Affiliate Marketing: 5 Threats That Cannot Be Ignored
Affiliate marketing, like any business opportunity worth pursuing, comes with threats attached. Overall, this is a good thing, because if you could get the opportunity without the threats, anyone and everyone would be making money from affiliate marketing.
Still, you must be vigilant in protecting yourself. Here are 8 threats that can throw a monkey wrench in your affiliate marketing profit machine:
Yes, Google has cracked down on click fraud with some success, but it still happens, and it still can cost you thousands of dollars per month if are buying high-priced PPC terms.
Combat click fraud by watching your PPC campaigns like a hawk, excluding fraud-happy countries (China, India, Russia) from clicking on your ads, and reporting any suspicious activity to the search engine in question, which should fight for your business by fighting click fraud.
As in life, sometimes the most sinister threats to your affiliate marketing business come from your friends. If you are partnered with merchants who mistreat the customers you send them, don't think that won't hurt your business just because, technically, "it wasn't you."
Word travels fast on the Internet. Refusal to refund customer purchases is a recurring problem with shady partners. Buy a merchant's product and return it to verify the company's honesty.
As an affiliate, you work hard to send customers to your affiliate partners. It can be extremely irritating, therefore, when your affiliate partner places their affiliate links on the sales page to which you send customers, and then you don't get paid when those links get clicked on.
It's called customer hijacking, and it's not cool.
Insist that your affiliate partners concentrate on selling the stuff you're promoting, not the stuff that other people are promoting through the websites of your affiliate partners.
Link stealing--when someone visits your affiliate partner's website but then erases your affiliate link so that if they buy something you don't get credit--is not apparently logical. Why would someone erase your affiliate link when it doesn't save them any money to do so?
Because they're a Hater, and they hate to see anyone make money. Or, even worse, because they replace your affiliate ID with their affiliate ID, and make money off your referral.
Link stealing can be minimized by "link cloaking" (Google it). Working with merchant partners who crack down on link stealing, though, is the best way to guard against this form of Haterism.
Free Hosting Is Free for a Reason
When you engage in affiliate marketing and don't pay for web hosting, you are by nature unprotected from the free hosting company itself.
Free hosting companies can change their terms of service, add their ads to your site without your permission, see that your site is down and not do anything about it, and do pretty much anything else that they want to do. And why not? You live under their roof, you'll live by their rules.
Free web hosting is not worth it if you are serious about building an affiliate marketing business.