The context is affiliate marketing:
Over time I've become aware that a number of affiliate marketers market products based NOT necessarily on personal experience with a product/service they found useful, but rather based solely on market research on a niche, keyword research, competition research, traffic research, and so on.
And then making a go/no go decision to enter a market - then comes product selection.
So far so good and I (and ostensibly people much smarter and more successful than I such as Ed Dale) agree that this is good business practice.
BUT BUT BUT - I wonder if there's a problem lurking - please read on and I'll make this as clear and succinct as possible:
The genesis of this thought/thread comes from me being an author of a book in a niche that has attracted affiliate requests to sell my product - not one person who approached me has every purchased my book and read it, much less used the information in it.
Now, a large number of people who HAVE read my book have contacted me to thank me for what they consider to be one of the few quality products they have purchased in this niche. In fact, they've gone on to tell me exactly who they made purchases from, what they received, and exactly why and how they considered the competitors' products/services far inferior, and in some cases, completely worthless. Even extremely expensive and extensive products/services.
So the issue or even potential problem - and the discussion I'm raising here - is this:
Given the "good business practices" of doing research and then choosing a market to enter, and then choosing an affiliate product to promote - which I agree is sound business practice - this approach seriously ignores whether the product(s)/service(s) chosen to promote in a particular niche is a quality product/service that really helps people, or is just low quality, or worse, pure garbage.
If the affiliate marketer does not / has not personally used the product in question, is not an expert in this field, how would they know if what they're promoting actually helps people or not?
Sure, the affiliate marketer could try to look at reviews, try to choose a *popular* product assuming popular translates to quality (which it does not; if it did, then McDonald's must be the highest quality food in the world; further, popularity may speak to terrific marketing and not necessarily a terrific product).
Now, understand, I'm not against making money - no no no, in fact I'm quite the opposite, I'm all for people making money - but shouldn't money generated be done in an ethical manner with integrity?-and that means by providing real solutions to problems, providing real value and not regurgitated crap (or worse)?
I think that in people's rush to make money, and with affiliate marketing being a very popular choice rather than choosing to produce quality original products, there's a very serious risk of being "blinded by money" and not paying attention to the fundamentals of the market - which should be providing quality solutions that are worth more to the purchaser than the money they paid for it.
Haven't you ever bought a crap product you wished you hadn't bought? Sure, there might be a guarantee but we all know that most people just "eat it" when they're not happy many times figuring it's not worth the hassle, never get around to it, etc.
Is it incumbent on an affiliate marketer to not promote crap? Aren't affiliate marketers "on the hook" and responsible if they promote a product, especially one they've never used in a field in which they're not even an expert?
What are your thoughts? I'm not trying to impose my values or opinions on anyone here, I'm truly interested in what you have to say and what your thoughts or opinions are...
PS: Please note that I do not have an affiliate program for my product, so no, this is not a 'disguised search for affiliates'!