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Is Affiliate Marketing A Pyramid Scheme – The Honest Answer

I recently got asked the question: “Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme…?” In this blog post I am going to break down the honest answer as to whether or not affiliate marketing is a pyramid scheme. Ready? Let’s dive right in.

Drumroll please…

…No, Affiliate Marketing is NOT a pyramid scheme.

First of all, a pyramid scheme requires purchasing to access the program itself. Many affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and JVZoo are free to join.

Secondly, pyramid schemes are considered to be engaging their members in promoting nonexistent or illegitimate products. With affiliate marketing you promote real products like the ones on Amazon.

I make this conclusion using what is written on the United States Investor.gov website.

Source: https://www.investor.gov/introduction-investing/investing-basics/glossary/pyramid-schemes

That being said, there are obviously affiliate programs that are scams out there. My advice is to only join legitimate big name ones like the Amazon Associates program. Stay clear of affiliate programs that have barely anything out there on Google relating to them.

Back in 2017, a huge illegitimate affiliate program called MOBE (My Online Business Empire) was shut down by the FTC for swindling users out of millions of dollars.

MOBE promised its users they could make six figures at home and ended up just selling them useless and rehashed content for thousands of dollars, over and over. Some of the high ticket items were in excess of $30,000.

Top 5 Legit Ways To Make Money Online In 2020

Hey, Gabriel Star here! One question I often get asked is: “What are the legit ways to make money online?” In this blog post, I’m going to break down the 5 best methods in my opinion you can use today to make money online in 2020. As usual, there is an accompanying video to go along with this blog post: Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

1. eCommerce

eCommerce is great. I like to think of eCommerce as having your own “mini” version of Amqazon. You can sell products and services (digital or physical) online with little to no investment if done properly. WordPress paired with WooCommerce is free besides your average monthly hosting cost for a website (around $10.) You can make a lot of money if you know how to drive traffic and you have decent profit margins with your products or services on your store. I recommend digital products as there is no cost and you can deliver them for free right to a customer’s email inbox.

2. Website Design Agency/Local Service Based Business

The thing that is awesome about service based businesses is that there is no costs (provided the service can be done for free with only a time investment.) I personally run a website design agency and you can make a lot of money by offering website design. Every business needs a website in 2020 and the years to come, and website design is easy with click and drag content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. The average cost of a starter/basic website for businesses is around $500, meaning if you can just get one client you’ve made $500! eCommerce websites are high ticket/high tier services you can offer for anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000. Another great option would be to launch a digital marketing agency. Lots of businesses need help with their marketing! You can make easy recurring monthly payments by offering monthly service contracts like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign management. If you can master SEO and you understand how to rank in the Maps Pack (the 3 Google Maps listings in the Google search results) you can make a killing by running a local agency style business in 2020.

3. Coaching (1 on 1)

Are you incredibly knowledgeable about a particular topic? If you are, you may be able to monetize that skill and turn it into a making making machine! For example, if you know a lot about digital marketing you can coach and help other marketers hone their skills for hourly payments. Coaching is a great way to make money while getting paid to talk about something you are already passionate about. If you aren’t knowledgeable about something, pick up some books young grasshopper! Begin to absorb knowledge and be hungry for information. A common trait of wealthy people is that they read every single day.

4. Making Digital/Online Courses

Similar to number 3, making courses is a fantastic way to make money online. You can utilize platforms like Udemy and Skillshare to sell your course easily. While creating a course does take a significant amount of time, the great thing about making digital courses is once the course is made you can proceed to sell that course indefinitely. You can update your course every so often by recording an additional lesson or module, which takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour of time only if done properly. You can rehash information you learned in books, online articles, and YouTube videos and create a course that does a better job of teaching beginners the information. I love courses because there is no monetary cost and you build an asset you can sell over and over again.

5. Renting Out Listing Space In Google Maps Pack

A lot of people don’t know about this one. You can rank a listing without running a business to the top of Google Maps Pack. Once the listing is getting traffic and phone calls, you can then rent or sell that listing as digital real estate. The really cool thing about this method to making money online is that there is no ceiling. Once you rank a listing, just go out and create another one! This is an easy way to make money online without even having to operate your own business. The best part about this one is that you can easily begin to make recurring money every single month from each listing that you are renting out. Once you hit a cap in the city you are in, just begin creating listings in other cities. The choices you have are almost endless for this one, provided you have the ability to rank in Google and the required knowledge about SEO.


Well that’s my list of the top 5 best ways to easily make legit money online in 2020. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment down below! If you have any ideas I might have left out, feel free to reach out and I may add them to this article. Until next time, I’m Gabriel Star signing out. Have a good one.




These are some of my personal recommendations for the best books that have personally helped me on my journey to becoming an internet millionaire. Without some of these books, I would not be where I am today. I am very thankful and fortunate I found these books on my own.

This page is split into 2 sections. 

The first section covers books on mindset, which is an important starting place. You need to build up foundations for proper mentality and mindset first.

The second section covers books on practical knowledge and step by step guides. These books build off of the books in the first section.




By MJ DeMarco

This is a great, no BS book. The author is a realist (just like me) and goes in depth on how the rich actually get rich, and why get rich slow is a losing game. It really puts making money online into perspective and talks about the difference between how the rich approach things, and how the poor do.

This is a serious must read for anyone who wants to begin to model and integrate some of the mindsets of the wealthy. This is in my opinion one of the top 5 books I read that really helped me dig out of the hole I was in mentally.

No 2

By Anthony Robbins

This book teaches you some of the best techniques for self-improvement. It walks you through developing some of the most important areas of your life. This book covers beliefs, your state, identity, values, and more. 

You need to be in a good state to do well in business, and this book helps you obtain the state of mind you need to succeed.

No 3

By Napoleon Hill

Andrew Carnegie actually hired the author of this book to study some of the most successful and wealthy people in the world. This book covers his findings and what he discovered about the traits that wealthy people share. This book also covers mindset and the psychology of success.

It is important to identify the traits of the wealthy so you yourself can incorporate them into your life – which this book teaches you how to do.



This is a famous little book – for a good reason! It is one of the best resources for goal-setting. The author goes over processes you should utilize to set, measure, and achieve goals to help you get more done with your business or making money online, as well as goal setting for your personal life. You are supposed to carry your goals with you at all times to be able to check on them regular.

Goal setting is one of the most valuable skills to master for starting an online business.


By Viktor E. Frankl

This book was written by an Austrian holocaust survivor who lived in Auschwitz. In this book he talks about his experiences living in the concentration camp as an inmate. During his time at Auschwitz, he began to analyze the patterns between the people who survived and those who did not. One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that your environment does not define you.

This is a very inspiring book that really covers what separates the strong from the weak and how to be in the group that makes it in life and in business.


By David Deida

This is a great book I personally believe all men should read at some point on their life journey. This book teaches how to tap into your true power as a man and how to properly relate to women as well. This book covers living your true purpose on this planet.

This book teaches you how to tap into and harness your true purpose.


By Tim Ferriss

This is one of the most famous books in the “make money online” space and I personally believe it is justified. This book covers the concept of running a business on autopilot. This book teaches you about the importance of freedom in your life and goes over how to not become a slave to your business and let it own you.

Passivity is one of the most important concepts to understand when it comes to making money online, and this book is a must read.


By Og Mandino

This is a fictional story told about a boy who had the goal of becoming the best salesman in the world. It talks about his journey, and focuses on mastery and principles you can apply yourself.

This is a fantastic book to get you into the habit of embracing positive mindsets and about the importance of mastery.


By David Chilton

This book explains the importance of paying yourself first, something most people don’t do. One of the most powerful forces is compounding, and when pairing that with a passive stream of income is the real key to success and becoming unbelievably rich.

This is a must read that truly drills home the importance of investing and growing your net worth.


By Robert Kiyosaki

This is one of the most famous books about finance online. It has great lessons about things like assets versus liabilities. This book talks about the story of a boy who had two dads growing up. One of them was rich, and the other one was poor. The book goes in depth explaining the difference between the mindsets that the rich dad and the poor dad had when it came to money.

This book truly helps you improve your mindset around money and understanding the true value of it.


By Robert Kiyosaki

This book builds on Rich Dad, Poor Dad and was written by the same author. I highly recommend picking this book up and reading it as a follow up to the first book as it serves as a part 2. This book talks about the 4 different quadrants you can fall into with your income and making money.

This is a must read that teaches you the importance in being a business owner and investor and how those two things work together.


By Dan Lok

This book is a great support and resource for making sure you have the right mindset when it comes to building a business online that makes you money on autopilot. The book goes over a lot of the mindset attributes you must implement if you want to make big money online.

This book is a fun read that really opens your mind to the correct mindset you need to become rich online.


By T. Harv Eker

This book truly gets you into the right mindset about understanding money and teaches you about a blueprint you can implement to have lots of success in your life when it comes to using money as a tool that can help you become wealthy.

This book really drills home the fact that you cannot limit what you believe yourself to be worth.


By Dan Millman

This is a fantastic self-help book that helps improve your beliefs and mindsets around success, happiness, and other important areas of your life. This is really an eye-opener of a book. It tells the story about a boy who is going to college and has big dreams – but is too focused on his ego and getting attached to the outcome, to the point where it gets in the way of his success.

This book is a must read that really helps get you into a peaceful mindset you need to be in to succeed and make money.


By Eckhart Tolle

This is a very insightful book that helps you become more enlightened about how our mind works and how to make sure you yourself are not holding you back from becoming successful. This book really phones home about the power of now and what you can do in the moment.

This is a powerful self-help and mindset book that really helps with getting you control over your mind and leveraging it to succeed.


By Stephen Ilardi

This book sheds desperately needed light on our current predicament with depression in society. It talks about how our bodies were not designed to live life the way we do now, and how it is hurting us and can have long-term consequences. This book really cements the fact that we are still human beings.

This book is a must read to optimize the way you are treating your body to have a much easier route to success and making money.


By Neil Strauss

This book dives into how to become more attractive – not just for relationships but for business as well! This book talks about seduction techniques and rapport building skills that are essential to having in your skillset to be able to make money more easily. Persuasion is one of the most important skills in sales and this book is a great answer to becoming more attractive in any setting.

This is one of the best books on influence and becoming more attractive and likable to everyone around you in order to make more money.


By Paulo Coelho

This book shares a ton of wisdom with an inspiring tale of self discovery. It showcases how you can achieve riches in your life and reality. It is a fantastic read that dives into the mindsets, believes, and values you should have it comes to making money and working towards your dreams.

This is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read that will help you achieve your dreams with a positive mindset.


By Anthony Robbins

This is one of the most helpful books I have ever read. This book goes in depth with practical techniques you can use to get anything you want out of life and achieve any goal you desire. it talks about being able to improve relationships, and reprogram your mind to eliminate fears and phobias that may be holding you back.

This is a must read that will boost your ability to achieve the money goals you want in your life.


By Gino Wickman

This book holds your hand and walks you through how to grow your business and make money through channeling your natural talents and innate skill sets. This book also has assessments within that you can complete to gain more insight and understanding about where you as a person are.

This is an awesome book that allows you to reach new heights and leverage the talents within yourself to succeed.


By James Levine

This book will help you obtain more energy to be able to propel yourself towards your goals. This is very eye-opening, and really showcases why you may feel tired and burnt out more than you should. By changing some of our physical habits, we can easily begin to unleash energy inside of us to get what we need to get done easier.

This book is a great resource for providing you with more energy to make money easier and with less exhaustion.


By Marti Olsen Laney

This book cuts through a lot of the myths and misunderstandings society has about introverts, and shows you how to use your introvert personality as an accelerant to achieve more in your life or business. This is a fantastic read that really empowers those of us who may feel shy or experience anxiety on the fact that we have just as much of a chance to succeed – if not more!

This is a must read book if you are an introvert, experience anxiety or fear being around other people.


By Kathryn Hansen

This book is not just the answer to weight loss, but also the answer on how to overcome other habits that are holding you back in your life. This book will give you the self control you need to break free of the chains that are surrounding your bad habits and inner barriers to success. This is a must read that really pushes you in the right direction to achieve all goals you have in life.

This is an amazing book that will help you overcome your bad habits and make it easy to succeed when it comes to making money.


By Tony Robbins

This is one of the best books on money management and the mindset you should have with keeping your money. It goes in depth with how most people use their money and talks about how to use your money as a tool in your life. It really breaks down how to utilize money to get to financial freedom.

This book is a must read for managing money and is crucial to helping you utilize money to achieve financial freedom.




By Will Coombe

This is one of the most useful books you will ever read for your business. This books walks you through exactly how to get your business found on Google for free. SEO is one of the most valuable skills you can learn to get a constant supply of customers for free! This book also includes a step by step action plan/blueprint at the end which you can easily implement to rank in the first spot on Google within 3 months or less.

This is one of the best marketing books you will ever read! Being able to obtain free customers is one of the most valuable skills online.

No 2

By Jason McDonald

The downside to SEO is it takes months and lots of upfront work. That’s where this book comes in. This book teaches you how to use Google Ads to acquire traffic to your website immediately. It walks you through every step of a successful paid advertising campaign, and is a must read for any aspiring entrepreneur or business owner.

This book helps you not get screwed over by Google Ads and showcases all of the “Gotchas” by Google.

No 3

By Paul Haarman

This is the best book for the most up to date SEO tricks and strategies that will get your website showing up in Google fast! It showcases working strategies based on the author’s 15+ years of SEO experience and analytical results from ranking hundreds of websites and eCommerce sites on Google.

This book is one of the best reads for getting customers to your website fast in Google.


By Steven Davis

This book will open your eyes to strategies people are using that actually work to make money online fast. It goes over some of the most passive and autopilot methods to making money online. This book highlights how people become successful and showcases the exact strategies to use so you can achieve the same level of success.

This book really opens your eyes to what is possible and how to begin moving in a direction that makes you rich online.


By Kim Garst

This book goes in depth on how to achieve success and make money by utilizing social media to get traffic and attention. It goes in depth with how most people mess up with their approach to social media – and how to do social media right. By following the tactics in this book, you can easily create a lot of online engagement for your business to make money fast.

This book showcases how to do social media right in a way that creates a lot of engagement so you can make a lot of money fast.


By Jamie Wolf

I was going to put this book into the mindset category, but it shares so many practical elements of the journeys of other entrepreneurs that I decided to place it here. If you aren’t someone big on mindset, this is the one mindset book you should pick up. This book showcases the big failures of real-life entrepreneurs and how they pivoted to succeed and make their dreams come true.

This is the best book you will read on how you can turn failure into success and pivot to win big thus making a ton of money.


By Heather Lutze

This is one of the most fun books I have ever read. If you want to find out how your competitors or other entrepreneurs are succeeding online – this is one of the best books you will ever read. This book walks you through exactly how to see what the big players are doing in your industry or niche, and how to apply it to your business to absolutely crush it and dominate big time!

This is a must read that teaches you how to spy on your competitors and successful businesses to kill it and make a ton online.


By Brian Greenberg

This is an awesome book that showcases how to take advantage of the digital age and the internet to succeed at selling on autopilot – even making money while you sleep! This book is one of the biggest eye-openers I have ever read and will help you understand how to make money passively online.

This is a very useful book that goes in depth with business models you can run to make money automatically.


By Marcus Sheridan

This book showcases how to utilize a winning marketing strategy to maximize the amount of money you are making online. It goes in depth with how to structure your content online to win and get maximum exposure. The author teaches you how to use your keyboard to bring customers through the door.

This is one of the most insightful marketing books you will ever read that will help you accelerate your business like never before.