Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business. Many marketers make a living from affiliate marketing of products and services.
There are various legitimate affiliate marketing business programs and training courses on the market.
In the midst of real business and learning opportunities, however, there is a lot of gray matter consisting of fraud and bogus programs. Such bad elements in the marketplace often make people believe that affiliate marketing is a scam, but that’s not always true.
In this article, I will cover two main aspects of the negative side of affiliate marketing:
- Common affiliate marketing scams to watch out for
- How To Avoid Online Affiliate Marketing Scams
1. Multi-level marketing or MLM programs
There are several multi-level affiliate marketing programs that sell products or services that pay little commission. Such programs want partners to add more partners to the program, and that’s exactly what most commissions are tied to.
Such programs may seem attractive at first, but are not profitable for affiliates in the long run. The time and energy you spend on such a program can be spent on a real program that will generate long-term revenue from partners.
2. Affiliate marketing pyramid schemes
These are the most dubious affiliate scams. They do not offer a service or product. The entire model is based on gaining more partners through existing partners. A participation fee for a partner program is usually charged by such programs. Your initial investment will be distributed to the partners who helped you register. You are immersed in the same vicious circle in which you register other partners to earn commissions.
Affiliate marketing pyramid schemes should be avoided, period! You can use this time and money to build a real affiliate marketing business or to learn affiliate marketing methods that will help you make real money.
3. Paid affiliate programs
As with pyramid schemes, there are other affiliate programs that have paid entry. These programs have products or services for sale, but they charge a fee from affiliates to participate in the program. Often, such programs turn out to be frauds that charge a small entry fee, but often don’t return what is promised.
You can easily find free affiliate programs online. There are many reputable affiliate programs that you can join for free and that offer transparent dashboards that show the clicks and sales you get for them.
4. Become rich affiliate scam quickly
This is an ancient trick in the book. Many affiliate programs promise they’ll make you rich in a few days, weeks, or months. They show off brilliant offers and reports so that you are tempted to subscribe to their programs, but at the end of the day they are full of empty promises and inferior products.
You can get rich quickly through real effort. It doesn’t always have to be hard work, but it has to be the right kind of work. You need to enter what is required to be successful in affiliate marketing. Avoid chasing fluffy programs and promise to waste your time and energy.
5. Inflated income reports
One thing that is common to many fake affiliate programs and scams is that they display affiliate income reports from their partners that are either bloated or fake. Sometimes such reports are true, but they misrepresent the average marketer’s income on their platform.
Always use your instinct and discretion to evaluate such reports. Don’t be surprised by statistics that seem too good to be true.
6. Inferior or counterfeit products
Always pay attention to the quality of the products you advertise through affiliate marketing. Don’t fall into the trap of affiliate programs that promise to pay high commissions for selling substandard products. Some products such as AdFly and Pat Flynn are often categorized in this section due to their unclear offer.
You can only be successful in affiliate marketing if you sell real products and services. Marketing inferior products requires more time, energy and money and will not bring you the desired returns in the long run.
7. Affiliate marketing training for 10,000 visitors a day
Not only will you take affiliate marketing programs for a ride, you will also find affiliate marketing training that will teach you the tricks of how you can quickly get 10,000 or more visitors to your website. Some of these courses are real, but many of them are full of empty promises. These training programs are offered in the form of e-books, podcasts, e-learning programs and more.
Always use your discretion to identify real learning opportunities. Even if you initially have fewer than 10,000 visitors a day while learning valuable affiliate marketing lessons, choose an appropriate place to study.
8. Upselling affiliate marketing courses
In the affiliate marketing training world, another popular trick is to upsell actual courses. Such marketing programs generally promote an inexpensive affiliate marketing course for beginners. They list the curriculum and everything you can achieve through what you learn. Such a form of affiliate marketing lies and leads beginners to buy programs that are not worth it.
Once you have bought the cheap affiliate marketing course, the actual course will often be sold to you. Your first purchase will most likely be useless without the expensive end product. You can stay away from such courses and try free affiliate marketing courses or courses with good online ratings.
After listing the most common affiliate marketing scams and lies in the market, I will talk about the most basic and easiest ways to identify and avoid an online affiliate marketing scam.
1. Visit the company’s website
Always visit the affiliate marketing program’s corporate website to determine how real the company is. Check the reviews on their website, see how old the company is, read more about the existing affiliate network, read about the payment methods, etc. If a company is not clear about its policies and methods, it is sure to hide something , Online marketing scams often leave many gaps in the information displayed. Read between the lines if the website lacks important information.
2. Google It
Always do a Google search for an affiliate program. If you google a program, you will come across news, websites, reviews and much more about that program. Check out the 2nd or 3rd page of Google search engine results to learn more about the legitimacy of your affiliate program.
3. Read the reviews
Try to find and read reviews of your affiliate program. If it is a good program, you will know by the type of rating people wrote, and if it is a bad program or a scam, you are sure to find many ratings on it. You can visit forums like Warrior Affiliate to read what people have to say about your chosen program. Reddit and Quora are also good sources to learn more about programs and courses.
4. Follow Your Belly – Is It Too Good To Be True?
After doing the necessary online research, follow your instincts about a program and its products and services. If something seems too good to be true, stay away from it. The internet reveals a lot about every product or service if you do the right research. Always know a program well to immerse yourself in and market its products as an affiliate or to subscribe to their affiliate marketing courses.
So if you’re wondering. “Is Affiliate Marketing Legitimate?” The answer is yes. However, you need to be careful when choosing a program that is genuine and trustworthy.
I hope this guide to Detecting and Avoiding Affiliate Marketing Scams is helpful. If you have specific questions about a particular program, leave a comment below.
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