Today, many people are skeptical of the belief that ClickFunnels is this Ponzi scheme.

Clickfunnels is not a pyramid scheme just masquerading as an effective and a good product for affiliate marketing and sales funnels.

Many people succeed in making millions of dollars.

Let’s dive into it:

What’s the Purpose of a Pyramid Scheme?

First, let’s break down what a pyramid scheme is to avoid confusion or misinterpretations.

It is an illegal pyramid scam based on a hierarchical structure.

The people posing at the top get the most significant money.

It is a shady method of making money by receiving a never-ending portion of investors.

Pyramid schemes are tough to recognize because they come in many forms and are considered the wrong way of making money.

ClickFunnels helps entrepreneurs make income by selling services and products.

So how could anyone justify what ClickFunnels provides?

Any similar marketing tool providing you benefits such as:

  • Advertising options
  • Multiple tier packages
  • Courses
  • And much more

The program teaches you how to use the software effectively for your business.

Brief History of ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is the brainchild of a self-made entrepreneur, Russell Brunson, who grew up with an obsession with marketing.

He is also a thriving competitive beast.

My man made his first million dollars by barely putting in many years of college.

clickfunnels owner

His first venture into the business was selling potato gun DVDs online, followed by a few other business ventures shortly after.

ClickFunnels, by far, is his most successful business.

It ballooned his earnings very quickly after launching in 2013.

Customize Your ClickFunnels

Now some may not be familiar with a sales funnel and asking what that is.

Sales funnels are what they sound like: a way to turn casual browsers into actual customers.

It includes personalized emails, consistent product recommendations, and soft pushes to webinars and tutorials.

It is well-known that many people who visit your funnels, especially those visiting it for the first time, may not buy right away.

Promote Your Products With ClickFunnels

Again, a sales funnel is a simple way to turn the prospects looking around your funnels and turning them into regular buyers.

ClickFunnels helps you create large sales volume using attractive and clickable sales.

When you purchase ClickFunnels, there are two different membership packages ranging from $97 per month to $297 per month, depending on the desired features.

pricing chart

It has drag-and-drop features to build multiple landing pages, several pre-built templates, and an always-available support team.

Follow these three rules:

  • Offer free good value or a small product, like a free ebook or gift
  • Followed by a webinar designed to showcase the value of the product
  • The up-sell followed the sale

Another benefit of ClickFunnels is the ability to set up membership options on your page, which will keep people coming back.

These can be memberships to the site, webinars, classes, or anything else you might want to know, including email addresses and names with Actionetics and the Backpack feature.

Backpack dashboards

It also comes with many integration options, including payment processors like Paypal and Stripe.

You can also integrate ClickFunnels with Facebook to increase your marketing footprint and build it into many different site hosts like WordPress.

Yet, this is another reason why this software company is not a pyramid scheme.

Exclusive Training With the Owner

There is also a higher market package called Russell Brunson’s Inner Circle.

This package features a twelve-month course on improving website traffic and sales.

It is limited to only one hundred participants at a time and endorsed by celebrities like Tony Robbins.

The access to the Inner Circle Program states at the top that it costs $50,000 to join, and your business must have at least one million dollars in revenue to be able to join.

inner circle for life program

To use ClickFunnels, you must have a monthly subscription to make funnels and use the software.

Like any other premium SAAS platforms, paying to use software is not considered a scam.

Almost every software-as-a-service (SAAS) platform does precisely that.

Also, how else is the company supposed to make a profit if they don’t charge for it?

ClickFunnels also is upfront and follows its flow by offering a freebie to entice visitors to use the software for a two-week free trial before you are required to start paying for the monthly services.

It can be an essential tool for the success of your business.

It also offers plenty of tutorials and instructional videos for users to get well-acquainted with the software during these two weeks, making it much easier to sell.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Pyramid Scheme?

The ClickFunnels Affiliate Program is where users start to indulge in selling the software. 

I do not have anything to do with any scam programs.

Now doing affiliate marketing is where people involved are paid not just for the product they sell through their funnels online but also based on people they get to fall under the umbrella of their parent company.

ClickFunnel Affiliate Homepage
ClickFunnels offers up to 40% from their affiliate program

In this affiliate program, you can add links to direct some of your traffic to the official site or another program they have set up.

Anyone purchasing one of the products after being directed from your pages begins to earn profits through this process.

One of the most popular books entitled, Expert Secrets, is often praised as being “almost required reading” for marketers.

While most of the material gears toward the product, it is not difficult to draw the line on the success of these phenomenal publications.

A pyramid scheme usually does not have products and aims to make money from new investors based on fake promises!

expert secrets book collection

Learn How to Market as an Affiliate

Their program offers various affiliate marketing training courses.

They also have an option to attend what is called the Affiliate Bootcamp.

It is for affiliates who are not making the best commission checks.

One option is the One Funnel Away Challenge, which costs $100 and gives you access to more interviews and individual coaching opportunities from the top earning affiliate marketers.

30 day summit

In particular, the LadyBoss business runs a very similar type of online webinar-based class for free.

Her Bootcamp registration page sells out regularly, and you can see her featured while earning an affiliate award.

LadyBoss focuses on expanding your business and increasing your income using her funnel compared to the Affiliate Bootcamp.

Also, in line with the Affiliate Bootcamp course, this webinar-based class is free but is only available for a limited time after signing up.

affiliate bootcamp training

ClickFunnels is helping people make income by selling their services and products. So how could anyone justify what ClickFunnels provides?

Having been pulled into thousands of so-called MLM programs before and losing a decent bit of money, I am skeptical of anything resembling a scheme or scam.

There are a lot of marketers that make money with their funnels, even if they choose not to promote them.

ClickFunnels also does appear to follow a lot of the standard practices similar to other funnel builder platforms.

Any similar marketing tool providing you benefits such as:

  • Advertising options
  • Multiple tier packages
  • Courses
  • And much more

It is all designed to teach you how to use the software effectively for your business.

Again, plenty of people are earning commission checks.

In Conclusion, Is ClickFunnels a Pyramid Scheme?

Absolutely. ClickFunnels is a secure software with over 100,000 active business owners and entrepreneurs.

Honestly, I feel ClickFunnels is doing right, and it is a good product.

No evidence shows this is a pyramid scheme.

Is ClickFunnels Free?

ClickFunnels offers a free 14-day trial, despite having to provide them with your credit card information to sign up. 

Again, I can see where some aspects of their business guidelines seem off-putting or questionable.

But those are opinions and critics.

This software is pretty standard in just about any business, especially in the marketing software industry.

What are your thoughts? Share your comments below.

Affiliate funnels are a Godsend to internet marketing entrepreneurs.

Creating a marketing campaign by enticing leads and selling a product or service.

Smooth and effective with no technical complications.

Ideally, the key is to do something or find something consistently, and people will pay money. 

affiliate process

When done right, it can bring in multiple income streams.

Targeting your market is a simple three-step process done correctly.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is performance-based in which a business rewards affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing steps. 

Another way to put it,

Businesses pay affiliates each time a customer buys from their marketing strategy.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The best way to describe how affiliate marketing works is to break it down into easy-to-follow steps.

  • Step 1. Find products you want to promote
  • Step 2. Apply to relevant affiliate programs
  • Step 3. Receive your affiliate link and marketing equipment
  • Step 4. Start promoting products as an affiliate marketer

how affiliate marketing works

Find products

There are 350 million products currently on Amazon, including 12 million of Amazon’s own products.

That sounds pretty intimidating just from one location alone.

Many sellers don’t have their own in-house affiliate programs. 

Top Affiliate Networks

They use more extensive affiliate networks to host their affiliate programs which include:

  • CJ Affiliate
  • ShareASale
  • Awin
  • Rakuten
  • FlexOffers
  • MaxBounty
  • ClickBank
  • eBay
  • JVZoo

Even though you won’t view many details, these affiliate networks have thousands of sellers.

Many sellers don’t have affiliate programs, so it’s easier to use large affiliate networks to host their affiliate programs instead. 

Take the Amazon Associates program, for example:

Creating an account is simple with 3 steps.

Start by going to the Amazon Associates home page. 


Select your primary language and click the yellow Sign Up button in the header image.

The next page will request you to sign in with an existing Amazon account. 

signup page

If you don’t have one, click the Create your Amazon account button below and go to a registration page.

Once that is set up, your account, return to the Associates’ homepage, and sign in with your details. Then, you can file the application for their affiliate program.

Personal Details and Website Information

Next, go through the application step-by-step. 

For example, on the first page, Account Information, you’ll be asked to provide and confirm your personal details, primarily your name, address, and phone number.

At the bottom of that page, select the primary contact for the account that you’re creating. 

You can pick yourself as the payee by checking the above payee. 

Alternatively, you can add another person by selecting the second choice.

When you’re done, click Next to move on to Website and Mobile App List:

Here, you can add web addresses where you plan to promote Amazon products, including 

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • YouTube channels
  • Mobile apps

Building Your Profile

The Profile page will request you to provide information about your website(s) or mobile app(s). 

Start by setting your Associates ID. 

You can also use your name or your website’s name for this. 

Keep in mind that the ID will also appear in your affiliate links.

Write a few sentences describing what your website is about. 

Select the topics that best describe your website from the dropdown lists provided.

Pick the type of Amazon products you plan to promote and select the website(s) or app(s) you own.

Traffic & Monetization

Next, in the Traffic & Monetization section, you’ll need to clarify to Amazon how you’ll drive traffic to your websites and generate income from your content. 

Use the lists Amazon has to select the options that apply to your site:

Just select finish, and your profile is created.

Fair warning to read the Associate’s Program Operating Agreement which mentions the Contract Terms.

Once your profile is built and your application is submitted, you’ll find information about using your Associate ID and navigating the affiliate program.

You can enter your payment details and tax information, but you can always do that later.

Amazon reviews your application once you’ve made the first sale through your sites. 

Your application will be withdrawn if you don’t produce at least three sales within the next 180 days.

That’s it – you’re now an Amazon affiliate!

Some affiliate programs offer instant approval. 

You have to wait for others to approve your account while evaluating your application.

Email with affiliate approval

Many vendors are sketchy about allowing just anyone to join their affiliate program. 

It’s normal for them to inquire about how you plan to promote them. 

Vendors want to avoid affiliates that may make them look spammy and damage their credibility.

What Tools Are Needed for Affiliate Marketing

Once accepted to an affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique affiliate link and marketing tools to help promote. 

You’ll also be able to review statistics on how well you’re doing in your dashboard.

Here’s the breakdown:

Affiliate Link

Every affiliate has a unique affiliate link. 

This is how the vendor can connect sales or leads to you and compensate you accordingly.

Typically, an affiliate link may look something like this:

Make sure your affiliate link does not appear as spam.

Try to make your link shorter.

bit ly

Try not to post the naked URL, e.g., 

Instead, use anchor text. Anchor text is the seeable, clickable text as a hyperlink.

Some people don’t want to click on random affiliate links.

Customers won’t pay more for a product if they find the vendor via an affiliate link. 

However, some individuals just don’t want to click on affiliate links for one reason.

Cloaking your affiliate link, people may see it’s an affiliate link after clicking on it. 

You’ll still receive credit for the sale regardless if they don’t buy something straight away because of the triggered “cookie” from the merchant’s website.

How cookie tracking works

Different vendors have different cookie lengths. 

Usually, cookies will last at least 30 days. 

So, if a customer only makes a purchase 30 days later, you’ll still make a commission.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the above explanation about cookies.

Remember that bot traffic and your own clicks may mess with your results.

Google expects affiliate links to have rel=” sponsored” or rel=” nofollow” attributes. 

Yoast SEO Plugin

These attributes apply to all outbound links that Google considers advertising or paid links from your site.

Marketing Tools

Any suitable vendor will provide you with marketing tools to support you promote them. 

At the very least, these tools include banners in different sizes that you can add to your website.

Banner Ads Example

Banners usually look spammy and don’t add value or contribute to a good user experience. 

Unfortunately, many individuals have become blind to banner ads.

According to Wordstream, the average CTR is around 0.25%.

How to Promote Products for Affiliate Marketing

To succeed as an affiliate marketer, you need to build trust with your audience through enticing content. 

You need to show consistency with quality content that makes a difference. 

But what kind of content should you put together? 

How do you promote your products on your website without appearing messy or shady?

Well, here are two fantastic ideas.

  • Build an in-depth resource page.

Let’s take a personal fitness trainer who grew a strong following online.

Naturally, your audience wants to know more about how you successfully obtained rock-hard abs and super-toned muscles. 

They’ll like to know what you eat, the kinds of fitness programs you’ve joined to get where you are today, and the water bottle you use to keep track of your hydration. 

As a leader in the industry, you want to share this knowledge with your audience. 

And there’s an easy way to do this: a resource page on your website. 

This page should list all the products, programs, and services you value with affiliate links to buy them.

When you make something like this, you give your followers easy access to all the recommended products, programs, tools, and services. 

  • Write about specific products.

As an affiliate marketer, the main focus is to help your audience determine good buying. 

Although you’ll need informative articles to build trust with them, spend precious time writing in-depth content about the products you promote. 

There are three ways you can accomplish this:

  • Product reviews.
  • Product comparisons.
  • List posts.

Of course, this doesn’t mean stop giving your regular informative articles, educating and entertaining your audience the way you do best. 

Think of creative ways to promote your affiliate products.

Again, your role is to promote a product, not sell it. 

Leave the selling up to the vendor. 

Instead, you need to warm up the leads. Then, when they visit the vendor, your audience is no longer cold traffic.

What Is the Best Way to Do Affiliate Marketing?

Even though organic traffic is a longevity strategy and takes time, you can speed up your progress.

Some strategies include email lists, subscription products, and high ticket products. 

Affiliate marketers spend tens of thousands of dollars learning to run ads to affiliate offers. 

Affiliate Marketing Ad Spend

This is difficult with a low-value item because your profit margin is minimal. 

With high ticket sales funnels, however, things are very different.

High ticket sales funnels offer more potential for big commissions coming in. 

Testing & Measuring With Paid Ads

Running paid ads can be done with a low budget. 

Testing and Measuring Paid Ads

But you’ll eventually want to scale up when you find a winning ad that delivers a steady profit. 

This can take a long time with a lot of testing and measuring.

Starting affiliate marketing with paid advertising is tricky. 

You need data to show you what works and what doesn’t. 

But in the end, collecting data costs money. 

High sales funnels give you more opportunities to earn more significant amounts when you make a sale than a low-value offering.

Paid Advertising Platforms

As valuable as organic marketing, users who click on pay-per-click ads (PPC) are more likely to buy than users who organically visit your site. 

For this reason, you can’t afford to miss out on paid advertising.

Social media is a fantastic spot to reach vast online audiences. 

Facebook Ads is one of the best places for accomplishing that due to the many people who use the social media beast.

It is also one of the favorite advertising channels for affiliate marketers.

Facebook Ads Homepage

Facebook is quick, easy, and allows you to target your ideal audience for your marketing objective.

Facebook may be one of the largest platforms, but many paid advertising platforms are available.

Some other channels include:

  • Google Ads
  • Bing Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest (Promoted Pins)
  • Twitter Ads
  • YouTube
  • Reddit

Depending on your spending budget and goals, you may use multiple ad platforms to reach a wider audience. 

Nevertheless, you probably don’t want to try using everyone on this list — that would be overwhelming.

That being said, it’s still good to know all your possibilities before choosing which paid ads platforms you want to use.

Organic Advertising For Affiliate Marketing

The first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate between 28.5%-31.7%, according to tests completed by Sistrix and Backlinko.

Organic affiliate marketing works by creating tons of content. 

Over time, as your content rises, so does your audience. 

Some organic platforms include:

  • Blogging
  • YouTube
  • Quora
  • Social Media

An affiliate marketer can build a massive audience by using SEO (search engine optimization) and sharing content through social media profiles and additional strategies. 

Media Share

Anticipate making habits from creating content, sharing it, and linking back to it from other websites and online resources. 

Your content’s organic traffic to your affiliate products can compound and grow exponentially with consistency.

How to Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing

Most successful affiliate marketers say, “the money is on the list.” 

SmartInsights reports that the overall average email open rate is 16.97%, with a 10.29% click-through rate per industry.

You want to grab as many email addresses from your target audience as possible. Therefore, having a responsive email list that agrees to receive emails from you is a valuable asset.

Here are 4 steps to help you get started:

  • Sign up with an email marketing provider
  • Add opt-in forms everywhere
  • Optimize your opt-in forms with advanced subscription techniques
  • Create email marketing campaigns

Email Marketing Steps

You’ll save a ton of time utilizing email marketing because messages go out automatically based on the plan and steps you set up. 

And a consistent series of emails can keep your audience updated and engaged.

Now that your email is set up and optimized, it’s time to incorporate your affiliate links into your email marketing.

Remember, email lists provide direct access to your audience through their inboxes.

So whether you use paid advertising or rely on free organic traffic, the sooner you start building your email list, the better.

But first, let’s look at a few more tips for email marketing.

  • Abide by the CAN-SPAM Act


Don’t send your audience messages or information they didn’t approve to receive when they joined. 

Give your subscribers a simple way to unsubscribe.

  • Start a weekly newsletter

email newsletter

Tell your audience beforehand you’ll email them once a week on a specific day. 

Then, if you provide a lot of value in your emails, they will look forward to receiving your email. 

  • Try sticking to one niche

Try to only have one primary niche, for example, bodybuilding. 

It makes it much more painless to manage the list. 


We’ve covered a ton of ground in this piece.

We discussed:

  • What affiliate marketing is
  • How does affiliate marketing work
  • How to promote products
  • The best way to do affiliate marketing

How much you earn as an affiliate marketer relies on many different factors that can definitely help skyrocket your revenues.

So, now that you’ve learned about affiliate marketing and how it can affect your income are you ready to start?

About the Author

Az Respes

I’m the internet marketing wizard known as Az Respes, a 10-year vet in digital marketing, particularly SEO.

Over the years, I have used my expertise and experience to help hundreds of eCommerce and other businesses generate well over 100,000 a month online from search engine optimization.

Now I just try to help the people that are looking for opportunities to make a full-time living through internet marketing.

  1. This blog about Is Clickfunnels A Pyramid Scheme? (UPDATED 2020 Review).
    has helped me enormously, is a very good topic.
    I just made money from my home overnight
    Thanks so much!!
    Kiss you All!

  2. I’m glad you found this Clickfunnel review a helpful guide for you and not believe Click funnels as a pyramid scheme.

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