For many website owners who provide information more than they promote products, it can feel awkward to keep mentioning products your website visitors can buy. Some even feel as though they’re being somehow dishonest by mentioning products available for purchase. Why is it some website owners feel as though they’re scammers when they recommend products that they’ll get a commission for selling?

You’re Unsure of Yourself

One reason why people feel dishonest when recommending a product is a lack of confidence in themselves. Perhaps you feel that in some way you lack the authority to suggest a product, even if you’ve found it useful personally.

There can also be a guilt for recommending a product for sale when you offer a lot for free. It’s hard to go from offering free information to saying “buy this.”

The key is to remember that when you offer quality for free, people trust you. If you think something is worth paying for, say so. Many of your readers will appreciate it.

You Aren’t Reviewing Products Carefully Before Recommending Them

If you promote just about any product you hear about without really reviewing it, it’s natural to feel awkward about it. Some products are better than others, and you can’t know which ones are good if you haven’t checked them out thoroughly.

This isn’t just an online marketing product thing, although it’s a huge issue for internet marketers. If you subscribe to a lot of internet marketing newsletters, you’ve probably encountered many list owners who promote just about any product that comes out, just using the sales text recommended by the product creator, and little apparent care for quality.

It can happen in other niches too. You can look really bad if you promote any product, whether digital or physical, that turns out to be poor quality. While it’s hard to tell if a new product is going to be as good as the company says it is, a careful look and some consideration before you promote anything.

You don’t have to personally review every product you mention on your site, but do be careful about how you do actual reviews and keep within FTC guidelines.

Someone Has Given You a Hard Time About Promoting Products

I’ve gotten this one myself. Back in the fairly early days of my newsletter for this site, I promoted a product in it. I got a furious email back from one subscriber, demanding to know if I was turning into that kind of newsletter that did nothing but promote products all the time, because if so, she was unsubscribing immediately.

Being rather new to it all, I was apologetic to her, and reassured her that it would be an occasional thing, not a regular thing. I was frankly taken aback by how very offended she was that I dared promote something, anything to my list, and I spent a lot of time wondering if I had gone about it the wrong way.

These days, I wouldn’t be so apologetic. I’d still be polite, but I wouldn’t consider it something I needed to apologize for. It’s my list, I don’t overdo the promotions or promote just any product, and if I want to mention something I find worthwhile, it’s my subscribers’ choice whether they stick with me or unsubscribe, and whether they buy or not. So long as I promote good quality products, there’s really little for them to be offended about.

It took me a while to get to that point, however. It’s easy to take that kind of criticism too much to heart. If you want a healthy business, however, you need people to buy products from you. If you can’t say what you’ve found worthwhile, you’re making it much harder on yourself and your readers will lose out because they aren’t hearing about things they might find useful too.

Most of all, remember that honestly recommending useful products never makes you a scammer. How often you promote products doesn’t matter as much as making sure you promote quality, relevant products rather than junk. Do that while keeping up with the expectations your list has for you, and you should be fine.