Bloggers Can Easily Lose Credibility

Like many bloggers in the make money online arena, I am always trying to find ways to monetize my WordPress blog sites or social media networks and one of the most profitable ways to monetize is to sell affiliate products.  I see it clearly in some bloggers in my circle, the problem is that most of the products being peddled are such poor quality hack jobs with the same scam and pitchy sales pages that I wonder if integrity and credibility are cared about anymore at all.

Seriously, I have been tempted to potentially sell a product with $50 commission per sale for something like a WordPress plugin that barely can do what you can’t do for free from somewhere else.  I too have been considering selling many of the same “make money online” schemes, or guides to better blogging…etc as I have seen countless others produce.  I don’t because it isn’t that I don’t care about the potential to earn money, it’s just that I don’t want to sell a product I think is crap.

This is why I MUST test every affiliate product I try to sell, if the advertiser won’t let me try the product (don’t have to give me a free copy, but I must be able to test it and review for myself) I won’t sell it.  If I don’t like the product or think it is worth spending your hard earned money on, then I won’t sell it.  There are only a handful of affiliate products I have promoted on my blog with honest reviews and though I do accept banner ad sales from various affiliate programs I won’t directly promote or write a review promoting a product I don’t believe in.

Recently, I have seen a glutton of products that prey on the desperate bloggers who are trying to make their websites more popular, rank better in SERP or just claim to “get you to the top”.  I have tested some of these products and wouldn’t shell out $20 for some of them, the $70+ price being asked is insane and whats worse is many bloggers I followed promoted these products blindly.  After testing a handful of these products I can’t see how these bloggers could actively endorse them like they do and am especially positive that this game of nickel and dime approaching to pitch something is really the least fun aspect of blogging for me.

I actually enjoy writing sponsored reviews for companies and products where I can test, review and just collect a fee for my services which include time spent learning more and in some cases testing the product.  In cases where I try to affiliate sell something I would rather it be a product that I have used, enjoyed and can highly recommend and would much rather sell you on a great game that I played or Windows software that I use rather than some “make money” system which I can’t possibly know if it works because I don’t use it myself and neither do any of the other bloggers who endorse it.

Sorry, but on my Make Money Online page on DragonBlogger.com you won’t find any “affiliate sales” programs, just reviews on programs that pay you to blog, promote on social media or freelance writing sites online.  I do include some “referral” links to some of the programs if you sign up like BlogsVertise or SponsoredTweets, but there is no sale here and all programs cost you absolutely nothing to join at all.  They are simply methods to try and monetize your blog or social media accounts and there is nothing to purchase.

There have been a few WordPress plugins that I have paid for and endorse, but these are very few and far between.  I will say though that one key to making money online that I have learned is that affiliate sales are key to big earnings and unfortunately this is the thing I have the most problem with and am the least comfortable with.

I refuse to lose credibility and integrity just to make a few extra hundred bucks peddling a product I can’t truly endorse, and most of the programs that offer you high commission rates offer high commission rates for a reason.  To entice you to affiliate sell them!

-Justin Germino

Updated: November 21, 2010 — 10:58 pm