IM basics – use protection – due diligence

Due diligence

Doing due diligence can be a bit tricky because you often can’t find out how an advertising site operates prior to joining. Unfortunately there are some sites where management standards are less than ideal. Or, to put it bluntly, not all owners are honest.

The people who have been around the industry for a while have a pretty good idea of who are good and who are not so good, but there is no list published. So we need to tread carefully. I still get caught occasionally, but the following helps reduce the chances of being taken for a ride.

For me, one enormous red flag is a lack of ownership details.

danger, danger, danger - due diligence
While making ownership clear doesn’t guarantee honest ownership, the lack of ownership information suggests the owner has something to hide. As the site is supposedly being run as a business, ownership must be clear as it must be in any business. Particularly in a business where you are likely to invest, whether it be time or money that you’re investing.

Another red flag is the lack of ability to contact the site owner/admin from the public site (prior to login). You must be able to contact the site owner or administrator without having to first join and log into the site.

This is very important, so I repeat – if owner information is not readily available and/or there is no way of contacting the owner from the public side of the site, do not join the site.

An internet search on the site/owner name may provide you with some insights. For example, you may find references if the owner is known for not responding to support tickets, or for not paying due commissions.

Send a support ticket and see if you get a response. Always be polite. Don’t shout (don’t write in all capitals & keep terminal points (.?!) to a minimum). Never be rude in communication with a site owner. Apart from being unlikely to get a response, if you have one, you’re likely to get your account suspended. Consider that their primary language may not be the same as yours and be aware that they may be working in a different time zone, they will probably have a number of tickets to work through each day, and they may have a full time job away from their computer. They may even be on holiday. So don’t expect an instant response. The better owners will answer within 12 hours. The busier ones within a couple of days.
Some are just rude and don’t bother responding at all. Walk away. If they’re not responding to support tickets, you don’t want to be involved with them.

do your due diligence

When it comes to systems that you will see advertised, be aware that nine out of ten internet-based products, programs, or “systems” just plain don’t work. Worse yet… they may be outright scams. There are no get rich quick schemes. There is no “secret to making money online” or “missing ingredient without which you will fail”. Some internet millionaire’s “done for you website” is not going to make you a millionaire. Steer clear of anything that sounds to good to be true – it most probably will be.

Because you’ve read this far, I’ll let you into a little “secret”.

To be successful online, it is simply a matter of having a product which others are likely to find useful and then presenting that product to those prospects in a manner that is going to interest them. And that takes work.

I'm lucky because I work

You need to get your advertisement displayed to as many people as possible, all day, and every day. And if you mislead your prospects with unsubstantiated claims, you will very quickly lose credibility. Honesty and perseverance are both essential. Add branding to the mix and things will start to fall into place. But it will not happen overnight.

If you would like some ideas about where and how you should be advertising, there is some really good training available (including free weekly webinars) at this site. Traffic Exchanges are also rated there to show which are currently performing well.

Also, get involved with discussion groups. Watch the chat in the Traffic Exchanges. If an owner is behind in their commission payments, you can be certain that there will be people complaining.

One very good piece of advice I have seen is “never upgrade at any site until you have received a payment from that site”. It may take a while for that first payment to come through, but you don’t want to be putting cash and effort into a site where you’re not going to receive your dues.

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