Photo credits: Jamie In Bytown
Remember that Woody Allen movie called Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask? While it was a comedy – a really funny one – the movie attempted to bring up some topics that people in polite society don’t like talking about. Sure, some of the scenes in the movie were a bit extreme, but the film was a big hit when it first came out and is still watched today.
I bring up the movie because I see the same thing in the Affiliate Marketing industry. In all seriousness, most affiliate marketers have some questions they’re afraid to ask in public on forums or chatrooms because they don’t want to ridicules by others. Most people into AM are very competitive, which is good for making money. At the same time, it can make it hard for newbies to ask questions without being hassled.
Embarrassing Affiliate Marketing Questions
Here are some questions that you might be embarrassed to ask, but ones you need to know the answer to in order to succeed in affiliate marketing.
Why Am I Not Making Money?
Who knows! This is a very broad question, but there is a way to find an answer. The truth is that most people suffer from the same problems. Most of the time this comes down to bad time management or giving up too soon and moving on to something new. If you’re not making money, you need to sit down and think about why. Take a look at your books and see where you’re losing money and if there are any other opportunities to monetize your traffic.
Do Black Hats Make the Most Money?
This all depends on the person. Some black hats make a lot of money, but at the same time there are white hat affiliate marketers who make the same amount or even more by using above board techniques. The problem with using black hat methods is that they usually don’t last very long. It’s a constant battle to find and exploit the latest weaknesses in the search engines. Then, there’s always the chance your website and all your work will be penalized and you’ll have to start all over again.
Are Rebills Ethical?
The height of the craziness for affiliate marketing was in 2008 or 2009, when many less than reputable marketers went a little too far with rebill offers – typically for weight loss products like the acai berry. The idea was to say it was free but collect a credit card number to verify or pay for shipping. When the customer didn’t cancel, they were billed high rates until they cancelled.
The problem was that some companies made it difficult or even impossible to cancel their orders. Many affiliate marketers made a ton of money this way by accepting the company’s high payouts. This is why the FTC stepped in. However, if you go back in time, you’ll see that rebills and negative option marketing has been around a long time. Remember Columbia House and their 12 records / CDs for a penny?
Is Google Good or Evil?
This is another very subjective question. If you ask Google they’ll point to their “Do No Evil” mantra and say that they’re one of the good guys. However, if you read SEO Book and other blogs, you’re going to find that they have a lot of shady business practices – like not being very transparent. These days it seems that Google will do almost anything as long as they can make more money. The really scary thing is that they’re growing so quickly and moving into new areas. Will there be a day when Google has real robots wandering the Earth collecting data for their index?
Should I Just Give Up on AM?
Maybe! In all seriousness, while that might not be the answer you want to hear, but the truth is that not everyone is cut out for affiliate marketing. If you’ve been struggling for a while, you might consider giving up and moving onto something else. Believe it or not, there are other ways to make money online – and offline too.
This is really a question that everyone is going to answer for themselves, but before you do make sure you sit down and know the reason why you’re not making any money. If you can do this, it might be possible to overcome the difficulty and start making money. And if that’s the case, it wouldn’t make any sense to quit when things are getting good. You can also consider an option of pursuing a Diploma of Marketing if you want to make an emerging career in AM.
How Do I Find Offers for my Traffic
The answer to this question comes down to demographics. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to find offers that interest them. For example, if you’re running a parenting site, offers for diapers might be very popular whereas if you have a gaming site, the ads probably won’t do well at all. If you have a website about cars, you might try something like a transmission repair offer, for example. Matching offers to your audience is the key to success in your affiliate marketing efforts.
Do the Ends Justify the Means?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to this question, one which has been around for a very long time. You’re going to need to answer this yourself. The thing to keep in mind is that money cannot buy you happiness. While it can make your life more comfortable, you’re going to have to live with yourself at the end of the day. If you have no conscience and can sleep fine when screwing people over, maybe the ends do justify the means for you. As for the rest of us, it makes sense (in the long term) to be ethical and fair in all business practices.