Thursday, June 23, 2005

Why I Don't Use Affiliate Links in eBook Reviews

You may have noticed that most of my ebook reviews do NOT include affiliate links to the ebook in question, and you might have wondered why, especially since this is an affiliate marketing blog. The answer is really pretty simple if you think about it: how good a review could it be if the goal were to sell you the product? Doesn't that just make it an "advertorial" instead of an honest-to-goodness review?

My goal with the ebook reviews on this site are to provide other affiliate marketers with authentic and honest recommendations about whether or not to buy certain ebooks. These are of course only my humble opinions, but they are not attempts to sell or shill these ebooks in exchange for a commission. I'm not 100% convinced that there's much money to be made selling affiliate ebooks anyway, although maybe some of the sites that do really well in the SERP's for certain ebook titles do allright with it.

On a slightly parenthetical note, I've been giving some thought to writing an ebook about affiliate marketing. I've read some of the major ones, and I suspect that I might actually be able to add a different perspective. Most affiliate marketing books I've read have been overly promotional and short on actual content. (Although Martell's book and Rosalind Gardner's books are both pretty good on the content side of things.) But I might enjoy writing, and someone might enjoy reading, some content on how to be an affiliate webmaster and be proud of what you're doing because you're adding value to the internet community instead of just getting a quick paycheck.

A friend of mine wrote on an affiliate marketing board I frequent that one of the most common mistakes in affiliate marketing is having too little respect for your visitors and customers, and another is trying to make as much money as you can in a week or else you'll die. (I think I'm paraphrasing a little bit.) How true. That about sums up why I'm not using affiliate links in my ebook reviews--I have too much respect for the readers of this blog, and no need to make as much money as I can in a week. I want to make a lot of money over the next year or two or five instead. And to do that, I need readers who trust me and come back to the site time and again.

And the easiest way to develop trust is to be trustworthy.


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