When I did the Sugarrae reader survey, one of the questions I asked was…

“Have you ever paid for a “turnkey” affiliate marketing product? (Such as a domain and a store setup to sell affiliate products with promises that it was ready, set, make money?)”

.8% of you said you had an found it useful. 6.3% of you said you had and found it to be a complete waste of money. What surprised me most is that 20.5% of you hadn’t yet done it, but were thinking about it. So this post is aimed at those 20.5%.

Let me be unequivocally clear. Investing in a turnkey affiliate site is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME, MONEY AND ENERGY for various reasons.

What is a “Turnkey” Affiliate Website?

Find the golden keyThere’s a sect of opportunists in the affiliate industry (who I’m not going to promote by listing) that like to tell you “there’s gold in them there hills” and offer to sell you the picks and shovels to go find it.

It usually goes like this… you pay a fee and for that fee, they give you a website that is setup like an e-commerce store that is actually based on affiliate datafeed(s). Many times they tout that the website also auto produces content for you in the form of articles, news and video. There’s nothing to do on your end! Simply pay the fee and you get an affiliate site that’s ready to go and you will make loads of cash!

It’s bullshit

I think of turnkey affiliate websites like I do sensational weight loss products. They prey on your desperation to lose weight (make money) and your laziness to workout (spend time and effort) and non desire to eat right (work hard). And like sensational weight loss products, if these things actually worked then everyone would do it. Everyone in the world would be skinny (making money online) with no effort required. Like sensational weight loss products – it’s all BULLSHIT.

There is no silver bullet that gives you instant, amazing results without any effort. Not in weight loss, not in affiliate marketing, not in life. The only person making a profit with turnkey affiliate websites 99.8% of the time is the person selling you the bullshit dream.

“But they said Google will send me traffic?”

I don’t think that Google hates affiliate sites (note that does not mean that I don’t believe they favor brands – IMMENSELY). But what I believe they do hate is non unique crap which is usually only promoted by getting low quality links (because, what quality site wants to link to something that has no value add?).

In fact, they created two updates/filters aimed specifically at these types of sites – Panda and Penguin – and a turnkey affiliate site is exactly the type of site both of them are aiming for.

Most of these turnkey website programs tout how your site can be ready in ten minutes or less. Do you really think Google – either organic OR PPC wise (remember, PPC has a lot to do with the Quality Score) – wants to index thousands of pages of automatically generated content that took less than 10 minutes to create?

“But they had several success stories.”

First, testimonials can easily be faked. You have no way to verify who they’re really from, especially when they’re merely from “April A.” in Adams, Alabama. That said, every rule has it’s exception. But those exceptions are typically people who would have busted their ass with WHATEVER opportunity they were presented with – meaning they’re people who succeeded that happened to buy a turn key affiliate website once. They didn’t succeed because of that – they succeeded because of their own drive and initiative.

Sorry, Affiliate Marketing – the Right Way – Takes Work

Bottom line is? If it were as simple as paying $100 to buy a website that will make “instant profit” and “give you financial freedom” don’t you think everyone would shell out the $100 bucks? Hell – shell out $10,000 bucks to buy 100 of them? When you look at it logically, you know it’s a product that preys on your desire to find financial freedom – and NOT a real solution to that desire.

So save your cash. Affiliate marketing is a real opportunity. You can make real money with it. But as I’ve said time and time again, it all comes down to what you put into it. Read my affiliate archives for free. Follow other successful people in the affiliate marketing industry who give back to the affiliate community.

Don’t give up the desire to get into affiliate marketing – but do accept that the fact that affiliate marketing – like any other legitimate business opportunity – takes real effort to make it work for you.