There are a lot of ways to create a legitimate affiliate marketing business. The only problem is most people have no idea how to do that, so they create a bunch of fake, crappy content and consumers like you and me get screwed. This post explains a lot of the reasons why, and will give you a clear understanding of how the present affiliate marketing industry is so dirty, scummy, slimy, and – yes – completely screwed.
Overview: How Affiliate Marketing Works
I won’t go into great detail because I don’t want to bore readers that already understand this, but this is how the affiliate relationship works: If you are an affiliate, you promote someone else’s products through various content (websites, videos, advertising, etc…). If someone finds your content, clicks your affiliate link, and then purchases that product you make a commission. You can also make commissions for each click you get, for each free trial you giveaway, for each person you put in contact with a business, etc… That’s how affiliate marketing works – you promote other people’s stuff, and you get paid based on your performance.
So What’s Wrong with That?
In theory – nothing. It was a really, really good concept. What lazy people and “gurus” pushing their horrible “training” products have turned it into, though, is something completely different.
To avoid buying those crappy, scammy products from these “gurus”, read my How to Spot a Scam lesson.
The Right Way to Approach Affiliate Marketing
There are A LOT of affiliates that approach affiliate marketing the right way, but you probably don’t see them or realize they’re there very often. The right way to approach affiliate marketing is to pick a topic you’re passionate about and/or have a great deal of knowledge in, then produce very high quality content that helps people solve their problems, answers their questions, etc… There’s a little more to it than that in the long run, but that covers about 90% of it.
The best way to approach new affiliate websites is to push making money as far out of your mind as possible. Try not to think about it at all. I know this seems somewhat counterintuitive because you’re researching affiliate marketing to build a profitable business, but when people come into this industry with dollar signs in their eyes, they get impatient, their content sucks, and they ultimately wash out of the industry entirely because they can’t find success.
Bottom line: Focus on helping others. Everything else will fall into place with consistent and high quality effort if you’re following the right path. For more details on exactly what the right path looks like, check out my free SIMPLE7 training that spans across two weeks. It teaches how to pick a niche, setup a site, create high quality content, build an email list, gather and interpret analytics, improve conversion rates, etc… And yes, it’s ALL free – not something where I give the first couple of lessons for free and then make you pay for the rest. My SIMPLE7 training course is 100% free.
The Wrong (and Most Common) Way to Approach Affiliate Marketing
If you’ve approached affiliate marketing this way in the past (or present), please don’t take offense to this. It’s not your fault – it’s what most crappy, scammy “gurus” teach and it’s become a plague in the affiliate marketing industry as a result. This is what the wrong process looks like:
Hunting down an affiliate offer that you want to promote (bad start), building out your website based on that offer (another step in the wrong direction), then developing all of your content around trying to sell that product because it pays well or looks interesting (at this stage, you’re pretty much completely screwed and need to start over from the beginning).
The reason this is such an unsuccessful approach to affiliate marketing is because it typically doesn’t add ANY value to your visitor’s experience. Your site is all about you. What YOU like, what YOU think will make you money, the content YOU felt was best for promoting that affiliate offer, etc…
How this Makes All of Us Suffer
Low quality content just screws up the whole internet. All of it. Think of all of the people you’ve seen positively review internet marketing scams – they’re not doing it for you, they’re doing it so that they can make an affiliate commission. That’s a pretty crappy relationship for consumers and website visitors.
The other way that we all suffer because people become more callous and skeptical of even legitimate content. About once a week I receive an email from someone telling me that my review just can’t be right because they’ve seen TONS of positive reviews and my review is the only negative one, so clearly I’m just a big liar looking to get more email opt-ins.
That’s not the case at all – I don’t care if you opt-in to my email lists or not! I’d love to have you as a follower, but my email lists are setup to benefit my readers, not spam them with a bunch of crappy affiliate offers that earn me commissions.
Positive Reviews Are More Common Because They Pay Better!
This is what REALLY amplifies how scummy/scammy the internet marketing/affiliate marketing industries are, especially when it comes to buying “work at home” training products.
The truth is that you see about 50x more positive reviews than negative reviews because people that review products positively are rewarded financially for doing so. If they create a compelling positive review and get you to sign up under them, they’re gonna make some great money! Especially if they do it for a lot of products!
But the person that actually aims to add value to your life and give you an honest, unbiased, expert review doesn’t make any money from selling that product at all. Who in their right mind would buy a product through someone that just said it was a piece of crap?
And that’s another way that this industry is screwed: The people with morals, the ones that buy the products with their own money and review them honestly, or the authors that spend hours upon hours creating great content – they just don’t make as much money as the unethical scammers. It’s not just the affiliate marketing training niche either – it happens in diet products, medicine, other types of training, and all other kinds of information products. Things are easier to sell when you’re not honest and don’t play by the rules.
How Can We Fix this Screwed Industry?
Unfortunately there probably won’t be any improvements to government regulation, which is probably fine because most of the low-quality products in every industry establish their businesses in foreign countries with less regulation so that other countries (U.S., U.K., etc…) can’t touch them.
So how do we really create change in this industry? Stand up and start an affiliate marketing business of your own that is built on quality and helping others above all else.
If you’re an expert in something, create value for people that are seeking information. Help them solve their problems. Connect them with the best/highest quality products, not the products that pay the highest commission. The only way that this industry truly gets fixed is if humans like you and me step up to help out other humans seeking 100% honest, helpful information.
If you’re not exactly sure how to do that, I highly recommend the training that I mentioned earlier called SIMPLE7. It’s a two week email course that covers a MASSIVE amount of affiliate marketing training and really holds your hand, taking you through every phase of building a profitable site step-by-step. It’ll get you started down the right path to helping others and, if you really focus on that above all else, building a profitable internet business over time.
Please Comment and/or Share If You Enjoyed!
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