I just wanted to take a moment to express my frustration with what’s become of the Internet Marketing industry. Although I’ve only been immersed in it for a few years, it really seems like it’s become so…fake. Maybe because I’m more involved in the industry so it’s more noticeable now, but I have to admit it really bothers me.
The unfortunate thing is that it’s self perpetuating. Think about it…there are dozens of new IM products being released everyday, from small WSO’s to major product launches, and most of them don’t really add much that’s new. There are really only a few basic principles that you need to understand in order to be successful, and marketers have found a million different ways to package it up and sell it as something new. In order for the product creators to be able to gain any traction, they’ve got to get the word out, and the best way to do that is by incentivizing affiliates with big commissions.
Maybe they’ve added a unique little twist, but you’ll generally end up with a lot of products that are mostly made up of old material. In order to pay out big commissions, the creator has charge a lot of money for their product. Of course, affiliates don’t want to promote something that won’t convert, so the creator also has to make sure they’ve spent a lot of money on nice graphics and good copywriting.
So, a lot of money goes into making sure the product converts and a lot goes to affiliates. In fact, you almost ALWAYS end up with affiliates earning a substantially higher percentage of the revenue than the product creators these days…doesn’t that seem a little screwed up? That implies that the “value” is really being created by affiliates ability to market the product and not on the merits of the product itself.
Even though the products may not be great, affiliates will continue to promote anything that’s released because it can pay well. And there are newbies entering this business every day, so there’s always a fresh crop of people that will buy something because all the (fake) reviews are claiming how easy and awesome it is.
As long as this perverse cycle continues, we will only see prices continue to rise as gurus invest more and more to be sure that their product gets the attention of affiliates.
Of course, I do see some stuff being released that really is awesome, and that’s what makes it so important that I keep my eye out for those hidden gems. It just sucks that I have to sift through all the crap in order to find the good stuff. Fortunately, I’ve been around the block enough times that I’m pretty good at weeding out the junk, but it’s still exhausting sometimes.
It’s an industry made up of marketers, so I’ve always known to take all the hype with a grain of salt, but it’s become SO difficult to find anyone honest anymore. I’ve really focused on listening to two guys who have shown me they’ve got integrity in this business, but recently one of them now looks like he might be selling out a bit and promoting stuff that I think he knows isn’t really the best product out there.
In a way, I guess it’s hard to blame him. I mean, there’s a lot of money to be made once you’ve built a nice list, and I’m sure it’s tempting to follow the money when you’ve found that your subscriber’s make buying decisions largely based on the recommendation you provide. I know I’ve been tempted myself, but I do my best to keep everything fair and objective because I truly believe it pays off in the long run. Once you’ve lost the trust of your subscriber base, I don’t think it’s possible to ever gain it back again.
Now, I’m not going to claim I’m perfect, because I’m not. Heck, I’m an affiliate myself, and the purpose of this site is to make money. BUT, I always do my best to be honest when reviewing a product, but I’m sure there will be times that I give something a thumbs up that doesn’t turn out to be as advertised. I’ll never do that intentionally, though. If it happens, I’ll own up to the fact that I screwed up, but know that I’ll do my absolute best to provide you with unbiased reviews of any product I look at.
I know I’m just a little peanut compared to the big guys in this industry, but I hope you’ll join me in trying to keep everyone a little more honest. If you agree with me, please leave a comment, tweet this post, or forward it to a friend.