Myths, Snares and Theft in Internet or Home Businesses. Flights of fantasy, crafty marketing copy and affiliate commission theft are tarnishing the promise of a viable Internet or home based business. What’s the reality? As a new netrepreneur, an internet business or home based business promises exciting possibilities of making money from a global market. Unfortunately the plethora of supposed rags-to-riches tales by slick marketers misleads netrepreneurs into believing that anyone and everyone can produce money magically through the internet, without skills, effort, work or application. If you truly believe that, you’re sunk. The only person making money is the one selling you that load of baloney. The only way to get obscenely rich quick is to strike the lottery, which I’ve been trying to do for the past 26 years. Not a very reliable way of getting rich for sure. Lets look at a few myths first. There are many reasons why the popular beliefs listed below are not exactly true, mainly because they omit several other critical components to make them work. For example, page 1 listings are not cast in concrete, or, if the demand for your product or service is low, a number 1 listing won’t equate to boundless targeted traffic. 1. Build a fabulous website, apply advanced SEO techniques, get a page 1 listing on google and traffic will be endless forever. This is another popular misconception on the Internet. 2. Send emails to an “opt-in” list, which comprises of people who have nothing better to do than whip out their credit cards and buy everything you throw at them. 3. Offer free gifts. . . usually some ebook that’s promoting some product or service. . . and your visitors will download the gift and buy your product as a reward for your generosity. 4. Simply sign up for affiliate programs, get a free web page and start earning money while watching your fingernails grow. 5. Join traffic exchanges, advertise your business, and go holiday in the Bahamas, buy a mansion, and own a Ferrari. I could go into detailed reasons why all the above are a load of tripe, but I’m sure you’ll already know why after simple reflection. All the five ‘myths’ are traps simple because they have nothing unique about them, and because you are lead to believe they are marketing magic that can miraculously build a business for you. They can’t. On the internet, business opportunities abound. New ones breed astonishingly fast, promising to be the next Microsoft or google phenomenon. Some have merit; most are the same old wheel, with spokes arranged differently. Businesses they may be; but opportunities they are not, unless you know which are the gems and which are just colored stones. As in starting any kind of business, do your research first to gauge market width and depth, competition, substitute products and product reliability. And, having made your selection, know how to promote and market them effectively, and how to protect your earnings. A newbie I know of spent more than $6,000 on Internet marketing products, read them all, but never put any into practice – never started. Another one bought expensive software then realized she did not have site to market or a product to sell. Remember, you cannot harvest what you do not sow. You’ve read about numerous people who have made a fortune selling other people’s products or services as affiliate marketers. However, a can of worms that’s now made an appearance is affiliate commission theft. There are hundreds of affiliate programs available, and those involved in affiliate marketing know the advantages of not being straddled with the time consumption and costs of back-end business activities like stocking, shipping, invoicing, merchant accounts, returns and warranties. However, the incidence of affiliate commission theft (or bypassing) is on the rise, and affiliates are losing thousands of dollars because of this. Affiliate links are so overt and glaringly obvious. For some people, it’s a turn-off. They simply abhor the idea that you’re going to make money from their purchase (though they are not paying you that commission. ) Others simply decide to substitute their own link or bypass your affiliate ID and go directly to the merchant, simply to deny you the commission. There’s even software that simplifies the stealing process. There’s simply no understanding the less noble side of human nature. As affiliates you have to take proactive steps to protect the income you work so hard to try and generate. The only way to reduce affiliate commission theft is through link cloaking. Essentially, this hides your affiliate ID from your prospects, guiding them directly to the merchant’s sales page. Your ID for tracking purposes is encoded, but not visible. The advantages of link cloaking are three-fold: 1. Since your affiliate ID is not visible, it cannot be bypassed or replaced. 2. The cloaked link is clean and direct. Visitors do not realize it is an affiliate link. 3. You choose your own name when creating the cloaked link, and can tie it to your own website if you have one. There are many cloaking programs available as a google search will show. However, not all methods are effective. Redirect scripts, while free, merely provide a neater link, but do not cloak your ID. Some free scripts use frames, which do not work properly in some browsers. Some may hide your link but fail to tie it in to the product so you do not get credited with the sale. Using free web-based redirects is one of the worst ways to ‘cloak’ your link, as not only is your link not hidden, but the server which hosts your redirect could simply delete it after a while, or shut down – and your hundreds or thousands of links you may have sent out in your marketing campaign now point nowhere, or to an error page. Remember, you have no way to recall and correct this disaster. Never ever use a web-based redirect service for affiliate marketing, free scripts, scripts using frames or redirects if you really want to build your affiliate marketing business. There’s a saying, “You either live with it, or do something about it!” Since there’s a much better option than ‘living with it,’ you can choose to do something about it. Stop your affiliate commission theft. If you’re talking about making serious money from your affiliate marketing business, start by making theft or bypass difficult by disguising or cloaking your ID with a reliable and proven link cloaking software. Safeguard your commissions with the easy-to-use CovertLinks, which works with all major browsers and completely cloaks your Affiliate ID. Before you buy, review CovertLinks advanced features. This article may be freely reproduced with content and links unedited.