Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
You're either thinking about getting involved with affiliate marketing.
Or you're worried about someone who is.
You've heard the rumours.
You need to put your mind at rest. Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
The short answer is no, but there is some shady stuff out there
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing Then?
Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising used by companies. They get people (affiliates) to promote their products.
When the affiliate gets a sale, they get paid.
The advantage for the company is, that they only pay out after the sale. That means they don't have any up-front advertising costs.
The advantages for the affiliate are many. They don't need to do any market research. There is no product to create. They don't need to deal with angry customers calling in to complain.
These are but a few of the many advantages of being an affiliate.
Affiliate Marketing vs Pyramid Scheme [Difference]
A pyramid scheme is pure fraud. It is the oldest scam in the book. It starts at the top of the triangle, where people have got to invest.
They are only able to make money if they recruit two or more investors.
These are the downlines.
Those investors must do the same thing to make a profit.
And so the triangle fattens as more and more come on board.
The few at the top make a fortune. But the vast majority at the bottom make nothing.
Why? Because it becomes saturated. There are no more investors to scam.
There isn't even a product to buy. The investors are not buying into anything tangible.
Affiliate marketing is a completely different kettle of fish.
Most respectable brands have an affiliate program. I'm thinking of Google, and Amazon. Ebay, all the big boys, and everything underneath.
They all do it.
The difference is affiliate marketing doesn't have any downlines. It's not all about recruiting.
The affiliate gets paid a straight commission for selling a product. They will earn a commission when someone clicks on their affiliate link. And of course, goes on to buy something.
The Truth About Affiliate Marketing Though
Although I’m telling you affiliate marketing is a legit business model.
That's not to say there aren't any dodgy companies lurking out there.
You will find affiliate programs for overpriced products. Pushy sales pages to get people to buy something they would do much better without.
There are crooks everywhere.
Some affiliate programs don't play as fair as others.
What do I mean by that?
Some companies (quite a lot actually) will charge you money up-front.
You need to pay-to-play.
You can't earn any commissions until you pay for the privilege, or buy an expensive product.
This is usually where the commissions are very high.
People shouldn't have to pay-to-play. It's not fair.
Then, there are affiliate programs that at first glance appear to be a pyramid scheme.
That's because they pay commissions on your downline. Or anyone you can get to join the program under you.
This isn't actually a pyramid.
For example, I am in the Make Money Online niche.
It has a terrible reputation. But we are not all scammers.
I teach people how to get traffic and sales. I show them how they can earn high commissions.
I lead them into a friendly affiliate program and become their mentor for free.
Why do I mentor them for free? Because I know if they do what I tell them to do, they will get sales.
I will get a small commission on everything they sell.
They become my downline as it were.
They are happy to learn from me because they can get exactly the same as me when they pull people into the system.
They get a small commission on all their downlines.
That’s on top of the high commissions they get from their own sales.
It is not a long pyramid where you need to recruit people, and the people need to pay up-front.
Everyone does the free training, and when they make a sale they get their payment in full.
MLM vs Pyramid Scheme - Watch Out!
You need to be careful with this one.
There actually aren't many differences between MLM and a pyramid scheme.
And yet MLM and affiliate marketing are often thought of as very similar!
That only damages our already bad reputation even more.
Affiliate marketing has nothing to do with all those dodgy MLM opportunities.
The only way those MLM companies get away with it is because they have a product or products for sale.
The products are actually a front.
The main focus is on recruitment. Beware of joining them. Be careful when they ask you for money up-front to buy some products.
Most of the profit comes from the up-front costs people must pay to join, and become a distributor.
And because those distributors have invested money, they are desperate.
So they go out trying to recruit more people.
You see them all the time on Facebook. It's a vicious circle.
Is High Ticket Affiliate Marketing a Pyramid Scheme?
High ticket affiliate marketing isn't a whole lot different to low ticket.
The main difference is you earn a lot more from each sale.
But as I say, most of the time you want to promote any of those lucrative products, you'll need to pay a high price up-front.
That's a downside for some people.
But high ticket affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. Like anything else though it might have a pyramid aspect to it.
You might get extra money if you pull more people into the system.
Have you considered this...
Might it be possible that you are already involved with a pyramid scheme?
Yes, I'm talking about you right now.
Is it possible the company you are working for is actually a pyramid scheme?
Most people are on a hamster wheel, with very little chance of getting to the top of the triangle.
That’s how people have been conditioned. Or actually brainwashed into believing.
But it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s never too late to educate yourself.
Should I do Affiliate Marketing as a Career?
The great thing about an affiliate marketing career is you can dip your toes in the water.
You don't need to commit to anything.
It doesn't need to cost anything.
If you like it, keep learning. If you hate it no harm done.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, there is so much you can learn. But knowing the basics is all you need to start earning.
You should never stop educating yourself.
It's super easy to find an affiliate product. The part most people find the hardest is getting traffic.
Some people start a blog, and that's how they get their traffic.
If you'd like to learn how to get free traffic from Facebook, you'll enjoy this free training.
There are no scams, and no lies. Plus you get paid $20 for watching a few videos.