The make money online topic is an evergreen niche that attracts a lot of curious minds, opportunities as well as controversies. Not everyone can withstand the challenge, but those who are determined enough will have to wade through countless make-money-online affiliate programs in order to find the right one. I have been reviewing a bunch of them over the years so let me share my personal experience before you think about giving up.
Who Should Join?
Here’s the thing. Such programs are not for everyone. If you are into the Yoga niche, make money online (MMO in short) is likely way off the radar. If you are into blogging, it may make some sense. However, if you are in the online marketing and traffic generation type of niche, then MMO is certainly something to look into.
These affiliate programs come in all forms but they are mainly digital goods such as eBooks, membership sites, software or programs. The job of an affiliate marketer in this niche is thus to screen the authenticity and quality of the said product and present them in the form of reviews.
One of the factors that attract people to these programs is largely due to the big commission offers and sometimes, recurring income potential. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because most digital goods have low operational costs, they are easy to upsell and they provide instant access to the users.
Any niches can have a combination of physical and digital goods, but in the case of MMO, digital products are the most relevant here.
Where Can You Find Them?
Digital goods are everywhere nowadays and users shop for them like they would with eCommerce. They are typically found in the following places;
1 – Digital Product Marketplaces – Clickbank, JVZoo and Warrior Plus are some of the popular sites that list these products. Clickbank does include products for other niches as well and it’s fairly easy to obtain affiliate links by using the Hop Link Generator for any products. As for the latter two, they are only specific for MMO products and you need to request to be accepted by the vendor before you can get the affiliate links.
2 – Internet marketers’ sites – Some people call them internet gurus and there are many sites like these around. Each proclaims their own traits, expertise and in many cases, they would bundle their knowledge and sell in the form of programs and courses.
Tai Lopez, who’s also the founder of a book program called Mentorbox, is one of them. He sells like about 8 to 10 courses on his site and you need to fill out a detailed form in order to join his affiliate program.
3 – Professional bloggers – Bloggers are typically online marketers by second nature so it’s quite common for them to share their knowledge in the form of online courses. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder is one such course that pays you to promote her course online. You will only get the affiliate links when you purchase and use the product itself.
4 – Private training sites – There are some sites, like Power House Affiliate, that leverage from online marketing education as their services. Once you join as a member, you’ll be given a referral link to promote.
5 – Public learning sites – Another type of site that leverages education is an e-learning platform like Udemy. When you sign up for the affiliate program, you can literally promote any online courses to your audience without having to get approval from the tutors. This form of digital goods can also be relevant to the non-MMO niche as well.
Why So Many Are Called Scams?
The definition of scam according to Dictionary.com is “a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit”. In my case back in 2013, I was scammed almost $600 for a program that claimed to help me build an affiliate website. I got absolutely nothing at the end and wasted a big chunk of money.
Ever since then, I became pretty good at digging out what’s real and what’s not. You see, in order to portray “confidence”, the creators aren’t hesitant about showing you who they are and how much money they make. They would even impress you with the number of people who have benefited from the program, making you desire for that kind of success too.
How did I know?
Easy peasy. Just right-click on the image and “search Google for image”. The first few results will return you similar images if they match. Follow the link of the images and they will lead you to stock photo sites.
As for the positive video testimonials, they are merely actors and actresses hired from Fiverr. Such gigs are called Spokespersons Videos and they labeled under the Video & Animation category. Inside the Explode My Payday program, for example, you can see that those two are the same person and I must say, her performance was quite convincing.
Apart from that, do you know that those income screenshots can be faked too? You just need to know how to tweak the back end of an HTML text and any information on a screen can be manipulated.
Just to show you what I mean, I highlighted a column on this sales snapshot inside my Clickbank account, right-click to ‘inspect’ and then double click on the text inside the HTML editor to change to whatever number I want. And voila! I just earned $10K on the 21st of May! How I wish that’s true *sigh*…
From zero gross sales, I just turned everything into $1000. Of course, I am just faking it but if I can do that, so can all the MMO programs out there.
Now that we know, maybe they don’t really make that much, but they sure are aggressive in promoting their programs through emails. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never signed up for Program B because your email with Program A will be shared around with B, C, D and so on, even without your consent.
I believe this is a solo ad marketing tactic although I can’t say for sure. I received numerous crazy offers on a daily basis and they are literally spamming my inbox with MMO opportunities. Inside the email, there will be text like “Click here to discover the secret formula” or “Claim your $5000 check now”, all linking to flashy sales pages of various MMO programs.
Another way they make money is to constantly upsell different packages while you are STILL in the process of buying the first product. Want more traffic? buy this. Want one-to-one coaching? Buy that.
This is typical of high-ticket programs run by marketing gurus and they prey on individuals with burning desires to ‘rub shoulders with the experts’ or simply want fast results with minimal work. You can see this with The Lurn Insider (that’s not a typo) and Underground Millionaire Mastermind.
And then there’s a different kind like Earn Easy Commissions, that is notorious for training affiliates to promote ONLY their products and nothing else. The whole purpose is just to increase membership and later distribute the revenues among members. In case nothing rings a bell, this is similar to a Ponzi scheme. The only way to make commissions is through them and no one else.
Although they don’t technically fit into the category, some software programs are also labeled as scams. SENuke, for example, implements bad marketing practices for generating traffic and Viral Builder promises the moon and the stars when it’s still new in the market and lacking credentials.
When buying and promoting this software, you directly become their tester. If it works, that’s great. But if it doesn’t, you not only waste money but your website performance will also suffer negatively. I would be extremely cautious before using any of them.
With all that being said, you can never find genuine positive reviews for any of these programs online ever, because what they claim to do, simply never exist OR fail to thrive in the actual online marketing world.
But, Not All of Them Are Like That
For those who are willing to ignore the hypes and sign up anyway, what’s inside may not necessarily be a scam. They are just mediocre to poor quality sites that haven’t gone through many updates or simply have poor platform execution.
You still get something from these programs in exchange for the money, but just don’t expect anything superb.
The same goes for products offered by professional bloggers and tutors on public learning sites. These people are merely creating products to supplement their income, sharing what they know best and helping others do the same.
Their affiliate programs are less known mainly because they don’t sell you the dream and their approach is more traditional. They help you become good at something through skill learning and that takes time to develop. Hence, they get fewer reviews and sometimes get bashed more often, depending on which way you see it.
A Make Money Online Affiliate Program That Stands Out From The Rest
I know of a site that has been around for many years (since 2005), teaching regular people to build websites, get traffic and make money primarily through the affiliate marketing model. The founders have real social media profiles that you can follow and they lead a community of aspiring online entrepreneurs.
This platform is called Wealthy Affiliate and it’s basically a membership site that provides web hosting and marketing training for beginners to advanced users. Inside the program, you’ll never find upsells to different services (almost everything is inclusive), bogus income claims (except for genuine success stories) or shortcuts to any marketing strategies (aka shiny objects).
Their affiliate program offers a lifetime cookie with a 48% commission so it’s not surprising to find so many good reviews around. However, the most important thing is the fact that many people who join the platform are also making money with other types of affiliate programs within their own respective niches.
You can read more about that in my personal review here. Yes, I am one of their proud affiliates and I do believe that hard work coupled with sound training is the key to success in making money online. My journey with them has been a great one so far and I wish you will join me in this experience together.
Hope to see you inside!