I apologize for the inevitable tantrum that’s about to unravel. If you’d spent the last several days battling with Linux viruses and Chinese fucktard organizations, you’d be equally pissed off and ready to go all Scrooge on the world.
This is something that has been grating at me for a while now. It’s quite common that I’ll be emailed a simple question like, “Have you tried pushing acai on Facebook?”
Yes, I have. And yes, I stopped.
Not so long ago, I was talking to an affiliate manager of a network that will go unnamed. I was told that Offer X in the acai niche would sell really well if I cloaked it and ran it through Facebook. I’m not stupid enough to do something like this personally. I have actual campaigns that are profitable on Facebook which I would rather not lose. More to the point, I believe in the theory that you’d be an absolute retard to burn all your bridges to chase a few extra dollars of profit.
What really concerned me was the idea that affiliate managers are actually pushing this advice on their publishers. Are you out of your fucking minds?
It’s easy for a network to sit there and tell a publisher to go compromising a personal account by selling a prohibited product through Traffic Source X. But it shows a massive lack of respect to the naive affiliate who’s trying to earn an honest wage. What happens when the affiliate gets shut down? Sure, there’s some personal responsibility attached. But I’d be tempted, knowing what I know, to tell any affiliate manager who pushes advice like that on me to go fuck himself. Which is, ironically enough, exactly what I did.
What I’m trying to say here, is that if you’re a hard working affiliate, you need to look out for yourself and take what a network throws at you with a pinch of salt.
I’m forever opening my inbox to see messages that read like this:
“Well, why don’t you try Offer X. It’s really taking off and seeing big volume right now.”
Network wide volume means jack shit to me. Profitability is all I care about. I couldn’t honestly care less if an offer is blowing up and seeing thousands of leads per day. I would much rather push through one lead that gives me a return on investment that I’m happy with. This is where networks will try to fuck you over and fill your inbox with false promise.
But, hey, you can’t hate on the networks for doing their jobs. The more experienced you get at this game, you better you become at being your own judge of an offer’s viability.
What really gets on my tits is the outrageous attitude from certain affiliate managers who believe that because they’ve been placing your pixels for five minutes, they somehow know what’s good for the long term success of your business. Telling an affiliate to go and try acai on Facebook is no better than Google turning around and saying “Thanks for the money, now go rot in a hole somewhere.”
Or “We appreciate your leads…while they lasted.”
“Teehee, motherfucker. This is the sound of us banking on your banned and blacklisted ass. Refer us to friends though, right?”
Before you ask, no I haven’t been banned from Facebook. But I’ve heard a lot of stories from people who’ve suffered that fate. Much of the blame must rest on the publisher. I’m not for a moment suggesting that a network is responsible for an affiliate going out and breaking the terms and conditions of a traffic source. This is more of a rant against stupidity.
Let’s say you decide to push acai on Facebook.
It’s profitable and there’s big money to be made there. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read that much. With some simple targeting, a cloaking redirect and a slice of luck – you can probably ride the fat loss waves well in to 2010 making some good bank. But there is your problem.
You might not make it in to 2011 with Facebook account in tact.
We’ve seen the backlash from Google and we’re seeing a similar backlash from Facebook. It’s possible to get a new account after being banned, but it’s about as pleasurable a process to follow as a gentle fist up the jacksy.
You can enjoy a few great months of addictive profit and life changing ROIs, but when the screws come unhinged, you’re left without a Plan B. And whatever Plan B you might have had is going to be severely compromised by the fact that Traffic Source X now has you blacklisted and wants nothing to do with your business.
Is that the way forward for an affiliate marketer?
Some of you are crazy sons of bitches who will simply ditch the wife, change your birth name, move to Alaska and open up a new advertising account. Whatever puts the notes in your pocket, right? That’s one way to do it, I guess. But you’re going to be forever searching for loopholes while I would rather be kicking back on a sunbed and enjoying a legitimate long term business growth.
Here’s the greatest catch of affiliate marketing. You don’t have to be clever to make money. Any affiliate with balls the size of Texas can bend the truth far enough that it lines his pockets with the dollars he craves. But at some point – today, tomorrow, maybe next year – you’re going to have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt.
I’ve spoken to some truly shady black hat Internet marketers in my time. Not just affiliates, but “entrepreneurs” who will completely reinvent the rulebook of what’s acceptable if it’s financially suitable to them. You know what nearly all of these guys have in common? They all WISH they could have the same success on the straight and narrow.
Many of them are incredibly smart and more than capable of carving a long term business. But they get blinded by the short term riches and choose paths that I’m sure, in many cases, will eventually come back to haunt them.
You can base your business decisions on what will line your pockets today (slinging acai on Facebook, pummeling bizopp on Google)…or you can keep a level head and try not to burn all of your bridges in a few short months.
When you come back down to earth and realize that affiliate marketing is a full time career and a full time responsibility, it’s probably going to dawn on you.
You’ve got work to do.