How To Avoid Rogue Affiliate Marketing Scams

Affiliate marketing is a proven and effective way for online publishers to increase how much money they make from their blogs and websites. While there are lots of legitimate opportunities for publishers who are interested in this monetization option, there are also some scams out there. Fortunately, once you know what to look for, you won’t have any trouble steering clear of scams and sticking to the real opportunities that are available.

Joining an Affiliate Program Doesn’t Cost Money

Since you should have your own blog or website before you get started with affiliate marketing, you’re probably going to have some minor expenses like hosting. While that’s just part of doing business, when it comes to actually joining an affiliate program, you shouldn’t ever need to pay a fee. Whether you’re told it’s an application or membership fee, if a supposed program brings this issue up, it’s a red flag to not do business with them.

Pay Attention to How Referrals are Structured

Many legitimate affiliate programs offer incentives to refer other qualified affiliates. However, the way you can tell a real program from a pyramid scheme is in order to gain anything from an affiliate referral, they first need to generate some business. If they do start successfully referring new members or customers, you’ll benefit by getting a percentage of their commission. It’s also worth keeping in mind this type of affiliate referral isn’t going to be the focal point of a legitimate program.

Be Wary of Paid Guides and Products as Well

In addition to steering clear of programs that are nothing more than scams, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for paid affiliate marketing guides and products. It’s common for these guides to make claims like "generate thousands of pounds in no time!" If that type of claim makes you skeptical, it’s for a good reason. Just about every guide that follows this formula is all hype and no substance. The other sleazy thing about products in this category is instead of having a normal book price like £12, it’s typical for them to cost over £100. Although scammy information products aren’t the way to do it, you can gain a lot by educating yourself about affiliate marketing. Fortunately, with just a little help from Google, you can find tons of great blog, forum and website posts that people have written about affiliate marketing. In fact, some of the only good material you’ll find in paid guides is information scammers have copied from free sources and put in their own products!

Read Reviews

In addition to using free content to educate yourself, you can also confirm that a program is legitimate by finding and reading their reviews. Although there are exceptions, a supposedly established program that has never been reviewed by any site is generally a bad sign. And even if you’re not worried about getting scammed, reading reviews can help you save time by making it easy for you to determine which affiliate program is going to be the best fit for your blog or website.

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