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Here Are 12 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Has A Negative Reputation

A new day awaits you that fills you with many possibilities. But before you say yes to becoming an affiliate marketer, a familiar darkness forms over your dream. 

Here are 12 reasons why affiliate marketing has a negative reputation. As a newbie, you will read so much information on the internet regarding the negatives. Many of you will miss your potential for a new beginning because of unfavourable activities by persons who indulge in the dark side.

The dark side of affiliate marketing damages the integrity of honesty people, whose only crime is to establish their own online business based on writing rich keyword content. They get in return to earn a small commission by promoting other people’s or organisation’s products and services. So how do we stop this type of fraud?

It’s almost impossible to stop fraud, but understanding affiliate marketing and being successful will only benefit you and your business. I will show you a safe platform to establish your business, build your website, learn from the professionals and read success stories while achieving your goals.

The dark side of Affiliate Marketing

In 2020 affiliate marketing fraud cost $1.4 billion and continues to climb. As an affiliate marketer, you will need to be aware of fraudulent activities committed by unscrupulous persons because fraudsters cost businesses millions of dollars every year. So how does this affect the affiliate marketer? It gives honest affiliate marketers a bad name.  Let’s take a look at some of the dark methods?

Some of the dark methods that contribute to huge losses and damaging the reputations of marketers include:

  • Cookie Stuffing or Cookie dropping enabled tracking all devices from third-party advertisers and downloaded into your potential customer’s computer, iPad, or mobile phone.
  • Installing Apps that can steal credit details and make illegal transactions
  • Misleading domain names through typosquatting
  • Adding loyalty software on the user’s computer
  • False advertising can often scam users
  • Traffic diversions
  • Site cloning
  • Fake clicks or fake referrals
  • Browser extensions can be malicious
  • The promise of misleading quick get rich schemes
  • Poor Sales due to distrust
  • Lack of knowledge on how affiliate marketing works
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

After reading the negative side, you may be feeling a bit wary about whether affiliate marketing. You may even consider not going forward with your dream but don’t let some bad marketers deter you from the endless possibilities that await you. 

Don’t think for one moment that affiliate marketing is all negative. Yes, I agree it’s not easy, and the business model below shows how simple it looks. When fact, it requires a lot of hard work from you. 

How do you stop affiliate fraud?

Protecting yourself from affiliate fraud is much easier than you think, and there are many things you can do to protect yourself, your business and your website. One such strategy to protect you from risk is to join a secure affiliate platform with a good reputation that will protect your website, have security and back up your work.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing?

As a beginner affiliate, you will need to understand all about affiliate marketing. The activity is when an affiliate marketer promotes another person’s or company’s niche products on their website and earns a small commission. 

The niche is usually a product or service that the affiliate is passionate about or loves. The sales are tracked through their affiliate links from the owner’s website to another website owned by an affiliate program.

How Affiliate Marketing Activity Works

Below is the Affiliate Marketing Cycle. Let me explain the process of how it works.

  • You will have created a niche such as ladies shoes.
  • You add a link to the products on your website post.
  • The potential customer loves the red shoes you have on display and clicks on the link or Ad.
  • Your customer is sent to, for example Amazon through a tracing link that you have installed on your website post.
  • The customer is happy with the price and wants those shoes so she decides to purchase them.
  • Amazon who is the Affiliate Network records the purchase and details of the transaction.
  • Your customer is then informed that the sale has taken place and the shoes are on the way.
  • Once the client has paid the transaction is recorded to your account.
  • You will then be paid a small commission.

The cycle repeats when you have a new customer.

Affiliate Cycle

There are three parties involved in this activity 

  • Seller and Product Creators
  • Affiliate or advertisers
  • Consumer

To learn more about how it works, readAffiliate Marketing in 2021: What it is and How You Can Get Started.”

So, what do you need to be successful in Affiliate Marketing?

 To be successful, you need to

  • Have Patience
  • Be dedicated
  • Understand your audience
  • Build trust and integrity
  • Make your site personal
  • Use conversational language
  • Have good communication skills
  • Keep active with current trends on Trends Google

The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for your business

Affiliate marketing helps your business and enables you to acquire relevant information to aid your new market niche and business website move forward.

  • Start-up costs can be low and range from free to monthly or yearly fees
  • Rank higher in search engines results
  • Promote your branding, boost your reputation
  • Drive your traffic and sales by widening your audience
  • Low risk
  • Flexible
  • Performance-based

Your alternative for a secure affiliate marketing platform 

I have a tremendous safe opportunity for you to join me at Wealthy Affiliate. Are you ready to join a more secure platform at zero risks, acquire your starter package for free?

  • You will learn heaps
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge to help promote your affiliate marketing business
  • Get essential experience
  • Gain competence to move forward
  • Build on your new or your existing skills
  • Have the ability to rank in Google, Bing and Yahoo!
  • Continue with our training
  • Watch your business grow
  • Join a wonderful and helpful community
Logo on Wealthy Affiliate University
Wealthy Affiliate University

What you will learn

You will learn all about

  • Your competition
  • Setting up ad campaigns
  • Compliance and the necessary GDPR plugins that you need to install on your website
  • Tracking your links
  • Time, you will not earn money straight away unless you have luck on your side. Instead, you will 
    • need to test and tweak your campaigns, 
    • build your brand and reputation
    • learn new things about your target market daily
    • improve your conversions
    • make sales
    • promote your brand on social media
  • And so much more

Success Stories

There are many success stories on the internet of how people have achieved their goals, but I want to show you it is within Wealthy Affiliate. Many of our successful members are long term. 

Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories- Make money from Internet Marketing by Jeremy West.

29 Wealthy Affiliate Success Stories (Make Money Worldwide!) by Roope

Have you ever wondered how top affiliate marketer influencer Pat Flynn became successful

There are many smaller success stories of members achieving their goals. 

Final thoughts

Don’t let the dark side of Affiliate Marketing prevent you from achieving your endless possibilities to make extra income. 

Affiliate Marketing is entirely legal and is a legitimate way to earn extra income from promoting another company’s brand or services, which in turn you will earn a small commission. 

It does require dedication, hard work and commitment.

Affiliate Disclosure: 

Some of the links on my website contain affiliate links, making a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you for taking an interest in my site and reading my posts. To read my full disclosure.


My reviews are based on my personal own experience and research. I never recommend inferior quality products or create false reviews to make sales. I intend to explain the products to help you decide which ones suit your needs best. 

If you have any questions about this post’s content, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think about this article.


  • Andy Zeus Anderson

    Sad that bad actors in an industry that drives 80% of internet sales can have the effect of keeping so many from joining but as they say in retail. “You will only hear customer complaints 90% of the time and for every 10 complaints, you will have 100 disgruntled shoppers. Do the math on that and you will see that the good need to be better advocates of the industry and we have to stop ignoring bad actors.

    • Yvonne Bray

      Totally agree with you, Andy. I work in hospitality, and admittedly we have a good reputation; however, we do get disgruntled clients now and then, but as they say, you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try.

      As affiliates, we need to work harder to be a trustworthy business with integrity.

      Thank you for your valued comment.

    • Yvonne Bray

      Hello Angel
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. I really appreciate your forwarding my article to your friends. I hope they get some value from it.

  • Joseph William Stasaitis

    Thanks so much for these reminders of the less appealing side of any type of marketing. When we put our customer or client first we never fall into these traps. Running any type of business with integrity and transparency is vital to long-term success. All the Best.

    • Yvonne Bray

      Hello, Joseph; thank you for leaving your valued comment. Much appreciate your suggestion on putting our customers and clients first to prevent them from falling for the cons.

  • Norman Richards

    Hello and thank you so much for writing this post that so many people need to read and understand how this business works and what to expect. It is sad also of the many frauds that are out there that have given affiliate marketing a bad name.

    But it is good to know that this business is alive and legit and helping so many to have success. I am sure that your readers will love what you are sharing.

    • Yvonne Bray

      Hello Norman
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I totally agree with you that fraudsters do give affiliate marketers a bad name. I believe my readers will love to read what I share with them. Thank you for dropping in.

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