Affiliate Summit West 2012 is under way starting with “The Future of Content Monetization and Publishing” featuring Steve Hall, John Chow, Ian Fernando and Murray Newlands.

The first part of the conversation talks about how they are making money. Ian Fernando says he makes money by using paid performance, affiliate marketing on his blog as well as advertising and paid reviews sales.

John chow talks about creating a sales funnel. He states that every person that signs up on his list is worth $10 to him. He has a pop-up sign-up form that shows on his site the first time a reader comes to his site. He says not to go for a hard sale. Just recommend products and tell a story. He says he is always tweaking his process, such as simply changing a headline. He says that he does not do any consultants because he has a rule not to trade hours for dollars. John says he writes 90% of the content himself.

Steve Hall says most of his dollars come from direct ad sales. He states that he has a couple of guys selling ad positions which is unique from most other Affiliate Marketers.  He creates editorials and then goes out and promotes and advertorial. He writes it in the tone of the site so it becomes more fluid. The Advertorial is noted as an advertisement and it does considerably better. He is doing lead generation offered through a white paper or similar product which captures leads.

Murray asked Steve about branded content. He says he often takes the contribution because it contributes to the site. He states that paid content is becoming quite common including on sites like Mashable which is something that you couldn’t do ten years ago, but now is acceptable.

Ian Fernando says that he doesn’t take branded content on his personal blog. He states that he keeps it about him specifically and feels that branded content doesn’t fit well in the blog. He’s been in the industry for about six years.

This is a great panel with fantastic information that will make you think about how you’re building business in different ways.