For anyone who has been in the Internet Marketing world for any amount of time at all, you know that one very common way to make money online is through affiliate marketing. You promote someone else’s product and if the person you are promoting it to buys it, you make a commission on the sale.
Many companies have affiliate programs. Amazon.com is a very popular site for affiliate marketers.
Within the Internet Marketing space, many IMers promote Internet Marketing products. Two very common platforms that allow IMers to sell their products is WarriorPlus.com and JVzoo.com. Promoting marketing products can be very lucrative. Most marketers give anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of the product to the affiliate who makes the sale.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
So, why would someone who puts time into creating a product give such a high commission? Because the higher the commission, the more likely affiliates will promote it. Also, the product creator can make money on “the backend” of the product — on the upsells and on promoting other products to the list that is created when the person buys their product.
The benefit to the affiliate is that they can make a lot of money by promoting products that earn them 50% up to 100% of the product cost. There are many IMers who make a very good living just from being an affiliate.
Within both JVzoo.com and WarriorPlus.com affiliates and product vendors can see how well any given product is selling and converting. Many affiliates will promote only products that are converting well and that have a low refund rate.
This is where problems for the buyer can begin. Most product creators reassure buyers by having a 30-day money back guarantee on their product. And almost all will provide a refund if it is requested. Some shady product creators, however, disappear after the sale or simply refuse to refund a product. In cases like these, not only is the buyer left holding the bag, but affiliates who rely solely on stats and don’t actually go through the product, might promote the product because of the low refund rate listed, assuming that the product must be good if no one has refunded it.
It is practices like these and others that give Internet Marketing a bad name. In my years online, I have only personally run across two product creators who are deceptive in this manner. It does happen, though.
Another Issue That Can Lead to Problems
Most marketers will reciprocate and will promote products of those who have promoted their products. The law of reciprocity is very strong in the Internet Marketing arena. Overall, there is nothing wrong with this if everyone produces awesome products. The dilemma arises when marketers feel they must reciprocate and the product is not good, or when marketers promote products without even going through them, because they know they need to reciprocate.
What Got My Goat This Week
This post came about because of something that happened this week. A product came out by a well known and very well respected marketer. Some affiliates just sent the traditional “this is the best thing since sliced bread” generic email. I always delete those and usually unsubscribe to those marketers’ email lists.
I bought the product based on two of my favorite marketers’ reviews. Unfortunately, the product creator positioned the product in such a way to mislead the buyer as to what the product was about and the two reviewers went along with this misrepresentation.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The product was excellent. It’s just that I thought it was a product about A, which I knew very little about, and it was actually a product about B, which has been done to death and I’m pretty sure most people know about. Had I known it was about B, I would not have bought it. It is clear that the reviewers went through the product. So it is upsetting to me that they went along with the misrepresentation. It will be interesting to see what the refund rate of this product will be. Even though it is an excellent product, will others feel duped, too?
What I Am Going To Do Moving Forward
What is obvious when you spend anytime at all in the Internet Marketing world is that there are a few excellent bloggers, reviewers and product creators. Then there are many that are good and provide solid information. There are a few, however, that are trying to make a quick buck and will create and/or promote really poor quality information without giving it a second thought.
There are so many new people coming into Internet Marketing every day who desperately need the additional income that working online can bring. As an industry, we must do all that we can to keep them from falling for what unscrupulous marketers are peddling.
I have always reviewed only products that I have bought and that I find to be quality and useful. I appreciate those who have bought from me because the money that I make as an affiliate helps to feed my family.
Moving forward, however, many of the products that I review will not have an affiliate link. They will link directly to the product and the product creator will make the entire commission on the product as if he had make the sale himself. In this way, you will know for certain that I am not promoting it, or speaking highly of it, simply to make a fast buck. I do not make or sell products in the Internet Marketing space so I will not be swayed by the law of reciprocity.
I will always mention in my reviews whether or not I am an affiliate for the product, but in most cases I will not be. If I deviate from this model for any given product, I will let you know why.
If you appreciate this type of product review, all I ask is that you sign up to my email list in the sidebar to the right and/or like my Facebook page. In this way, I can keep you informed when I produce these types of reviews and I will know that I am making a positive difference to the IM world in my own little way.