How To Spot Scams In Affiliate Marketing

JR Estrada |

If you are sincerely interested in learning how to spot scams in affiliate marketing then you want to stick to the end of this article.

Not only will I be sharing the ins and outs of the industry but what a real affiliate marketer is and what it is not.

Knowing how to spot scams in affiliate marketing will help you gain an edge over the competition.

Seeing what is real and what is fake will also enable you to generate a significant income in a shorter period of time than some who does not because your mind and eyes will be trained properly.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

True grass roots affiliate marketing reminds me of the vacuum salesman years ago that you used to come by every now and then to try to sell me the Rainbow, literately.

That salesman had an agreement with the manufacturer that when he sold ONE vacuum he received ONE commission for his efforts.

His sole responsibility was to educate me and “show me why” his vacuum what worth $1500 and my Bissell only $50.

When I realized that the benefits outweighed those of my Bissel then I was sold and would purchase.

That is the duty of a true affiliate marketer. Find a quality product, service or program and educate the world on its benefits via marketing and then allow that content to draw in interested buyers.

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What Affiliate Marketing Is Not.

So are you being to learn how to spot scams in affiliate marketing yet? Keep reading and by the end of this article you will have the basic know how on where to invest your time and money and where no to.

Affiliate marketing is not a fast ticket to free money nor is it cut and paste industry. Just like anything good that comes in life it takes time and effort to learn and develop the skills and know how to be a successful affiliate marketer.

It also is not a multi-tiered or pyramid type business like so many people are quick to assume. Because affiliate marketing is internet based YOU ARE in essence the “affiliate business” and not any program, offer or service.

When a program starts offering you money to bring more people in then that IS NOT affiliate marketing but a multi-level-marketing company (MLM) such as Mary Kay, Amway, Primerica and many other similar organizations.

These companies may leverage the internet to sell their products and recruit people into their MLM and that is perfectly legal but it does not make them an “affiliate marketer” but a “network marketer”.

In fact, a lot of these MLM companies do not allow their members to directly recruit from the internet because of the laws surrounding network marketing companies as a whole.

What Is The Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and MLM?

If you have been following along so far you may have been able to read between the lines and the differences between affiliate marketing and MLM.

But for further clarification purposes and to be sure you understand so you do not get caught up in something you do not want to be part of I will continue.

The biggest difference between the two is that as an affiliate marketer you call your own shots as far as what you want to promote, write about, endorse, etc,..for as long as you want, when you want to, and how.

You do not have any monthly dues to pay, quotas to meet, or people to train as you do in an MLM.

As an affiliate marketer, you do not have to recruit people if you do not want to personally. In fact, a lot of affiliate marketers make their money solely off of selling physical products such as from Amazon, Walmart, or Overstock.

An MLM will lock you into monthly dues or forced product purchases to keep your membership and position in their network.

Some will require in-person meet-ups to celebrate new rank advancements or for insider training and information.

There are some companies that have integrated the two and this is where you have to be careful.

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So What Is A Pyramid Scheme?

Now to the meat and potatoes of what I want to get across in this article. So many people have been burned over the years especially in the early years of the internet out of their hard-earned money.

Thankfully nowadays due to international laws flying by night MLM companies cannot take advantage of people like before.

Websites that show any inkling of deceptive practices are blacklisted by Google and usually never indexed at all. This does not mean they will not try other methods such as social media.

When a program’s advertising strategy is that you can make a certain amount of money based on recruiting other people solely that is a red flag.

On social media, their members will post images of “income proof” which may be true but not legal or ethical. These companies disguise their scheme by offering digital products for high prices that you can learn for free on YouTube.

A legitimate MLM and its members will not post on social media or anywhere income proof. But will simply share value and insight with the community.

Though here and there share with folks how they are earning an income and if you would be interested in finding out more about it.

A pyramid scheme’s sole purpose is to draw you in with the income proofs but will not really have a product or service to give you in return for your monetary investment.

If they offer you a product it will not be worth your investment, therefore, forcing you to attempt to recruit others to recuperate or make a profit.

The Final Analysis

In my experience affiliate marketing has been good to me and allowed me to do things on my own time following in the steps of other successful affiliate marketers.

The mistake people make is trying to reinvent the wheel or copy what other people are doing online not knowing if it actually works and is turning a profit.

Affiliate marketing is quite simple when you know how to do it correctly so it turns a profit.

It is as simple at creating a website with a focus on an industry or product and monetizing it.

This you do over and over with each new site and post further growing your income.

This way you have internet real estate that belongs to you so regardless of any program of yours goes belly up you still have your websites that go up in the Google rankings as time goes by.

If you have any questions or comments kindly mention them below and I will gladly respond.

JR Estrada is a bilingual freelance writer and experienced affiliate marketer. He enjoys sharing tips & tricks that will help you reach your business goals sooner than later.

6 thoughts on “How To Spot Scams In Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Hey,

    I am so pleased I came across this article.

    I have seen so many scams in the online space, especially in affiliate marketing. I joined Wealthy Affiliate a while ago and I still believe they are the best in the business.

    But, after reading your article I am pleased with myself because I have had similar reservations on some affiliate marketing programs.

    MLM and pyramid schemes, I was contacted by one called Prosperity of Life only this week and they wanted me to pay around $2000 just to get my foot in the door. Then there would have been so many upsells that would have cost hundreds of thousands.

    This is all before I even start making money.

    So definitely avoid MLM and pyramid schemes.

    Thank you for sharing this article and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


  2. This is a very informative and useful post on how to spot scams in affiliate marketing. The tips provided, such as being wary of unrealistic promises and doing research on the company or product, are essential for anyone looking to enter the affiliate marketing industry. It’s important to be aware of the potential scams and fraudulent activities that can occur in any business, and this post does a great job of highlighting some of the red flags to watch out for. Thanks for sharing this valuable information!

    • Once you understand what affiliate marketing is first and all the different business plans it entails then it will be easier to decide on what method you want to get started doing first.

      The MMO niche or “make money online” niche tends to be the “go-to” niche for serious new affiliates wanting to get their feet wet and also to gain the experience to then move on to be affiliates for offers and programs that require you have a track record online.

  3. Hello JR,
    Thanks for showing us how to differentiate between affiliate marketing, MLM, and a pyramid scheme. I think newbies should read this post before starting their online endeavors.
    I am also an affiliate marketer, so I can vouch for what you have mentioned here about affiliate marketing. Building an online business takes time, effort, and patience before seeing any positive results. Try to take this as a marathon instead of a sprint, which helps people achieve something sooner than never. 🙂


    • I think we all have fallen victim to affiliate marketing scams at some time or another. Nowadays the internet is policed a lot better than years ago so it is not easy for scam websites to rank on the search engines.

      Today the scams are in the form of “done-for-you” propaganda the traps people inside one platform instead of teaching them how to use the internet as a whole to build their affiliate marketing business.

      Thanks for stopping by. Come again soon.

  4. You have described what affiliate marketing and MLM scams are. The best article that we have seen on the internet. We have learned how to spot scams from a mile away now that we have read your whole article. We are going to pass this on to everyone that we know and share what they need to know.



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