We have received a number of requests to do a review of the ‘Super Affiliate Handbook’, and this comes down to the fact that if you have researched affiliate marketing online, you will have almost certainly heard of it.
Written back in 2003, the Super Affiliate Handbook became a massive hit in the online marketing world, and the author, Rosalind Gardner, became an affiliate marketing guru ‘almost’ overnight.
Yet there is one thought that I have burning in my head even before I begin to read the 288 page eBook, and that is…the Super Affiliate Handbook was written in 2003, and a LOT has changed in 9 yrs – wouldn’t you agree?
People’s attitude towards shopping online have changed drastically, and marketers have changed the way they deliver a sales pitch.
As consumers we can now pick and choose where we shop online, so will Rosalind’s tactics and tools still work some 9 years later?
Rosalind started affiliate marketing in 1997, and three years later she quit her job as an air traffic controller of 20 years.
The first line of the e-book is how I made $436,797 in 2002 selling other people’s stuff!
Reviews from 2003 show Rosalind was earning an average of $40,000 a month, and her success resulted in her appearing in the “IT” online magazines of the day. She was proof that anybody could succeed at affiliate marketing…in 2003.
I have to admit that the title “Super Affiliate Handbook” did lead me to believe that within these pages lay secrets, tactics and methods to ensure super commissions in affiliate ventures.
However, this book was written for the reader learning about affiliate marketing from the ground up.
By that I mean the first 80 odd pages are dedicated to what I would say are the very basics of online marketing with sections covering…
- Having the right mindset.
- What is affiliate marketing?
- How to do niche research.
- What is keyword research?
- Myths of affiliate marketing.
In my mind if you are already an affiliate maybe looking to become a super affiliate, I truly don’t believe you will take a lot from the first 80 pages.
To become a super affiliate you will already know these things.
I know some may read this review and say that maybe people didn’t know about things like the benefits of the Google toolbar in 2003, however I do tend to think that this review is for the average savvy online marketer TODAY.
I’m looking at the value and insight the Super Affiliate Handbook brings to the modern marketing arena.
Having cleared the first 80 pages, the author then takes you through how she uses overture.com (now Yahoo) to search for niche keywords and where to find affiliate programs.
Overture is in fact a very dated keyword tool, and marketers now have a wide range of advanced alternatives to choose from.
When reviewing the Super Affiliate Handbook I also discovered that the majority of links in the guide were no longer active or relevant. This is very disappointing to say the least.
On a more positive note, the way that Rosalind explains her thought process does make it quite simple to apply the techniques she writes about for uncovering niche keywords and choosing offers to run alongside them.
But I do have to say that it’s hard to justify manually researching for a couple or more hours we you can achieve much the same with the click of a button by using more modern day (and free to use) keyword tools like the one provided by Google or Jaaxy.
One major indicator of how dated this guide is at the time of writing this was the section on website builders.
‘SiteBuildIt’ and other such paid website builders are recommended, but all marketers in 2012 know that the easiest and most competent website builder is WordPress.
Especially when you consider that it is completely free.
The last ⅓ of the Super Affiliate Handbook is focused around activities to market your online business and building credibility.
Honesty in your writing with examples like “don’t quote the health ingredients but say how great it made you feel” show that Rosalind was indeed empathetic to her reader and was connecting to their level.
The Super Affiliate Handbook advocates tracking of what you are doing at every level, and again Rosalind proves to us that she was on the ball 9 years ago because monitoring what is happening will allow you to grow campaigns and websites to a conversion of above the average 1 to 1.5%.
It’s just a real shame that we are no longer able to visit most of the resources mentioned in the guide because they have been moved or no longer exist.
There is some great reading here I have to say, and if I had picked this up in 2003 I would have no doubt been blown away by the forward-thinking affiliate marketing strategies.
But the fact remains that it’s 2012, and with so much free education online about affiliate/Internet marketing I would perhaps be disappointed to pay for the Super Affiliate Handbook now.
It doesn’t even mention Facebook, and that’s because it was written before Facebook was born!
That being said, Rosalind is still going strong with her other projects, and still knows just how to talk and treat her audience to maintain her super affiliate status.
All in all I really do rate Rosalind highly and have been on her list for a couple of years.
However, the fact remains that the Super Affiliate Handbook is outdated in today’s climate, and for that reason I encourage you to maybe look for training that is more up to date if you are anything other than a newbie.
Tony – WFHW