Monthly Archives: October 2010

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

If there is one tip that I could give to new affiliates starting out, it would be this: “Be careful when you hear about awesome free ways to exploit popular websites to get traffic for free.” First it was MySpace, then it was Craigslist, now it’s Facebook. There are always going to be opportunities to spam people on social media sites. But I’m telling you now, it isn’t worth the risk. Sure, you can easily create fake profiles on Facebook, add a bunch of friends, then send them a bunch of messages about affiliate offers. You can even get more creative than that and use the new Like button and the Facebook Open Graph to create self-promoting viral campaigns. But at the end of the day, if you are making money, that means that somebody is paying for that traffic. And when they find out what type of traffic it is that they are paying for, they are not going to be happy.

The first thing that can go wrong is the advertiser either blacklisting you from promoting their offers or just flat out not paying. It turns out that traffic that is generated through these free methods isn’t really worth much. Worse, it can give the advertiser or product a bad name with consumers.

The second thing that can go wrong, as we are seeing with the current Facebook lawsuits (just like the MySpace lawsuits a couple years ago), is the traffic source itself can get all fired up about the exploitation of their website. When they come after you with their lawyers, they aren’t coming to play nice. They are coming to put you out of business, permanently. Or at least make you pay several million dollars.

The third thing that can go wrong is that brands and advertisers can just decide that affiliate marketing is all fraud and go market their products elsewhere. This hurts the whole industry, like I mentioned in a previous post. I love this industry. I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurs and brands alike to come along in decades. But it could all be gone if we don’t prove to everyone that affiliate marketing is a legitimate means of generating leads, and that we are all professionals.