Watch Out: The Top Affiliate Marketing Scams You Need to Avoid - WBCB: The Valley's CW |

Watch Out: The Top Affiliate Marketing Scams You Need to Avoid


Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way for content creators and influencers to make a passive income. There’s a lot of buzz around the idea, because who wouldn’t want to make a lot of money for doing very little work? Unfortunately there are a lot of affiliate marketing scams out there that prey on this idea.

Pretty much every burgeoning trend online comes with its fair share of scam artists and self-proclaimed pioneers who offer a lot with no guarantee of coming through, however.

We’re here to give you some insight on what affiliate marketing requires in order to become successful, and what to watch out for when you’re getting started. Avoiding affiliate marketing scams will save you a great deal of time, money, and expectations.

First, however, let’s get into what affiliate marketing is and how you could conceivably make money doing it.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

People who aren’t versed in online business often wonder how bloggers and other content creators can even make an income when they don’t sell any products or services.

There are a number of ways, but most of them involve promoting and advertising for other companies. This is a way that bloggers can create the content they want to while using their traffic as a means of attracting other businesses to offer paid ad space.

Affiliate marketing is one such method, and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Affiliate marketing requires that a creator and a business get in contact, and the business gives that creator a special link to post on the site.

When the creator posts content with that link, all of that person’s followers and subscribers are going to be exposed to it. With any luck, a good deal of those people will click the link and make purchases when they’re redirected to the affiliate site.

When this happens, the creator is given a commission for the traffic and sales that they’ve helped generate through the link. Using the special link allows the affiliate site to monitor the volume of traffic that comes from the blogger site to make purchases on the other site.

Commissions vary, and some sites require that the user makes a purchase after being redirected while others grant commissions when users simply click the link in the first place.

What It Takes to Be Successful

There’s a great deal of work that goes into being a successful affiliate marketer. Sure, the fact that businesses pay you to commission when your users follow links means that you can make money doing almost no work.

That said, there’s a lot that builds up to you generating the traffic on your site in the first place. Bloggers who make loads of cash through affiliate marketing are typically well-established and rooted in their niche.

Generating traffic comes when a person creates regular content, engages with their users on a regular basis, employs effective SEO platforms and tactics and uses other forms of digital marketing to get their content seen by large amounts of people.

Further, their content has to be worthwhile. People aren’t going to frequent a site with content that is haphazardly thrown together and isn’t relevant. People with something to say or provide are the ones who garner users that subscribe to see new content.

That, in a nutshell, is the general process of cultivating a user base large enough to start seeing significant income through affiliate marketing.

Why Affiliate Marketing Scams are So Prevalent

Affiliate marketing scams are extremely common, as we’ve talked about. There’s a reason behind it, and why people are so likely to fall for these scams.

Because it’s so difficult to generate the following needed to make money in affiliate marketing, people are ready to jump at any method they can use of taking shortcuts. Who wants to do a whole load of work when the same result could be achieved in no time at all?

Scammers play on this fact and make a lot of money doing it. While they’re good at making it seem like they can help you get conversions and find loopholes, the reality is that no one can cheat the system in the long run.

Conversions are instances where users follow the affiliate link and make purchases, leading to a commission.

The Likelihood of Getting Conversions

You have to think about this process from a user standpoint as well. Imagine that you’re reading through a blog.

You’re taken by the introduction, you enjoy the writing style, and you follow the article all of the way to the bottom. Usually, if those few things happen, you have a certain degree of trust and respect for the author.

In other words, you respect that person’s opinion enough to hear them out and follow the article to its completion. Now, you’re at the end of the article, and the author suggests a product that relates to the article you just read.

What are the odds that you click that link? It probably depends on the product, the pitch, and whether or not you’re looking to spend any money that day.

Further, even if you look at the product, how many times have you ever followed a link to make a purchase online? The point is, it takes a particular series of events for a user to get to the point where they actually make a purchase through an affiliate link.

There’s always going to be a certain percentage that does follow through and make the purchase, though. So, affiliate marketing is a realistic way to make consistent money if you have a following large enough to make that small percentage turn out to generate large commissions.

Further, you have to be skilled enough to get them to the link in the first place.

So, Where is All of This Going?

The reason we’ve laid out this long description is to give you an idea of how affiliate marketing should look. It’s important to have realistic expectations when you take on an endeavor like this.

Making money through affiliate marketing, by all means, is a fantastic way to start generating a passive income. The effort that you put in, when done right, has a good chance of resulting in a good payout.

You should do a good deal of research on your niche, the topic of content, and SEO. Generating traffic and perfecting your craft is the name of the game to set the foundation for a profitable affiliate marketing effort.

As you set forth, though, you’re going to be tempted by a number of potential scams that will leave you short of money, frustrated, or potentially worse. There are certainly people out there that know what they’re talking about and can give you legitimate advice, but there are those who would prey on the new affiliate marketer.

The following sections will go into detail about some of the scams online and what you can do to avoid them.

Most Common Affiliate Marketing Scams

Keep these potential scams in mind as you try to navigate the affiliate marketing world. Again, you will probably need some advice from different sites, and there are even some courses that are worthwhile.

That being said, the valuable resources are less common than the ones that don’t provide many benefits.

1. Gurus

If you’re perusing resources and come across a video of a scantily clad man swimming in a millionaire mansion’s pool, making a video about how you could be floating there alongside him, you’ve gone too far.

Turn back now. There’s no shortage of self-proclaimed gurus and success stories who have “3 simple steps” to making you $50,000 dollars quarterly with no investment or hard work needed.

Those people are false, and their image is usually a lie. The funny thing about those pseudo-influencers is that they usually have a hard time getting through a few sentences without making grammatical mistakes, alluding to the 3 step program, or talking about their possessions.

Typically in life when someone brags about something excessively, they don’t really have what they’re talking about. Here are a few tell-tale signs of the False Guru:

They’re in a Lavish Environment

When someone makes a promotional video about affiliate marketing and they’re simply promoting the lifestyle that they live, they are probably of no use to you.

A classic advertising trick is to sell a lifestyle instead of an actual product. Just like Coke sells happiness (tip: true happiness and Coca Cola are in no way related), gurus sell fancy cars, six-pack abs, and pool-side workdays.

These people don’t have anything of value to give you, so it’s best to steer clear of them.

There’s a Secret Involved

Another classic message of the fake guru is that they have access to a secret. This secret will change the face of your business, put you in Hollywood A-list clubs, and bring thousands of dollars into your pocket every month.

The great part is, you hardly have to do anything but buy the guru’s product. Once you listen to a few half-baked ramblings about success and underlying principles of the universe, your site will have the most profitable affiliate links and you’ll be set for life.

2. Get Rich Quick Schemes

The get rich quick schemes are typically similar in nature to guru schemes, but this time there’s not a guru person leading the path.

The dreams of success are sold to you via grand claims of getting rich insanely quickly. In the same way as the guru scheme, these scams make it seem like you don’t have to do much work in order to start making money immediately.

Here are a few other tell-tale signs of a get rich quick scheme:

Before and After Stories

This one requires that you have a little bit of discernment. There are always going to be legitimate before and after stories that are used to help sell a product. Some products actually produce the desired result, and that’s great.

Most of the time, though, you can kind of tell which stories are real and which aren’t. If you’re passively consuming an advertisement, it may not register that you’re being lied to. If you are actively looking to see legitimacy in the story, though, you should be able to make a pretty good call one way or the other.

Dollar Amounts

Whenever a program or product is laced with promotions about specific amounts of money you could be making, it’s likely that you won’t make that amount of money.

In fact, you’ll probably lose money because you paid for the program in the first place.

3. False Affiliates

Once you’re on the road to start making money through affiliate links, you’re going to be interacting with businesses that want to work with you.

The legitimacy of these businesses is of the utmost importance to you and your own success. You’ll want to make sure that the sites you associate with are credible and actually sell a good or service.

More specifically, you want to make sure that the link you’re putting on your site is one that goes to a legitimate page that sells a product.

Try to Work With Companies You Respect

Do your best to work only with sites that you yourself would buy from. That way, you know that your intentions are pure and you’re sending your users toward a product that you actually endorse.

If you don’t know anything about the business or product that you’re linking to, make sure to do a good amount of research before associating yourself with that site. Look for product reviews and Google Business reviews to make sure not only that the site is real, but that it’s reputable and provides a good service.

4. Programs that Make You Pay

One way that people start to gain success in affiliate marketing is through programs that put you in touch with other marketers and businesses who you might benefit from being associated with.

That means facilitating business arrangements and other connections. These sites should always be free. The main sites that have the largest user bases are free, and those sites will be ones that are most useful to you as an affiliate marketer.

Amazon and GetResponse are two of the programs that will be of use to you when you’re starting out. When you’re starting to piece together your plan and thinking about who you’re going to work with, do your best to find other people who are in the same boat as you.

Get in touch with people on social media and see what they have to say about different platforms. Make sure they haven’t had bad experiences and see if they have any advice for you.

Want to Learn More About Affiliate Marketing Scams?

When you sift through the affiliate marketing scams, you will have the opportunity to garner a lot of success. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity just because there are a few bad eggs lurking around online.

Visit our site and read our free guides to learn more about how to move forward with affiliate marketing.

As always, we hope you found this article “Watch Out: The Top Affiliate Marketing Scams You Need to Avoid” both informative and entertaining. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your friends and family through social media. It really helps us a lot and is greatly appreciated!

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