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These are your basic pay-per-click affiliate marketing campaigns where you have no presence and no authority in the niche of the product you're promoting. There's no connection between you and the end consumer, and all you're doing is putting an affiliate link in front of someone via Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc. in the hopes that they'll click on your link, buy the product, and earn a commission.
The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don't have the time. For many, this is their only option.
Personally, I don't like this business model because to me, this is not a business model. It's an income generating model, yes, but is it a business model where I can build relationships with the end user? No. With PPC affiliate marketing, you become a behind-the-scenes middle man.
With this model, there’s pressure to focus more on the potential income rather than the customers you’re serving. That’s the dark side of affiliate marketing.
And that's not for me. In fact, in early 2009 I tried something similar once. I signed up for an affiliate network and found thousands of potential products I could promote. I chose one and spent about $250 dollars on Adwords hoping someone would click on the link and I'd get paid.
If you dabble in PPC affiliate marketing and it's working for you in a way that you’re instilling trust in your audience, I applaud you and wish you continued success. It's a lot more difficult than it sounds, so props to those of you finding success with it