Roy’s Article On Affiliate Marketing
I just read a more honest post about affiliate marketing by Roy Furr.
You can read it here:
I like what Roy had to say there and I agree with him.
I want to expand on one major point that may not have been made clear from Roy’s article.
Even though the word “Dirty” was in the title of the post. It wasn’t really touched upon greatly in the article.
I have a fair amount of affiliate marketing experience over the last 12-13 years.
Here is what I want to say. There is a LOT OF CHEATING going on in the affiliate world.
There are so many ways that honest affiliates get cheated out of money that they earned that it makes this business model really difficult for an honest person to succeed in!
Honest affiliates are cheated by both Merchant programs as well as other affiliates. It’s a tough world. It’s a jungle. I do not believe I’m exaggerating that truth either.
I have the experience and I’ve seen some of what is being done out there.
Merchants can do a lot of nasty things. There is no one there to hold them accountable if they cheat you.
Sometimes, you account will be quietly eliminated while they continue to make money from the links that you worked hard to create.
I know of one program in particular where I suddenly could not login to my account. That’s because it no longer existed.
I got confirmation from someone (I don’t want to be too specific) that they did this to 100s of affiliates very quietly. However, the links that I made to their site and I suppose that the hundreds of others made still work! Mind did when I checked them.
In other words, the merchant was still enjoying the traffic and any sales that came out of it, while the affiliate was left with NOTHING.
That is just one small example.
If you can get them to talk about it, other affiliates have stories too. There is even speculation that one of the bigger network companies, who no longer exist, cheating their affiliates out of a LOT of money – particularly at the end of their existence.
It seems to me that the tracking systems are also not fool proof. Many things can go wrong with the tracking of your sales. Browsers may block cookies.
The customer could order by phone. Reference numbers, if your merchant even provides any, are often ignored by the customer.
The Customer has no idea what that is for most of the time. They are seldom asked for it by the phone reps either.
If you don’t believe me, go ahead and phone some orders in and you will see what I mean.
That’s just a few examples of how bad the situation is in my opinion.
There are some really shady things happening in the affiliate world. There are people dropping their affiliate cookies where they arguably should not be dropped.
That means that perhaps an honest affiliate’s cookies are overwritten by another affiliate – arguably in a way that is not honest.
I’ve also seen where some affiliates are unduly favored over others to the point where sales are ‘moved’ from one affiliate to another.
Or perhaps an affiliate with a little better relationship with the company or affiliate manager can get another affiliate kicked out. Goodbye to a strong competitor?
Of course, I’m not going to name any names because I don’t won’t those kind of hassles.
Suffice it to say, I’ve seen some things. And they are not as ‘limited’ as you would like them to be.
If you are going to market on the Internet as Roy alluded to, the best thing to do is sell your own products. In my opinion physical products are best.
Control the checkout process. In other words: Be the person who gets paid directly for the product transaction. There are less things that can go wrong that way.
Well, I said my two cents. I want to thank Roy for starting the conversation.
Roy is right to send you in another direction. (Away from affiliate marketing).
I’ve seen too much. Just don’t go there if you can at all help it.
I would like to say more, but if I get too specific, I could bring some trouble my way and I don’t want to do that.
Please share your thoughts and comments below! Thanks Again to Roy for his post and stimulating my thoughts on this topic.
Disclaimer – some of this site is still about affiliate marketing. I still do some, it’s just not my main focus and I don’t think it is a good idea to make it one’s main focus.