Affiliate marketing scams seem to be everywhere. As an affiliate marketer, I often end up buying products to use or review for this site. I've had some winners, I've had some losers. And from this, I've learned a few things I'd like to share with you to look out for. Before you dive into this, you have to realize that you, just like me, are low hanging fruit. We are the "suckers", the "rubes", the "marks". Unfortunately, it's other affiliate marketers who are looking at us this way.
The Problem with us all
You've all see countless 14 page long "one-page" sites or emails with a 15 minute embedded video that never gets to the point. Then there's a big, beautiful buy now button and likely a countdown clock or the "Hurry, 5 left!" message. You know it's bullshit. But we want to find something that works. And you click buy, because that last dumb thing you only spent a few bucks on didn't' really work. I do it, you do it, we all do it. And, unfortunately, more often than not, what you buy is garbage. It's recycled "trainings" videos or "softwares" that don't do remotely what is promised. Or worse yet, you only realize after buying the offer that you're going to be stuck watching recycled whiteboard video about how you need to use Pinterest and pin a thousand things before joining a board to spam with your links.
Affiliate Marketing Scams Lesson 1
I know marketers come from all over the place so there are bound to be language differences. But, if you hear "trainings" or "softwares", you should immediately be suspect. I'm awful at spelling and grammar. As I write this, I'm already seeing about a dozen red squigglies under words I've butchered. But these two phrases really raise my red flag. This might be one of those affiliate marketing scams. First, neither of these words has a plural. Training means both a single training thing/video/ebook and many training things/videos/eBooks. Software is the same. You can buy a single piece of software or many pieces of software. If the person trying to sell you something or convince you of how wonderful their offer is and how you can't live without their 25 crap, garbage 2014 PLR "bonuses" are, skip it. It's not worth it.
They'll claim a money back guarantee. They'll remind you that you have nothing to lose. And AFTER you've spent the $7, or $19, or $47 to get access to their recycled crap, they'll deny your refund. Why? Because somewhere in that 14-page long "one-page" sales page, they say in teeny tiny letters something like this. "If you try this system/method and prove it doesn't work, then we will refund you." And 99/100, you're only 10 minutes into their "trainings" before you realize you would have gotten exponentially more bang for your buck by researching YouTube for thousands of hours of free how-to videos and training resources. You ask for a refund, you don't have proof that you spent weeks trying to implement I
I'll give you a nice example of a "You'll never get your money back, sucker" notice I just received on a refund request for one of the latest garbage repackaged "trainings". Have a look.
Affiliate Marketing Scams Lesson 2
If the offer that has hit your inbox says anywhere in it that this is "evergreen", "method", or "system", then you're, again, going to be getting a big breadless shit sandwich. The concept of evergreen is great; the reality is that nothing really is evergreen. And zero percent of every "method" or "system" I have researched, reviewed, bought, tried out, and failed at has ever worked...at all...ever.
These key words are basically affiliate marketing slang for "this is shit, but you think it won't be, so click buy". And you will do just that, buy it. Even after reading this, you'll buy it. And you'll do it over and over again. This is exactly why these affiliate marketing "gurus" are successful. They've found the niche that makes them money. Selling products that don't work to other people trying to make money online. We are all literally feeding the beast that is trying to kill us.
Affiliate Marketing Scams Lesson 3
Lesson #3. "Complete autopilot" in any form. I have NEVER had a single piece of marketing "softwares" or "trainings" remotely close to this. Even things that claim a 99% autopilot, requiring you to just set up the first thing, don't work as you expect. An example of this was an SEO plugin I bought that promised to "skyrocket" you to page 1 of Google. Yes, it took a few minutes to install, and yes it gives some OK features like reminding you to link to another page in your site from the post you are working on.
But, other than checking for you the basics of SEO on a blog post, it doesn't do anything on autopilot. And it definitely doesn't skyrocket you to page 1 of Google. And there are already dozens of plugins, for free, that do the same thing. YoastSEO kicks the crap out of this "gold" plugin, but I was a dummy and bought it. And now it doesn't even work with the 5.0 WordPress upgrade. Thanks for nothing.
Affiliate Marketing Scams Lesson 4
Lesson #4, while we're talking about these great affiliate marketing buzzwords. Avoid anything with "Skyrocket", "Robot", or "Machine" in it. This leads one to believe that there is some level of hands-off, automation. And there isn't, there just isn't, and there never is. I've bot traffic robots, traffic machines, lead machines, lead magnets, traffic magnets, autopilot this and that. And not a single one has done anything but piss me off after it under delivers or doesn't work at all.
As you can tell, I am frustrated and tired of throwing "small investments" into things to help me make money online. In fact, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is in the red when it comes to the time and money invested into trying to make money online. I'll give the successful affiliate marketing people credit. They know how to do what they do. It just sucks being the sucker on the other end of that line.
Is there a solution?
Watch your backs out there. Your desire to make money online has put a huge target on your and people trying to do the same thing as you are targeting you to make themselves rich at your expense.
So what's the solution? Well, I don't know. I'm still searching for it myself. But I would say that trying to market affiliate offers that don't have anything to do with affiliate marketing is probably a good start. And don't look for a "method", "system", "robot", "trainings" or "softwares" from gurus promising to "skyrocket" anything. Build a quality website. Add quality content to it. Update frequently. And work on your SEO and dig deep into longtail keywords. Build legit backlinks.
There are good things out there.
Keep in mind while looking for tools to help you, that your goal is avoiding affiliate marketing scams. There are legitimate tools you can use that are available to help you with such things, like Longtail Pro. This tool actually does help you find longtail keywords for SEO purposes to help drive legitimate long-term traffic. And lastly, you just need to give your efforts to optimize a great site with fantastic content time. There are no fast solutions that really work and almost every time you click that yellow buy now button, that's likely what you're expecting. You're going to be disappointed.