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Protect Yourself From These Affiliate Marketing Scams

 I hate how attorneys always see the bad in everyone and the pitfalls and risks with any venture. I'm not attorney and I don't even play one on TV, so I'll make this somewhat short and as sweet as I can to help you at least be aware of the affiliate marketing scams that are out there. While I've personally never lost sleep over affiliate marketing scams and the success of

The Sales Whisperer® is pretty much based on mastering affiliate marketing, I wanted you to at least be aware of the monsters, however small, that are lurking out there.

Charging exorbitant fees to teach you things you can learn online.

I'm all for charging for convenience.

My book, "The Sales Whisperer® Way," is a compilation of over 79 stories I've written as part of The Weekly Whisper dating back over 9 years.

The Sales Whisperer Way Front Back Cover

Am I a scammer for charging what you can hunt around and find for free on my site?

Nope. Not at all.

I'm simply offering another medium—a portable medium—for visitors to my site.

So just because someone is charging to teach you affiliate marketing does not make them an affiliate marketing scammer. But if your little voice is telling you something doesn't feel right, tread lightly and do your research.

I got into affiliate marketing by promoting Infusionsoft back in late 2008 and I didn't know Jack Diddely Squat about it. I just wrote good content and documented my experiences and people read my material and those that wanted to know more clicked my links. Those that had a need purchased Infusionsoft and then Infusionsoft paid me.

Bing. Bang. Boom.

Since you're reading this series on my site you are stacking the odds in your favor to avoid affiliate marketing scams, so kudos to you. You're on the right track.

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Charging to accept you as an affiliate.

Lookey here. You are going to spend your own time, money, creativity, energy and access to your sphere of influence to market someone's stuff for free with the expectation that you'll get paid only if and when you are successful.

For someone to charge you to be their affiliate takes either big guts or they are affiliate marketing scammers. Tread carefully.

I've never paid to be someone's affiliate.

Not paying in a timely manner—or at all.

Unfortunately you may not know someone is a deadbeat affiliate marketing scammer until after the fact.

The way to stack the odds in your favor is to only represent reputable companies, verify them with people you know and/or use reputable affiliate marketing aggregators like Commission Junction and ClickBank who act as brokers or screeners of companies wanting to launch their products through reputable affiliate marketing networks and turn to them like Apple is listed on the NASDAQ or AT&T is listed on the NYSE.

Self-dealing / Self-discounting Susan

People will create an affiliate account just to earn a commission—a discount—on a product they were already going to buy. Make sure you inform people that self-dealing like that is not allowed.

This will also require you to keep good records on sales and maybe even delay payments until you can reconcile your orders with your affiliate payments but it's worth it if you see some shady activity going on.

Chargeback Charlie

In all my years of running The Sales Whisperer®, I've had maybe five chargebacks, and I still hated getting every single one of them.

Out of the 5-6 that happened the only two I lost was because I was not aware of them and missed the date to reply. So pay attention to both your email and printed mail notifications from your merchant account / processor.

But Chargeback Charlie will order your stuff, start using it, then hit you with a chargeback to not only get their money back after they use your stuff, but it'll also ding your record with your processor.

What I've seen over the years and after processing cards online for both physical products, online products and programs and membership sites, the vast majority of people are honest and are not out to get you. As long as you focus on providing quality content, great customer service, great follow-up and engagement and you'll be fine.

But pay attention to your chargebacks.

They will make you nuts.

They can make you poor by not only taking legitimate earnings from you but you could end up being charged higher fees by your merchant account and/or they could hold on to your money longer before dispersing funds.

If you find yourself getting an exorbitant number of chargeback and/or unreasonable requests from buyers and you know you are offering a solid product/program/service at a reasonable price, fight these people after reaching out to try to resolve the issue offline.

But ALWAYS reply to the chargeback from your merchant account and let them know you are working on it.

Digital Marketing Done Right: Free Report

Promo Code Paula

Promo Code Paula is gaming the system by creating a page like "Promo Codes For {Your Widget}" and driving traffic to it to then offer a link back to your site via their own affiliate link.

What happens is people go to your site through your own marketing and SEO efforts and are actually in the shopping cart to check out and they see the "Promo Code" box.

In order to try to save a couple of bucks they open a new tab in their browser and do a search for "Your Widget Promo Code" and find "Prom Code Paula's" page.

Paula offers either a legit or a bogus promo code but the visitor then clicks the link on that page to return to your site and they are cookied as the referring affiliate, which means you are paying money to people that are not providing any real value.

This can be a little tougher to find but if you see a lot of traffic coming from a particular user or IP address, do a little research to see if this is what is happening. If so, you may have to cut that affiliate off and make sure you have some verbiage in your affiliate Terms and Conditions that lets people know this type of marketing is not allowed.

In conclusion...

As you can see, this is not a terrible list.

It's manageable.

The rewards do outweigh the risks. With this knowledge you're now well-armed to stack the affiliate marketing scams in your favor so jump in with both feet. The water is warm.

Now go sell something.

P.S. If you'd like to be an affiliate of mine you can sign up for free here and get all the resources you need to promote what you like and create an additional income stream.

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