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Third Tribe Marketing Launches Their Affiliate Program and Some Stats

Third Tribe Marketing has just launched their affiliate program! Wow that was a surprise! Yes I am being Sarcastic! In fact if I had been a smart arse I could have predicted this when they announced the price increase from $27 to $47 – because if you offer an affiliate program  that pays 33% of $47 – that equates to $31.50 to the Third Tribe founders – i.e. you put up the fee to pay for  the affiliates, you end up making the same or more anyways.

Wellington Queen's Wharf
Old and New at Wellington Queens Wharf, New Zealand

Meanwhile the affiliates do all the the traffic generation for you – they send their own followers over, or they rank their own Third Tribe reviews in the search engines and send the resultant search traffic.

Some one in the Third Tribe forums was surprised that they hadn’t launched with an affiliate program. That wasn’t an oversight – it was deliberate. Initially they wanted to milk their own audience. If they had had an affiliate program at the stage they would have been paying for buyers they already had access to. The   initial  “lower price”  allowed them to get the maximum sign up from the curious – who then have the incentive to stay subscribed because if they drop their subscription and then later return they will pay the higher fee. Along the way the achieved the social proof of having thousands of subscribers and active forums.

Oh and they haven’t released the affiliate program yet – they are just building the buzz for it.

Third Tribe Marketing Forum Statistics

Here are some stats from the  Third Tribe Forums. – these cover the first approximately 23 days of the forums:

Chris Brogan: 59 posts total  (2.4  posts/day) 5 threads started

Darren Rowse 74 posts total (3.4 posts/day) 1 thread started

Brian Clark: 142 posts total (5.27 posts/day) 7 threads started including 2 administrative threads and two threads promoting other offers

Sonia Simone: 284 posts (10.09 posts/day) 3 threads started all admin related.

Total forum threads: 796,; total  posts: 10,572

So the owners of the forum started 0.02% of the threads in the forum which  according to their own copy:

The true lasting value of this private community comes from the networking, deal-making, support and insights that come from the interaction among members. …  and you’ll see people like Chris Brogan and Brian Clark being much more candid than they ever would on the outside.

You might want to think about that – if you are considering signing up for them – you are pretty much paying $47/month for a single seminar and two Q&A sessions and to network with a bunch of other people who also don’t know how to make money online – otherwise why would they have signed up?

My main takeaway is that people really will pay to provide most of their own content and pay you while they do it! Watching what Third Tribe is doing – rather than listening to what they are saying. My pick is that over the coming months Third Tribe will be doing a lot more of marketing additional tools (at additional cost) – to the now captive audience. I suspect that basically a forum provides a better marketing platform than a blog – my prediction is though that the churn factor will be quite high unless they figure out a way for people to provide meaningful results in their bottom line from their Third Tribe Marketing membership.

67 replies on “Third Tribe Marketing Launches Their Affiliate Program and Some Stats”

Yep. pretty interesting. When this first came out I was kind of ambivalent to the whole thing, now I am a little pissed off by some of the comments of ‘B’ list bloggers now getting on the 3rd Tribe bandwagon … quite a few snarky comments from some who are as blatant at promoting themselves online as any of the ‘dreaded marketers’. Why does this have to be made into an us-versus-them issue, except to sell subscriptions.

I agree the cupboard seems bare indeed. The lady who is supposed to be the forum’s driving force make 10 entries a day? Excuse me, I used to moderate on a small, specialty forum and I easily averaged over 100 comments a day, without even trying. It seems that in spite of the nasty turn the marketing is taken, people are staying away in droves.

Yes Dave – can’t say I’ve done forum moderation myself – but that is kinda the sort of stats I was looking for. I don’t think its necesarily required for the founders to be hugely active in the forums – except if their activity is promoted as one of the big benefits of the program.

Mike I really don’t think I can handle another 6 months “on the inside” – and its not just he money!

Nice to see another pic of Wellington.

Subscribing to comments.

Knowing that you are such a vibrant social person yourself, I’m thinking you are soon sure to win some sort of 3rd Tribe popularity award, based on this analysis here.




I think they are past the point where you can’t kick Lis from the Third Tribe because it would be too obvious why.

Even so I am glad that there are people who join these paid membership sites and then give an honest opinion about the content. Even if they might get labeled as “attention wh*res” by the owners of the memership sites.

@Phil – I have to say that I have been treated fairly in the forums by the mods. My problem in the forums there is little to have a good argument about – because there are so few hardcore facts or businesses emerging.

A couple of the members over there don’t like what they find on this blog when they click thru my sig link but others do – e.g. Danny Grubb who commented above.

You’re strange Lissie. You’re so smart and helpful in the forums, and then you do things like this.

I think your logic is flawed. Three of the founders have 3 of the biggest blogs in the space. We don’t need an affiliate program, but our members demanded it. We’d actually make more money just promoting on our own blogs once a month.

You’re a smart person. It’s a shame you can can’t come up with more creative ways to get attention.

Brian I don’t come and trash your house, – I have no problem with your customers – I think many of them are going to be sadly disappointed – but I’m not mad at them for falling for the “non-hype”.

You didn’t think my logic was flawed in the forums when I made the same comment re affiliate programs – and I note you haven’t answered the basic stats I mentioned …

ROFL, Chris Brogan has a huge blog and thousands of Twitter followers, and averages 20 comments per post, of which he responds to 2 or 3.
Sounds real social to me. Seems as if he is carrying on this same “non social” attitude in the paid forum.
I bet his response rate to signup with a post is less than .001% … maybe he could teach us how to do that?
Seriously Brian, show us the referral sign up rates from each of your blogs. I bet they are quite low.

Id say being honest IS pretty creative, she is sharing what SHE sees, not what you want us to think.

3 of the biggest blogs?!

Can you all stop biggest yourselves up at all?

Members demanded to be an affiliate?
lmao! Ok, maybe they thought, “damn I need to get some of this money I wasted back… I know, get more suckers, well, can’t call them that else they think I am one too, be an affiliate, ideal”…

I had a funny feeling they were just creating a land of the lost. I’ve recently found the archives on their blogs to be of more value than their front page. More and more of their recent articles have been written not for the blogging community, but as a “Hard Sell” pushing affiliates and their own products.

I have no problem with people making money. After reading Darren’s and Brian’s blogs for such a long time I had gotten used to what used to be content driven and useful information. This new push for bucks is like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Any ideas for Non-Tribe sites I can start reading Lis?

You got all day? You might want to start with Bloggerillustrated – Allyn’s trying to do it step-by-step from the beginning – currently in the midst of backlinks – important stuff. For finding the right keywords I can’t recommend The Keyword Academy enough (honking big ad at the bottom of each and every post) – but its a membership site – you may be off those at the moment – the free content is pretty darn good though so read the blog first and as well.

And then there is of course the Grizz – it breaks every rull you know about content (particularly length and readabitliyt), he wouldn’t recognise a posting schedule from 10 paces, he twitters like an amateur – lots of the good stuff is in the comments – its hard to navigate (use the archives) – its the best free resource to make money online on the Internet

Hey Allyn for a hardcore, badass SEO first tribe sort of guy – you have a pretty cool social blog – and you respond to comments – amazing!

Hi Lissie,

I never really even looked too hard at Third Tribe … just didn’t interest me. These days, it seems like everybody and their brother is pushing some sort of membership site. I don’t begrudge the owners of these sites; they are merely giving people “what they want”.

It is kind of sad though, that the majority of people who join these sites, and pay the monthly fee, will just end up using it as another way to spend time Talking with other people about making money … and thus have an excuse to put off actually doing the WORK involved with actually earning a check.

As for me, I’m not sure I even have a tribe … although, I do like to pop in and check out different Tepees around the Internet, I generally have no desire to stay and start paying rent. 😉

@ Todd Yeah the psychology of it seems sound Todd – I guess the same people would think nothing of spending thousands going a conference – so a $50/month menbership site is a bargain. BTW I have a new camera on the way – look out for lots of weird shots!

@Cat – moi????? 🙂

Why would they kick her out. She is spreading awareness of the Third Tribe. Albeit not all the things they want people to know or hear but that is like telling someone a celeb does drugs. Then watch that person turn around and become a fan/support them. If “they” do their jobs correctly can will convert a ton of noobs no matter where they come from. The best thing to do is remove fuel from the fire if you want it to go away.

Back to the post. Lissy you are doing a good job of explaining that people should expect to be let down. Nothing that you have a better chance calling one of these guys/gals in person than you do getting a response on their blog or nifty paid for forum. I am sure you could take the $550 a year you’d spend on the forum and ask them for 30 mins of their time and get better results, plus save a ton of time.

That’s not a bad idea. I am going to create a service for noobs to contact internet celebs by the hour and skip all of the BS. What do you say?

LOL Josh – you go for it! I must admit I totally don’t get the celeb thing – and I suppose the A-list blogger stuff is just an extension of that. When I was starting my business it never occurred to me to copy the “famous people” – I prefer the quiet ones that make real money … But then I guess this blog is is my noisy public face!

It’s definitely not for everyone. I’m definitely not the top commenter on Third Tribe. You’re entitled to your opinion, and I’m sorry that you feel it’s not living up to its promise. Everyone who gets in can look around, decide what they think is worth it or not and make a choice.

I’m having the time of my life there.

Allyn- you keep commenting on how much I do or don’t comment on each blog post. The post is my effort to be helpful. When I have time, I comment on things that are interesting. Go two posts back and I’m all over it. I am on a plane every day or two. I’m flying to client meetings, events, and other out-of-pocket activities that don’t afford me the time to be as engaged as I’d like to be. If that’s not acceptable, don’t read. It’s okay.

That’s the thing. It’s okay not to like what we’re doing. Perfectly fine. What are you doing instead? That’s the only question I have back? What are you doing to offer value? How are you contributing?

Critics are plentiful? Creators? Minimal.

I’m grateful for the perspective.

Hi Chris, I appreciate that you are busy, too busy to be social on your own blog with your own name. Seems hypocritical to me, and it must also bother you to some degree since you had to point out one post where you do indeed act social (gold star for ya buddy)… what about the other 300 posts where readers give you free content and you don’t respond at all or barely ? take take take is what I see from you man…Seems to me like you are social on YOUR terms, not others (hence your post today, it’s all abut YOU ain’t it?).. that is hypocritical in my opinion… and just so you know, I am a real dude in the real world… I believe you are quite far removed from people like me… IOW–the rest of the working world. Actually, have you ever had a regular job where you rose to leadership?

You can go to my blog and see what I give away there for free expecting nothing in return. It’s social, but it is not meant to be. It is just good, straight shiz GIVEN from the heart… it works.

In the real world, where I work a regular job, I lead 42 people and help them succeed daily so they can make a living, be safe, and support their families. My title is “manager” but my roll is that of a shepherd. I lead by serving those who work for me, not taking from them or lording over them. That is what I know.
You’d do well to find out what real leaders do everyday… not famous leaders, but real people in the real world who lead in a positive way, through sacrifice and service… then you should throw that into your work… it would change the posh vibe you exude currently.

One more lesson for you man: the ultimate success comes in reproducing yourself. In the real world, we do this by taking employees, mentoring them and helping them get promoted. It’s being a king-maker rather than the king.
You, in order to make time, should invest yourself into someone who can do what you can’t with your lack of time. Saying you don’t have time actually just says you can’t or won’t teach what you are, and that’s a shame.
Your lack of time is no excuse… it just means you can’t reproduce yourself.. that is your own flaw.

I really appreciate this perspective of servant-leadership, Allyn! As a retired manager, I can truthfully say that when I “commanded” people I got very little in the way of results. It was when I learned to serve my people that everything changed – and not just their performance, but (note THIS, Chris!) also RETENTION of my employees.

Yes, I know. People who construct Internet business models like affiliate programs, etc. are not thinking about retaining “employees” as such, but retention should be a subject of great interest to anyone who is building links, building lists, building memberships, etc. And at the very bottom, Chris, you should learn what Allyn is trying to teach you. RETENTION is about RELATIONSHIPS.

Chris – the point of the blog is that the comments are the users giving you free content – you should at least respond and respect that your POST if for your own purposes – I persume the blog helped with the book deal right? As you hold yourself out to be a social media expert your blog should be the shining example of interaction and community. If you don’t have the time hire a VA or an editor – I take you don’t speak for free ?

I think instead of Tribe, those followers are mostly sheep. Should call it “The Herd” or “The Flock.” I appreciate that there are folks like Lis who share their opinions and comments. I like a fair and balanced field.

I’m confident that Brogan is a decent man and I’ve had some fun with him myself and his self proclaimed status as a Trust Agent. I stopped by his site today and made a comment because he was unhappy about the way his herd was trying to contact him. I probably made the only negative comment as everyone seemed to be giving him digital felatio. It was like he gave a stern talking to his sheep about the proper etiquette. Total BS from Brogan. Not a bit social and over 140 zombies retweeted that bull $hit. I would never treat my fan base in such a way. I actually enjoy when people email me and tweet me. It’s not an imposition to me.

Lis…thanks for showing the other side. You are my Trust Agent along with Al, Josh & Griz. The day is coming when new forces in social media will rise and it will be based in truth and honesty and will not be self serving. Success is measured in serving others and you have sure made that obvious by the way this post served your readers.

Steve – I have to come clean – my conscience won’t be still any longer – this entire blog is dedicated to getting your trust – and then ensuring you will be as guilty as sin if you don’t put me up in fine style when I do my big US road trip – closer to the time I will email you through my meal requirements, and minimum standard of luxury accommodations myself and my entourage will be requiring (that includes wifi BTW). You will also have to available for interview cause the NZ tax department can be a bit narky on the deductions if you don’t have some actual social proof you are doing some work on holidays!

I like sheep – marinated on the BBQ for preference – or a nice roast with Kumara and Potatoes yummm! Nice to see you stopping by – hope you appreciate I responded to your comment!

what’s interesting is that the sheep are not to blame in this situation… they are just looking for leadership. But it seems they are being lead by a wolf in shepherd’s clothing.
(yeah, I am full of these quotes… I’ll be here all week) 🙂

You are probably my favorite person in the Third Tribe forums currently. I suppose my problem is that I don’t know how to get more value out of it for the cost.

LOL Mary – I am sorry I am the last one to ask that of! Frankly networking has never done it for me – having friends is useful but networking in forums is a huge time sink if you are not careful

I know… I just felt like leaving a comment. 😉

They can be a total time sink. Instead of actually working on things I can go read about stuff I don’t need to know… all for $27 a month. *sigh* Probably not the best idea for me currently.

Hi Mary – nice to see you comment here – life is a little hectic at the moment so I am behind in my commenting on comments!

It’s all good. I drop by your site every once in a while and catch up with things. 🙂 I did end up quitting Third Tribe since it’s not really worth the recurring fee.

One thing I wonder is why the three bloggers started this site shortly after the start of the Problogger forum? It didn’t make much sense for me that Darren first started his paid by subscription forum and then, a few months later gets involved in yet another membership site start-up. As for affiliate program, it is a nice example for “observe what they do” 😉 SY

yeah that one has been totally confused as well SY! I have no idea really maybe there isn’t as much planning behind these things as we sometimes asssume?

I am reluctant to network in forums because as you said could be a ‘huge time sink’. I used to admin for an extremely active forum years and years ago, so I think I may be forumed out. I am also all too aware of the actual ‘ins and outs’ of how forums work, how forums fail, and the zilllions of other tiny things about forums in general.

I would never pay to join a forum even if I am desperate. There is enough active blogs and free forums that I can gather the same information from for free without all the drama and politics of forums.

Taking from my experience with forums, your stats and the responses to your post here Lissie, I can predict what is going to happen with their forum down the line.

I may not be there but I can see they have already made some major mistakes with their forums – selling their product way too soon. They need to make their members addicts first and they are not responding enough. They need to pay attention to their members to turn people into addicts. I don’t think they realize how important a thoughtful response from one of the big guys are to people. People actually will refresh a page see if someone responded not long after they posted. The length of time between their post and them checking to see if someone responded will get greater if the people who they want to respond are not responding. Eventually they will get tired of feeling disappointed and leave.

By your numbers you posted Lissie, if they haven’t already started to see members posting less or leaving – they will soon.

To run a forum is extremely time consuming and hard work. If a person is not passionate about their forums, running it take a lot out of them. The lack of energy is projected out into the forums. I am not too sure if they new what they are getting themselves into when they decided to create a forum.

If they truly can not post more, than they need to look at their members and find the active ones who give the most thoughtful and accurate responses and promote them. By the sounds of it they will need to do this soon.

I do wish them luck though and hope the little bit of advice in forum running in your responses here they take with them. 🙂 Maybe later they won’t feel so bitter towards your post.

Appreciated your comment, CorMom. Correlates very well with my earlier experiences in moderating/forum managing. As you say, I think that their major problem is not that they can’t offer value, given the talent involved, but they they currently don’t give out much … always the ‘too busy’ line coming to the surface.

Here’s the thing … not only did I once do alot of moderating, I currently own several Yahoo Groups and Google Groups on a couple popular subjects that are ‘locked down’. Why? Because i don’t have time/make more money elsewhere.

To ‘rev up’ those groups and start building members, even for free,when I did not intend to serve the community would be disingenuous at best … which pretty much sums up my Third Tribe opinion.

For the record, I still consider Darren Rowse a friend .. back in the day we used to exchange personal emails … but I have always felt Darren was a bit naive and over-trusting and I feel he is ‘in bed’ with several other folks on the 3ed Tribe deal that are just his partners in order to trade on his name. IMO, of course.

What is particularly disturbing about the whole ‘3rd Tribe’ marketing is the (hate to say it but it is true) “Holier Than Thou” “down talk” model. “We are the exalted ones who are in the know”.

Well know this guys, to paraphrase Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway’s (Clint Eastwood) famous line, “The Internet is looking for a few good men and you ain’t it.”

I will not be told that my own worth revolves around what ‘tribe’ I belong to … this whole effort is evolving into something disturbingly like a racial/religious discrimination thing. Sad.

Dave its interesting ther is an obvious split between those of us who view tribes/exclusive groups with suspicion and the rest of the world that thinks its OK – I have read a lot of history – maybe you have too – it tells me being part of a group which is “better” than another group always ends in tears for society

Dave – you might want to check out Allyns latest post on Darren Rowse and SEO

Thanks for the analysis cormom – must admit I’ve never run a forum – it always seemed like a lot of work! Yes I do think the posting rate is dropping – though that may just be after the initial “new school” feeling lays off. What I am not seeing is a lot of new people posting either – if they are there they are probably scared into quietness because there is no real “intro” section


A tribe is just another word for “market” and I know that you know that. There are many tribes like…. Health nuts, surfers, lawyers, couples, sports fans, adventure seekers, gamers, Gardner’s and even web designers.

So obviously the market that the third tribe is targeting is the tribe or market of people that do not have the basic marketing knowledge or even a clue of how to make money online and are in the learning mode.

The sad thing that I understand about the Third Tribe Marketing Forum is that there is not a dedicated step by step training program like there is at the Keyword Academy. Where the trainers make an income doing exactly what they teach to the subscribers.

The Keyword Academy has an affiliate program but I don’t believe that any of the members are there for that reason. The resources that the Academy has over anything else I have seen blows everyone else’s smoke and mirrors out of the water.

Everyone is brainwashed in some form but it doesn’t take long to realize that if you don’t go anywhere it is because of your own decisions that you make.

I am sure that many members of the third tribe feel like they are receiving value from their membership. Let’s take it to the bank in a few months and see the results. I want to see the success stories.

Can anyone sell anything but a way to sell stuff to make money?

Got to love the learning curve.

Hi Dirk – a lot of it really seems to be people determined to sell their services online – which sounds an awful lot like work to me – give me a business producing products and passive income any day of the week

I am sure Grizzly is not in the tribe. Actually he just crawled out of his cave and wrote “The Third Tribe – More Useless Blogging Nonsense”. For other MMO blogger I am following, Ben is too busy to join; Mike is moving into a new condo and obvious not in either.

I have to agree with Grizzly the tribe thing is just insane. How to make money online? The answer definitely isn’t to profit from people who want to make money online.

LOL – yeah but I broke the story – Grizz was just following my lead !

LOL I don’t build ice roads in Canada – and although we are both in the throws of moving my Internet connectivity doesn’t rely on satellite!

Wonder if Griz has a land line now for internet, as a result of being closer to civilization.

I’m not surprised that they are introducing an affiliate. I’m sure it was all planned from the beginning. The ruse was that the forum was to help others, but if that was true, why charge for membership?

The way I look at it is that paying members are more likely to support and ideas the tribe comes up with, including affiliates. They are also more likely to brown nose because they want to be part of the gang.

Of course I could be completely wrong about the intentions, but I reckon I’m still allowed an opinion.

Unfortunately my membership was terminated without explanation so I won’t be able to comment further on what’s happening inside 🙁 It is I think like the whole thing why some people will pay thousands for a designer lounge suite when you can buy something that looks the same for a fraction of the price at Target!

Their loss Lis. I just left a comment on the post about live scribe, or whatever it was called. I couldn’t believe the gall of that guy. Man, how far up himself is he if he can’t take a bit of honest criticism.

I am so glad I never joined, and I am so glad of the promise I made that I would never visit, comment or link to the likes of brian and his cronies.

I must admit I am beginning to feel I was unfair to Darren Rowse to mention him the same breath as Brian Clark – Darren’s only problem in comparison is the company he keeps

True, and if he had any sense he would pull brian aside and have a word to him. That’s no way to treat a customer.

Hey Lis, you’ve made some interesting points in the article. I would have definitely expected the main guys to be commenting more on the forum and indeed to be starting more threads – this is a bit of a disappointment for me…

Hey Lis, Im a member of a few “inner circle” style internet marketing forums and one of the things I love is the fact that the people who run the forum DO regularly respond to threads…if they didn’t I’d probably leave the forum and stop paying my monthly membership. With so many quality options out there people who want real ongoing support should think hard about leaving Third Tribe Marketing and looking at a well established membership with good testimonials…just my opinion.

Hey Lis, I previously hadnt heard about third Tribe Marketing so was curious to check it out. There sales page is kind of interesting…it takes you through a 4 part sales series which is actually quite unique – different to the sales letters we see all the time…As for the quality of the program I really cant make an opinion. I would probably stare clear of the program having read this review though – thanks for the insight.

looks like a great opportunity. can’t wait to get invlovled..The way I look at it is that paying members are more likely to support and ideas the tribe comes up with, including affiliates. They are also more likely to brown nose because they want to be part of the gang. its interesting ther is an obvious split between those of us who view tribes/exclusive groups with suspicion and the rest of the world that thinks its OK – I have read a lot of history – maybe you have too – it tells me being part of a group which is “better” than another group always ends in tears for society

I have to admit, I never heard of Third Tribe forum before finding this blog.

Although I’ve been stung before on work from home schemes, I think this one looks great. Thanks.


Woah. “Darren Rowse” seems familiar to me. I think I came across his name somewhere in my inbox or in my spam folder a couple of weeks/months (I can’t really recall when) ago. I never bothered to open the mail since I didn’t know anybody by that name.

That’s it. 🙂 Just wondering …

It is really important to do a research before joining a program. This way you would know the intention of the company. This article proves this to be true. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for a very insightful article. Affiliate marketing is not a fast way to earn money unlike most people think. Research, hardwork and patience plays a huge role in this.

Sounds like a very interesting concept. I never thought about the different “tribes” and how we effect each other. I know what tribe I fall into, and I’m proud of it. I’ll have to check this out some more. thanks!

With a community like this, every person will get something different out of it. The various elements will hold different value for each of us. It sounds like you are more interested in whether they (the community leaders) will work with you personally where I find the niche forums particularly helpful.

Wow, what an interesting discussion. I was googling the affiliate program to sign up and came across this article. Food for thought!

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