Well, after my diatribe the other night about Yahoo Group Swap, Trade, Barter and Shopping groups, I feel it’s necessary to bring to the forefront my experiences so far in Affiliate Marketing. Read on. This is important stuff I’m going to tell all you WAHMs.
Back in February I posted a very good article concerning the advantages of signing up to be an Affiliate Marketer ~ here. The article made some excellent points. While I still believe there are benefits to being an Affiliate Rep, I am now adding a proviso to my previous comments.
I’m specifically referring to the section concerning..
Remember that not all affiliate programs are good. Many of them only offer products that you would not want to give away for free to your mother-in-law. Furthermore, the support program and training offered is not always top quality.
As you can see from my blog header, yes, I am an affiliate for a number of companies. However, not all the companies I started out with have their banners on my site any more. Let me explain why.
I thought I carefully researched each company I wanted to represent. If you’re considering joining as an affiliate for supplemental income, just don’t make your decision based on the the fact that the company has a “pretty banner” (I didn’t). The point in the article is to believe in the product you will be representing.
What the article doesn’t say…and mark my words…is ~ here I go again, pay attention to what’s going on in the Yahoo Membership Groups that you’re required to join. Pay attention to the chit-chat and bantering between the reps. It’s almost like being in a room at a party – you have to be in tune with the “body language” of people ~ or in this case, “virtual body language” ~ the nuances of the conversations going on.
Case in point. One of the affiliate companies I belonged to, I noticed that reps were constantly asking “I ordered, but my product hasn’t been sent out yet.” Red flag. I hadn’t had an order (yet), so not to worry for me. As time went on, I noticed the owner kept making excuses (not exactly exaggerating here) ~ there were: floods; tornadoes; ice storms; the electricity was out; family emergency out-of-state; doesn’t work on Sundays; someone broke into her house ~ you get the picture. And this was when she did bother to show up and answer any rep questions on her own site. Sometimes she had a friend post on her behalf. Click, “delete the banner” ~ I’m outta there.
Two recent examples ~ I was an affiliate rep for a company where the Yahoo Group posts from the company owner included “Please donate to my 18-year old daughter who’s in a family way, and make a virtual shower purchase from Walmart (here we go again) and have it sent to Walmart Store # xxx.” Nice photo of the kiddo.
Yahoo Group chit chat included details of the birth, blah blah. Then the posts started showing that the owner was having financial troubles, and conducting all her business from the local library, because her electricity was shut off. Reps wanted to know why their customer orders were taking so long. The final straw for me again ~ some “friendly, loyal reps were starting a “fund” to help the owner with her financial troubles. Click, “delete,” banner gone from my site.
In the second example, the owner of the company posted on her Yahoo Group board, whining that no one was contributing to her “fund” to send her two kiddos to Girl Scout Camp. Apparently they didn’t qualify for a scholarship this year. She had a fund set up with some internet-based group called “Chipin” where you get to donate money to whoever the whiner of the day is. My take on this was, which I posted before I hit the “delete my banner & remove me from this group” key (again), was ~my DH & I worked hard at our own FT jobs to send our own two DDs to summer camp when they were younger without asking the extended fam, much less strangers to contribute. Should you be in a philanthropic mood you might rather consider contributing to (and at least get a legitimate tax deduction) the Paul Newman’s Whole In the Wall Gang Camp, or to the Petit Family Charity Fund. Get a life.
My point with this blog is, if you sign up to be an affiliate rep, try to make informed decisions. Do your research. And just don’t sign up for Yahoo Group notifications from the site administrator. Pay attention to what the posts are saying. You may not need daily emails, but check in at least once or twice a week on your own ~ read the posts, see what’s going on.
Again, most of it’s not pretty. There are some excellent companies out there, but then again, not.
If the banner’s still up on my site ~ so far, so good. Believe me, my eyes are watching.