How to Protect Ourselves from Affiliate Scams

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Affiliate Marketing is no longer new in the online business realm. Although most people have heard of it, many still don’t truly understand how it works and its actual earning potential. Unfortunately, some take advantage of people’s lack of understanding about the system and try to trick people into spending money for nothing. What makes it worse is that the fraudulent activities are often successful. To protect yourselves from becoming victims, here are some things you should know when you plan to take part in online affiliation ventures.

  • Fake Marketing Training

One of the most common methods used in fraudulent affiliate scheme is fake training program. An increasing number of people are getting aware of the earning potential from being affiliation marketers. The Internet is now filled with hundreds (if not thousands) of companies and individuals trying to sell e-books, instructional DVDs, software, applications, and subscription-based membership that supposedly give tips and tricks to make money from affiliation marketing.

Every product claims to be the best, but many of them are nothing more than rip-off. The books and DVDs or whatever products they sell probably contain some lessons indeed, but they are not actionable. Some are just filled with fluffs and no real values. There is nothing illegal about selling products online, but they trick people into buying something useless. When something sounds too good to be true, most of the times it is indeed the case. Protect yourself by doing an online research and reading reviews from reputable sources before you pay for such products.

  • Marketing Hypes

Frauds can only commit their crimes successfully when their potential victims have little knowledge about how affiliate marketing works. All fraudulent schemes use marketing hypes to convince people that their products work. You can protect yourself from being scammed if you understand the basic principles of the affiliation. Every time you read or watch a training program being advertised online, figure out whether all the promises you hear are true. Some marketing hype red flags that throw more questions than answers are:

  • Future-proof and fool-proof of everything
  • Promises of quick money with little amount of work
  • Images of someone with fancy house, luxury cars, and anything that’s outrageously expensive.

People use many different advertisement tactics to attract potential customers. However, good advertisement will reflect the actual values of the product. Once again, if the marketing shows unrealistic promises to bring millions into your pocket quickly, the products are almost always scams. Just because the advertisement is attractive, it does not mean that you have to pull the trigger to purchase right away. Think before you pay for anything.

  • Check the Website

If the company that tries to sell you the affiliation training program is legitimate, its official website must be professional. Take a glance at the website, and if you find something is missing (mailing address, contact details, or any relevant information), it is best to stay away from paying for its products.

You can always use the search engine to find more information about the company. There are also online marketers’ forums where you can ask very specific questions concerning your doubts. Similar to purchasing anything, you should do a small-scale online research to find what others say about the company.

  • Avoiding Bad Affiliation

The idea behind affiliation program is that you help online retailers to sell goods; some of the most reputable are Amazon Associates, eBay Partner Network, Commission Junction, LinkShare, ClickBank, and Neverblue. In simple way, you promote products from any of those retailers on your website. You have to provide links to the actual products page. When visitor clicks your link and make purchase, you earn commissions.

Assuming that you have undergone legitimate training programs and are now ready to start your venture, you still have a big task of choosing the right affiliation program to join. Frauds do not stop at offering you books and instructional DVDs; they continue to trick people by offering fraudulent affiliation practices. The most common methods they use are as follows:

Paying to join: legitimate affiliation programs from legitimate businesses and retailers never ask you to pay for anything. They are happy enough that you want to promote their products on your website, and they are willingly to give you commissions for successful sales. If they ask you to pay to join, stay away from them.

  • No Product: commission is based on percentage determined by the company. If you make successful sales of high-priced products such as jewelries worth thousands of dollars, you will make a handsome income from that. If you are unlucky enough, you will see a company that requires you to sell nothing, but you have to persuade others to join the affiliation as well. This is a “pyramid” scheme where no member is actually making any money. You must pay to join, and your money is passed-on to the other members.

It is true that affiliation marketing has a limitless earning potential (this is not an exaggeration). To create substantial source of online revenue, however, you must work hard to run and maintain websites. It costs money to buy domain names and hosting services. For affiliate marketing, you must implement good SEO as well. It includes writing good contents, ensuring spam-free websites, user-friendly interface, etc. Affiliate marketing takes a lot of hard work to achieve success. So stay away from any program that promises big money with little work.

If you are completely new to the entire affiliation marketing business, choose a training program that at least offers the following benefits:

  • Free accounts for new members with no obligation to upgrade to paid-subscription
  • Free websites and hosting services, so you can practice
  • Good support from the company
  • Strong online community of users, so you can have discussions with other members

Wealthy Affiliate is probably the only affiliation training program that ticks all those check boxes. It is available for everyone at no cost, and the program even gives two free websites and hosting service for you to practice. It is not a get-rich-quickly scheme, but it provides valuable training on how to do affiliation marketing legitimately and properly.

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