The past few years of the internet have brought about a whole new set of training, programs, and series that claim to be able to do something for you. Whether it is to teach you a new method of doing forex trading or a training program that can make you successful just by listening to certain sounds, there is so much out there and it is hard to distinguish between those that are helpful and those that are out to get your money.
There are even those that claim to have new methods you can use in an already successful market such as affiliate marketing, which can ‘take it to the next level’. And sometimes, it is possible that these individuals would have stumbled across a new discovery that actually works.
But most often than not, it is a couple of people who are using a tiny loophole that they found in the system that they can exploit for a couple of months, after which it will die down. What happens then? They have all the proof that they accomplished what they say, sure, but when you purchase the program and try it out for yourself, it will most probably have been outdated already.
So, what does that mean about HempWorx – the affiliate marketing program that they are pushing? Is it a legitimate business model or is it just another small-time business trying to take your money? Well, I purchase the program myself to test it out so that you don’t have to.
I am an avid affiliate marketer and have been doing it for a while so I know what I am talking about. I will go through everything about the program in the article and at the end, I will even throw in my recommendation on what you should do if you want to become a serious affiliate marketer.
The HempWorx Program
HempWorx is an affiliate program that is run from its website – www.hempworx.com. The site sells CBD products from the brand ‘My Daily Choice’. As an affiliate, you will need to bring in visitors through your own link to their products and urge them to make a purchase. Once the purchase is finalized, you will get your commission for each sale.
And yes, affiliate marketing is a legitimate method of conducting business online. It is something that many people have tried and been successful at. However, there is another type of affiliate marketing that a lot of people are not aware of, and it is easy to fall into that trap without knowing all of the details. This type of affiliate marketing is also illegal in certain areas because of how predatory the business model is.
This type of marketing is called Multi-Level Marketing or MLM. I will go into more detail about what this is and how it affects you below. But just keep in mind that this business model is not going to easily make you money. It will appear attractive on the surface and the company will make you a lot of promises and make it look good, but the sad reality is that this method will, most likely than not, make you lose more money than you started with.
When I looked into the HempWorx program, there was no mention of this or anything related to it on its website. It is promoted to be an affiliate program and nothing else. But having been in this industry for a long time and coming across many MLM schemes, I can safely tell you that this program has all the workings of an MLM scheme.
What is an MLM Scheme?
Okay, so to make it clear, let me compare an affiliate program with an MLM scheme so you can see the difference. An affiliate program involves getting the permission of the affiliated company to sell their product, receive your own unique link that will be used to identify your sales, and then go around promoting the product until you get sales coming in every month. It’s simple.
However, an MLM scheme is almost similar, except for the part where you have to first purchase their products before you can sell them. When you want to become an affiliate for the program, they will give you some of their ‘packages’ which is made up of a list of their available items. You have to purchase these items first, and then go about promoting them to start making money. So right from the beginning, you’re already at a big loss.
Now, you won’t be purchasing these items at full price cause that wouldn’t make sense. They will give it to you at a lower rate than they sell. Therefore, you might think that this business model seems fine and there’s nothing too bad about it.
Well, you should also note that you will need to purchase these products every month even if you are still not done with your previous stock. If you don’t purchase their products for a month, you will not receive any commissions you would have earned for that month.
You heard me right. If you have a recurring customer coming in, you will not be getting any of that commission until you purchase another one of their packages again. Does it still sound like a good deal to you?
And here’s the other kicker. There is another factor you need to take into consideration and that is which package of theirs you are going to promote. They have a wide range anywhere from $39/package to over $600/package. If you want to promote any of these packages, then you will have to pay upfront for these packages before you can promote them.
So, let’s say you decided to go with the $59 package and you purchase it and start promoting the package. Let’s say you got some referrals and earned some commissions for the month. Now the referral wants to upgrade their package to the $499 package for the next month. Because you did not buy that package but instead bought the $59 package, you will not receive any commissions from that transaction. Let me repeat again, you will not receive ANY commissions from that transaction, irrelevant of the fact that that is your referral.
This is why I think that these schemes are something that everybody is better off avoiding. You will have way more success and fewer headaches following my recommended model which I will talk about in the last section.
How much can you make with this program?
If you want to, you can get their full compensation plan on the website that you can browse through at your leisure. I will give a summary of their plan below:
Now, you have to keep in mind that as an affiliate, you will be given a ‘rank’ based on your interactions with the site and how much of their packages you purchase every month. This rank is translated into something called ‘Business Value’ or BV.
No rank – You have a BV lower than 20 – (Between $30 – $70 spent per month)
Builder – You have a BV of 40 – (Over $69 spent per month)
Director – You have a BV of 90 – (Over $199 spent per month)
Executive – You have a BV of 200 – (Over $599 spent per month)
I have listed the more affordable ones here. There are more packages available as well.
Now that you have been assigned a BV, this will also determine your commission rate. The higher your BV rank, the better commission you will make. However, as I mentioned you will only receive commissions from the packages you bought, so you can count out those packages that are out of your affordability.
Here is a table with all the commission details:
Another way that you can use this model to make more money is by bringing in more affiliates to the program. You can only do this once you have achieved the directory BV level, but if you are able to bring in more affiliates who will be doing the same thing as you, you will also start making profits through their sales as well. Of course, this will not be paid at the same rates mentioned above but it is still another method to make more money.
How much can you really make with this program?
When I mentioned the referral program, did that bring some renewed vigor into your decision to join this program? Well, you might want to hold off on that decision a bit longer until I fully explain the whole program to you.
Yes, the way they phrase the whole ‘referral program’ makes it sound good. Over time, once you have built a network it will be like passive income flowing into your pockets because you don’t have to do anything. The more referral affiliates you have, the more money you will get, right?
As of now, I would have to say that it is almost impossible to do that. And the reason for that is because I looked into the company’s finances and things are not looking good. In my experience, it is most often the case that these business models never are profitable for the affiliates because of the first-mover advantage that occurs. I would say that not more than 5% of their total affiliate network are actually making money through this program right now.
The first-mover advantage is that the affiliates who joined at the start of the program are way ahead of the others, have more contacts, and have made the market saturated in such a way that it is going to be difficult to find more affiliate referrals to bring into the company. Therefore, people who join in later have even less of a chance of making this business model successful for you. As more time goes on, it becomes almost impossible for the affiliate, whereas the business itself will be making money because you are buying the product off of them.
I also looked into the financial side of things and here is a table of what their statements looked like in 2018:
If you pay close attention, the general consensus is that for the most part, you will not be making money but instead losing money over time. The normal Builder affiliate with a minimum spend of $69 every month is making only $10 on average every month. This BV level is made up of over 57% of their total affiliate base! Then a director is making around $30 every month with a minimum spend of $199 every month. They make up around 21% of the affiliate base!
You may be wondering that this $10 does not even cover the product cost and you’re right, it doesn’t. Remember when I told you that you’re more likely to lose money using this method? Well, this is just the start of it.
Also, here is the first mover advantage in play. The first three levels, Builder, Director and, Executive when put together will come close to a total of 97% whereas the rest of the higher levels make up the remaining 3%! As a newcomer, it will take you ages to go above the Executive level and so you know that getting into that 3% will almost be impossible right now.
Okay, the final nail on the head is that in the end, you are going to be losing way more money than the amount you invested into their program. That is just the initial amount you pay to the company. Then there comes the marketing costs, website costs, paid ad costs and other small charges. These will continue to build up and you will be paying over $100 easily every month to keep this affiliate business running. And if you’re just starting out, what do you get out of it? $10.
These are the risks that people have to go through to be in one of these MLM programs. It is advertised in a way that makes it look really attractive on the outside but they trap you once you get in and there is no legal basis to claim that they have done you wrong.
This is not how affiliate marketing works and there are a lot less risks involved. You don’t have to depend on meeting all these requirements in order to qualify for a commission. You are free to do it however you want and for how much you want to.
What comes with the HempWorx program?
When you purchase the program, you will receive a few items along with the program to help you on your ‘affiliate’ journey:
- The initial MyDailyChoice package
- Done For You Landing pages
- Tracking software to manage your customers
- Mobile App
Of course, most of these are not going to be permanent items that you can keep and use in the future. You will lose access to them once you stop making the monthly payments.
They provide you with the tracking software to manage all your data so you have a dashboard with your progress and all the other necessary details. The landing pages are already completed pages that were created by HempWorx that are meant to convince potential clients to buy their products. With these, you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating pages since these are designed to specifically promote only their products.
Of course, this again means that you won’t have access to these templates if you stop paying and you won’t be able to use them to create other pages with similar templates. Ultimately, with the things you are given, you are not able to have full control over them and they are not owned by you. Therefore, the moment you move away from HempWorx, you will lose all that hard work that you put into the program.
What’s there to like about the program?
To be honest, I am not a fan of this program and I will not recommend it to anybody. There is literally no reason why someone should spend their money on this. The only good thing I could say about it, is the fact that their products – CBD Oil, is a good product to sell. It has a ton of health benefits and it is a rising industry with a lot of potential to bring in affiliate sales because of how popular it is getting. However, using this program to sell it is not the solution.
What’s not to like about the program
It’s impossible to make money
The whole MLM scheme is designed to benefit those who are at the top already and not the newcomers. But the problem is that this program is advertised to newcomers and a large chunk of it depends on you bringing in new people to continue doing the same work.
The way it is run, no newcomer will ever benefit from using this program. Every new person who joins is just another source of that income for them. Because in the end, no matter what happens to their affiliates, they have made it a point to get their money before they place any trust in you. Why else would they make you purchase their packages before you sell it?
Also, the fact that you aren’t paid commissions if your referral buys something above your package is ridiculous. That alone should make anyone avoid this system like the plague. Let me repeat once again, this program benefits nobody but HempWorx themselves!
Unnecessary monthly costs
When you run an affiliate business, your job is simple. Use your own ways to promote that business’s products. If you can do this, then both you and the supplier will benefit from it. You don’t have any other costs to spend on except those that you will need to run your own website plus marketing (if you use paid methods).
However, having to pay the package price every month regardless of your sales volume is no joke. It doesn’t make sense as an affiliate and they are just ripping you off. By paying their monthly price, you don’t even get anything out of it except the right to continue selling their products and earn your commissions.
The program I want to tell you about below comes at a cost much lower than what you pay for their packages and you get a lot more benefits and use out of what they have to offer. More on that below.
If you do a little Google search about HempWorx then you will find a lot of bad reviews about the company. These comments are not about the product but about being an affiliate at HempWorx.
There are many people who tried to make a living out of this program that they thought could help. But in the end, they lost more money than they started out with. Who wouldn’t be angry?
You’re not building a business
If you join this program, you’re not building something that is sustainable and worth it. You don’t have full control over anything that you do and nothing that you get out of the program can be kept permanently.
If you’re an affiliate then your website is your best and most precious resource. Without owning this resource, you are not building a business, you are continuing a hobby. If you stop paying HempWorx you will lose everything that you worked for.
There is no benefit to joining
After having gone through everything about the program, my conclusion is that you will get nothing out of this program. There is no hope of making something out of this program.
You may get lucky and make some money off the first couple of month’s of doing this, but what if you hit a bad few months and can’t make the monthly payment? How would you feel if a customer of yours decides to get the highest package available and you don’t get that massive commission from it? It won’t be good right?
You will lose everything the moment they deactivate your account (which is something they do often if you don’t pay). Think for yourself, is this program worth spending another minute on?
Do they offer support?
HempWorx has a bad rep for customer service, handling payments, deactivating accounts without notice and a ton of other things. They are not a good company and their customer support is even worse. Take my advice, just stay away.
Is this business model a scam?
In reality, no this model is not a scam. For what you are paying them they are still giving you the product and the accessories that come with it. They also pay commissions to all their affiliates. The rates they pay are a real issue but that doesn’t make it illegal.
They have also taken all legal precautions such as showing their income statements and such so that no case can be filed against them. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that this is a highly predatory company that is after money and will take it any way they can.
More than 95% of their affiliates earn less than $90/month, most of which are not even close to covering their monthly overheads. Those numbers are not a promising figure and are a representation of what this business model is like to you as an affiliate.
So what can I do?
Alright, so here’s my bread and butter. I have been an affiliate for a long time now and I have learned the ins-and-outs of running a website and blog. I have been promoting different products for a long time now and believe it or not, I didn’t know what I was doing or where to get started when I initially found out about affiliate marketing.
I was still a fledgling marketer at the time who was out looking for ways to supplement my income. It was during this search that I came across a platform that changed my life – Wealthy Affiliates.
This platform and it’s community taught me everything I know about affiliate marketing and they offered me so many resources that helped me to get to this point. It is a priceless resource that I believe will help any budding affiliates out there to simply start building a business.
Here’s what you get with their membership:
- A comprehensive training program about websites, affiliate marketing and making money online
- An easy to use website builder so you can focus on content instead of the technicals
- Free website hosting so you don’t have other extra costs to pay
- A keyword research tool
- A community of 1.4 million plus people who have been in your shoes before and are willing to help you out any way they can
These are only a few things that the platform offers. There is so much more that you will find helpful when you use it. Take it from me, I was skeptical at the beginning too, but I took a leap of faith and it turned out well in the end.
The best part is that monthly payment for their membership costs less than the $70 you had to pay for the HempWorx package. Actually, even the annual plan cost is lower than the $70!
If you still don’t want to pay for the platform, they even offer a free membership so that you can try the platform for yourself. They will even throw in the first 10 lessons of their training program for free. Trust me, you will not find a better affiliate marketing platform out there with as much to offer as Wealthy Affiliate!