Why I don't do affiliate marketing on SaaSHub
During the last year, I’ve been approached on a regular basis with requests to take part in various affiliate and referral programs. To be honest, some of them seemed decent and applicable to SaaSHub. For example, a VPN service. If we take the “Best VPN Software” page, it is quite suitable for including an affiliate link to a relevant VPN service. SaaSHub could drive a few sales, and I could make some additional money. Perfect. Well, it is a bit more complicated than that, at least to me.
First, yes, I may make a hundred dollars through a particular affiliate program; however, each product will require separate management, accounting and collecting the money through a different channel. The overhead and admin will be more than I can afford in regards to time and energy. It is just not viable at this stage.
Second, I will always be trying to be as objective as possible with the product lists on SaaSHub. However, if there were affiliate links and the relevant disclosures, many people will start questioning how genuine the ordering of the products is. In essence, the cost of using affiliate links would be losing some trust even if you are trustworthy.
My “workaround” is offering a self-service and very affordable product promo. It is that easy. As long as a product has been approved on SaaSHub, it can be promoted for $99/month. That subscription fee is nothing for the marketing budges of most SaaS products, and they can easily test whether it works for them. At the end of the month, there are no additional admin costs and I get one single payment from one source instead of 50 payments from 50 distinct sources arriving in 28 different days (if I were using affiliates).
In the end, I don’t think that affiliate and referral programs are bad or dishonest. If one discloses them and doesn’t promote “fake” products, they could possibly be a viable revenue stream. They just don’t work for SaaShub and me and now.