Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Whether you want to earn extra money using your business’s website, or you want to develop a side hustle it’s likely you have heard about affiliate marketing, or maybe you want to use affiliate marketing as a way to boost your company’s sales.

Whatever your situation may be, affiliate marketing has allowed many people and businesses to earn more money.

is affiliate marketing legit

With so many people benefiting from affiliate marketing you may find yourself questioning just how that can be so, and if it all is as legitimate as it seems.

Here we look at what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and common scams to look out for when starting your affiliate marketing journey. 

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a new marketing strategy that is performance-based. Affiliate marketers are seen as an external partners to a company and they receive a commission based on a specific result.

This result could be a valid sale, a new free trial subscriber, a newsletter subscriber, or a lead form.

The very first affiliate program that was created was established by Amazon in 1996 and to this day many modern affiliate programs are based on this model. 

Ecommerce continues to grow in popularity with more small eCommerce stores than ever being created every month giving creatives and more established companies an opportunity to access a wider audience. 

Huge stores such as Target and Apple incorporate affiliate marketing into their marketing strategy each year as they see such rewards from making use of affiliate marketers. 

Like many new ways to make money, affiliate marketing is often viewed warily and in the past, there have been efforts to give this marketing practice a bad reputation. 

Example Of How Affiliate Marketing Works

If you imagine company A is a beauty brand and an affiliate marketer uses their social media to speak about one product and provide a link to the product.

From seeing this content a customer may be influenced to purchase this product, boosting the beauty brand’s sales and generating a commission payable to the affiliate marketer.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing 

How you can begin your affiliate marketing journey depends on whether you will be the affiliate marketer or you will be the company hiring affiliate marketers.

Once you know which of these you will be you can check out the basics on how to start below.

As An Affiliate Marketer 

The easiest way to get started as an affiliate marketer is to join an affiliate marketing program.

This way you can keep an eye on what campaigns you are a part of, easily access your links, manage the commission you are owed and check when you get paid that you have received the correct amount. 

Platforms such as ClickBank, eBay Partner Network, Affiliaxe, and ShareASale are all reputable programs that are great for starting.

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Larger company affiliate platforms, such as Amazon Associates and Rakuten Marketing are also very good but can take time to build your profile on such platforms. 

Utilizing Affiliate Marketers

If you want to start utilizing affiliate marketing as part of your marketing strategy then there are certain programs and platforms that you can utilize to get started.

Creating your affiliate program is a great way to attract the right people. To do this you need to look at examples of other programs so you are aware of what your competitors are offering.

Next, you need to create a payment structure and find software that allows you to track affiliate links.

To search for affiliates to trial your program platforms such as Fiveer have spaces where affiliate marketers can offer their services. Having a group to test the program is a great way of testing and fixing any issues before it goes live.

They can also provide a review to add credibility to your new program.

Several affiliate recruitment agencies across the country specialize in linking up companies with affiliate marketers that would be a good match. This helps you to save time on searching for suitable affiliates through programs and platforms. 

Scams To Be Aware Of 

Due to the growing popularity of affiliate marketing for every legit program, you encounter you will most likely encounter a similar number of scams or fraudulent programs.

This should not put you off affiliate marketing entirely as it is easy to tell the difference between genuine and scam programs due to the grandiose claims and benefits offered by scam programs. 

Other things to look out for which will help you to tell the difference between legit and scam programs are:

  • Low-quality stock images
  • Dollar bill symbols everywhere
  • A huge amount of copy on the website so the small text, such as terms and conditions gets lost in all of the waffle
  • Too many ads
  • A huge number of redirects

The most common scam programs follow three structures, these are explained below so you can avoid them at all costs.

1. Get Rich Quick Schemes 

Unless you win the lottery there is no way to get rich quickly. Many scam programs will make claims that people can make lots of money with very little work when in reality affiliate marketing success stories require a lot of work.

Always look at a program’s official payment plans before signing up.

2. Fake Services Or Products 

This can be difficult to notice as the scammers put a lot of detail into these types of scams. The best way to tell if it is real is to look at reviews and if they are all overly positive it is likely it is a scam.

3. Pay To Join Programs

No legit program will ever ask for money from users before starting, this is one of the easiest scams to spot. 

Final Thoughts 

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business that helps individuals and businesses alike. Utilizing this marketing practice is a hugely growing area of marketing and it shows no signs of slowing. 

By being aware of the possible scams highlighted above you will be in a great position to avoid fraud and continue to make money through reputable affiliate marketing programs.

Justin Shaw
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