There are several points I'd like to mention that are relative to every warrior here, and I found no better comfort then seeking your opinions to this thread, and in exposing some sensitive realities concerning affiliate marketing.
First off, I am not implying anything about ethics or even your integrity as an affiliate marketer, or hammering on anyone new to the game. Obviously, I am an affiliate marketer too.
O.k., so I am looking at the enormous potential and opportunity the internet offers to anyone with an ounce of salt and is willing to put forth a sincere effort to earn a living online. Naturally, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest platforms from which one can get started in, and capitalize on the potential return for their sincere efforts, right?
Being most product owners or vendors supply our advertising (i.e. creatives, text ads, landing pages, email scripts, etc...) and offer a plenty of legit opportunities to earn revenue from their products, services, or what not's... we should maintain a certain level of respect, and preserve the future of these opportunities, no?
However, I must question the sincerity of 'publishers' (*myself included) who put themselves in the way of consumers, and strategically embody ourselves around these promotions.
Speaking for myself, I perform my due diligence before buying anything, and these days it's critical in receiving value in exchange for the release of my hard earned money.
So, on behalf of those who do optin or make purchases through my sincerest efforts, I lose very little sleep at night, knowing; I've done my best to ensure those customers (and in essence, my customers) receive value for their hardened dollars.
This morning, around 3: 45 in the morning, as I once again became engrossed in my business and sacrificed sleep for knowledge... I had this burning revelation that this business model, affiliate marketing in itself; is severely flawed.
Simple. Out of the 10', 100's, or even 1000's of products at our disposal we can earn commissions from, such as; eBooks, training, software, templates, to plugins, and everything in between in relation to niches such as weight loss, acne, and even kindle amazon or amazon stores...
Who of us really knows what is in the inner-wrappings of the items we're pushing?
Sure of the 100+ products I promote and embodying into my own personal campaigns, I have purchased maybe a handful of these items and can speak from true experience, and stand firm in knowing; they definitely over-deliver, or in the least, deliver dollar for dollar true value.
However, the other 97 is solely based on performing tons of research, before I can even think about promoting an offer. Some better than others perhaps.
But... as I look deeper into my own promotions, and all the hours I am currently spending researching products, writing quality content to compliment these products, I really cannot say; "This is the absolute solution that a prospective buyer is seeking" - or - "Guarantee the product isn't just a giant turd!" - it's a numbers game, of course.
While, I understand people are going to buy espresso machines, or a book on amazon and I need not concern myself or in reading into it too deeply, this thread derives more from all this crap I am sifting through trying to find decent, not great, just decent products... like along the lines of eBooks for various niches. Many of these rehashed PLR piles of crap ain't worth the digital pixels used to display them, let alone what's under the hood, so to speak.
I am tired of competing with garbage and yet should probably welcome and embrace it, for in the long run, it'll make me better for it, and likely sustain a more suitable audience as I remain keen on providing value, sure.
My point is this:
With no real rules governing over 'us' publishers in promoting umpteen amounts of products that we ourselves have never used, read, or likely will ever purchase... does it make any sense whatsoever to create such fallacies in our marketing?
As an example, I watched a popular marketers free videos when I started, Chris F's to be exact, and it taught me 'how-to' upload my files via FTP, and install my first ever WP site.
I was forever grateful, naturally... it was free, and I got a ton of value, let alone the excitement of having my 1st website up .
However, I immediately started promoting one of his $97 per month training courses based on reviews compiled from research, not by way of actual experiencing what was inside the members area, and did get a trickle of sales. *This was when I was a newbie.
Now we see people shooting flaming arrows at the WSO threads, and all the hyped up push button junk plastered all over the internet that either doesn't deliver any real value to anyone, less the guru's or marketers whose lazy customers do not demand a refund, or demand they get what they paid for... This, is a major problem for product owners and publishers alike, as their are great WSO's and great training & software that can aid us all to market more efficiently.
We see CB tightening up, and we see (2) things happening; those who remain vendors are offering better products, delivering better value to a degree in many cases, or the junk product creators bail and jump on the next platform that flat out doesn't give a @#$% what they sell, as long as they get their cut.
So, we seek a product review...
99% are fake reviews written by publishers who never intend to buy the product, but rather make money off the unsuspecting visitors who haven't a clue how this all works. Being we have the inside scoop so to speak, doesn't it make sense we preserve the industry, uphold some integrity in what we do, what we sell, and ultimately, provide value to customers?
Look, I get it. I see the entire matrix, how it works, why it works, the leverage aspect, down to the upsells and big monthly memberships that can earn affiliates some serious recurring cash.
But even those whom I believe are sincere, and offer value such as Chris F mentioned prior, odds are 95% of those who do stumble upon a real product, with real training, and purchase it; will likely never put forth the any real effort to actually apply or implement the knowledge...
Partly due to their own making, and I believe; largely impart perhaps to having been misled so many times, they don't know right from wrong techniques. Others suffer from shiny object syndrome, naturally.
At times affiliate marketing reminds me of those carney's who sold hair tonic regrowth formula's that were promising to solve someone's balding problem, and they built great esteem and compelled balding sufferers to jump on the chance it could work with marketing strategies... only to leave buyers beaten down, - not only out of their hard earned money, but more importantly, the fact their search to cure their buyers balding head was not providing value as the sufferer expected!
Gals... Guys, I will openly admit, I am 40 years old, weigh a whooping 150lbs soaking wet with a ripped stomach, and I promote weight loss products, among several other niches, and I really have little use for these products personally.
I understand the game, no doubt.
All I am saying is in order to preserve our markets. In order to expand the affiliate business model itself before new laws and regulations hammer us to dust, which I believe can and will happen (and might need to happen to clear the chaff from the wheat)... in the very least - research your affiliate products. Give a moment to see beyond the ease in which we can sling sh#t, and ask yourself; am I preserving the future business model for the next? -or- am I just f#@king it up for everyone including myself?
This is a business. Treat it as such.
Lastly, while I openly admit to focusing my efforts on highly searched keywords, LSI keywords, and use what I have learned here to generate 'some' income,( and intend to get better at it)... I cannot help but look deeper at to where these affiliate marketing opportunities can take those who put forth a sincere effort to provide quality, value, and a resolve to potential buyers problems. -In that regard, the potential is truly unlimited!!!
After reading a press release about a new product, and clearly being able to see through the BS this person wrote about a specific product, it was so dry, so bland, so full of holes, it was obvious; they didn't buy the product. They didn't use the product. They probably didn't even watch the sales video. Hell, I'm not even sure they did much more than find a high gravity CB product, look at the commission, and go "NEXT!" - and in doing so waste internet real estate doing so!
Btw, this is a person respected for her advice, her powerful writing, an in direct affiliation to major news feeds around the globe. Yet, she's using this 'flawed' model like a chump!
The title was a rhetorical question, as "You're damn right this is a seriously flawed business model in several ways, that doesn't mean we shouldn't make every effort to correct upon it!"
Sorry for the rant, 2 hours sleep, a ton of brainstorming, and the result... this thread.
All the Best,
PS- I am not implying that I am not guilty by association, neither that I've truly honed in on my eventual business plans online. It's more over a request to "in the least' add value, do proper research, and if nothing less, try to deliver value to that balding dude who's entire life centers around succeeding at finding a resolve.
It really does matter, both for the future of this business model, and the ability to build trust and long term success with your list, and buyers. There too, it's respectful to those who present the opportunity 'for us' to publish and earn from their hard work and efforts.
Please comment, and share what you believe can preserve the future of the affiliate marketing business model, both for your business, and especially, the next who sees this grand vision.