Super Affiliate Handbook Review
I'm late to the affiliate marketing game. For some reason I never took the plunge despite having created several sites that attract enough organic traffic to generate a nice income just from Google AdSense. For me, Google AdSense is the easy (or lazy by Rae Hoffman's reckoning) and admittedly passive way to monetize a site. Affiliate marketing actually takes work and only recently have I decided to commit to putting in the effort required.
I'm a big believer in the just-do-it approach. Sitting around and planning out every minute detail just wastes time. Not to mention that you will very likely end up changing course once you learn more by actually trying out your ideas. I've come to believe in this approach over several years, some of which were spent as a project manager -- a profession that holds planning near and dear to its heart. However, I do like to do some research and, if possible, save myself from making mistakes that others have made before me. And so I'll read articles and books partly to learn what others know, but primarily to get validation that what I know is actually correct. I think this sort of thinking was Donald Rumsfeld said it best, "As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."
One place that I looked for validation is in Rosalind Gardner's Super Affiliate Handbook -- a 236 page eBook that currently sells for $57. Not cheap for an eBook, but certainly not too expensive. Like many people, I'm a bit of skeptic when it comes to eBooks. Most that I've read are very much written to make a quick buck for the author and offer little more than what a handful of searches on Google would yield. But I had a 13 hour flight coming up and Rosalind offered a money-back-guarantee so I figured it was worth taking the chance. I write this during hour 8 of my flight and have finished reading the Super Affiliate Handbook.
Having done SEO and PPC for several years I couldn't help but learn about affiliate marketing even if I had never actually done it. I've even put together a document to help fellow SEO team members make the most of any affiliate efforts in place for clients. And so my purchase of Rosalind's book was, as I alluded to above, primarily for validation. And in that regard it gets two thumbs up from me. It not only confirmed that I understood affiliate marketing (hey, it's not rocket science), but the book also described best practices that I had already come to realize on my own.
Beyond validation, after reading the eBook I realized that the notes I had taken amounted to 27 different affiliate and SEO ideas that I could move ahead with for my own sites. That works out to $2 for each idea. Not too bad when you think of it that way, huh?
The eBook isn't perfect though. In fact, I found one passage that was plain wrong which I've reproduced below. I'm hoping Rosalind doesn't actually believe this and that she missed this block of text during revisions. Here's what she wrote:
"You should know that there are only a handful of important search engines, and that you can submit to these yourself for free. You will however need to submit regularly as search engines drop your site after a period of time unless re-submitted."
Umm... Sites are dropped if not periodically re-submitted!?
Bad SEO tips aside, the rest of the eBook provides solid and actionable information for the newbie affiliate marketer i.e. people like me that haven't stepped out of the SEO/PPC bubble. If you're Shoemoney caliber, you're not going to get anything out of it, but thanks for reading my post anyway
And for those wondering, this post wasn't paid for nor was it solicited. And for the sake of transparency, here's a clean, non-affiliate link to the Rosalind's site. I'm also going to use this post to kick-off a new affiliate category on this site where I'll document my successes, failures, and thoughts about affiliate marketing.