What Is The Difference Between Affiliate Marketing And Network Marketing (MLM)

One of the first things most new entrepreneurial minds look for is the best way to earn money online. Two of the most easily googled methods found are affiliate marketing vs. multi level marketing. So what is the difference anyway ?

What Is Multi-Level Marketing?

In Multi level marketing you join a team to promote a product or service. As an independent representative for that company you sell the products or services.

The Multi level aspect refers to each reps ability to recruit and train other representatives to start their own business, and earn a commission on their reps sales.

The income earned in MLM comes from the commission earned on personal sales, as well as the percentage of the sales earned by other reps recruited by you.

Multi level marketing can be profitable but it is important to note that it is a long term goal and not a get rich quick scheme. There is a bad reputation around MLM because so many people fail before ever becoming successful. Part of it is the fact that it’s such a low start up cost which makes it much easier to walk away from when you have invested $50 startup  in comparison to $2500, for example.

Another hot topic when looking at  MLM is that of it being compared to a pyramid scheme … don’t let the term pyramid throw you off.  It’s not the shape of the organization that’s makes it illegal.

MLMs now are absolutely legal, and therefore the term pyramid scheme does not apply.

In fact most companies have a pyramid structure with a CEO at the top, VPs, mid level managers  etc.

Network marketing (MLM) were made legal by changing their focus to the sales of products and services, not on recruitment of new members.

That being said, it takes you building and training a very large team of  reps who are going out and duplicating your efforts, and on top of that making sales of the products/services.

This is a long and tedious process and can drive people away from you if not approached with the proper  marketing strategies. From my own personal experience this is not something taught in MLM, it is something that you will have to search out and learn yourself because your upline reps do not want you taking the time away from recruiting to learn. Instead the usual method of marketing inside of MLM is to reach out to friends and family, post about your company on social media and send out messages via Facebook messenger to as many new contacts you can.

I would have to say that this part of MLM is what makes it much more appealing to become an affiliate marketer instead.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a bit different. There are no teams involved or pyramid like structure of business.

The easiest way to explain it is that affiliate marketing is an arrangement where an online business will pay a commission to another website for the traffic or sales they get from that sites referrals .

There are many many different ways to be an affiliate and make money online.

Some examples of companies that pay commissions to affiliate marketers for sales of their products are, Amazon ,EBay, ClickFunnels, Aweber etc. Many, you already use services and buy from everyday, but probably didn’t realize that you could make money back by registering as an affiliate.

Another way is to partner with other affiliate companies that can pay you commissions for promoting their services while you are also learning inside of their courses. This is what I would recommend, especially for a new online marketer because it is the best way to learn how to use social media and to market yourself properly in order to start off strong when representing other companies products and services.

I think it’s important to remember that you are referring the products and services of these companies and so it is equally important to remember it’s your reputation on the line as well. If you are not conducting business in a professional manner the companies have the right to refuse you.

The biggest mistake most business owners make is when it comes marketing online.I don’t think I need to explain how priceless having the courses and the tools to become a successful business truly is… especially when it can be a bonus that is available right from the very platform you are going to be an affiliate with. Earning and learning at the same time what a great concept!

This again is not going to be a get rich quick type of business. But if you treat it like a business, the opportunity for a quicker success  is there, and definitely more so than in MLM due to the higher ticket items available for sale . With no teams to build or to train and no worry of running out of prospects there should be no reason to not succeed if you are taking action.

The start up for affiliate business is usually a much higher price than MLM and that can also be what is one of the biggest differences. The higher startup helps narrow it down to very serious people that are already usually looking for the best way to get going quickly.  That being the most up to date marketing methods, lead generation and business building strategies to get results the right way and faster.

In conclusion

Both network marketing and affiliate marketing take hard work and a business attitude. You will not be successful without taking consistent action.

Both can be managed alongside another career and in only a few hours a day.

MLM takes chasing friends/family and strangers, then follow ups, team building, team training, messaging, events, and more.

Affiliate Marketing takes knowing how to use google and search for companies who hire affiliates. No advanced tech skills, promote products through ads or by marketing using the skills attraction marketing suggests on any platform you please and to any country you affiliate for.

In both cases with MLM and affiliate marketing it is important to use the proper marketing strategies but from my experience in network marketing it is frowned upon because of the time it takes away from reps just sticking to the system within.

Do your homework and make sure to pick a company that has been around and that shows a continued growth moving forward as well as quality products that offer your consumers the best results and experience. And of course its even better if you can get that training included in your startup.

I hope you found this comparison of Affiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing helpful.

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