I recently visited a blog that I was able to find some interesting content about AWeber on, so I decided to join their mailing list. I figured that they had a great review of AWeber’s services and they heavily promoted the service with their affiliate links, so I assumed they were an active AWeber user. When I got the confirmation email to join their newsletter, I saw a nice little MailChimp logo at the bottom. MailChimp is basically a free alternative to AWeber’s email marketing services, so it’s obvious that this blogger was just promoting AWeber to make money. I simply deleted the confirmation email and did not join their list because they lied about it.

Another product I noticed this blogger was promoting was Blue Host, which is a web hosting company. I went ahead and checked the domain name’s WHOIS information and found that the blog is being hosted on an inexpensive web host – not Blue Host. What irritated me the most is that the blogger specifically mentioned in their post about Blue Host that they used it to host that particular blog, it had very good uptime, and they were satisfied with the service… As it turns out, the only control panel this blogger is seeing over at Blue Host is the affiliate commissions panel.

Products I RecommendAfter this incident, I promised myself that it wasn’t a good idea to revisit this blog. They are clearly publishing content just to get affiliate sales no matter if they actively use the product or not. That’s like me saying that McGuire’s Irish Pub has the best hamburgers in Okaloosa County, Florida without going to the restaurant. I actually go to this restaurant quite often so I can make that claim, but if you live in Illinois and you have never even been to Florida, you can’t say that McGuire’s has the best burgers… The same holds true in blogging. If you don’t actively pay for and use AWeber, you have no right to say that it is a vital tool for the success of your blog and that everyone should buy it.

Lying on your blog just to make affiliate sales is extremely dangerous. If all of your readers were as active as I was that day, your blog would not be trusted by anyone and you would never make a single affiliate sale. In fact, my good friend Enstine recently posted an article and explained why trust was the most important aspect of affiliate marketing. Just like with love and relationships, trust can be lost very quickly from a single lie.

As a blogger writing for other bloggers, please never lie on your blogs. If I visit your website and check out the reviews for products you recommend, I want them to be honest reviews that give me perspective on whether or not I should spend my money on this software or service. I try to promote honesty here on Omega Web because blogging about products with affiliate links is not all about the sales you make – it’s about recommending great software to great readers. Reward your readers by guiding them in the right direction… If a product is a waste of money, say so! If it’s helpful but a bit expensive, say so! If it’s the best product you have ever used on your blog, let your readers know, but don’t say that everything is the best service you’ve ever used because we all know that’s false.

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15 Responses to Please Don’t Lie On Your Blog

  • Something like this happens all the time. Many of these bloggers write reviews and blog posts about it but don’t actually use it. But then they could be using it on another blog but who knows that they are doing.

    • Yeah, they could use it on another blog, but it’s very unlikely. I can’t stand it! In the case of your blog, you can’t say that somewhere in India is really nice unless you have been there.

  • Ian, that is a funny story! Promoting Aweber and telling people to buy it when they are using a free service themselves! But hey, people lie for money! When I first started blogging I did too! Until I realized that you can’t keep faithful readers this way!

    Keeping your reader as the most important thing in your blog will help you go a long way to prevent lies from seeping through the cracks.

    • People (not just us Americans) will do ANYTHING for money. It’s crazy how desperate people can be and when you’re an affiliate marketer, the worst thing you can do to your image is look desperate.

  • Hey Ian, I really could not stop myself from laughing while I was reading your post. Its a fact, these days people will go anything just to get traffic towards their blog. Lying is nothing but just the beginning, advertising something vigorously but not using itself is rather common. They all do it in the name of marketing but according to me, you should only promote something that you have used or you know. otherwise people could end up using those products and face difficulties because of you.

    • It’s actually hard for me to not promote everything I use! I currently promote about 6 different affiliate products, but I use 10-12 products that I could technically be promoting. Another place people go wrong is promoting too many products which can make your website look spammy and cluttered.

  • I have seen this happening too many a times and this decreases the credibility of a blog, no matter how good it is. People should write reviews only when they have tried and tested a product. People can be troubled just by trusting the info one must have provided in the blog post

  • Man, this maybe new to you but I’ve seen 100s like these.

    My blog was first built on Blogger. However due to lack of Proper SEO features and not much to customize with, I decided to make the transition to WordPress. I was looking for the best wordpress hosting and considered Hostgator and Bluehost for a while. But then, I hit a jackpot. I entered a giveaway (that was the only one I ever entered) and finished first. The prize – free hosting for 1 year with a British Company named Zyma. I didn’t know it at the time but I took it anyway and I’m pretty happy with the service.

    The blog organizing the contest proudly proclaimed that it too was running on Zyma. When I check the WHOIS, it wasn’t, some cheap host I don’t know of.

    The blog owner may have made a deal with Zyma I guess but it was a win-win situation in the end. I’m pretty happy with the hosting, no problems yet and blogger made a good sum I guess.

    Aditya

    • I’m actually glad to hear that you are happy with Zyma. I think one of their marketing tactics is to contact bloggers about giving away the hosting because they emailed me in early October and asked if I wanted to give away hosting packages on my blog. I don’t use Zyma and I’m not affiliated with them in any way, but I still hosted the giveaway. The difference is that I never said “I use Zyma and it’s awesome”. I simply gave the hosting plan details and how to enter.

      https://www.omegaweb.com/2012/10/giveaway-free-zyma-technologies-web-hosting-for-one-year/

      I actually started my first blog on Blogger as well and moved it to WordPress after I started seeing so many plugins and things that weren’t available on Blogger.

      • Yeah, exactly you don’t have to lie to convince readers. He certainly got more entries for the giveaway I guess. Anyway it was a win-win situation and no complaints either, but I’m just letting you know in what various forms people lie online.

        Aditya

  • I guess that one problem with the internet in general is that no one is really regulating it at all. So lying is fair game. Its bad business, and hopefully the general population is smart enough to realize the lies and stay away from sites that promote dishonest practices.

  • I despise dishonest business folks. I would only promote a business I have first hand experience with. Although I promote aWeber and do not have a personal account, I regularly use it for one of my clients and have set up all of his campaigns. It’s also not transparent yet because I have not started my email list (which is why I haven’t signed up yet). I’m ready to do it, though, and am just trying to track down your affiliate link to sign up since I cannot use my own. The one you had in another post’s comments was invalid.

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