Affiliate marketing is one of the best places to start for newbie’s who want to learn Internet marketing. Why? Because it helps hone key skills necessary for any online business. Getting Traffic. Affiliate marketers don’t have to deal with creating a product, updating the product, supporting the product, etc. they only have to promote the product, and in all the promotion a web visitor buys, the affiliate get’s paid. Well, maybe. In this post you’ll read about the 3 questions newbie’s often don’t ask when it comes to getting started with their affiliate marketing. This post is no means complete, in fact, it is a starting point, and I’m hopeful to hear what you think as well.
As exciting as it might sound to start, there are some important questions to consider for those diving into affiliate marketing. I’d like to share a few here, and get your collective input as well.
Important Note: A moment for definitions here. In my observations, there are really two type of affiliates.
- Transparent Affiliates- Those who post on blogs, maybe have an email list and freely identify themselves, and are known by the subscriber or web visitor who eventually clicks their link.
- Hidden Affiliates- Those who use PPC (sending directly to offers through their link), Junk sites, Anonymous blogs and other means to drive traffic through their links.
For purposes of this post, we will consider this for transparent affiliates (after all we are living in the age of social marketing), though the questions could be applied to hidden affiliates as well.
What You are Promoting?
Of course you need to consider what you are promoting. Is this a product you have experience with? If so how much? Did you experience real value ad as a part of using the product (or the information contained therein). This information can really help you get behind the product with real world results, and share them with your readers.
Example: I took the time to go through an entire course on YouTube marketing a while back, and wanted to quantify the results of implementing some of the things that I learned. I compiled the results in a comprehensive review here so that subscribers and visitors would understand why I thought it was a good investment (296% higher opt-in rates from YouTube traffic was pretty cool).
I probably went a little overboard, because I looked at the results over an extended period of time (months). I wanted to be sure that it delivered, and that the review had credibility with readers.
Who is Behind What You Are Promoting?
It is also important to consider who is behind the product you are going to share with folks. Is it someone you know, is it someone who has put out good products in the passed, and have a proven track record? As Joel Comm mentioned in his recent post if they are someone reputable – great, however, if they are someone new with a great idea, but never put a product in the market, be very careful.
Example: I was intrigued by a product Brad Callen put out not too long ago called PPC Webspy. He’s been around for quite some time, and put out a lot of great products over the years. However, this one was one I did not care for, and I shared about it here. It’s never all “roses”, and your audience knows it. If you invest in reviewing a dud product, let people know, don’t slam the person (by all accounts Brad Callen is a stand up guy), keep it real with your audience.
Where Will Payment Come From?
This also ties into the answer from the previous question. Usually someone who is concerned about their reputation, and has a decent track record…pays their bills but not always.
Getting Paid: This is one many don’t think about and can be burned. In fact, I’m not sure if it is the global economy, or the fact that Internet Marketing industry has experienced a deluge of product launches (many of which I chose not to promote), but I’m currently in a situation with one of the most reputable companies in internet marketing who cannot pay their affiliates.
This is a real issue, and is a risk of not going through a third party. If you are using the publishers own affiliate management software, you are taking a risk, that their software works, and that they will pay as agreed. If they don’t pay you as agreed, your business takes a hit.
The great thing about using 3rd party affiliate networks is that they are the keeper of the funds, and have interest in satisfying all three components of the transaction (customer-affiliate-product creator). You can learn more in this post.
Your Turn: Enough already (from me), what do you think? What are some questions you wished you’d asked when you started affiliate marketing? Or if you are a newbie, what other questions do you have about getting started with affiliate marketing? Chime in below…