BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on Your Blog-Part 2

Are You A PLR Junkie?

Click Here To Download my FREE PLR Article Packs!

For new subscribers-part one can be found here!

Now, the sky is certainly not falling, but it pays to keep yourself updated on the latest news!

As a matter of fact, much of what is being touted to you as "FTC guidelines" (including what I am going to say here) are not the actual guidelines; from what I know, the actual guidelines would come up on 1st December of the current year. That would indeed accentuate the shivering cold of winter for all of us! To lessen your "pain", it is a good idea to start "feeling" it right from today! :D

Here is the original article:

The Hammer of FTC (which is even more powerful than all the Google penalties combined)

And here are links to some more "related articles" you may find helpful:

FTC decides 'results not typical' no longer good enough. (Legal Review)

How the Common Man is Doomed (A fellow internet marketer's explanation of the guidelines)

What Should You Do to Comply-from Brian Clark of CopyBlogger Fame

Some other articles that may be helpful to you:

FTC Will Monitor Your Blog Posts For Paid Reviews & Endorsements

The Mama Blogger Has Some Suggestions for Fellow WAHM Bloggers

Mass Control Guru Speaks (poor soul! ;) )

The Warriors Team Up for the Battle-Discuss Strategies and Action Plans ;)

Andy Beal Offers Some Balm for Our Pains Though-Says Only Bad Karma Would Get Punished

Izea Offers Some Helpful Perspectives That is Worth Reading-Whether Or Not You Use Them:

http://izea.com/ftc-compliance-easy/
http://izea.com/izea-favor-stricter-ftc-disclosure-requirements/

Izea=>The same folks who are behind projects like disclosurepolicy.org and payperpost.com (unless I am wrong); btw, here is one interesting article on PPP that seems to be related to the topic at hand - that is, "full disclosure of compensation received by the affiliate".

The battle between affiliates and FTC is scheduled to begin on 1st December, when the finally guidelines are supposed to come out for everyone to see…gotta see who wins and who loses ;) (kidding)

I only hope FTC does not nudge me to add disclosures to the affiliate links of my old posts and articles. If they do then that would worse than even the day job! It is not about disclosure, it is about the amount of time I would have to spend without any additional compensation in return, not to speak that pinpointing all the affiliate links on just one blog (this one, that is) containing over 100 posts…hmm… :(

My Personal "Nuttie" Views-Testimonials:

Anyway, per the new update, FTC plans to crack down not just on the affiliate marketers but also the IM gurus with all those over-the-top testimonials, such as: "I was able to make $1m thanks to [my guru buddy's] product"!

Hmm, now that really gets interesting, considering that FTC is grossly understaffed to battle with the 100s of IM gurus alone (with a couple of new "gurus" born everyday), not to speak of the army of affiliates!  We will wait and see. Maybe they would outsource part of their job! ;)

Will this put an end to practices like "testimonial begging" or "JV for testimonials" indulged in by some internet marketers? Maybe the gurus would soon come up with a report called: The Death of Internet Marketing (and Rise of Offline Marketing) :D

Personally I am happy and relieved about one thing: this would be (hopefully) the end of gurus' over-the-top, hyped-to-the-core, testimonials we see on the salespages of other gurus; IMHO these testimonials tend to make an already painfully long salesletter even longer (okay, maybe wishful thinking but I really hope these testimonials are wiped out)!

Now, for us little guys-as far as getting testimonial from customers goes-one thing I have learned (I am not sure if my Nuttie option holds water here but I would say it anyway) is that - if you overdeliver at every point you are bound to get UNSOLICITED testimonials.

Maybe you would get fewer unsolicited testimonials, but they that are 1000 times more valuable than the testimonials you get by begging your guru buddies. Those testimonials are not only FTC compliant (I am not a lawyer but this is what I believe) but also your precious business assets! By all means, after you are done with delivering the product, ask, ask the customer for a testimonial...

The rule pf thumb here is: Don’t make an indiscreet effort to get a testimonial from your customer, like begging, twisting arms, offering cash/non-cash incentives, etc. Do everything discreetly, such as - have a link to a testimonial form just below your product download link, ask the customer for a testimonial in the product thankyou email, etc. Here is one more method that almost always works; however I don't get time to do it as often as before:

Every time you receive the "Notification of Payment received" email from Paypal, promptly email the customer asking him about what he felt about the product. NOTE: Esp. in IM niche, personal emails are far more effective than autoresponders. If you cannot handle this job yourself, it maybe a good idea to outsource it (provided that you get someone with a cool temper and winsome disposition)!

Now, when you personally email the customer asking about product feedback, chances are that he would either:

a) Not reply to your email at all (which may mean that he may not be happy with his purchase, not motivated enough to give you a testimonial right then, or perhaps he never received your email request in the first place because it got filtered as junk mail before reaching his inbox), in which case, another followup a few days later may do the trick!

b) Send a positive reply. Guess you are a lucky fella! ;) Now, you can use this positive reply as testimonial, though I would ask for his permission first (99% of the times you would get the permission, but still it is a safe bet) as a courtesy.

Very few customers indeed would come up and say that: "Hey chap, I don’t like your product man. What a cr*p!" :P " They would much prefer asking for a refund (which may or may not be any indication of your product quality, based on the nature of the refund)!

To be honest, the number of testimonials on a salesletter really doesn’t matter as far as sales conversions go; in fact one of the top converting Clickbank™ products called Fatloss4idiots doesn’t even have testimonials at all (last time I checked it)! Hmm, I suppose it is time to copy them! ;)

Also, unlike what Frank says, you don't need to give chunks and chunks of free content upfront (it is good if you do it, but it is not mandatory) to notch up your sales. I know many top marketers (in non-IM niches) who do nothing more than sending pitches and pitches; and I would assume that they make plenty of good money or they would not have been in business for so long! Even one of Frank's non-IM lists is just like that-little "useful" free content and more "pitches"; while I am not sure about the conversions stats of that product, I do know that many people are bitching about that product in forums. ;)
--
My Personal "Nuttie" Views-Affiliate Marketing:

So what is it that an affiliate marketer could do to get around this FTC rule? Disclose your affiliate compensation. Sounds simple, but it needs to be done in a creative manner! As Brian Clark points out, the disclosure should fit in nicely with your product review rather than looking something out of place; at the same time, you need to make sure that the disclosure does not hurt your sales conversions. Depending on your niche, you may word your disclosure in many different ways, such as (texts with blue color indicate hyperlinks):

a) Lose Money Fast (affiliate link)-This one works pretty well for IM niche! ;) (kidding)

b) Discover how to Lose Weight Fast

(Note: that is my affiliate link. If you don’t want to buy from my affiliate link, here is the direct link)

c) Productname is our top recommended antispyware software for keeping your PC Healthy and Spyware-free!

Disclosure (this can be added at the end of your product review): Even though xx.com (your blog's domain name) is affiliated to productname, the above review is fair and accurate to the best of our knowledge.

d) Click here to Lose Fat Fast with Hoodia X
 
That is my affiliate link. The commission I get from your purchase is what keeps me alive and kicking, and gives me power to continue churning out good (or cr*ppy) articles like this. :) If you don’t want to compensate me for my hard work you can use this direct link instead! :(

e) Here is a tackier one:

Autopilot Cash-Click here to make $1000 per day!

(I just wanted to disclose the fact that it is my affiliate link. If you buy from my affiliate link, it earns me enough money to keep my a** intact, and helps me churn out even more free great tips for you. To keep this site running for free, I would request that you buy from my affiliate link. In case you want to buy from the direct link, here it is.) 

f) Click here to discover the secrets to making $100 everyday from Adsense™ on autopilot and start living that easy life that you deserve!

Disclosure: Xx.com is affiliated to productname. However, that does not (and would not) in anyway influence the content of our review. Whatever we have posted above is accurate based on our own knowledge and belief. Xx.com however advises the reader to do due diligence before making any purchase decision based on our recommendation!

g) Best option: Get your own custom disclosure policy from: http://disclosurepolicy.org/generator/generate_policy

Other tools that maybe useful:
http://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/privacy.php (it is actually a privacy policy generator tool)

http://www.puttingblogsfirst.com/5-1-free-online-privacydisclosure-policy-generators
 
Etc ;)

Final tips:

a) Keep your product reviews neutral and "politically correct"; write them in an objective, "reporter-style" tone. Don’t go overboard with your reviews unless you want to face FTC crackdown.

b) Same goes for posting customers' testimonials on your product salespages: it is perhaps best to avoid the testimonials that look like a bit "above-the-board", the ones that specially mention results such as "I lost 70 pounds with the help of your product" or that "I made $1000 with the tips you shared in your ebook", etc. Here is why! (BTW I don’t blame you if you cannot understand the mumbo-jumbo of FTC's press release; even I could not!). If you are active in the diet niche (esp. as a product vendor), you may also want to read: Results Not Typical' Banned From Diet Ads

c) IF you can afford it, connect yourself with a local attorney-preferably a "cyber lawyer". In India finding a lawyer who is well versed with cyber laws is a tough deal; hopefully you would be more lucky!

Now, perhaps those who are not from US are wondering: "But why am I reading all these? I don’t care about FTC. It cannot do a thing to me because I don't live in US".

Neither do I, but can you offer that excuse to FTC when they chase you? Good luck to you fighting with them! In my opinion, IF:

a) Your domain registrar is based in US (Solution: Move all your domains to a non-US registrar, but not before estimating the costs of domain transfers);

b) Your web hosting/server/datacenter is located in US (again, solution is as simple as moving out and relocating to a different country);

c) The vendor/affiliate network you are promoting is based in US, such as Clickbank or CJ (again, the solution is: switch your vendor relationships from US to non-US vendors);

d) A majority of your bulk traffic comes from US (solution: block all US traffic with the IP deny manger of your control panel, and be happy losing tons of money everyday (unless yours is a local business site), because internet has not penetrated anywhere else as deep as it ahs in US, if my web stats are anything to go by);

Then you are better off complying with FTC than trying to find "loopholes" in their ruling! Most certainly, you won’t be slapped with a lawsuit; you would probably surrender out-of-court (unless you happen with be a big gun with fat wallets and hefty bank balance; however FTC is more likely to go after the "little guys" who can be more easily and economically subdued than the big cooperates), but what would suffer in the end is your business - the months or years of hard work and sweat that you invested to built it from scratch would all go waste!

Think about it - is not it much simpler to add the required disclosures on your website and comply with FTC guidelines than losing your business? Hmm, you have to decide that!

I don’t know about you, but I am seeing a positive side to this ruling too (just as I saw it in the testimonial guidelines above): It would potentially wipe out a ton of competitors from your respective niche, because a lot of your competitors are simply affiliates trying put up dishonest reviews, MFA sites and other cr*p in the hope of making a quick buck. Like it or not, a majority of these sites rank on the first page of Google™!

Most of these folks guys are unlikely to be honest and upfront as required by FTC; if they were really so honest would not they have built an honest and credible business right from start? The end result would be that: many of them would probably quit even before being struck by the FTC hammer! On the other hand, the honest guys would continue doing business with appropriate disclosures because they have nothing to hide.
As the old saying goes- when a ship starts sinking the rats leave first while the captain leaves at last! :D

Therefore, if these guidelines have some downsides they also have some upsides, as you see. If indeed FTC is able to go forward in enforcing this ruling on all affiliate bloggers (for product reviews) and IM gurus (for the "solicited" and insincere testimonials they receive from their JV partners and friends), the web would be a much cleaner and credible place!

I am one with Brian Clark (see above for the link this article) on one thing -  IF your blog content is useful to the readers (and not some piece of "sh*t"), then I don't think they would mind affiliate links. If at all, they would want to support you for the long hours you spent on writing the helpful articles or product reviews; they know everyone needs money for paying off bills and sustenance.

Certainly, a few customers suffer from the typical entitlement attitude (sometime ago Paul Myers had posted a useful thread on the Warrior Forum regarding this topic, and it got a huge number of responses from other forum members) and believe that the whole world should be gifted free to them on a silver platter; sure enough, they are not the right customers for your business!

Speaking of entitlement, I believe that since I wrote such a boring post, I am entitled to a nice comment from you, am I not? :D

Of course not! However it does not hurt to ask, so here I am asking you to post a nice comment below in order to compensate me for my hard work as well as motivate me to continue churning out more boring cr*p in the coming Saturdays! ;) (kidding)

By the way, if you managed to read this long boring post without getting bored, your results are not typical! The average reader starts yawning right after reading the first paragraph, and goes to bed even before they are able to reach the first half of the article! :D

UPDATE: The following blog posts (from Paul Myers and Michael Fortin respectively) are also worth reading:

Be careful what you promise

Is This The End of Affiliate Marketing?

NOTE: If Michael is to be believed, more than the "unethical" affiliate marketers, the vendors whose products these affiliates are promoting (esp., if the affiliate's site happens to be an authority for the respective vendor's product, or an authority in product reviews in general, such as the Techcrunch blog) are at risk of being hounded by the FTC.

It is not a cause of concern for me, however, because affiliate traffic counts for only 10-20% of my overall site traffic. If asked, I would be the first to raise my hand and say that I am neither good at affiliate recruitment nor affiliate marketing! :D

It remains to be seen how far these regulations indeed help FTC achieve their "aims"!

When the Can Spam Act came out in 2003, people thought it would spell the end of spam. Guess how WRONG they were! 4 years on and spam has only increased manifold. Spammers seem to be getting away by offering fake "unsubscribe links" and a fake "optin info". In a nutshell, it did nothing more than complicating the lives of legit email marketers

Post-Can Spam, you would either need to display your home address in the footer of all your emails (which are being read by all your subscribers; thus opening yourself to possible stalking), or get a post box address.

-----------------------------DIGRESSION------------------------------------
In India (especially, if you live in a remote suburb), getting a post box is one hellish experience.

After waiting for a year for the post box I had no option but to get a US post box address, which costs almost 4 times the amount required for an Indian post box. Hmm, still all the better considering that you are safe from stalkers...well, hopefully! Did I tell you I never got any refund from the Indian Postal authorities; all I received instead is "promise" of a post box! :(
--------------------END of DIGRESSION------------------------------------

That is why, I wonder how far these new "FTC guidelines" will be able to wipe out dishonesty from the online media (as well as crippling the honest marketers who use the internet to eke out a leaving)!

If nothing else, once again it is a reminder in favor of diversity: don't put all your eggs in one basket. This means that don't do only affiliate marketing, only plr selling, or only info product creation; rather, do ALL of them, or do as many of them as possible for you! Diversity is the key to success in online marketing.

If you are not shy and lazy like me, and possess persuasive power, you can even do some offline marketing! ;)

MORE Links:

FTC Sticks to Its Regulations as Blogger Backlash Builds

FTC Responds to Blogger Fears: "That $11,000 Fine Is Not True"

Chris Rempel Says-The Sky Is Not Falling - But This Is Definitely a Game Changer

FTC Reassures Bloggers - Big Brother Isn't Watching (NOTE: THIS IS STRAIGHT FROM HORSE'S MOUTH- it has nothing new to offer that except for some twists and misleading facts and statements; all in all a must read. If you thought that Google™'s algo is the vaguest thing, you are terribly WRONG!)

An Open Letter to the FTC

The FTC sued me out of business two years ago yesterday- here is my story





Like This Article? Click Here To Buy Me A Cool Beer!

Want to Receive More Tips Like This? Subscribe to NuttieZine newsletter!

Bookmark and Share

Share this: Twitter | Facebook | digg | eMail | LinkedIn

Related posts:

  1. BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on Your Blog-Part 3 As far as I can tell, two different schools of thoughts are running parallel on this issue. While one school...
  2. BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on Your Blog! FTC is planning to crack down on bloggers, licit and illicit, who use affiliate links in their posts, UNLESS the...
  3. A Free Way to Track Your Affiliate Links on the Fly Today I will tell you about a free and professional way to track hits to your affiliate links without investing...
  4. Is Adblockplus Addon of Firefox Blocking Clickbank Affiliate Links Too? I am really wondering if I am the only one experiencing this kind of block or not. I guess I...
  5. What the FTC Really Wants From Affiliate Marketers! If you are promoting a product you have already purchased and found helpful, your own experience is enough to back...

Comments on BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on Your Blog-Part 2

October 10, 2009

Chandan @ 9:03 am

Great Article Arindam. I read you first post on this topic and your advice helped me a lot. In fact I was thinking to remove all affiliate links from my blog. Then I got your sample disclosure page. But do I need to add disclosure for all the affiliate links and review in my blog? I a, planning to keep one link to disclosure page at the bottom of post. Waiting for your advice on this..

Arindam @ 9:13 am

>>But do I need to add disclosure for all the affiliate links and review in my blog?

Right now, a sitewide disclosure of all networks/vendors you are affiliated with (check the mamablog's example http://www.mamablogga.com/about/disclosure-policy/), tagging the regular "affiliate ads" as "sponsored ads" (take inspiration from Google Adsense if you need to), and adding a short disclosure at the bottom of your affiliate product reviews are all you can do until the ACTUAL FTC guidelines come out! Their press release is as vague as any Google algo, on purpose of course! ;)

Here is one example of how you can add a disclosure at the end of your blog article (as you can discern from reading the comments there, people indeed appreciate openness and honesty since it is a rare quality in this day and age):
http://www.chrisbrogan.com/why-rackspace-cloud-is-my-host/

Chandan @ 11:43 am

Thanks Arindam for your suggestion.

Frugal Living @ 5:20 pm

I don't think this is a massive deal.... It's simple really, just don't be a liar! If you keep that rule and disclose things you will be fine....

I like your viewpoint and I hope it does cut down overhyped rubbish...

Neil Little @ 5:37 pm

I don't have any testimonials on any of my sites, never have.
Besides I never bothered to read them if they were on a product site that I was purchasing from.
I'm in the UK but the majority of my stuff is in the US, as are my customers.
I am dreading the thought of having to change any links but if that's what must be done then I most certainly will.
But if the FTC are going to do this to Affiliate Marketers, what about the Salesmen in certain showrooms who do use material which does extend the truth about How good something really is. Are they going to jump all over them?
Somehow I don't think so!

Bruce @ 5:47 pm

Hi Arindam,

This FTC ruling is interesting in that it may help clear out a lot of garbage from the internet. I get tired of reading all the testimonials from people who have tried this or that system or product or all the rags to riches stories. Sales pitches should stick to the benefits of the product or service. Right now, I can just imagine all the dishonest affiliate marketers running off to get fake paypal or clickbank results pages. Google and Clickbank it seems will also need to crack down on all the PPC advertiser landing pages that are full of so much of this type of hype. All this just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Arindam @ 5:51 pm

Yeah Bruce, both Clickbank and Google need a lot of cleanup.

Terry White @ 5:55 pm

Hi Arindam,

Very good post and quite helpful in portraying the different ways one could understand this ruling.I think it's going to be interesting to see what products are going to suffer from this because they just aren't as good as the testimonials purport them to be.A lot of advertisers are going to have to rethink their marketing strategies now.thanks for a great informative post.I didn't think it was all that boring because it is useful.

Arindam @ 6:06 pm

>>I think it’s going to be interesting to see what products are going to suffer from this because they just aren’t as good as the testimonials purport them to be

Whatever FTC does, I am confident it cannot keep me from writing loooong boring articles! :D That is safe from any FTC rules ;) (kidding)

Speaking of testimonials, I have soo many to add to my Nuttiezine optin page that I got from subscribers (unsolicited of course; when do I get time to solicit testimonials, lol :D ); have not had time to add them to that page, yet. That has not affected the conversions though! ;)

Hi Arindam

Well, looks like we have to stick to tell the TRUTH in our reviews and actually BUY what we will review :-)

Seriously, I think that this will HELP the honest and serious marketers, while it hurt's the slacky ones which are in for a fast buck.

Take it as a positive move to help you with your task to get a authority.

G.

Randy Wells @ 7:13 pm

Hi... Randy here...
As a mostly full time blogger and an affiliate marketer, I must say that I'm a little up in the air with the FTC's proposals. I'm going to have to do my homework, as should anyone who works in this area.
Thanks for the references and links to the information. I'll probably spend most of this weekend looking up all that cr*p.

Thanks again,
Randy

Alex Mitchell @ 8:43 pm

Ok, so your article did put me to sleep, not once, but twice :-) But I did get all the way through it.
On a serious note though, I certainly appreciate you keep abreast of new information like this. If it weren't for posts like this, I wouldn't know about what the FTC is doing to waste the taxpayers' money.
Thanks for looking out for our businesses...
Alex

Tim Woodard @ 9:39 pm

Hi Arindam,

While I rarely post anything on anyone's blog, as an internet marketer this an issue near and dear to my heart, as it should be to any internet marketer.

Now, I will try to refrain from expressing any of my personal, politically motivated oppinions over this issue. To do so would deffinately offend somebody. I will however, try to get my point accross. Bye the way, that comes from a military veteran...

Okay, I just read an FTC article published at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus28.shtm regarding this very issue. It is a long article stock full of links to various other publications that I haven't even begun to explore yet. I will given time. That being said however, I now have well over 500 publicly accessible sales pages I have to review and edit as needed per the proposed FTC guidelines.

In short, this is what I gather from the FTC article linked to above: If you don't tell a potential customer that you will profit by them purchasing a product you sell as a vendor, you can be fined and / or imprisoned.

Tell me... Have you ever purchased any goods or services without understanding that by completing the purchase, somebody was going to money from it? Duh!

From the time my mother gave me that first penny to buy a piece of candy, I understood that I was giving somebody money for something I wanted. It all makes as much sense to me as those warning labels on cigarette lighters that say "Warning: Flamable..." No duh!

I used to do a lot (a LOT) of affiliate marketing. When the whispers of the propossed FTC changes first came about, I changed all of my affiliate marketing pages. Now I need to make another change to them that says "I may or may not profit from it, you may or not profit from but..." I've halted all but one affiliation. Long story short, take a look at http://home.earthlink.net/~soft_surfer/ and you will get my drift. Bye the way, that page has gotten a lot of attention.

Oh, and the free products I promote.... Nevermind... That's a whole different story. I do have to add a disclaimer regarding them, though.

When is enough, enough?

Mark E Thurston @ 9:45 pm

Actually, I am going to disagree with one point you make: that the FTC will go after little guys like us. Before getting into this (and I am so new that I do not even have my 1st 'real' site up yet; though I have playing around on the net for a few years and giving any proceeds from ads to charity) I was in the car biz. While I was in that biz, two large FTC rulings came out. The used car stickers that are supposed to disclose the exact warranty and then the Privacy laws. In both cases, the FTC went after large multi-dealership conglomerates with big name lawyers and lots of cash. Why? The USDA (United States District Attorney) is a big fan of investigations paying for themselves. It is rare that they will spend thousands (and usually millions) of dollars to prosecute an entity that has little chance of paying as much of the final fine to at least cover their costs. In many cases, owners of large corporations paid huge million dollar fines while their employees did jail time. (The employees usually didn't have the money to make a deal.) As far as I know, no small dealerships have even been targeted even though those are the ones with the most violations.

As to going back and re-doing posts with affiliate links in them, Because they were 'published' before the law went into effect, they are 'grandfathered'. The only exception to that might be a home page, but even if there are no changes to a home page, I believe it would also be exempt. (But just change one word and you better comply!) At least, that was the ruling in '04 during the DMCA uproar about copyright. (Can you see a Cosmopolitan representative coming to your house in case you had an old Cosmo magazine after a law that effected them was passed? Lol.)

As far as I can tell, if you have ANY testimonials on your pages, you MUST include a disclosure that states what a 'TYPICAL' buyer's result is (not USER)! Same for any claims, outrageous or not.

The other thing I am understanding is, that the disclaimer must be on the same page, within a 'reasonable' proximity of the affiliate link. The disclosure tool results in almost half a page of disclosure. That would mean if you had one affiliate link on each page, half your content would be there just to satisfy legal obligations! (talk about duplicate content! :) ) Linking to a disclaimer in small font at the bottom of a page with an affiliate link would NOT be satisfying the current draft of this legislation. Neither would linking to it anywhere in any size font. The current draft clearly states a local and complete disclaimer on the same page as the affiliate link.

The best way around the testimonial part is to leave out any specific results. Testimonials will likely be more like "I was really impressed with Jack Off's system. It worked really good for me." Lol.

October 11, 2009

Susan @ 1:45 am

Your articles are never boring. I look forward to your information packed blog posts. ;)

Renee Benzaim @ 2:31 am

Hi Arindam,

I wondered how the FTC could apply their rules to people from countries other than America, but your information cleared that up for me. Thank you! I guess we'll just have to see what they come up with on Dec. 1st. Thanks also for the sample disclaimers.

Renee

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by S.O.S. and ?KimPup?. ?KimPup? said: BEWARE of Posting Affiliate Links on blogs.... http://bit.ly/cZSWt [...]

Arindam @ 1:15 pm

>>As far as I know, no small dealerships have even been targeted even though those are the ones with the most violations.

Thanks Mark. If what you are saying indeed is true, then we can all sleep better at night lol. As far as I know, I am too "little" a guy to get noticed, but we won't know anything for certain until the judgement day comes-1st of December :D

>>As to going back and re-doing posts with affiliate links in them, Because they were ‘published’ before the law went into effect, they are ‘grandfathered’.

I thought so too. I am not going to do it anyway, and don't think anyone else should unless they have nothing better to do ;)

Yes, the disclosures are a bit big; they are designed to work for their PPP business, not anything else. ;)

Sam @ 2:11 pm

I hope the FTC is going to crack down on the drug company's and corporate advertisers that lie about their testimonials with actors and actresses pushing dangerous drugs on the public. I think that is far more harmful to people than a guy selling a product on the internet.

Seems like they are targeting the Guru's ....not us little guys.

As long as you post your disclaimer...and don't break the rules you should be okay.

Since I make my own products- I know what they will and won't do and I don't sell products I haven't tried myself. Rule of thumb "Cover your butt".

Hopefully this will clear out the big guru's who are making outrageous claims.

Garage Door Opener @ 2:17 pm

Arindam,

This post is anything but boring. You really hit the bullseye. The FTC ruling is not really a bad thing. I think it levels the playing field. Most people are honest. Some are not. Tough tootsies for them.

Sam @ 2:23 pm

I agree-they should go after Google first-they have spammy links all over the place. Google has deep pockets too-a very easy target. No more spam from Google. Has a good ring to it.

I do not agree with our government getting involved in anything, but unfortunately the rules are here and it is something we have to live with if we are to continue as affiliate marketers. Such is life in our business, everything changes and we must adapt or die.

I think what really spurred this on were the offers where you pay $1.97 one time, but in the fine print you will then be charged $97 per month after 7 days. I never did agree with these offers and I do not promote them unless I have used them with success myself.

If the scammers would have stopped making false claims, then we wouldn't be dealing with this. Unfortunately, we are and we'll have to cope.

BTW, I did make it all the way through your post. I did find myself scanning instead of reading and comprehending too much though :)

Mark E Thurston @ 5:35 pm

It isn't just the scammers. Most people (I believe the figure is almost 97%, but don't quote me.)of people that buy an IM or 'work at home product either fail to read it or do not implement it AT ALL.
While there are a good number of IMers that will actually design a product to fail, and at the newbie's most vulnerable point in the process; most of the systems have at least one good idea that IF IMPLEMENTED will improve the buyer's bottom line. Some take a few months to make a difference and some start making a difference right away.

Then after not reading or implementing the product, the buyer buys a different product he also fails to read or implement. Eventually local congressmen and senator's email folders are full of lazy people looking for a magic pill to solve their problems and feel they need to do something or face a beating at the polls the next election.

That is not to say there is not a lot of evil going on on the net. The net has come a long way since 1991, but there are still areas that could be classified as 'the wild west'. Because of the money that can and is being made in IM, that is the current 'Gold Rush' and it attracts all sorts of 'characters' both good and bad.

Doc Nielsen and Frank Kern are great examples of 'characters' that use their powers for good. (I love Frank's blog!) For every good, it seems there is at least one 'bad one' that gives IM a bad name.

In this current economy, there is a glut of people turning to the net to try to find an income. It also happens to be true of me, but for different reasons; I was in a car accident and can no longer work a 'real' job. I bought a ton of 'crap', but I also have some really good stuff, much of it worth more than I paid for it. Part of my 'implementation problem' was I could tell some was crap and I didn't know which product was accurate or which would lead me astray.

I have finally (with help) figured some of it out and am currently embarking on my 1st project. After it is up and tweaked, I'll be able to revisit some of the items I bought and glean some good things to do to improve what I am doing. (Then of course, I'll do it again...and again until I am making enough to feed the dogs and pay the mortgage)

It doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without work. I understand the frustration a laid off person feels coming into this biz for the 1st time. Suddenly everything he does and every decision he makes decides his fate! And truth be told, no one really cares if he is a success or not, (although there are those that, though they sort of really do care, they are not going to mail him the rent check this month, either). In the past all he had to do was his little part in a big company and now he is CEO, Secretary, Treasurer, middle management and worker! It can be overwhelming and it can be scary, especially if feeding a 10 year old child is on the line.

The current FTC ruling will likely scare more newbies from even trying to internet market than it will do to protect them. The 'bad ones' will find a way around it and a few Gurus will get 'hit' as an example, but for most of us, other than changing a few words in our posts and pages, not much will change.

As I see It,
Mark

PS-Arindam, you didn't have to do that. It was nice and heartwarming, but I come by here because I like you. Thank you, when I get what I am doing going, I'll drop you the link and you can come say hi to me once in a while. Lol. Thanks again,
Mark

October 12, 2009

Arindam @ 5:41 am

>>Arindam, you didn’t have to do that. It was nice and heartwarming, but I come by here because I like you.

Thanks. I know, but it was a token of appreciation for your hard work. I know you don't need that, lol ;)

Sean Durrant @ 10:00 am

Good marketers are moving towards a more open and honest approach towards their product now.

Personally I prefer to buy from people that I feel I can trust and they tend to be the people that are honest in the description of their product or service.

If somebody tells me I can make money within a week the alarm bells start to ring for me.

Arindam @ 11:01 am

@Sean,

Well you definitely CAN make money in one week IF:

a) You have lots of assistants to work for you for cheap (slave labor, that is)

b) You have gobs of money to spare ;)

Those are the (bitter) truths I have hardly read in any salespage so far (for obvious reasons), but once you know the game, you would never, I say never look at those salespages in the same way again!

October 13, 2009

Peter @ 5:06 am

Hmm... I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i'll be your constant reader.

October 15, 2009

web services @ 1:10 pm

Scary since testimonials are such integral part of running an affiliate business

November 9, 2009

CruinnyImmund @ 4:46 pm

Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im a first time visitor who hopes to become a daily reader!