Q: I recently viewed your clip / critique of the Affiliate Millions book by Anthony Borelli. I am about halfway through this book. As you know, the premise of the book is for the affiliate to have the ability to “cut to the chase” so to speak by allowing the customer to link directly to a vendor and thus sell via search engine. What is your opinion of this practice? Is “search marketing” currently an integral part of your overall strategy?
A: Just to give a little perspective and frame the matter a bit, I reviewed Affiliate Millions back in 2007, and I didn’t have a lot of positive things to say about it.
To be honest, I was disappointed in the book. While the book promises the reader they can “Make a Fortune Using Search Marketing on Google and Beyond,” the approach was elementary. Not the sort of level that’s going to bring somebody their affiliate millions.
The premise of the book is that affiliates can use paid search to drive traffic through affiliate links. Not really a novel concept for experienced affiliates.
I mentioned in my original review of the book that there are pitfalls with this approach, such as trademark violations when using product names in paid search copy, as well as the terms and conditions of affiliate programs, some of which forbid this practice.
In my opinion, affiliates that link directly to merchants from paid search aren’t really bringing any value to the table. But rather, they are insinuating themselves into a process that is already underway.
You could do it through long-tail keywords, but that’s not really the path to millions. The way to make money quickly is what many affiliate programs forbid – using their branded terms to grab the targeted traffic and slap some affiliate tracking on it.
Personally, I don’t do this sort of thing – I funnel my paid and organic traffic to my sites and work to pre-sell from there. In other words, I work to bring value to the consumer, rather than just riding on their back.