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Website Do's and Don'ts
When traveling on a busy highway everyone can get where they need to go without incident as long as everyone plays by the rules of the road. One unsuccessful multi-tasker, applying mascara, answering the cell phone, and merging three lanes without a signal can ruin the morning commute for everyone.
Follow the Right Road
The concept is the same for affiliates 'driving on the Information Superhighway'. There are a few important rules to follow so affiliate marketing can continue to be profitable for everyone. Affiliates who break the rules are not only scorned by fellow affiliates, but are also under penalty of law for breaking term agreements. If you are planning to be an affiliate, plan to follow these rules:
The first and most important rule of affiliate marketing is, no spam! Do no send unsolicited email to get people to click on affiliate links. This is considered unethical, is annoying, and gives the merchant (and you) a bad reputation. Sending unsolicited email is illegal and authorities have begun to really crack down on those who send it.
It is also against the rules to use commercial links or affiliate links in forums, message boards, or online bulletin boards. While it is generally acceptable to post a hotlink to your web site in a forum, you may not post an affiliate link in a forum.
Don't Alter Banner Content
Merchants' banner advertisements are protected by copyright, and affiliates are given the permission to use them as is. They are not to be altered by the affiliates. This is punishable by law. Some merchants may allow a slight altering of the size of the banner or the banner HTML code, but usually only with expressed permission. Be aware of the merchant's rules for minor alterations. Altering the content of a banner is prohibited.
Illegal Site=Illegal Traffic
Do not post affiliate links on illegal sites. Traffic from illegal sites is not recognized as legal and thus any revenue and sales earned from such traffic is forfeited and void at the Merchant's discretion. In most cases illegal sites will then be turned over to the authorities.
Affiliate marketing can be wonderfully profitable for affiliates and merchants as long as affiliates continue to play fair. Playing by the rules means placing text links and banner advertisements on legitimate web sites, or placing an affiliate link on a legal, and requested, e-zine, or newsletter. Affiliates can make big bucks by taking the legal road and can feel good about their honest efforts when the revenue begins rolling in.
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