There are a lot of scams out there, and for those looking to get into affiliate marketing, finding trustworthy companies and offers can be a bit of a minefield. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the affiliate marketing scams you should avoid and how to spot them.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, then finding resources and networks you can trust can be a bit of a minefield. The reason for this is that there is a lot of money in affiliate marketing, and anything can be marketed, including affiliate marketing. As a result, many affiliates promote their knowledge of the industry for a fee, even though that information may not always be that valuable.
To help you cut through the noise and get started in affiliate marketing, we’ll help you recognise the scams that specifically target new affiliates and look at how you can avoid them.
Get Rich Quick Schemes
If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. You should remember this every time you find new opportunities.
Affiliate marketing isn’t an easy get rich quick option. It is potentially a get rich relatively quickly option, but it’s certainly not easy and it will always come with risks.
There is no magic formula. There’s just a lot of testing and learning, which involves investing real money and taking real risks.
The Pyramid Scheme is the oldest trick in the book, and yet it still catches people out. Pyramid schemes are based on commission and often get confused with affiliate marketing. This is probably because there have been many pyramid schemes designed to look like affiliate marketing over the years.
How can you tell if an affiliate program is really a pyramid scheme in disguise?
It’s actually fairly simple to tell the difference between legitimate affiliate marketing programs and pyramid schemes when you know what to look out for.
In affiliate marketing, your main aim is to get people to buy products. In pyramid schemes, the main aim is to get people to sell products for you.
How pyramid schemes work
Pyramid schemes start with a single transaction between two people. Person A offers person B the chance to make money selling a product. For all the salesperson B makes, they will get a commission. Then, for each additional person that they can recruit to sell the product, person B will get a percentage of their revenue too. The pyramid is created as those lower down gradually reduce lower and lower incomes, while the majority of the money flows up to the top of the pyramid.
How affiliate marketing works
In affiliate marketing, affiliates work with fixed commissions agreed with their network. It is then the affiliates job to drive traffic to their selected offers and get visitors to commit an agreed action e.g. product purchase, email submit.
For every visitor that commits the agreed action using the affiliate’s link, the affiliate will earn the agreed commission.
If you are being asked to recruit as many people as possible and get paid for their sales, then you should avoid the offer at all costs.
There are a lot of people offering training to new affiliates and some of it is ok. However, it’s definitely worth making sure that the course you’re looking at is legitimate.
The internet is filled with self-styled gurus just itching to tell you how they made their millions. The trouble is, the secret to their cash flow is often selling people the dream of becoming rich.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, the best affiliates learn by doing. They try, they fail and they try again. The only thing that affiliate marketing gurus could really offer you is their own experience and their own mistakes, but you’d be much better off learning them for yourself.
There are tons of free tools and learning platforms out there, especially from traffic sources and tracking tools. They want you to use their services correctly, and they invest time and money into ensuring that marketers get the advice they need to use their tools correctly. Everything else will just be trial and error and ensuring that you follow what your data is telling you.
How to Avoid Scams
Avoiding scams is pretty easy, the trouble is that we all slip up from time to time and hope that someone, somewhere is offering a bonafide answer. However, the truth is, there is no secret formula that will turn you into a millionaire in the next 30 days.
That doesn’t mean to say that all advice is bad advice, far from it. It just means that you shouldn’t let yourself assume that you’ll hand over $5000 and be successful. It sounds obvious, but plenty of people fall for it.
Affiliate marketing is a bit like losing weight. The key to success is obvious. Hard work! But we don’t always like to put in the time and effort that it takes to succeed, so we allow ourselves to buy into the aspiration of the lie and attempt to cut corners. At which point, we get burned and either give up or learn from our mistakes and carry on.
It’s up to you whether or not you have the determination to make it. No one will do it for you.