Differences Between Affiliate and Network Marketing



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Confusing, yes. It took me awhile to know the difference. If you are new to world of online business and entrepreneurship, you may be confused by all the terminology surrounding different business models. Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing, MLM: what do these all mean? I hope my article will help clear things up and give you a better understanding of each business model.

Affiliate Marketing: There is usually no cost to sign up as an affiliate; although it is assumed that you have purchased the product and can attest to its quality.

Network Marketing: You will likely need to buy a starter kit with sample products and marketing materials. The cost varies depending on the company, but generally can be anywhere from $50 – $800.

Affiliate Marketing: You promote the product on your website, with the goal of selling to as many customers as possible.

Network Marketing: Generally, the main goal of a network marketer is to recruit other people into the business as partners, so you can make money not only from your sales, but from theirs as well. This is known as ‘passive’ income.

Affiliate Marketing: You must constantly search for new customers. Your income depends on how many sales you make daily or weekly.

Network Marketing: Many companies have products that are ordered every month for their customers, so you are assured of monthly income. Even if you did not gain any new customers this month, you still have an income.

Affiliate Marketing: Business is done entirely on the internet. Your website can fully explain the product and company, and there are generally no restrictions, aside from being honest and truthful in your marketing.

Network Marketing: Many companies prohibit their name from being listed on your own website, and some are very strict about what you can and can’t say about the company and products in your marketing. Business is conducted both online and offline.

So, what is MLM? Mainly, it’s just another term for network marketing; the main goal is to recruit others into the business, not just sell products. You’ll have to do your own research to decide which business model is right for you. There are pros and cons to both types, and both can give you a lucrative income. Beware of those who say you can get rich overnight or that it doesn’t take a lot of work to be successful. Quite frankly, those people are lying to you.

Whatever business you choose, you are going to have to put in some blood, sweat and tears to get it going and make a good income. You’re going to have to experiment with different marketing strategies, and yes, you’re going to have to spend some money. You will constantly have to tweak your marketing methods, as new techniques are always being discovered; the internet is so fast-paced, that what works today may not work next week. One thing is for sure: if you want it bad enough, you will make it work for you. Never give up your dreams and constantly remind yourself of why you started this business.

Some people do both affiliate and Network Marketing because most of the time they go hand in hand.  Whether you are trying to build a business with partners or you are just interested in selling the products that you love. With Network Marketing you really have to do both to make it work.

Personally I do both,  because I really do love the products and use them everyday and want people to get to know and use them daily, however I am building my business with partners not just clients.  Owning your own business and build your own client base is so rewarding. So as you see you need to do both.


About Debi

I am a retired nurse. Wife, mother of three and 2 wonderful grandchildren. “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny”
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