Marketing Madness

Affiliate Marketers: You Are Wasting Your Time

One of the common themes I’m hearing about all the “super-affiliates” of the community is that things aren’t what they used to be like. If you noticed, all those guys who used to be super affiliates are now focused on trying to sell you programs on how they made money. All those guys who used to show you checks of how much money they made on Google, Facebook, and so on are aren’t posting checks anymore. I’ve never paid much attention to those “experts” even when they supposedly were making money, and pay them a lot less attention now that most of them are on the rocks trying to sell you their crappy programs and systems. However, since some of them have come out bashing the affiliate industry, claiming that the industry is “dead” and only their programs, their systems work (if you pay them $5k to listen to them and their friends talk about chicks and how to waste more money) I thought it was time to address some specific issues and then talk about what really works.

First of all, you are not wasting time being an affiliate, and the industry is thriving more than ever. As someone who knows personally the CEO of almost every major CPA network, I can tell you that things are better than ever for most of them, and there are dozens of new networks that are doing wonderful, providing new insight and new ways of revenue production.

Here’s a few things that most of the gurus don’t want you to know, and what most of them are hiding from you:

  1. None of them made a lot of money ever. Most of them have never made more than a few hundred thousand dollars, ever. All those gurus that claim that they were making millions, creating companies left and right are mainly liars. When you do a little research into their background, you’ll find that the things don’t match up.

  2. What little money they did make was usually using one trick or scheme. They claim to be marketing gurus, but they were more like one hit wonders. Almost all of them manipulated systems to make a bunch of money at once, have spent it all, and now are desperate for you to pay them attention by selling you their programs.

  3. They don’t know how to make money on CPA. That’s why they are claiming that the CPA industry is dead, that’s why they are promoting their programs and their own “affiliate systems.” You’ll see them all over the conventions, trying to get attention, claiming that they have a new product or system that is better than any CPA Network. They’ll lie to your face claiming they are multi-millionaires (then why are they still living in a trailer in middle-america?) and that you can have a life like them.

Here’s what these gurus don’t want you to know, it’s simple tricks to being a great affiliate, stuff that current amazing affiliates use:

  1. Learn about all the technology. Do not depend on one secret technology to make you money, but instead try everything out. This means that just because a bunch of guys on a message board says that one tracking system works better than another, doesn’t mean that they are correct. If they are on a message board promoting a tracking system, there is usually a reason. Try everything from Tracking202 to Bevo Media. Do your own research and never trust anyone to tell you, including myself, what is the best. What is best for someone else, doesn’t mean its best for you. Guides are just that, Guides, not the law and the set-truth.

  2. Always follow-up. Whatever you do, make sure you have some type of follow-up. One of the most common methods is auto-responders, which allow you always provide another option for your users when the first option does not work: this means that if you don’t sell a product, get someone to sign up, you then try to get them to join your email list so you can monetize them later. Remember that if you are doing “real” marketing (not just tricking people) then those people are interested in the product you are promoting. (Best AutoResponders are still AWEBER and ICONTACT)

  3. K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple, Stupid. The best sell is still the simplest sell. Getting the product in front of the consumer, presenting the reasons to buy, signup etc, using the power of three.  Simplicity always works better than complexity in marketing, but especially on the internet. Make things as simple as possible, present a clear concise message. If it’s too complex, users will go elsewhere.

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Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  1. I was a super affiliate. And, yes, a one-trick-wonder that got totally milked. It was a loop-hole of sorts, taken to an extreme. Legal but not 100% ethical.

    It lasted 8 years, and I got 7 figures out of it. Not revenue or turnover, but cash profit in my pocket. Now invested in property.

    During that run, I met a IM guru, a well-known one, who was interested in selling my system to the public. The money would have been really good, except for one thing – everyone who signed up would know my loop-hole, and my business would be dead.

    So yeah, there are super-affiliates out there, but they don’t sell their secrets.

  2. Thanks Pace, This article is right up my alley as you may know from previous comments I am a Local business marketer but I’ve been following and learning the affiliate game for a while now. I just dove in head first on a great program that is a big winner in my eyes anyway. I love the video’s that show some dude in a flashy car drive up to a mansion and proceed to tell you that he’s not going to show you a fake video with a fake Jet or helicopter. And he’s not telling us he made Millions to brag but to let you know that it is real and can be done if you follow his steps. lol
    The best way to create a great income is with recurring payments and being able to help people out not rip them off. I would love to share my secret with you but I would have to kill you if I did lol Great article and there are a lot of non believers out there but I think those are just the ones that will never make it no matter what they try..
    Keep up the good work!

  3. If they fall for it they were never meant to succeed Pace.

    Snake oil sales men never deprived any industry of its success, they just drained the people with low chances anyway.

    Marketers getting marketed is drinking your own cool-aid to the point you can’t tell what’s what.

    The rule of thumb is no people holding valuable knowledge would care 2 cents of selling it to you.

    That’s why you people need to follow the money not words and pictures, on landing pages..

    1. Well said. Especially about drinking your own cool-aid. It takes a sharp mindset to stay focused.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. There is so much out there these days that its hard for some people to recognize the good from the bad…myself included, although I am getting better 😉

    Every time Google updates their algorithm there seems to be a new tool that has been built just to expose that loophole or its killed this aspect of the business.

    realistically its fueling the underside of the affiliate business. The side where you can scam people out of there hard earned dollars by teaching them how to scam the next person if it even works.

  5. Which Affiliate Summit East 2013 speakers do you consider to be in this group?

  6. Hi Pace,

    I imagine the picture shows a guru precisely at that moment when he finds out that people don’t trust him anymore and he will not make any money.
    Yes, I know so well those videos and sales pages with people in a fancy car exhibiting a lifestyle of abundance, freedom and happiness. I always avoid those.
    What’s really sad is that this strategy still works. Also, it will continue to work for as long as human beings exist on this Earth.
    Gullible people have existed from the beginning of times. They will exist till the end of times. This means there will always be “gurus” to exploit their stupidity. Nothing to be done here.
    I agree with you. I do not believe the hype, the mainstream wisdom. I don’t like those post that claim “something is dead”. In most cases it isn’t true.
    Use your reason, your mind, your logic and test everything for yourself. This is the way.

    Have a nice day

  7. I agree. In my opinion these “systems” are just biz op scams. The only way to learn real technique is through trial and error – and I would never sell that experience nor would I likely even teach it to someone – I’d be useless and undercut myself.

    Try try try, and try again – that is how you succeed in life (not just in business).

    On another note – I would love to see the “systems” out there get their own day/section/something at these shows. I feel like LeadsCon, Affiliate Summit, etc… are becoming watered down by a new “system” exhibiting every show. I understand there is a value to them being there, but I go there to meet marketers; to put faces to names, and network, not to gossip about the latest technologies.

    If a technology could actually increase your revenue substantially – or settle insecurities with your existing business, you would know about it. Case and point “The DirectTrack Effect”.

    I’d love to see these shows exhibitors be divided up… put all these systems in the general vicinity of each other… that would be entertaining :).

    1. Evan, such proximity might cause half the Earth to melt. I would, however, not mind seeing what would happen if you crammed all of the successful “Coffee Shop Millionaires” into one phone booth (assuming phone booths still exist somewhere).

      Sad when I spend more time reading snake oil brochures than making progress recovering from Google’s latest smackdown.

  8. Anyone calling themselves a super-affiliate isn’t. There are literally 10’s of thousands of real super-affiliates in 100s of niches, but you won’t know who they are unless you run large affiliate programs on the major networks. However, there are many areas within affiliate marketing and companies that generate sales and leads through various can means. Becoming a super-affiliate can be attained by anyone on the web through content, social media, and collecting visitor information, then leveraging that. So much misinformation out there…

  9. Thanks for your post Pace.
    The best way is to be honest, simple and follow-up as you said.

    The guys you were talking about are not honest at all.

    And yes, the CPA works pretty well!


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