Affiliate marketing is multi-billion dollars business and its marketing activity is mainly conducted online. It has had gained popularity over the years, in particular as a result of the proliferation of social media to promote products/services to their friends and family through Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, etc.
There’s no denying that affiliate marketing is a legitimate industry. The problem is that whenever there are opportunity and money to be made, vultures and unscrupulous methods to deceive people will pop up like an uncontrolled virus.
As a result, many companies have set up to portraits themselves as affiliate marketing, in fact, they just affiliate marketing scams. They’re charging WAY too much for affiliate education. We also see companies up selling the hell out of their customers, taking a low ticket product and then forcing a customer to pay several thousands of dollars by the time they are done with their pitch fest.
Despite awareness, there’s someone still falling prey to affiliate marketing scam every single day due to desperation and greediness.
Fortunately for you though, there are telltale signs that you can look forward when trying to determine whether a program is an affiliate marketing scam.
In this post, I am going to break down what an affiliate marketing scam looks like to help you avoid getting taken advantage of.
Most Typical of Affiliate Marketing Scam.
There are a few very common types of affiliate marketing scam. You can pretty much put every unethical company within this industry under one of these categories.
(1)Get Rich Quick Scams
These affiliate marketing scams are all over the Internet space that offers you the promise of earning big bucks without putting into many efforts.
The usual modus operandi is that these brutal scammers will convince you that you’re gonna learn the tricks that you’ll make a lot of money fast if enroll with their company for a few hundred dollars.
No matter how desperate or poor you happen to be, all quick rich schemes are cons until proven otherwise. The truth is, there are no get-rich-quick schemes, even its sound too good to be true. If you ever hear that someone has a ‘secret’ on how to make money, it’s a scam.
Do you really believe that someone who makes $10,000 just working for a few hours on a particular day would tell you his or her secret?
(2) Low Ticket to High Ticket.
There are many scammers out there that will try to sell you on a very low ticket item, stating with a discount/low price and everything you need to succeed from $1 – $49 plus some additional bonus, but in reality there are many upsells on high ticket items that cost 100’s+ immediately after you purchase the given product. They will convince you that the high ticket items will accelerate your progress to succeed.
(3) Free Plus Shipping Book.
You probably have seen many of these within your social media accounts. Companies pitching you on the idea of getting a free book, plus shipping. That sounds good in logic, but the problem is they are doing this to get your “contact details” which they are then going to used to promote all sorts of other stuff to you. The “books” are usually completely promotional in terms of their intent, lacking actual value and substance.
(4) Free eBook.
This is the same strategy used on item (3) is to obtain your “Contact Details” for other purposes, like selling your email address. Normally, they send out an email to confirm your subscription before you can download the ebook. This just to ensure your email address is genuine, soon you will receive a lot of junk mail from all sort of parties trying to sell you something.
(5) Sale Pitch Page
The scammers use scarcity tactics like “Limited Available at your location” or “Time countdown” in their sale pitch page to trick you into their purchases process otherwise you will not be entitled to their discount price once the offer ended.
Another method is that there is a clause mentioned “they can’t guarantee you will get the same price if you scroll down to the end of their sale pitch page”. These methods are to pressurize you into taking action immediately as not to miss the offer.
(6) Phony Marketing
Phony Marketing is a commonly used scam. These phony marketers normally create courses which are usually offered through eBooks, DVD, CDC, webinars, seminars and even live demonstrations to convince you to join their course.
Typically, these course providers make tall claims that once you complete their super course, you’re gonna be on your way to becoming filthy rich.
After signed up, you’ll be left alone with all those useless DVD, outdated eBook, and no support. They won’t even reply to you in case you contact them.
That’s why it’s important to research thoroughly before enrolling in these type of course.
(7) Join Program, to Promote (MLM).
Often times companies that are within the MLM (multi-level-marketing) world will present themselves as being “affiliate marketing”. Anything that is MLM, is NOT affiliate marketing. The big difference, multi-levels. You have to be extra careful when you are joining these programs as they will get you in, often times at a very expensive price ($1,000-$50,000) and to recoup your costs, you need to recruit new members to program.
In this entire scheme, the only beneficiaries are the scammers and this can go on until the entire thing falls apart.
Many of these programs including pyramid and Ponzi schemes are taken out by FTC every year for being fraud. The problem: If you are involved in them and promote them to others, you are just as liable as a participant as you are being the owner of the company.
(8) Social Feed.
You often see this feed “I am in, PM me for details” on Facebook or Instagram all the time, but you also see them on other Social media Platform. The marketer will tell you how much they are making, how you can “change your life” and then pitch you on the idea that they are going to teach you how to make money just like them.
Firstly, most of these people pushing these videos on social media are not making any money (unless you buy into their crap), and secondly, they are almost certainly about to throw you into a network marketing scheme where you need to peddle the same garbage to others.
(9) Showcase Lifestyle and Money.
You can pretty much chalk up any program that sells itself solely on lifestyle, on “mindset”, on flash cars or luxury houses a scam. These companies tend to lack product/service substance. If you are being sold on this emotion and you want to be sitting on the beach or driving the Lamborghini like the person selling on you on this idea in the video/sales pitch, make sure you know what the heck you are getting into first!
(10) Paid Memberships/Programs
Another very common affiliate marketing scam is asking people to join a program and pay for membership fee.
In reality, the majority of bona fide affiliate programs are free to join and there’s no fee, just like on Amazon, etc. The very fact that somebody asks you to pay to join an affiliate marketing program should raise a red flag.
Most of these pay-to-join programs are nothing more than another pyramid scheme.
(11) Fake Websites That Sell Fake Product or Services
Generally speaking, in affiliate marketing, marketers make money by promoting products and services from other companies via website monetization.
Scammers set up copycat websites that look like the websites of well-known brands but which sell fake goods. These are often poor quality or even set up to steal your financial details. Initially, they will ask for a minimum joining fees as an affiliate to promote their product/service and recruiting downline. But you have to buy a certain amount of product before you are eligible for your downline’s commissions.
Once the authority cracks down these suspicious sites, they always get away with your money and disappear before people even figure out what’s going on.
(12)Fake Reviews: Affiliate Schemes
Most consumers dislike a company which makes negative claims directly against a competitor, known as “negative marketing.”
With that in mind, some companies get round this by encouraging their affiliates to write reviews on other products.
Here’s how it works: company “A” would…
1. Convince their affiliates, often by a simple process of repetition, that their company is the best of its kind — whether or not it is.
2. Encourage their affiliates to write a review of a competing product belonging to company “B” — whether or not the affiliate has knowledge of Company “B”‘s product.
3. Make sure the affiliates understand that their review, whether it’s positive or not, must end with a recommendation for company “A”‘s product.
So if These are Affiliate Marketing Scams, Why Do They Exist?
Although FTC and other government-driven regulatory entities does exist to crack down such affiliate scams, they continue to grow like mushrooms because people easily get sucked into them and desperate becomes rich instantly.
But you can help to prevent these companies from sustaining their unethical affiliate businesses within the online world simply by understanding that they are scams and avoiding them altogether as well reporting to respective authority.
If you don’t part with your hard-earned money with them, they eventually get out of affiliate business or at least to legitimize themselves at some point.
Online Business Without Scam in Wealthy Affiliate
I digress. There are absolutely legitimate opportunities. If you have read this and are feeling a bit discouraged by the affiliate marketing industry as a whole, please do not be. The affiliate marketing industry is VERY ethical, it is vast, and it is full of an incredible amount of opportunity.
Affiliate programs are popping up everywhere, all major brands/services in the world have affiliate programs, and affiliates have a subset of over 550 MILLION (yes million) products and services you can promote in exchange for a commission. There are 4 billions people are online all the time search for something, solutions to their problems and purchasing stuff.
Whether you are interested in fashion, cosmetic and beauty, sports, health & fitness, technology, etc… there is an opportunity for your to carve yourself out a very successful business within the affiliate marketing space. No experience necessary.
All you need to know is doing it with the right skill set and knowledge. Wealthy Affiliate program will coach you the legitimate way with the necessary Internet skill-set you need to succeed online.
The legitimate process to building a business online though, in a nutshell.
- Choose a direction/niche for your business. This could be anything and there are a million and one niches out there. Choose that you’re passionate about.
- Build a website/blog to promote your business. This is very easy to do these days. Within platforms like Wealthy Affiliate, you can have your very own niche website ALIVE online in minutes.
- Get Traffic to your business. There are MANY ways to do this. One of the primary methods is getting rankings in Google, Bing & Yahoo (which is free to do), but you can also pay for traffic, leverage social networks, and use email marketing just to name a few.
- Generate revenue through affiliate programs. This is where the affiliate programs come in. There are millions of products, likely within pretty much any niche, that you can promote in exchange for an affiliate commission. These commissions range from 2% to 75% depending on the company and can lead to a HUGE stream of income.
That is it. All you need is a platform that provides you with the training and the environment to create, grow and manage your business. This platform is Wealthy Affiliate and it is completely free to try through their elite Starter Membership (no obligations whatsoever). I don’t want you to spend a cent before you have tried it out. I have written an article about Wealthy Affiliate, you can read it here
If you have any bad or good experiences within the affiliate marketing world you would like to share, opinions or questions that you want to get feedback on, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear it, I could chat about this stuff all day!