17 Comments

  1. Thank you for a very informative and greatly appreciated article.

    Today I am looking for the missing link. I’ve been trying to make honest money online, intermittently since 2000 – yes 2000. When I started I didn’t even know what a desktop icon was. I’ve since self-taught myself how to make Websites, etc.

    Spending eight to twelve hours a day at the computer six days a week without pay and in pain from severe Fibromyalgia was my way of life. I’m back to that lifestyle now.

    To make a very long story short, after trying Lord knows how many different businesses, etc., I still have made no money. This has now turned into a ‘we’ project recently.

    I feel like our break-through could be really close IF…. I find that missing link.

    I/we have even created original products – repeatedly – i.e. CafePress.

    BTW there are over 620 ‘friends’ on my Facebook account.

    I admit many people may not like our designs. But, surely out of the number there, there seems like at least one or two should be selling.

    Please look at my site and tell me what I am doing wrong. I won’t even ask you to buy anything – lol.

    If I can help you, I will. Maybe I could do some FREE advertising in Traffic Exchanges or make some simple banners for you. Just give me the needed info, splash page, etc. of what you want advertised if you want traffic exchange exposure. I’ve recently joined about 20 traffic exchanges.

    I am honest to a fault,literally. I have, at times, maybe too much empathy for others – I’ve been taken badly too. I no longer trust so easily – that’s for sure.

    Time ran out for this shopping season, so I know SEO and list building are lacking. Too much time was spent on creating.

    I admit that. But, good grief, I can’t even sell anything on Facebook to over 620 people? BTW we tried paid advertising on Facebook for $5 a day. Not one product sold.

    We have sold ONE sticker in the last six months because someone simply happened upon it.

    Whatever insight you can give us would be absolutely greatly appreciated. We want to improve not only our way of living and be able to take care of unmet needs; we also want desperately to be able to help other people help themselves.

    In addition, one of the newly formed design team members has a 95 year-old mother we are desperately trying to help with many unmet financial needs (probably about $20,000 – $50,000 of unmet needs in wheelchair accessibility and major house repair needs.) We soooooo need a breakthrough.

    Blessings to you and yours,
    Deborah Kelso

    http://www.BearpawGeneralStore.com/gallery.html

    http://www.BearpawGeneralStore.com/HelpAnneReed.html

    http://www.GoFundMe.com/HelpAnneReed (only one donation – from us – there

    I included the links not to try to sell you something or for you to donate anything. I wanted you to see some of our work and Mrs. Reed’s story.

    ANY input will be greatly appreciated.

    PS – I started out with AOL and dial-up – lol.

    • Hi Deborah,

      Thank you for your comment. I’ll try to help you out as much as I can.
      Re: started out with AOL – ha! I think we all have! …And, yes, I’ve been in your shoes for sure. I too, am self-taught, or that’s where I began. Nowadays, I’m a member of Wealthy Affiliate, and yes, I’m still learning. That’s one thing for sure – technology keeps changing, and it’s best, I think anyway, to be part of a forum that keeps you updated and/or increases your chances that you’re likely to come across important information sooner rather than later.

      Now, …let’s see.. where do I even begin? …Ah yes, Cafe Press!

      I, too, am a Cafe Press member, but over the years, I’ve become suspicious. Sometimes you have sales, sometimes you don’t… and then sometimes, it seems to me, that CP favors some people over others. I’ve even called in to complain on numerous occasions that my sales “all of a sudden- came to a dead stop,” and have asked why. Then, after a day or two of these types of phone calls, I “begin” to make sales again… I have accused them of shady practices, I have accused them of someone “shutting off my site,” but of course, I have no actual proof. I have even been “locked out” of their CP Forum because I was too opinionated… I ended with sharing my “unfiltered” concerns in the open forum and I accused the dictator of censoring and controlling the group to the point of squelching our “collective” concerns and not “improving” anything for the artists. …lol.. yea.. I’ve been there, and have no regrets. She deserved it. So, the dictator kicked me out of the group and denied access.. lol… …So, now, I just keep my stores “maintained.” I go in and keep my percentage at 10%, and I make anywhere from $50 to $80 and sometimes more a month. It goes toward the renewal costs of my many domains… But, no, I will no longer focus on CP as much as I had. I do know there are artists that do well, but, as mentioned, something else is going on there that I just completely distrust. So, because of my suspicions, I don’t think I should spend my valuable time trying earn an honest dollar with CP – when I do not believe they are being honest.

      In addition to my suspicions, CP has also changed their model anyway. They pay their artists very little, because there are SOOOOO many people trying to earn a buck, that they are willing to earn peanuts for their beautiful art. And, CP now has an Affiliate Program where I can actually earn MORE by promoting other artist’s items! …So… …If you go to http://InfinityArtsandGiftsGallery.com, one of my sites, I have the whole rant between the gestapo dictator and myself linked to the top menu… I thought about sending it to CP headquarters.. but haven’t yet… I’m not sure I want to waste my time trying to improve CP. But, I have since begun to promote other artist’s items because, now, I’m an Affiliate for CP. So, that’s where I’m at with them. Once in a while, I “create” some design, and place it on products, but as mentioned, it’s only enough work to keep me at 10% of earnings in the “MarketPlace.”

      Re: 620 friends on Facebook, or even advertising on Fb, you’d really have to do some serious keyword research before you waste time, effort, and money trying to advertise items in your store. Further, there are many many CP stores. There are many Etsy stores. There are many Shopify Stores. There are many other Print on Demand (POD) stores that sell the same merchandise with different designs on them.. and yes, the artists get peanuts. I’ve gone this route… You’ve gone this route. Time to stop the nonsense and do what actually works. …Don’t get me wrong. If you just love designing things, and this is what you really want to do, that’s fine, but relying on what Cafe Press does to “promote” your work, or relying on a Cafe Press store and purchasing what some believe are “cheap” traffic sources is not the answer. ..and 620 friends on Fb isn’t either. Your traffic would have to be increased much, much more to earn “regular” sales.

      I believe the missing link for you, and many others, is the simple fact that content is missing from your site. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Content is King?” Well, if so… there’s some truth to that.

      Look, I’ve been down this same road. I’m self-taught, and now I’ve joined a forum which keeps harping on the content. If you begin to do good keyword searches and write good content in a niche that you most enjoy and/or would like to help others learn, that is what drives traffic to your site. That is the missing link – plain and simple.

      Please do me a favor. Join Wealthy Affiliate for free, and build at least one of the two free sites provided. Go through the first ten lessons, again – for free. If you choose not be become a premium member, that’s fine, you can continue using the two free sites. There is NO OBLIGATION TO JOIN. But, my point is this. These are two free WordPress sites, and they will be securely hosted by Wealthy Affiliate. And, yes, there are some members who have made money off of their free sites as well as their own sites. So, yes, they work – if you work them! “Content is King” and Blog sites do much better than any single store front even with “traffic exchanges.”

      In addition to that, Google is catching on to more and more ways people drive traffic, and they like some ways better than others. Google is always improving their algorithms to reward sites that provide good content consistently. Driving traffic through natural means, and writing good content is, in my opinion, your missing link. And, then, you can do what I’m currently doing, assuming it’s a relevant niche, that is. You can write on your blog, and promote your “related” CP items to your readership because, when you think about it, those who are reading your (specific niche) blog are the very people who would most likely purchase your (specific niche) related Cafe Press items – Right?

      At this point, I’d like to share some posts with you here:

      Site Rubix sites can get traffic!
      Low Hanging Fruit In Action
      Thankful for WA and for my First Amazon Sale

      Also – Please feel free to click around my blog site, please visit some of the older pages and posts linked to the above menu to learn more about building an effective site. And, don’t forget – You’re invited to Wealthy Affiliate! I’ll be here if you need anything, and thank you for stopping by and reaching out! I hope I’ve helped you, and I look forward to hearing from you again!

      To Your Wealth! And, God Bless,
      ~MMH

      • Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences and suggestions. I will join the Wealthy Affiliate – I wasn’t going to after looking at it because at first it seemed like another Commission Junction or another affiliate site I’ve tried.

        But, because I found your response and you wrote such a lengthy one, I’m going to go ahead and join.

        And, yes, I’ve had pretty much the same thoughts about CP; especially the favoritism. Recently, I ‘LIKED’ an artist; but, after seeing more designs I unliked the artist because I felt some were very inappropriate (which is another issue – okay for some; but, not others). The next day, one of the designs I use in a FB profile was temporarily banned due to supposed copyright infringement.

        This is an original design, etc. It was released from the hold after I contacted the dept. for such issues. They apologized.

        I think they do have favoritism and apparently some vicious artists.

        Sharing your CP experience has been a Godsend. Thank you so much. You confirmed much of what I already had come to suspect.

        I know the content, list and niche are important; but, obviously I haven’t gone that route. I will now.

        I was hoping if I put enough designs on CP that I’d win the numbers game. Apparently not. As for trying to help them improve… Don’t waste your time. Apparently, even a lot of the employees are unhappy with upper management based on a review Website I saw a few weeks ago.

        Also, recently, I just looked into the CP “ADMIN” store link after ignoring it forever. They could have been selling my designs all along and not giving me any of the money.

        I tried deleting back to just a couple of products and CP filled it back up again with products for which the original image was not the appropriate size. I’ve been checking it off and on; supposedly, the commission I set is still in effect. I had asked about the “ADMIN” store a long time ago, and was given a very brief explanation of why it was there. As well as I remember, there was no explanation that I could make money with it too.

        Lessons learned.

        Time is money. I think I can handle it from here. So please don’t worry about another long response.

        You are truly one of the special ones and I will put you down in my personal Star List for entrepreneurs to believe.

        Father of Christ bless you and yours.
        Deborah

        PS: I checked my email with a search for your Money Honey name. The only thing that showed up is where I signed up for your other link.

        Apparently your blog service didn’t send your above response to me.

        Silly me, I just scrolled down and realized I gave you two different email accounts. I gave you a higher ranking one for more important responses when I posted on your blog – the Sales@B….com one.

        I had my fiance’ do a search for that account too. Still no email letting me know I had a response from your blog. We searched ‘Honey’ and ‘MsMoneyHoney.’ Hope this helps.

        PSS: Most likely I’m too conservative for CP.

        Thank goodness, I remembered to actually seek out a response her on your blog. I have issues with focus and memory. Like I said your info was a Godsend. 🙂

        • Hi again Deborah,
          I’m glad you mentioned that so I can shed some light on your expectation of an email. To my knowledge, this theme, and likely many other themes, do not automatically email the writer. I know I’ve never received an email from blog sites where I’ve left comments. I have, oftentimes, had to go back to a specific blog to check and see if my comment was accepted and answered, so …just to let you know – that feature would be news to me. In the future, however, I will keep that in mind if I ever use another theme or come across a plug-in that allows for that capability. It would be a nice little reminder for those who leave comments – instead of what I do and leave all kinds of tabs up to check on blogs later… lol…
          Re: Admin stores – yes that’s another little thing they do. Even in the forum, some didn’t like their designs automatically being placed on items where they looked stupid and they didn’t quite “fit.” Here we are trying to create “nice” things in between all the glitches using their software, and CP is arbitrarily placing our art on their items just to make a quick buck no matter if it harms the artist’s work or goodwill. …Well, if you ever get some time, read the long rant over at the site I shared.. It’s a hoot! lol…
          And, finally, thank you for your Blessings! I’ll take them, and I wish the same to you as well!
          Merry Christmas!
          ~MMH

        • Oh, and P.S. Commission Junction is an Affiliate Network company. They gather companies together and offer Affiliate links out to those of us who are Affiliate Marketers. So, after you join Wealthy Affiliate, which is an educational forum, one of the Affiliate networks that you join may, in fact, be CJ! But, there are many others: Amazon, Target, WalMart, and many, many more!
          See you around WA!

  2. Great article. I think I learned more reading it than I have in a long time.
    I’m just getting started and it can be overwhelming. Enjoyed benefitting from someone else’s experience in sifting through the issues.

    • Thank you Brian, and yes, affiliate marketing can be overwhelming. Those who do want to work from home and become affiliate marketers do learn over time, and those who push through the learning curve, eventually, have zero regrets. Many have said they’d do it all over again because of the freedom it provides, and the income isn’t too shabby either…
      So, thank you for stopping by, and I’m happy that I’ve shed some more light in the world of Affiliate Marketing. Good Luck with your new home business, and if you’re part of the Wealthy Affiliate family, just remember, we’re all here for you!

      • I mean to mention, as well, that I find your POV inspirational. You’re advocating honesty vs. running a marketing gambit.
        I’m trying to be that sort of affiliate marketer myself. I’m new, but so far I’ve only reviewed products I own and love to use.
        Enlightening to keep in mind there are ‘machines’ out there pumping reviews out for profit only. Like you say, that’s capitalism, but I hope honest wins out.

        • Hi Brian,
          Thank You! Yes, I have a bit of a problem with some affiliate marketers who are just pumping out so-called “reviews,” but haven’t bought the product or even attempted to give it a “fair” shot. While yes, it’s true, there are many scams out there for sure, those of us who are earning income online and building long-term wealth really should not just trash products on the theory that it makes them look good or that trashing a product will build readership and trust. It is not necessarily true, at least, not anymore, anyway. Because, now, there are those of us who will challenge these types of posts. Competition builds Honest Capitalism, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
          Thanks for stopping by!
          ~MMH

  3. Wow. I knew there are some marketers that’s big on the Limited Product Launch (although I don’t fully understand). Now I got what it’s all about after reading your post.

    I don’t usually make it to the end of such a wordy post, but you definitely kept me entertained by those in depth information of affiliate marketing.

    There will always be ethical and unethical affiliate marketers. Can’t do much about it. It’s our own choice of how we want to build our reputation that matters.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    • Hi Kenny,
      Yes, that’s true. There will always be ethical and unethical people in all walks of life. It’s part of human behavior. It’s also true that we make our own choices on how to conduct our own businesses, but I wrote it because of the people they are targeting. Those who are trying to work two jobs, and trying to make ends meet. Many people are trying to find legitimate programs online, and they sometimes come across those Affiliate Marketers who are only interested in pushing a product that may not be in their reader’s best interest – just because they want to win a prize and/or because the vendor wants to push a product that may be inferior before the “real” reviews come out.

    • Hi John,
      Yes, I agree! I just responded to another reader about both newbies as well as those more experienced Affiliate Marketers who should be reminded to think of their readers first rather than fall into the trap of a sweepstakes and winning prizes, etc. Otherwise, they risk losing their readers! Thanks for stopping by!
      ~MMH

  4. Thank you for your post as someone who is new to affiliate marketing and also a (G) its good to be enlightened. I Did wonder about some of these reviews, now i’m more informed. Cheers Corrinda

    • Hi Corrinda, Yes, I thought it was important for both newbies as well as more experienced Affiliate Marketers who have fallen into the trap and the enticement of winning prizes, etc. They need a reminder to think of their readers – first. Thanks for stopping by!
      ~MMH

  5. Thanks for all the info on this topic! Wow! There are so many scams and low quality products out there and what’s scary is that sometimes it’s hard for a beginner to decipher what’s good and what’s not. You did a great service writing about this so people can learn more and beware when they see an opportunity.

    Much success to you,
    Grace

    • Thank you so much Grace! I appreciate your comments, and yes, I wanted to expose one of the major reasons why someone is pushing a product over another. I am hoping to win people over with as much info as possible. So, hey, come on back whydoncha! Thank you for your visit, and your input!
      ~MMH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *