Paying to Be an Affiliate: Is It Worth It?

Paying to Be an Affiliate: Yes or No?

By Ian | Internet Marketing Advice

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It seems like every week there’s another company charging exorbitant fees for people to become affiliates, but is it worth it? Sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is no.

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Sometimes It’s Reasonable and Logical

There are a lot of companies out there that require you to be a member of their product/service before you’re allowed to be an affiliate. This is most commonly done to prevent affiliates from abusing the affiliate program or to control the user experience. After all, how can you be an effective or honest affiliate if you’ve never been a member or customer yourself?

In my experience, this is a really reasonable requirement for things like monthly subscriptions, annual subscriptions, etc… As long as you’re being delivered something of value for that fee (membership fee, product fee, etc…) then it’s perfectly reasonable for that company to require you to be a member or customer before you can be an affiliate.

If you’ll gain any benefit from the product or service, go ahead and join. Then if it’s everything you hoped it would be, apply to become an affiliate and promote away!

Sometimes It’s Very Unreasonable and Illogical

The most common industry I see this in is MLMs, but there are other companies following suit. If you’re already a member of a product, whether it’s a one-time, monthly, or annual fee, and they are going to charge you ANOTHER fee to be an affiliate, in my opinion that’s completely bogus.

That policy isn’t for quality control. That policy isn’t to prevent abuse. That extra fee to be an affiliate is solely to increase revenue for the publisher. If you’re going to be their affiliate, they’re ALREADY making money off of you, so charging an additional fee exclusively for being an affiliate is completely bogus and inexcusable. You’re being required to pay them to make them more money. It’s completely illogical.

Sure, you can make some decent commissions with certain companies if you know what you’re doing. But every time I’ve seen this business model employed it has been for a completely immoral or illegitimate business.

Bottom line: If you’re not getting anything in return except for the right to make commissions off of other people you sell the product to, it should be a big red flag and approached with caution.

The Guidelines Apply 90% of the Time

The general guidelines above will hold true at least 9 times out of 10, but there are instances where the decision isn’t so “cut and dry”. They also vary from person-to-person, and you may feel like it’s completely reasonable to pay to be an affiliate in certain situations where the person next to you may think it’s completely unreasonable.

Use your discretion and trust your instincts. If it feels wrong or fishy to you, there’s probably a reason and you should pay attention to what your gut is telling you.

I also highly recommend checking out the thread in this free internet marketing community, and joining in on the conversation if you want more advice.

Want to Know What I Think About Your Opportunity?

Are you struggling with the decision to join a program that requires you to pay to become an affiliate, but you’re not exactly sure whether or not it’s worth it? Describe the situation in a comment below, and I’d be happy to give my opinion and help any way that I can! I personally reply to all comments within 1-2 business days.

About the Author

I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>

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(4) comments

Paul February 12, 2018

What do you think of Michael Cheney’s 7-Figure Franchise super-funnel. Stuffed full of evergreen “make money/ SEO/ web marketing” products.

Have now attended his webinar and it could be an opportunity. You heard of it? If not, he provides a super funnel with a chain of 9 funnels, you keep 100% of all sales through every level of the funnels except the deepest (high ticket) one, and you get 50% of those – about a grand a time.

Each funnel starts with usual low priced entry, then low price recurring OTO, then a higher one off upsell OTO, and then a deep sell high ticket offer. They then get cycled through 8 more funnels. It’s all DFY. You just need to provide the traffic.

He guarantees $24k in 6 months or they assign someone to work with you 121 until you hit that. No refund guarantee tho (which makes me nervous and fear of being scammed!) Think that’s thrust of it. Oh and it’s $2k to get in, lifetime licence. was the link at end of webinar.

Any thoughts? Just don’t want to waste my time early doors! Want my early efforts to be focussed on something legit! Many thanks.

    Ian February 12, 2018

    Sounds like a lot of very bold claims. I don’t trust bold claims — in my experience, in this industry, they almost always lead to disappointment.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve seen hundreds of aspiring internet marketers try to use copy/paste & “done for you” businesses from various publishers over the years. They’ve always been paired with outrageous sales claims of online riches, and “no money back” policies.

    Not a single one of them has succeeded using one of these systems.

    My advice would be: anchor down, put in the hard work to develop the skills necessary, and build your own original funnel. This is time-tested & proven, and doesn’t cost anything remotely close to $2,000.

    The more people look for shortcuts and DFY systems, the more they’re vulnerable to getting charged larger and larger sums of money for systems that the VAST majority of customers will never recover their initial investment from.

    Greg September 2, 2018

    Paul, I considered that product too earlier this year, but I didn’t pull the trigger. Cost was definitely one of the factors for my decision, but the other one is that it felt like a product/system that’s geared toward people who are already comfortable with list-building and traffic generation and people who already have an established list. I think they promise to give you some initial traffic, but after that if you don’t have a list you’re stuck driving cold traffic to your affiliate links.

    The products in his funnels look legit, but I think his “Funnel Franchise” should be an add-on to an established IM business.

Thomas Copeland July 5, 2018

Hello, about 5 weeks ago I paid $67 to become an affiliate online marketer with Rory Ricords company which focuses on Link Post Blogging. I have not been happy with the way thing have been going. Here are the problems I have experienced……
1. It took 3 weeks before anyone informed me that I had to have someone be assigned to train me on the system=(time wasted/making no money).
2. The mentor/trainer, who is a nice person and supposedly an excellent trainer, is hard to get a hold of through the Skype messaging system(their preffered system to communicate).
3. when I focus on trying to get things done I try to reach out to my mentor and get no answer until 24-48 hours after I communicate.
4. When my mentor sends response through Skype there are all of these instructions that are overwhelming, almost like learning a new language, and hard to understand. Much of what I am learning I am having to figure out on my own because of this problem.
5. I am 56, have been unemployed with little income, and cant “buy into” affiliate this and that. I communicated this up front after the inital $67 just to join and then I was told I have to pay another $89 for the hosting/3month maintenance online site fee. My mentor told me not to pay for any other affiliate offers and then she stressed a WINE CLUB affiliation that makes her great money which costs $50 minimum just to be a customer before you can be an affiliate. I dont even drink alcohol. Plus she sent other affiliate links like online games and such wich cost money to join.
6. This past weekend I pulled up reviews on this man and his company. It was described as a legit business but there are a LOT of negative reviews across the board along with positive reviews by those who are doing it. Problem is, the negative reviews connect with MY experience and I have only been doing this for the last 2 weeks(after waiting 3 weeks just for someone to reach out to help me begin. NOT GOOD.

YEsterday, I had the 7 different main affiliates I was instructed to connect to cancel my accounts on the spot because of these reviews. I will be asking for a refund which is supposed to be 100% guaranteed if not satisfied within 60 days of buying in.

In spite of all this my gut tells me that there has to be good businesses online due to the overwhelming volume of people buying everything now online. I cannot do all the hard labor I used to do when I worked for many years. I HAVE to find something I can do from home. It is imperative that I do but there is so much crap out there, I dont know where to begin looking or how to decide which one to BUY into.

Sorry for the long winded message but I needed to be very specific and clear.

Needing some help,

Thomas Copeland

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