Can You Risk Supporting an Affiliate Program?

affiliate-marketing-successThere is an over-abundance of affiliate programs available. All eagerly invite you to participate. If you like, visit AssociatePrograms.Com. Allan Gardyne has the most comprehensive list of programs I have seen. Almost 3000 of them at the last count I noted. And he reports thoroughly on each, as information becomes available. (Allan does a super top job in this.)

But before jumping on this idea, pause and think for a moment. If getting rich on the Web means only slapping a site together with some banners linked to affiliate products, then why are so many people failing? Why do they cave in and quit after a few months?

Many, if not most, come charging onto the Web with some vague notion of getting rich quick. When it doesn’t happen overnight, they’re gone.

Short of winning a lottery, I don’t know of an easy way to get rich. In fact I’ve never met anyone doing well who had not achieved their position through hard work. Sure, luck helps. And skills and talents. But it’s work that makes it happen.

The Truth About InfoProducts

Long before the Web came into being, there was mail order. It seems there are many millions of people in the US who spend considerable dollars each year on schemes that will make them rich, and do so easily. One of the best items to sell was books. And a book in this sense was maybe 80 pages, cost a buck to produce and sold for $20. Plus shipping and handling, of course. A great markup. And if done properly, great profits.

Now comes the Web and ebooks. Heck, it now costs zero to make an electronic copy. Even greater profits. If you want to get rich, write a book that promises easy riches and sell it to those foolish enough to believe there is an easy way, that they just haven’t found it. Better yet, start your own affiliate program and get others to sell for you.

Remember, though, exactly what you are doing, exactly who your target is. You want people who believe there is an easy way. (There isn’t.) You convince them you have found it. (A lie.) And you rip them for maximum profit. (Theft, but legal.)

I have known people successful at this. But they were not people I wanted to get to know well. And while I doubt they dwelt on it, I don’t think they liked themselves very much.

An Honest Product

The flip side lies in producing an honest product that sells at a reasonable price. To paraphrase what a bright fellow once said (his name escapes me), the best price is one at which the seller is content with the profit and the buyer receives more than expected.

If you sell products that deliver on this simple formula, your customers will continue to think well of you. And they’ll be back for more. So when considering an affiliate program, be sure it delivers the real goods.

Affiliate Kickback

When you sign up with an affiliate program and begin selling their product from your site, you are “recommending” this product to every single visitor. If it is anything less than a good product, one that over-delivers at a fair price, your recommendation will backfire. Your credibility will be diminished. As will that of your site. And it will become correspondingly more difficult to achieve the goals for which the site was built.

Does Your Site Have A Viable Purpose?

If you built your site to achieve a specific set of goals, chances are you are on your way to success already. For example, your goal may be to generate leads followed up with personal contact by your sales staff. You may be selling information difficult to obtain elsewhere. Or you may be selling good products and/or services.

If you have or are close to having a site that works, think twice before adding a button to Amazon.Com, or to any other program. Unless that product is certain to be of value to your visitors, certain to over-deliver, and increase loyalty to you, don’t do it. To put this another way, you can not afford to suggest any product that does not fit in with your site purpose, or that in any way diminishes your credibility.

You Can Live Without It

If your site has a concrete purpose for being, if it is working effectively, you may be unable to find an affiliate product you can risk representing.

If you have any questions, please ask below!