Rainbow Farts

… and Butterfly Dreams.

And as an added bonus, let’s throw in a couple of unicorns, a handful of lollipops, and some cotton candy.

Doesn’t that sound tempting?!

How many of these have you invested in so far in your business?  My hard drive is housing quite a collection (not easy to admit).

Especially when you’re first getting your entrepreneuial feet wet, it’s really difficult (nearly impossible) to distinguish between “fruit” and “fluff”.

Some business-building products and programs help your business bear fruit — really juicy, sweet-tasting fruit.

And others, well …

Let’s just say they have as much value as a big pile of dryer lint.

Not to imply lint is useless.

I saw an intriguing artist on television once who makes stunning pieces of art with various shades of dryer lint.  And she gets paid big bucks for her creations!  I guess you could say she’s turning lint into gold.

But back to fruit versus fluff …

Do you see that little tab at the top of the page that reads, “$7 Guides”?

I refer to the contents of that page, fondly, as my Michelle Shaeffer Collection.  Michelle produced every one of those guides (so that I didn’t have to go to the trouble).  😉

Have you guessed I’m an affiliate for Michelle? I figured as much.  My readers are super savvy.

Want to know WHY I promote those guides and have them proudly displayed here?  No, it’s not because I intend to make a fortune.  My affiliate commission is exactly $1.50.

I market those guides for Michelle because she’s not trying to sell people rainbow farts and butterfly dreams.

  • What’s the most useless product, service, or program you’ve every purchased?
  • How do YOU tell the difference between “fruit” and “fluff”?
  • If you’re an affiliate marketer – what’s your criterion for determining which products, programs, or services you’ll promote?

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • Pingback: Your Questions About Affiliate Marketing()

  • Please guide me about affiliate marketing and what is the benefit of affiliation products. What is affiliate marketing and what is benefit of affiliation marketing products? How it works? Many Thanks

  • Pingback: Blogging For Beginners: Friday Favs 6/3 | Diana Simon()

  • Pingback: Enough Fluff and Farts | Diana Simon()

  • Hey Melanie,

    Never heard all that “stuff” called rainbow farts or butterfly dreams, but I do like the analogy!

    If you’re an affiliate marketer – what’s your criterion for determining which products, programs, or services you’ll promote?

    That’s a $1,000 question … I like simplicity. The first key for me is “I use just about everything I recommend.” I compiled most of it in what I call my Top Secret Swipe File and stuck it on the site for easy access.

    One way I separate the wheat from the chaff is right on the sales page. At the first sign of over-hype, unrealistic guarantees ($5,000 in 30 days!), testimonials with just initials and no links … Click! And if I buy a product after getting past all of the above and it does not deliver what I think is reasonable results … “Hello, I’d like my money back!” 😀

    That’s about the size of my process! (BTW – I’m using FF today, and every thing looks fine. Go figure!)

    • Hey Vernessa!

      So glad you chimed in on this conversation. 🙂

      This is definitely part of my criterion, as well …

      “One way I separate the wheat from the chaff is right on the sales page. At the first sign of over-hype, unrealistic guarantees ($5,000 in 30 days!), testimonials with just initials and no links … Click!” Good for you!

      Yeah, Go Figure. I’m just thrilled Firefox isn’t temperamental today and you scooted right into the comment box!

      You shine!
      Melanie

  • Pingback: Wrapping Up May: Rainbows, Kreativity, Going Green |()

  • Aw, I’m blushing, Melanie. Thanks so much.

    I’ve bought a product or two that wasn’t the smart decision I’d ever made… But I always learn from those choices. Helps me steer clear of future mistakes and also helps me not make the same mistakes in my own business/marketing/products.

    For affiliate products, I’m pretty picky. I’ll endorse/promote only products or services I’ve purchased myself. Once in a while I’ll promote something I haven’t used/read yet if it’s from someone I really trust.

    • Blush away, Michelle! You look good in pink. 🙂

      It’s comforting (in a way) to know someone of your caliber has pulled out a credit card or grabbed some funds from PayPal to buy a product or two that wasn’t exactly the best thing since sliced bread. Sometimes you just don’t know until you get the thing in your hands.

      I agree with you about the “learning” part. There’s always something to be learned from a not-so-great experience.

      A huge lesson I learned after getting burned a few times was to see what I could find out about the owner of a product, program, or service FIRST before spending the money. And I could kick myself for not figuring that out sooner … duh. My Google search bar is right there in front of my eyes at all times and yet I bypassed it, overlooked it, or just plain ignored it in the past.

      It doesn’t surprise me you’re pretty picky about whose products you’ll become an affiliate for. Like I mentioned to Samantha, you have the right to be downright picky. And when you really think about it …

      When you sign up as an affiliate, both you and the affiliate program owner are a direct reflection of one another in the eyes of potential customers or clients. And I think a lot of people lose sight of that fact.

      Thanks for being here today, Michelle!

      • Yep, it does reflect on us as affiliates when we promote something. I’ve passed on a few promotions that I’d love to have been involved in, because I didn’t feel comfy recommending it to my list (sometimes it just wasn’t a good fit–my list wouldn’t have been interested). But worse would be if we promoted something scummy!

        And yes, been there. I’ll admit I’ve made some unwise purchases. lol It gets most of us in the beginning. We get smarter as we go. 🙂

        • I hear THAT, Michelle!

          And thank goodness we DO get a little wiser and make a little progress as we go.

          I believe our lessons in life (and in business) are weaved into the bigger scheme of things. We’re destined to hit those bumps in the road so we can better learn to circumvent them as we move further along in our journey. 🙂

          On the flip side of passing on some affiliate opportunities …

          I’ve come across some really cool, really wonderful products, programs, and services that don’t offer an affiliate program — and that’s always a big disappointment — especially if they’re well-suited for my target audience.

          Has that ever happened to you?

  • Hi Melanie,

    How do you come up with such a title for your posts! Rainbow farts 🙂 It’s impossible not to want to read this.

    I am so glad you brought this up because when I first started out, everything seem good and marketers sure have a way with words. I have bought a LOT of fluff in the past and now I am more careful.

    What has helped, as mentioned in Theresa’s comments, is to make myself think about it for a week. Yes, there is that take action today bonus but I now know better. The price never seems to change! If it does, then I have to figure out if it is really worth the higher price.

    For me it’s interesting how even credible people have turned to marketing tactics such as bonuses and take action discounts etc because it bothers me. If you ever see me doing things like that, Melanie, please send me a note to remind me I am losing it!!

    I have slowly moved into affiliate marketing and I won’t recommend a product I haven’t tried out myself nor share anything if I don’t know the marketer.

    BTW, Michelle rocks and she is so down to earth. I have bought her products and she can easily charge $27 and it will still be of value. You have actually given me an idea for a post!

    Thanks always for your solid posts.

    • Good question about the title of this post, Diana.

      Given the subject matter, my goal was to come up with something that sounded “far-fetched”, “goofy”, and “senseless”. And I think I managed to pull it off. 🙂

      You’re definitely NOT alone. Just about everybody I know made some bad purchases when first starting out. And it’s really easy to do. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person but I’m also very trusting. I made the mistake of believing the products and programs I paid hard-earned dollars for were going to give me a return on my investment. WRONG.

      Unfortunately, there are tons of marketers (especially on the internet) who literally take advantage of others, use all kinds of sleazy sales tactics, and do a darn good job of catching people at vulnerable moments in their life.

      Theresa’s advice is excellent. WAIT IT OUT.

      I really don’t like the marketers who use “urgency” tactics — nothing is ever that urgent, in my opinion. Unless, of course, you’re bleeding profusely, unconscious, or your house is on fire! 🙂

      Your “affiliate marketing head” is screwed on straight.

      Thanks so much for joining in the conversation,
      Melanie

  • Ooh! Great questions and thought-provoking post here, Melanie! I’m sure that I’ve regretted some purchases, but I can’t think of any recent ones! I’ll be thinking about this for days! =P

    I’ve actually never purchased an eBook before, but I’ve been considering purchasing a couple. I lean toward authors who have built a solid reputation in their field and it helps to get feedback from friends apart from testimonials already on their website. I also really like supporting people who are great networkers and are willing to build a relationship with me! =)

    I’m not an affiliate marketer, but I like how you explained the concept. I always thought that affiliate marketing was about whatever products appeared — I didn’t realize that I could choose to promote only certain products. Very cool idea! =)

    • Not only can you “choose”, Sam …

      You can be downright picky! And also engrave your own personal affiliate marketing policy in stone, too.

      For example, I won’t become an affiliate marketer for anyone who hasn’t taken the time to build a rock solid relationship with me. Don’t mean to sound harsh … but that’s my policy and I stick to it. I also will not promote anything for an affiliate program owner who doesn’t provide me with ALL the promotional tools I need to spread the word about them.

      Anyway, I’m so glad this little post got you thinking and I hope you’ll bite the bullet and purchase the e-books you’ve been considering. And remember …

      If you’re unhappy with your purchase — ask for a refund!

      Always nice to see you here,
      Melanie

      • Ooh! I love the idea of “engraving my own personal affiliate marketing policy.” =) In that sense, the products I promote become a part of my image too! =) Thanks for all the advice, Melanie!

        • Exactly right, Sam! You are one smart cookie. I’m growing to like you more every day. 🙂

  • Hi Melanie –

    I have a reputation as being the person who NEVER buys anything at the back of a seminar room… or much online for that matter. The problem is, in my humble opinion, buying during the height of passion is EXACTLY the wrong time to buy. I mean, how many products can a person purchase until they run out of room on their bookshelves for the ‘dust collectors’?

    When the guy selling the product has you so hyped by an entertaining presentation… it’s time to think twice. Or when he/she has you convinced you absolutely cannot live without something.. take a minute (or a day or a week) and think. When they’ve convinced you that you have a problem that is so bad you need help immediately well, who says? Mr Atlas?

    There’s a time to buy and a time not to buy.

    I know you’ve seen those pitches where a product being sold for $799 (but only at that very instant – price never to be seen again) is actually ‘worth’, in their not so humble opinion, something like $39,495. Of course, it comes with all those special bonuses. 🙂

    On the other hand, I’ve paid some pretty high premiums for services and products that have served me well over the years.

    The difference between fruit and fluff? It’s all done with mirrors. Got me jazzed with this post. It’s a good one!

    Theresa

    • Now you’re talkin’ turkey, Theresa!

      Some would describe me as a literal miser. I’m not sure I’d go THAT far but I will admit I”m frugal.

      Can’t tell you how refreshing it is (downright wonderful, actually) to know you think in opposite terms the minute the BIG PITCH kicks into high gear. When I start to smell a “you’re-a-fool-if-you-don’t-buy-this-thing” song and dance, I find the exit … pronto. The red flags starting going up and my (common sense) radar signals the message, “Run away!”

      And don’t get me started on the “bonuses” …
      I’m sure you caught my drift at the beginning of this post. 🙂

      You know what, Theresa? People aren’t going to believe this or maybe they’re going to think I’m nuts (and that’s okay), but …

      I DON’T WANT ANY BONUSES. Unless, of course, any bonus being offered will scrub my toilets, walk my dog, wash my dishes, and do my laundry for me. Those I’ll gladly accept.

      Otherwise, please don’t offer me all those “perks”. To me, they don’t “sweeten” the deal. In my mind, they tend to “cheapen” the deal.

      Does that make any sense to you?

      Thanks for your insights, Theresa. I feel as if I’m rubbing shoulders with a kindred spirit. Feels good, too. 🙂

      Mel

  • Hi Mel
    “What’s the most useless product, service, or program you’ve every purchased?”

    Here goes then…

    I purchased the Charles Atlas body building course when I was a youth.

    Slogan was…
    “You too can have a body like mine.”

    Did it work?
    Sadly not but it gives me a few laughs thinking about it. LOL

    BTW – take a look at my comment over at http://www.thesaleslion.com/blogging-superstars-blog-world-nyc-2011/comment-page-1/#comment-13666

    I’ve given you a mention.

    • Keith, your candor is refreshing and contagious!

      I think my two brothers bought that same product. You’re right — it didn’t work. The last I saw them their bodies didn’t even remotely resemble Charles Atlas. LOL!!

      On my way over to The Sales Lion and thanks for the mention,
      Mel

  • Melanie,

    $7.00 is a steal. Michelle knows her stuff so I am sure their is no fluff. She is not a fluff kind of gal.

    Yes, I have a few of those reports and ebooks that are full of fluff, most of them I have dragged over to the trash. Now I am careful about what I buy and opt in for.

    When I saw your title I thought about a smartphone app Joel Comm made….it is farting sounds. Makes you wonder why that word is so attractive.

    • Hi Sheila,

      LOL! I’m beginning to believe “farts” have more appeal than I realized. 🙂 Not my usual kind of title but it’s fun to be silly once in a while.

      Good to know I’m not the only one who’s gotten roped in by some cleverly-written sales page that promises a lot … and delivers little or nothing. But we get a little wiser along the way, don’t we? And thank goodness.

      Appreciate the visit today,
      Melanie

      • That product Joel created was the iFart. I saw him speak at an event and he told us all about it. In fact, they posted a sign in their office rest room that says something like ‘creative research department’. Haha.

        He laughed all the way to the bank. He made some serious money on that little app. Probably still does.

        I loved your title.

        • Darn it, Theresa! Why didn’t WE think of that?!

          I never thought in my lifetime I’d ever see anyone capitalizing on farts. Go figure.

          We better put our thinking caps on. We’re lagging behind.

          Do you think we could do anything with “burps” or maybe “hiccups”? Surely we could record someone “snoring” and find a way to turn it into some cash. LOL 🙂

          Mel

  • Gotta love the word “farts” in a blog post title! Gotta love it even more when it’s followed up by a solid article with an important point. I only promote affiliate products that I’ve personally used and that are excellent and effective. They’re products I can fully recommend with integrity.

    • Hi Leanne,

      You’ve brought up a really good point and an absolutely essential component of affiliate marketing success …

      “They’re products I can fully recommend with integrity.” That’s THE key!

      I took a risk putting the word, “farts”, in my title, but what the heck? Columbus took a chance! 🙂

      Everyone is enjoying your video series — great job!
      Melanie

  • I really enjoyed your post! Michelle is awesome! I am an affiliate as well and couldn’t agree more. She knows her stuff, and is always ready to help. 🙂

    • Great to meet you, Lucretia!

      Thanks for knocking on my door and it’s always a pleasure to cross paths with someone who respects and appreciates Michelle as much as I do. 🙂

      Wishing you the best in affiliate marketing,
      Melanie

  • Speaking of lint- I have a great recipe that calls for lint to make a type clay from so yes, you are right when you add that lint is not useless.

    What is so far useless is a recent purchase that I made. It was not specifically for my “business” but, I did want to share that I invested a mere $5.00 for this pretty box with a nice photo of a young Jane Fonda on it. The box contained what may very well double as those thing-a-ma-jigs that can fit under each couch leg to move it easier on top of carpet as to glide it into a new position. What this item is “supposed” to do is exercise me. The claim is to use the ultra sliders to strengthen abs, arms,legs, and glutes. Now, here is my point after reading your blog- sometimes we see what we may think is furit and then think well, the price is surely fluff so it might be worth a try. And then other times, the fluff product may have some element of fruit to it. We have to be open to try different things because you never know what you will gain from any situation- fruit or fluff.

    • Well, there you go, Veronica! You are living, breathing proof lint is NOT useless.

      ” … may very well double as those thing-a-ma-jigs that can fit under each couch leg to move it easier on top of carpet as to glide it into a new position.”

      As always, I love your sense of humor. 🙂

      Thanks for swinging by,
      Melanie

  • Pingback: Blokube.com()

  • Love it Melanie. Rainbow farts and butterfly dreams are no substitute for real help! I already knew you were awesome, but giving Michelle props and serving your readers in such a generous way makes me love ya even more!

    Many blessings,
    Carrie

    • Thank you, Carrie! Haven’t seen you here in a while and it’s wonderful to have you back. 🙂

      I know you’ve been busy and what you’ve been up to — I DO read the updates everyone posts on our TLC group. Just don’t always have a chance to respond.

      Michelle Shaeffer is one of those genuine, true professional online marketing experts who produces consistent high quality products and services. She’s also a good friend and one of the most generous people on the net. Bottom line … I love her and respect her and I’m proud to promote her awesomeness.

      Blessings back at ya!
      Melanie