Under the Bar: How You Are Being Baited.

TAGS: top ten lists, business tactics, blogging, affiliate marketing, Elitefts Legacy Log, under the bar, dave tate

elitefts™ Sunday Edition

Dave,

I just read your reply about fitness lists, and it triggered something in my mind. There are many people who are on these lists that were introduced or given creditability to the market through elitefts™. They are no longer associated with you guys but seem to go out of their way to promote your competitors. Since you seem to be on a roll today, what are your thoughts on this?

-Eric

Eric,

As noted several times before, I will never get into the reasons why anybody was specifically removed or removed themselves from the site. Our Aim, Mission, Vision, and Values are clearly listed on our website, so this explains our "home base" of where we are coming from and plan to go.

I think the product promotion (for the most part) comes down to the fact that we do not have an affiliate program while many of our competitors do. There are several reasons for this:

  1. I would rather put the money that would be paid to affiliates into more content for the site. We operate on small margins, so to be honest, we can't do both. If we had to pay out percentages to affiliates, we simply would not be able to post the content we have now.
  2. We, however, could afford to do this if we stopped all the promotions we currently run for those who do visit our site. This seems stupid to me, as it would take the incentives away from those who support us and would, in turn, give them to those who have never supported us in the past. I have always been taught to take care of those who take care of you.
  3. I also learned at a very young age that referrals are earned and not paid. I want people to refer others to our products based on quality, service, or some other reason tied back to the job we do—NOT because they will get a cut. I also understand that this is old school and not the way things work anymore, but I do still believe in the value of one's word.
  4. With our own articles and content, we will never promote a product we do not believe in. Yeah, I know everyone says this, but the difference is that we actually buy the products first. So we believe in the products before we ever promote them. If we do promote a book or product that we do not carry, we never make a dime on it (and will review it before speaking about it).

To answer your question: They promote our competitors because they are being paid to do so. If we paid more, I am sure they would promote us. This is just how the business works and why we stay completely out of all sides of affiliate marketing. We will not offer it and will not use it with our own site. Trust me when I say this. I have been told hundreds of times how wrong I am and how much money this is costing the company and how it will be the demise of elitefts™. Maybe they are right—as we are still waiting for a "breakout" year, but to be completely honest, I would rather go back to personal training than compromise my integrity with some of the bullshit I see with internet marketing and blogging right now.

 

Dave,

This is BS. Check this out: Search The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness 2012. Look at how they define who makes the list. I did some quick research based on their metrics, and your numbers kill most of those on the list (website page rank, social media presence, Klout score, number of studies or research works published, number of products, professional degrees and certifications, and number of Google News mentions in 2012). What the hell!?

-Brian

Brian,

Lists like these come out several times per year, and every time they do, I get messages and emails like yours. Thank you for the support, but rest assured I really don't care. My role in business, training, and life has never been to make it on someone's list.

The main purpose of these lists is to generate traffic to the publisher's site. They want to list people who have a large social influence that they know (or think) will post the list to their own sites. In other words, if you look at those who made the list, I am sure you will see on their facebook or twitter pages something along the lines of, "I am very humbled to be mentioned as one of the top X of 2012." This will then link back to the list. This gives the trainer recognition and a chance to share his/her accomplishment with all of his/her followers, making them look good (and in many cases, these are very good people in the field) while at the same time pouring a ton of traffic to the site where the list is located—where you will usually also find a pop up message offering something for free if you sign up for its mailing list.

While many will see this as BS, it's actually pretty good PR—a form of it that works rather well.

If you have a blog, try it for yourself and you will see what I mean. Create a list of the top 50 trainers, gyms, coaches, or whatever. (Make sure these people all have a bunch of followers, access to social networks, etc.). Then, post the list and find a way to share it with all of those who made this list. Give it a day or two—this will be your most read post of the year.

The one thing that cracks me up is when they say they have spent weeks putting the list together. To actually do this right, (gather all of the data, research the facts of the data, etc.) it wouldn't take weeks... it would take months and more work than any blogger would ever want to do.

However, as long as you know what the lists are for, why they are created, and their main purpose, you can still find some very useful resources from them. Out of all the lists I have seen, there are usually around 50% of the people I have never heard of, and some of them end up being great resources to follow.

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