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Friday, January 21, 2005

Protect yourself from affiliate link hijackers

So, you have worked really hard to build a fabulous affiliate site. You took the time to add your keywords and relevant information about the products. Your pages load quickly, and your site is even listed in the search engines for specified terms. You look at your stats, and you see a regular flow of traffic coming into your site. You get really excited! You log in to your affiliate program manager, and.... WHAMO! You have very few commissions from sales, and your click-throughs are extremely low. Suddenly, you are asking yourself, "what the heck happened here??" The answer... You might possibly be the victim of affiliate link hijacking!

In this revolving world of the Internet, we are constantly being bombarded by spammers, spyware, viruses, and hackers. Now, we have to worry about link hijackers stealing commissions that are rightfully ours. So, what is link hijacking and how do you prevent it?

In the simplest terms, link hijacking occurs when someone replaces their affiliate ID with yours. The result? They get the commission instead of you. You did all that work, but someone else is getting paid? Yes! You may be wondering how this happens. Let me explain. I first heard about this phenomenon while visiting various discussion boards on affiliate marketing. Many affiliates had experienced a decline in sales while their site's traffic stats remained high. Common discussions found in affiliate forums include various software programs which "steal" information. Many of these programs download themselves onto a person's computer, either knowingly or unknowingly. These programs can override your affiliate links each time the customer visits your site, therefore giving credit to someone else. Many times, people download packaged programs that contain these types of software. The innocent surfer may not even realize they have a program running in the background. Anyone who takes part in the Internet community, whether it be a webmaster or a surfer, should stay informed about these programs by visiting parasiteware.com on a regular basis.

Link hijacking comes in various forms... not just from downloads.

This information is continued here: Protecting Yourself From Affiliate Link Thieves.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tips, Tricks, and Resources on How to Avoid Scams

It takes careful planning to build your home based business. Avoiding costly mistakes beforehand will prevent you from losing valuable time and money invested. In this day and age, business scams are lurking everywhere. So how do we keep ourselves from falling prey to becoming victims?

1) Research- It sounds so simple, doesn't it? You would be surprised how many people just jump into a business without researching a company's background. The Better Business Bureau offers background information and reliability reports on many companies. Not all companies may be listed unless the company is a member of the BBB or an individual has filed a complaint. It never hurts to try, and it only takes a few minutes. http://search.bbb.org/search.html If a company is listed, then you will get a general idea of how long the company has been in business and whether or not there have been complaints, reports, or resolutions to any complaints filed. The BBB also has a section on current scams at http://www.bbb.org/alerts/Scam.asp. These are not just business scams, but the information is extremely useful.

2) False claims- Does the company make claims that just "sound too good to be true"? You know how the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Amazingly enough, there are a number of people on the Internet who are lured into believing all the "hype". Why does this happen? Because we want so badly to believe that what is written has to be true. We want that "quick fix" or "quick income stream". I'm not saying that the quick income stream isn't always possible, but you have to know your stuff! If you are a newbie at affiliate marketing or online business building, that "quick fix" just isn't going to happen. It's a learning process. I've been working on my business for 5 years, and I'm still learning things every day.

3) Contact information- Does the business have contact information available on their site? Can you call them? Do they have a physical address? A legitimate business will have that information posted on their site in an easy to find spot.

4) Ethical business practices- The Direct Marketing Association has posted a set of guidelines for Ethical Business Practice at http://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/ethicalguidelines.shtml . These guidelines include such things as:
*terms of the offer
*advance consent marketing
*special offers and claims
*marketing to children
*sweepstakes sites
*fulfillment of orders
*collecting personal information and data on your website
*online marketing
*telephone marketing
*fund-raising
*laws, codes, and regulations

Know what to look for beforehand.

5) Does the company offer goods or services? Legitimate businesses will offer some type of goods or services for any fees they charge. A company that claims you can make money by recruiting new members is an illegal pyramid scheme. If the company charges a fee, they must offer some type of service or product. Two great websites on fraud are the Internet Fraud Watch www.fraud.org and the National Consumer's League at www.nclnet.org.

6) Ask, Ask, Ask! If you do a search on business forums or discussion boards, what will you find? Thousands of websites where you can post and ask questions about business. Chances are that the opportunity you are interested in has already been discussed many times over. Seek the opinions of other people who are building a home based business. The advice is priceless and well worth your search efforts.


*** You may reproduce this article only if the by-line below and links are included.

About the Author:
Stephani Richardson is a work at home mother of 4 who has been actively involved with affiliate marketing and home business opportunities since December 1999. She owns and operates several business related websites including 1 Work At Home Dot Com at http://www.1workathome.com and Business-Oppurtunities at http://www.business-oppurtunities.com.

Welcome to the 1Workathome Blog

Just a quick note to welcome everyone to the 1 Work At Home Dot Com blog. In the future we will be adding great articles and content. We look forward to assisting you in your home business endeavors.

 

 

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