Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 8, 2009
I can’t say it better myself than this article about how the
new FTC regulation will impact affiliate marketers everywhere. If you’ve heard about the changes but they just didn’t make sense to you, check it out.
Personally, I believe the FTC will go after the heavyweights making false claims. But, then, the other part of me figures they will go after some small time affiliate marketer and fine them like $50K just to make an example out of them.
Although it sucks, hey, this is America. And, the FTC staff are not marketers. They’re made up of salaried employees who HATE the fact that entrepreneurs make money by referring valuable products to others. Next, they’ll have door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales people giving their prospects a written disclosure of how much commission they will make on the sale before the sale is made.
I don’t know about you, but my dad taught me to never ask someone how much money they made for a living. And, therefore, I don’t talk about it myself. I mean, who cares? Why would it be important for people to know that you’re getting a commission payment for a referral?
And, why would anyone be against that? I mean, I have gone through days and sometimes months of evaluation and use of a product before recommending it to clients for use in their own business. Isn’t that time worth something? Don’t I deserve some sort of compensation if I’m going to save someone a thousand dollars next month?
The FTC doesn’t think so apparently.
My answer to this thing that so many are talking about that “will take down affiliate marketing as we know it” is simple.
1. Go ahead and post your earnings or whatever makes you comfortable that you are meeting FTC requirements.
2. Offer something in addition when someone buys the product through your affiliate link. I’ve been doing this for years. When someone subscribes to 1ShoppingCartFree.com where I get a commission every month or to BestEmailSystem.com for managing your newsletters and eblasts, I give a free document featuring a page full of tactics and strategies to use that not even those companies will tell you about.
3. Use the products yourself so that your referrals are genuine.
I find it interesting too that the FTC is targeting “bloggers.” Anyone that’s anyone online these days know that blogs are websites and websites can certainly be blogs. My main company at HereNextYear.com has produced dozens of new or re-designed websites for clients that look like “websites” but use blog software.
So, are the “blogs” or “websites?”
Will the FTC come after them just because they have blogs attached? According to the regulations, it appears they don’t care about main websites…just blogs. So, fine, disguise your blog as a website and enjoy the CMS benefit of your blog software and you’re safe.
I dunno, I just think the FTC has gone too far with this one. But, fine, I will conform but will beat them at their own game by making MORE affiliate recommendations and offering more bonus tips and getting even more affiliate sales as a result.
That oughta really get ‘em going!
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