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Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

One of the most known ways to earn income online by promoting products is also one of the most misunderstood: affiliate marketing. Some people even consider it a pyramid scheme. Is affiliate marketing illegal? Are affiliates being deceived for money? If you join an affiliate program and promote other people's products, you must discover the truth before participating. These are questions that can drive any affiliate's mind crazy, and today we're going to answer these questions in a simple way.

Is Affiliate Marketing categorized as a Pyramid Scheme?

No, affiliate marketing is a legitimate business model for earning commissions on sales by promoting products or services online.

Unlike MLMs and pyramid schemes, where you must recruit others to make money, affiliate marketing does not require network-building. Promote the products or services of a company (and earn commissions on sales), and your "team" is made up entirely of customers who purchase those items of their own volition.

Whether you're a 9-to-5 worker or an entrepreneur who works around the clock, affiliate marketing provides opportunities to earn extra income.

What is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of performance-based advertising where one party pays another to promote its products or services.

Affiliates are incentivized to promote this company's products, services, and digital content by receiving a commission on any sales they generate.

Affiliate marketing has now become an important part of online business. It is also one of the most effective ways of selling products and services online.

In affiliate marketing, you are given a commission for referring other people to buy products or services from your affiliate link, which your affiliate host will track.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Affiliate marketing is among the most popular ways of making money online. This type of marketing involves promoting other people's products and services through your websites or social media pages.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money, but it's only sometimes a legitimate business model. Some websites like to call themselves "affiliate" sites even though they don't pay their affiliates for sales.

These sites are known as "fake affiliate" sites, and they can be very frustrating for the people who participate in them because they can't make money from them.

However, there are also some real affiliate sites out there that do pay their affiliates for sales. So affiliate marketing legitimacy depends on the business.

What is the difference Between Pyramid Schemes and Affiliate Marketing

Pyramid schemes require you to pay money to join, but the idea behind affiliate marketing is you get paid for advertising other people's products or services. It's also important to note that there are different types of affiliate programs, and some of them do not require a direct sales approach. For example, if you were to sell products through Amazon's program, you wouldn't be required to sell anything. Amazon would pay you a percentage of any sales made through your links.

Pyramid schemes require you to recruit new members to earn more money. With affiliate marketing, there is no obligation to recruit anyone because it's based on commission-based payments. You only get paid when someone clicks your link and makes a purchase.

The main goal of a pyramid scheme is to make money off of recruits while keeping them locked into the scheme with promises of huge returns on their investments. Affiliate marketers only make money if they refer someone who goes on and makes a purchase. They don't care if that person joins because there's no obligation on their end. They want the sales to be made!

So what's the confusion between the two? This confusion comes from the fact that both programs involve getting paid when you bring someone else into the program. In this way, they are similar. However, with a pyramid scheme, you're required to recruit more members, while an affiliate marketing program offers more options.

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Pick an Affiliate Marketing Niche

You'll want to choose a niche that you have some expertise in or at least know enough about to be able to answer any potential customer's questions. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to understand enough about the topic to talk about it intelligently.

When you're looking for a niche to promote, you must ensure that it's something you're interested in and will make money. For example, if you love video games and want to start an affiliate marketing site about them, this might be a good idea. However, if you don't enjoy gaming or have no interest in it, then this might not be the best idea since it's unlikely that anyone else will visit your site either.

Find a Reputable Affiliate Program

Thousands of programs will pay affiliates to promote their products and services, but finding one that pays well can take time and effort. You must review the program's terms and conditions (T&C) and ensure it fits your needs. You want to avoid signing up for something that has too many restrictions or requires you to spend too much time with no income coming in from it! Also, ensure that no minimum amount of sales is needed before they pay out commissions.


Set Up Your Site

After you've chosen your product and found an affiliate program, it's time to set up your website! You should first decide on a domain name, which people will type into their browser when they want to visit your site. Then you need a hosting provider so that people can actually access your website when they type in the URL. It's vital to choose a hosting provider that supports WordPress, the most popular platform for setting up a website. You can also get your domain name and hosting from one company, like Bluehost.

Promote Products or Services

Once your site is set up, it's time to promote its products or services. You can create content around the Product or Service and Include Links in the Content That Direct Readers To Your Affiliate Link(s). This is the most common way people make money with affiliate marketing because it doesn't require any real work on your part.

You only need to create content around the product or service you're promoting and then embed links into that content that direct readers straight to an affiliate link where they can purchase without leaving your site.


There's a lot of misinformation about affiliate marketing, which is especially true regarding pyramid schemes. The truth is that while there are some companies using misleading tactics, the vast majority are legitimate businesses that provide valuable services to merchants and affiliates alike.

It's easy to see how legitimate affiliate marketers can make good money, especially if they learn how to market effectively and build their brand. But knowing the pitfalls will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.

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