Over the last five to ten years Affiliate marketing has been growing in popularity, this can be attributed to the proliferation of social media and the fact that so many more people have become wise to using affiliate marketing to promote products/services to their friends and loved ones through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.
The issue is that wherever there is opportunity for money to be made, vultures and unscrupulous people lie in wait to “take advantage” of people. This means, that unfortunately, many companies portray themselves as affiliate marketing companies, and many affiliate marketing scams pop up.
Proceed with caution when surfing the web. In this post, I intend to show you what an affiliate marketing scam looks like in order to prevent you being taken advantage of.
The Affiliate Marketing Industry is Changing, Proceed with Caution!
It was back in the early 2000s that affiliate marketing began to rise in popularity. With mostly tangible products and service based companies beginning to profit from the potential of having a base of affiliates promoting their companies and selling their products.
These companies were no longer reliant on having “in house” marketing when they could have 100’s if not 1,000’s of affiliate marketers to promoting and selling their services. The added bonus being that affiliates didn’t need to be paid unless they actually made sales and generated revenue for the company. Affiliates could do the work, no salaries or extra expenses necessary.
Times have changed
Twenty years later and the affiliate marketing industry has most definitely changed a little. We have witnessed companies attempting to enter the affiliate marketing industry when in actual fact, they are not affiliate marketing. Many companies charging EXTORTIONATE AMOUNTS for affiliate education. Furthermore, there are those companies who up sell their customers massively, taking a low ticket product and then forcing a customer to pay several $1,000’s by the time they are done with their pitching them.
This is ruthless. It is completely immoral and unethical and not something that a real affiliate marketer should or would ever do!
5 of the Most Typical Affiliate Scams.
Here are some of the most common affiliate marketing scams. It is fairly easy to put any unethical company under one of the following listed below:
(1) Low Ticket to High Ticket. There are so many people who are out to scam you. They will sell you on a very low ticket item, claiming the price and everything you need to succeed is $5-$39, but the truth of the matter is that there are $100’s if not $1,000’s in up sells the second you purchase the given product. To add fuel to the fire, they will make you feel really guilty if you don’t spend more money (making you feel useless and worthless). It can be really nasty.
(2) Free Plus Shipping Book. You have probably seen these on social media. Those companies pitching you on a fantastic free book, plus shipping. Sound great, right? Wrong! They get hold of your “contact details” which they will then use to promote all kinds of things. The “books” are more often than not promotional gimics with no actual value or substance.
(3) Join Program, to Promote (MLM). Very often programmes within the MLM (multi-level-marketing) world will pass themselves off as being “affiliate marketing”. Anything MLM, is absolutely NOT affiliate marketing. Avoid these programmes at all costs. They are unscrupulously expensive ($1,000-$50,000) and to recoup your costs, you will find yourself promoting the very same program to others.
Many of these programs are taken out by FTC every year for being fraudulent, pyramid or ponzi schemes. If you find yourself being part of one of these programmes and are promoting it to others then you will find yourself as a liable participant.
(4) Lifestyle and Money. Avoid, Avoid, Avoid any programme that seduces you with lifestyle, flash cars or houses, or even better “mindset”. It is a scam. These companies are lacking in most things but in particular, substance. They are selling you on emotion and you won’t actually know what you are going to be selling!!
If you are in the process of researching a programme or platform that sounds like any of the above, then please tread with care. There is a high chance that you are about to become involved in one of the affiliate marketing scams that prevalent within the online world-be careful!
Why do these Affiliate Scams Exist?
Unfortunately these scams exist because they are great money makers for unethical people with no morals and people get sucked into them. It is difficult for the FTC and other government regulatory bodies to keep on top of everything as the online world is so vast and some things slip under the radar.
This allows a lot of the small programmes to will continue for some time (sometimes forever). You can help prevent these companies from continuing their unethical affiliate practice online by understanding that they are scams and avoiding them at all costs.
How to find Legitimate Affiliate Marketing
There are fantastic legitimate affiliate marketing opportunities out there to take advantage of. Please do not feel discouraged by reading this as on the whole this industry is EXTREMELY ethical and the potential for success is incredible.
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 they can promote in exchange for a commission.
No matter what your particular interest you have the wealth of opportunities at your disposal to create a very successful business within the affiliate marketing space, with absolutely no prior experience necessary.
The way to build a successful, sustainable and profitable business online looks like this:
- Choose which direction you would like your business to go in. There are literally millions of niches out there.
- Build a website or blog to promote your business. This is a piece of cake these days. Platforms such as Wealthy Affiliate allow you to have your very own niche website LIVE online in less than 30 seconds. WOW, 30 seconds.
- Get Traffic to your business. So MANY ways to do this. One of the main strategies is rankings in Google, Bing & Yahoo (which is free to do), however you can also pay for traffic, leverage your social networks, and use email marketing…the list goes on…
- Generate revenue through affiliate programs. This is where the affiliate part takes off. There are quite literally millions of products within any niche, that you will be able to promote for an affiliate commission. Commissions range from 2% to 75% depending on the company. In time this can potentially lead to a HUGE stream of income.
Which Platform to Choose?
It is a simple as that! You need is a platform that facilitates you with the training and the environment to create, grow and manage your business. This platform is Wealthy Affiliate and it is absolutely free to try through the elite Starter Membership (absolutely no obligation whatsoever).
By lesson 4 alone within the training, you are going to have step 1 & 2 above complete. By the first course alone, which is included in your starter membership, you are going to understand the process of getting ranked in Google with your website, getting traffic, and how you can build out you business in the most appropriate manner for long term success.
I digress. I hope this article has offered you a lot of insight into the “bad” side of the affiliate marketing world, and if you have been seeking out any of the FIVE types of scams that I have suggested you avoid, I hope you do so.
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!