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.
After 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.