There is no shortage of affiliate marketing training online programs as there is sand on the seashore. How does the average Joe or Susan avoid scams or be wary of red flags as they surf the web looking for legitimate ways to develop a business in affiliate marketing?
Today you have to be careful. There are many scammers and con artists out there that are more than happy to help you part ways with your money. It is amazing how each day people are taken in by promises of making huge money with little effort.
Seniors, unfortunately are no exception. People who are perhaps most vulnerable are those who have lost their job – were fired, forced to retire or simply laid off.
How do you sieve the shaft from the wheat because there are truly some legitimate training programs out there? This article teaches you some tell-tale signs to note based on personal experience and how you spot a scam.
Confusing Search Terms Encountered by a Newbie
When you begin your online search you will frequently encounter terms like affiliate program and affiliate marketing training, affiliate training program or affiliate marketing course. You might be tempted to think that they all refer to the same thing, but one of these terms is different.
While the latter three may be used interchangeably, the term affiliate program is distinctly different
When you join an affiliate program, you are electing to promote products or services for the company that owns that affiliate program on your website while directing the visitor to their company website where if a sale is made, you receive a commission.
Affiliate marketing training online or course is where you are taught how to build an affiliate business – so that you can join affiliate programs which will now allow you to promote products and services and receive commissions.
In Case You Did Not Know….MLM and Pyramid Schemes
Again, while starting out in your search, there are three terms that you MUST understand what differentiates one from the other. These are Multi-level Marketing (MLM), Pyramid schemes and Affiliate Marketing. If you don’t, then you can very easily get taken by a scam or a program which will not help you develop and run a successful affiliate marketing business!
Multi-level Marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy to promote either a single product or products by distributors while offering multiple levels of compensation – perfectly legitimate. The MLM model is a cheap way for the company to get advertising through its distributors without having to carry a huge advertising budget.
However, Pyramid schemes are fraudulent schemes disguised as an MLM. While a pyramid scheme appears to work very much like a multi level marketing program, the major difference is that there is no real product sold in a pyramid scheme but an opportunity, and commissions are based only on the number of new individuals you introduce into the scheme. The folks at the top of the pyramid get richer and richer!
In the pyramid scheme the member is required to pay a fee to join. Typically, a percentage of that money will be paid back to them only at the point when they recruit a new participant in the scheme. To further throw in a bit of confusion, some MLMs have embraced some principles of pyramid schemes in their offerings in very subtle ways. Why you wonder?
MLM is legal in Canada (and most of the US) while pyramid schemes are not. Participating in a pyramid scheme is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada, punishable by up to five years imprisonment. This is why some MLMs that run some principles of pyramid schemes try to be subtle as they do not want to fall foul of the law.
Affiliate marketing is very different from an MLM or pyramid scheme. You are an independent Associate that can sign up to as many affiliate programs as you want to promote their products or services, typically from your own website.
When the visitor to your site sees a product they are interested in, they are directed to the affiliate program company website to make the purchase. I
If they buy the product or service or anything else from the site, you receive a commission from the sale. So, there are infinite products and services that you can promote.
Now that we’ve got that all cleared up, let’s start off with some easy red flags you can quickly spot while searching for affiliate marketing training.
10 Common Red Flags
Before highlighting some red flags, note that not everything online is a scam and not everything that looks good may actually be so. So keep your “spider senses” on the alert. Read and research further!!
1. “Earn $1000 a day”, “make $500 – $600 per day with only 10 minutes of work per day – we teach you how”. Let me emphasize that any program that tells you that you can make money online with very little effort is being less than honest.
Note that some affiliate marketing training companies sometimes have attention grabbing headlines as well. The intention is to get you to read their content which usually provides a detailed description of their offering.
2. Ads that say “Join our program now and become a millionaire”. If your look closely at many of these ads you will find that they are only selling an opportunity = PYRAMID SCHEME. They are not actually selling anything.
The people creating a steady stream of money into this scheme are the constant stream of gullible individuals who are actually joining. There is no real income being created, just money being passed from one person to another up the pyramid.
Upsells And Difficulty Finding Information About the Company
3. Some programs have a relatively low and manageable sign-on and monthly cost BUT have many up sells running into several hundreds or thousands $. For example,$99 per month seems reasonable and this gets you into Level 1 training, but then surprise, surprise, you suddenly find that to access Level 2 training courses you need to make a one-time payment of almost $3000.
4. You have problems finding information about the company. This is a huge warning. A good affiliate training program will have been around for a while and will have a track record.
5. Check for testimonials to determine the companies track record. No track record at all is suspicious. Negative records should be reviewed with an open mind.
While there are certainly many honest affiliate marketing training programs in existence, there are also many companies that are fraudulent.
When deciding who to go with, check for testimonials.
Be especially wary of new companies. If they are what they claim to be, you will still find them operating a few months down the road.
6. A few bad testimonial reviews. This should not be a complete show stopper. Compare the number of good versus bad reviews before you make a judgment call.
Ensure that there are more good than bad reviews.
Some unfavorable reviews may come from people who come into certain programs with a “get-rich-quick syndrome”. Unfortunately, affiliate marketing does require a level of discipline and hard work. It is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme.
Use of Pressure Tactics
7. Some companies will lure you to attend a webinar and then provide you with a time sensitive offer that expires in usually “2- hours” for example OR “today only, never again to be offered at this price”.
Resist the temptation to sign up while the offer is still hot. This can sometimes be difficult, but well worth the wait while you do your research.
If it is a good program it will still be available next week and the weeks and months after. Do not give in to pressure. Always do your further research. You might be surprised at what you dig up!
8. Focus on and the use of the word “recruitment” = MLM or PYRAMID SCHEME
9. The website only recommends one product as the best way to make money. This is not true of affiliate marketing.
10. Use of superfluous words like “this training is going to blow your mind away!”. Proceed with caution and look for other red flags to test the company.
Affiliate Marketing Training Online – Good Qualities
You are going to have to work very hard to build up your affiliate marketing business so you will want a training program that will provide you with support especially since you know nothing about it.
Certain affiliate marketing programs are best for beginners, while other programs cater to mid level and advanced marketers, so do keep this in mind when making your selection.
Let’s face it, cost is always something one needs to consider before joining any online training program. If it is too high, then there is a risk that you may not be able to make back your return on investment quickly or even make profit.
You certainly do not want to blow your hard-earned money or even severance package on thousand-dollar courses that over promise and under deliver.
You should explore some few training programs that allow you a trial sign-up for FREE for anything from 7 to 14 days. Without paying anything, when you sign-up, you are allowed access to explore the platform and training courses. You can choose not to proceed with the paid version at the end of the trial period.
This removes the pressure of viewing the program as a scam or not being viable. This is especially comforting to seniors who are looking for what to do in retirement.
Only one company allows you to sign up WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD and provides FULL access to their platform – Wealthy Affiliate. You also get full access to interact with the community. This includes newbies like yourself and more seasoned and experienced members. Check them out BELOW.
Explore With a FREE Trial Program
Why not explore a program that allows you the opportunity to “test-drive” the platform, training courses and interact with its community? All this for a FREE 7-day Starter Trial and a paid monthly membership with NO CREDIT CARD required to do so. AND THERE ARE NO ADDITIONAL FEES or UPSELLS. Here is some information about what is included……
The Trial also comes with one free website that you can create and practice on to your heart’s content! Check it below:
Final Thoughts On Affiliate Marketing Training Online
The world of affiliate marketing training online is a bit of a jungle. While there are some good programs, there are a bevy of questionable ones as well. All of these are vying for your attention and sign-up. To narrow your search, apply the red flag test to each program as you navigate the maze of information. If there are any red flags we have missed, let us know by leaving a comment in the comment box below.
Try out this FREE Starter trial to learn the skills to affiliate marketing and build your first website (included in the free trial). Give it a try. Click the link below for more details.