The First Rule of Affiliate Marketing

How Being Selective Results in More Confidence

I have a confession to make…I actually HATE rules. They feel too confining and restrictive. To me, rules are made to be broken. But there is ONE rule that I never break…the FIRST rule of affiliate marketing.

The first rule of affiliate marketing

I’m often asked by people new to the affiliate marketing game:

“How do you promote with confidence when you’re 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.

Actually…to put it more clearly, the first rule of affiliate marketing is this:

Don’t promote crap.

Why You Should be Picky

Highly selective picky gif

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 it’s an absolute truth that applies to all aspects of life.

If the answer is not a “HECK YEAH,” the only answer is “NO!”

For your affiliate promotions, 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.

In the long run, it’s not worth the risk for a quick buck.

Being Selective Means Selling with Confidence

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

Once you know deep down that the product is a solid fit for your audience, you want to get it into their hands. Once you know that they need the product, you feel obligated to sell to them and guilty if you don’t.

Selling becomes a matter of what is best for them, not what is best for you. And that’s the way it SHOULD be!

You write sales copy differently when you promote a product that is top-notch, best in class, and is proven to work.

You’ll 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.

Choosing the Right Program or Product

While making sure that a program or product is a “heck yeah” is most important, there are also other considerations to make when choosing which program or product to promote.

I’m approached all the time by people wanting me to promote their products. The reality is that I’m only able to promote a small fraction of them in a given year.

That is why I created my “What To Promote” checklist.

This checklist goes through 10 considerations for whether a product or program is a good fit for me to promote and allows me to assign a score to each one.

By the time I finish going through the checklist, I know whether or not I should promote that product or program.

I would highly recommend getting this checklist (it’s 100% free) and using it each and every time you consider promoting an affiliate program or product.

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, you have to say “NO!”

Saying no to affiliate offers

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.

After all, 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.

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