “Why should it be just a ‘day’ of celebrating women? Why couldn’t it be a month (if not a year)?!” So, I had split the publication into two parts, and today I am excited to bring you the second part of my “Celebrating Women in Affiliate Marketing” series.

Big thanks to all the ladies who agreed to participate. Keep shining your light, inspiring both women, and men in our industry! You are our (guiding) stars!!

Crystal McLain

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Crystal McLain in affiliate marketingThe best decision that I’ve ever made was to learn and implement affiliate marketing.

Not only did it allow me to work from home, but it also changed my life and opened up my eyes to what is possible with hard work and determination.

What are you most proud of doing?

My proudest moments were when I reached the goal of making $10k+ a month, and also hitting $1k+ a day. I achieved both of those goals in the same month.

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

Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who say it can’t be done or not worth going after. It can feel overwhelming at first, but just take it one day at a time and stick with it. Determination and consistency are key to making it in affiliate marketing.

What women inspire you and why?

When I think of women who inspire me, Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank comes to mind. She didn’t listen to the nay-sayers and used it as fuel to move forward in her business/career. I can relate as I’ve done the same in my own life.

Dafra Sanou

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Dafra Sanou on affiliate marketingDeciding that I was in charge of my future and my destiny. Unplanned things happen, but in general, I hold this belief very close to my heart. It helps me move through life with happiness.

What you most proud of doing?

This one is a very tough one… I would say that I am proud of taking chances and following my dreams. I am also pretty proud of my family, they are rockstars.

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

The same I would give anyone trying to break into any profession: research, be curious, find and talk to the experts, and above all try to bring real value.

What women inspire you and why?

My mom, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres and Serena Williams. They are all incredibly strong and had to overcome massive hurdles to be the powerhouses and household names they are today, and they did so with grace.

Janet Thaeler

Janet Thaeler on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

To have kids. I’ve got two and they make me a better person, make life richer and teach me to be more giving. You don’t know love like you do when you’re a parent.

What you most proud of doing?

I was a missionary for my church for 18 months and it was really hard but I’m proud that I did it and finished. It deepened my faith and made me confront my fears.

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

I work with a lot of bloggers and they often focus on getting sponsors. Affiliate marketing is an income stream and you can get paid on work you do now for years to come and you have a lot of freedom to market in a way that serves your audience.

What women inspire you and why?

I’m inspired by women who overcome hard things and don’t give up. Like my former neighbor and environmentalist Lillian Hayes to Rosa Parks, Kathrine Switzer and Cristina Zenato.

Jeannine Crooks

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Jeannine Crooks on affiliate marketingThe obvious one is marrying my husband, Brad, but after that, it’s been working for Awin, and before that, LinkConnector. My experience seems to best fit being part of a network. Since I’ve already been an affiliate and a merchant, I understand both sides of the equation and love playing matchmaker between the two.

What you most proud of doing?

Over the years, I’ve known literally thousands of affiliates. I love it when I can show them how affiliate marketing can change their lives. Watching people change their circumstances one blog post at a time is exhilarating. When I testified about the affiliate nexus issue before the Colorado House and Senate, I emphasized that at a time or location when finding a job could be an issue, through affiliate marketing people could literally create their own jobs. I love that about our industry. I was part of watching someone go from homeless to home owner, thanks to affiliate marketing. I will always treasure that story.

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

This industry is very friendly to women. I’ve always found that I was evaluated based on my previous experience and work ethic. Those are all things which have to do with you as a person, regardless of gender.

What women inspire you and why?

I’m a huge fan of Condoleezza Rice — she is so well-spoken and accomplished in so many different fields. I also wish I could be as compassionate as Mother Theresa; her love for others, selflessness and unwavering modesty despite all the honors and rewards she received remains so inspirational. I fall short of both of these women, but it’s important to always aspire to be the kindest person possible each day.

Jenn Bentz

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Jenn Bentz on affiliate marketingSaying yes to my friend that wanted me to come see his new company. I was going to be a forensic psychologist. While studying for a test and getting ready to apply to graduate school, my friend had started a company called 123inkjets.com. He asked me to come work for him. I kept saying no because I was going back to school. He then asked me to just come see the office. I decided to go and he’s such a great salesperson that he got me to work for him. This was in 2001 and I was literally thrown into Affiliate Marketing.

What you most proud of doing?

Being able to be a working Mom. I want to be a role model in my kids lives.

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

If you are new to Affiliate Marketing, start at the bottom so you can learn everything! Knowing all the nuts and bolts and understanding them will only help you excel. Learn to work with all different personalities. Everything is about relationships.

What women inspire you and why?

My mom is my role model. My parents were immigrants and I saw my mom start from the bottom and work her way up.

Jennifer Hoffman

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Jennifer Hoffman on affiliate marketingAccepting my current role leading the marketing team at DeepCrawl. I’ve been able to impact the brand and business in a way that I find extremely fulfilling. I lead a team of amazingly brilliant marketing professionals who make my job incredibly fun each and very day.

What you most proud of doing?

Nurturing and mentoring the next generation of marketers on my team at DeepCrawl. Helping them to realize their full potential and achieve professional goals they never thought were possible.

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

Understand the whole marketing strategy and how affiliate marketing fits into the wider picture along with what impact it has on all other marketing channels. Don’t think of affiliates as a silo-ed channel, but a component to the wider strategy.

What women inspire you and why?

  • Deborah Wahl, CMO of Cadillac — She’s doing amazing things with such an iconic brand with Cadillac. Reinventing it, keeping it fresh utilizing today’s innovation and technology to power her thinking and creative strategies.
  • Joanna Lord, CMO Skyscanner — I’ve followed Joanna’s career for many years and she never ceases to amaze me with her methodical approach and knack for growth marketing at the start up level.

Jessie Li

Jessie Li in affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

After my graduation, I decided to stay in a big city (to live and work) instead of going back to my hometown.

What you most proud of doing?

As I am a very positive person, full of love for my life, and always keep learning something new. This attitude has influenced some of my relatives and close friends, which makes me proud of doing so.

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

Be ready to be nice and patient to your partners and keep up with what’s going in the affiliate world.

Kathy Eickenberg

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

If regarding personally, it would be marrying my husband. He’s my best friend and I would be totally lost in a world without him. In regards to being an affiliate, it would be teaching myself html and other things involved in building web sites. Have tried to continue to learn as much as possible though the years and attempt to improve.

What you most proud of doing?

Personally, I pride myself in being an honest and compassionate person. In regards to affiliate marketing the answer would be similar to the previous answer. Also, surviving all these years with being able to do what I want to do.

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

The most important thing is being able to like what you’re doing. You want to be able to get up each day and like what it is you’re doing. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would have gone back to school and gotten a little more computer and marketing education. Also, live in a state where the Nexus tax issue doesn’t make your job a lot harder than it needs to be.

What women inspire you and why?

May sound silly but my Mom inspired me. I don’t know of a single fault that she had. Every good quality you would hope to have as a person, she possessed. I hope I’ve turned out to have those same good qualities. Other women who inspire me are nurses who comfort the patient when their time has come by holding their hand or just being there with them. The woman who’s managed to get to the top of her field with no regrets on how she achieved it is an inspiration to me because I think it is much harder for her to do so.

Karen Hoxmeier

Karen Hoxmeier on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

With regard to business, the best decision I ever made was to turn my love of nabbing a great deal into a blog that has been profitable for nearly 20 years.

What are you most proud of doing?

I’m proud to have been able to stay home with my kids and actively participate in their lives on a daily basis while building a sustainable business.

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

Create content around something you are passionate about. Look for products and/or services that complement your content and only promote products/services you believe in. Never sell your readers out.

What women inspire you and why?

I’ve always admired Tina Fey. She is a woman who overcame adversity, followed her dream to work in comedy and continued to expand her career as she grew older. If you haven’t read her book, “Bossy Pants” yet, add it to your list!

Kim Rowley

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Kim Rowley in affiliate marketingGetting divorced 17 years ago. I became better off emotionally and financially. I was too young and naive when I got married to know better, but I did get some great kids out of the deal.

What are you most proud of doing?

Raising good-hearted kids. I was grateful to have the opportunity to be able to work from home while supporting and caring for four children.

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

There is a lot more competition now than there was when I started affiliate marketing so you need to think out of the box to market to new niches. And be prepared to work hard for your money.

What women inspire you and why?

Hoda Kotb. She is the most down-to-earth celebrity that I know of, has overcome hardship and adversities, and is still inspiring and motivating. Listening to TODAY is a must while I work.

Kim Salvino

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Kim Salvino in affiliate marketingI’d like to think some of my best decisions are still to come… If I had to pick one so far, it was stepping out of my comfort zone and leaving a company after 11 years to join what was then buy.at US. The relationships I made while there are some I still count close to my heart to this day. People in this industry have a way of starting as friends and ending up as family.

What are you most proud of doing?

I’m proud to have done many things in my professional career, such as celebrating certain revenue milestones and holding different roles within the industry, but I take the most pride in being a parent. Some days I kill it. Other days, I celebrate wearing matching socks. Every victory counts.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and ask them of the right people. Find people working in the scope of your interest that you admire- affiliate, OPM, in-house or network — and reach out to form relationships. One of my fondest memories is attending my first Affiliate Summit conference alone and sitting down with a group of folks I had never met in person. I knew them from an online forum, from emails or phone calls, but that night we traded stories, learned about each other, shared knowledge and it was really inspiring to be in the presence of so many industry veterans, all willing to share and be open.

If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, hold yourself accountable and use it as a lesson. Your personal brand goes with you wherever you go, so honor your word.

Be kind. It doesn’t cost anything.

When you have an opportunity to teach someone else something, do it. Remember someone that once taught you an important lesson and think of it as a way of honoring them by paying it forward.

What women inspire you and why?

I am inspired by so many women in my life — my mother, my daughter, my dear friend, Amy Ely. Other women in the industry who have served as role models for me are Carolyn Kmet and Deb Carney. Each of these ladies are givers — they give of their time, their knowledge and they just radiate happiness. I am inspired by women I work with every day, at Partnerize and at the businesses who use our technology — too many to name here! I am inspired by women who do what they love.

Linda Chep

Linda Chep of Microsoft on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

The best decision I have ever made was to join Microsoft. I’m extremely proud to be a part of an organization that focuses on creating and nurturing a diverse & inclusive workplace.

What you most proud of doing?

Mentoring and coaching young professionals. Currently, I have the opportunity to mentor two fantastic women on the other side of the globe. It has provided me with a lot of personal and professional enrichment.

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

Make it happen. When you encounter challenges, actively and constantly seek out ways to overcome them. Also, having a Mentor helps. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the brilliant women and men who have shared their knowledge, experience and time with me.

What women inspire you and why?

My Mother inspires me every day. She’s kept me grounded, and has shown me how to overcome adversity with humility and grace.

Liliya Tyndyk

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Liliya Tyndyk on affiliate marketingJoining MacPaw team! Since becoming a part of MacPaw four years ago I’m waking up every morning inspired to go to work. Fulfilling professional development, exciting and meaningful projects, friendly environment – these are only a few things out of the mile-long list of things I love about my job.

What you most proud of doing?

Pursuing my dreams. When I just started my career in affiliate marketing, I was a recently-divorced broke mom of two very young kids with no experience in marketing at all. I made a choice of finding an opportunity in every obstacle, and this is the main reason I’m able to achieve my goals and build a better future for myself and my family.

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

Make your choices based on what you are really passionate about. When there’s a passion, you’ll be able to overcome any difficulties, find time, money, support, information, and other resources and opportunities.

What women inspire you and why?

Oprah Winfrey, J.K.Rowling, Rae Dolan (Sugarrae) — these amazing, strong, beautiful women stand out not only on their abilities to defeat challenging circumstances and reach unprecedented success, but they also give back to the society, empower and support others.

Margo Saar

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Margo Saar on affiliate marketingI don’t think there’s a specific decision that made the whole difference, there were several decisions on a personal and professional level that changed my life for good. Among those decisions was relocating on my own to another country thousands of miles from home and starting my life from scratch. Marrying my husband and having an adorable baby girl. Pursuing a career in performance marketing and joining the team in the company of my dreams. I also truly hope that the best decision is yet to come, since “every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around”.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m very proud to be a part of Clickbooth team. My teammates are professional, talented and very passionate people. I can honestly say that everyone that I have met from our company has a strong work ethic. Everyone is proud of their work and wants to do the best at their job. I’m happy to represent the company’s values, share its success and grow together. Work at Clickbooth gives me numerous opportunities for self-development, it makes me feel motivated and keep on learning new things. Every day is a new challenge I’m looking forward to.

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

  • Be patient. Affiliate revenue grows and builds up with time.
  • Stay Relevant. Always be up to date on the latest offers, traffic sources, networks, advertisers, tracking solutions and tools.
  • Be selective. Choose your partners wisely. Never overlook the importance of using your contacts and resources from your business networks to your full advantage.

What women inspire you and why?

My mom is my role model, she is a very strong and independent businesswoman. She always has my back and expects the best from me. She inspires and motivates me to grow without any barriers. She always tells me to take every opportunity, get out of my comfort zone, try new things, strive for more and dream big.

Maryellen Garasky

Maryellen Garasky on affiliate marketingWhat is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Deciding nearly 10 years ago that I would work from home.

What are you most proud of doing?

Maintaining balance as a working mom. It’s not as difficult as others make it out to be if you are diligent about protecting your time and not being apologetic about it. No apologies, ladies.

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

Find balance. It’s easy to let work consume you if you let it. Don’t let it. Take time for family. Take time for yourself. Don’t apologize about it. Not even to yourself.

What women inspire you and why?

Hands down my mom. She is the wisest and most generous person I know. She weighs her advice carefully and only interjects when I ask.

Maura Smith

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?Maura Smith on affiliate marketing

Pointing to any one decision as a superlative is tough. I like to think that your best outcomes are simply earned by making better decisions for yourself.

What you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of being a mother. Mothers are not only perceived to be everything to everyone, but they must also do it all too. Usually I follow the mantra that ‘you can’t be all things to all people’, but motherhood is the exception to that rule. Motherhood challenges and changes you in ways you never knew possible.

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

Women must realize, with determination and desire, they can do anything. Whether it be affiliate marketing or otherwise, self-education and networking certainly help….but don’t hesitate to dive right in. Sometimes overcomplicating the uncomplicated prevents achievement.

What women inspire you and why?

My mother has always been my inspiration because she has never ceased to amaze me. She lost both of her parents before age 18 yet managed to self-fund her way through college undergrad and graduate with an ivy league degree. She worked in healthcare, married and had two kids before becoming a widow before age 35, raising two young daughters on her own, while working full time. Despite it all, she was present for every event, game and moment that mattered — from childhood through my adult life. My mom has shown me firsthand what it means to be an independent, hardworking and determined woman.

Melissa Salas

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Melissa Salas on affiliate marketingBest decision I have ever made was to “be present”. I found myself in a pattern of always being future focused or over extending myself with daily commitments. When I prioritize my time and put my phone away to be present in the moment, I find more meaningful experiences that give me great joy.

What you most proud of doing?

I am most proud of being selfless. Life is not just about me, but how I can encourage others, help others, love others whether its my family, friends or even strangers. (I am also quite proud of my past track and field days, I was quite fast and raced against boys!)

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

My advice is to center yourself around like-minded affiliate experts for continued learning. Attend affiliate conferences. Have the courage to walk up to strangers to introduce yourself and learn what they do in the industry. Build relationships that will set the foundation of your success. That’s how I built my network!

What women inspire you and why?

My mom inspires me the most. Everything I am is because of her. She’s humble, kind, selfless and the most loving person I have ever met. She’s courageous. She’s a fighter. She’s a survivor. She’s there for everyone no matter the cost. I strive to be her every day.

Nanette Fraser

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Nanette Fraser on affiliate marketingRelocating our family to my husband’s hometown of Damariscotta, Maine has been life-changing for our entire family. Not only do we enjoy more time together, ocean views and a strong supportive community, but I’ve also been able to take on consulting jobs helping local companies with their digital marketing efforts.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m very proud of finding that balance between being a mother and having a career. It wasn’t easy; there were times when I was nursing in the bathroom at conferences.

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

My advice would be to start attending some of the many affiliate conferences and dive into podcasts, blogs, and other resources created by industry leaders.

What women inspire you and why?

My unapologetic female friends, coworkers, and family who push themselves every day. They are all inspirations in different ways and together create an incredible community full of supportive bad-ass women. You know who you are!

Nicole Young

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Nicole Young on affiliate marketingThe best decision I’ve made (so far…) was moving from Canada’s East Coast to Montreal after graduating university 10 years ago. I was fascinated with this city’s vibrant culture and vibe and wanted a piece of the action. This is where I landed my first job, started my career in affiliate marketing and met many amazing colleagues and friends.

What you most proud of doing?

I’m a people person! I love interacting with partners, colleagues and all sorts of people. I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve made and the teams I’ve built throughout my career. The people I work with aren’t just my coworkers, they’re my friends and that’s important to me.

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

Being successful in affiliate marketing is all about creating strong relationships, communication, familiarizing yourself with the market, and developing long-term revenue streams. Knowing where to start may seem overwhelming, so it’s best to go for a field that you have a general interest in. Choose a niche that you’re passionate about, seek long-term partnerships, and find people you can work with over the long-term.

What women inspire you and why?

I have been fortunate to meet many incredible women over the years that are so inspiring. One in particular, being my previous CEO and mentor, Nicky Senyard. Nicky is an inspiring influencer and leader within the affiliate space and founder of two award-winning affiliate marketing companies. Under her leadership, I learned the fundamentals of affiliate marketing and developed invaluable, transferable skills that have shaped my career as well as my personal life.

Sandrine Thompson

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Sandrine Thompson on affiliate marketingCareer-wise, I have to say I’m really happy with my decision 14 years ago to accept my first job in affiliate. I had no clue that I was embarking on what was to be an interesting and personally satisfying career in such an exciting industry.

What you most proud of doing?

About mid-way through my career in affiliate I paused to assess what aspects of my job I really enjoyed (which turned out to be data analysis and strategic development) and explored how I could do more of that on a day to day basis. I was able to propose a new role for myself within my company and experience how to define and develop that role over time. Instead of getting frustrated and discouraged with where I was heading in my career, I’m proud that I defined a new path for myself.

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

Take a natural strength, skill or talent and find a way to apply it in a way that meets an unmet need. For example, if there is something that you do really well, develop a training and show others how to also be good at that task or skill. You’ll gain the trust and esteem of others, which often turns into real job opportunities down the line.

What women inspire you and why?

I’m inspired by women who are honest about the struggles of balancing motherhood and a career. Successful business woman and writer, Tiffany Dufu, is a great example — her book “Drop the Ball” shows others how to counteract a natural instinct women have to “do it all” and instead strive for balance.

Tara McCommons

What is the best decision you’ve ever made?

Tara McCommons on affiliate marketingChoosing to join a college sorority. Little did I know then that this 4-year experience would give me not only gifts of lifelong friendships but also invaluable life lessons that would encourage me to stretch and grow on many levels. From stepping out of my introverted comfort zone to taking on officer responsibilities, my sorority experience helped me develop fundamental leadership traits and values that pushed me to want to be a better person and shaped who I am today.

What are you most proud of doing?

The accomplishment I am most proud of was breastfeeding my daughter from birth until she was two years young, largely while wearing my career hat too. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. For me, this journey reinforced the fact that things do not always go as planned, that you are stronger than you seem, to remain persistent in achieving your goals and to appreciate all who support you.

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

Know your passion — there are many facets of affiliate marketing that offer opportunity; being aware of what energizes you most will help guide you to roles where you can make an impact. Immerse yourself in the affiliate marketing community — from Affiliate Summit conferences to the Performance Marketing Association to network and OPM blogs, there are endless resources for learning and networking. Your investment in networking and learning will pay priceless dividends.

What women inspire you and why?

My beacon of inspiration will always be my Mother. Lessons she’s unknowingly taught me include:

  1. Be Curious — Don’t be afraid to ask why and why not
  2. Keep Learning — My Mom earned 2 Master’s degrees while raising me and my sister, and accomplished 3 entirely different career paths
  3. Embrace Change — My Dad’s career uprooted our family to new beginnings more than once
  4. Give Back — From the PTA to the United Way to the Alzheimer’s Association and now to her church, my Mom has happily volunteered her energy and expertise to make a difference for others
  5. Be Brave — As she recently conquered some of the most grueling breast cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatments, my Mom’s unwavering bravery was (and is) an inspiration to me and so many others

]]>


4 thoughts on “Celebrating Women in Affiliate Marketing (Part 2)”

  1. Thank you again Geno. Very flattered for you to have requested my thoughts and to be included in this group of very impressive ladies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *