Proposed Partnerships: Is the Extra Money Worth It?

    November 26, 2003

Every day, sometimes several times a day, I get an email from someone asking if I would like to partner with them.

This is different from the typical “let’s trade links” deal; these people propose that I personally endorse their product. They basically want me to declare to my readers or visitors that *I* personally love the product and don’t know what I’d do without it.

In return, they usually offer to either a) endorse one of my products, or b) pay me a percentage of the profits made from my endorsement.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

Well … no. Not to me.

You see, as an online entrepreneur my reputation and credibility are based entirely on how I present myself online.

Endorsing someone else’s product is great – but ONLY if you truly believe it to be a high-quality product that delivers great value. That means you MUST first use or sample the product yourself.

Just imagine: Someone approaches you and offers to pay a generous commission for every sale he makes due to an endorsement you place on your website or mail to your subscribers. Your visitors/readers then view your endorsement and purchase the product because they trust you.

Soon you begin to get irate emails – people are unhappy with the product and angry with YOU for leading them to believe that the product was worth having.

Some of you are probably howling, “But it’s the CUSTOMER’s responsibility to exercise due diligence!”.

Sure, I completely agree. Only it doesn’t matter: it’s people’s PERCEPTION of YOU that counts. By putting your personal “stamp of approval” on a shoddy product just to make a few extra bucks makes you seem like … well … like someone who’s only in it for the money. Someone who has absolutely no regard for anyone else … Like a SCAMMER.

Be very careful of what you choose to endorse. Doing it “just for the money” may make you some short-term profits (even significant short-term profits), but you still lose in the end: you lose the trust of your visitors, and consequently you also lose potential or repeat customers.

It’s okay to refuse a partnership opportunity. If the product or service isn’t something YOU would personally purchase and use, then don’t endorse it. Simply write back a courteous email and decline the offer.

On the other hand, if you genuinely love the product, then go for it – publish an endorsement! Chances are your visitors will also love it. They get something they want; you look good for suggesting it and make a nice profit as a bonus. Everybody wins!

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Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner’s budget. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the book! Visit or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started.