If you are like me, your inbox is being bombarded daily with emails from gurus claiming to have the perfect opportunity. I always say if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Last week, I came across an affiliate program that sounded to good to be true. It was free for your website, auto responder and several hundred responder letters. I thought it would be a good learning experience to sign up since it was free.
When I got into the member area, I clicked on the training page. There was a 30 days to success program. Many of those days I was asked to purchase something new if I wanted to really be successful in my business.
I became even more skeptical than when I started. I decided to go in the forum. That is when I started learning about all the horror stories. People had spent 1000's of dollars in their first month and never made a penny. I thought would share this as a warning if you are new to online marketing. I was curious if anyone else has had experience with affiliate programs, either good or bad?
I don't know how people can lose a lot of money on this. I just started out knowing about affiliate marketing about a year ago and was just recently became more active with it. I did earn some monies, of course, so that's what I don't understand how these things can cost you your monies except maybe your times. I guess Misha is right on this. Must be MLM or pyramid scheme (which I had this experience back when I was still in college, well, let's say it was my first life's lesson out of school). You can't really make a living off of affiliate program when starting out, but it was something nice to do on the side and then after awhile you pack more knowledge and will be able to earn more <= I am not at this level yet!
Actually my inbox isn't like that - I unsubscribed to almost all of them because of the distraction effort from actually reading them - I don't lose money cause I am too cheap to buy - but I definitely lose time which is actually more precious if you think about it.
I do OK with affiliates - better with Adsense in general -my best affiliate is eBay but Amazon is catching up and I am putting some more effort into it.
If you mean Internet marketing affiliates - most of it is total garbage which I will not promote - I only promote stuff that I use and that works - it cuts it down to abuot 1%. I am happy flogging hosting and article submission services because most people need those at some point - but as far as pure "make money online" the only I actually promote is the only paid system I know that actualy works!
Pretty much ditto for me. When I first got into this stuff I was on tons of mailing lists, but I still never bought any affiliate marketing products. Oh wait, I joined Wealthy Affiliate briefly, but didn't feel like anything I learned there was better than info I'd already learned for free, so I quit.
Now I've unsubscribed from everyone's list except a few marketers who only send out updates occasionally and aren't always trying to sell me something.
My business is mostly dedicated to promoting physical goods -- either stuff people will bid for on Ebay or stuff they'll order from some company and have sent to them. So I don't promote internet marketing related stuff at all and I think that most of the stuff that screams scam revolves around that.
One of the most annoying things about signing up for a complete online business tool is when they often say it's free, but then always later you find out you have the low end version you can probably do nothing with, so an upgrade is needed to supposedly get the cash rolling in, or they say it's free which it is but then it's a limited trial offer for 14 days or 30 days.
Get rich schemes do not exist, online is applied effort just like real jobs offline.
I often go for free affiliate programs that actually make you money and offer lots of tools that you can modify yourself to your style of campaigns and promotions, of course research in finding the right ones is important, because there are still some affiliate program owners who with hold payments and keep commissions for themselves.
Stevemark122000, you are right people are spending 1000's of dollars without making a penny in addition to the time spent trying to follow those affiliate programs. And to Waynet, do you have an affiliate program that you can guarantee 99.9 percent that it will make money for me.
For me affiliate program is something like Amazon or Commission Junction, or similar arrangements from individual sellers. What you are talking about looks more like MLM...
What I am referring to is an affiliate program, but what makes it different from being an affiliate through Commission Junction or Amazon is you become a member of the company and use their generic website and promotional materials for your marketing. The teach you their methods
for generating traffic and getting sign-ups which are very expensive.
Most affiliate programs you CAN earn from, but remember all the others who are promoting them at the same time, you have to be creative with it and seperate yourselves from them.
But before you start promoting an affiliate program, think to yourself do I have some form of website already all ready set up in the chosen niche area that the affiliate program will fit into?
Thinking ahead in terms of strategies and plans work much better than just thinking of the money....I can't guarantee any earnings, because applied effort is out of my hands, but just find something that you can believe in and fully recommend to people.
If someone is giving you something for free, see if it's useful.
If there is a web site builder, is there a rule which says you can't build your own website and add your Commission Junction stuff to it, for example?
Much in the same way as McDonalds provides high quality public toilets, and casinos provide cheap food, these sites may privide something useful (as long as you don't gamble or eat the burgers )
I think you have a good point. When something is free I like to investigate even if it does "scream scam." In this particular opportunity I signed up for, there was nothing wrong with the companies and products being promoted, in fact I did some research and found they are all very good companies with great products. But like any product out there available to affiliates to promote, an effective campaign needs to be developed over time. This opportunity tried to get members to use get quick rich methods of promotion that don't work. I discontinued my free membership, but I didn't walk away with nothing. I have several new ideas for hot product promotion.
LOL You have a point
I could argue though, that considering my limited resources, I don't want to waste them on something like that and rather would spend them on exploring something that does not scream scam
Great comments. I happen to agree with most of what is being said because most of what is being said is actually true.
There are some affiliate programs that you can make money on however it is not the affiliate program that makes you the money. They just provide you with the product to sell. You still have to get the customers to come to your shop. You still have to guide them to "try on" the product.
It does help if you have a great product like Mark Joyners Simpleology 101 which is free and the product is fantastic. He then upsells you to his other great products which you want because the first one worked so well.
No matter how god the product is though, if you do not get the traffic with your affiliate link to the product you will not make any money.
I like to subscribe to all the freebies. I sometimes invest in products that I will sell or promote but mostly I use the free material as my education.
Like you said Stevemark, you got some great ideas from the program even though it was a bit of a fright once inside the jaws of the shark.
Thanks for the great analogy Jenny. I love it.
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