7 Affiliate marketing tips to become a trustworthy affiliate

7 Affiliate marketing tips to become a trustworthy affiliate

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. There are various benefits to it. One of the major benefits that attracts me is that with affiliate marketing, you don’t need to create a product in order to make sales.

Creating a product is a tedious task (although for some businesses, this cannot be totally avoided). Some bloggers might find it easier especially after they have created more than one product in the past.

But if you haven’t yet created a product, creating your first product can be a challenging and time consuming task. It will require you to put in time and effort, usually leaving aside or moving aside your regular blogging activities.

But wait! I am not discouraging you against creating your own product. I actually insist bloggers to create their own products. Apart from acting as a regular stream of income, a product of your own will speak for your authority in your niche.

But who doesn’t want to make money without doing much of a hard work ;)?

Well, I am in!

Affiliate marketing is one such way, where you don’t have to create a product of your own, but can still make money from others’ products. You don’t have to worry about setting up your sales website, setting up payment processors, dealing with customer support and updating the product – Nothing!

But then affiliate marketing is not so easy-peasy as you might think of! There is still a reasonable amount of “work” you have to do.

I am not going to talk about that in this post. Rather I am going to give you tips for long term success with affiliate marketing. The key with affiliate marketing is to build trust. These tips will help you become a trustworthy person in your niche, so people will buy your recommendations without a second thought.

#1 Do not promote a product that you have not tried yourself

OK, I’m sure not many will agree with me on this. And my statement is a generic one, isn’t? Well you can’t always do this. There are exceptions.

But in general, do not promote a product that you haven’t tried out yourself. This is why I say so: You won’t be able to clearly point out the positives and negatives of a product if you haven’t tried it out yourself. Do you agree with me on this?

Well, I said there are exceptions! Yes you may not be able to afford to buy every laptop and camera you review. And you may not need every software out there

#2 Research about the product

Before you promote a product (even after you have used it) research about the product to see for any scammy associations. I usually do a search with “product name + negative keywords” – and negative keywords are usually stuff like “sucks”, “scam”, “waste” and words like that depending upon which product you are choosing.

As always a product cannot please everyone on the planet so there will be haters even for a decent product. So make sure you are not jumping into conclusions by reading just one or two personal views.

When you research for such scam relations to the product, it is best to read user comments in additional to the original blog post. Even better, if you research in forums you can see really useful information on the topic.

Nevertheless, as I said do not judge a product by looking at what some people say. For instance I use Market Samurai everyday and I personally like it very much. But there are people who hate it very much. So it really depends.

The fact that some people write bad reviews about the product doesn’t mean that the product is crappy, but if you are seeing quite some bad reviews, then you should get that into account!

#3 Make sure the product promises what it delivers

This is one of the main reasons why it is important to try out the product before promoting it! If you don’t use the product, you won’t know if it delivers what it promises.

Products with fake promises are really annoying. Sometimes, the product owners simply promise stuff to market the product. Sometimes the product owner might simply hype things about the product because it is “their” product!

So if you are going to write a review of the product or put up a banner on your site or recommend that product to your readers in a blog post just by believing that hypey sales page, you could be doing injustice to your readers.

Since it is YOUR recommendation, it is also YOUR responsibility to check out the product thoroughly before you make a recommendation.

Don’t just glance at the sales page or read the product features and make recommendations based on your reading. You really have to find out if the product delivers the promises!

#4 Make sure the product has a good standing in the market

Make sure the product has a good standing in the market

This is something I am recently seeing myself. You come to know about a great product. You buy and try it yourself. You find the product to be amazing. You find it to be reasonably priced as well.

And you find that the product also delivers everything as promised in the sales letter. So you write your recommendation. But then things change after a while!

The product stops receiving any updates. Or the product owner disappears from the market.

Have you seen any of these? I have!

That is why recently I have it as a policy to specifically research for the “good standing” of the product and/or the product owner in the market.

You need to look at the following aspects:

  • How long is the product in the market?
  • Who/What company is behind the product?
  • How long is the company in the market?
  • How long is the company doing this (relevant) business?
  • … and this kind of research.

Unless you clearly know about the company’s (and the product’s) standing do not recommend the product. Remember, with affiliate marketing, it is all about building trust. If you recommend a product that does not have a good standing in the market, you will only ruin your reputation and trust!

#5 Make sure the product gets good support from the developers

There is no point in recommending a product if the customers are not going to get proper support for it.

You are providing a recommendation as a blogger to *help* your readers. And if the product does not get proper support from its developers, those who buy the product will be left confused and annoyed!

Personally, I value support very much! Whenever I research to buy a product, I see how good the support is. You can see this by visiting forum threads that talk about this product, read reviews and so on.

Mainly, I value a product by not only seeing its features but I give weight to the support (and documentation). Basically it doesn’t matter how great the product is – if I cannot get help when I am stuck with something, there is no point in using that product.

And whenever I face such an issue, I not only find the product useless but I also get annoyed! So it is quite natural that I need to put myself in the shoes of my readers.

Tip: As a reviewer/affiliate, be prepared to answer questions about the product – or notify the product owner about the review and arrange for him/her to answer some of the critical questions about the product.

#6 Don’t write an all-positive-buy-it-NOW kind of review

In your review, make sure you point out both the positives and negatives of the product. I am 200% sure that no product is perfect!

Why? Because “perfect” is a word that is person-dependent. Something that is “perfect” to me would be crappy to you! And vice versa. Why? Because we all have different preferences.

I might have different needs with my business and your needs could be different from mine; so are the features with any product.

So make sure you don’t paint an all-positive picture. If you write such a review people will see you as a “desperate” affiliate marketer who wants to push sales.

If you write a “genuine” review which points out both the positives and negatives of a product you will not only make the review really useful to your readers, but you will also build trust in the industry.

Rather than simply pointing out the features, if you do tutorial, it would be great. While you do a video review showing a hands on session, people will be able to actually look at the product being used – these kind of reviews are highly helpful for products that don’t have a free or trial version – you will help people look behind the walls before they can actually invest in the product.

They will also be able to “see” the challenges in using the product and/or how easy it is to use the product for a particular type of usage!

#7 Update your review often

This is something I have to do myself with my current reviews – I can say this is a note to myself.

Reviews need to be updated regularly, don’t you agree? Things change! So do products and their updates.

With every update, a product could be fixing a bug, or could come out of beta, or could introduce new features, or could change its pricing or something like that!

So it is important that you keep yourself updated of these changes. Usually all product owners keep their affiliates informed of these changes.

Make sure you stay subscribed to the affiliate list of the products for which you are an affiliate. This will help you easily stay updated. Otherwise it would be a tedious job for you to manually check the updates of those products!

Once you find out that there has been a change of any form (as the ones mentioned above), please do update your review accordingly!

Think of this scenario – when people land on your review page when they see that your review is outdated, they are simply going to bounce off. Nobody wants to read an outdated review.

Affiliate marketing: Takeaway tips and conclusion

As I said, the key element is to build trust. If you look for making some quick commissions, you will only fail trying. Just put yourselves in the shoes of the buyer.

Let’s say you come across a recommendation from a person you trust and then you also read another product promotion review from a person who you barely know or a person who have been in the market for a very short time!

From whom will you make those purchases? From the person you trust, right? Even if you were on the fence about buying that product, a recommendation or an endorsement from the person you trust will surely make you buy it!

So focus on building trust. Be honest and transparent when you make product promotions or recommendations. It will take some time. But you will make it!

Hope you found these affiliate marketing tips useful!

Jane Signature

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  1. chrismarkleechrismarklee says

    You are very knowledgeable on Blogs, SEO and social media I focus on getting attention. I use images. I use this on my Facebook business page. You need to be low key on Facebook. People are there to have fun.Facebook allows me to target my local customer base.

    Owner CEL Financial Services

  2. Larry M says

    Hi Jane,
    Timely post! I actually just created my own product and would love to get your feedback.
    I may also look to getting affiliates help to promote the product.
    But first I want to put together something that can sell.

    The product is a simple Google Analytics dashboard that gets sent to your inbox every morning. It’s just the the basic metrics for now, but I’ll be adding more over time.
    The site is http://mysitevitals.com

    Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you in ASAP.

  3. Shivkumar says

    Hi Jane Mam,

    Blogging is always a fun for me because I get to learn many new thing everyday.

    Many people start the blogging for making money and dump their blog after few months or year because they don’t get proper way to earn from blog.

    This mostly happen due to lack of knowledge about the various way of trying for making money. Your Affiliate marketing tips had covered almost all the points and I got to learn one more thing from this info i.e. ‘Don’t write an all-positive-buy-it-NOW kind of review’.

    Thanks for this tip, Mam! :)

    >SK Lohar

  4. Palla Ramarao says

    Building trust is the key to a successful affiliate marketing career. For this you need time, patience and some finance. Updating the reviews also have lot of benefit as I observed. You can use your Google Analytics search queries data in this regard.. But writing reviews about products un-tested (because of financial viability reasons) is the killer issue. If you want to review a smartphone that costs Rs 20k, you only have Google on your side. Also lot of support is required from experts in communities like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn which will bolster the confidence of small-time bloggers (small because I’m not rich) like me.

    • Jane says

      Palla I understand what you are saying. There are stuff that only big companies can review. For instance, CNET publishes a lot of reviews on laptops, cameras, mobile phones and so on. An individual blogger won’t be able to buy all the laptops and all the cameras for sure :)

      And the big companies are sometimes provided a sample/review piece as a measure of their own product promotion.

      If a blogger is writing a review to help readers, and if the product is too expensive to own (just for the sake of review) at least they should openly say it.

      When it comes to IM products, courses, ebooks, etc. that is not an excuse, though :)

  5. Amy Hagerup says

    I had never even thought about updating my reviews. I will have to check out the ones I have done and be sure they are still solid because I too want to build that trust factor.

  6. Andrew M. Warner says

    Hey Jane,

    Point #1 is absolutely correct. The number one problem that I’ve seen many people promoting affiliate products make is promoting something they’ve never used themselves – they even said themselves that they never used the product.

    As a person that might be visiting that person’s site, how can I trust their review of the product when that person never used it?

    Another point I agree with is #6 regarding the positive review. I understand that as an affiliate you want to leave a review that’ll coax the person reading it to purchase – but at times, overly positive reviews seem as though you’re just trying to butter it up and make a sale.

    Great post. Have a great weekend, Jane.

    – Andrew

    • Jane says

      Yup! Always stay away from overly positive reviews. Whenever I’m about to buy a particular product and whenever I research about it, I usually never believe any word written on a “too good to believe” review.

      If I have such a level of suspicion I must understand that my readers will also hate when they are presented with an “all-positive” review :)

      Thanks for stopping by Andrew.

  7. Kerry RussellKerry Russell says

    Hi Jane,
    Your tips are spot on. I’m sure they’ll help a lot of beginners who want to make money through affiliate marketing.
    It’s refreshing to see your honesty on the subject. When I first started online, I was lead to believe that affiliate marketing is easy – and as you clearly point out, it still involves ‘work’.
    Yes, it’s easier because you don’t have to create the product, sales copy, deal with support, etc…but we still need to build an audience to sell those products to.
    #2 research is VERY important. The products we recommend have a massive impact on our reputation. If we promote shabby, hyped up products, created by unethical marketers we’ll lost the trust of the audience we’ve worked so hard to build.
    Personally, I won’t promote anything that I don’t actively use and get results from. I also prefer to know the product creator. That way I can be sure they’ll look after my readers after purchase.
    Great tips Jane. Keep up the good work.

  8. Ryan Biddulph says

    Hi Jane,

    I dig each tip. I find identifying the perfect mix between using a product, believing in it, being in love with it yet sharing the downsides creates both the excitement and authenticity people need to either buy in or move on.

    Some fools are affiliate for a product yet go out of their way to bash their product more than they speak it up. Why sell it? These folks are desperate to gain credibility, and will find flaws where flaws don’t exist, to gain some type of online street cred. Silly.

    Other folks gush left and right and don’t share any downsides. We’ve seen them enough; you addressed this crowd well with tip 6.

    I love hootsuite pro, and since the app has saved me 2-3 hours daily, I sell it through my blog. I believe in it, and since it’s helped me so much I know it will help others blog from paradise like me, or wherever they happen to be blogging from.

    I also share downsides of hootsuite pro, including the fact that you can’t mass post anymore – not totally a bad thing – and the fact that if you automate too much, Facebook may ignore your HSP posts all together, or bury them. Downsides for sure, and I share them…..but since I am saving 2-3 hours daily and seeing great results with automating, the positives outweigh the negatives…or I would be an affiliate.

    Excellent Jane, thanks for the share.

    I also am digging the new look on your blog. Keep up the great work.

    Tweeting in a bit.


    • Jane says

      As long as we are sharing the ups and downs things should be fine. Coz that could only be realistic. There can be no tool that would please all people for 100% – that’s plain impossible.

      And no product is totally perfect! If we want our reviews and recommendations to be really “useful” and if we are keen on helping out our readers (rather than making some quick commissions) we should be openly writing about both the positives and negatives of any product that we promote.

      You do a very good job at that Ryan :)

  9. NeerajNeeraj says

    I had never even thought about updating my reviews. after reading your i think that i need to keep updating the review about the product according to their performace

  10. SagarSagar says

    Affiliate marketing is a great tool and I am very much successful in doing it being a beginner. This a great way to make money online . I agree with you this post that the best part in affiliate marketing is that we are just responsible for the sale of the product. We are not in the production phase of the product or service.

    Our prime duty in affiliate marketing is to promote and advertise ones products and services.For this we have different methods and can also use tools for better results.The above post explains and provides us few affiliate tool which help sin our affiliate marketing. These tools and tips are very helpful.I am surely gonna try this in my marketing strategies.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. vinovino says

    Hi Jane,

    These tips are really marvellous. Every one who wish to become a good affiliate marketer should read this. And yes one should give the real review about the product.Will definitely implement your tips

  12. Lonnie Hoover says

    Affiliate Marketing is a good option to earn money through your blog, but you need to have a good traffic on it, otherwise you would be collecting pennies only.

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