Affiliate Marketing – Dodging The Duds

Finding the right affiliate marketing scheme can be like blindfolded SEO if you don’t know the market. Affiliate marketing has become extremely popular entirely as a result of bona fide success stories. The market, however, is also still lugging around a lot of pretty sleazy options claiming to be affiliate marketing schemes that look like someone had an off day at the Ponzi Scheme Rehab Center.

Dud affiliate spotting

The real duds are easy enough to spot without research. There are still tedious, verbose, non-delivering “affiliates” that aren’t and never will be worth a click. There are fizzy, bubbly, and staggeringly non-specific “affiliate offers” that still rope in the naïve and trusting. An unbiased review from a gorilla in New Jersey and someone living in a tree in Uruguay are still for some reason seen as the best way to get people to sign up for an affiliate program.

Another species of dud uses 1990s copy for a sedative effect. This fabulous new product cured my acne and made me Czar of all the Russias… Then I discovered the Fountain of Youth on the Deluxe Plan… about 2000 words, and if the reader isn’t killed outright by boredom or horror, they’re in no condition to argue by the time they hit the signup part. Some people are believed to sign up in self defence.

This post-hypnotic dreck went out with Regressive Memory and yet it’s still around. Sadly, it’s also pretty indicative of the products related to the “affiliates”, if you can call obsolescent garbage products, or describe Neanderthal marketing as affiliates. These things are really “affiliate spam”.

The less obvious duds

Some duds put more effort into looking like they know what they’re doing. The site presentations are pretty good, the products aren’t banned, and the deals seem OK. That’s when to get suspicious.

The rule with affiliates is to check everything out, and see if there are any complaints.

It doesn’t matter if they’re personally recommended by God, check them out.

Things to look out for include:

Complaints- Not just complaints, but the type of complaints. Non-payment, bureaucracy, nitpicking epics, and other operations-related complaints are a very bad sign. “Pattern abuse” is the issue here, and if you see a pattern of system hassles, forget it. The best affiliates don’t operate like that.

Product problems- A very negative indicator, products called “Death in a box” by consumer groups are a good sign to go elsewhere.

History of negative market news about the company or its associates: Some serial offenders seem to do nothing but serially, and seriously, offend. They keep coming back, and drag others down with them. One strike and they’re out, no second thoughts. You really can do better, after all.

A simple fact

There’s no need to even look at these tacky, hack affiliates. There are plenty of good affiliates around, and a hyper critical market to use as a watchdog. Everyone benefits from the good affiliates, nobody benefits from the bad guys. Simple enough.


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Dino Vedo

My passion has been online advertising and building companies. As a successful entrepreneur, I have built a large number of multi-million dollar brands and I'm always looking for other opportunities to grow, network, and make a difference in the world.

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