Affiliate marketing is a phenomenal way to earn money on the internet (or anywhere else). The greatest advantage is that you don’t have to wait to produce a product. You simply promote the product someone else has already to sell.

Earning more by doing a lot less is a very common assumption about affiliate marketing. It can also be your “got-cha” point.

Gotcha #1
The first “got-cha” is thinking you don’t have to work very hard in affiliate marketing, all the hard work has been done in creating, manufacturing and packaging the product for purchase. Keep thinking that way and you’ll crash and burn in the affiliate market. Many have and many will.

Some merchants actually prey on the affiliate marketer who is trying to make a quick buck on an easy track. If you were to do a quick search engine question that goes something like “how to make money from home” or “make five figures a month for only two hours a day from home in your spare time” you’d be right in the thick of the “got-cha” grip.

Secret #1, any affiliate merchant you’re thinking about working with, just enter the merchant name, the product name and the word “scam” into a search engine question and take a read. You’ll find out a few things you need to stay alert about, but I wouldn’t let just those articles determine if I did it or not (liars lie in both directions; for and against).

Gotcha #2

The second “got-cha” is if the merchant requires you to purchase the product before you become an affiliate. They can cloak their true motive by something like, “We want all our affiliates to speak as experienced, satisfied customers” so that’s why you need to pay to play. What you need to do is just walk away.

A legitimate merchant provides affiliate kits that have plenty of social proof, testimonies of satisfied customers. The affiliate is a salesperson, not a customer.

Secret #2, look for the affiliate kit or ask for it before you decide if you’ll even get involved with the product (unless, of course, you are a satisfied customer already).

Gotcha #3

The third “got-cha” is the manner and method of payment. A legitimate merchant has a brief policy statement that covers very important matters regarding commission and payment. Is the commission off of the sales price or the after costs amount; is the commission withheld for a period of time until refunds have been issued; is the affiliate subject to any loss due to chargebacks issued by the merchant; is the tally of sales achieved hourly, daily, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly; is the payment in US currency in full or partial?

Secret #3, inspect the back office software processes by which sales are registered and commissions calculated. Expect to have access to view the very source from which your commission is calculated.

Gotcha #4

The fourth “got-cha” is how are the affiliate codes applied with links and with cookies? At least 70 to 80% of purchases are not made on the first visit to the website and most are made on the third. That being the case, how long does the cookie identify that the customer entered through your specific link or portal? Some website visits count only during the immediate entry in the first session only. Others have a tracking that last for 90 days or more.

Secret #4, request the synchronization of reports that are available to your merchant, to their fulfillment center, and to your on links or websites.

Gotcha #5

The fifth “got-cha” is a matter of organic traffic to your offer. The product could be fantastic and the price an extra incentive for purchase, but if you don’t get the eyes of the customer on the opportunity, nobody wins. The customer doesn’t see the great bargain, the merchant doesn’t get to show how great it is, and you don’t make a commission.

If you are going to spend money on advertising, make sure the impact can be registered on Google or Youtube. Facebook, Instagram and other sources are fine, but there will be little sustained organic positioning if it doesn’t somehow affect a higher standing on Google.

Secret 5, don’t worry about where your ranking is in any search engine except Google and Youtube. All the others take their lead from the Google gorilla and guess who owns Youtube.

Gotcha #6

The sixth “got-cha” is to stay clear of any mlm offer as an affiliate. One of the largest such industries is mlm travel. Just click that link and you see what I mean.

Secret #6, don’t recruit, sell. There is no need for a recruiter of sales to turn into a recruiter of salesmen. The very access those people may have will be burned up in energy required to keep them straight and their commissions flowing. Trust me, just sell as an affiliate and leave the mlm to everybody else.