Beware the Free BS Affiliate.

by on December 3, 2008

“I make $5000 a month affiliate marketing, and here is how I do it!”

In this case, BS stands for Bullsh*t.  And I’m calling all you people on it.

You see a lot of this kind of crap on the most popular affiliate forums (like Digital Point) and blog promotion sites (BlogCatalog and the like), and Clickbank sales sites (The Rich Jerk and the like)

Someone intrepid individual posts something about how they make money as an affiliate and gives you the steps how they do it, usually giving some crappy explanation like “I’m doing this out of the goodness of their heart.” or “I’ve made so much money I want to give something back!” or some other junk.   Sometimes the message claims to be free, sometimes it will cost you $9.95 or $19.99 or $49.99.

In this case, we’re going to focus on exposing the Free Bullsh*it affiliate scammer.

I’ve seen at least three cases of this on DigitalPoint and various other forums, and somehow tons of people fall for it, posting thank you comments and asking questions on the details. Makes me think I want to do it myself…

It goes like this:

1) Poster/blogger claims they make X dollars a hour/day/week/month.  The best of them pick something that is reasonable to believe, but large enough to make people consider it a decent supplimental income, such as $1000-2000 a month.  Choose too low, people don’t care.  Choose too high, people don’t believe you.

2) Poster/blogger tells you how they do it.  Typically it involves some simple steps most people can do (create a simple ad site, make an Amazon aStore, etc) in a short time frame (just an hour or two work!) and how to get traffic (paid ads, organic search, text links, etc.)

3) Poster links to 1-3 paid tools they needed to make it happen (Azoogle ad account, TextLinkAds, etc.  These are typically stated as key points to making the system work.  Without them, you cannot succeed or certainly won’t make over $100 a month.  And they neglect to point out that if you buy them through their link, they get a cut.

4) Poster asks for private messages or emails for even more details on the system.

And people seem to fall for it!  The responses I’ve seen on some forums are from many users who aren’t fly by night noobs (people with 100+ posts under their belts and/or decent karma ratings) and not some new shill accounts.  They drive traffic to their affiliate accounts for Keyword Finders, Text Links, and other items that pay between 50%-75% to affiliates.  And it’s working for them it seems, since I’ve seen posters tout the same “system” on different forums a few days or weeks apart, as if they wait to see if it’s working then start spamming it.

Are there really that many idiots out there?  And can I really make money off them?  And will I be able to sleep at night when I do?  I’ve made a promise never to try to trick people into buying something ever, and to never promote anything that I could not personally stand behind.

A fool and his money are easily parted, I just did not know it was quite that easy.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

joey April 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Thanks. Appreciated.

Michael January 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm

It would be interesting to talk to the people who started doing this many years ago, to see if there was genuinely a period of a year or two where the proposed methods actually had some (short-term) effectiveness, as opposed to being almost completely ineffectual nowadays.

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