A savvy Internet marketer can easily spot affiliate marketing scams but for newbie marketers, it is difficult to distinguish one from the other.
The desire to earn money online quickly often blinds newbie Internet marketers against checking the genuineness of affiliate marketing programs.
More than 80% of the affiliate marketing programs found online are not authentic and the reason why unsuspecting newbie Internet marketers fall prey to them is because of their ‘convincing’ marketing strategies.
The unauthentic affiliate marketing programs spend thousands to brag about their sales and create an endless number of ‘false’ testimonials. When you want to talk to their support system, you are either redirected to spurious websites or you are connected to virtual or automated customer care people.
On this basic background, your first step to spot trustworthy affiliate marketing programs is RESEARCH. Research the background of the merchant you are interested in representing. How do you research? Just Google the name of the merchant, website name or the address given on the sales page and see how the results fare. Concentrate on forums and discussion sites where Internet marketers normally communicate scamming and fraudulent websites.
Moreover, a genuine Internet marketer will have more than an email address on the website such as telephone number and a physical address. If the owner lives in the same state as you are in, it won’t harm to pay the person a visit. Or you can call up the number and have a real chat.
To verify further, ask another friend to call up the same number after few days and you both can compare responses.
A genuine affiliate marketing website will be eager and readily interested to answer your queries and not give practiced or stock replies. You need to check various rip-off detection websites and look for tell-tale signs.
Your second step to spot trustworthy affiliate programs is to check the PAYMENT PLAN. Spurious affiliate websites will ask you to pay upfront for joining. According to them, the joining fees is for running the affiliate account and pay for necessary maintenance.
Now, ask yourself – why should you have to pay to receive work? And these websites create such a hype like “this is your ultimate opportunity to earn money the legitimate way at low cost” or “you won’t pay this joining price twice” that newbie Internet marketers take at face value and willingly step into their trap.
Again, let me caution you, do not ever join affiliate merchants who promise exceptional or “too good to be true” earnings. They typically promise daily cash pay, 5 level residual income or 300% commissions. Run as far away as you can. You are wasting your time on these scamming offers.
When I search for affiliate merchants online, I deliberately chat with their so-called support system and ask – “Why will you charge me for signing up?” or “Can’t you deduct the ‘account maintenance’ fees from my first payout?” I wish I had kept a record of their answers and posted it here. From the flimsiest of excuses to the subtle insult “can’t you afford to pay $47 for lifelong earning?” you will be rolling in laughter hearing them!!! Anyways, let’s move forward.
Your third step is to know the difference between MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING and PYRAMID MARKETING. Most people use the terms synonymously but there is a difference and if you want to do ‘real’ affiliate marketing, you must keep it in mind.
Multi-level marketing or affiliate marketing involves selling of real products and services. It also has a recruitment system where you bring in more affiliates and you earn a commission from their incomes.
In contrast, a pyramid marketing scheme does not involve any real products and services. You pay to sign up and market the website for recruiting other people under you. Why would you do that? It promises a ‘pot of gold’ or lots of moolah once you reach the top of the pyramid and that my friend, is really difficult to achieve.
Most of the time the pyramid fails or breaks midway and you have to start again from scratch. Stay away from pyramid marketing and seek real Multi-level marketing opportunities. Amway is one example of a successful multi-level marketing venture.
The main thing is you should not run after making quick money. Affiliate marketing takes as much effort as others. Best thing is to associate yourself with large corporations like Amazon, ClickBank and Commission Junction where you have the surety to get paid and moreover, their brand popularity is immense. You won’t be cheated and certainly, there is no money involved for joining.
Leave a comment if you’ve been scammed…