The first thing you should do if you want to start affiliate marketing the right way is buy the product for yourself. If you have been drawn to affiliate marketing by reading that it is possible to make money without spending any cash of your own, it will seem like a backward step to suggest that you start by spending money. There is a good reason why you should seriously consider taking this advice.
What do you know about the product you will be promoting? If you haven’t tried the product, all you will know is what other people have told you and the “other people” are probably the owner of the product and his/her marketing team. Don’t you think they might be just a little bit biased? The truth is that even if the product was a complete turkey, they’d still be telling you it’s an eagle. The only way you will really know what a product does, is to buy it and test it out yourself.
It is only when you have purchased and used the product that you will be in a position to promote it effectively because you will then know exactly what it can do as opposed to what the owner would like you to believe it can do. You will find there can be a huge difference between the sales pitch dreamed up by copywriters and the actual performance of a product. Being an actual user of the product means you will be in a position to write genuine reviews on the product instead of regurgitating the advertising blurb.
The following is what happened to me a few months age when I found a new product (an e-book) that looked as if it would be very helpful to many of my website visitors.
After reading the sales letter, I was already mentally composing my review and anticipating earning loads of affiliate commissions. By the time I had downloaded my copy of the book and read a couple of chapters, I had thrown out my plan to promote the book.
One of the first things to strike me was that the book contained many typographical errors and obvious spelling mistakes. Call me picky but, if a person asks me to pay for a book, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in expecting it to be free from typos and spelling errors. It got worse: I didn’t have to read far before I noticed some passages that made no sense; it was obvious that something had gone wrong during a cutting and pasting operation, and this had not been detected during final proof-reading. In fact, I doubted that anyone had bothered to proof-read the book before publishing.
The content turned out to be just a rehash of old ideas plus some out of date references. One of the author’s recommendations was to produce articles to be passed off as your own work by pasting together paragraphs lifted from articles by other authors. From the overall style of the book, I could tell that much of the writing had been created by using that very technique (hence the number of cut and paste errors). That, despite the so-called author’s protestations to the contrary, is plagiarism and plagiarism is pure theft.
Hopefully you will never find such a huge gulf between the sales page and the actual content in any affiliate product you decide to promote but, if you don’t buy the product and test it, you will never know whether you are promoting a turkey or an eagle. Your customers will. Your reluctance to invest in a sample of the product could cost you your credibility and recovery from that is much harder than recovering the cost of the product out of future sales.
Don’t be a bit reluctant to submit for a refund if you run into a situation like this. That’s way ClickBank and other sites give a 60 day money back guarantee to avoid products that don’t measure up. It happens. The internet and all the sites like Sharesale, Commission Junction, all have money back guarantees. More importantly, they have those guarantees because it is a policy insisted on by VISA and the other Credit Card Merchants.
Always use your credit/debit card, even in preference over PayPal. A dispute can always be filed with your bank. When using your card backed by VISA, MC, Discover, and the other major cards. Not so if it happens to be a draft on a checking account. PayPal is not always so easy when it comes to a dispute. Deal directly with your bank where you are the customer. This is altogether different. Remember this if you have any problem getting a refund from an independent vendor. Your bank will help by creating a fraud claim.
The first step is contacting the vendor to request a refund. If there is any resistance, simply call your bank and ask for the fraud department. Be sure and have all the vendor information. Generally they will issue a 45 day credit to your account while they investigate the claim. A vendor generally does not want to have adverse dealings with a bank. They will hope a customer will cave in and go away. A bank is a horse of a different color.
So when it happens to you, and it will, be encouraged by the power of VISA and the rest. They know from decades of experience if they keep you happy, you’ll keep spending money.