Promoting other people’s products – probably as an affiliate – is a tempting way to earn money from your website and your list.
But is it worth doing?
As always in life, the answer is qualified – some of the time, yes it can be. Other times, it’s definitely not.
You have to decide each individual case, which is where your due diligence comes in.
Review the product
That doesn’t mean write a review and post it.
It means actually checking it out yourself. Maybe even use it.
For a digital product, it’s fairly easy to do a review. It’s often possible to ask for a review copy (especially once you’ve got a track record of making sales) and in niches like internet marketing the front end product is often cheap enough that even if you can’t get a review copy, it’s not going to break the bank to purchase the product yourself.
Reviewing serves several purposes:
- You can check that the product lives up to the sales page – not always the case, especially if the sales page has been hyped up to promise the world.
- You can check that the quality of the product is reasonable – does it spend 90% of its time doing beginner stuff that a quick search of the web would work for? Or does it go into a level of detail that is less easy to find? It’s a fine line between making sure that beginners aren’t lost before they start and more experienced users don’t fall asleep but it can be done.
- Does it need extras that are upgrades or somehow got forgotten on the sales page? Often the miracle “instant results” products (in lots of niches) take forever if you don’t get a vital piece of software which just happens to have an affiliate link from the product vendor. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that, especially if it’s a cheap product, but it doesn’t help your margin as someone promoting the product.
- Does it give you enough commission? That’s a judgement call. If the product is cheap ($10 or less is my cut-off point but yours could be different) then you probably should be getting 100% of the sale price. Anything less than that and you’re selling yourself short. Remember that your hard-earned list member will be on another email list and will be getting more sales emails. If the segment of your list is freebie seekers then it’s a different equation as it’s a case of some money rather than no money. And if it’s promoted from a web page then that’s a different matter as well. So it’s a judgement call.
Review the product creator
If you’re able to find other products from the product creator, you can often get a feel for them generally.
I’ve got a list of creators I will never promote – either I’ve had a bad experience with them (or too many of my customers have) or the products they create are typically sub-standard, re-hashed, put together fast, that kind of thing.
Some of these get lots of sales when they launch a new product but I’m not comfortable with them.
At the other end of the scale are product creators who I trust implicitly. Their reputation is good and they don’t release products that are over-hyped and under-delivered.
This can change over time – there have been a few partnerships that I’ve promoted when both partners were together but when a split happened the products dropped in quality. And there have been some partnerships where it turned into two top quality producers. So you need to keep on top of things.
And you need to remember that market expectations change over time. What was top quality a while ago is maybe no longer acceptable. That happens in physical markets – my first desktop computer was excellent at the time but nowadays wouldn’t have the capacity to run anything. Likewise last I saw it, my first video recorder was a museum piece (not the precise one I bought obviously). The same goes for digital products – they go out of date, the software they recommend is no longer available, the techniques stop working, etc.
So you need to check things still make sense.
Get in control
Over time, you can get more in control by creating your own products.
That gives you more control over the whole process from the sales letter to the product to the after-sales emails.
Sure, it takes longer to do and it’s not necessarily easy or even possible in all markets.
But if it is possible, it’s well worth doing!