The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing Programs

Fishing for Money

When you are looking to make money online with your blog, one of the toughest things to do besides finding a profitable niche is to find the right affiliate or marketing program. You can Redifine Niche Marketing for your site in hopes of making your niche better, or you can Think Like a Search Engine to find better keywords to draw traffic into your site.

But how do you know what program is best for your site? How do you find an affiliate or marketing program for your niche?

I’m sure that you have seen the sites that promote anything that comes along the way that will make them money. It doesn’t matter if they believe in it or not, as there is usually a “deal” between the promotion site and the blogger to drive traffic to the site. I’m not saying that some bloggers are unethical in this area (ok, I am) but you need to weigh what is being promoted by others carefully to determine if it is worth it.

By determining if an affiliate program is worth it, there are a couple of things to take into consideration.

First, you have to look at the program and really ask yourself if it is something that you have enough traffic for that niche to promote on your site. By this I am meaning that you wouldn’t promote golf products on a how to make money blog. Unless you know that a lot of your visitors are avid golfers, it probably won’t make you much money.

Secondly, you need to check out the affiliate program itself. With so many ways to make money online for bloggers, it can make your head spin as to which one is right for your site. You know some of the names such as Adsense, Text-Link-Ads, WidgetBucks, etc. and I can go on and on.

Some of the things to consider when looking into these programs is the fact of minimum payouts, page rank or alexa rank requirements, restrictions from running other programs, and what you will make. Is it per referral or do you get a percentage of whoever signs up under you?

One key issue to success with any program is that you will need the traffic to drive it. If you don’t have the traffic, targeted traffic, then you won’t make money with the program. Sure you might make a few cents with Adsense, but is that what you are really after?

Vic over at Blogger Unleashed has written an article about one of the more popular bloggers John Chow entitled John Chow Unclogged. It’s not pretty to say the least, but I think it is an honest review. The problem as Vic sees it, and so do I, is that as bloggers we have a responsibility to not screw people. Plain and simple.

Some bloggers have found that the way to make money online is to tell others how to make money online. That in and of itself is fine. But, when you are telling people how to make money online by signing up with crap that won’t help them, or become an affiliate under you for a program that is highly competitive or needs targeted traffic, are you really helping them? Nope, not in my book. You are only hurting them by making them frustrated. This brings me to another point.


When you are reading other peoples blogs that like to show their monthly commission checks and stuff, it is fine to be amazed with their 5 and 6 figure incomes each month. But, don’t let it fool you into thinking that you can do that also in one month. You can’t.

This is where so many bloggers get frustrated with affiliate marketing and make money online programs. The success takes a while to get built up, and as in everything else in life, there is no easy street here. It takes time, patience and lots of work to learn and accomplish this type of income.

The biggest thing that you can do to find the affiliate program for your keywords that you are targeting it to research it before you really begin. You can always use Adsense or Amazon or ClickBank or Commission Junction to market products and programs, but if you don’t have the traffic looking for a particular product or keyword, it won’t go anywhere. Trust me on this one.

Here is how to check Google quickly for your keyword affiliates.

Go to the main google search page and type in your keyword (s) or keyword phrase, but you will want to put them in quotation marks and put “+ affiliate” after it. Like this:

“make money online” + affiliate

Pretty simple! If you don’t get any results back, then there aren’t any known affiliate programs for your keywords out there. If you get results back, take a look at what the companies have to offer and begin shopping around!

The biggest things to remember with affiliate and marketing programs are that you need to have the traffic to support the program, it needs to be targeted for your site (remember the golf clubs?) and it should work for you.

If you want to really read some great stuff on marketing and hear the truth, check out Blogger Unleashed and How to Make Money Online for Beginners. These are both excellent blogs where the truth rings loud and clear.

6 Responses to “The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing Programs”

  1. Pinny Cohen says:

    I have found the biggest problem with affiliate programs is that they always have policies that include a minimum threshold before they payout.

    Pinny Cohen’s last blog post..Fraxi – The Ning of Pligg

  2. elliott says:

    Pinny, yes that is one of the problems that I am facing now to with some of the programs that I have. I guess it’s one of the issues that you need to continue to promote it in order to get paid, or else they keep your money!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    elliott’s last blog post..The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing Programs

  3. Tip Diva says:

    I found that Amazon’s affiliate program has done absolutely nothing for my website. Google Adsense seems to be picking up, however.

    What’s your luck with Firefox downloads and PayPerPost? I know someone who makes $200 per month on the latter.

    Tip Diva’s last blog post..Top Ten Tips – Backing Up Your Computer

  4. elliott says:

    Amazon has done ok on the couple of sites that I am using it on, but they are product related sites. Adsense also does ok on my product sites, but my blogging sites, it doesn’t work well. As for PayPerPost, I have only done 3 reviews for them, but they have been accepted, and I am rather selective with what I choose to promote or review.

    elliott’s last blog post..I Love the WordPress Database Plugin

  5. Pinny Cohen says:

    Amazon has performed very well for me, but you really need to get 30 or more sales each month to get paid a good percentage (6% and up) on each sale. Amazon performs best right around the winter holidays.

    Pinny Cohen’s last blog post..How To Deliver The Right Message At The Right Time

  6. Markk says:

    Amazon ads are laggards in terms of money-making unless you have a product site. Although they have been around longer than most other affiiate programs, they have been overtaken by better-paying programs in the marketplace. On the whole, your post is a well-thought out piece that gives a clear perspective of the ups and downs in affiliate marketing.

    Markk’s last blog post..Niche Blogging and The Long Tail Explosion


  1. Golfing Facts - Improve your game! » Blog Archive » The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing Programs - [...] elliott added an interesting post on The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing ProgramsHere’s a small excerptBy this I am…
  2. - The Problem with Affiliate and Marketing Programs | Finding the right niche is hard enough to do, but…
  3. Affiliate Marketing Forum - Program for niche sites.... David, Thanks for posting my article! I was wondering where all…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *