Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam?

Laptop computer and magnifying glass with is affiliate marketing a scam written above itThere are hundreds of thousands of searches each day that have to do with affiliate marketing:

So there’s a lot of interest in buying and selling online.


Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam?

Well, first of all we should probably answer this question:

What is affiliate marketing online?

Affiliate marketing is me advertising, or marketing, a product for someone else:

Online — for a commission. 

Decide for yourself if these companies are running affiliate scams online?

JCPenney Affiliate Program

Walmart affiliate program

Walgreens affiliate program

Must I go on about the legitimacy of marketing as an affiliate?

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate method of making money online:

Even from your own home.

And with the right training — can be quite profitable:

Without scamming or cheating your customers.

Marketing someone else’s product online is not a scam!


There ARE affiliate marketing scams online!

A scam is a dishonest scheme, whether you find it online or off line.


The scams you encounter with internet marketing RARELY have anything to do with marketing affiliate products:

The scams usually involve “how to learn affiliate marketing” courses.

To tell you the truth:

I personally don’t run across many outright dishonest schemes to teach me how to market online.

Because it’s not good, doesn’t make it cheating!

What I do see is:

  • Outdated information
  • Incomplete information
  • Wrong information
  • Informational courses from people who are teaching all they know, which is not enough
  • Affiliate marketing courses that are extremely overpriced
  • Hyped up sales copy to make you think affiliate marketing is fast and easy
  • Up sells, which is paying for the product only to find out you must pay more to take full advantage of the original product. (this is not considered a scam in the internet marketing world, but does affect the trust factor)

That doesn’t mean these courses and products are necessarily internet marketing scams!

It just means you may not get enough good, up to date, useful information, and support:

To actually make any money from your investment.

It means you wasted your time and money!

Then it makes it easy to think everything having to do with affiliate marketing is a scam?

But that’s just not true.

How to avoid affiliate marketing scams?

Whether it’s a scam, or merely not enough information to help you make money:

You want to do your best to avoid wasting your money and time.

But how do you do that? What do you look for?

What to stay away from
1. Bogus training

Once you start your own adventure into affiliate marketing—chances are you’ll begin getting on a variety of email list.

When that happens you’ll start getting tons of pdfs, ebooks, and various other kinds of information you think you need.

Some of its free, some of will be opportunities to attend webinars, and of course there will be opportunities to buy stuff from sales pages.

Most of the free stuff you get from email list don’t really help you — it’s designed to be sales tools, not to deliver helpful information.

  • You will find great information from some email campaigns, but again — Email campaigns should be carefully designed to promote the sale of a product.

What I’ve learned to do is to thoroughly investigate any program-and people-connected to it before signing up for their list:

And even more research before spending the smallest amount of money for online affiliate marketing courses and training.

 2. Get Rich Quick Offers Get — Your Money


Man printing money with wringer washing machine for affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a real business. Not fast, and not particularly easy.


If you weren’t looking for an opportunity to make money:

You wouldn’t be thinking about affiliate marketing.

So, of course the most powerful advertisement ploy will be to tell you how to get-rich-quick online.

Making money with no work, in no time!

These ads promise you money in the bank before the months out — with only a few hours a week to work.

Fact is that no one has a “secret system for affiliate marketing” that works:

Even all the ballyhoo involved in scams aren’t secret?

Here’s how to get rich with internet marketing:

  • Learn online marketing strategies that are proven by thousands or more, are time tested, well reviewed on the web
  • Expect your efforts to take months or years to come to fruition, as you would any long term business
  • Stay away from affiliate marketing scams
  • Don’t look for shortcuts

How To Find Affiliate Marketing Training

There are some great places to learn affiliate marketing and affiliate products to sell on your website.

Don’t start looking for good places to learn while you think everybody’s scamming you!

There are hundreds of great and honest marketers teaching how to make it online. 

Your job is to do your research, with a good attitude, and an open eye to what’s being said about the programs you investigate.

The best policy for choosing affiliate marketing training is to look for places that give you a free trial period to look around:

And decide for yourself, without the sales hype.

(If you would like to download a list of 23 places to find keywords click here or in the image below)

23 places to find the best keywords

Get in touch with the founders

Before buying into any program online, get in touch with the founders. 

If they respond back to you, and DO NOT keep harping the same message over and over, they could be a good risk.


Even the hordes of people who purchase these courses, pdfs, and books because of the unbelievable claims to make them rich overnight:

Know in the back of their mind — this can’t be true.

It’s hard to know what to believe.

The fact is that when people new to making money online with affiliate marketing first start, they don’t really know what to believe.

And even when we’ve been online for awhile:

It’s easy to make mistakes with all of the hyped and outrageous advertising.

Without a lot of research to decide if it’s what we really need, or a scam?

Solid research and common sense on your part stacks the odd in your favor, every time: when it comes to scams online. 

Truth is that I’ve done the research for you!

When it comes to affiliate marketing, I have the answer for you.

If you’re tired of searching through scams and other stuff about affiliate marketing that you just can’t trust:

Read my post on the best place to learn affiliate marketing.


Wealthy Affiliate is in fact at the top of the list for a completely honest and above board place to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing:

  • Whether you’re a complete newbie
  • Or just tired of trying to figure it out on your own

And, you can get a 7 day free trail —with no credit card — and no obligation. With the 7 day Free Trail, you’ll have access to:

  • First 7 lessons of The Affiliate Marketing Certification Training
  • 2 free websites and hosting
  • Live chat to ask all the questions you need to
  • 30 free keyword searches on one of the premiere keyword search tools in the industry

Not to mention that you’ll get to keep the websites — even if you decide not to continue learning about affiliate marketing.

And that’s no scam!



14 thoughts on “Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam?”

  1. Most of the unsuccessful affiliates are shouting that affiliate marketing is a scam, the main reason is they don’t have the patience to achieve a goal, they are not understanding that money will not come at overnight, thanks for the great article, keep doing this great work, have a good day!

    • HI
      I agree with you that the biggest noise about affiliate marketing being a scam always comes from people who failed. And why wouldn’t they be the ones making a noise? I think most people who fail also paid someone for some affiliate marketing training that was either bogus, outdated, or the training itself was a scam.

      Even though there are other places to learn about the best business model of the century, this affiliate marketing training site offers the most up to date, and comprehensive training available. Not only is the training phenomenal, but everything you need to get started is included, and right on site.

  2. There are a lot of scams when it comes to finding the right affiliate marketing courses or training. Not only are there a lot of scams, there are also a lot of useless and outdated courses, just like you’ve said. But, when you do find something legit and useful, you can put that to use and earn a lot of money. It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen fast, but with the right mindset and dedication, affiliate marketing has huge potentials!

    • Hi Rich

      Thanks for stopping by! There are a lot of ways and places to waste time and money thinking you are learning affiliate marketing for sure. Like you said, the best thing to remember is that it takes time and patience to grow a real online business. There’s a lot to learn and then learn how to implement so anytime someone is advertising get rich quick with online marketing you can just about bet its a waste of money.


  3. I have two affiliate marketing websites now, around different topics, and I learnt everything I know around this from Wealthy Affiliate. Most of my products in my dog niche are linked through to Amazon, and people do click through and I have made commissions from the sales. So affiliate marketing is definitely not a scam! I do agree heartily with one of your points, which is to steer away from get rich quick schemes. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it and they would all be rich! I think affiliate marketing gives rewards based on the effort you put in.

    • We know that affiliate marketing isn’t necessarily easy and sometimes it seems like it’s slow as molasses, but commission sales has been around since the beginning, and just like “affiliate marketing”, is no scam.

      Like you said, the sky is the limit when it comes to the rewards of affiliate marketing, which is all about helping people solve problems.

      Thanks Mara

  4. How is this even a question? I get that there are a lot of scams online, and as you said in life in general; but this seems pretty cut and dry to me. Nobody asks if an insurance agent, or a car salesman getting a commission for their work is a scam. Affiliate marketing is just the online equivalent of such things. I’m so glad I’ve found Wealthy Affiliate. I’ve considered blogging for a good while, but just never knew where to start. The training has not only been informative, but fun as hell.

    • NO, I don’t think anyone who understands what a scam is can really see affiliate marketing as a scam!

      What I do think, though, is that it’s hard to know who or what to trust online because there is a lot of money being spent, and some of it uselessly.

      I’ve never heard of anyone who has spent any time inside Wealthy Affiliate actually doing the training and setting up their own business say it’s anything other than: the best place online to learn affiliate marketing and change your life.

      Thanks for your input

  5. Affiliate marketing is the most honest ways anyone can make money. Well know companies such as Amazon and eBay offer affiliate programs that allow you to earn money helping them sale products. Affiliate marketing is simply the opportunity to help another company generate sales and getting paid for it. No scam here!

    By the way, I love the article!!

    • You’re absolutely right Tomas!

      Affiliate marketer are no different than any commission salesman anywhere in the world. 

      In the past, sales people did most of their work face to face, but with Internet affiliate marketing we have a much larger audience to carry other peoples products too. And like you say, affiliate marketing is not a scam, but a viable and profitable business opportunity.

      Happy marketing and thanks for stopping by

  6. Although Affiliate marketing is not a scam, unfortunately, there are many scams disguised as affiliate marketing. I’m sure you have seen them, promising overnight wealth if you follow their system. And this what gives internet marketing a bad name. As you mentioned, If done right affiliate marketing can be rewarding. I see you are with Wealthy Affiliate, how has your experience with wealthy affiliate been?

    • I couldn’t agree with you more that it seems that most of the affiliate marketing courses online use advertising which states pretty plainly most of the time that overnight wealth is easy, fast, and the normal. That is scam advertising!

      I couldn’t really say that what’s inside those courses is “a dishonest scheme: or a fraud” because the ones I have used, were primarily only lacking in what the scam advertising said. And didn’t produce any real usable information for a long lasting business on the internet.

      I don’t dispute that there are other good places to learn about affiliate marketing, but I have never found a place like Wealthy Affiliate. The owners are boots on the ground with you in the trenches EVERY day. The training is great because it starts from the very beginning and goes as far as you take it and is always comprehensive.

      And I have found no other place on the internet that creates as much live right now help for people beginning their journey with affiliate marketing training as raw beginners.

      Thanks for your input

  7. I’ve heard so much about affiliate marketing, but always thought it required so much attention to detail. Especially when it comes to find the right program to trust when it comes to starting out. But I must admit that you break it down for anyone to understand. I currently have an office job that I am really looking to break away from, and affiliate marketing seems like a great alternative. I see that you recommend this wealthy affiliate program. How helpful is their community when it comes to newbies? Thanks1

    • Hi Ralph

      No doubt, Wealthy Affiliate is THE place to learn affiliate marketing from the top to the bottom.

      There are other places to learn the business, but with the Certification program at WA, the hosting, and the most helpful bunch of people in the Wealthy Affiliate community you’ve ever even heard of — There’s no other place to really compare it with.

      Thanks for stopping by

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