Saturday, February 9, 2013

Is Affiliate Marketing A Bill of Goods?


I remember very clearly…as a blogger newly inducted into the mysterious world of blogging, I had a passion to share and declare. Home birth was and still is something I advocate and natural living to empower parents in general, women in particular.

Like every new blogger, I also wanted to earn a bit money while I was at it! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to earn some money as long as ethics and boundaries are in places and rules…spoken and unspoken, are respected.

I was told, by whom, I can’t remember…that affiliate marketing was something that could earn some money. I eagerly joined program after program. Choosing only those that I felt good associating with and ones I thought my readers would be interested in. I posted the codes on my site and carried on with traffic building, and such. I’d check my accounts for any hint of purchases. I've gotten some clicks. That was it.

In an effort to encourage clicks and commissions, I would peruse suggestion tips offered by the company. One tip was to blog about the product or the subject pertaining to the product. I felt uncomfortable writing a post about a product I had no personal experience with. I felt that would be misleading to encourage my readers to purchase “these products”. So I decided to blog about a subject pertaining to the product and disclose my affiliate links. However, writing a post about a subject you’re not too familiar with requires research. Very time-consuming. I decided against this in favor of posts I wanted to share with my audience.

Suffice it to say, after a year of this, I was done with affiliate marketing. Which continued to prove to be time-consuming with very little reward. And time…as a mom who blogs…is a very valuable, costly resource. I realized then, that companies got more out of my affiliate partnership than I ever will, even if I HAD earned those hard-to-come-by commissions…

Here’s what they got from me…
  • Free Exposure/Promotion
  • Free Ad placement
  • Free Back Links
  • Free Content
Here’s what I got in return…
  • A promise of 20% of an (insert price here) product
  • Lost time & frustration
Clearly, the return on investment (ROI) was not in my favor. I’ve since viewed affiliate marketing a bill of goods that borders on a scam of sorts. Too harsh?? I don’t think so. When you’ve managed to get someone to furnish work for practically little or nothing that sounds like a scam to me.

Having said this, I am fully aware that not all affiliate marketing is created equal. My advice…choose programs carefully with consideration to the number of resources you’ll invest.

Blogging is not always about money. I AM an affiliate with just three companies, simply for the love of their service and the products they sell. And no, I haven’t made one cent.

Have you been successful with affiliate marketing? Do tell.

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