High Ticket Affiliate Marketing – The Best Way to Make Money Online?

The other day I came across another “big ticket affiliate marketing program”. Chances are, if you’re part of the internet marketing industry for a while, you came across them too.

It almost sounds too good, right? Especially when it’s all “done for you”, “turnkey high converting sales funnel”, “just copy / duplicate my system”, “only send your traffic”, “make a lot of money very fast with no work involved but use easy paid traffic instead, and we even show you how to do that” etc.

While earning a high commission for successfully referring people to a product or service sounds fair and great, most of these programs have a short market lifetime, they come and go quickly.

In this article I’ll point out why that is the case, address a couple of common serious issues with most high ticket affiliate marketing programs and present better alternatives.

Let’s dive in.

Help Me, I Don’t Earn Enough Money!

Yes, we all want to make money with our online businesses. After all, that’s why we went into business in the first place, right?

And because recommending 2,99 USD e-books for a whopping 0,20 USD per sale affiliate commission doesn’t pay the bills, we look for alternatives.

Plus, we want to scale our online business at one point via (PPC) advertising.

But how can we profitably make this work if we earn only very small commissions? After all, we want to get paid for all the hard work and long hours we put into our online business… Agree?

Now, we have a couple of options:

  • Creating lots of content (more traffic)
  • Going for recurring commissions (membership sites or SaaS products)
  • Creating (more) websites and businesses (branching out)
  • Offering more products within our niche (funnel optimization, raising LTV)
  • Promoting high priced products (big ticket or high ticket affiliate marketing)

More Content = More Traffic = More $$$?

If you are working as an affiliate or have a solid sales funnel of your own products, more traffic usually brings in more money.

But: Producing high quality, valuable and helpful content involves putting in the time, energy and/or money.

Most people are simply not willing to do the necessary work.

That’s why they’re looking for shortcuts, which often leads them to buy into high ticket affiliate marketing programs.

But first, let’s take a look at another valid alternative:

Recurring commissions from membership sites/communities or Saas products

Many experienced affiliate marketers at one point recognize the power of recurring commissions and therefore start recommending membership sites or SaaS companies and their product and service offerings.

An excellent idea if the company’s products truly help the client achieve his desired results. If it’s the right tool at the right time for the right person, then it’s a win-win-win for the verndor, the affiliate and the (new) client.

These companies usually try their best to keep retention rates high, therefore they have to keep improving their services to keep the customer happy and engaged. (higher LTV, customer life time value)

After all, these companies want to earn more money, which is totally fine as long as they provide valuable products.

Above scenario obviously is a good thing. It naturally leads to continues efforts by the company to improve their products and services offering and thereby constantly raising their standards.

In my opinion, this is the best way to earn a steady income as an affiliate marketer and independent online business owner.

How about creating more (niche-)websites?

That’s an excellent idea!

This way you build new, highly diversified income streams.

But this means, you guessed it: More work.

Unfortunately, most people are lazy and don’t want to do the work. So they look for “better” options.

What about developing and offering new products?

Another good idea!

And we as affiliate marketers don’t even have to come up and create the products ourselves, because so many good products with working affiliate programs are already available to us.

Of course, this means we would also need to create more content, explain why another product might be a better fit, and that means: Yep, more work.

So let’s look for a “seemingly easier” option.

High ticket affiliate marketing programs must be THE solution, right?

So many internet marketers and online business owners, especially new and aspiring affiliate marketers, try to take a shortcut and go for the “quick & easy” money.

The truth is, it is a very bad idea to try and take the shortcut to make money faster or easier and go after the get rich quick schemes. Why?

Everyone involved is selling out

Affiliate marketers who chose this route compromise their integrity and authenticity for the quick buck.

Generally there’s no problem with a truly high value, results-delivering product. And a company or vendor paying a high commission to it’s affiliates for reffering clients is also fine. But:

The value is NOT “highly subjective”

The problem arises when the product – if we are really honest with ourselves – is not even closely representing enough value for the price.

I see experienced marketers now freaking out and shouting: “But the value is highly subjective!” and “If it wasn’t good, people wouldn’t buy it, right?”. Wrong!

Most people simply didn’t know better and got sucked in. Now they have to continue marketing the big lie because it’s a “pay to play” system. And they already bought into the lie.

If I can only make two sales so the program is essentially free for me…

Let’s be real: It’s one thing charging for a very well organized, thought-through, well produced and in-depth video course that provides tons of value and presents a clear roadmap to results while teaching valuable skills that can be applied in any market.

But it’s just not okay charging thousands of dollars for an empty promise and the lure of making a lot of money in a very short period of time, seemingly “easy”.

And this is what most high ticket affiliate programs promise.

They all know it better…

Here’s the biggest secret of this shady part of the internet marketing industry: Everyone involved into the scheme knows exactly what is going on.

But most affiliate marketers involved in high ticket affiliate marketing programs prefer to lie to their audience, making it all sound ridiculously easy in exchange for their hard-earned money.

It’s just shady.

It attracts the wrong people

Marketing any method to generate an income online as “easy to do”, “done for you”, “we have the finished funnel including massive upsells for you”, “you just need to drive traffic”, “easy traffic through PPC”, you’ve read it all, is not just highly misleading – it also attracts the wrong people.

People who have no option but to fail.

Again, everyone involved is knowing what is going on: The product vendor and the promoting affiliates.

Another fact: More than 80% of all (new) affiliate marketers make zero to almost no money. Because often it’s newbies promoting to newbies.

Unfortunately that means there’s plenty of room for unethical sharks to promote false ideas and promises to newbies.

Quick self-check: Are You In A Trap?

Just ask yourself why you bought into the program in the first place. And be 100% honest with yourself, you have to answer this question only to yourself.

If you’re part of a program mainly because of potentially high commissions, and not because you love the product or services provided, you’re in it for the wrong reason.

But if you’re in it because you want to build a sustainable, professional online business, and you understand you’re in it for the long-term because you know it takes time and effort to succeed, then you’re headed in the right direction.

If all a program has to offer is a high ticket sales funnel with lots of upsells, and you don’t really care about the products offered, then you might want to reconsider joining.

Run away as fast as you can. Because if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

And if you’ve already bought into one of those big ticket affiliate programs and you feel you’ve been ripped off, please report your case and let us know in the comments below.

Conclusion: There’s a Better Option!

If you are serious about starting and growing a real online business and true web assets, you have to stop looking for “the quick buck”.

Instead, you want to build your online business on solid fundamentals and model what has worked for others. Don’t copy, but model.

If you’re interested in building a solid online business that will generate an online income for years to come, and that you can be truly proud of, make sure to get the Online Business Blueprint (PDF).

Even though it takes work and might take a little longer, I prefer building real web assets over short-lived programs any day. Do you agree?

Thank you for reading and as always: Stay awesome!

Your Online Business Dude


Hi - I'm Tim, the founder of Online Business Dude. This is the place where I openly share what works for me (and what doesn't!) when it comes to online marketing and business. I believe everyone of us should run their own online business so that we can live an independent and fulfilling life. That's why I help people, who want to break free from the 9-5 rat race, to build their own online business from scratch. I specialize in SEO and media buying, 100% performance based and results oriented. I run my online businesses full-time and currently travel through SE-Asia. Reach out to me if you have any questions or we share the same passion! :)

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 30 comments
Adlad - December 12, 2018

ftc already shut down SCAMS like matt lloyd’s MOBE, digital altitude, empower network and i hear they are looking into david sharpe and legendary marketer now. you know more about this?
how about awol and super affiliate network?
you can’t trust any gurus!!

Tim - December 12, 2018

Hi Adlad,

thanks for your comment!

Although I can see why you might think these companies aren’t (or weren’t) legit, I’d be careful to call them a scam.

A true scam to me is when someone takes your money and runs. You get no value in exchange at all or the value is negligible and almost worthless.

The mentioned companies for sure would argue that their offered courses and training programs are very valuable.

I’m following some of these companies out of pure interest in the internet marketing scene and personally I wouldn’t recommend anyone to start out their online business by buying training courses for thousands and thousands of dollars. There are plenty of other options available.

What the FTC didn’t like were the “highly misleading marketing practices” in most cases. In addition, it turned out that the promised “coaching calls” were more of a series of sales pitches, making use of “high pressure sales tactics”.

Just be careful when you chose where to get your (online business) education. Some of the programs mentioned above don’t offer free trials. Plus, to get “all their knowledge” or to go “all-in” with their product line, you would have to pay 10.000,00+ USD, in many cases even much more than that.

Is it worth it? I don’t know and it’s an individual’s decision of course, but I highly doubt it.

If you want to learn how to start your own online business and become a profitable affiliate marketer, I’d highly suggest you to get my free Online Business Blueprint (PDF).

Let me know if you have further questions.

Thanks again for your comment and stay awesome,

Your Online Business Dude

Neil - May 24, 2019

whats your thoughts on AWOL, worth it?

    Tim - May 24, 2019

    Hi Neil,

    thanks for your comment!

    I assume you speak about AWOL Academy (Keala Kanae), right? Well, I’m not associated with them… Nor did I buy any of their products.
    But two points come immediately to mind:

    • Google Instant / suggested keywords shows for “awol academy” as the first suggested search term “awol academy refund”. Not a good sign in my opinion.
    • Just by looking at their pricing and product offerings, it’s clearly a high-ticket program. I expressed my opinion and concerns about these programs in the article already.

    In my opinion nobody needs to spend a fortune on internet marketing information (especially entry-level knowledge). If you get my free online business blueprint (PDF) and go through the free training that comes with it, you build your online / affiliate marketing business on solid fundamentals. You’ll also have a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed and potential paths to take.

    Hope this helps, stay awesome!

    Online Business Dude

RoDarrick - May 25, 2019

Very engaging read I must confess. It could be very frustrating when you’ve been into business for long and couldn’t account for achievements recorded in the business. I think thats the major reason most people get themselves into all these get rich quick lies to sniff out cash from their readers. But what I think is more frustrating is getting a one time sale only on a product you tricked people into buying. No one would be ready to trust you again. I really fancy this post a lot. Thumbs up! And by your permission, I would love to share this to my social media colleagues and sensitize them.

    Tim - May 25, 2019

    Thanks a lot for your nice words, Darrick!
    Of course feel free to share this post, I’m more than happy if you do. And we might help some people along the way…
    Thanks again and stay awesome!

Zihad - May 26, 2019


I’ve been started online business for a long time. But I haven’t seen any kind of hope so far. No one can easily believe me. Because many are deceived by trusting it. Please tell me how can I achieve the trust of everyone? Many do not believe that it is a lot of helpful and trusted business. There is a lot of adverse reaction to this in our country. Please give me a suggestion so that I can able to show everyone by achieving this business successful.

    Tim - May 26, 2019


    thanks a lot for your comment!

    Here’s what I suggest: For your own online business – and I have no idea in which niche you’re operating – try targeting countries that are more open-minded towards spending money online or shopping online, and are able to do so. (think about demographics like location and age, but also income levels, having access to credit cards and bank accounts, best would be a group that’s already known to regularly buy stuff online…)

    And if you work as an affiliate, choose very trustworthy partners/market places/vendors. (like Amazon etc.)

    Then you’ll find success online more likely and build a highly cashflow-positive business.

    At this point, you’ll have it much easier to “convince” anybody that it’s possible to achieve success online. Or you just don’t care about convincing anybody anymore. :))

    Hope this helps and stay awesome,

    Your Online Business Dude 

Faheem - May 26, 2019

What it all boils down to is that there is no fast and easy way to getting a sustainable income. If you want quality income you’d better be prepared to put in quality work, especially in the beginning. Once you’ve broken through, only then can you actually start thinking about “shortcuts” like paid traffic and hiring content writers for you to see if they can give your already established business a boost and in the long run save you time and money.

    Tim - May 26, 2019


    while I agree with you on “there is no easy way to […]”, I disagree on the speed part.

    You can clearly speed up the whole process of building web assets and building income streams by replacing your own work with outsourced work. Plus, if you can make paid traffic srategies / media buying economically work, you don’t need to wait until your SEO efforts start paying dividends…

    Having that said, making paid traffic work is a skill that needs to be developed first. And this learning phase takes some time as well, of course.

    But in business, you’ll often find situations in which you can substitute your own time and energy with money. Some people call this leverage.

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude

Fran - May 26, 2019

Many people should read your blog.  So many folks looking for an online opportunity are taken in by scams just aimed at taking their money.  I was in MOBE for a while and got out before it cost me too much. I also joined AWOL and quit it, too, because of upsells.  Interesting, that I thought both companies had a pretty fair training system.  

I didn’t know when I first started looking for an opportunity online, that many of the companies I looked at had reviews written about them.  If I’d read some of those, I’d not have made my early mistakes.  I believe you are providing a real service by giving people the right information.  Keep up the good work!

    Tim - May 26, 2019

    Thank you very much, Fran!

    Yes, let’s help as many people as we can… Absoloutly no need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get your (initial) education about internet marketing and traffic generating strategies.

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude

Tim - May 26, 2019


As we see their are many scam out their. Yes very true just the other day A person tryed to scam me it was a “redbull” promotions  sent me a check in the mail wanted me to cack the check an then send them money back.a really big scam.

You are also going to run in to people that want to make quick money not saying it cant work. But saying is it right for me as a person I’ had to work hard at everything I’ have done in life just to make end meet. Trying to achieve, something that will lead me to money coming in to my bank account. With affiliate marketing  yes yes it can be done.

But it’ is something you are going to haft to put the work in at frist. Hard work will pay off in the long run. Do I agree  yes I do. Good content, hard work, Dedication  truly the say to go.


    Tim - May 26, 2019

    I agree 100%, thanks a lot for your comment, Tim

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude

Tom Caldwell - May 26, 2019

Dude, you have hit the nail on the head, “high ticket product” companies are big investments with a tremendous amount of “easy money” talk and information that can be obtianed for far less dollars. I can speak from experience (ashamed to admit) but I have fallen pray the the shady marketing tactics more than once when I was a newbie. FAST AND EASY MONEY” is appealing to newbies that do not know better. You are so right to communicate the truth that “there is no easy money” when it comes to building an online business. A successful income producing business requires education, work, time and a good mentor is helpful too. Thank you for warning people about the falsehood of such companies. One quick question that well help your readers: What is a SaaS company?

    Tim - May 26, 2019

    Thanks a lot for your comment, Tom!

    SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Similar to a membership site, the client has to pay a monthly/yearly fee for getting access to and using the (often cloud hosted) software or tool. Plus getting support and service updates for a specified time period

    Modern landing page builders are a good example of this business model.

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude

David - May 27, 2019

My question is, Whether there is any one clear way to know if a high ticket company is a genuine one or not since according to you in your write up you did mentioned that quote “Most of these programs” on quote? Which implies that there should be some other genuine ones out there. And of cause in my reasoning I am compel to think that if it is ‘most of them’ then definitely there should be and will of cause going to be some remnants that are genuine.

The topic that says, “High ticket affiliate marketing – The best way to make money online?” Is in my judgment a hypothetical one in the sense that one cannot answer a strait YES or NO until a due diligence is done to determine if it is the BEST WAY to make money online because that one has to be DETERMINED by each individual’s level of integrity and moral consciousness.

My own personal experiences took me some decades before I was able to where I am now in which I now can say that I’ve found the right one because I’ve gotten the right MENTOR who had taught me to know how to identify the good one from the bad ones. One of the secrets I’ve learnt in the cause of my search for the good one is that it cannot be over emphasized at any time the need to keep searching till you get the genuine one except by chance you fell into the hand of a good mentor from day one.

My take for this topic is that we MUST avoid at any time being opinionated about which High ticket online company is a scam or not until we have done our due diligence in our investigating which must be logical and in a professional way..

    Tim - May 27, 2019

    Yes, always do your due diligence first. 

    Plus, if a program offers a free trial or starter membership, it’s likely more legit as well.

    Thanks for your comment, David!

Gomer - May 27, 2019

I’ve been involved in the past in some of the most notorious high ticket programs believing I can also make money like those top earners claim. But what happened was, it only drained me of valuable cash that were better off invested in real businesses. 

The problem I see with these high ticket programs is, the top earners teach new comers easy but costly traffic generation strategies. One of the commonly recommended strategies is buying solo ads. Okay, it may work for them, the early promoters because they can afford to advertise via solo ads to people who are looking for such kind of programs. People that are in the list of solo ad vendors are the same recycled subscribers who are mostly motivated of looking for the next new shiny object. So, don’t be fooled by a big earner showing you proof of income from a high ticket program. The money may have come from people are like the top earners. In short, the subscribers in those solo ads are mostly attracted to those top earners, so what is your chance of getting them as a small marketer?

Speaking through experience, I can say that you should avoid these high ticket program unless you have a big budget and you are in the inner circle of these people who are also tuned-in to high ticket offers.

    Tim - May 27, 2019

    I couldn’t agree more, Gomer. Thanks a lot for your comment!

Chris Burton - May 27, 2019

Great article! I completely agree, there are so many different affiliate programs or universities out there now that it is confusing. If you’re not too knowledgeable about affiliate marketing then it’s very easy to get sucked in by a well-branded offer that seems too good to be true.

I’m quite new to affiliate marketing, but thankfully I’m a member of an online affiliate university that’s excellent and is proving to be a great place for what I want to do. I wasn’t initially though. I had joined a program that was very slick in their marketing and initial online courses. They were offering high ticket sales by marketing their own products, but this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had my own ideas and didn’t feel right trying to promote something I wasn’t too familiar with or even passionate about. To add to that, they were very quick in trying to upsell me into their advanced programs, but the prices were high! very high!

I’m realising that there isn’t an easy, fast way to earn a good income with affiliate marketing. You have to be patient, be passionate and put the work in!

Thanks for the info!

    Tim - May 27, 2019

    I couldn’t agree more, Chris! Thank you so much for your comment and welcome again to Wealthy Affiliate! 😉

Joseph Stasaitis - May 27, 2019

I totally agree that these programs come and go as I have watched them over the years.  In fact, I lost a few bucks with one or two of them.

They present great ad copy that can be easy to be influenced by especially when you are new to internet marketing.  Lots of flash and very little substance.

You be successful at anything it requires an investment of time, energy and money.  There really are no shortcuts to this.  Providing value and being willing to put in the work involved is what it takes regardless of the pproduct or service.

You have given some great insights into this to help people avoid the trap of a “quick buck syndrome”.  Thanks for this info.  It is much appreciated.

    Tim - May 27, 2019

    As is your comment, Joseph! 🙂 Thanks a lot!

Shannon - May 28, 2019

This is an excellent article – very honest, to the point, and well said! I have not been in the affiliate marketing business so long myself, but I have been around long enough to learn how to spot the shady tactics that some so-called “marketing gurus” love to use to prey on those who are just beginning with hopes of creating a business of their own.

So happy to see you out there telling it like it is and pointing those who are new to affiliate marketing in the right direction to gain success. There really is no short cut to creating a sustainable online business, and any business is definitely going to require time and hard work. Keep fighting the good fight my friend! Thanks!

    Tim - May 28, 2019

    Thanks a lot, Shannon! Appreciate your comment!

Stella - May 28, 2019

Who will see a quick way to make six digit figures which appears very real and decided to go other way around? That was my mindset right from time. My orientation changed after I have seen many friends and colleagues getting ripped off from that  lane. Good thing I love about myself is I love to ‘look before I leap’. This has been my guillines right from time. There is no cheap success, I learnt that in a hard way from my friends. Thanks for this wonderful post. All the awareness are noted.More work will surely generate more traffic and more money.

    Tim - May 28, 2019


    well said, I like the way you put it… “there is no cheap success”

    Thanks for your comment!

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude

Vicki - May 28, 2019

Hey Dude

I really enjoyed this post and for me, I am doing it with content, SEO, email targeting and Pinterest and YouTube.

I have seen so many people waste $1000’s of dollars of false promises and if only people realised it does take focus and hard work plus you have to learn some great skills to become successful but not bt paying someone to sell you something that can be found for free on you tube

Thank you and go well

    Tim - May 28, 2019

    Thanks a lot, Vicki! Very well said… focus + hard work + skills

    Stay awesome,

    Online Business Dude


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