4 Common Affiliate Marketing Scams to Watch Out For
4 Common Affiliate Marketing Scams to Watch Out For
Affiliate marketing is a completely legit way to monetize your passion. The entire industry is not one BIG scam you should be worried about. However, there are certain affiliate marketing scams that you need to be aware of at least so you don’t fall into the trap while searching for totally legit affiliate programs.
Scammers are always on the prowl to extract money from affiliate marketers, especially beginners who are still testing the waters. If you are starting out as an affiliate marketer, you need to watch out for affiliate marketing scams and traps. Here are the five most common affiliate marketing scams that you need to be wary of.
Phony Training Programs
A vast majority of the new entrants in the affiliate marketing industry look for courses where they can get clued up about the basics of affiliate programs and affiliate marketing. Many would undergo a training course before they step into the industry.
If you are on a lookout for an affiliate marketing training course, you would most likely encounter numerous people trying to sell a webinar, an e-book, or different types of paid courses.
Never choose any of these before doing your own research. Sadly, most of these training programs are a sham and nothing else. You would never get to learn anything useful by downloading these e-books and enrolling in these courses. Most likely, you would just end up misspending your money.
Some of the e-books might look glossy and promising at a first glance. As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Most of the e-books offered are full of fluffs and are completely useless.
If you want to know the basics, you may want to follow these affiliate marketing gurus on YouTube and get to know the fundamentals of affiliate marketing without even paying a single cent. Why fritter away your hard-earned money when you can learn it from the experts?
The get-rich-quick schemes are the main reason why some people feel affiliate marketing is not a legit way to grow passive income. The rapid increase of such lucrative offers is giving the industry a bad name.
Typically, these shady websites would allure you by claiming that you would be able to rake in a thousand dollars at the wink of an eye or you can earn around $5000 every week by working for just two to three hours in a day.
This is a classic example of a trap. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.
If you come to know about a get-rich-overnight scheme from someone you know, ask them first whether they have been through it themselves and ask for a proof of earnings. Affiliate marketing is not easy. You cannot just start earning money overnight. It takes a lot of effort and you need to invest time in it.
Nothing To Promote
With affiliate marketing, you can make money by promoting products or services offered by others. We explained how affiliate marketing works in one of our recent blogs. Check it out if you want to know how the entire process works.
However, if a company promises you too-good-to-believe rewards for promoting their products, try to examine closely. Is there a product or service to promote? If not, it’s definitely an affiliate marketing scam.
These so-called opportunities work in such a way that no one actually gets any money. Typically, you will need to pay a hefty fee for signing up and you may have to recruit sub-affiliates.
In the end, nobody gains from the scheme as there is nothing much to promote or sell. These sketchy business models are known as pyramid schemes and these are not affiliate programs in any way.
Pay-To-Join Affiliate Programs
Usually, you don’t have to shell out a single cent to sign up for legitimate affiliate programs.
Authentic programs are completely free to join. While you may need to pay a fee to sign up with an affiliate network, you don’t have to pay anything to sign up for a program that is managed in-house.
If you find a program that asks you to pay a fee upfront, do not sign up. It’s 99.99% a scam.
How NOT To Fall Prey To Affiliate Marketing Scams?
You need to do your own research before joining any affiliate program and this is the only way NOT to fall prey to affiliate marketing scams. If you are new, it’s tough to cross-check which one is authentic and which one is not.
While we constantly strive to handpick, review, and include legit affiliate programs in our list, here are a few effective ways for you not to fall prey to scams.
Look Up Google
You can come to know about the veracity of an affiliate program through Google. Google would reflect several reports of a program if that has been found to be a scam. You can go through them online and get to know everything in detail.
In case you just type the name of the affiliate program and nothing relevant comes up, try to type in variations like affiliate program name ripoff, affiliate program name scam, or affiliate program name reviews, etc.
You will get some clear cut search results that would tell you in detail whatever you wish to know about an affiliate program.
If a company is offering a too-good-to-believe commission rate, you shouldn’t fall for it.
Though some merchants really pay out hundreds and thousands of dollars to their affiliate partners, you should never fail to do your own research. Find out if they had actually paid such high commissions to the other affiliates previously.
Aside from that, make sure that the products and services that you are going to promote are actually of good quality and are of course, genuine.
If you are unable to get the information you want from Google (and on our site, for that matter), check out the website of the merchant. Companies that are legal and are not involved in any fraudulent activity usually have decent-looking and fully functional websites.
If you come across a website that has a bad design, or it is loaded with low-res images and bad content, you should be cautious before applying to the merchant’s affiliate program.
If something is too good to believe, it probably is. There is nothing wrong with doubting offers that are unrealistic and over-the-top. Easy money schemes are the most common ones that people get trapped in.
Always apply your common sense and do a bit of research before you take the plunge. The affiliate marketing industry is genuine and there are plenty of ways you can make money legitimately.