Being Ethical in Online Marketing 188 Comments
Being Ethical in Online Marketing

What I’m about to share in this post may come as somewhat of a surprize to people, some may agree some disagree, that’s totally fine, my intention is to share my thoughts on being ethical when marketing online and also where I feel I have fallen down in this area sometimes myself.

Online marketing offers many great benefits, a few being the flexibility it provides of when and where you can work, and also the scope of customers you can reach anywhere in the world. Many people also prefer not to have to deal with customers face to face, and this again is an appealing aspect of the web.

However there are many things that are not so great about online marketing, in particular I’m referring to ‘ethics’ and lack thereof from many people.

There are a number of causes for this lack of ethics, and I’ll going into specifics later in the post, however I believe a common one is desperation. When people struggle to make money online, they often resort to doing things that they would otherwise not ever do, and especially never do if they had to deal with the customer face to face. It’s this lack of personal interaction, which somewhat makes it easier for people to be unethical in their ventures, because they never see the impact on real people, they just deal with their keyboard.

In addition to this, another HUGE factor that contributes to unethical behaviour is greed. When people start to get a taste of making money, and I’m guilty of this too, it can be all too easy to keep wanting more and more money, and then to compromise on ethics to get it. There is no excuse for this, it’s just simply not cool.

Common Areas of Unethical Behaviour I See

Although I’m referring to unethical behaviour in the internet marketing world, I see much worse unethical behaviour in the corporate world all the time. The banking section is the worse I’ve ever come across, you can’t tell me that ‘fractional reserve lending’ is ethical and fair, and that’s only the start of it when it comes to the corrupt international banksters. Just look at the Federal Reserve Bank of America, most people falsely assume this bank is a government agency…I’m afraid not. Anyway, the point is that corruption is everywhere, and the common areas I see online marketers become unethical is with affiliate marketing and also selling info products as vendors.

Affiliate Marketing Concerns

The main issue that I’ve battled with over the years of doing affiliate marketing, is how to create a content based site that is not overly bias towards the vendor you’re an affiliate for, to the point where you cross over into deception. A lot of this comes down to the keywords you choose to market the site on. For example, if you target ‘buyer keywords’ such brand names, product names and model numbers, these can be great for conversions. The reason they are great for conversions is that people who type these keywords into Google are at the end of the buying cycle and often just looking for one more site to push them over the line to buy, unless their is something they should know to stop them.

So what’s so wrong with that, I hear you ask….well the issue I have is that most affiliates who rank for these types of keywords always place the product in a positive light, often regardless of whether they actually know if the product is good or not. Most affiliates don’t go to the lengths of actually researching the products that they are writing about, and just whack up some content and hope that it does the job and makes sales.

The fact is this does make sales, although not as well as it used to, however I know it works. The reason I know is because I used to do it myself, which I now think is not cool. If you purchased my Rapid Profit Formula, in the first version I showed an example site that did this, however I no longer think that’s the right way to write reviews, which I will go into more detail now.

I think a better way to build affiliate marketing sites is to either buy the product that you are affiliated with, and do a proper review of it, or at least research it very carefully and do real comparisons against other competition products and tell the truth.

You can always be an affiliate for all the options, this way you can be upfront about the product, and if it’s not a great choice, say so in your review and recommend a product that’s better. However this does not mean you should recommend a product that pays out more commission just to make more money. It’s possible to write good reviews on products, as long as you research. The aim for an affiliate should be to act like a friend to the website visitor and help them. If you’re in a niche where you don’t feel you can do this with the products, then I suggest starting a new niche.

Furthermore, if you choose keywords that are not product related ie. info keywords, you can simply provide valuable content on the topic and then tell people if they want to try a product that helps do XZY then here’s a one ==>Affiliate Link<==, or again just use banners and let them do the work.

I think the ideal position of the affiliate is to be a solid resource for a potential buyer, like a mini Wikipedia on a particular niche topic, so their sites actually help the visitor to make a more informed buying decision. Far too often, and again I have been guilty of this myself, I see affiliates building sites solely targeting buyer keywords because they convert well, and producing dishonestly positive reviews, to coerce the visitor into buying the product. There is no way this is ethical, and the worse culprits are affiliates that pretend they have used the product and it falesy claim it gave them great results, even worse is having  a fake photo on the site pretending it is a photo of the website owner. You must have seen the reviews that go something like this:

“I used suffer acne, then I bought XYZ product and now my acne is gone and I feel amazing…you can check it out for yourself here ==>Affiliate link<==”.

I can happily say that I never once did that, as I always thought that was going way to far, but I have been guilty of writing positive reviews about products I didn’t research as well as I should have, but will never do it again.

With all that said, there is a place for well-done affiliate marketing sites, but I strongly believe they have to be seen as great mini resources for people, and have real solid, well researched and written content, and even videos if possible, that come along side the potential buyer and help them work out what product, if any, is right for them. This can be done on the site itself, or later through email marketing, or like I said earlier just have banner ads in your sidebar if like.

Hate your day job? Build an online business with my free 12 part internet marketing video training course now!

We take your privacy very seriously. Your email address will never be shared or sold.
Hi, my name is Matt Carter and this is my blog. I write about various topics to do with Internet Marketing and strive to provide the best free resource for people wanting to develop online businesses. More about me..
Enjoy this post? Save it, or Share it with the world! -> Bookmark and Share Comment

115 Comments to Being Ethical in Online Marketing

  1. Mark's Gravatar Mark
    April 3, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Amen! Thanks for saying that Matt! We appreciate your honesty and commitment to doing what is right…

    Along those lines I have a question that I bet others have as well..

    I am having a hard time finding affiliate products that I can feel good about standing behind, and that fit my personality or interests…that are also in the “Good Niches to go after” categories.

    I believe that some success can be had with less than hot products, and it seems as if the products I really want to market are on commission junction or just some private affiliate program run directly through the creator’s website.

    ***** My actual question*****
    What suggestions do you have for those of us going after middle of the road niches (hobbies, music, home and garden, etc) that aren’t hot selling like health and and marketing … and are not really mentioned in your recent training course?

    For ex: Some custom soap or candy maker website that run’s it’s own affiliate program (not really my area of interest… but seems to have the same kinds of sales figures as the areas I am interested in.)

    Thanks,
    Mark

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Mark

    Well I think you can make money selling anything, but some niches and product will convert less, but if you build up a reputation in a niche and an email list like I have done in the IM niche you will be able to choose good products and sell them alot easier, even if they don’t have great sales pages. The thing is that a ‘Candy Maker’ is hard to build a repour wiht a list around, so it becomes more difficult of course.

    Mark Reply:

    Thanks Matt. You seem to be pointing back to the “It’s all in the list” idea, or what Social Media people call “A following”…

    Which, in today’s world seems to be the way to go.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Yes I believe it is, in light of all the Google changes over the past 12 months.

    Matt

  2. April 3, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Matt: I read and appreciate all of your blog posts and wisdom … thank you!

    I have an unrelated question for you … is there a good site to download pictures (ideally for free) to use in blog posts? I found freedigitalphotos.net, but you have to pay $3 unless you give the author credit and link back to the site. I’m curious if you can recommend a good source.

    Thank you,
    Chris

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    I don’t know any free ones where you don’t have to give credit, sorry Chris

    Matt

    Glen Thomson Reply:

    Hi Chris,

    I usually just try one of the sites on this list. I haven’t tried all 50 (!!) so can’t vouch for them all but it’s a good resource.

    http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/50-sites-to-find-free-stock-images

    Thanks,

    Glen

    p.s. And great post Matt! I think we all have a solid moral compass that sometimes gets sidestepped but if you’d be happy to send your parents to your site for advice then you must be on the right track.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Glen will check that out

    Safe Money Millionaire Reply:

    Thank you for the info, Glen!

    James Pruitt Reply:

    One site that I use a lot is sxc.hu for free images. Some require attribution links, but some don’t so you have to read the TOS for each image.

    Safe Money Millionaire Reply:

    Thank you, James. I will check it out.

    Ruth Martin Reply:

    Hi Chris, I found a site where I am getting all my images from now – it is not free, but the price per image equals to an average of less than a dollar each, depending on which option you choose when you buy them.

    The pictures are excellent quality, much better than any free sites I’ve seen. I usually buy at least 50 credits at a time, which lasts me for a while – I also get images for my website headers and backgrounds here: http://www.123rf.com/

    Good luck!
    Ruth

    P.S. Matt, EXCELLENT post! I shared it across many of my social accounts because I felt it was something everyone should read. I appreciate the straight forward honesty, and believe me, it is the reason I continue to remain on your email list ;)
    (Unlike some others who I don’t even bother opening their emails anymore…) – thanks, Ruth M

    Safe Money Millionaire Reply:

    Thank you, Ruth!

  3. April 3, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    Great article. I have recently started a bog on Internet Marketing for newbies called the Naked Truth Marketer and honesty is also my hallmark. Maybe even to the point of driving away customers. Not sure yer, I’m too new.

    I was in the midst of writing a post on just this subject when I saw your email for this post and I was wondering if I might post a link to your post on my blog as an example of ethical marketing?

    Let me know either way. Thanks.

    David Bland

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    HI David

    SOunds good what you are doing with your blog, and sure I would love a link.

    Regards
    Matt

  4. April 3, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    P.S. Remind me to proof read more. LOL

    Dave

  5. April 3, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Hello Matt, I really appreciate very much your honest article about internet marketing ethics. What a terrifically important subject! I daresay that there are probably a lot more unethically represented products than those presented honestly. It becomes much more difficult to make significant profit online if one is going to stick with products and services one knows by experience are truly top quality. I haven’t made a great deal of money online partly because I want to be honest and not use manipulative tactics to suck customers in. It’s a tough balance to maintain.
    I’d appreciate a personal reply from you if you get a free minute some time. Thanks so much for taking an ethical stand. It’s very rare online these days.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Steve

    Nice to hear from you, and yes being ethical can come at a cost of making less money initially but i think it pays off in the longer term

    Matt

    Ruth Martin Reply:

    Should have a ‘Like’ button on comments! ;) I love hitting the like button when I agree on something – so true, Matt!

    We all need to remember, we are in this for the long run, aren’t we? We do not just want to make a few quick easy dollars, then disappear…

  6. April 3, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Once again an excellent post, unfortunately most of the “review” sites you look at one can see immediately its not really reviewing it.

    Personally we have never promoted or sold anything that we have not bought and use ourselves.

    But most of the gurus send you an email every day or 2 with a new offer and I’ve noticed lately a few started sending 2 or 3 offers in each email.

    look forward to reading your next post

    thanks Ian

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Ian

    Yeah it is pretty strange what some people will do make money, but I must say 2-3 promotions in one email is just crazy!

    MAtt

    piscinas Reply:

    Yep but they have been immediately unsubscribed :)

    by the way just finished viewing your video commission formula course.

    have to say great info very clear and well presented.

    thanks ian

    Matt Carter Reply:

    ..
    .
    Thanks Ian

    Matt

  7. April 3, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Whats your view on creating “fake” identities, I have a website that reviews a certain ebook and it is written from the viewpoint of a female. I also plan to make a google + account for “her” so I can have the icon show up in google search (of which I need to find a legal photo i can use).

    The review however mentions both negative and positive sides so I try to be as honest as possible.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Phil

    Great question, my answer is that I would not do it, but in the past I would have, but now I think differently. So you just need to do what you think is best.

    Matt

  8. Tom's Gravatar Tom
    April 3, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    Great rant!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    lol…thanks Tom

  9. April 3, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Hi,
    I recently wrote you about a unethical site that scamed me out of product and money. Not all companies that send you items for $5.00 like Fiverr are ethical. Another company with no way of contacting them sent me the nastiest letter when I asked paypal to contact them. So be aware. It was not the money I lost but the way they acted. For $5.00 they lost a customer and forgot the law of 200. I know 200 people, you know 200 people. If we all tell 200 people then at the end of 6 months you can go into yankee stadium and hear 50,000 people booing you. Now thats viral.
    Marty

  10. April 3, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The advice about using the product yourself gives you the ability to give first hand knowledge and if it’s a product of something like a product attachment, you can take many pictures of how it looks and works with the actual product.

    People want to see lots of pictures of the actual product and not just the pictures you use that you found online.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Richard

  11. Brandon's Gravatar Brandon
    April 3, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Great post Matt… this is an area I definitely have experience and would love to see this addressed more in the internet marketing community.

    Around 3-4 years ago I saw many of my affiliate colleagues getting rich in the CPA space promoting very low-value products with advertisers that held very low ethics (common practice was to attach several “bump offers” where customers end up having an additional 2 or 3 hits on their credit card)

    I was very very tempted (desperation like you mentioned had a lot to do with this) to get into this type of marketing and go for the “quick money” and rationalize that everyone else was doing it….etc. Payouts were going through the roof and conversions were ridiculous as well as getting traffic on these offers with an Adwords account was easy.

    But I held strong and kept my head down at working on an international presence both in SEO and paid search (which no one was doing at the time); in the long run this was the right decision as my due diligence and drive in doing business the right way has put me ahead of the curve in doing business internationally (I currently make most of my money marketing to Brazil).

    Now all the marketers that took the easy route are all scrambling having spent their cash and are strapped with high overhead brought on by their lavish spending during “the good ol’ days”.

    Thank you again Matt and a post like this raises your credibility in my eyes even more.

    Brandon

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Nice work Brandon, remind me of the childhood story of the turtle and the hare!

    Matt

  12. Alex's Gravatar Alex
    April 3, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Honestly Im at my first affiliate site and im using your theme Matt…

    Yes im using a fake picture because I dont like to show my own… I know that showing a face will increase conversions so that’s why I did… But hey I have a fake face but I clearly stated to my article writer that I wanted cons of the product too…

    Of course im affiliate and I should be a little “biased” but I always try to be honest.

    Also I think the majority of marketers are using too many scarcity tactics, and at the end you get used to apply these techniques too, you think its normal thats it…

    I think the worst place about the internet marketing is the warrior forum… I see very few legit marketers there… They all make money from newbies and people who are struggling to make a buck online…

    Thanks Matt for opening my eyes but honestly I got used to apply these techniques…

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Alex

    Yeah I think if you don’t want to show your own face then I guess its ok…each to their own…and yeah the Warrior forum can be like that, some people it to target unsuspecting newbies

  13. April 3, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt.

    I’m a Christian and want to follow good ethics myself. I find the internet a great place to work for that reason. It’s the only place I know where people share what they know freely, then charge only for services and for extras (the freemium model).

    At the same time, I agree, it’s hard to overcome personal interest.

    Thanks for bringing up the subject of ethics. By actually talking about it, it encourages us to have a think about our methods. Also, good on you for admitting your past faults – it’s not like we don’t all have them, and by admitting them you’re on your way to doing better.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks David,

    Yeah I agree with you, the internet is great for the ‘freemium model’ which does make it a great place to build a business.

    Matt

  14. April 3, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this article Matt, and for coming clean.

    I can honestly say that it’s about time that this whole thing (affiliate marketing) is cleaned up, and a little more honesty is shown, a lot of the emails that I get I now unsubscribe from, as it come accross as total B:S.

    I have moved away from affiliate marketing for this reason, and am building a business where I do meet people face to face, and help them in their local business.

    This is not as easy as affiliate marketing, but it is an honest way of making a living, you can’t tell lies to people who live in the same area as you.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Good stuff Wolfgang, hope it goes well for you

    Matt

    David Reply:

    Here, here… I’m with you on this one Wolfgang. Good luck to you!

    David

  15. April 3, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    The High Road is always the Right Road.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Right on Bill

    Matt

    Owen Reply:

    Another way I like to look at that, Bill, is “Always take the high road. There’s a lot less traffic there.”

    Whether I make a lot of money or not, the most important thing to me is how I sleep at night.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Owen

    Matt

    Bill Reply:

    Absolutely Owen. When I am researching the competition is when I really get disgusted at all the stuff I see. Oh well, you are right, make less money (perhaps) but be able to tell your children not to lie to you. Appreciate it.

  16. Keith's Gravatar Keith
    April 3, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Great article Matt. What I have been doing lately to curb the junk offers and multiple emails from so-called gurus is to simply unsubscribe. If more people in the IM business would do this the point would get across to these people that their marketing blueprint is not acceptable.
    I especially like the ones that ask for the reason I’m unsubscribing, I always fill it out.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Keith

    YEs I agree, however most of these marketers are targeting complete newbies who are not aware, so by the time they work it out, they have been ripped off many times, very sad…

  17. April 3, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for your honesty and confessions! Bold move which I believe increases one’s credibility…

    Cheers,
    Darryl
    GetHits.com

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Appreciate that Darryl, and yeah it might do, but that was never my intention, just want to be upfront.

    Nice hearing from you

    Matt

  18. April 3, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Great article, I tried to start a group to complain about unethical marketers
    a few years back but couldn’t get anyone interested. Glad to see someone
    turning around. I never buy a product the same day I read the salspage. I
    think that might be a good idea for others to follow especially newbies.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the Hype and spend more money than one should
    spend. When I see a “only 3 more to sell at this price” or an “2 days left”, I just
    click off and forget about it.

    Hope more people will change their ways and maybe more people will have
    more trust in the internet marketers.

    Best wishes,
    Delton

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Delton,

    Regards

    Matt

  19. james's Gravatar james
    April 3, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    matt,

    i’m glad you decided to lead by example. as you know money is what makes the world go round and it takes a honest man to be able to look greed in the face and do things the ethical way, so hats off to you.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks James

    Matt

  20. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    April 3, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you Matt for your honesty and transparency. The truth is “you reap what you sow” applies in IM too. If we conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity we may not make as much money as the “false claims” marketers short term, but ALL aspects of our life will be better in the long run. It`s that ripple effect – effects everything and everybody whether we realize it or not.
    I had one of those reviews sites also and had to take it down and I`m really glad I did, I feel much better now.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Brilliant Kim

    Matt

  21. April 3, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I’ve been following a few marketers, one being you, one being Travis Sago.

    Travis has a trick he teaches. When you are researching a niche and find what you think is a good one, you then should go to internet forums to research what that particular market wants.

    I’m developing a site in a subsection of the Work at Home Mom niche. So I started reading on forums to find out what things WAHMs talked most about. What was the number ONE concern overall that I found after checking out around ten of these forums and reading the forum posts that were most active? Avoiding Work At Home SCAMS.

    The BS detection in those forums is pretty dang good. I think this says a lot about what’s gone on before, and also points up the truth behind your blogpost. Thanks, Matt!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Great stuff

    Matt

  22. Charles O's Gravatar Charles O
    April 3, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the wonderful article and for seeing “The Light”. It takes courage to admit mistakes and apologize and I for one want to say bravo !! I hope a lot of people read this and realize that online marketing is not really about making money. When you have the mind set that you want to sincerely help people and you go the extra mile for them, then the money will come. Guaranteed. You don’t need tricks or schemes just old fashioned service and treating people the way you would like to be treated. It has worked for me online and offline for years and it is a truth that will never change.

    Opportunity abounds online and it is just starting. I have made money online since 1996 and it is getting better all the time. Easier, more fun and more rewarding everyday.

    I have to admit that I have refunded a couple of purchases from you in the past when I caught you being kinda shady in your practices. I never said anything and have read your posts and attended your webinars since you have began this blog. I stuck with you even though you were stretching things from time to time as MOST of the time you have been very above board and honest.

    I must say compared to a lot of marketers out there you are and always have been an angel. I have dealt with some slimy characters over the years and I don’t pay attention to any of those guys anymore. Terminated from my life. No need for them.

    When you had Shane Melaugh for the SE Cockpit webinar I purchased a year from your link due to the long history of you being honest and helping me and others. I really appreciate that. So here’s to many more years of success mate and it has been an honor and do keep up the good work. We need people like you.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Charles!!

    Regards

    Matt

  23. April 3, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    I have now bought several of your products because I do believe you are an ethical marketer, in addition to the fact that your products over deliver.(Thanks for that!)

    Like one of the earlier commenters, I make a small amount of money every month online, but have found myself limited because of my high standards.(and the fact that I create my own products) Of course I plan to keep plugging away… And as I continue to gain experience, I can now see how important email marketing is… That’s the next area I intend to target so that I can more successfully engage the people on my “list”.

    Thanks again

    Kerrin

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Kerrin

    Yeah I encourage you to build a community in your niche, as this will help you do well. There is a popular saying “the money is in the list” but I don’t agree exactly, I think “the money is in the community” is more accurate. People blast email lists with all sorts of garbage and end up with no list, but if you build community you will do well.

    Matt

  24. April 3, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks again for inviting me over here to read such a good article with the topic that should be of interest to all marketers .Some of the ethical marketers thinking that they totally on the straight an narrow are mostly ethical but they don’t take into account the affiliate offer may not be totally ethical with the false scarcity or over bloated bonuses. Thanks for pointing this out.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Good stuff Zora

    Matt

  25. April 3, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Very refreshing Matt. It goes back to the age old saying… take care of your customer. I enjoyed reading this post and your honesty. Thank you.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks John,

    Hope all is well with you

    Matt

  26. Cory's Gravatar Cory
    April 3, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt for this post, I have been studying affiliate marketing going on the one year mark this month and I have learned everything there is to know about affiliate marketing from your teachings I have all your products.

    I must say I have been on other IM marketers lists not to name names, I noticed they really just juice there lists with garbage offers and don’t really ad any value.

    You and Terry kyle are the only other markets list that I’m on to date and you due deliver true value.

    After one year I’m fully trained in affiliate marketing but I have not made a sale yet because I did not feel i was ready, plus funds issues anyway I’m staring out this month with a new site and I hope I can let you know when i make my first sale Matt.

    Till then I will still be following your teachings till I make some money it has been a hard year of ups and downs in leaning but I know I can do this now for sure, I will be only doing honest review sites.

    P.S. Where is the best place to reach you Matt if I have questions to personally ask? is it in the rapid profit formula members area?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Cory

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    I can’t do one on one support so there is no best place to reach me, but we do of course have support for RPF in there, so ask away.

    MAtt

    saj Reply:

    Hi Matt

    I have recently started reading your blogs and thanks a lot for sharing so much.

    I am interested in buying your products; but not sure which one to buy first – the Rapid Profit Formula OR The Video Commission Formula?

    I know how to do Domain buying/Hosting/Setting up wordpress sites/basics of link building etc.; though yet to set up a full affiliate site till now.

    Look forward to hearing from you to proceed with my ordering.

    Thanks

    saj

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    I pulled Rapid Profit Formula down, so thats not for sale anymore, and Video Commisson Formula is an easy way to get into affiliate marketing, just apply the ethics to video reviews in there too, in fact I will do a new video mentioning that for members now.

    Matt

    saj Reply:

    Thanks Matt!

  27. April 3, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Must be close to the longest post of yours that I’ve ever read. I appreciate the open and honest comments! I originally got started in IM trying to do affiliate marketing but became quite turned off by everyone selling just about anything and it didn’t matter what the quality of the product was. Hence I turned to Ecommerce. I quickly began to feel my only value to these many marketers was my credit card number. I can honestly say that I never felt this way being on your list and it is one of the very few I’m on at this time.

    Thanks for being an upfront standup marketer! You consistently add value and integrity to the IM arena.

    Paul

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Very kind Paul,

    Thanks and hope ecommerce is going well

    Matt

  28. Paul Warner's Gravatar Paul Warner
    April 3, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    This is a real sore subject with me, the things that I see marketers do and how much I hate it. This is a continual on going problem and I have hit some these guys hard on this stuff.

    Here are a few my pet peeves; one time offers after someone has bought the initial product to me is outright stealing and lying. Here we are led to believe that we are buying a complete product only to learn after the fact that there is more to it and you can get it for such and such amount of more money. This I abhor and detest.

    Next is the “only time you will see this offer” to me is outright lying. There is no reason why it has to be the only time I see the offer and many times I have saved the offer to go back later and get it and it is gone. If the product is that good why would you offer it one time. Now when I see a marketer do this I ditch them.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a product launch, liked it enough to buy it, and the next day that same marketer is pitching something new, as though me spending the money meant nothing, and that there is an apparent disinterest in continual promoting of the product. I can honestly say that even you who have have had two or three launches since I have been a member have promoted it for the initial two or three days, and then we do not hear about it anymore. If the product is that good it should be promoted continually, like who is doing good with it, absolute proof that the product works, continual over the shoulder promoting of
    it through “how to” videos and so on. You let us lose the memory of a good product you created, you lose sales.

    There are marketers who promote every single new launch to the point that my inbox gets overloaded with this crap. Why does this bother me??? Because they are lying. There just is no way that they are buying all these launches, using them, and then giving
    us absolute proof that they work.

    I could go on with this because in my opinion this is a dirty and unethical business no different than any other. As much as I dislike
    Google I do not feel sorry for any of these sites that are set down by them because the amount of cheating and unscrupulous ethics that goes on is sickening.

    If you have subscribers or people who have been loyal to you, or who have bought your products, or want to buy your products, your responsibility, because you have either made money off of them, or there is a strong possibility that you might make money off or them, is to cater to them in trying to keep them happy without you being abused. Sometimes it is a thin line as to helping people and them being an annoyance, but I know for a fact that you are a hero and have a loyal follower if you really teach them how to make money and better their lives, which means sometimes you have to make exceptions to rules, and that is not unethical, contrary to what you wrote in this blog.

    I like you Matt Carter, even though in my opinion there are things you could do differently, but I have learned over time that you are one of the very good guys with good intent toward people and you
    just don’t come across as being unethical or unscrupulous, or that you live for the almighty dollar bill, and in my book that’s big.

    Paul

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Paul

    All good points and thanks for taking the time to share your frustrations. I know there are a lot of things that are done bady online, so feel your pain.

    All the best

    Matt

  29. April 3, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Matt your honesty is commendable and refreshing in the Internet Marketing arena where underhanded tactics and fake sincerity run rampant.
    I can attest to your dilema as i had a product in the health niche that i was ranking well for and was on page 2 for several buyer keywords but i did not feel good about this product so i stopped building up the site.
    I believe your suggestion to have more of a information site with options from different merchants for similar products is the way to go.
    Great post once again.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    good stuff

    Matt

  30. April 3, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    This is the second post that I’ve read today on this, the other was from Mark Dulisse, a pretty well-known marketer too.

    I got on your list when Mark Ling promoted your SEO course, and have found through your blog posts and videos that you genuinely want to help people and add value.

    I’ve been in the game almost two years, and know some pretty successful IMers. You’re one of the few people that I remain subscribed to, as most were just selling trash and more bothered about the money.

    As you mentioned, I think the lack of “real” contact in an online business makes people far more ruthless.

    Thanks for being so honest about your past mistakes. They weren’t particularly immoral but you’re right in saying that they weren’t 100% transparent either.

    There will always be a new wave of naive and vulnerable newbies that think that there is an easy way to make money online. Hopefully we can work together as a community to expel the scammers.

    I’m sure this blog post will help you and your business out tremendously.

    Robert

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    No problem Robert

    Thanks for commenting

    Matt

  31. April 3, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    .
    Those strategies that you refer and regret are unfortunately used by almost every seller in the world. Infocomercials are particularly atrocious, all the products are said to be perfect and have no cons – how can it be true?

    Although this is a blog about Affiliate Marketing, I believe we could expand the ethical question to SEO practices. One of the things that makes me angry the most is SPAM – by using authomatic tools unethically, a small group of lazy people are polluting the internet and making ethical SEOers’ work simply intolerable. This is particularly noticeable in blog comments: I used to include them in my SEO strategy, but I just gave up. Thanks to a massive submission of garbage by these people, blog comments were devaluated and the nofollow tag is now omnipresent.

    The worst thing about the most of unethical SEO practices is that they simply don’t work: the only result is that things will become increasily harder for those who want to work seriously on the internet.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Great thoughts here Filipe

  32. rudy's Gravatar rudy
    April 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Matt:
    Proud of your comments and just wanting to let you know my life has been about ethics to the point that I lost over a million dollars in property value and ended up on the street for a year. Almost lost my life 3 times and yet I have no regrets doing the right thing, although I wish it could have been easier. I would rather have 1000 dollars a year honestly than have a million dollars scamming. Now if we can get more people being honest in marketing, we may be able to salvage our pride in network marketing. Believe me I have a collection of some names and there will be some nasty surprises for them in the next couple of years. You see if you have ethics, you never worry about the trouble that will be started. Good on you. Rudy

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Rudy

    Matt

  33. April 3, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Matt I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your honesty, I am a Christian I believe that when a person understands that they have sinned, confessed his sins that we should forgive him as many times as it takes, I hope these verses below provide some comfort to you and others.

    To everyone else when you forgive, bury it and forget it, don’t leave the handle up out of the grave to go back and get it later.
    In regards to the training, I’ve had a problem with the very things that Matt mentioned, for over 2 years now I have persuade a mentor that has the honesty to do the right thing, all too often I’ve been let down.

    I’ve purchased many courses, returned a few, learned a lot about affiliate marketing because that’s what I wanted to do. It’s sad on one hand that I have not been able to make it work. But as I saw the same things that Matt mentioned I did not promote those products. Thus I’ve made a very, very small amount from affiliate marketing.

    Matt I learned the lesson that you taught on researching and how to put the content out there, but that page is still sitting on my hard drive, never published. I saw a link on this blog for how to do the research correctly I hope that’s what it’s for I did not follow it because I wanted to say thank you.
    Sometimes teachers assume the students are lazy or don’t want to do the work, issues like the ones you pointed out may be the problem.

    I made a post on a forum about this very same thing and was out cased, abandoned, not answered any more from the powers that be. I hope your list shows compassion and forgiveness.

    I think there are only a few people that I look to right now that shows honesty in what they are doing that I can look to for good advice and take the good from the bad. I can count them on one hand and Matt you are still on my list. Another person is Jennifer ‘PotPieGirl’ and Lisa from Authority site model.

    Personally I’m not lazy and I want to do the right thing online so I’ll keep following your lead to see where it goes.
    TRowe

    Luke 17:3-4

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    Matthew 7:1

    Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    Psalms 119:42

    So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

    Romans 14:4

    Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    Romans 14:10

    But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    Romans 14:12

    So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
    Chapter 2

    1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.

    2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

    3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

    4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

    5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

    6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

    7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

    8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

    9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.

    10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

    11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Almost stuff Tim

    Thanks for sharing from your heart and scriptures hope your sites do really well.

    Matt

  34. April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt, I’ve been following you for a long time and appreciate your honesty and candor.

    I can relate to the reply above regarding a slow start in affiliate marketing due to concerns over ethics. My introduction was a Clickbank course and there was just so much crap out there, I couldn’t get past that in my mind and think it had a definite (negative) impact on my results.

    Re: the use of aliases… I am struggling with this right now. On the one hand, I think it’s okay AS LONG AS your site content is honest and you’re not trying to hide behind a persona because you’re fleecing people. For safety reasons, I just don’t like the idea of my picture, name, address, and other personal information being so readily accessible on the Internet.

    On the other hand, something about it makes me uncomfortable because it does feel somehow deceitful, even if your intentions are good.

    I’ll work through it eventually I suppose, but will be checking back to see if other people have thoughts on this.

    Thanks again for all you do. I’ve gained a lot from your blog and courses.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Good points, and yeah it a decision you have to make, but I personally don;t have fake names anymore,

    Good luck

    Matt

  35. Ade's Gravatar Ade
    April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    From your rpf course you used to promote a lot of market health stuff…I always found it incredibly hard to “review” products like these (and still do) as there seemed to be nothing to review. It was simply a list of benefits and the ingredients. So unless you have actually used all or many of the products…or have a laboratory of Vervet monkeys to run tests on..you don’t have a business. How do you promote these products nowadays ? I am thinking list building is the way forward as you have alluded to. Are you building lists and communities outside of the im niche now ?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Ade

    Yeah you really can’t review these Market Health products, so my opinion now is to build a list and promote things, but make sure the products are good of course, OR you can do sites that are not ranking for review keywords and still have links on the pages, but just rank for more info keywords

    Matt

    Ade Reply:

    That’s kind of like putting a banner for the product in the sidebar, no ? This isn’t supposed to convert so is the assumption that it will be harder to make sales as an affiliate or just become such an authority that visitors start to trust you without the hard sell ?

  36. April 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    I have purchased your products before and even provided a heartfelt testimonial to you regarding the solid, useful, no BS way your programs were presented. I also rarely miss one of your webinars because I have grown to expect the best of the best in content and (usually) a pretty good deal on a valuable program, or two at the end; again I have made the purchase of some with no regrets.

    What I want to say, and what I have felt for a long time is . . .

    . . . You are the Internet Marketer I want to be when I grow up.

    My IM business is more of a trudge at the moment, than a soar. But, I think and truly believe that by following your advice and that of those that you have recommended, the drudge will evolve to a quality income and lifestyle over time.

    So, do not beat yourself up too much. Having ethics or not is the greatest test of us as Human beings. Character is said to be “doing the right thing, even if no one is looking.” I think you have demonstrated the propensity to do the right thing, and I for one am grateful and thankful for you.

    All I can say is keep up the good work.

    Paul W.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks so much Paul

    Hope you start to soar soon

    Matt

  37. April 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Great post Matt, any update on your members training club that you mentioned on your last blog post?

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi

    YEs that will be coming out later this week…I hope..lol…or next week for sure, sorry for the delay

    Matt

    Rishi Reply:

    Thanks, good to know, I hope to get an email from you soon then :)
    just been reading your other blog posts too, for the Video Commission Formula – would this be benficial for me? I have a ecommerce store selling mobile accessoires? could i still apply the technique to maybe drive traffic instead? or maybe make people opt into my list, so i can promote to them? I’m not sure if I could benefit from it, thanks in advance.

  38. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    April 3, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    It’s good to think about these things, but than again people just love BS, and especially ‘magic bullets’. Look at all those weightloss and diet nonsense products. People say that they want a ‘serious’ product to solve their problems, but is that the truth? Don’t they actually prefer a ‘magical’ solution, so that don’t have to go through all this sweat and willpower exercises? And what is so ethical about denying them this fairy tale? Everybody adores Santa Claus. Look at the power of religion! We need a dream to believe in, to help us face reality. Because the reality is often very ugly. Just like people enjoy reading pulp novels, as an escape, or watch some tv show, they also enjoy buying stuff on the net. As long as you entertain them that’s fine. Because that’s what they want!

    As long as you don’t pretend to have miracle solutions for cancer or give people real false hope, I think there are quite a few shades of being ethical.

    You rightfully say, is the banking system ethical? You can wonder about religions as well. So why would the internet be any different? It’s just life. People are not perfect.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks for your opinion Jan

    Regards

    Matt

  39. April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Paul, Mark, Chris, David, Dav, Marty, Brandon, all of you that have posted on this blog post I see that I’m not alone anymore, love you all keep it up!!!

    Now that we all have faced this problem how do we that want to do better proceed? I’m tired of jumping from one guru to the next hoping they will be the one that actually shows me what to do, someone who checks to make sure that it is correct and guides you to get it done properly.

    The post that I made that got me out cased was along this line, everybody promises support and help to get the sale, but soon after the sale is complete they vanish, their next move is to put up a forum so that members can help other members, right. I don’t mind in fact I would love the opportunity to communicate with fellow marketers about what’s going on.

    But when it comes down to getting the help from the product owner, or software owner about how to make it work the way they said it would work. I don’t think that a person that don’t know(me) should have to ask someone else that also just made the same purchase and they don’t know either.

    Yea I know it is not possible that the product owner can respond to every single person, but many times the questions are the same. At some point the person who knows should step in. I’m going to turn this loose for now and get back to work.
    TRowe

  40. Jerry's Gravatar Jerry
    April 3, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Matt, thank you for opening up this topic of ethics. The biggest offender to me is OTOs. OTOs are unethical, manipulative, and dishonest. Yet, the Warrior forum offers are full of them. These vendors don’t tell you upfront that the product is not complete until they have your purchase money in hand. Honesty, is when you disclose your 2nd, 3rd, &4th product (OTO’s) up front, not after you are holding the customer’s money. Vendors call this practice sharp marketing. I call it dishonesty and a very poor way to start a long term relationship with a prospective future buyer of list products. I not only refuse to buy the product, but I ask for a refund immediately when I am exposed to such chicanery. Further, I refuse to do business with people who send me emails touting products sales literature containing OTOs. I would hope that you would expand your definition of unethical internet marketing to include OTOs. Thx, Jerry

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and yes the OTO thing does suck, ONLY IF the product is the better version of the one your bought, but cross selling for a related product is ok…but these upsells are a joke, as they trick people and they stinks!!

  41. Ralpheal Jackson's Gravatar Ralpheal Jackson
    April 3, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt much respect to you for this amazing post, very seldomly you find people being honest and share this type of content, this motivates me to fully get away from any and all forms of unethical marketing, not that I do it, but you’ll be amazed at how you can be influenced from other marketrs\guru’s and pick up some of those habits, I know I’ve done a thing or two in the product reviews arena, as well as MLM arena, and it’s just not a cool thing to do when you think about. I must admit though, at times I have reviewed products before I build a site around them, but there are times when I didn’t.

    Antway man I really admire this post, and respect you as one of the best marketers that I’ve had a chance to learn from online. Whats amazing is that you’re not only teaching ethical marketing, but actually doing what you teach and keeping it ethical at the sametime, much respect!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks for your kind words Ralpheal

    Matt

  42. April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Here’s what I think for affiliate marketers, if the product owner says this will work, and they want me to buy the product, why not let me try it out and see if it works, if it does I pay him/her for the product and we both are satisfied.

    This only works for the people that will actually do the work, get their questions answered, but some mechanism needs to be in place to make sure it’s set correctly and then off we go.

    Every time a sale is made the owner wants the money first, with promises that it works. The buyer acts on faith and makes the purchase. And when it does not work well you know what the buyer must go through to get their money back, if they ever do.

    Matt you said we should do the review the right way, the only way to do this is make the purchase, but I submit to you that the affiliates should be the exception to the rule because they are the ones that must provide true information, they should not have to pay for something they really don’t need.

    Example if I want to promote children ‘baby bed’s or furniture for babies, I need to do a review right, why would I make that purchase? What would I do with it after I have done the review? Now digital product reviews are different I can just delete it from my computer, or keep using it, but the more I use it gives me more content to write about to send another person to check the product out. The product owner may lose some profits following this path with people that will not do right, but what % is that?

    That’s the path that I’m following with my new venture.
    TRowe

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    HI Tim

    Yes you make some valid points, and many merchants will give out free products to affiliates, but you have to have credibilty first. If you can show them you have a following or good traffic, I think you have a good case. I saw something do this really well for watches.

    Matt

  43. Awake's Gravatar Awake
    April 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Ok great post matt. Now, how can we stop the corrupt international banksters from crashing the dollar as Bob Chapman says they are doing. It’s not going to matter how much we make if the banksters keep printing money, as you know this will lead to a crash of the currency. Oh well, all the people will have to start all over again. At least we have the tools. Since most people are asleep at the wheel in this country. It gives me hope when i see people who are awake to what is going on. I always feel very alone in seeing what is happening with them steeling our cash.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    ..
    .
    Yes they international banksters are doing what you say and Bob Chapman is a very good voice to listen to as he knows his stuff.

    There’s isn’t much we can do to stop these people doing what they intend to do, other than stop supporting their corrupt system.

    The dollar will colapse, and yes it will be done on purpose, in order to usher in the new global currency, so all I can say is for everyone reading this, its time to wake up before its too late for you…I mean this on a spiritual level too. Many many people are doing just this on a massive scale right now which is good.

    Cheers

    Matt

  44. April 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt, for coming clean and discussing the unethical tricks marketers like to use. I remember back when I first got into anything having to do with IM a common trick was using a little java script that changed the date, like the person wrote me the letter today. Then eventually came the scarcity tactic and the ridiculously inflated “values” assigned to bonuses that either didn’t sell as products or were created just to give away. In other words, they really have zero value but they like to tell us they’re worth $97. I never buy anything from people who treat me like they think I’m stupid.

    On the problem of writing glowing reviews, I just stick to products that deserve it. But nothing’s perfect so I point out the flaws, too. Then throw in a review of one that’s not so good for comparison. I’m being honest and informing the visitor. I don’t make a lot of money, but I also don’t feel guilty about my reviews. Oh, and why don’t I buy the products? I review expensive stuff and can’t spend $600 on each one of them.

    Quality content is king.

    Owen

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .

    Great points here Owen, and yes all those tactics with the date script etc…are a load of crap indeed!

    Take it easy

    MAtt

  45. Wondering's Gravatar Wondering
    April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Matt this was a great article for a newbie such as myself. I do have a couple questions. What made you decide to change your ways of marketing? Is it that google way has changed and your rankings have falling? Then do you still recommend the way you backlink with making profiles on forums but never post anything, or the blog way or any other way. Since I’m just starting out I agree with the ethical part but its easy to say that a person needs to be ethical after you make big money and this is something you love to do not something you have to do. I don’t mean to sound rude or nosey but like you say in your videos you have nothing to hide and if we follow your way we will make money. I just want to make sure I do it your way and make money the right ethical way.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi
    I am holding a webinar this week with my customers to inform of my new strategies.

    Also yes I will always put out stuff that I know works, but its up to you to take action

    Matt

  46. Trey's Gravatar Trey
    April 3, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Matt,

    I appreciate your honesty. This is the one thing that attracted me to your blogs and internet marketing tips. I feel you are really trying to help us make honest money online. Thanks again for being honest in all things.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Trey

    Yes I am doing my best to help you all, thats my main focus, as I refuse to recommend crap that doesn’t work

    Matt

  47. John Vinters's Gravatar John Vinters
    April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Too bad there aren’t more people like you out there Matt! That’s all I wanted to say.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thank you John,I am not perfect by any stretch, I do my best.

    Matt

  48. brian's Gravatar brian
    April 3, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Building sites on good products is way to go and that’s why I have a hard time promoting stuff like markethealth because they really dont cure or help stuff….more marketing than reality

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Good point Brian

  49. April 3, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    This is so true. Thanks for standing up Matt. Honesty and ethics make the person. Negatives always attract negatives.
    Janny

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Thanks Janny

    Matt

  50. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    April 3, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    The pessimist me (largely bought on by my exposure to the myriad IM hype and lies) would suggest that you are about to release a new product targeting ethics in marketing. Having followed your free course, bought your SEO course and acted on numerous recommendations you have made, I will however stow my incredulity and instead thank you for proving once again that you are a marketer and person worthy of modeling my own fledgling IM Career on.

    Bravo.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    HI Ben

    No I am not bringing out a course on ethics..lol..

    Matt

  51. April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Your email is one of those I open and read. And I don’t follow more than 5 marketers now, and truly its an honor to be on your list.

    It takes courage to admit what you did wrong. And FEW will ever do that or simply find a justification why it has to be done *that way* – even for big gun marketers.

    For sure, this point onwards, whatever you recommend will be given a serious consideration. And if it fits my overall plan, I’ll buy it through your link.

    Thanks for being human and real.

  52. Eric's Gravatar Eric
    April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Matt. I have to say that this is the most enheartening post I’ve seen from you so far. And I totally agree. I am all in favor of the profit model, but I think we should all be striving to profit only from providing actual, legitimate value to our customers. Keep up the good work!

  53. Andy's Gravatar Andy
    April 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt, first time poster…been a subscriber a few months and have watched all your webinars and picked up a few products. I appreciate and respect your honesty. A lot of Internet marketers just side-step this issue or avoid it all together…or justify why they do something unethical. The guest blogging slap by google being one of them. Anyways i am sure you had a moment of clarity or an event that hit home with you that made you write this. It’s never easy to look in the mirror and admit to yourself something you are doing is wrong. I have been there on personal levels.

    Hoping you can answer a quick question for me…purchased your Video Commission Formula course and just wanted to know if you could/would use Synnd for the Social Bookmarking component. I purchase Synnd through your webinar and am starting to like it. I did submit a ticket, but your partner on it hadn’t used Synnd so he couldn’t comment.

    All the best Matt
    Andy

  54. April 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Great article & something that held me back with Internet Marketing when I started. The first bit of newbie training I purchased was all how to build a WordPress Review Website using a Clickbank Product I knew nothing about. I did my own research on the product by reading other review websites and then built my website.

    Ethically, I had a problem with this and no sooner had I completed this course, I shut-down the website. After this, I decided to look for Niches where I could provide an honest days work and not mislead or rip anyone off.

    Needless to say, this held me back and it was a long time before I started making money online, but at least my conscience is clear & I’d be happy for my Grandmother to visit my websites (Google like my websites too).

  55. April 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Hell Matt,

    Thanks again for saying what everyone else is thinking. Speaking just for myself, I have been in that position where I was not making any money and grasping for straws and throwing anything and everything out there to make that $.

    It is not worth it. As a good man, it is not good for the soul to give uo who you are.

    Peace,
    Shaefercd

  56. April 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    When I first came across your blog, few years ago, I sent you an email complaining about the hype and lies throughout a video you were promoting by a so called guru flogging his software because I thought it was unethical. I hasten to add that I did not get a reply from you. But nevertheless I did not give you up. I’ve been following your blog, attending your webinars regularly, even bought your courses and those that you recommend as well all because I’ve always believed you are an honest man.

    Well, reading your post about ethics today has confirmed your honesty. This adds value to your integrity and increases you credibility.

    Wow! What a breath of fresh air!

    Keep it up.
    Gerard

  57. Julian's Gravatar Julian
    April 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Should I understand that you are about to sell your health care site?

    If so, I might be interested :)

    Spot on article by the way!

    Cheers,
    Julian

  58. April 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Hello Matt,

    You are one of the two IMers I regularly read and follow, now I know why.
    I completely understand your point of view on ethics but nevertheless there must be a point where it is much easier to admit it and act ethically when your income from the internet permits you to do so. And also being more and more popular might guide someone to show a better image of himself.

    In other words, I think it is much more difficult, not to say impossible, to start your IM business by being ethical and “filter” all the products someone could promote or write reviews on based on how genuine, veracious and “good” for your audience they really are.

    The bottom line and difference, when it comes to you, is that when I read your posts, study your courses or listen to your webinars (maybe not that much there because it usually involves other marketers) I felt many times this ethical orientation you developed today in this post. This is a big step you made today and you know you are going to make yourself more enemies but we are all here to support you because you support us.

    Cheers,
    Alexandra

  59. JohnnoRP's Gravatar JohnnoRP
    April 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Matt, just how many times can we say THANK YOU for another stirring blog page/s.

  60. April 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    It is really refreshing to see you reporting on the ethics of marketing.
    There are too many rat bags out on the Web.
    Are you sure you are a true OZ? :-)
    Just had to get this in
    Regards
    Eddie
    New Zealand

  61. Nick's Gravatar Nick
    April 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Great post! It is a timely one. I was discussing this very subject with my business partner only a couple of days ago. We’re tired of the way a lot of IM offers are promoted. We decided that we would only use those techniques that open and honest. We don’t want to resort to underhand tactics like fake scarcity claims etc.

    What prompted our discussion was a price drop technique for a product we’d both looked at independently. I had read the sales copy, thought it looked interesting but at $37 decided it wasn’t for me. I clicked away and never thought about it until my partner mentioned that he’d also looked at the same product but when he clicked away from the site he got an exit-pop offering the product at $27, he clicked away from that and got another exit-pop offering the product at $19! My view is that if the product is only worth $19, that’s what it should be offered for upfront. If I’d bought it at $37 and then found out I could have got it for less then half the price I would have felt cheated. Is this ethical?

    I know they’re probably only testing price points but there has to be a fairer way to do this. Do you have any views on the best way to establish the most effective price for a product?

    Keep up the good work
    Cheers
    Nick

  62. April 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    IM scams go beyond online promotions. I got caught with the convincing phone call for IM mentorship.

    I think at some stage, we all look for an easy solution when running on this IM treadmill. No matter what we try, we just don’t seem to be doing it right.

    Offline, we’d find some expert to guide us through the minefield. Usually, we can check this person out before hand.

    So when the phone call comes in from a total stranger who portrays themselves as an expert and mentor, we’re inclined to give this a try. Particularly with the trumped up references and guarantees sounding so good.

    Well $4,000 later, I was still at the same place being passed on from one person to the other who clearly were ‘newbies’ using the coaching program of an experienced IM.

    My advice to any struggling person wanting to get IM to work for them, is to put the phone down on that telesales person. There’s no easy fix, just persistence and filter through to the real experts who give more than they take.

  63. Dee's Gravatar Dee
    April 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I think it was very brave of you to admit to yourself and then to your readers that you were not always taking the high road. Thanks for the heartfelt post.

  64. DC Dug's Gravatar DC Dug
    April 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Fairplay to you Matt for this post. I have always thought you were one of the more honest IM guys. I have in the past regularly unsubscribed from a lot of lists but have been yours since 2009.

    This post has made me think. It really is the way forward with Google authorship coming in. You can’t be anonomise and hide. They will find a way to detect fake identities and penalise at some stage.

    I would be interested in a follow-up post at some stage in any sales/conversions change in performance of any sites you change the reviews in.

    Thanks,
    DC.

  65. April 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Sometimes we slip as we are all human but you are probably one of the most honest marketers I know.

    I try hard to be ethical. I can’t physically review or buy every product I promote. But I try and find the best deal for the buyer not the best for me. I try to give honest reviews. There have been some popular products in my niches that I wont promote because after doing the research they were crap.

    Maybe that’s why I am not rich but I think if you put yourself in your customers shoes, try to help them first you are doing the right thing whether you make the sale or not.And I definitely believe what goes around comes around.

    Steve

  66. April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hello Matt,

    All across the internet I see examples of exactly what you have written about here. However, the majority of the examples are related to the internet marketing niche which is probably a sign of the belief that many people have developed. They see so much false information about making themselves rich overnight without any hard work. It just does not happen that way and the so-called gurus should be honest and tell people that internet marketing is hard work over a long time. Only then do people manage to make any money, never mind get rich online.

    A true story: I am a very experienced internet marketer but prior to working online I ran a business in offline marketing with thirty five employees. We worked all over the world and our special expertise was in scientific and high tech products and services marketing. One client made a laboratory instrument that measured total organic carbon content of water and was used to monitor pollution. A third world government with major pollution problems purchased some of the instruments at a price at that time, over twenty years ago, of around $15,000 each.

    Later a friend of mine, who is a professor, was working for that government in a consultancy role. He went to a laboratory where he saw one of the instruments on a laboratory bench but not being used. It had a label attached which told people what the instrument was. Apparently the people there were very proud of their new technology.

    My professor friend asked about how the instrument was helping the fight against pollution. He was told that the country did not have anybody with the expertise to use the instrument and if they did then it would be doubtful if they could interpret the resulting data.

    That was a case where instruments had been made available to the world market and had simply been purchased by a government that my client had no reason to believe would not be able to use them. The instruments are now in use but only after an extensive improvement in the scientific education and understanding of the technicians in that country.

    Perhaps experienced internet marketers also need to devote more effort to really good and honest teaching online, some of which should be made freely available. That is something my business has been doing through several websites. We give away a lot of information that we could sell but my belief is that when the market place is better educated in marketing then the whole community of online business will benefit.

    Best regards,

    Toby.

  67. April 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Great post Matt, and yes, Google are downgrading spam sites and upgrading sites with a proper review.
    Unlike some of your replies, If you genuinely know the subject inside out, you can review without owning the product.
    For myself, I only review camcorders because I worked in the industry for 30 years.
    I don’t ever recommend a camcorder, just point out the features in importance, and always point out that any camcorder is only the right one for the purpose it was bought for.
    Who would disagree with that?

  68. April 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Very Nice I agree 100% about been Ethical in Online Marketing.

  69. Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
    April 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Matt I am glad that you brought up this topic.

    A few weeks ago I attended a webinar in which the presenter went to great lengths to show the backlink profile of the main websites of several IM “gurus”, as well as highly ranked sites in WSOs, where the WSO provider claimed that they had achieved these high rankings through the backlinking methods they advocated in their WSO.

    In several of these WSOs the ranked sites on the salespage were ranked with paid links and did not have any or a negligible amount of the type of backlinks that they advocated in the WSO. This is not just unethical, but is a total scam. Some of these WSOs were even promoted as “WSO of the Day”.

    Among the IM “gurus” whose main website’s backlink profile was examined in depth, was your website. What was shown was that the vast majority of your main site’s backlinks came from links you had placed in the footer of WP themes that you had given away for free to hundreds or perhaps thousands of unsuspecting people on your list.

    The backlink profile of your main site certainly did not seem to favor the types of backlinks that you recommended in your expensive “SEO Expert Academy” Course. You certainly did not show the buyers of your course the way you were ranking your own site

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Melissa

    Actually I do tell people about the link in that footer and I do tell people in the course that they can do the same thing by sponsoring themes.

    I don’t feel I did anything wrong with that all, as I created a nice theme which cost me $1000 USD to get made and I gave it out for free for people to use, on the condition that I get credit with a link, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

    People can also remove the link if they want anyway.

    Regards

    Matt

  70. Rob Taylor's Gravatar Rob Taylor
    April 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Excellent post.
    When doing research I often come across a website called “pissedconsumer” in the top 10 on Google. thid site has bad or sometimes very bad customer reviews on products.
    Would this put you off promoting a product that had this site reviewing it?.

  71. April 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    i totally agree with you, there is a lot of unethical behavior out there. Many people, specially in the internet marketing niche, exploit other people desperation to make money selling products that most of the times don’t work. Luckily enough, most of the times is possible to ask a refund and at least the buyers get their money back.

    I have seen, though, someone selling a product that was a total scam, and then made it very hard to get a refund. That person wins the price for unethical behavior.

    The problem is that people who are struggling to make money online at the beginning will fall in this trap. You said you had, and i myself have to admit that i have this temptation although i am trying to resist and be the most ethical possible. The only problem is that i am not making as much money as the ones who put fake reviews and super hyped claims in their salespage.

    The bottom line? I think that when you are successful and the money problem is gone is sooooo easy to become ethical. The problem is that it’s way harder when you are struggling.

    Thanks for this post

    PaoloG

  72. Nick Browne's Gravatar Nick Browne
    April 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Loving the content :-)

    I am a member of SEO Masters Academy and it has helped me a great deal to understand more about SEO.

    I have also been planning on purchasing your Rapid Profit Formula product but i see that you have taken it down.

    Will your new product coming out cover a lot of what was in your RPF product??

    Thank you,
    Nick

  73. Mara's Gravatar Mara
    April 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Matt -
    As a fellow Aussie I’m proud of you for taking this stand! As with many others who have commented, you are one of the few IMers to whom I won’t unsubscribe. I’ve bought several of your products, including the latest video commission series, & I haven’t even looked at it yet, or looked at your sales page in detail – I always watch the webinars you promote, & I’ve subscribed to several of the products you’ve sponsored (including SYNND & Niche Profit Classroom, & they’ve always been classy products with great value – though have been wondering about SYNND in view of the latest Google purges! not just getting caught out, but whether or not this is actually spamming the internet in a sleazy way…..)
    Internet marketing is filled with a lot of hype, & it’s hard to be discriminating when one is a newbie & knows nothing, & by the time one begins to realise, it’s too late to ask for refunds….
    And…. when the whole niche is filled with this sort of hype & lack of ethics, it’s hard not to get affected by it.
    I truly believe that being honorable will pay off in the end – it might be a bit slower to success – but if we all look into our hearts, it is greed (maybe that’s a bit harsh, but it’s the promise of wealth without too much effort!) that hooks us in.
    So I’m not really blaming anyone else for all the money I’ve wasted – I take it as a salutary lesson to guide me in a more honest & better based path.
    Hopefully, as more of us take this stand, the whole internet business field will get cleaner – it is a great model, good for marketers & customers, & there is a lot of money to be made without hustling or scamming anyone – let’s all take a position of giving good value, & expecting that it will come back to us in great customers.

  74. April 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Mattt. Great post for newbies.
    Sometimes we can get confused by all the tricks and advice some marketers give. You’re preaching with your example by being honest and ethic and letting us know the right path to follow. I appreciate all your advice.

  75. April 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Thats what I like about your sales pages their straight forward and to the point.
    No flashy hype, honest reviews and a damm good price :)

  76. Brad's Gravatar Brad
    April 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    MATT THIS IS DISGUSTING! I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW YOU HAVE TRICKED ME ALL OF THESE YEARS! I WANT A FULL
    REFUND ON ALL OF YOUR COURSES I HAVE PURCHASED FROM YOU!

    Haha buddy, I’m just messing around! It is good to see that Matt is brave enough to admit this
    to his readers, and it really does highlight just how honest and credible of a marketer he is. He is one of the best in my opinion.

    I agree that hyping up a product that you have never used just to get a sale is not really on, especially if it is a medicinal product. However, other things that you have mentioned aren’t as bad, like giving out a freebie for the first 10 people when in fact everyone gets it. Whenever I see these deals it is obvious that everyone gets the freebie so it really doesn’t put any extra pressure on me to buy right then.

    Little tricks like this are done both online and offline, everywhere around you. For example, I have lost count of the number of times I see sales on in the high street where a product is supposed to be say £100 off, but then when I look through the old catalogue for that store I see the product used to sell for £50 more not £100 more.

    Large supermarkets also use deceptive marketing strategies and other techniques to influence your buying patterns at a sub-conscious level. Firstly, have you ever noticed how the chocolates and goodies are placed right next to the checkout area? They do this intentionally so while you are queuing up to pay, these goodies are staring you in the face feeding on your temptation, or even worse staring young children in the face who will often whine, scream and cry until they get what they want.
    These are not the only items in large supermarkets that are strategically placed! Another thing they do is have the essential everyday foods spread out throughout the store so that you have to walk around the whole store to find all of your everyday goods, and they do this in the hope that you will pick up some extra non-essential items in the process. Ever noticed how in the large supermarkets the fruit and vegetables are usually placed in the beginning of the store whereas other essential items like bread and cereals are placed all the way down the other end of the store.
    They also make their more expensive items more prominent on the shelves. Ever noticed how the lower priced alternatives of products are always less visible, typically not at eye level.

    And it doesn’t stop at the people that sell the products, the manufacturers use unethical techniques. Did you know that back when they used to use sugar to make coca-cola it was impossible to drink a 2L bottle in one sitting, because when you consume too much sugar it triggers something in your brain telling you that you have had too much. But nowadays it is possible to drink a 2L bottle of coca-cola in one sitting. Why? Because nowadays they use sweeteners in everything! So why is this bad? Because this particular sweetener High-fructose corn syrup or glucose-fructose syrup, does not trigger the same effect in your brain, so even though you have had too much you keep consuming more until you have had more than is healthy (obesity). You would be surprised at how many different types of food this stuff is found in.
    So why do the manufacturers use it instead of sugar? You guessed it, because it is much cheaper than using sugar.
    Just like with my previous example, this takes place at a level where people are blissfully unaware of it.

    You could just as easily argue that things like this are just as deceptive as some of the things you have mentioned which take place in internet marketing. This kind of thing takes place all around you, both at a conscious and unconscious level.

    As Matt mentioned, the more money a person makes the more inclined they become to do things they normally wouldn’t in order to make more money. Now that’s not to say that if you make lots of money then you are somehow evil, that is a silly notion that is always pushed around society. It is just important to be in control of money as opposed to letting money control you. Personally I think the important thing is to make sure you don’t cross over the line of what is acceptable and what is not.

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Great comment Brad, and you have me for a minute there, but I would have refunded you if you did want.

    I appreciate your thoughts here too, very good stuff

  77. April 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    Great post! Keep up the good work and awesome IM training products!

    Best Wishes

    Al ;)

  78. April 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    These are wise comments. A thriving business world of any kind depends on trust and honesty. Without that, unethical behavior in any marketplace will eventually erode that marketplace to an avoided wasteland. Not to mention, many, including myself, believe God is watching even if no one else is looking over our shoulder.

  79. April 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    As a newbie and enrolled in your program i have listened to you via your videos,and have courses by you as well.
    I value ethics more than anything else in all i do and strive to be fair to everyone At my expense i suspect,but having a clear consceince is worth it. Having taken on board some good advice from you and all others in the marketing world .Have been subjected to a lot of tripe as well,luckily i have qualifications in marketing and now just starting to use. Although without your guidance in regard to web based sites i would not be getting there at all so thank you.And after using some advice from webinars i have seen in one week have managed to get a Fan page number two spot on Google,so some things do work just a matter of sorting out the BS cheers Steve http://www.intexpoolreviews.org

  80. April 4, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt!
    Unfortunately there is a ton of hype and dishonesty across internet of which any naive internet marketer might easily become a victim. Thanks to my first course on IM, the RPF which taught me the basics of IM.
    Forums focusing on a specific niche should help us to decide what are the good products and who are the real people!
    I appreciate your openness.
    Thanks

  81. April 4, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Great post! It’s sad that this day in age unethical marketing is still so prevalent. Of course the bad eggs tend to be the most vocal or in your face with their methods so they stick out more.

    Being able to go to sleep at night with a clear conscious is more important to be than potentially making a few extra bucks.

  82. April 4, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks for an informative article and a few steps closer to the truth of things.

    Great to read your abreast of world affairs and the coming crash, we as people have yet to galvanise our spiritual ascendancy into practical application… it will be forced into the open this decade.

    No one is ethical in IM if you chunk down to gamed 2.0 links so it’s difficult to know where to draw the line.

    Personally, i’d say listen to your heart, list your passions and make a authority site around your passion plus you tube page, facebook page, twitter page and Google+ page.

    Share your passion, ask questions, build content around the answers and offer it at a resonable price. As you say Matt, build a community around your passion and stick to ONE thing only, be great at it and drive income to six figures over time.

  83. April 4, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    WOW lots of comments, definitely a hot button for lots of people. Great post Matt. I only have two niche sites right now that are making a trickle of money but in the past I did promote items that I knew little to nothing about and only relied on other peoples ‘reviews’. I won’t do that again (and BTW I made no money off those other sites anyway).
    It’s funny, I bought an IM course from another IM ‘guru’ over a year ago and now I get an email from him DAILY, promoting other people’s IM products. He only started this last year. I do find it a little hard to believe that he can personally try every single product he is promoting yet he claims in just about every email that “Mr. X is KILLING IT with this product”, etc. Good for a laff but IMHO his emails have become nothing more than spam. I would submit that this other fellow is less than ethical in his marketing.

  84. April 4, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    I’ve struggled with this a lot especially with the Video Commission Formula course, it’s a good course don’t get me wrong but there’s no way I can churn out the videos so fast because I’m not entirely happy with promoting many of the products that are good for video marketing without really knowing all about the products.

    Most of them seem to be really dodgy and I wondered if there was something wrong with me for being able to promote them!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    .
    .
    Hi Zara

    Yes good point, you don’t have to promote any products you don’t want to, as there are literally 1000′s of products out there, look outside Clickbank and Market Health, and also I use video for list building, which is more info keywords

    Zara Reply:

    I’m just starting so the difficulty for me is that I’m really slow with looking for opportunities and implementing them, I’m sure it will get easier in the long run.

    But list building is something I wanted to do down the line so I will look into it, I think it was mentioned briefly in your videos.

  85. April 4, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you Matt for your honesty and transparency.

    You are one in a few marketers that I respect.

    You are doing a good job. Thank you.

    Regards.

    Winchel

  86. April 4, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    The money is definitely on the list, and I think that if we build the right reputation, people will more likely trust you and most of the time buy our products.

    I think the main lesson here is to build your credibility, and become an authority on your niche!

    Really appreciate the post.

    Regards,
    Hamilton

  87. Mary Ann's Gravatar Mary Ann
    April 4, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    As a newbie who has been ripped off, I certainly appreciate your honesty is best policy. I have your RPF. Great Product. It does exactly what you said it would do. Also I’ve written to your support team. Great job there too.
    As newbies have a difficult time being accepted in affiliate networks, I’ve been trying to research Viglink, as I originally saw this on your blog. Would you consider doing a blog post or video on how to use it or set it up? The information out there is just a bunch of phony baloney reviews. Which all comes back to your original point about providing honest & USEFUL information. Hope to get your video commission course as soon as I can. Your a natural born teacher. Thank you for your time & effort
    Mary Ann

  88. Fred's Gravatar Fred
    April 4, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Nice post.

    Those of us that have been with you for awhile know that you’re one of the more trustworthy people in IM.

    I struggled with writing reviews about products I didn’t own or had never used when I first started. I refuse to lie to make money.

    I have found a way to promote products that I’ve never used and do it ethically.

    I research the product as thouroughly as possible and write an overview of that product. No hype, no recommending, I just break the product down and show the visitor to my site what it is, how it works and what it does.

    I then send the visitor to a page where they can see numerous (sometimes hundreds) of actual customer reviews for that product.

    I prefer this approach much more than hypey or salesy style reviews.

    I Only promote products that have solid reviews and I think are good. If a product sucks, I don’t care how much money I can make, I won’t do it.

    As far as info products, I just contact the vendor, tell them I’m interested in promoting their product and ask them for a review copy. I won’t promote an info product without seeing it in its entirety first.

    Sorry so long winded, I hope this helps some of those that are concerned with promoting products they’ve never used.

  89. Jenny's Gravatar Jenny
    April 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    What a guy! Who else would declare themselves so openly in such a public venue? But hey, mate, there’s no need to beat yourself up over past actions. All is forgiven, of course. Making a living can be a challenge, both on the net and off it.

    I’ve always found you to be honest and open in your business dealings. In fact, I remember you clearly sticking to the deadline, when I asked for a chance to buy one of your products at the discounted rate, only a day or so after the special offer had expired. You missed out on a sale because of it, but it told me that here was a guy who meant what he said. It wasn’t just a sales technique. It’s one reason I’ve stayed on your list.

    Thanks for the great post and the advice.

    Cheers

    Jenny

  90. April 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    As always thanks for the honesty.

    The responses to this post show how powerful honesty really is. It’s funny how the path of least resistance can seem so foreign and difficult sometimes.

    You should be proud.

    Keep up the good work!

    Matt

  91. April 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I myself am an affiliate marketing manager with a reputed firm. I have noticed the people that have a medium to long term plan usually succeed with it and tend to be patient with their efforts. Also those that look to spam around and be unethical don’t get anywhere

  92. April 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Matt,
    I am very glad to see someone at last who know the real values that should be maintained in any business. I am new to your blog but lost in your article, you really got an awesome blog. just keep it up the great work, will surely come back to read out some more interesting stuff here.

  93. April 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Matt,
    This is an interesting post – but one has to be totally ethical. You either are or are not. A bit like being pregnant – you cannot be half pregnant.

    I had come to regarded you as one of the genuine IM people on line along with a few others I have encountered in the past 2 years of trying. And I have no doubt benefited your bank balance a number of times buy purchasing products that you have recommended – like SYNND, Lisa Parmley and SECockpit

    So why my comments above

    Well I left what I regarded as a legitimate comment on your Google Bombshell site a week or so ago asking your opinion of SYNND – which another contributor had also requested – in light of what Google had done.

    And shortly after I gave an answer to my question which provided a link to a recently released SYNND article which explained how their product worked and why the Google changes were not a problem.

    My comment sat awaiting moderation for several days – but now is no where to be found. Moderated I guess!!

    I find it difficult to understand why unless you believed it detracted from your site or you ran the risk of somehow loosing a potential affiliate sale.

    In my opinion there was nothing controversial or unacceptable in the comment so why has it disappeared? It might even have helped the earlier SYNND commenter have his question answered.

    I am not angry, annoyed or having lots of negative thoughts. Just disappointed in what I see as an inconsistency on the part of someone espousing a ‘gospel’ – which I whole-hearted agree with- being ethical – but ethics is is a mine field so take care not to walk on any of them.

  94. April 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Great and very timely article on subject, Matt! I hope it will bring a wave of “awakening” into the conscience of IM-ers. Like it says in one Russian movie: “the power is not in money but in truth!”. Besides, when we create a site with quality content which we ourselves have “given birth”, it will feel much better to both ourselves and the viewers. It is the same as planting a tree that will grow and give shade and fruits to many.

  95. April 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    I’ve also been guilty of promoting limited time bonus packs in the past and threw out the idea altogether as part of my new year’s resolution 2012.

    Funny story actually …

    I actually had a subscriber emailing me in 2011 saying “sold so many? Why don’t you have a negative counter on your site already?”

    That email left me in stitches, because it was a “Thanks for your review but you’ve been busted” lol and was a good indicator of what others were probably thinking i.e. “More content, less hype and let me decide if i want your bonus or not”.

    Also i think limiting bonuses is probably one of the best ways to shoot yourself in the foot, by alienating those that can’t afford what you’re promoting at the time.

    As far as testing products go, i think you made a really valid point that it’s important to know WHO you are promoting.

    i’ve recently stop relying on advice from friends and have started doing “PRODUCT OWNER PRODUCT NAME” searches before even thinking of promoting a product now.

    It definitely helps especially if the product owner has a bad track record dealing with their customers which is a shame because some products although not too shabby have REALLY aweful customer support.

    Who would have known that bad customer support can ruin a product’s name huh?

    Something i’ll definitely keep in mind though if i’m ever gutsy enough to start creating my own products like yourself.

    At the end of the day, with so many products being released day in and day out it’s becoming even harder being “a good gate keeper” between jaded buyers and product owners.

    Partly because even when a good product DOES come out people are blind to the fact because of their own mentality of approaching an online business.

    However, i think the biggest cause of this is due to the fact that bad product owners leave such unpleasantness in their wake.

    They are really ruining the industry and making life difficult for everyone involved.:-(

    Just my two bits.

    Cheers and God Bless,
    Adam

  96. April 5, 2012 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Thank you Matt as you always provide me a valuable information.

  97. James Sides's Gravatar James Sides
    April 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    You’re a rare breed Matt. Its for this reason than I’ve watched your work for more than two years now. I struggle with many of the same issues you are writing about which is why late last year I decided to start focusing my attention away from affiliate marketing altogether and more on mobile apps.

    Its a whole lot more fun selling entertainment than it is information in my opinion.

    Keep up the great work.

    Cheers,

    James

  98. April 6, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your honesty Matt,since i came across you a few months ago I purchased your seo course plus i have been on all your webinars. Your a straight talker no hyping people up,that is what i like about you.

    Pat Brosnan
    Ireland

  99. James's Gravatar James
    April 6, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I have seen ‘stardom’ change many struggling ‘up-and-comers’ who at one time I regarded as being ‘genuine’, into lowlife, scam perpetuating trolls. Greed, sad to say is what makes the world go round anymore, and it is my firm belief that greed will also be our undoing on a global scale. It is everywhere.
    A couple instances where you may or may not have been so ethical in using false ‘scarcity’ tactics hasn’t changed the fact that you are still one of the few people I can trust. I know goodness in people and you sir, are one of the good ones.
    The ones that burn my ass are the ones who scam people and rip people off for many many years building their bank accounts on the backs of others only to one day decide they are going to come clean. These ‘coming clean’ revelations weren’t designed for anything more than to promote something else really. What really gets me is the fact that many people will still purchase even after someone has told them that they ripped hundreds and thousands of others off before them. I also firmly believe that stupidity is going to play a big role in our undoing as well

Free Video Coaching Series

Enter your details now for instant access...
your email will never be sold and
you can unsubscribe anytime.

About Matt

Hey, Matt here, I'm a full time Super Affiliate, 33 years old, and live in New Zealand with my wife and son.

The internet is a brilliant way to make money. I encourage you to sign up above and start with my free 12 part affiliate marketing video course, and follow on facebook

Facebook