There seems to be a lot of confusion with people who are in affiliate programs and their advertising online and offline methods.
So let me define what the words Employee and Affiliate (independent contractors are)
- Employee means that you work for a company that takes taxes out of your earning and sends you a actual paycheck with tax deductions taken out. It means you have filled out the W4 and application for employment, it also means you DID NOT PAY ANY MONEY to be hired on. you also get a W2 at the end of the year for tax purposes.
- Affiliate means you are working on your own for a website or company and you have not filled out any tax forms, you may be asked to fill out a W9 and submit it to the company, this means you pay for your own taxes at the end of the year, the company will submit all of your earnings to the IRS by the last day of the year. You are not a employee for this company. Regardless you are responsible for paying your own taxes and since you completed a W9 you will be taxed at the Self Employment rate and that is higher and set regardless.
Now that we have the two meanings of the words lets move on to being truthful when you advertise to others about what you are doing.
- Do not advertise it as a job, it is not a job. ( it may be your way of earning money and you call it your job however that does not mean it is a Job) There are many people looking to work from home and there are many legit companies that actually hire people to work from home (telecommuting)
- If there is a fee or a start up cost you must inform people in your advertising the cost and if it is a recurring cost or one time or any requirements before you can actually start earning. Misleading a person is never good for the program or for your own reputation.
- Never use the words INVESTMENT or REVENUE in your advertising, are you in the stock exchange that takes it to a whole other level. Yes you can invest in yourself and invest your time in your hobby or family.
- DUE DILIGENCE IS A MUST before you begin anything in life, research and ask questions, do not just jump in with your eyes closed, know what is required of you before you commit. Nothing is given to you, we all must put some type of effort in order to be successful in anything we decide to do in our life.
- When you ask questions of the person who is asking you to join their program and they start to get offended or begin to attack you, RUN this is not a program that you need to join and do report the person to the website owner, just go to the website and click contact and include all details of what happened. Website owners like to know if their affiliate’s are not complying to company policy that is where Compliance comes into play and is a very important factor in joining any company online or offline. I am a trained Compliance Officer so I look at things differently then most.
- If your gut tells you it is not for you then please believe what it is telling you.
- Disclaimers are to be used in all methods of advertising.,,, and must clearly be in the eyes view. what works for you and makes you money will not work for everyone else.
- Enticement- flashing wads of money and sports cars are very misleading and can get you and the company you are advertising for in major trouble with the FTC. Proof in the Pudding is what you will need to have if you are flashing pictures like that with your ads, once again what you earn and what others will earn are two totally different things. that means if asked you will have to show actual PROOF that you made all of that money from the program you are advertising and promoting.
I have worked in the Compliance Venue for several years and will help anyone that needs help, however I do charge per hour to review your websites and marketing material. FTC Guidelines are always best to follow however at times they can be very confusing on what to and what not to do. After I review your website it is up to you to make the suggested changes and enforce your members to follow policy. You can not let one break the rules and then try to make others follow the policy.
I do join programs that I think will work for me, I also review all of the programs I join and sometimes I find a bad apple, however what works for me and makes me happy will not always work for you.
- *I was not paid for my views for this posting*