Affiliate Marketing Pitfalls

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Staying Away from Scammers

Many of us are upset and frustrated with our current jobs.  The low pay and a sense of being undervalued drive many of us to dream about being the  boss of our own business.  However, the costs combined with the risk factors stops most of us in our tracks.  Affiliate marketing is a way for people to work for themselves without the risks involved.  There is no cost to you and you are paid on performance.

However, today one has to be careful. There are plenty of scammers and opportunists out there that are more than happy to take your money and hard work off you.  Unfortunately, affiliate marketing is not immune to these scammers.  Daily, people are taken in by promises of big money and relatively little work  In this post we will look at some of the signs to look for and look at how we can spot them.

When you join an affiliate marketing scheme, you are either going to sell a product or a service.  With products you usually have a choice and range to sell.  How you do this is largely up to you.  You could also sell a service.  Web page and website designs, solos ads design, better blogging as well as increasing sales techniques, internet traffic and leads generation are all examples of of services offered by affiliate marketing programs.

Buyer Beware

How many times have you seen an ad on the internet promising  huge earnings?  Things like “Earn £100k in a day”, or “join our programme now and become a millionaire”.  If you look carefully at these ads, they are not actually selling anything.  Any company that is just selling the opportunity is more likely to be just a scam.  True, some affiliate marketing companies will have attention grabbing headlines like the one’s mentioned above.  However, if you go on to read the ad and information there will likely be a detailed description of what the company sells.  They will also have a sales disclaimer and terms and conditions listed.

These companies that offer the opportunity to make money are likely pyramid selling.  The only one’s paying money in are the one’s that are joining.  There is no income being created, just money being passed from one person to another and as someone who has been involved with this type of scam, it is not good.  Not only are these scams, and you will lose hat you believe you have invested, they are also illegal and you can face prosecution.

Another thing to watch out for is no fee participation.  If you have to pay to join then you may have stumbled across what is known as Multi Level Marketing (MLM),  MLM’s are legal and some people make good livings out of them.  However, if you are not successful, you may end up purchasing a bunch of products that you cannot sell.

Free is for me?

True affiliate programs are free.  This is part of the attraction.  There are no costs to you and they should also be risk free.  Any affiliate marketing that demands your money is not an affiliate programme.  You should ask yourself why they are misrepresenting this way if they are legitimate.

Many of us dream about being our own bosses.  We would love to be able to take control of our lives and careers.  The added attraction of answering to ourselves combined with setting our own working hours and committing what you choose brings many people into the affiliate marketing schemes.

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way for a highly motivated, creative person to make an excellent living.  There are some wonderful programmes out there just waiting to be joined.  However, for every great programme there is likely one to be fraudulent.  Con artists operate in many areas and unfortunately affiliate marketing is not immune.

Before joining, check to see what the company is selling.  If they are not selling goods or services they are likely illegal.  If they require your own money to get started they may well be another MLM.  Affiliate marketing can be a great opportunity but you need to do your homework.

Affiliate Marketing Rules

So you have bee waiting to get into affiliate marketing, and want to know the rules?  You have your website and your blog all set up and ready to go.  You have chosen your niche and your market that you want to make money from.  You just needs links to start making money.  Promoting others services or products is not something that is difficult to do.  However, you will find that with all the many companies that offer affiliate programs, and referral options, they have their own rules that you must follow.

Affiliate marketing is pretty easy to follow, that i unless you have signed up to many different programs. When you start getting into so many that you cannot remember the rules. or the guidelines that you have to follow, you may start to get problems.  This is because the rules for affiliate marketing are as different as the companies.  Each company is allowed to make their own rules.  However, you may see many similarities too.  This does not mean that they are copying each other, or cloning their affiliate programmes, but yet is seems that they have the same rules.

Affiliate marketing rules can be so very different.  They can range from not mentioning the brand names that they sell anywhere on your website, to not have that particular market in your website URL.  Because they are so different for each programme and company that you promote, you are going to have to be sure that you read each one very well and ensure that you understand it fully.  If you already have the URL for your website, you may not be able to participate in some of the affiliate programmes.  This is because you will not meet the requirements of the rules.

Another rule that you are going to see often when you are affiliate marketing is the page rank rule.  Some of the companies that will allow you to promote their services or product will not want you to have a higher ranking page then theirs.  Nor will they have a website that is higher in the search engine rankings.  For example if you were promoting coffee for a well known brand, they would not want you to use the brand name if your position was above the actual position of the brands website position.

The companies that have this rule for their affiliate marketing programmes may well feel like their brand name is somewhat tarnished by one of their affiliates marketing the brand better than they could or can.  And it just may do that.  They would rather have the straight sales any day than the commissions, who wouldn’t?

It should be obvious to keep track of the different affiliate marketing programmes that you are part of, either by keeping notes or spreadsheets,  You would need to keep a tally on which part of the training programmes you are on for each company.  Cover your tracks and make sure that you are following the rules by that company for the best results.   Today software can keep track of where you are in the training programmes, but make sure that you follow the rules for each programme.


For all the effort that you put in and however well you understand the concept of affiliate marketing, you need to have a support system in place.  There should be someone there to guide you through the process and answer any questions that you have.  They should also offer you advice on how to market the product.  ts up to you in the end but they should offer you some start up ideas.  If they are a legitimate company then they should want to help you all they can.  The more you are able to sell, the more the benefit for them as well.

You should remember that affiliate marketing takes a lot of work.  Ignore companies that offer huge salaries with little effort.  Affiliate marketing takes time, and sure, there may be a few who make it straight away with claims of thousands earned as commissions over a small period, but hose are the few, not the many.  You should be in this for the long game, so forget about making a quick buck, and concentrate on how to get longevity.

Remember affiliate marketing is a great way to start making money for yourself.  With lots of hard work and creativity you could be well on your way to great earnings doing something that you love.  It’s never easy in the beginning but there again nothing is easy to start with, it’s mot supposed to be.  If you are driven then nothing can stop you from becoming whatever you want to be.

6 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing Pitfalls

  1. I came across your article and have never heard about the page rank rule.  Thanks for the insight!  I did a little digging myself because this peaked my interest.  I’m a new affiliate marketer (about 1 month to be exact) so I’m trying to soak up as much information as possible.  Is there a way to see how your website ranks or a way to check the health of other website’s and their rankings for linking purposes?  

    1. Hi Lyndsey.  Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.  Google analytics is the place to look at your rankings and you will be urged to sign uo to this on WA.  At the moment it’s not something that I am too interested in but if you were a large company spending millions of dollars you would definitely have a great interest.  As you are new to this market I would just soak up as much as you can and I wish you the best of luck.

  2. This doesn’t sound very seductive to me. I mean who wants to give up a job with a guaranteed pay check.  Go spend money building web pages, spend your time writing advertising for someone else”s product, and they will only pay you if some one click’s on a link and buy’s the thing your advertising for them. 

    Then they will pay you how much? 2% – 10% on the dollar, for every thing that gets sold off your advertising. Hopefully your good at writing advertising copy. With all the different rules you have shown in this review, I am thinking why would you bother..

    1. Hi Michael.  Thanks for taking the tine to read and reply.  I love your comments, and at first glance I am sure this affiliate thing is all a huge mistake.  That’s what everyone goes through, and we are all doing this for different reasons.  If this is not for you then I wish you luck in whatever you are successful at.

  3. Thank you for your insight regarding affiliate marketing pitfalls. I have just started to get into affiliate marketing, so this article is really helpful. I have almost fell into the trap of other Affiliate Marketing courses where they make it sound like you can earn 1,000 USD right away…but luckily I came to my senses and Joined Wealthy Affiliate instead..they are realistic and the best! It takes a lot of work..but it’s so rewarding to have your own business.

    1. Hi Fernanda.  Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.  If anyone promises you that you will earn a fast buck then stay away as they will only want your money.  There are 4.2 billion internet users and at any time there are about 550 million online.  This is why affiliate marketing is great because you can make money while you sleep. Stay with WA, work through the online training, build your site, find your niche, get traffic and flourish.

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