It's not always easy to keep up with each of your affiliate program's terms and conditions but in my opinion it's absolutely necessary.
My rule as an affiliate marketer is to do the right thing and follow the rules of the game. I believe it leads to stronger relationships with merchants who may be more willing to work with you.
Pay Per Click Advertising :
Always follow the merchants policies regarding PPC advertising on search engines. If you do not like them, then pick a different merchant.
Merchants have worked long and hard to make their companies what they are. They own all trade names and trademarks and have the right to decide how they are marketed.
News Letters: Follow best practices, the law and market with integrity. I'm still amazed at some of the emails that I receive on a daily basis that does not follow CANSPAM regulations or affiliate program guidelines.
As a consumer I stay away from these types of advertisers. I believe they're dishonest in their business practices and do not have integrity.
I believe marketers should act with integrity and respect in their business dealings.
If you are putting together a newsletter, always ask your associate manager for written approval.
I'm still amazed how some of my merchants are so happy that I actually ask for their approval when marketing their programs on newsletters, blogs, etc.
Are there that dishonest marketers out there? I do not think so. I think many affiliates just do not understand or know the rules of the game.
I suggest that all affiliates learn acceptable affiliate marketing practices.
There's a lot to learn but it's absolutely necessary to know the dos and don'ts about affiliate marketing.
Use of Merchant Banners, Logos and Trademarks: I think it's absolutely necessary that affiliates follow the guidelines for the use of a merchant's banners, logos and trademarks. It's their property and they have the right to decide how they're used.
Merchants also have a decent idea about what works in marketing their program. Follow their lead and suggestions.
Blogs: Blogs are very popular and they provide a powerful way to market an affiliate's website.
Like other mediums, it's important to seek affiliate program approval to market a merchant on a blog.
Without the medium is a sub page of an affiliate site's domain, the right conduct is to seek merchant approval.
I've had very few merchants that have denied my requests to market their program on my blogs, especially if the blogs can be seen as an extension of my site.
Ethical & Legal Conduct: It should be obvious that following the law is an absolute must when conducting your affiliate marketing endeavors.
I go one step further. I do my best to follow ethical business conduct. I also do what I personally believe is right. Just because something is legal, does not make it ethical or moral.
I ask myself this question: "If I was not making money doing this practice, would I think it was right, ethical and moral?"
If the answer is no. Then the practice is not right for me.
I believe that most affiliates are honest marketers and follow best practices in their marketing endeavors.
I'm extremely proud to be an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketers should think about their potential customers and follow best affiliate practices when marketing to their potential customers.
I believe that if best affiliate practices are followed success in affiliate marketing will be much greater.