Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam or a Legitimate Business?

Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam or a Legitimate Business?

 

You can work from home! Earn money even if you don’t have anything to sell! The initial investment is minimal! Jason made $10,000 through affiliate marketing last weekend, and you can too!

Does this sound familiar?

 

The problem is that even if Jason did earn his ten last Saturday, and even if he personally came to your house tonight to tell you exactly how he did it and show you all the tax forms that came with it, you would still not believe him.

That is the main problem with affiliate marketing. Because of the lack of awareness, there is a complete lack of trust in the industry as a whole. Now it’s time to shed some light on the truth behind the “scheme.”

 

We’ll look at how partnership marketing works, why conflating it with a pyramid scheme is simply ignorant, and why it could be one of the fortunate few businesses that survive the upcoming global economic downturn with fewer losses.

Hopefully, after reading this post, you will no longer be wondering if affiliate marketing is legitimate.

Warning: this is a spoiler. And, pretty soon, you’ll be able to explain to all the spiteful people who claim otherwise how and why they’re wrong.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam or a Legitimate Business?

What exactly is affiliate marketing?

Assume you’d like to open a coffee shop.

You rent a space, purchase the beans, hire a barista, and begin planning your advertising strategy. Not always in that order.

 

What was your very first marketing campaign?

 

If you’re anything like me, you’d probably start by asking all of your close friends in the area to spread the word. It’s only natural, given that word-of-mouth marketing is free, quick, and surprisingly effective.

To get more referrals, promise your friends that for every three people who come to the coffee shop through their references, they will receive a cup of coffee at home.

Congrats! You’ve just viciously converted your friends into affiliates.

 

Was there anything that stood out to you as suspicious?

Exactly.

It isn’t, because it isn’t.

The image issue arises because many affiliates choose to promote offers like those mentioned at the start of this post because they appear to be simple to market. When, in fact, every product, service, and industry could benefit from collaborating with good affiliates. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

What is the process of affiliate marketing?

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for beginners who want to learn the fundamentals of the craft – here’s the gist of it.

To become an affiliate, you’ll need three things: an offer, a lander, and a traffic source.

The product or service that you are promoting is referred to as an offer. A landing page (also known as a lander) is how it is promoted. And where is the source of the traffic?

The offer does not have to be yours; a landing page is not a website, and there are numerous traffic sources available, including the old standbys, Facebook and Google.

It is easier to find offers through Affiliate Networks and Affiliate Programs, but you can also get your hands dirty and look for them on your own.

Having said that, it is always up to you to decide what kind of professional you want to be and what kinds of deals you want to make. So, if you’re not a total phony, who can question your professional integrity?

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate industry…

… Or not – it’s entirely up to you. In any case, it is no different than any other type of digital advertising.

You are compensated for promoting products. Do you like and use those products yourself? Who can say? Do you need to look into the mission statement and values of each brand you promote? Not unless your moral compass demands it.

At the end of the day, affiliate marketers are just ordinary people like you and me. And when it comes to people, there are a lot of grey areas. But, in order to fully comprehend it, we must first examine the good vs. evil camps.

 

The white-hat affiliates have acted fairly and squarely.

You can work from home and make good money by running Facebook ads for arts and crafts services. You can also work for a digital agency by posting your offers directly on Google. You can participate in one of the numerous affiliate programs promoted by well-known companies such as Amazon or Clickbank.

You can promote books, cosmetics, sporting goods, and even travel destinations. One of the primary advantages of affiliate marketing is that you can select the types of offers with which you are most comfortable working. You are, after all, your own boss!

 

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True, some industries are more lucrative than others. At the same time, a lot is dependent on your abilities, creativity, and dedication. Essentially, everything is up to you and you alone.

 

Affiliates of the black hat

Affiliate marketing, like any other online business, is not without its challenges. After all, it gives you just enough creative license to promote offers that most people would consider… less legitimate.

I’m talking about irritating pop-ups, flashy banners, new windows opening in your unprotected browser, and other similar things.

There are plenty of people eager to expand their businesses through ad fraud or link cloaking.

 

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Okay, technically, cloaking isn’t all that bad. The process generally refers to hiding your affiliate links in order to make them more clickable and appealing. There is no harm done as long as the offer is genuine.

Which brings us back to the main point of this article: hate the player, not the game. It is entirely up to you whether you want to build a profitable and ethical online business or if you want to use affiliate marketing to deceive people.

Both have a place in the industry. All you have to do is make the right decision.

 

Is Affiliate Marketing (Anymore) Profitable?

You’ve probably heard of COVID-19, which promises to make 2008 look like a walk in the park. While our industry was among the fortunate few that were unaffected by the virus, it was still hit.

All of the anticipated effects of the Coronavirus on affiliate marketing have already been discussed.

We even tried to answer the age-old question, “Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?” The statistics are on our side, as more businesses choose to invest in their affiliate programs and more people wonder if they can make a worthy affiliate of themselves.

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But, in reality, no one knows what will happen.

And that’s fine. Because it only adds to the credibility of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is not a quick-money scheme…

 

It’s a company.

And, especially in these volatile times, starting a business entails numerous risks and uncertainties.

However, pyramid schemes… Some might argue that a cat in a sack is preferable to nothing. That, however, is not the case.

It’s truly unfortunate how many people confuse affiliate programs with pyramid schemes. Not because of all the bad press, but because the two have nothing in common.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel; here’s what Wikipedia says about financial pyramid schemes:

… a business model that recruits members by promising payments or services in exchange for enrolling others in a scheme, rather than providing investments or selling products.

Don’t we all have faith in Wikipedia? Perhaps even a little too much. But that isn’t the point right now.

 

The point is that affiliate marketing is not the same as recruiting. It is actually preferable for existing affiliates to keep their ranks small in order to keep competition under control. Furthermore, there is no participation badge. It’s a company. And in order to be successful in business, you must work.

I believe this is a good time to remind you that affiliates have a much better chance of making their business profitable by using an ad tracker like Voluum.

Is it, however, a promise? No, not at all. Because, aside from purchasing a tracker, you must use it and all of the data it provides. Unfortunately, simply paying our monthly subscription fee will not get you very far.

 

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To summarize,

You are not expected to invest as an affiliate; rather, you are expected to sell.

Businesses that work with affiliates are not looking for partners, but rather for advertisers.

You’re not looking for partners, but for customers.

The more, the merrier is NOT the case.

And you might work really hard and end up rich. The same as in any other industry. You could also fail. There is no money-back guarantee if you don’t succeed.

Affiliate marketing is always a bit risky. You must be aware of when it is appropriate to hold them and when it is appropriate to fold them.

At the same time, it’s a perfectly legal enterprise.