Over $2k Commissions from Scam Products. - Don't Know How to Feel About It
So recently I've made some commissions from scam products, but IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK.
That said, I still get a bit of an uneasy feeling making money like this.
Let me explain...
So a while back I remember someone talking about including affiliate links to products that they review and conclude are scams.
Example: Title: Is "Product Name" a Scam? - Conclusion: Yes it is a scam... but here is a link to purchase it if you want to.
I remember the person saying they were making commissions from scam products even though they were telling readers that they were scams.
But whatever... I figured what's the point?...I mean... it probably wasn't much anyhow, right? And if it is just a commission here and there it might not be worth the time.
I figured it would take more time setting up the affiliate links and applying to new affiliate programs if I had to than it would be worth from the money I'd make.
Then I decided to give it a try
I applied to an affiliate program that worked with several of the products that I'd reviewed and concluded they were pretty much scams for the most part.
I then inserted my affiliate links and that was that.
But I didn't do this for every product I'd ever reviewed. That would be too time consuming. My strategy was to do it for several products I reviewed that I had good rankings in Google and were getting some decent traffic.
Then I let them be.
Come to find out I've made over $2k from this stuff...!
Now it's not like I just found this out. I knew I've been making a hundred dollars here and there. But it's not like I've been monitoring this closely and the payments are sent out way after you earn them, so seeing that I've made this much was a shocker.
Should I consider myself a scammer?
In my product reviews I make it very clear what my opinion is. I don't necessarily call the products a scam, but I will say things like "I sure as heck wouldn't buy it" or "I will not be recommending this because of..." or "you can definitely find cheaper alternatives elsewhere"... things like this.
HOWEVER, I also say something along the lines of "but if you really want to buy this you can do so at (website name with affiliate link)"
I guess it's their choice and I'm definitely not suckering these people into purchasing, but WHY THE HECK ARE THEY BUYING THIS STUFF?
The point of me writing these reviews is to direct them to products that are actually good... yet they buy into the overpriced scammy ones.
I feel like I make some pretty good arguments as to why they shouldn't buy.... but they go and buy anyhow.
- Maybe they still feel it's worth the money
- Maybe they just want to do the opposite of what I say they should do
- Maybe the just don't feel like taking the time to look into other products
- Maybe they have money to blow
But anyways.... I don't really know how to feel about this.
What do you think?
Should I change my username to Kyle the scammer or is this ok?
Takeaway: Affiliate links are good even for products that suck
Now I wouldn't go about putting affiliate links in every review you've ever written. I think that would largely be a waste of time and might make Google see your site as being too spammy, which could hurt rankings.
However, what I would do is include affiliate links to product reviews, even if they are crappy products, that are getting some good traffic.
You can check in Google Analytics or Search Console to see if you have any reviews that are bringing in good traffic and decide from there.
You can still direct readers to a better alternative product but still include a link to the crappy product just in case they feel like buying it for some reason.
So what do you think about this? Have you had similar experiences?