What makes a good affiliate program or product? How do you determine whether a product is actually worth promoting (beyond it making you money)? What is real? How do you define real? Yup, I’m a BIG fan of The Matrix.
All joking aside, there is actually one very simple “metric” you can use to determine whether an affiliate product or program is worth promoting. By “worth promoting” I mean that it’s a product which you actually feel good about selling; not just something that lines your pockets with blood money.
I firmly believe that as affiliate marketers, we should ONLY sell products that are worthy of our customers’ money. Basically, you shouldn’t be selling just for the sake of money; you should actively try to match prospective customers with the best products possible, in an ethical manner.
This goes against a lot of conventional affiliate marketing wisdom, where the theorem du jour is to simply collect leads, then bombard them with as many different offers as possible (regardless of whether these products are actually provide any value to the customer).
I bet Plato would have been ethical were he an affiliate marketer. Could you say the same?
Now I’ve got nothing against making money – I love making money – however, I also think that you should try to be as ethical as possible in terms of the products that you promote. Personally, I’ve nothing against what some people might term “unethical” methods of marketing (black hat SEO etc). However, I always make sure that the products I promote are actually providing something worthwhile. That way, even if someone buys through my affiliate link that has been boosted up through the use of automated link-building software etc, I don’t actually have to feel guilty.
At the end of the day, what is worse – someone promoting rubbish affiliate products in a 100% ethical manner, or someone promoting good products using a variety of different channels?
In conclusion, the mark of a good affiliate program or product is very simple. If, in a world where it were impossible to earn 50-odd % commissions a product, you would still recommend that product to others, then you should continue to sell it. However, if you would not recommend in a situation where you DON’T stand to gain financially, then steer well clear.
At least this way you’ll be able to sleep at night, not worrying about whether anyone has parted with their hard-earned cash unnecessarily as a result of your actions.
Morality and ethics still has a part to play in the 21st century business. Make sure you don’t miss out. While you’re at it, also grab a copy of my free Super Affiliate Secrets report.