Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can you make money online with affiliate programs?

I've previously mentioned Zac Johnson and his blog, Make Money with Super Affiliate Zac Johnson. I'm always interested in how people make money, so I'm glad Zac blogs about how he does it with affiliate programs, since I know very little about them. It actually took me a while to figure out that by "affiliate" programs, Zac didn't mean something as basic as Amazon Associates. No, he meant affiliate programs for a specific product that pay quite a large sum.

For example, he's currently pushing a product called "Ultra Green Tea Lean." For each lead, he receives $26. A "lead" is someone he refers who signs up for a 30-day free trial. You can read about his initial offer description and today's update.

To put that payment in perspective, Amazon Associates pays 4% to 8.5% for most products. Some select products give 10%. So if someone bought a $50 video game through my Amazon link, I would receive anywhere from $2 to $4.25, depending on how many items I sold that month. Even at 10%, I would have to sell $260 worth of products on Amazon to earn the $26 that Zac is earning for getting people to sign up for this free trial.

And yet, I'm not the least bit tempted to sign up for the Ultra Green Tea Lean affiliate program. Why? Because I wouldn't be comfortable trying to get people to sign up for the free trial. I happen to be very skeptical of supplements in general. And I don't think a green tea supplement is the key to losing weight. So I would have trouble sleeping at night if I were to ask CFO readers to sign up for this deal. Even if I created a new page that wasn't associated with CFO and no one knew who I was, I couldn't do it. I'm just not wired to do sales that way. And most of the lucrative affiliate programs seem to be pretty similar to this campaign, in the sense that it's for stuff I wouldn't want to recommend.

I don't mean this post to be a criticism of Zac for running with this affiliate program. In fact, I'm a little envious that he's brought in $4000 in less than two weeks from it. Obviously, this is something he's comfortable with, and as far as I know, he's not forcing anyone to sign up for the free trial. (That would undoubtedly violate the terms of the affiliate agreement.)

What I am saying is that these types of affiliate programs are not for me. I simply can't recommend or try to sell in any way something that I don't believe in or wouldn't try for myself.

What about you? Are you or would you want to be a super affiliate?


  1. Although, if I KNEW the product worked, I would be talking about it non-stop and why not make a couple bucks.

    I am like you and don't believe in these products. The answer to weight is moderation and exercise. I'm living proof.

    I have often wondered about alli - I get so much junk on it. I have even had the opportunity to share it on the blog - but they don't send a trial for me and I am NOT recommended something just because they say it works.

    When it is our health - that has to be a true blue promotion. It is our most valuable asset. Not worth playing with, don't care how much the profits are.

  2. @Dedicated - I agree with you that our health is all too important. But even if it wasn't a health-related product, say it was an investing tool that sounded gimmicky, I still wouldn't want to any part of it. I can't sell anything I don't believe in.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts - I really enjoy reading them. (However, I will delete any spammy or offensive comments at my discretion.)

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