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The Mobile Affiliate-Link Farm

By Stephen Brennan
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2004

Firstly, my purpose is not to undermine or 'rubbish' the value or quality of some of the eBusiness related ebooks available on the Internet. There are many valuable and worthwhile publications available about Home Based Business and Affiliate type Business Opportunities, Marketing and Operation.

There is also absolutely nothing wrong with promoting one's own Affiliate links however, in some circumstances at least, I feel that a clear declaration of that intention should be made. One of those circumstances is when packaging them into an ebook and representing it as an 'Instructional Manual' or 'Guide' to Home Business or Affiliate success (whether it be free or not).

This is more especially 'questionable' in my mind, when one considers that people who are unfamiliar with the workings of Affiliate programs are the one's who are more likely to download (purchase) or access these ebooks, not knowing of the personal incentives, which may well influence a writers 'recommendation' of a service, product or facility. Could these 'recommendations' be biased?

Having said this however, there are some ebooks available, both 'free' (possibly in exchange for registering for a newsletter or opt-in list of some sort) and for varying prices, which would appear in the outset to be, or claim to be 'Guides' or 'Instructional' manuals on how to go about starting or operating your Home Based Business when, what they are in reality is a book containing an inordinate number of 'Affiliate referral links' to all kinds of services. products and facilities, for which the Author will be paid commission (in money or credits) for each client or sub-affiliate they bring on board.

In the extreme case, where the ebook is charged for, often all the buyer is paying for is a 'catalogue' of more things to buy or sign up for. In reality, these 'books' are nothing more than a mobile 'Affiliate Link Farm'.

I have seen some ebooks which contain large numbers of these 'referral' links but contain, in my opinion, very little in the way of sensible or useful advice or instruction. The 'advice' seems to be in the order of, "Buy this product and your Home Business will take off" or "Sign on for this program and you'll see tons of traffic in no time" etc etc.

Obviously, the sole (or at least major) purpose of these ebooks is to get the Affiliate links in front of aspiring Home Based Business people and budding Affiliates, rather than provide any real, genuine guidance.

Of course, if the ebook is free of charge (including no requirement to 'opt-in' for anything), then there is really no financial damage done and for all intents and purposes, this could simply be seen as 'aggressive or overzealous affiliate marketing', but where there is a fee or charge, albeit nominal, the practice must be seen for what it is................

Thank you
Steve Brennan
Author "The Affiliate Guide Book"

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