So I needed some help. I’d decided after significant research that the passive income stream that I wanted to create was going to be based online. The best option that my research found to start was affiliate marketing. But I knew nothing about how to create a website, how to optimize it for organic traffic and where to find affiliate programs – indeed I’d tried it before, I’d put in loads of effort creating a blog that no one read. But the path to creating passive income online seems to be paved by numerous scams, so although in the end, Wealthy Affiliate ended up being my choice for online income success, before I made any choice at all my first concern was to figure out how to make money online without falling victim to a scam.
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Where do I Learn to Make Money Online Without Being Scammed?
After doing a load of research about how to recognize a scam, I found the following advice about signs of scams which appear regularly:
- The suggestion that using this method of earning money online is easy and it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.
- This method of making money will generate big returns easily!
- Your Ferrari will be on the driveway of your mansion before you know it! (or whichever aspirational lifestyle images the seller thinks will tickle your fancy)
- The source of the information is someone that you’ve never encountered before, or whose reputation you cannot substantiate by doing some online research. It doesn’t help that now the more you research any form of money-making opportunity, the more you will be targeted by paid advertisements across all forms of social media.
- A scam won’t take into account whether or not you have the skills necessary to take advantage of the opportunity.
- If there are only vague details about what the opportunity consists of, you should be suspicious that it might be a scam.
So, the big takeaway from the list above is that if you don’t want to get scammed you need to think critically about any opportunity that you are offered.
Critical Thinking is extremely important – the Oxford Learner Dictionary defines Critical thinking as:
the process of analysing information in order to make a logical decision about the extent to which you believe something to be true or false.
So basically, to avoid being scammed I looked at all of the information available on each of the opportunities on offer and I tested it against the results of my research and what I already know. This included critically reading the reviews, both positive and negative for every opportunity. If the results of that test made it seem too good to be true – I assumed that it was and avoided it like the plague!
So What Does a Good Opportunity Look Like? Doing Your Due Diligence
So after my research, I trusted my gut. If something feels off I’m assuming that it is. Now, people who are trying to sell you something in any industry use a fairly standard set of psychological tools. Being able to identify these techniques when they are happening to you allows you to choose your response to them, rather than acting as the seller expects.
1. They will make you consider the painful effect of the current situation continuing forever – focusing particularly on the elements that this purchase will allow you to remove or avoid – so if they’re trying to sell you new windows, they might go on and on about the cost of heating or cooling your house increasing every year if you don’t buy new windows.
2. Fear of loss – I’m sure you’ve seen the adverts with the count down clock saying that this most amazing offer is ending in hours or seconds, never to be repeated. By artificially creating scarcity or a deadline they are forcing you to make a rapid, unconsidered decision by apply pressure and the fear of missing out. You will often see these add-on purchases and if you don’t buy them right away, rather than losing the sale it is common for there to be the same offer at descending cost until they reach the true value at which they are expecting to sell.
3. They will tell you your top objections as part of the selling script – a good salesperson will have already considered your top reasons for not purchasing, by them, tell you what these are, and immediately providing solutions they have both gained your trust and removed a barrier to your purchase.
4. An assumptive close – they will close the sale using positive terminology as if you’ve already said yes. This positivity is designed to make you feel good about making the purchase.
So after considering the selling techniques and your gut feeling about the opportunity, there are a few other tests you should consider to make sure that this good offer is actually a good fit for you.
Does this opportunity fit in with your current skills or skills that you are eager to learn? If you hate writing, for instance, I wouldn’t recommend blogging because there is a whole lot of writing involved! Ditto if you’re camera shy and starting a YouTube channel – there are ways around both, but it’s much easier to commit to something that you already enjoy.
Commitment – are you willing to put in a lot of effort? If you are going to be successful at anything it requires either a lot of luck (think lottery jackpot winning type luck) or a lot of effort. Please don’t forget that effort requires sacrifice – to be successful at anything you need to work at it and it will take time. Everyone has the same 168 hours per week that they can use however it suits you, but it’s much easier to find the motivation to do something that you enjoy – remember motivation is intrinsic therefore something internal to you.
My Choice for Online Income Success – Wealthy Affiliate
After all my research, I kept coming back to Wealthy Affiliate. I found the transparency to be reassuring, there are a lot of affiliate reviews, both positive and negative (I think this is a good thing because if there weren’t negative reviews it makes me suspicious). The fact that you can sign up for a starter account without a credit card also helped make me comfortable.
Having started with the free starter account I very quickly decided to move onto the premium account because of the features that are included. Despite bootstrapping my business, I knew that there were things that I would have to pay for – and hosting was one of them. Having a package that includes training, hosting, keyword tools, support and an active community to bounce ideas off of at any time was a no brainer for me when launching my business, and I am very happy that I chose Wealthy Affiliate as this solution.
One of the other elements that helped with my decision to try Wealthy Affiliate was the transparency – they were 100% clear upfront about what you get as a starter member – and what you get when you go premium and how much it costs (although there are also discounts for signing up for longer-term options of pay annually or pay half-yearly):
One Other Advantage of Wealthy Affiliate
On top of the world-class hosting, the global community (huge advantage of people being active at all hours), numerous mentors and more training then you can shake a stick at, Wealthy Affiliate also has a very generous affiliate program which means I earn a small amount of income if people sign up through my unique link (it costs them exactly the same using an affiliate as if they went directly to the sign-up page). Unlike a lot of affiliate programs, the Wealthy Affiliate affiliate program is available to both starter and premium members.
So if you’d like to join me in this adventure, and you’ve done your due diligence to make sure that this opportunity is right for you and something that you’re willing to invest your time, effort and a bit of money into – why not join Wealthy Affiliate through my affiliate link (The FleeCorporate affiliate policy is here for your peace of mind)
Wealthy Affiliate, My Choice for Online Income Success
So, now you know why I chose Wealthy Affiliate for my hosting, training, and mentoring on my online income journey. Just to recap – after doing my due diligence, the Wealthy Affiliate offering with its very active global community of people at all stages of the online income journey was my preferred choice because the package offered great value for exactly the services that I need.
But definitions of success are tricky things, so if you need some help to understand your definition of success – take a look at this.
To give you an idea of where I am (right now – 29th of March 2020), I joined Wealthy Affiliate in January 2020. I currently have a niche website about sports underwear originally created while I was a Wealthy Affiliate starter member and subsequently migrated to my own domain (website address) when I became a Wealthy Affiliate Premium member and Flee Corporate chronicling my journey to generating an online income.
So far, I’ve put in a lot of hours of learning new skills, planning my business strategy, writing lots of blog posts, and interacting with the Wealthy Affiliate community. I’m really enjoying the process, but I definitely see that it is not for everyone – however, if you think it might be for you I’d love to be able to support you through your journey. If you want to have a go, please join me at Wealthy Affiliate.
I’d love to hear any comments you have on this post, due diligence, an online journey, Wealthy Affiliate, or anything else you’d like to talk about!