Often times you hear people in the affiliate marketing world say things like “promote it or don’t promote it,” and “support it or don’t support i,” like you have to be all-in on every single thing that you promote. Sometimes people feel like once they start promoting something they have to promote that program or item fully until it’s over, done, retired, and gone.
You’re allowed to change your mind or your position, you’re allowed to disagree with things along the way, and you don’t have to continue promoting something forever and ever, you’re not trapped in some legal agreement and you’re usually not obligated to the program (usually, unless you’ve signed some long term contract to promote something, which seems an unlikely scenario as an affiliate.)
As an example, let’s say you find out about a program that is ongoing for 12 weeks and you join the affiliate program to share the information with your own audience because it’s relevant and timely.
The owner of the program gives you a sneak peek at the first few pieces of the program so you can get a head start and write up a review, and maybe provide a testimonial before the “official” public launch. Everything looks great, so you send out messages to your list and write a blog post about the program letting everyone know that you’re participating and it’s great.
Then six weeks into the program it takes a turn that you find less than enjoyable, or they encourage something that you wouldn’t recommend or that you’re uncomfortable with, and you don’t know what to do because you’ve already started promoting it.
First of all, you’re allowed to feel that way, so there is no need to feel bad or guilty about it.
No program or product is going to be 100% perfect all of the time. That’s totally okay.
You have a few options of things you can do…
In the case of an information product or course, you could go directly to the program’s creator and just say, “Hey, I really enjoyed the first five weeks of your program and it was great information. But in week six you sort of went off-course here and I’m not comfortable promoting because of this particular aspect of the program.”
They may come back and explain what will happen in upcoming pieces of the program that will relate back to the current piece and it will all make sense, sort of a missing piece of the puzzle that you need to see to understand the situation. They may let you know that an alternative method or tool is coming up in the next module for people that weren’t comfortable because they knew that was going to happen and wanted to address it. Or they may ignore your email completely.
Whatever they do, it doesn’t hurt to express your concern because if you are feeling it it’s likely that others are feeling it as well. Feedback like that is really good information for the program creator to have at hand so they can re-evaluate if needed or maybe offer alternative resources for people that were uncomfortable with that portion. It’s possible they didn’t intend for something to come off the way it did and they might edit the program to be more in line with their message. As someone who creates information products and e-courses, I welcome feedback of this sort for this reason. Most people who are teaching something online want to give the best information and experience possible.
Another option you have is to let your list and blog readers know about the turn of events. You can say something like, “I’ve been following along with Program X right along with you and I’m a little perplexed by the turn it has taken in week six. I personally don’t recommend doing XYZ, but everyone’s business model is different and you can do that if it fits in with your plans.”
And this is completely true. Just because you disagree with one piece of a program doesn’t make it a bad program. It might be exactly what someone else needs at the moment.
Whether you continue to recommend the program or not is up to you, but I would encourage you to stick it out and not give up on something entirely just because one part of it wasn’t for you. In fact, I think sharing your experience about that can be a really valuable addition to your promotion and in your discussions with your own audience.
If you’re feeling up to it and you want to really provide extreme value, create a piece of bonus material that offers an alternative to the part of the program you didn’t like. Complaining about something doesn’t do anyone any good in the long term, offer a solution.
Example time; let’s say the program you were promoting recommends using some sort of spammy software or link building technique that could get folks in hot water with the search engines if they used it long term and you know your people are building authority sites that they want to rank for years to come. Put together a quick PDF with link building tips and resources that they can use instead and include a note about long term strategy versus short term strategy.
It’s not all or nothing.
If your hosting service has a hiccup for an hour or two because a server caught on fire somewhere in California, you’re not going to stop using/recommending them forever. You’re going to look at how they handled the situation, which if they were back up in less than a few hours they probably did a pretty good job of, and you’re going to say things happen and everything is under control, as it should be.
No product or program or promotion is ever going to be completely perfect, even the ones you create yourself. It’s unfair to expect things to be exactly the way you want them all of the time forever and ever. So it’s okay to change your mind about something, it’s okay to not like every single detail of a product or program, and it’s definitely okay to change your recommendation about something if that’s what makes sense for you.
I think what’s most important is that you share your experience and educate your audience about things so they can make the best decision possible.
Transcriptionist, passionate cross stitcher, writer at heart, wife, mom, and finder of lost shoes… Loretta Oliver, married to the comic book geek of her dreams and mother of four amazing young men, has been working from home full time since 2001. With a busy transcription service business, a few niche sites, and a handful of other internet marketing projects on the go, the computer is always fired up and the ideas are always flowing.