Super Affiliate: Marketing Success Discussion

I noticed yesterday that you claim to be a super affiliate. I'm not doubting you for a moment. It just surprised me because my impression was that those who are don't want others to know.

Anyway, I was wondering how you came to be one. One of the things that I've often wondered about any affiliate work is how you can promote a product without trying it. Now maybe you do. But, it seems to me that you have to have fairly deep pockets to try everything before you become an affiliate for it.

How did you overcome this particular challenge?

Cheers, Bruce of


Hi Bruce,
Great questions! I've actually written on the topic of being a Super Affiliate on a number of occasions. A couple of the more popular posts that may interest you:

The Lifestyle & Income of a Super Affiliate
I give an inside look into my lifestyle and business, as a source of motivation and inspiration. But also to encourage you to consider the true reasons behind your goals.

What it Takes to Become a Super Affiliate
This post defines the term Super Affiliate, and the Top 6 Traits of Super Affiliates.

As for it being a "secret", it's true that some Super Affiliates prefer to work under the radar. And I don't blame them. I even have a number of sites I work on privately using a pen name, as it's nice to have your own projects and keep that success to yourself. My objective in sharing it here on ClickNewz is to inspire, motivate and educate. 😉

Writing GREAT Affiliate Marketing Reviews

To answer your other question, yes - I almost always purchase products for affiliate marketing reviews. Sometimes I receive review copies, or products to review, but you always have to disclose that fact in your review.

I actually prefer to make the purchase so I can review the order process, the back-end system, and the merchant follow-up. Along with things like customer service and customer support. Especially when reviewing Internet Marketing products, or ebooks from ClickBank!

I also don't generally set up niche affiliate sites in markets where I am not a consumer myself. This makes a HUGE difference, because I'm not stuck buying or reviewing products I have no personal interest in owning. With my low carb blog for example, I'm eating the foods and using the products I blog about ANYway.

For more on that, see: How To Write A Product Review which details the 7 elements I include in my product reviews for the best possible traffic and conversions. It includes a variety of live product review examples as well.

Affiliate Marketing Success

A bit part of affiliate marketing success is being your own target market.

Unfortunately, many people start out choosing the wrong niche. If you LOVE the topic, and you are a consumer in that market (or would like to be!), it comes more natural - and makes it SO much easier! Why in the world would you want to invest all of your time and energy into a business you don't enjoy, right? 😀

That doesn't mean you need "deep pockets"...

Like I said, discuss products you're already consuming or using anyway. And of course you can draw from public reviews you find online and quote those (citing sources of course) in the case that you don't yet own the product.

Another option: find other bloggers in your niche that do, and that would be happy to write a product review as a guest post for your blog! Sure they'll get the commissions, but it gives you great content - and readers appreciate other opinions!

It's also a great way to create a solid relationship with that blogger, which could be very beneficial to you both long term...


p.s. Rosalind Gardner's Super Affiliate Handbook was the very first ebook I ever purchased online. And it's still on sale for only $27! I paid almost twice that 😉 - and believe me, it was worth 100x that to me, minimum!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Marge Burkell says:

    GREAT post Lynn! I myself struggle with whether or not to buy and no one can purchase everything they want to review for their readers. In that case I have reconciled with the fact that if I do a really good job of researching the product and the company behind it then I can relate what I find to my readers. While I prefer to test all products (and I still do that with apps) in-house time and money precludes that from always happening. It's not what I would love to see happening but then life is never perfect.

    Thanks for your take on the subject,

    • Your product research is a great service to your market, Marge! It saves them a lot of time, and not everyone knows how to dig around to find the details. 😉 It's definitely the next best thing to personally reviewing a product.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head, Lynn! It all comes down to the interest you have in topic your website is about. I've always had a problem with creating websites about products I wasn't familiar with, some people can pull it off- I never could make it believable. Also, it's a very smart strategy but a shame at the same time that everything has to be so secretive in terms of niche sites. I know a few people who've disclosed their profitable websites and it seems like the next day there were 100 other people trying to copy the same idea to get their 'piece of the pie'. I certainly don't blame those for working under the radar!

    I've been a silent reader of your blog for a while and thought I'd leave a reply. Have a great day! 🙂

    • I'm glad you chose to leave a comment, Matt! Nice to meet you. 😀

      I've had that exact problem in the past, which is why I like to work on some of my projects "outside the spotlight" - it's just disheartening to see them copied down to the design you worked so hard on. 😛 Plus it's fun to have something of my own!

  3. Great article, Terry, I'm enjoying your website.

    I tried to sign up for the newsletter but the confirmation email hasn't arrived (since last night). I checked the address by trying to sign up again and it tells me I've yet to confirm, so I know it's the correct address. It isn't in the spam folder. Not a big deal, but I thought you would want to know something's up. I'd like to have something new to read while our website is being redesigned. 😉

  4. Dave Starr says:

    Great answer to Bruce's concerns. I'd like to amplify a little on his blanket assumption that you (or most) marketers do not purchase and/or use what they promote.

    In my view, if you can not afford to buy a product then it is very disingenuous,, if no0t outright dishonest to promote it.

    Some programs allow you to buy using your own links for review purposes. Other strictly do not. But all (all who are legitimate anyway) offer refunds, and better merchants are happy to give review copies/free trials.

    I actually use this as part of my selection process. If the author/supplier is hard to contact or won't provide a review copy, why would I even bother to use my good name to promote him/her?

    Somehow the idea of promoting something I haven't seen and touched just turns me off. I once promoted a "How To" eBook sight unseen, and when a purchaser from my review page pointed out some problems, BOY was I embarrassed! The book was pure unadulterated doo-doo.

    Learned a valuable lesson there. Others can learn from my mistake and save themselves the embarrassment. If the product isn't worthy of your time and effort to buy/try, why bother with it?

    • Simone Collins says:

      Hey to all,

      I am glad to find and read this discussion. Yes, Dave, it is dishonest to promote a product you don't know and never try but what if you are a beginner into the affiliate world. You can't afford to give a try to each and every product you decide to start promoting, right? Further more as a beginner oftentimes you are not in the position to choose.

      So what is your advice for beginner? Where to start from? How to pave the road to their success?

      • Simone,

        Those are good points you bring up. How does one begin as an affiliate marketer? At the risk of sounding condescending, the affiliate marketing process is not really hard at all. It just requires some upfront work and a solid business plan. Keep in mind, affiliate marketing IS a business. I’ll lay out the basics here.

        Build a list in your niche. Without a list, you’ll have difficult time earning substantial money in affiliate marketing. This statement just might beg the question, “How do you build a list?”

        Well, it starts with your offer. You need to have something of high value to give to your prospect in exchange for their email address. Personally, I create my own products. But you can go the PLR route too.

        Then, build a high converting squeeze page (or have it built for you). My page routinely converts at 50%.

        Buy solo ads and ezine ads in your niche. This is the FASTEST way to grow your list.

        Build a relationship with your list. It makes no sense to have a list of 10,000 names if nobody responds to your email. Savvy?

        Then, get social with it. Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and all the other ones. Direct traffic to your squeeze page using a whole host of methods.

        Offer quality products to sell to your list. But if I’m not mistaken, this is where Dave’s comment above questions the integrity of one who promotes a product without actually owning it. Rubbish.

        How many Wal-Mart store owners have tested and used every product in the store? How many doctors have used the drugs they prescribe? How many Best Buy store owners own and use every product in their store? How many marketers have used every product they sold? Book store owners read every book before selling it? How many professors in college actually WORKED in the field in which they teach, before teaching it?

        The list could go on and on.

        However, every marketer looks at the track record of the product in which they are promoting. Most if not all products in the IM niche will have a boat load of testimonials and many forms of social proof. Your job as the affiliate marketer is to do your homework on the product owner, the product and the platform in which the product is delivered.

        Then, if you believe it’s a good fit for your list. Let them know. Just say, “Hey, I found the new product that claims it will help you do x,y,z. I thought you’d be interested in it so I sent you this email so you can check it out. According to all the testimonials I read about it, the widget seems pretty flipping good. It just might be your cup of tea. Here’s the link for you to check it out for yourself.”

        I personally promote a lot of different products. You can check them out on my blog. But, I know the marketers track record and I’m familiar with the methods that are taught in the products. So I have no problem selling them.

        Hope this helps!



        P.S. Dave, are you a graduate from Full Sail University? Do you use Bank of America? Do you use TravalZoo? How about How about Pointman PI and MedEx travel insurance? I saw their ads on your site. Just curious.

        P.P.S. Dave, nice site by the way. Interesting niche. Kudos to you.

  5. I chose the niche which I love the most - fashion. I live in Germany but my blog is written in English and my audience is largely from english speaking countries. The brand I´m affiliated with, those famous big online fashion shops are mostly in the US, Canada and UK, which are great for my readers, they can order easy.

    But when it comes to doing product reviews, I´m met with two serious problems.

    1. Purchasing products from abroad is heavily taxed in Germany. I bought a pair of leopard boots which I adore to review at my site and I paid $240 including fedex shipment. Shortly upon my boots´arrival, the tax came, around €48. If I purchase more expensive pieces, I pay even higher taxes here. I am taxed double, in the US and here in Germany.

    2. Once I finished taking myself photos of the boots and writing the review, the product starts to ran out of stock in some sizes, then after a few months, the product is out of stock. It takes time to promote the product review and reach google´s front page. However, because I´m reviewing products that are in demand and fashionistas love, they fly off the rack.

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