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 www.howtobeanentrepreneuronline.com
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!