Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

No. Well, I don’t know if that answer applies to every single affiliate program out there, as there are so many. But basically, a pyramid scheme requires new members to pay to join. And then that payment is shared amongst the recruiters. The new member can then recruit new members herself and earn money based on their fee to join.

Affiliate programs, on the other hand, are generally are free to join and earnings are generated from sales of actual products and services. Some affiliate programs might have 2-tiers but again, affiliates participating in those also earn money based on sales of actual products and services by their referrals.

See all questions and answers in my affiliate marketing FAQ

Author photoThis question was answered by Aleksander Blomquist. He started out with affiliate marketing back in 2008. As of 2020, he is a full-time affiliate marketing guy with two businesses focusing on creating websites from scratch and monetizing them with affiliate programs.