What’s Affiliate Marketing and How to Do it
Affiliate marketing has become one of the big deals of online business, with good reason. The truly excellent affiliate programs are equally excellent business propositions, very well run and managed, and designed to be straightforward. The other type, the true duds, are just plain dangerous, creating a sink hole for your time, money and effort. If you’re working with great products like 3D software, brilliant consumer products, good. If you’re working with some sort of purely self promoting sleaze, forget it.
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When looking at affiliate marketers, look for:
Real products- The best affiliates in the world all provide hard product. They do not waffle on endlessly about “great opportunities” and “tell your friends”.
Clear affiliate agreements- Good affiliates have professionally created agreements which a child could read clearly and understand perfectly. Jargon and waffle mean the agreement was created by amateurs or worse, scam artists. (As a matter of fact, babble on agreements is often a real problem for the affiliate providers themselves, so you know you’re looking at garbage.)
Track record of affiliate providers- Do not enter into any affiliate agreement at all, until you’ve checked out the affiliate program, feedback, problems, and other fundamentals. If you see “We haven’t been paid”, avoid like several plagues.
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Identifying good affiliates
There are quite a few common factors in good affiliates:
Product quality- The good affiliates, not surprisingly, have good products. These are often name brands, and they can be verified as such. They do not sell products having a Google load of “name+scam” searches attached to them.
Refund and dispute policies- The top affiliates do real business, therefore they have very straightforward client relationship and product controls. If they’re selling anything with defects, they don’t get defensive. They do automatic refunds, and get the defective products under control ASAP.
Payments- Good affiliates pay like clockwork. This is in their interest, as well as yours. They don’t need to spend millions disputing amounts payable, because it’s costing them money.
Identifying dud affiliates
Product quality- The products may be anything from the infamous “herbals” direct from someone’s kitchen in the Third World complete with inspiring levels of mercury and lead to non-existent lingerie. Complaints, news articles, and even lawsuits are findable, and just searching the name will reveal a lot.
Refund and dispute policies- Duds have standard procedures, like sending you emails with standard script saying there isn’t a problem, or if there is, it’s your problem, not theirs. You can actually search these emails, and you’ll find them in some highly defensive forum somewhere on Earth.
Payments- The duds pay like lotteries. Some do pay, then stop paying. Others have a miraculous bureaucratic process that suddenly comes out to play at exactly the time they’re supposed to be paying. You’ll find a lot of examples of this online.
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The bottom line
Be patient, search every affiliate like an ID check. The affiliate you choose should pass on all the points of good affiliates outlined above. If not, move on. There’s plenty of good affiliates, and you don’t need to waste your time on the garbage.