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Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

By: JosiahDec 08, 2023Affiliate Marketing
Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online business model where digital marketers generate income when they promote products or services from a retailer using a unique affiliate link. The affiliate partner focuses on a target audience in a specific affiliate niche. It's easy to join affiliate programs with little or no money.

The business model is promoted by several people who supposedly make a full time income with affiliate marketing. However, they really only make their money by promoting an affiliate marketing course…

Many affiliate programs claim that if you promote their products that you will strike it rich! But that is so far from reality.

That’s just the truth… you won’t get rich making a small commission selling someone else's product.

On top of that, most affiliate programs make it crazy difficult to even receive your payout.


This Affiliate Marketing review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

  • It's a billion dollar industry
  • It's a low-cost business idea
  • No expertise needed to start
  • You have no control over affiliate marketing programs
  • You have to compete with others who are more experienced
  • You'll likely never have repeat customers

Why Listen To Us

My name is Josiah, and this is my Dad, Joel.why listen us

Together, we make up the team here at Scamrisk.

If you’ll let me bother you for two minutes, I’d like to quickly explain why I’m even here writing this review.

In early 2020, I had just graduated from college & had no real career prospects.

I knew I was destined for something more, but I had no clue how I was going to make it happen.

I had this sinking feeling in my gut all the time… like the “big man upstairs” had accidentally given me the version of life where I’d be mediocre forever, instead of the one where I was, ya know – happy & fulfilled.


I had fiddled around with some different online businesses in college:

Some random MLMs, a bit of affiliate marketing, a (failed) dropshipping store or two, all the usual suspects.

Even my dad had been involved in MLMs back in the day… selling knives & other random nonsense people (probably) didn’t need.

All I really wanted was to find something that was going to actually work for me.

Maybe those things had worked for others, but for me it all turned up a fat “0” in the bank account department.

So I searched! And searched… and searched… and searched…

And eventually, I somehow stumbled upon a program that promised to help me build an income online (read about it here if you’re curious).

I didn’t really want to be “rich”.

The thought of making a reliable $5K per month & not having to worry about clocking in to a 9-to-5 ever again was all I needed.

Sure, there were people in the program doing high-6 and low-7 figures per year… but that wasn’t what I was out for.

I just wanted to provide freedom for myself, and if I was lucky, take my family along for the ride.

Fast forward a few days and a few phone calls & I was enrolled!

Here’s the first “money making website” I put up:

why listen us gif

I built that site in 2020, and it still makes me $1,500 per month. It’s a basic 5 page website I built based on a template the program provides.

The best part to me? My dad and I get to do it all together!

So between the:

  1. Ease of reaching $5-$10K per month in income online

  2. Straightforward-ness of the system to do it

  3. Fact that I get to do it w/ my family

Is why I recommend local lead generation as my #1 business model for making money online.

Sure, it takes some work and dedication – but anyone that tells you that there’s a business out there that requires no work is selling you a lemon.

I’m not saying you need to sign up for the same program I did, but I would definitely recommend giving the business model a peek!

In this Affiliate Marketing review, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of the industry so you can decide for yourself if this is the right fit for you.

But before that, let’s ask ourselves: Is affiliate marketing even a worthwhile business model?

On the one hand, the promise is great…

You don’t have to create products or worry about fulfillment, customer service, or bad reviews.

Your only job is to get the right customers in front of the right offer and take a commission when they buy.

And - theoretically - you can do it all in an hour a day from the beach.


Wealthy Affiliate walking on beach

Well, not really. Driving traffic (that’s internet speak for getting customers) is single-handedly the hardest part of the entire marketing process.

Later in this review, we’ll talk about all the different skills you need to drive traffic successfully.

For now, let’s just say the promise doesn’t really match up with reality.

At best, affiliate marketing is a job. You’re working for someone else, selling their products, and at any time, they can change your commission structure or block you from selling their stuff entirely.

In this business, you don’t really own or control anything. Since - for the most part - you’re driving traffic (again, the hardest job of all) and sending it to someone else, you don’t even get to keep the customers, who are the most valuable piece of the puzzle.

At worst, affiliate marketing is a pyramid scheme. Certain - ahem - programs charge you a monthly “membership fee” under the guise that you will learn how to be a “wealthy affiliate marketer.”

Once you join; however, you find out the only way to really make money is by being an affiliate for that program.

That’s pretty much the textbook definition of a pyramid scheme.

Now, let’s say you really want that hour-a-day-work-from-the-beach lifestyle.

Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks
What if there was a way you could build a passive income stream that’s actually passive?

An income stream that doesn’t require:

  • Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours before seeing your first dollar
  • Doing all the hard work of driving traffic to only get a tiny commission
  • Running your business on someone else’s terms

An income stream that brings in consistent monthly revenues (from a couple of thousand dollars to well over $10,000)?

An income stream you could actually build in your spare time and grow as large or as small as you want to, without having to spend hours a day testing, tweaking, and risking your money in the hope you can finally start making sales?

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, check out Digital Leasing.

TESTIMONIAL - Still Getting Paid

This is like taking all the good parts from affiliate marketing (however few there are), and putting aside all the bad.

However, if you’d still like to know more about affiliate marketing, keep reading...

Affiliate Marketing Business Model Break Down

Affiliate Marketing Business Model

Even though affiliate marketing sucks, the business model is pretty simple and easy to understand.

At the most basic level, affiliate marketing is simply where you get paid for a sale on products or services people buy through your affiliate links.

It’s usually at that point in which people want to start diving in… because it appears so simple.

But, there is so much more that goes into affiliate marketing than just the click of a button.

That’s probably why you’re here too…

Deep down you know that there’s got to be more to it than that to strike it rich as an affiliate marketer…

So now let’s talk about the most common ways people do affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketers Everywhere In The Comments…

Affiliate Marketers

One of the main reasons affiliate marketing gets such a bad wrap is because of how people have decided to go out and implement it.

You’ve probably seen this method everywhere from Facebook to Instagram, and maybe even some blog comments or reddit posts.

It’s annoying isn’t it?

Essentially what some people do is just go around and spam their affiliate links all day everyday, just in hopes of somebody somewhere clicking through and buying.

This method may have worked 15 years ago, but let’s be real here…

Most people are much more skeptical today about clicking links in the comment sections of Facebook, Instagram, and especially blogs.

To make matters even worse for this method of affiliate marketing, most of these platforms have smartened up and have now implemented certain code that bans affiliate links.

Reddit is especially notorious for this.

Even if one could look beyond all that, and “respect it because it’s just a numbers game”, the truth is that spamming your links everywhere makes you look desperate.

And if it’s one thing we can all agree on…it’s that potential customers don’t like buying from people who appear to be desperate.

The Affiliate Marketer Influencer

Affiliate Marketer Influencer

This method of affiliate marketing has become extremely popular in the last 2-3 years thanks to the rise in social media.

Regular people have been able to build up followings through their own little gimmicks and then been able to partner with a company (usually startup) in an affiliate program.

This could be something as simple as making a post with their product in the background and writing a short description about said product.

For social media influencers, these deals are either worked out on a percentage deal, or a flat rate.

This is usually dependent on who needs who more if everyone’s honest.

For example, if a start up company reaches out to an A-List celebrity/influencer, they’ll likely have to make it a flat rate to be worth that persons time and effort.

However, if it’s a newer influencer reaching out to Nike about an affiliate program, then the deal will likely be on a percentage basis.

Being an affiliate marketer through influencing on social media sounds pretty cool right?


It’s incredibly difficult to build up a following on social media these days and it’s pretty stressful to tell the truth.

Influencers do not work a 9-5, they are always working around the clock, reaching out to new companies, working on their content marketing skills, all while trying to continue gaining tens of thousands of followers.

Sure, you might make money as an influencer, but it’s gonna take you a while to strike it big. And you have to ask yourself one thing…

Can you consistently keep up with the times, not get tired, keep your audience engaged, AND get them to buy your affiliate product without viewing you in a negative light?

Affiliate Marketing Blogs (Most Popular)

Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks - blogging
The reason why blogging is the most popular in the affiliate marketing industry is because it’s the safest.

Wait hold up… I thought you said affiliate marketing sucks?

Oh it definitely does, blogging is just the least sucky out of all of them.

You see, with a blog, you are actually providing quality content to your readers. It’s typically long form content reviews so while you’re writing, you could implement helpful products and services as needed.

On top of that, you could easily collect their emails and start promoting other products and services through email marketing.

If done correctly, you could earn affiliate income to the tune of several thousand dollars a month. More than enough to allow you to walk away from your 9-5 which is what we all know you want to do.

Sound to good to be true?

Well, it kind of is...

Gone are the days in which you could simply put out a blog post on a once per week schedule and get it to the first page of google.

Today it takes a lot of content and money to do it correctly.

Remember, with mostly low ticket commissions you are going to need a lot of search engine traffic. We’re talking at very least, tens of thousands of visitors per month just to break even much less see any profit.


Search Engine Optimization

Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks seo

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to rank in google.

You need SEO optimized content, authoritative backlinks, and multiple articles coming out every day.

In a sense, you have to become a mini news organization.

So yes, affiliate marketing through a blog is going to cost a lot of time and money.

How much?

A solid backlinking acquisition strategy could cost anywhere from $2,500-$5,000 per month.

Good content writers who can consistently put out an article a day will cost $1,500-$2,000 per month.

See, you could be up to $10,000 per month in the hole before you even turn a profit!

Who has the money and the time to wait for something like that to take off?

Not many people.

And even if you get a bunch of traffic from various traffic sources to your site…you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to make a sale.

So as you can see, the reason this is the safest form of affiliate marketing is because of all the money you have to front. Money that most every day people can’t afford.

Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam?

Scam or Legit

So, is Affiliate Marketing a scam? Not technically. You can make money with this business model, but making money with affiliate marketing definitely isn’t as easy as most of the gurus makes it sound.

Driving traffic is extremely difficult. In order to do it successfully, you need to at least understand all these things, some of which you need to be a genius.

  • Copywriting
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Content Writing
  • Website Building
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Automation
  • Email Marketing
  • Click Tracking
  • Retargeting/Remarketing
  • SEO
  • Backlinking

And a lot more.

There’s a ton of work to be done upfront, no real guarantee of success, and - most importantly - the actual commissions are pretty small.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with front-loading the work and making the money later.

But if you’re grinding it out for 3 months and your reward is a $50 commission, it’s not worth it.

What if, instead, you could do that same 3 months of work (in your spare time), and your reward was a $500 to $2,000 payment that came in every single month?

And what if you only needed 1 or 2 of the above skills to get started instead of mastering all 12 before seeing your first dollar?

And what if you actually didn’t need to wait 3 months? What if you could get started today and have your first payment in a week?

And what if you could double it next week?

Well, that’s the power of Digital Leasing.

Your laptop and an internet connection are all you need.

Some of the most successful students in this program run their entire 6-figure businesses from:

  • A camper in the middle of the woods
  • A beach chair on the water in Mexico
  • A small villa in Greece

TESTIMONIAL - Saying Goodbye To Our Jobs

They’re able to travel around, living their lives first and focusing on their income second.

Because even if they stop working for an extended period of time, the money keeps coming in.

So adventure, memories, and experience are the top priority.

And they never have to worry about how to pay for the next trip, or consider asking for time off.

If this sounds more like the type of life you want to lead, just click here to find out more about Digital Leasing.

Are there alternatives to Affiliate Marketing?


Yes, there are plenty of other business models to choose from if you want to pursue making money online. Here are just a few:

Final Thoughts

Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks - Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing sucks indeed, and here’s a short little list to remind you why:

  • Websites hate link spammers
  • An affiliate program can be shady and not pay out commissions
  • Blogs take tens of thousands of dollars to run

So, what other choices do you have?

What Is Our #1 Recommendation For Making Money In 2024?

Digital Leasing

Our review team has spent months researching, reviewing, and vetting dozens of business models and thousands of programs.

While there may be no “perfect business,” the research IS conclusive:

Digital Leasing is the #1 online business model for those just starting out.

Whether you’ve never made a dollar online or been in this space for a while but never really “made it,” Digital Leasing is for you.


1) It’s Flexible: got an hour a day? You can do this. Ready to drop everything else and dive in full-time? You can do this. Yes, the more time you put in, the faster you see results. But even with a little time each day, you can move the needle in a Digital Leasing business.

And because this system is so flexible, you don’t have to constantly be working to make more money. It’s called PASSIVE INCOME because if you stop working, the money doesn’t.

Imagine taking 3 months off to just tour around Europe, rent a cabin in the woods to write a book, hike the Appalachian Trail, or live on the beach and surf all day.

This is only possible if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.


2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With Affiliate Marketing, you don’t really own anything. You have no control over the quality of products. You don’t even own customers.

Look at the fine print for most affiliate agreements. At any point, the company can change your commission structure, reduce your profit margins, or kick you out entirely.

With Digital Leasing, you own the assets, which means you have all the power and all the control.

TESTIMONIAL - Feeling Blessed

3) Little To No Startup Costs: It’s possible to get into Digital Leasing with zero dollars upfront. Because, using the strategies outlined in this program, you can get a client to pay you BEFORE spending a penny out of your own pocket...even before you do any work.

Even without getting paid in advance, you can have your first Digital Rental Property up, running, and generating profits for less than $100.

TESTIMONIAL - Scott Lead Gen

4) Easy To Duplicate: Ok, here’s the best part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up and running, you can literally DOUBLE your income with a few clicks, a couple of keystrokes, and a single phone call (and you don’t actually need the phone call).

Remember: each Digital Rental Property is worth $500 to $2,000 monthly in semi-passive income (over 95% profit). Every time you decide to create another one and increase your income, it gets easier.

Because you have more knowledge, more experience, more results, and more momentum.

If you wanted to double your income with affiliate marketing, you’d have to double your traffic, double the average order size of each customer, OR double your commission rate. And, guaranteed, that’s a lot harder than a few clicks and a few minutes of your life.

TESTIMONIAL - Lance Lead Gen

5) Make Money Helping Real People: This part is what makes it all worth it. With affiliate marketing, you’re selling the product with the best commission rate, NOT the one that will improve most people’s lives.

And that makes it pretty hard to sleep at night.

But with Digital Leasing, you’re actually helping people by solving your clients’ biggest problem:

Small, local businesses need more customers, and with Digital Leasing, you are unleashing a flood of happy, paying customers for these businesses.

You make money by helping them make money.

Not a big, faceless corporation either...a small business owner who’s using that money to put food on the table for their family, start a college fund for their kids, or take care of a sick parent.

Once you see how Digital Leasing makes a real impact in the lives of real people, you’ll sleep like a baby with a big smile on your face.


Now, the choice is yours. You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like Affiliate Marketing which could one day make you money.

You could continue researching, never making a decision.

OR, you could take a look inside, consider what you really want, and join a program that makes your dreams a reality. At the same time, joining a community of over 2,000 successful students that are living life on their own terms, thanks to Digital Leasing.

A consistent, reliable, semi-passive stream of income that doesn’t depend on you or your time to keep producing profits.

All while genuinely helping real people who are grateful and happy to pay for it.

If this sounds more like what you want out of life (or if you just want some nice side income), click here to learn more about Digital Leasing.

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