Over the years I have purchased products through affiliate links. I have been and am thankful for a few dozens of people who had taken pains to explain how a product is good, how does it compare to peers, and who is the right audience for the product.

This blog also has affiliate links. I may have endorsed things elsewhere that I may not be particularly proud of, but I make sure of the one crucial thing –

  • I make an effort to learn about the products that I endorse
  • I do a cost/benefit analysis of what others have to offer
  • I try to tell people about what they are going to get

I believe that decency can give me a good night’s sleep, if nothing else. However, that is not to say I am super proud of 100% of the things I have done in the past.

In addition, I generally tend to think that readers who get to the blog/ website/ review are not the typical people who invest in the Central Nigerian Bank to transfer $500M to their account. Well, nothing wrong with those chaps – but we will assume a certain degree of competence. Let’s face it – they are looking out for and reading reviews.

Getting to the point

So, it was with some premonition, later followed by surprise, that I came across blog posts like these..

  • Establish a super Shopify store: https://www.bloggersideas.com/ecom-turbo-review-with-coupon-code/
  • Sing like Christina while creating the store: https://www.bloggersideas.com/christina-aguilera-masterclass_review/
  • How about some poker to relax while singing and creating a store: https://www.bloggersideas.com/daniel-negreanu-masterclass-review/

My first thought: is this a joke? The post is so ..

Second thought: am I missing something here?
After all, BloggerIdeas seems to be one of the highest traffic garnering sites in India (where, let’s be honest, I would rather sing like Shreya Ghoshal).

So.. that brings to my third thought – am I entitled to an opinion and comment provided I have PoS blogs (plural) in the first place? Of course, this aside from the fact that I am wasting words, your time, and the original blogger’s effort in the process. (Note that I did not mention about my effort and time – that’s well spent on blogging thesis that benefits no one).

Dissecting the post (well, not really)

The posts go through the master class features, fill up pages of content on the master class creators, and run through the whole process with as much as excitement as a sloth on a rainy day.

From an SEO perspective, the post may hit the right notes with content length, type of content and the right links. Though I don’t see how Google makes sense of a bunch of seemingly unrelated topics.

So, that possibly could serve well as a landing page for a paid ad?

Whatever may be the reason: I am surprised at the uniqueness of the human entity.

  1. for the author who writes the post and stands by it
  2. for the people who possibly get to this post and buy into it
  3. for idiots like me who feel rather awkward and do a pathetic attempt to put that in words

I remembered Alex Becker while thinking through affiliate marketing attempt on the said blog. The dude was kind of a hot SEO material in 2015-16 (a lot of IM’ers may be nodding their heads in a bad way – I get that).

Becker used one of the affiliate sites in his course that pulled in traffic (was in the first three in SERPs for ‘online guitar lessons’). I understand paid traffic may have played a part, I understand it was easier to game Google back then – but I can safely bet (all of Rs. 100) that you would be convinced about signing up for guitar lessons by looking at the content.

The posts and videos waxed eloquent about the lessons and backed that up by Becker strumming the guitar – an ordinary human will connect the two immediately.

Not kidding –

The point is – Becker, despite the hate and borderline-questionable advise, did put in the effort to get people on his side.

Imagine that –

  • you were a third party quite unfamiliar with the affiliate marketing world (or have a basic understanding and see the world in a pinkish hue)
  • .. landed on his mini-site that talked about how he acquired skills through online guitar lessons
  • .. saw his skills in the process and listened to Becker talk eloquent about how he learnt to play

.. you would be inclined to give the guitar lessons a try.

Which is the whole point I was trying to make.

Take away

I am not targeting the specific blog (well, who am I kidding – I probably am). I do hope you see a lesson somewhere there.

  • Don’t be the one who advertises in people’s faces. You will not be liked (but probably earn money and learn in the process – so that may not be a bad thing either)
  • Don’t advise unto others, that you don’t buy yourselves

But –

  • Put in the effort in the right direction and make sure others recognize that effort in your posts, videos and other content
  • Do bring your passion to your posts. Research and bring stuff that others may not have thought about
  • Bring your voice. Yes, I am certainly interested in the product, but I am more interested in what you are feeling about it. I may like you, and not like the product- but you have my trust for future buys
  • And, for Pete’s sake – make the journey interesting (this post is not a good example)

For example: if I had been dreamin’ one of the wild dreams, and if I had to succeed in selling Christina’s master class to you I would think a bit differently.

How can I remake content to tell a story –

Once upon a time, after oh-so-many ditched efforts, I decided – “I will learn to sing better for real this time”.

I could never really stick on to the habit of advancing myself vocally. Though I often fancied having complete control over voice that would be melodious and “different” at the same time – it never came to be. It was either “not enough effort”, “effort in the wrong direction”, or “too much time spent learning too little”.

I am not to blame others for my failures.

But it should only be fair that the Gurus take the partial blame ? 🙂

This train of thought led me on my quest to find a Guru online. That had its advantages..

– Less time spent travelling, more time learning

– The flexibility of learning when I want rather than focusing on the availability of the teacher

– Practice alone or with friends, and avoid embarrassing gaffes at the very beginning

– Feedback from others will prompt me towards the right person or course.

But, how could I possibly go do this all alone or through gurus of some repute, when someone no less than one of the most talented female artists of our times’ volunteers to teach me?

And.. so goes the story until I reach the master class proposition.

How can I bring better context for humans and bots –

  • Create a mini website for music with context and outgoing links
  • Create some content (possibly “inspired”) on the topic and make that visible
  • Bring some friendly, neighbourhood citizens who loved the product and showed even a 0.5% improvement 🙂

So then, I start feeling vindicated about my unused, superior knowledge on the topic.

ON THE OTHER HAND..

What do I know? The author of the blog mentioned earlier is accomplished, earns a gazillion dollars, and is recognized by experts and commoners alike – over the globe.

Those who crib, do just that (= me, if you can’t tell). Those who write affiliate posts instead will go on to win money, fame and reach nirvana.

The advise then should simply be –

Go ahead, and write sh*t.

Don’t wait for the supreme knowledge or try to perfect everything until it is rather useless.


What do you think, fellow human? Did I succeed in evolving the world with my wise words?