$10k grey hat affiliate scam
What happens when you actually dm back the guy who says he will make you rich
We can all agree times in 2016-17 were much easier in the online space.
Less competition, lower CPMs... you could basically get away with anything.
And I did, with a grey hat affiliate scam I'm about to tell you about.
In a span of a couple of months, it was passively generating me $2k/mo with only about $100 in monthly ad spend.
Back in late 2018, I joined one of those business discords (lmao). People were very welcoming and I remember this one guy specifically said "If you wanna make money with affiliate marketing just dm me"
Sounded about right so I did it
He didn't ask for anything, he just outlayed the process in a few simple steps that even a broke college student (me) could do it
So here it goes.
1. We create a fake blog
2. We apply for Affiliate programs (we have to vet them)
3. We run paid ads DIRECTLY to aff link
Now here's the catch.
Paid ads function like an auction.
And big companies don't want you to compete with them so it's strictly forbidden by their affiliate TOS.
But since we kept everything lowkey (I'm talking $5/day ad spend) we managed to stay under the radar.
Imagine something like Turnitin but for affiliate marketing.
They scan other competitors and ban you if they notice you are bidding on the same keywords with the same link as they are.
We did Google search ads exclusively, so our only keyword was "shopify"
With only $5/day ad spend we managed to make wonders.
I'm talking insane returns Total about 1.5-2k per month, so passive that the only work I did was checking the numbers and jacking off to them.
This was a Shopify affiliate program. You might have searched on google "Shopify" and clicked on my ad and the sale would get attributed to me and I would get a solid compensation of $30 each month for the first 2 months.
Taking customers from Shopify was as easy as taking candy from kids.
But of course one day we had to get busted.
"Your affiliate account is terminated"
"Organization not enabled"
New fake blog about starting a side hustle - new account - new name - new home address
Let's go again
Lasted barely 2 more months, people just got too greedy to the point it was getting posted on forums and then one day we all got banned.
We tried some other services Kinsta, Siteground and other WP hosting providers but it wasn't as lucrative as this one plus it was hella risky since payouts were 4 mo after the sale.
This was my first dollar online and I got very complacent with it. I basically stopped learning stuff and thought it would last forever. But it shows you the impact that closed circles have. You need to find your own network that shares secrets that are not available to the public. I don't wanna sound like a cringy Instagram hustle motivation post but - your network is your net worth.
Till next time,
Dam we all had hustle in college but your was profitable and kept you out of jail. Plus you learned from your mistakes sweet.