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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Did "Get Rich Quick" Destroy the face of Affiliate Marketing?
    With the complaints lately regarding affiliate marketing you start to wonder what's causing them? Maybe it's the dream that affiliate marketing can make you rich? This dream is a dime a dozen at your local B&N or online ebook store. Do you think this univeral allure is only going to attract by-the-rules players? More than not you're going to get one diamond among thousands of zirconiums.

    When we think "affiliate" we rarely think respect. As an affiliate I'd rather tell my friends I run a forum than admit I run affiliate sites. Maybe I just don't want their first question to be, "Do you spam?". I think with such a low barrier to entry "affiliate marketing" has been damaged.

    But many of us are to blame for perpetuating this. We all know from MLM that perpetuating is the name of the game. 2-tier commissions pay us to recruit. Maybe I should write a book about how to get rich as an affiliate. I'd probably do pretty well although 99% of my readers won't succeed. In order to succeed as an author that statistic needs to hold true. If only the best affiliates read my book I won't make squat.

    The easier we make it sound, the more riff-raff we'll attract.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  2. #2

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    Yup. It's all over. Everyone should just quit now.

    I think in ANY successful industry you get the get-rich-quickers eventually. The googles, the ebayers, the mail order, etc. Time and time again if there is money to be made or people are making money then some schemer puts together the get rich quick material.

  3. #3
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    I've worked at a bookstore for 13 years and the choice of get rich books tracks with the economy.

    I can always tell an economic downturn because of the number of requests we get for real estate investment books, run your own home business, make money with your computer and the new age "think yourself rich" genre.

    Right now all of those requests are huge. The irony is, I watch the same people buying these books year after year.

    I just keep making pages and watch my aff biz grow.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I'm not convinced that the affiliate name has been hurt that bad. People who understand the market know that the scum of the earth do not represent the affiliate channel as a whole. And I've personally found that few people I talk to on a daily basis have any clue that affiliate marketing exists.

    If I say I'm an affiliate marketer, I get the strangest looks. Rather, I tell people that I do online marketing for a wide variety of companies, ranging from Fortune 500s to mom-and-pop startups. If nothing else, it feeds me ego...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    I think of it like the gold rush era of our country and the get rick quick mentality that drove people west faster than they might have gone otherwise.. Some panned for gold. Some sold maps and some sold shovels. The shiplines made a fortune, so did wagon-cover makers. Most of the people who traveled to dig went bust, but a few made it rich.

    The real entrepeneurs among them opened stores, restaurants, boarding houses, and stables along the way and settled in to form the infrastructure of what became a very wealthy area of the US.

    We're only at the beginning of whatever comes next. And there's always more than one way to make a buck helping everyone else get through it.
    Last edited by jmoore61103; April 14th, 2007 at 08:21 AM. Reason: I love editing

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbsturg
    I'm not convinced that the affiliate name has been hurt that bad. People who understand the market know that the scum of the earth do not represent the affiliate channel as a whole. And I've personally found that few people I talk to on a daily basis have any clue that affiliate marketing exists.
    I agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    the dream that affiliate marketing can make you rich?
    But, you CAN get rich. It's the "quick" part that's the clinker. It's very unlikely to be quick. Also, "can" get rich and "will" get rich are vastly different things. Technically, you "CAN" get rich in a casino, too, after all...very few *will* though! (Actually I would recommend this way over casino gambling. Even if you don't manage to get rich at AM, I think it's a lot more likely to provide "enough" than any casino game is, and has less of a chance of true shirt loss. You don't hear of the mob trying to collect on bad PPC debts, after all!)

    The problem I see amongst the complainers on ABW isn't that they think they can get rich, per se, it's that they come into it totally unready for prime time--and/or they are of the totally wrong mindset for this business.

    This is part of the Sales/Advertising business. Those who loathe either aspect aren't very likely to do well.

    Even if the person doesn't *hate* ads, many (most?) people haven't ever paid serious attention to what they should have been (for this business). Advertising, salesmanship, and market watching...it's all foreign to them. It goes on around them, but they never paid it any real attention. It's just "there." Yet they jump online--to advertise and sell--and think that money's going to just fly in their direction!

    It's not going to work under those conditions. They don't have enough clues built up.

    Also, a lot of people think that they can just pick up a "for dummies" type guru book to make up for it. Well, it's not THAT easy. A lifetime's worth of avidly watching ads and even live salesmen can't be condensed into a book. They need to start *actively* paying attention to how sales and effective advertising are made.

    Then, there is persistence. I see a lot of "complainers" who give up after about 5 or 6 months of either 1) Misdirected w*rk, or 2) Trying to follow some "guru" ebook. (Or some combo of the two.) That's simply not enough time!

    And there's motivation. Lack of motivation is something that can beset anyone. Also, anyone who thinks a job is an acceptable alternative is likely to take one when the going gets rough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snib
    The easier we make it sound, the more riff-raff we'll attract.
    Maybe the truth does attract "riff-raff," but I really loathe the tactic of making it sound like a bunch of work that it isn't. To say that a good (ie, it sells stuff), unique pitch can't be typed up, and advertised, in 30 minutes is highly insulting to anyone with good pitch-writing skill and a fairly decent typing speed.

    If someone doesn't know how to do that, then more work on their sites isn't what they need to do. They need to get a whole roll of clue train tickets, that's what they need to do! What kind of clues? How to advertise (other people's) stuff, write pitches, advertise their own sites, test their attempts, tweak pages, type faster, and be more efficient, to name a few.

    LEARNING ALL THIS STUFF may strike some as "work." But I would postulate that if they think the learning it is all that workful, then maybe they should try a different business! Learning information of actual interest is hardly ever--if ever--work (although it may take effort, it's not that distasteful worky kind).

    Of course, there's a difference between efficient, and just plain lazy. You can easily spot the truly lazy ones--they're the ones who come here and ask things like, "is there a list of things to do?" Or, "show me step-by-step." Words to that effect--they want an E-Z road map. And sometimes they get really mad when the answer is "there is no list, and nobody's going to show you step-by-step either!"

    If I'm in a particular mood, I may respond to those types with

    "Okay. Step One: Get a job in a retail store, not as cashier, but one where you can actually watch the customers..."

    While that seems like a snarky response (and in part it is ), it's actually good advice for a way to observe how customers make decisions or how advertising/store environment/packaging does its "magic." All too often, people jump into this with a bunch of illusions and self-invented suppositions about what customers will respond to, without ever having actually watched any customers responding to anything!
    Last edited by Leader; April 14th, 2007 at 09:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    I'm glad everyone used brick and mortar business examples in their posts, at least for myself being a newbie to AM, it was easier for me to relate too.

    I'm so new to all this I have no wisdom to share on internet marketing itself (hopefully someday I will) but being involved sales and business over the years like I have, this flux of "get rich quick" offers is aggravating to me too. I'll admit, I fell for one, but I saw through the hype and grabbed that one little bit of information that only pointed me in the right direction, but it didn't give me any "blueprint" to success. That is completely going to rely on me and my ability to persevere through the valleys. You can imagine my humiliation when I found ABW, used the "search" button and found all the info I had just paid 49.95 for

    Because of some of the spamming lately, it made me take a look at myself as a newbie. I removed my url out of my sig and profile and have just sat back and watched as I learned. I can understand now why veterans here are miffed about these "get rich quick" pitches. If somebody was to walk into our taxidermy or bookkeeping offices and told us how to do it when they possess no experience hardly at all I would come unglued.

    I like what Leader posted about motivation. For me that's key. I'm sure in coming years as my experience grows, this will become easier. For now, as a rookie, this is hard work!! But I LOVE it!

    I just hope that all of newbies don't get tagged as "get rich quick " because some of us really want to learn.

    P.S. Snib, you rock! (and thanks again for all your help )
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  8. #8
    Member Core's Avatar
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    Good Post Leader!

  9. #9
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore61103
    I think of it like the gold rush era of our country and the get rick quick mentality that drove people west faster than they might have gone otherwise.. Some panned for gold. Some sold maps and some sold shovels. The shiplines made a fortune, so did wagon-cover makers. Most of the people who traveled to dig went bust, but a few made it rich.

    The real entrepeneurs among them opened stores, restaurants, boarding houses, and stables along the way and settled in to form the infrastructure of what became a very wealthy area of the US.

    We're only at the beginning of whatever comes next. And there's always more than one way to make a buck helping everyone else get through it.
    Judi, funny you chose that particular analogy. Not just because I sell gold pans, etc, but because oddly enough, I believe another rush of sorts is coming. As all the boomers now familiar with the Internet and shopping online start to retire, I believe we'll see a boom in leisure spending online. Just a theory, but all those harder to (locally) shop for activities will see growth in the coming years. I'm banking on it anyway...

    Scott, good thread. I think the line between affiliate marketing and MLM or get rich quick has suffered the same blurring of perception seen between online marketing and spam, or selling online and ebay (since becoming an e-tailer I get that one a lot!). I don't think it's because we make it sound easy, hard or in between. The bulk of the complaints are coming from people who sound like their perception has already been established by some crap ebook.

    All we can really do is to try to be clear about what we do.

    Affiliates are publishers and marketers. That's something concrete and it certainly doesn't sound quick or all that easy. Somehow I just don't think an ebook can give a person enough of a foundation in publishing and marketing to get rich quick, and anyone who thinks it might probably doesn't have the mental toolbox necessary to make it in this industry.

    I'd almost go so far as to say that buying an ebook is a marker for eventually giving up and complaining on a forum somewhere...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Judy, Snib, Leader, Eathan.

    Good thoughts gang. I don't really think that any notable percentage of people view affiliate marketing as bad, but undoubtedly, some do and / or will. People can be quick to make judgments based on association, so certainly some people would try to detract from what you do. So what? Let em conclude whatever they like while you stay on course, do what you do, and make your success. In the end, what outsiders cast as doubt or judgment is not what makes you succeed or fail - you do.
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    because oddly enough, I believe another rush of sorts is coming. As all the boomers now familiar with the Internet and shopping online start to retire, I believe we'll see a boom in leisure spending online. Just a theory, but all those harder to (locally) shop for activities will see growth in the coming years. I'm banking on it anyway...
    I know that when I started this, I was doing it for a very specific reason. I had to prepare for living who-knows-where and at the same time providing a few income streams. I had 3-4 years to build something that could be packed up and moved to a boat, an RV, a Retirement Village, or maybe a waiting room.

    I didn't know any better than to think that I could find some good ebooks to sell online. You know exactly where that search led me - right through the same garbage we're seeing people emerge from now - and thankfully I'm too stubborn to pay dearly for something I can figure out by myself - at least for that set of lessons. Lucky me, I found this forum soon enough that my big learning curve was networks and merchants (probably still) and not which guru to make rich.

    Too late to make a long story short, but I absolutely believe that as we all move into our "golden years" we'll need portability, income, and like Eathan said - products - we can no longer find in our hometown because we're on the move to somewhere else. That creates markets for millions of things, including new gurus to teach old farts how to shop and then how to sell and make more money to shop.

    When you consider the wealth of information, experience and business sense that will be available from people finally free of the corporate structure, it's mind-boggling. They won't need Depends - they need directions - and stuff to buy!

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore61103
    They won't need Depends - they need directions - and stuff to buy!
    And if they DO need Depends, I'll give them directions on how to buy those, too!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Every industry goes through this at some point. Many never get past it, but still thrive.

    Real Estate is a good example. There are more get rich quick schemes in real estate than ever before...100 times more than in affiliate marketing.

    Yet, real estate overall is booming and many, many people ARE getting rich, sometimes quickly too.

    The smart, hard-working, creative types will always succeed in anything and affiliate marketing is no different.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  14. #14
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    Every business has this. Be it get rich quick stuff, corruption, whatever. There is always good and bad. I remember watching 60 Minutes I believe it was and it was a story on some downline something or something shady, selling the dream. They literally had a whole football stadium filled with people. They even had all the lights off and everything and were singing. It was cult like. I remember watching that just thinking - What the hell. You see all that late night informercial garbage like buy real estate no money down blah blah. Or take this pill, cure all your ills. That's all there because somebody is buying it. We have spam because somebody is opening it up and buying. Spam would be gone tomorrow if people just deleted it. So there are crazy people in this world, some well intentioned people that just want to do better but get sucked into this nonsense. "There's a sucker born every minute...and two to take 'em." That's true. With this business, there is no shortage of people wanting to make money online and just don't know how and they're easy targets.

    As far as:

    "As an affiliate I'd rather tell my friends I run a forum than admit I run affiliate sites."

    That's something to be proud of. You have your own business. Make your own money, you're your own boss. Most of your friends would want to be in your shoes. Most people would love to work for themselves, have their own business, be in charge. Nothing to be ashamed about.

  15. #15
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    For a decade now, nobody has understood what I mean when I say that I am a "performance-based internet marketing consultant," and when I try to explain, I frequently realize how much BS is out there about ways to "get rich quick from the internet."

    During the "dot-com boom," it seemed as if nobody was making money from profits earned by actually selling goods or services. Instead, the money came from investors, or from selling the company, or whatever. At least, that's where everybody seemed to believe the money was coming from -- I called it "the greater fool theory," that someone else who understood the business even less would buy you out.

    The problem now seems to be a continuous stream of hype-based marketers who are promoting scams to gullible "get-rich-quick" consumers. As someone noted, many of these are the same folks who fall for a different scam every year or two, because they just want to believe that there is a "trick" and a way to make lots of money without any special skill or effort. (If there is a trick, I haven't found it, and if someone actually has found it, they're not likely to sell it to anyone with $99.95.)

    This "continuous stream of gullible people" has driven up bid rates for some PPC keywords to unaffordable levels; they've also flooded some segments on eBay with products being sold at a loss; and in some segments, there is a continuous stream of scammy affiliate sites using every SEO trick in the book to saturate organic search with garbage results. But in the end, there are still meaningful market segments that are still mostly "untouched by idiots," and even in the most over-saturated market-spaces (like web hosting subscriptions and mortgage leads), there remain some genuine opportunities.

    After 10 years, I'm still here, and I'm still making a living from affiliate earnings, supplemented with consulting income. It's not easy, but it's easier than teaching full-time, and earns me more money.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    As far as: "As an affiliate I'd rather tell my friends I run a forum than admit I run affiliate sites."

    That's something to be proud of. You have your own business. Make your own money, you're your own boss. Most of your friends would want to be in your shoes. Most people would love to work for themselves, have their own business, be in charge. Nothing to be ashamed about.
    I agree with this 1,000 % Trust! Affiliate marketers, merchants, OPM's, networks, consultants, and everyone else who has taken the risk, applied the patience and persistence, and now derive an income from their online efforts can and should be proud of what they do. You are an affiliate marketer, an internet marketer, and it is an honorable profession filled with a lot of good people. The bad element is what people hear about, because good news is not news to a mentality (like the media) that thirsts for negative. So what!! When anyone asks what you do, you can proudly tell them that you are in internet marketer! ( and then add: "when I am not out playing golf, fishing, traveling, spending quality time with my family or just enjoying life on my own terms!)
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  17. #17
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    Most people at cocktail parties don't even know about this industry. When I tell them what I am up to, they are usually impressed, jealous, and wish they could figure out something like this to make some money with.

    No one has ever thought less of me.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    As far as:

    "As an affiliate I'd rather tell my friends I run a forum than admit I run affiliate sites."

    That's something to be proud of. You have your own business. Make your own money, you're your own boss. Most of your friends would want to be in your shoes. Most people would love to work for themselves, have their own business, be in charge. Nothing to be ashamed about.
    I agree that it's something to be proud of, but there are some who associate affiliate marketing with failure. One time I mentioned that I do affiliate marketing to a friend and he basically told me I'm wasting my time. Apparently he had tried it and hadn't had any success with it. So sometimes it's not the black hats giving us a bad name, it's the disappointment from failure.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Apparently he had tried it and hadn't had any success with it. So sometimes it's not the black hats giving us a bad name, it's the disappointment from failure.
    Well, those who have played and lost aren't going to like the game, that's just human nature.

    I'd just remind him that FOR HIM there'll be something else for him to excel at. But for YOU, affiliate marketing is just fine.

    But if a few failures turned everyone off of a particular industry, there would be NO industries of any kind, anywhere on Earth! Because no matter what the endeavor, there is someone who just isn't going to be any good at it.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

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