Affiliate marketing is a legitimate industry and not a scam like most fake industry have made it to look. Don’t let anyone deceive you into believing that the whole industry is a scam!
There are a lot of very legitimate companies, brands and people within the affiliate marketing space. Unfortunately there are also a lot of affiliates marketing scams out there as well. However, this post is to help you identify the fake from the real moving forward.
Don’t become disillusioned with affiliate marketing, so keep reading and stay safe.
(1) Upsell Funnels.
Affiliate Marketers reason with themselves saying that it is “normal” and “industry status quo” to offer upsells to people within their programs. They compare it to the like of McDonalds asking, “do you want fries with that”.
The problem is though that you are getting part of the puzzle, not the entire thing and in order to build the entire puzzle you need to keep spending more and more money. An upsell to get another program that you “need”, an upsell to get websites/hosting, an upsell to get a tool, and upsell to get support.
Shouldn’t all of this stuff be included in the actual product itself? I believe so. Instead of creating one quality product that includes everything, you have folks selling 4-5 lower quality products/services that make-up something decent (if you are prepared to buy everything).
It is one of the most common affiliate marketing scams and one that is taking place literally everywhere. If you pay for a product and the first thing they want you to do is pay for another product, run for the hills.
(2) Fake Affiliate Marketing Training
Most newbie affiliates like to do a training course to get started in the industry. There will be hundreds of people trying to sell you a course, an e-book, a webinar and various other kinds of information. Do your research before you pick your training program.
Many of these training programs are often nothing more than a rip-off. You don’t actually learn anything useful and you’re out whatever money you spent, as well. At the most, you might get an e-book that is full of fluff and no real, actionable lessons. So make sure do your training with a well-known name.
Check out Wealthy Affiliate – a step-by-step system for newbies that shows you how to build an income from your website.
(3) Companies Selling Your Information to Solicitors.
Some of the biggest name gurus have been caught doing this and it is still going on. You purchase a product through one company/person, perhaps this could be a low ticket purchase.
The next thing they do is hand over your details to an agency that will solicit mentorship type programs to you (usually several $1,000) and pressure you into buy into them. They take the approach that they are “involved” with the company you made the initial purchase from then legitimize the offer.
The owner of the initial product gets a cut. So does the company that has been given your information and sold you on the mentoring (usually a 50/50 split).
Be careful about this happening and if you ever receive a call from a company trying to sell you mentoring or any type of related service, do yourself a huge favor and hang up!
(4) Affiliate Programs That Don’t Pay.
Yes, believe it or not there are still companies out there that will offer you an affiliate program, allow you to make sales and then when it comes time to paying you, they make it next to impossible.
I personally have only had this happen a few times in my few years online, but it is something that you should be aware of can happen.
Also, on occasion the reason the company will not be able to pay their commissions is because they end up going out of business. Make sure that you know the track record of the company before you get too involved with them.
(5) Products with No Product.
There are many programs out there these days that are claiming to be affiliate marketing opportunities when in actuality their product is based on promoting the very same product, without any actual tangible services involved.
These are very “pyramid like” and they are becoming more common places as the MLM world tries to head into the affiliate marketing space and try to create “legitimate” services. Unfortunately these are built to make the founders and the early adopters rich and rely on other people “losing” money in order to work.
If you join a product for the sole purpose of promoting that product and you are getting the people that you promote that product to, to do the exact same thing…then you are part of a program that is operating in the shape of triangle.
If you are involved in a program that relies on you buy into the program, upgrading to more expensive tiers, and then promoting the same program to others, run for the hills.
(6) High Ticket Programs
Paying a lot for something doesn’t make it a scam. Paying too much for something and taking advantage of people’s “hope” and financial vulnerabilities is. There are many companies out there that claim the only way to build an ultra successful business online is through selling LESS product at a much HIGHER price.
The logic is that it is easier to get 10 people to buy something at $1,000 than it is to sell 1,000 items at $10. The logic also is that if you have fewer customers, these companies have fewer people to “muffle” from their complaints.
At the end of the day you are not getting any more value by spending $2,000-3,000 on a program that you are $20-30 typically, other than the perceived value might be higher for you because you paid WAY Too MUCH.
Some of the most common high ticket programs these days are:
- High Ticket Mentoring
- High Ticket Courses
- High Ticket Masterminds
- High Ticket Conferences
Don’t ever be led to believe that because you are paying lots for something, it is going to be of higher value in the affiliate marketing industry. Quite the contrary. You are likely being scammed if you are paying several thousands for information in this industry.
(7) Get My Book Free, Just Pay the Shipping.
You have likely seen these offers out there. You buy a book that a company/author has published. They claim
These sorts of offers have been in the affiliate/internet marketing space for many years. You need to think to yourself though, what reason would led someone to write a book, spend the money/time publishing it, only to give it away for free?
First, they want to be able to tout the “sales” of their book. Although these are ‘artificially’ generated sales in a sense, these companies want to be able to use their “top seller” status for their book even though they gave it away for free.
Second, there is no money in them giving away their book. They will set up shipping at a price point that covers the cost of publishing their books. They are going to use your mailing information and your contact details to present you with other offers. Often times these are in the $1,000’s. Often times there are instant upsells and OTO (one time offers) as well.
Lastly, these books are often times overtly promotional for the companies’ respective brand, products and services that they offer.
Be careful and if you ever see an offer like this in the affiliate marketing or internet marketing industry, question the motives. They are usually to turn YOU into a profit engine for their company by selling much more expensive stuff for you.
Thankfully, There is Hope For Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing is not all bad, in fact it is mostly “good” in the affiliate marketing industry.
Where there is money to be made, there are people that are trying to take advantage of others though. That is the unfortunate part of the business world. However, not all companies operate their business in this way and there are a lot of “shining stars” within the affiliate marketing world and people that truly care, that push the industry in a positive direction, and then continue to work to evolve and truly help folks within this space.
There are A LOT of legitimate affiliate programs. Do your due diligence, research a program before you join and if the product is legitimate and they have a good track record, chances are the affiliate program is legit.
There are a lot of legitimate affiliate networks. To name a few, cj.com, shareasale.com, amazon associates, and the ebay affiliate network. There are literally 100’s of affiliate networks out there, many of which are high quality and you usually do not have to worry about
There are A LOT of legitimate affiliate marketing training programs. I joined one which have personally been helping me and many people for close to 11 years in this space. If you ever need a hand in getting started or more help as a professional, You can get a personal coaching within the Wealthy Affiliate community (where you have everything you need to create, grow and manage your business online). No upsells. No high ticket. Just straight up training, tools, websites, hosting, support and networking
There are a lot of legitimate affiliate marketing tools. These range from stats tools like Google Analytics (which is completely free), to keyword research platforms like Jaaxy.com, Moz.com and SEMrush.com.
And there are a lot of people that care your affiliate marketing business. There are lots of good guys in the industry. A good way to determine this is if you actually get a response from the founders of the company and they are not constantly blasting you with “one way messages” (with little to no response to the feedback).
So although there are a lot of scams in the affiliate marketing industry, there are a lot of programs that will truly help you and your business. The opportunity within the affiliate marketing space only continues to grow with each day that passes. You can literally promote MILLIONS of different products as an affiliate and carve out your business within any niche that you want.
There is hope.
Before I leave you today, I want to open the communication with you here. If you have any affiliate marketing experiences that have left you feeling as though you have just been “scammed”, please leave them below. Let’s start a discussion and keep the affiliate marketing industry a safe place for all of us to co-exist!