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Blog Bootcamp - Promoting Flight Sim Pro best option?

Posts: 6
Joined: 31 Mar 09

Blog Bootcamp - Promoting Flight Sim Pro best option?


First of all I really liked the Blog Bootcamp, butafter some reasearch I wonder if promoting the FlightSimPro product is the way to go. I have a copy of FlightSimPro and a copy of FlightGear and there is absolutely no difference between the two.

FlightSimPro is just FlightGear and the only change made as far as I can see is the name. So we are promoting a $ 150 product that is free to download from flightgear.org. Aren't we shooting ourselves in the foot? First when I would have bought the product I sure as hell would claim a refund. But even more important is promoting a copy of a shareware program not hurting the already not so trustworthy image of the affiliate marketer.

I'm a flight simulator enthusiast and affiliate marketeer, and with this promotion I see articles popping up that convince me after two sentences that the independent reviewer never ever have used a flight-simulator, let alone this product.

To be honest at first I was thrilled by the opportunity to promote a "flight simulator", I've clocked about 3000 hours over the years so I can write, tell, explain or instruct for days on end. And mind you the product is not bad, it has a linux feel but okay. What I dislike is being dishonest. This product is just a copy of a shareware product with no additions.

Because most people promoting it have no clue what they are talking about I can't blame them. Still when I would have bought the product and found out I paid $ 150 for something freely available it would be my last buy from him/her ever, and I would certainly develop a heavy distrust to click-bank products.
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Posts: 1283
Joined: 14 Mar 08
Welcome to Affilorama Hans,
I can not speak for Mark, but I am assuming he just picked a niche for an example to use so others could easily follow it.
What niche you choose is up to you.
You could build 3 sites and find out only 1 of them really makes any money.
This depends on your niche as well. You may make some good money with your first site.
Also, If you are really good at this flight SIm stuff, then seems like you would be a good article writer for this niche for your own site.
All the best,
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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize
they were the big things.

-- Robert Brault
Posts: 6
Joined: 31 Mar 09
Hi Troy,

Thanks for the reply, and the issue I have has nothing to do with either Marks course (which is really good) nor Affiliorama or even if I could make money promoting the Sim. I can write very good content about simulators and I know it would sell. The point I'm making is this the way to go? Is it decent salesmanship to promote a product you have "questions" about? Marks products are as far as I can see of good quality and helpful to potential buyers. But selling something questionable, even if it's completely legal doesn't feel good and gives our profession is dubious reputation. On the other hand perhaps I'm turning a mosquito into an elephant and "let it be"...

Once again it has nothing to do with the way the bootcamp was presented and Mark is not a seasoned Flightsim enthusiast. I think you can compare it to the question would you promote an IM product of which you know has little or no additional value to the buyer.

Anyway I wish you all a good 2010 and keep going with Affiliorama!

Take care,

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Posts: 33
Joined: 30 Nov 09
I would also be very interested in the response to this.
I am doing the FlightProSim as I follow along as a complete beginner.
Am I trying to sell a free product?
Unlike Hans, writing articles has taken a mountain of research and time for me to get to know this area. I hope it is not in vain.
Thanks - Caoimh
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Site Admin
Posts: 2489
Joined: 13 Jun 06
Hey Guys,

I personally don't promote products that I feel are of a poor quality or potentially illegal.

When it comes to FlightProSim, firstly, I'm not recommending that you guys promote that product. You CAN promote it, but of course there are 1000s of other products and niches out there for you to promote and in my bootcamp I showed you how to research profitable niches.

I used this niche as an example, not necessarily as the niche that you should choose, although you can if you want to.

Regarding the quality of the reviews on my website of FlightProSim, as you saw in my bootcamp, I made sure the writer played the game himself before writing it.

Regarding FlightProSim, I'm not a seasoned flight simulator gamer, however I am well aware of the open source rules surrounding repackaging and selling flight gear as Flight Pro Sim.

From what I can see, it is completely legal for FlightProSim owner to sell this game. That's one of the reasons for open source software existing, ie people can work on it, make additions if they so wish and/or repackage and sell the software. The same is true of books that run out of copyright (e.g. the bible).

Just because it is available for free doesn't meant that people don't want to pay money for a version of it that comes with customer support, the ability to have it posted in the mail, bug fixes that may not come with the original open source version, etc.

From talking to the Flight Pro Sim owner about the matter, he mentioned that the free version doesn't come with customer support, and his version does come with support, it also comes complete with bug fixes, and he reinvests back into his version of the game to get programmers to make more additions and bug fixes.

I will monitor the refund rate closely, talking to the owner it is very low, which means that the users themselves are very happy with the product. So quality is not the issue here, it is a product that people are enjoying, the problem is whether or not it is legal and/or morally ok to repackage open source software and sell it.

From a legal standpoint it appears to be completely ok.

Also, morally, if the programmers who worked on FlightGear didn't want it to be open source, they could have collaborated on it privately. They chose to make it open source, and they chose to allow it to be sold also (they could have put a restriction on that if they had wished).

Furthermore, given that this has been a common practice for many years with open source software (e.g. people sell red hat linux, etc), I don't really see how this is suddenly a problem.

Especially given that it is a high quality product, comes complete with customer support, the owner has fixed bugs in the software and of course there is the 60 day money back guarantee.
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Posts: 33
Joined: 30 Nov 09
Thanks Mark, once again an amazing response time.
I am completely new to all of this. The depth and level of your response is reassuring but also, and more importantly to me, demonstrates to me the level of expertise a quality affiliate marketer operates at.
Much appreciated - Caoimh
PS It is still 3pm in the afternoon of New Years Eve here,
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Posts: 6
Joined: 31 Mar 09
Hi All,

Happy New Year all.... It was not my intention to imply that selling the product was illegal, actually Flightgear.org more or less give them the go ahead. When I got a copy of the Sim it was a bit of a shock to see I already had it on my pc only under a different name. I found that a little frustrating. Still as I see now Charlie is working hard and updates are rolling in.

For that reason I'm moving forward with the product, and the customer support of these guys is absolutely fabulous. Open source has no support, Microsoft is perhaps a little better, but when you run into problems,,, well anyone with a windows computer will know support is theoretical.

I guess my outrage was a bit premature, yes it was a copy of an open source program but it's being upgraded. The support is almost instantaneous. And the technical quality was good anyway, I think the market FlightProSim is targeting is different from the FSX (Microsoft) market. When you take a look at the Quantcast demographics it seems to be a market of middle-aged males (like myself :_)). Now that the nerves settled down I can see Charlies point. It's the over 45 male population that always did want to fly and find MS just to challenging for someone without a BA in computer technology.

The sim itself handles nicely (perhaps not allways as it should) and contrary to the MS product a novice can even land a plane. Secondly MS FSX has system requirements way beyond that what is available in the average household, And well, when you don't want to fly longhaul simulations it's fun.

Customer support is only an email away, very responsive and effective.... so by all means buy this sim and use my link :-) I'm not bribed and actually didn't even discuss the matter with FlightSimPro, but they are in fact filling a gap in the market. And now MS in their wisdom decided to put an end to their flightsim the market position becomes even stronger,

One thing that has always baffled me is the fact that such a huge market consisting of maniacs spending most of their spare time behind a flightsim are spending literally thousands of $$ on additional equipment and documentation is completely ignored on click-bank, Their are plenty of things the market wants but it has to wait... I'm not into product creation yet :-)

Rapping it up, perhaps you will see more charge backs then usual but there is nothing illegal going on and the FlighPSim crew are upgrading the product.

Take care

Hans .
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Posts: 19
Joined: 25 Apr 09
I've seen other products that were free be modified/upgraded and sold before. The big one that comes to my mind is CamStudio. You can get a totally free version of CamStudio video recording software, but someone (I believe it was Keith Wellman) upgraded it to where it had a redirect feature so that affiliate marketers could have the software automatically redirect to their affiliate link after the video was over. That version is called CamStudioIM.

Dave Guindon took it one BIG step further and created CamStudioPro which will do all kinds of neat things and is very reasonably priced at under $30.00. It won't do what Camtasia will do, but it's great if you're just getting started and can't afford the $300.00 for Camtasia.

I didn't know there was a free version that was similar to FlightProSim.

Personally, I wanted to do some PPC testing before I went to the trouble of building a site. Honestly, it hasn't converted for me at all yet and I've spent around $40.00 US. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it won't convert. I've only tested it on MSN Adcenter so far and haven't expanded my keyword research much beyond what the site has to offer for affiliates. Someone else may have much better results.

There are a TON of products out there to promote so don't get discouraged guys!
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This topic was started on Dec 30, 2009 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.