January 24, 2012

Affiliate Programs = Scams

TECHNOLOGY - There are a lot of websites outside such as Amazon, CafePress, personals websites and more who offer an affiliate program to internet publishers.

The problem with these affiliate programs is they almost NEVER pay the internet publishers doing the hard work of advertising their product. You see the way affiliate programs work is that they're set up to pay the publisher based on every sale that came directly from the publisher's website.

The problem is that once people click on the advertisement they are taken to a website where they are basically given three choices:

1. Explore the website and then maybe choose to join after exploring. (Zero commission for the publisher.)

2. Sign up or buy something immediately. (Very rarely happens since most people choose to explore first.)

3. Leave the website because it doesn't interest them after all.

Next the publisher is trusting that the company running the affiliate program is going to be honest and share a percentage of their profits. The publisher is really taking them on their word for it. You are just a number to them, a number which can be taken advantage of.

The thing about advertising is that it is always a risk for the business paying for the advertising. With affiliate programs there is no risk for the business, the people posting the advertising are the ones taking the risk (and worse, wasting their time because they will never get paid).

The best route is to only accept two kinds of advertising:

1. PPC advertising via a major company such as Google, MSN or Yahoo! because they are guaranteed to pay you.

2. Cash in advance for annual advertising.

If they're offering an affiliate commission then its pretty much guaranteed they are running a scam in an effort to get free advertising and you will never see a dime.

Even the brand name affiliates like Amazon and CafePress never pay because you have to earn over $100 before they send you a cheque... and to earn that much you need to sell over $1000 worth of product via customers who go to their website via your ad and buy immediately without browsing.

The end result is that unless you have a super popular website then affiliate advertising just isn't worth it. And if you had a super popular website you'd be getting offers for cash in advance advertising and making oodles off Google / MSN / Yahoo! advertising anyway.

5 Tips for Spotting Scammers

1. They say "100% Guarantee" on their website. Why would they bother to say that unless they're trying to trick you?

2. They contact you directly and when you respond they launch into pressuring you and "promise" that people make lots of money advertising for them.

3. You've never heard of their company before.

4. They can't spell properly.

5. They're offering to send you a cheque from Nigeria.

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