Network (Multi-Level) Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing. What’s the difference?

I wanted to share a brief comparison explaining some differences between network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) and affiliate marketing.  These two home based business platforms have been compared to each other and are actually very similar.  When some people hears the name of one, they think of the other.  So let’s look at some differences and similarities.

Network Marketing             

Network marketing is a method of promoting and selling a product or service by recruiting a down-line or network of individuals to sign up with the company in the hopes that will do the same.  The real money is achieved by creating a large enough down-line and training them to go out and create their own down-line.  By doing this, you can create multi levels of income streams through the people you recruit.

Over the years, network marketing has been called a pyramid scheme because of its pyramid like structure.  This system has also received negative reviews because of the constant recruiting of friends and family to buy into the program.  Often times this is done with in-home meetings or luncheons followed by a presentation.

If you are a people person and have a knack for recruiting people, and you are teachable, then this may be a great business opportunity for you. This allows you the ability to work from home or remotely, and realize the possibility of earning residual income.  Nowadays, we have social media and the internet that can be used to recruit individuals for a network marketing business which means there really isn’t a need any longer to bother family and friends.  However, if you not the type of person that wants to reach out to strangers through the internet for recruiting purposes or not good at meeting new people to explain a new business opportunity, then maybe this model is not for you.

Affiliate Marketing                  

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products and services through a blog or website and earning a commission for those efforts.  The key difference here is affiliate marketing does not involve the recruitment of a down-line network.  All marketing and promotion of the products are done solely by the individual, using some of the same online and social media outlets that can be used for network marketing.

The cool thing about this system is that you also have the benefit of recurring sales and recurring residual income from repeat customers.  You can choose multiple niche markets with an array of different products to promote.   Anytime a consumer does an internet search for a particular product, hopefully they find your website or blog, click a link, purchase a product, and you get paid.  Of course this all sounds simple, and the concept really is, but both methods take work…a lot of work.

So if both of these business systems are so similar, why does each one leave a bad taste in the mouth of some people?  Well like a lot of businesses out there, neither of these are for everyone.   Both network and affiliate marketing are proven methods for generating an extra part time and even full time income, yet, there are still negative reviews out there for both.  I guess somewhere you can find negative comments and reviews about McDonald’s as well, yet I think we can all agree on the success and impact that organization has had on the fast food industry.

I have been a part of a network marketing organization and currently, I am working part time as an affiliate marketer  currently.  I don’t want to bash and post a negative review of network marketing in any way because there are plenty of people that are making money using that system, and more power to them.  For me, while I used the social media platforms for promoting my network marketing business, I still found myself, (with pressure from my up-line) circling back to family and friends to join my organization.  I also have been the friend pressured by someone else to join their network marketing organization.  This has damaged some of my relationships and for me, that’s not a business model that I’ve been able to thrive with.

Affiliate marketing has given me the opportunity to connect with and network with people from similar backgrounds as me without damaging relationships by asking them to join or be a part of my network down-line.  So for me, affiliate marketing seems to be a better method for running my home based business on a part time basis.

If network marketing is for you, and you are looking for some of the top companies to join, then check out the following link by clicking here for the top 100 MLM companies.

If you are looking for a business where you are not required to recruit a down-line of individuals, click here and join me for the ride of your life.

All the best to you in 2018