affiliate network bullshit

At Affiliate Summit there were at least 150 Affiliate Networks. Not all had booths some were just sharks in the crowd. The one thing you will always notice is every affiliate you meet is a “Super Affiliate”, making millions a month ballin out of control, and every Affiliate Network you talk to has the best offers, highest paying offers, fastest payments, etc, etc…

So how do you sort through the bullshit? Being I am not a network I don’t really care. Someone who comes up and tells me they are a super affiliate making millions a month I give the same amount of respect to as someone who comes up and tells me they are living out of their car trying to learn how this business works.

The Affiliate Network side though has a bigger impact on our business so I try to cut through the BS with them and in the last 6 years I have come up with a pretty good system.

If you were at the Affiliate Summit I am sure at some point you were approached and the conversation went something like the following:

Affiliate Network: Hey John, what do you do?

John: I am an affiliate!

Affiliate Network: What do you promote?

John: Weightloss, grants, dating, ringtones, whatever.

Affiliate Network: You should run with us we have the highest payouts, super fast payments, and best converting offers.

Now most people are not sure where to go from here. I know I didn’t when I first started. I remember back in 2005 when we were slingin ringtones for 15$ a lead and out of the blue an Affiliate Network offered us $25 a lead. We jumped all over that but soon realized it was junk when we made 20% less per click.

And that’s what its all about – EPC (Earnings Per Click).

So Here is how my conversation goes now:

Affiliate Network: Hey Jeremy, what do you do?

Me: I am an affiliate!

Affiliate Network: What do you promote?

Me: Weightloss, grants, dating, ringtones, whatever.

Affiliate Network: We have the greatest ringtone offer ever you should run it with us!!!.

Me: Listen don’t waste my time. I am currently making $1.50 EPC how much can you beat that by? Are you confident you can beat our current payout.

Affiliate Network: absolutely we can beat that epc. Like I said we have THE BEST PAYING OFFERS

Me: How much EPC do you think we could make with your offer?

Affiliate Network: 1.80 at least.

Me: Ok lets do this. I will send you over a contract that guarantees us a min 1.80 EPC and lets test it for a week.

Now its time for them to shit or get off the pot. I have had many networks take me up on this and sometimes it does work out (usually to my amazement). Some might only want to do a 24 hour test. Its up to you what you want to accept… personally I don’t like going through all the crap of getting in a new network and switching out links just to find out it does not work (which happens most of the time). If you are going to waste my time I want to atleast get paid for it 😉

So what tips do you have for cutting through the Affiliate Network pitch BS ?

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

100 thoughts on “Cutting Through The Affiliate Network Bullshit”
    1. You may rephrase it a bit, but by doing this you’ll save yourself both time and money.

    2. I thought that when I read the part about showing the same amount of respect to a super affiliate than he would to a guy living out of his car.

  1. Brilliant! This was my first summit (I also came to ASE09) and I basically repeated the first version of what you said whenever was approached. Thanks for saving some years of learning 🙂

  2. Nice way to handle this, but my favorite part of the post is the bull shitting image.

    back to work..

  3. You may rephrase it a bit, but by doing this you’ll save yourself both time and money.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  4. Offers are definetly more important than higher margins…it took me a lot of time to understand, but finally I’m done…

  5. […] Blog Entry About Cutting Through The Affiliate Network Bullshit. Read the original:  Cutting Through The Affiliate Network Bullshit – ShoeMoney® […]

  6. I try to ask why their network is better than everyone else. If they give me the same stupid “We have the highest payouts and dedicated affiliate managers” answer I move on but if they come up with an original answer or can truly offer something I don’t already have I will listen more.

    1. It’s pretty amazing that 150 affiliate networks could all have the highest payouts. I just workd with a few CPA companies because most of the offers are pretty much the same.

  7. Great advice. It is hard to cut threw the bullshit. I am having trouble with this right now.

  8. Amen brother. It’s almost impossible to get an accurate view of which networks are worth it.

  9. I never really thought about the whole contract deal, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.

    How many actually will go with any type of contract ?

  10. Great post? How do you tell those that truly are good from the bad ones! Who should I use for my site?


  11. You are forgetting another key point. Does the network promote it’s own offers? Which many networks do, and if this is the case you have to decide if the extra $0.10 eCPM is worth you moving traffic and letting another network have access to what you are doing…

  12. That bull has just had a colon cleanser!!

    All networks want to work with the cool “in” affiliates.

    All “in” affiliates want to work with the “cool” networks.

    I was just a shark in the crowd, having drinks/dinner with affiliates, other networks, friends. If we picked up some super affiliates, terrific, if not it’s not a big deal.

    Affiliate marketing is almost all word of mouth.

    The ONLY differentiator for networks are offers that nobody else has, or geographic diversity.

    Rates, payouts, guarantees, pre-payments are all complete givens to anyone that has the track record.

    Network EPC as a metric can often be all over the place, both high and low. Sometimes it’s high because there are bad affiliates or a network is using contextual links, which can seriously distort numbers, or low because one affiliate is using PPV and it backs out OK for him/her at 5 cents epc.

    So, pass the salt, I need a pinch of it.

    BTW I said I would post the video of the Shoe Mania bag I saw in the Hilton when I saw you at the party in the penthouse of the London, so here is the link :

  13. Lovely post, am going to stick to your tactics and see how it works…


  14. SO my take on this super affiliate b.s, not the affiliate shit.

    the affiliates that suppossedly make millions/month are scum. They are lying, straight up….i mean if you were really an affiliate making millions/month, I highly doubt you would be living in a house worth less than $500k, or driving a basic car….I know some people are legit, but they don’t really want to make it well known. I know a few people raking in 6-7 digits a month, who are fairly unknown.

    In fact, just because these people drive bentleys or have MM $ houses, doesn’t prove their good for their words too… but its the other things they do, give to charity…HELP FRIENDS who are on teh verge of going bankrupt, which shows they are truly raking in the dough.

    so next time a super affiliate comes around, ask them why they have to scam an average joe out of their $2 shipping and handling to get that $5000 paycheck a month, and show that they made that on their blog….THey are not the real deal.

    However, there are people like Jeremy in the industry, who are legit, but other people are just wannna –b’eesssssssssss

    1. You are right in every aspect of what you have written.
      When I go back in time and evaluate the first few months after I got into affiliate marketing, I still wonder at the scam that I fell into. There are thousands of people claiming that they are earning millions from affiliate marketing and offering products, ebooks and memberships that are absolute crap.

    2. You raise some really pertinent points. Scammers and rip-offs operate everywhere, and it is so much easier to tell online lies.

      1. Skip to about 17 minutes by the way. if you really want to see it 😉

        he rips on Affiliate companies too! LOL

  15. Yeah, Good Idea, I think it would be nice to sign a contract right there in person too. 🙂
    I dont make much as affiliate, but I really hate how “the best customer service” networks toss you around untill you make at least 4 digits a month… Don’t really like affiliate managers anymore and usually go with cj who doesn’t have them and doesn’t bug me every day, even if epc is lower. 🙁 I guess it makes sense for bigger affiliates though…

    1. Well sign a contract then move codes ..damn very tiring work 🙁 don’t you think so ??

  16. I’ve been getting emails from networks acting like I had contacted them at some time. Just spam letters. I see the need to ignore the ones that don’t offer anything better than the others.

      1. When you get spam mails it just ruins their reputation and you dont want to deal with them anymore

  17. There is so many affiliate network outhere, we have to choice the good ones and suitable with the site.

  18. Many of you are missing the real message in this Post. It starts with DUE DILLEGENCE becasue the offer or even a contract means zilch unless your going to get paid. Most don’t have near the leverage and “name” that Shoe does so you would be well advised to not even try to bluff. Shoe did good. I used to ask for payment in advance for a 3 month CPM Campaign on my site before I ever launched the first creative. No exceptions and you can pound sand if you think your name will impress me. 🙂

    Iv’e seen this: Sign numerous contracts as a network. Guarantee the moon. Maybe 2 or 3 dozens. Then NOT Pay the affiliate and I just made a ton of money as a Network and since all the data on my site was designed by Uncle Walt in Disney Land. I win and YOU LOOSE.

    Any Network who makes this kind of deal without first doing their own due dillegence is going to fail. Period.

    Lets start at the basics for a little due dillegence on ANY network:

    Carefully examine the site. Is the source original. REAL Names of the principals. Real contact details that you test. A phone number and a real address. Reverse the address to see what it is. Take the copy and google it. Take the owners names and google them. Take the Networks name and Google it. If you don’t spend at least 30 minutes in research of a potential Network your asking for failure.

    Offers mean zilch. /continued 🙂

    1. Very well put, Dr Fact Finder. Promises mean nothing, and people will do and say anything to get you to commit, to then screw you at their leisure. If you don’t do your homework, you’re bound to get screwed, period.

  19. Well, I think for me as an early affiliate it’s more about cutting through the crap of the so called “guru’s”.

    I’ve got one email inbox with 1k messages unread and at least half of that are messages from the “guru’s” telling me they made $xxx,xxx in 1 month or whatever.

  20. You had me at the bull. The picture is really funny. Who is telling the truth that what its all about. I get email claiming the certain programs can make you millions! But if it could why are they giving it away…

    1. Yea some of the emails I get are just ridiculous. Claiming to have the secret to make millions and millions just by doing nothing. Some of them are complete liars. and yea I agree with you, that picture is just great.

  21. They are not afraid even of your bad post. They do not know you are very bad when you bad.

    So if they unable to deliver what they promised, I am sure in next hours all internet affiliates will come to know about this company and their bad performance.

  22. Its is true that if the EPC for a product is lower than another one, but they are offering a higher payout, the product is of no use to me as an affiliate.
    But what is surprising in your post is the guarantee of an EPC. How can someone give a guarantee on the EPC?
    Is it really possible?

  23. Wow! I had no idea all of this stuff goes on in relation to affiliate marketing. It sounds like you better do your homework.

  24. Too bad there’s dozens of factors that determine an offers EPC that are not in the control if the affiliate network.

  25. Yes we saw that in videos and whole hall covered with so many affiliates …

    But I think sharp employee like Dina create the difference

  26. Love the picture… i can pretty much see your point, but i have to admit im a bit confused about the bit regarding you having the same level of respect for a super affiliate as for a guy living out of his car.

    1. I think it is more of a question of respect for the person, rather than his business acumen….or should I rather say, lack thereof!

  27. Interesting post. I am just learning all that goes into affiliate marketing. Thanks for the heads-up! -Norene

  28. I’m kind of a biginner in matter of affiliate networks and your post really help me to understand some things, all though I was almost going out from this page because of your top picture 🙂

  29. If you are in a niche one of the 20% of affiliates which make 80% of turnover, than simply skip the complete affiliate network. Make a direct contract with the merchant.

    Additional: Typically (at minimum here in Germany) you have 2 money eating guys between you and the merchant: The affiliate network AND an additional marketing agency. If you skip them both, you get around double earnings…

  30. […] (see cutting through the BS) […]

  31. I don’t want to waste your time,but I want to know more about the Affiliate Network,I didn’t learn about it before.

    1. Yes, i agree with you, i want to learn about Affiliate Network. I am newbie and i don’t know where i must start learn. can you tell me shoe or all member in here, Thank’s

  32. Wow that is great post shoe. I am newbie here and i want learning to be affiliate marketing.
    Thank’s for sharing

  33. I never really thought about the whole contract deal, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.

  34. always enjoy reading your blogs, will show this to my daughter who believe it or not was asking me about this today.

  35. The Affiliate networds are definitely confusing, well can be. But we try and stick with SEO for the most part of the marketing side of things go.

  36. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

  37. Thank you so much for the good content this specific data pretty usefull!.!. and even, Keep up the good work! not to mention, Every person ought to take the time to put up posts as good as this one and never saturate the internet with nothing.!.! and also, I’ll share this with all of my friends..!

  38. Awsome article and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  39. Hey very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  40. awesome post. have to speak to my friends about that.thanks for share.FB share follows

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  42. Affiliate marketing have some disadvantages like sometimes merchants incur high commission cost, false and misleading types of advertising, pay can be quite sporadic and it is unsecured as well.

  43. I hate something about CPA offers. If a user that it is not into their target visit the site, they redirect it to some free emoticons lead offer. I can understand that I will get paid for that too, but I can’t endorse a site and then when the reader click the link he will be directed to another page with no connection.

  44. There seems to be more and more money making systems popping up everywhere. My email is bombarded with 200+ junk emails per day all selling their money making systems. The thing is, I buy into some of this, but at the same time wonder why are they giving away their money making systems.

    When you’ve been online a while though, I think you have some kind of ingrained bullshit filter (well I hope I have one).

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