Do you shiver from a scummy feeling at the very mention of affiliate marketing?
Does the topic bring SPAM, ClickBank, and Satan to mind?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Advertising and marketing are essential parts of selling – cheating and scamming are not. You can keep your integrity and make a few dollars by following simple guidelines (and you already know what they are).
1) If you wouldn’t promote it for free, don’t promote it for money.
2) Believe every word you write – don’t hype an affiliate product just to boost sales.
3) Be transparent – let your readers know you are an affiliate.
4) Don’t shill for products you don’t use.
5) If you would be ashamed if your customers, clients, readers or friends found out you were doing something – don’t do it.
I was inspired by Aweber recently when I visited their site. They were promoting a service that their subscribers could use. They had two links: one a clearly marked affiliate link and the other a bare link for those who didn’t want to use the affiliate link.
What a brilliant idea.
Is there a clearer way to say, “I would promote this even if I weren’t getting paid,” than to offer an unpaid link to the product?
Is there a clearer way to demonstrate that you have your customers’ best interests (and not your own monetary interests) in mind?
Treat your clients with respect. Tell them the truth. Trust them to make a decision that can benefit both you and them.
If you do that, you won’t be making excuses – but you may be making money. Win/win.