Affiliate Marketing Training – Pimpin The Big Ripoff

Who's Your Bloggin Daddy?Yea, I know, I haven’t written a post in too long to even count, and I’ll probably write a post on why that has been sometime, but for now something has been bugging me about this affiliate marketing industry for the last several months and I just have to get it off my chest. If you haven’t guessed by the title, it has to do with what passes for training in affiliate marketing and some of the most well known bloggers in this industry turning into product launch pimps.

Most of us scraping through this industry have at one time or another purchased some sort of ebook, ecourse sort of thingy that we though was the sure path to internet riches only to find out that most of the info therein was absolutely worthless. Back in the day I was getting my feet wet, most of these ebooks were somewhere between $37 and $67 with a few of the more outrageously priced ones coming in at $167.

There are a plethora of products that offer little more than false hope to wanna be affiliate marketers looking for their first few sales to generate enough revenue to create that initial $100 check. The first one I purchased was James Martell’s Affiliate Marketing Handbook 5 or 6 years ago at the OUTRAGEOUS price of $167. I soon found out that there was about $1.21 worth of useful information in the book, regretted my decision to buy it and went back to reading blogs and forums to try and figure out this business.

As this business has matured (I use that term lightly, meaning aged only) the number of video courses and ebook programs that have been published promising us all vast wealth is truly staggering. As we moved into a new decade it seems as though the publishing pace has only quickened, especially through long time bloggers that I have followed getting into the business of cross promoting every other guru’s product so they can make even more money. It’s called the JV, or joint venture model of internet marketing and honestly, it’s the most annoying thing I have ever experienced in this industry.

The lowly ebook that used to be priced around $47, is now a full blown video course including several ebooks with more information and special bonuses (and very cool promotional graphics, wow) than one could possibly absorb and they now sell in the range of $500 to $2,000 and some cost even more. The disturbing thing is that much of the information contained in these courses is nothing new. It’s just the same old “how to set up your blog” and “10 tips to blogging success” rubbish that can be found repeated ad infinitum on blogs such as Problogger.net.

What prompted this somewhat long winded rant was the launch about a week ago of Product Launch Formula when I received some 40 to 50 emails about this product over the course of 5 or so days. It seems that every guru make money blogger that I have ever read and given my email to sent me multiple emails touting the benefits of said course desperately urging me to separate myself from nearly $2,000 of my hard earned money.

The worst offenders of the email bludgeoning marketing model have to be Steven Clayton and Tim Godfrey of Blueprint-Forum-MMO-thingy-whatever. I’m on Steve’s list, Tim’s list and apparently the Blueprint Forum’s list. Since these guys like to get noticed I would literally get 6 emails (2 from each list) within just a couple of minutes of each other spamming up my inbox. This happened 4 or 5 times and I began to think I had gotten caught up in some sort of auto-responder feedback loop that would never end.

Actually, some of the stuff that Steve and Tim put out is quality material, but you hardly have time to get through it before the next email hits your inbox giving you the urge that you need this latest course more than you need to buy your mom flowers on Mother’s Day.

This nonsense disturbs me for several reasons:

This is spam – call it what you want, but when you send 24 emails to the same people within a few days time, that’s excessive. I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it. One or two emails is fine, but I’d rather not be hit in the head with a hammer telling me this is the greatest product in the world (at least since the last product we promoted, and yes, the one before that as well).

Most of this stuff is free –  Yea, you’ve heard this one before and sometimes it’s great to have all the info you need consolidated into one nice package, but for $2,000 I can stand to do a lot of the research myself. A $2,000 course in affiliate marketing better wash the dishes and do the laundry for that matter.

You have to be  a big time affiliate for the JV model to work – A lot of money is made in internet marketing by promoting products that teach you how to make money with internet marketing products, and much of this is done through the JV model. The only problem with this is that there are so many gurus promoting this crap that the little guy has about zero chance of making it work. Of course it works for the gurus, they all have lists with 100,000 people on them (and I guess I’m on 90% of them apparently).

If you’ve ever seen a list of the top 10 or 20 affiliates promoting a Michael-Cheney-watch-me-drive-my-Lamborghini-Gallardo-product you’ll know exactly what I mean. The list reads like a who’s who of IM. There is rarely a name gracing the list that you don’t recognize.

You don’t really get the inside info –  Steve Clayton and Tim Godfrey are famous for putting out products where they promise to let you in on everything, I mean everything they are doing. They’re going to sell you the entire shop, that is until the next product comes out just a few months (seems like weeks in some cases) later with even more inside info they happened to locate next to the previously unreleased Beatles recordings.

The bottom line with much of this stuff is that it is old information – I could sell you the greatest technique in the world for making $10,000 a week on Clickbank because I have done that, really. The only issue with that is it only lasted for 1 week and it can’t be done any longer.

Many of the gurus have hit on a few techniques that made them some pretty big bank and may have lasted for weeks to several months, but then as usual the way this happens, someone doesn’t like what you are doing, or Matt Cutts inserts a line of code in the Google algo, or the trend you were riding fizzles out and so do your profits. End of story. But wait, think the gurus, I can write an ebook and sell you on how I did it, never mind the secret technique is now a dead, rotting fish. That’s just the nature of this game, sometimes your sneaky little technique lasts for 18 months, sometimes just a week, you’ll get used to it, but then if you want to make the real big bucks, sell your now worthless technique for $500.

Which brings me to Blog Profit Camp. Do you think you really need to spend $400, $500 or $600 to join yet another, yes, unbelievably, another how to make money blogging course? Apparently Yaro and ProBlogger Mr Rowse haven’t produced enough mastermind, ebooks, courses and endless posts that include tips ranging in count from 5 to 65 ways to be a BETTER FRICKIN’ BLOGGER. Arrgh! x 7!!! I need blogging Prozac already, not another course that will tell me nothing I can’t find on the very blog who’s writer is putting out this latest course and charging you $500 to $600 for information he and 50 other MMO bloggers have already given you for FREE.

Here’s how to make money blogging:

1. Forget about the money, get a passion.

2. Install WordPress.

3. Don’t write about anything John Chow writes about.

4. Find some sneaky blackhat way to get 17 front page Diggs in a month or film your 3 legged dog doing the Evolution of Dance and hope it goes viral.

5. Don’t try to sell your readers anything, let them buy.

6. Sell advertising.

I just saved you $600, now get to work.

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43 Responses to “Affiliate Marketing Training – Pimpin The Big Ripoff”

  1. Well said Alan I too am sick of the product launch pimps to the point that I am not even opening any of their emails anymore, and will soon stop subscribing to these whores.

    I have been studying IM for over two years after hearing about John Chow in a local newspaper article. I live not far from him in Richmond BC.

    I have read tons of free ebooks, but have not spent a dime on anything else because my retirement income has no funds to do that and thank goodness for that.

    It is great to see someone else writing about what I have been feeling for some time now. These idiots are spamming me to death with some measure of good information, that leads to scummy pitches to entice me to open up my pockets to them.

    Enough is enough.
    Thanks for the honest truthful post!!!!!

  2. You’re preaching to the choir on this one. It’s clearly hitting critical mass and hopefully this none-sense will blow over. Like you, I’m amazed at how so many of these big MMO bloggers seems to jump on the same bandwagon and shill the shame stuff. Don’t any of them care about their reputation?

  3. Thanks for reading, Terry. I’ve read JC for some time now, but this hammering of the email list is getting crazy.

  4. I’m kind of wondering about that reputation thing myself Ashley and wonder why these guys all of a sudden apparently don’t care about it any longer.

  5. Hey Alan,

    Wow it has been a long time since you last blogged 😀

    I agree with you to a certain extent, but I think the problem is that you aren’t their target market. The target market is new people. Yes new people could go and search around various blogs, forums etc. and try to find a way to make money, but if there is a course outlining all of the basics then it can really help out someone that is entirely lost and not sure where to start.

    It’s like paying for an instruction manual put in the right order as opposed to finding random scraps of a torn up instruction manual all around the web.

    In any case, I had been planning to do a course on making money with Amazon because it’s my biggest earner at about $60k per year. In my course I was planning to show some of my live earning sites and show how I pick niches, build sites etc. but it is a tough thing to decide if I should do it or not because I know I’ll get haters even if I know my information is good.

    In any case, I’d love to hear your response and let me know what you think. I assume you’re still doing aff marketing full time?


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  7. Chris,

    I pretty much agree that most of this stuff is targeted at the noobie, but it can be a bit overwhelming when they’re hit up so often by the multitude of MMO programs flooding the market.

    I’d be interested in your approach to Amazon since you’re making $60k a year. I used to make about $200 to $300 a month direct linking from Google, but don’t make much any longer since they don’t allow that any longer.

  8. This is great info. I did find that for me Amy Bass’s blog course is working. I am just learning all this and I doubt I would buy into one of the big guru’s stuff but her course really takes a newbie like me and simplifies it and that’s what I needed and it wasn’t expensive either. For twenty bucks a month I am learning stuff that I possibly could get for free but I’d have to dig for it and I wouldn’t know where to look!

  9. Hey Alan, great post. Many think the same thing, but never actually say it. Mostly because most bloggers of “large” status tend to have their own, or at least endorse one.

    Making money off of newbie’s, is a large industry now.

  10. Ah..This was too long a wait, Alan. What you’ve said here is so true..I remember back in 2004-2005, such emails and newsletters used to get me goosebumps..now, I can smell spam & scam from a mile away…

  11. Alan, I couldn’t agree more. The Product Launch Formula has been the most annoying thing imaginable. The problem is that that is only the tip of the iceberg. Every clown who gets your email address is hawking something, but instead of sending emails to their lists once a month or so, they all now jam your inbox with daily emails. It’s like retail stores. In the old days, they’d send you one catalog per month in the mail. Now, since email is free to send, Williams-Sonoma and the rest bombard you with daily emails that lead you to unsubscribe when had they kept the number of emails down, perhaps you would have stayed subscribed. Anyway, hope all is well and that you’ll give us an update on your MMO activities soon.

  12. Chris, you have a valid point, but surely Aweber is sophisticated enough to know how long someone has been on a mailing list? (I don’t use Aweber yet obviously). A search I just did on Aweber indicated they can track who opens the email, and who converts through to the offer.

    My point is from a perspective of your reputation, why would you keep sending junk out to people who are not buying anyway (LIke me for instance).

    I have learned a great deal from free ebooks, and checking out the websites of the people who leave comments on John Chow’s blog for instance, just to see what they are into. That is how I found Affiliate Confession years ago. I think this is a better way to get the information that you need.

    If I had that $2,000 or whatever amount I would spend it on Gold or Silver Bullion. No kidding when I was in Art School in 1971 Gold was $30.00/oz and a 4th year jewellery student predicted it was going to go to $300/oz. Holy Cow!!! it went to $500.oz in 2006 when I retired and is now at $1206.21/oz today. That is where my money is going.

  13. I’m glad I discovered this blog that gives the real pictures of Internet Marketing and Gurus. Wasted 20 minutes watching commission money or some thing like that. I think buyers are also responsible for creating this frenzied market. If they start asking for refund massively, the market will fizzle out.

    This is the only industry where I see people who are running successful businesses (as they claim) are eager to start master mind and other nonsense teaching programs.

    Just think about that. I don’t see Google founders or Facebook founder are running mastermind classes to teach people how to create the next Internet sensation.

    They may write a real book or give a lecture in some university.

  14. Jonathan,

    That market of newbies just keeps getting bigger, especially with the economy the way it is. I just hope they do their homework before investing in a $500 or $2,000 MMO course.

  15. In reference to using Clickbank products..Have you ever created your own products for resale at Clickbank ? Just curious if you have and can you make more money by having others market these products?

  16. I couldn’t have said this better myself and trust me, I’ve tried.

    I don’t mind receiving a couple of emails in return for someone trying to sell me something once in a while, but there are way too many people out there that abuse their list to the point where their readers shouldn’t put up with it anymore.

    Thanks for saying this once again, more people need to start speaking up about this.


  17. Great post really. You showed valuable points here that’s really essential for a successful Internet Marketing Plan.
    Your perspective is very excellent. Thanks for put on view this valuable information. I have the benefit of stay.

  18. I get these launch emails like once a day and sometimes I get 6 in a day all about the same course from 6 different affiliates. Most of the stuff is crap like you say.
    I did stick with a program that included three or four killer tools along with information, since the tools themselves pay for everything.

  19. Yay! You finally posted! :-)

    I do have one thing to add to your list- obtain quality backlinks. Blogging your passion is a great way to get started, but even if you don’t know the first thing about how to use keywords properly in your post, a quick search on a keyword tool will give you a few ideas for phrases to focus on. Make sure that you get a few links to your site using these phrases and it will help immensely.

    That said, the only MMO product that I remember ever buying was BANS through you, and it was the best move I ever made in making money online. It only made me about $100 after cost, but it did work and I did make money. And that little bit got me started to where I am now. Lazily making $200-300 a month. If I ever actually worked at it, I’m sure I could start seeing real profit. As is, my MMO pays for our yearly trip to Walt Disney World. All thanks to you and a handful of MMOers that I met as a result of having my own MMO blog (which I sold once I actually figured out more or less what I was doing).

    BTW- are you ever going to develop an affiliate program for your raw recipe book?

  20. WordVixen,

    Good to hear from you. Yea, I’m still kickin, hopefully I’ll post a little more frequently.
    Oh yea, I forgot to mention backlinks as well, essential juice that keeps the SEO wheels turning.
    The raw recipe book is priced so low $17.97 that it would be hard to get affiliates to promote it even at a 50% commission. The wife and I have talked about updating it and charging something like $37 or $47 so we could put it on Clickbank.

  21. Hey Alan,

    Woah! I honestly wasn’t expecting to see a post from you ever again…. I remember reading some of your blog posts a looooong time (2 years?) ago and thinking to myself “ey, this blog’s different from most IM blogs out there”. I was a proper newbie back then.

    It’s good to have you back. :)

  22. thanks for this i have been contemplating buying some of these products

  23. Hmmm I like your action plan, but what if I only have a three-legged cat that can dance? (My dog is lazy as hell :( )

  24. Great, great, post. You hit the nail on the head of what a lot of people are thinking.

    I have never paid for anything like this but I am constantly amazed at how my friends and contacts constantly go on about the latest course or ebook or whatever. Even software like spammy wordpress plugins and SENuke style promotion tools are the same – exploiting holes in Google that were plugged in 2007.

    One thing it does do is keep a lot of IM wannabes busy reading fluff and chasing rabbits while the smart ones are making money 😉

  25. What a great post Alan, perfectly written and I love your post. Always remember that marketing strategies is the core of any Internet Business, and while many rightfully focus on the marketing strategies, it is also important to focus on the delivery of your business model. Continue your great work.

  26. Best internet marketing article I have ever read.

  27. Yeah, I get these launch and prelaunch emails from as many as half a dozen different senders for the same ebook product or video course. Most of which is the same rehashed, repackaged material that was last year’s news.(Yes I’ve been suckered once or twice)

  28. I remember reading some of your blog posts a looooong time (2 years?) ago and thinking to myself “ey, this blog’s different from most IM blogs out there”. I was a proper newbie back then.

  29. I admire those writers who share the best of their knowledge in writing such articles. Keep up the good work and continue inspiring readers.Thank you so much.

  30. I completely agree with you Alan. Less money and time being spent on bloated product launches. More people will begin to see success online the faster they remove the clouds and start to see the bigger picture.

  31. Alan,

    Great post, I know all too well what you mean. I have spent thousands of dollars in ecourses and other material and there is only about $300 worth of good content. And the rest is all crap. It doesn’t matter how great the person launching the product is, they won’t give all their secrets away for a measly $47. If you want something good you have to get in with the person themselves.

  32. Does that mean nowadays affiliates are as well saturated and over cometitive??

  33. I think the affiliate marking thing has been hugely saturated and people are just taking advantage now in alot of ways. Not that there aren’t some good oportunites out there but you need to be very careful and really good at marketing and have a good product that is marketable long term.

  34. I always cringe when I hear about people buying these ebooks that have all of the same information out there for FREE! Unfortunately, nobody wants to do the research/work anymore. Everyone out there is looking for the get rich quickhelp books and if these are being pushed by people that have already made a name for themselves, then the people that don’t know any better will buy. Sad but true. These people lose more money than they will ever make.

  35. I’ve read this post in February 2011, quite sometime after it was posted … but this hasn’t changed a bit ! I also get tons of emails promoting the same product by each gurus (and cross-promotion is definitely harrassing at some point!).

    Glad to read something so truthful about IM. Yes. Excellent post !

  36. Thanks for your “Affiliate Marketing Training – Pimpin The Big Ripoff” post. I agree with everything that you say about this sad business of exploiting the dreams of the inexperienced internet user. It is very similar to the pyramid selling scam outside of the internet. The only people who receive money in these ‘how to make money blogging’ videos, e-books, seminars are the authors, themselves. The scam is very similar to anti-ageing creams, body part enhancements, renewable energy savings, on-line degrees from non-existent establishments, and funds transfers from rich relatives found dead in the jungle, etc. When’s your next post?

  37. I have always said, a lot of what passes for “new information” these days, is simply spit-polished old news. I do find buying all these products, and courses is a bit of a losing battle. Forums seem to be the way to get info these days.

  38. This was a fantastic post! And I’m sorry that it doesn’t seem like you are posting on this blog anymore. It is so refreshing to see someone cut through the nonsense! Luckily for me I don’t spend money on ebooks (everyone is passing them out for free these days trying to get you on their lists) but I have seen almost nothing of real value in these books. I’ve only been working with affiliate marketing for about 2 months and it’s very frustrating! I’m not giving up though! I want to continue staying at home to raise my daughter and want my husband to quit his second job! So I will continue to plug away! Thanks for the great post and refreshing honesty!

  39. Haha, I totally agree with you, because I am one of them, I really wonder if they actually have those roll royce cars and limos, big houses, yatchs, omg is to much bluff, I have bought several of this items, and is the same BS information the good thing is that I always get my refund, there was one program that actually worked for me, but I had to ask for a refund on a 300 dll upsell, because it was the same BS… nice post I hope ppl actually find it helpful and avoid our mistakes.
    – Allan

  40. If we are in this business long enough we are gonna see about everything possible!


  41. The best decision is yours. You have to keep your interests in mind and then find the best match. Be prepared for putting forth a lot of effort. Affiliate Marketing is not as easy as many self proclaimed guru’s claim.

  42. Very informative post on Affiliate Marketing Training.. thank you very much for sharing so useful post…

  43. Very informative and useful post about affiliate marketing training. Nowadays affiliate marketing is becoming very popular in the online business world.

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