The First Rule of Affiliate Marketing

How Being Selective Results in More Confidence

I’m often asked by people new to the affiliate marketing game: How do I promote with confidence when I’m not 100% sure about the product? Well, that question is fundamentally flawed. If you aren’t 100% sure about the product, don’t promote it. That’s the first rule of affiliate marketing.

The First Rule of Affiliate Marketing

Actually, my first rule of affiliate marketing is this:

Don’t promote crap.

Why You Should be Picky

I am paraphrasing a rule I picked up from Tim Ferriss on how we select our clients:

He may or may not have used some saltier language, but the point is that in any area of life, including what you choose to promote as an affiliate, if it’s not a perfect fit for you and your audience, don’t get involved. If it’s not an A+ product, don’t promote it.

One of the reasons we’re so picky about our clients and say “no” much more than we say “yes” is that when we ask people like you to promote our clients, we want to be 100% sure we are only sharing the best with you. But even with our clients, the reality is that some of them won’t be a perfect fit for your audience. So, don’t promote them.

This may sound like the opposite of what you’d expect from me. After all, wouldn’t it be better if you promoted ALL of our launches throughout the year?

Actually, no. I’d rather you promote four launches that are perfect fits and go all out then promote eight of them and put in half effort or upset your audience. In the end, that is better for all of us, most importantly the people who trust you with their inbox.

Being Selective Means Selling with Confidence

When you are selective in what you promote, it allows you to sell with confidence.

When you know deep down that the product is a solid fit for your audience – that they need it – you want to get it into their hands. In a way, you feel obligated to sell to them. Selling becomes a matter of what is best for them, not what is best for you, which is the way it should be.

When you promote a product that is top-notch, best in class, and is proven to work, you write sales copy differently. You mail more often and share more often. You don’t feel bad sending that 8th, 9th, or 14th email. You offer killer bonuses to go along with the product. You defend it against any naysayers. You become a champion for a cause, not just a product.

You sell with confidence because you believe in the product. And selling with confidence always outperforms selling scared.

Ask Yourself This Question

If you are ever in doubt about whether to promote something or not, ask yourself this question:

Would I recommend this to my best friend or my mom? (Assuming it was a good fit for them)

If the answer is “no,” then the product is not right for you. Do not, under any circumstances, promote it. No matter what the commissions are, what prizes are being offered, or even how well you know the person.

It’s better to be honest and explain why you can’t promote something than to let them continue with a mediocre (or worse) product. Friends don’t let friends sell crap.

Saying “no” to anything in life takes courage, but saying “no” to the wrong products is always the right move.

Four Upcoming Opportunities

Speaking of products you could promote, here are two books launches that we’re running, one summit we’re running, and one launch we have nothing to do with, but will be awesome. All four pass the quality test. The only question is: are they good fits for your audience.

Here’s a little more about them:

Ray Edwards’ How to Write Copy That Sells (February 18 – March 1)

Brian Tracy’s 6-Figure Speaker (March 1 – 15)

Authority Super Summit (Promotion begins March 1, but primetime is March 16-26)

Push Button Influence (March 20 – April 6)

If you are interested in any of those, reach out to me at and we’ll take good care of you.

Question: Have you ever promoted something and later regretted it? What were the results? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Free Affiliate Training from Matt McWilliams