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That's not good. My customers are literally my bread and butter. Giving them what they want and expect is how I stay in business. Paying for traffic that I send to a merchant site where there is nothing to buy, will put me out of business.
(This is how a membership site should be structured. When starting a dating service, merchant pays for advertising to bring people to their site. To entice visitors to sign up as members, he will initially offer his services for fr*ee. When database is large enough to attract paying customers, affiliate program manager then invites potential affiliates to join their program.)
Although my friend's program had already struck out for my customers and me, I was still curious, so I kept on looking.
Next I clicked on a link labeled 'Dating Resources'. Expecting to find Internet dating tips and advice, I found links and banners pointing to Lavalife, FriendFinder and other affiliated dating sites instead. When I asked him about placing affiliate programs on his site, my friend said he simply wanted to supplement his income until dating service got *rolling*. I can understand his motivation. However, what he doesn't understand is concept of customer 'hijacking'.
As an affiliate, you pay good money to get visitors to your site. You presell your merchants' products and expect merchant to honor their end of bargain by making sale and sending your commission check. You don't pay for merchant to send YOUR customers to THEIR affiliated merchants.
I didn't need to look any further. I told my friend that I would hold off on signing up and why. Fortunately, he understood and has already alleviated some of problems I mentioned.
Knowing when NOT to sign up for an affiliate program can sometimes be a tough call. However, you can simplify process considerably. Put yourself inside your customer's head. If product won't work for them, program strikes out. Simple as that.
Rosalind's amazing Internet business success story has been profiled in Secrets to Their Success, Six Figure Income and numerous other publications. Learn how you too can can build a lucrative eBusiness, by reading her entertaining, informative and hype-free newsletter, the Net Profits Coach, available at: http://RosalindGardner.com