Predatory affiliate marketing scams are here to damage the legitimate, high-quality affiliate programs that exist to bring honest profit to the parties involved. So we cannot escape the fact that there are scammy affiliate programs. But we have tips on how to avoid affiliate marketing scams in 2021.
Below is our rounded-up advice on avoiding scam affiliate marketing programs.
Why Affiliate Marketing Scams are Common
Wherever there is money to be made, vultures are nearby, ready to steal some profit. And the internet is a fertile ground for making money.
Online scammers are always prepared to pounce on people who dream of success. They make up wild stories about their offers, and they fight to take away the spotlight from those who are actually looking to begin a legit side business.
And scams in affiliate marketing are becoming more common than in some other areas. Where do you come across them? They are usually lurking in the later pages of Google search results, on YouTube videos, and (as always) on display ads and pop-ups.
How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams
For seasoned pros, spotting an online scam can be an easy thing that takes a second. But for those just starting, it may be more challenging, so they should do their due diligence before signing up for an affiliate program or affiliate training course.
Here are some basics rules: if the products and ads are full of pop-ups, unbelievably high numbers, sensational copy, and dollar symbols, then you’re probably looking at a scam. And that’s a general rule applied not just to affiliate marketing.
Sure, a clean-cut and proper-looking website can be a hidden scam as well. So let’s look into the issue a bit deeper and find out how to spot scammy websites:
Do Your Due Diligence
We are all sometimes ready to jump at some glossy opportunities someone offers us. But we should know better than that.
Don’t do it. Stop, look, and listen.
If the program offers free webinars that deal with affiliate marketing, look up the speakers attending them. Check out the course reviews and if the people in question are true professionals with a background in marketing or randoms from stock images.
If there isn’t much information on those elements yet, sure, you can still attend the free webinar. But ask some crucial questions during the webinar. Reach out to the support team if needed to find the information you require.
Gather as much information as you can before deciding if the course is up to your alley. Please do this before the course asks of you to give it your hard-earned money.
Perform a Google search when you come across an affiliate program whose legitimacy you doubt.
Some of these scams are so well-known that people report about them multiple times online. So there are good chances you get a search hit that will alarm you of the fraudulent practice.
Still not getting the results you think you should? Add some variations to the search term, like “[name of affiliate training course] scam” or “[name of affiliate training course] review],” and more.
There are affiliate marketing forums and blogs you can check out, too. What are they saying? What kind of training courses are they telling you to avoid, and which to attend?
You can get to all of this information through the all-knowing Google.
Raise Your Awareness
The pure act of being more aware is another layer of protection you can gift yourself.
For instance, when an email comes through to your inbox promising affiliate marketing success, think before clicking to find out more. Read the email thoroughly and look for small fonts that consist of disclaimers.
Remember, if someone asks you for your personal information via email, they are wrong to do so. Thus, one can deduce that it’s all probably a scam.
And you know those urgent emails that ask you to act fast and hand over your hard-earned money as not to lose out on a lucrative opportunity? Yeah, maybe it’s better to sit that one out. Or at least perform due diligence before committing to giving someone your money.
Honest Commission Percentage
Affiliates profit from commissions. If you see a business that is offering staggeringly high percentages, something’s probably off. Don’t believe the hype.
Sure, it’s not totally improbable, but it’s definitely a red flag. It’s a signal that you should do your research and see if they really do pay out their affiliates at all, let alone in those numbers.
Moreover, it won’t hurt to research their services and products. Check for online reviews to see if they are of good quality and genuine. Companies that promise sky-high commissions are usually a popular topic on digital marketing forums, so you will most likely find more info on them over there.
Affiliate marketing keeps growing in popularity, so of course, many people try to make money off it in a fraudulent way. While they are nothing short of cybercriminals, you should do your diligence and act responsibly when signing up for affiliate marketing training courses and programs. So use the above advice to avoid affiliate marketing scams.
So, if you see someone offering a too-good-to-be-true get-rich scheme or a program that requires an initial payment to join, do a 180 and find another course or program that will act fairly and transparently.
Join us next week when we’ll discuss where we will look into the most common affiliate scams. And for more valuable tips, check out the rest of our blog.