Affiliate marketing is one of the best yet efficient ways to earn money online. And it is partially due to its popularity, easy accessibility and anchor to the Internet, it has become a new breeding ground for scammers and crooks.
Affiliate Marketing defined
A lot of people are familiar with the term “affiliate marketing” but don’t really know what it is. It is a performance-based online marketing strategy, where affiliates get rewarded depending on actual marketing results such as acquired clicks, registrations, downloads or sales, among others. The amount is usually agreed upon by the merchant and the affiliate.
Affiliate marketing scams have become widespread because of the number of people who engage in the trade without proper knowledge and research. It will not stop as more and more people get involved.
Segregating legitimate from fake affiliate marketing programs
There are several ways to spot the real from the fakes. Here are some points to consider when engaging in affiliate marketing schemes.
Money down requirements
Affiliate marketing is free and should always be free. If the company requires you to pay to promote their product then you probably stumbled upon a multi-level-marketing scheme and not an affiliate program. MLMs are referral-marketing strategies where you get compensated not only by your sales but also with the sales of people you recruit.
Though some may have been successful in MLMs, it does not work for everyone. You have to check if the program actually has a product or service that needs promoting as some of these schemes are actually scams.
No affiliate assistance contact:
Affiliate programs usually have a contact number and e-mail address. If a website that offers one doesn’t have an e-mail address or any other contact information then it is most likely a scam.
This is one the first things you should check out when looking for affiliate programs. If you do locate an email address or contact form, ask a few questions about the program. A good affiliate program will surely respond to your question within a few days or less.
Offers that are too good to be true:
Affiliate marketing has the potential to earn a lot of cash but it will take time and patience to generate good income. Affiliate programs that promise rewards that are too good to be true are scams. Your expectations should be realistic. If you can actually earn $100,000 a week just by promoting a single product, then anyone can be rich. Never fall for this kind of trickery.
Bad reviews and testimonials:
Before engaging in an affiliate program, check the website’s reviews on forums or ask people who actually experienced the program. Never rely on the reviews found on the actual website as they can be falsified and can provide inaccurate information. Do research on the company that you’re going to work with. You may find a few skeletons in their closet that might save you from getting scammed.
No background or track records:
For new affiliate programs, it would be best to check its authenticity after the period of 6 months. Good ones are most likely to stay strong, and fake or bad ones will crumble away after a few months. Check the company’s track records for affiliate programs that usually show how frequently they pay their affiliates and how they fare in the rankings. Doing so makes sure you get the best affiliate program that would be beneficial to you.
Probably the best way to avoid getting scammed is to not get over excited with all the hype over the seemingly realistic results that some affiliate programs present. Stop and think. Investigate and confirm. Be well-informed in the trade and don’t hesitate do some dirt digging.
Affiliate marketing is still one of the best ways to earn money online and still will be in a few years to come. It can get you as much as five digits a month with enough knowledge, cleverness and dedication, as long as you don’t get ripped off your money first by Internet frauds.
About the Author:
Kyle Kam is a marketing consultant for Affilorama, an affiliate marketing portal. You can also check their affiliate marketing blog and affiliate marketing forum for more tips and information about affiliate marketing. They also offer, free affiliate marketing lessons for beginning and advance affiliates.