Lately I have been seeing way too many affiliates getting shut down for fraud. They are always finding new ways to exploit the system to make a quick buck, then praying that they don’t get caught by the affiliate network, the advertiser, the search engines, etc.
This is so stupid! I know full well that to be the best affiliate marketer you can be, you constantly need to be testing the limits. Pushing into the grey areas is often where we find the most profitable new techniques to market our wares. The problem is, a lot of affiliates forget where the line is, and once crossed they never return. There may be a rush of feeling like you’ve cheated the system and made money so easily that it should be illegal, and in most cases, it is!
What bothers me the most about this is that I have seen so many extremely talented programmers & marketers get paid absolutely nothing for their efforts, not to mention the risk of litigation and/or jail time. I can’t help but think that if these individuals put their skills to work on the numerous legal and above-the-board marketing methods, they could be rolling in the dough right now.
If any of this is sounding familiar to you, do yourself a favor and cut out the crap. It doesn’t take a genious to cloak Craigslist traffic and trick people into signing up for offers. It also doesn’t take a genius to iframe an email submit box onto a page, obscuring everything but the submit button. Even if you fool everyone on the front end, there is still the advertiser’s back end, which is where most of these schemes are hung out to dry. It is very easy for an advertiser to tell who is sending junk traffic and who is not, and the second they alert your affiliate network, say goodbye to those commissions.
A side note to the scammers are the people that put so much time and energy into marketing online offers offline. This is the most counter-intuitive thing I have ever heard of. The internet presents the most flexible, trackable, and profitable means of marketing ever devised. Why is it that so many new affiliates think it would be such a great idea to go back to the dark ages of using paper flyers or telesales to get people to their landing pages? The printing press was invented in 1439. Get over it. Besides, you are killing trees with your stupid spam flyers. There is no physical way possible to generate the amount of traffic to affiliate offers through these archaic methods as there is through search engines, email marketing, media buying, PPV, and all the other online methods. You think you can hand out enough flyers on a college campus to drive 1,000 ringtones leads in one day? Even if it were possible, what about the next day? What about at 3 AM when you should be sleeping? Are your flyers out there handing themselves out? I didn’t think so.
Like I said, it’s not that hard to figure out how to do this the right way, and the other opportunities that present themselves simply by being good at what you do are limitless. There is no telling what is on the horizon in this industry, and companies are always looking for marketers on the cutting edge. Just make sure it’s the right edge.