I suspect you are interested in both these types of and i have looked into both of them and would like to add my take on them…
Affiliate marketing : A method of marketing to gain a commission by promoting others goods to solve a problem.
Network marketing: To build a network of marketers to promote the goods the franchise is selling. Also known as multi level marketing (MLM) as rewards are from many levels rather than just one.
So already you can see a major difference between the two models of marketing.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of them…
Pros and cons of Affiliate marketing and network marketing
Affiliate marketing you are on your own, possibly with the help of the vendors for marketing material, but network marketing you are reliant on others to gain your main income.
The affiliate marketer promotes primarily the products as solution to a problem for their selected niche.
This means that they are communicating with their niche, by blog content, social media or video about issues they know of as problems and showing how they can be solved. so almost a form of direct marketing with their audience.
Affiliate marketing is mainly carried out online rather than face to face and the product vendor who they are promoting needs to know who sent them to buy their product…can you imaging a home party where you gave out tickets and said just remember to quote that number when you buy the product….
How much would you lose……
So most of their ‘work’ is done online with an affiliate id contained in their link to the vendor.
This way it is easily tracked.
Network marketing is usually carried out face to face , either individually or in small groups.
Convincing people that not only the products are the best, but also looking to actively recruit others is an effective method of gaining finances.
You may have to setup many meetings or exposures as they call them…
With some network marketing companies the recruiting outweighs the sales of products and that is where the market has got its reputation form.
Pressure tactics from your recruiter to get as many people into the business as possible, so they can get their commissions.
And constantly pushing for more…..
Affiliate marketing has none of this – almost too much the other way – you are trying to find the information out by yourself , looking through youtube videos, searching for pdf’s, or trying out courses that promise that you can make millions by tomorrow….
I do see network marketing as franchising, you are taking on a business model that is proven to work.
You have a training course in how to promote their products, possibly their franchise and are given the tools to use.
You will have to invest in their products, so you have belief in the products you are promoting, and have ‘skin in the game’.
So the main difference between people who succeed in network marketing and don’t is their mindset…
You will have to overcome some personal fears, like hosting parties, or persuading people to watch product reviews or company promotions.
But it can be done as a spare time business.
You can just promote the products, as long as you stay above a certain level per month then you will get the bonuses – so again a bit of pressure.
But you maybe earning from the outset…
Whereas affiliate marketing, it is all in the planning.
There is a lot to learn at the start…selecting your niche, selecting problem areas, finding keywords, writing content, creating a website, creating more content…
But once it is setup it is working for you 24 hours a day…every day…and night….so making money while you sleep…
Truth is that content you create today can continue to create you money until you take it down..this could be 10 years into the future before you update it…
So writing one article now can work for 24 hours a day 7 days a week well into the future.
No calls , no parties, no holding stock….
Just promoting products to solve problems…..
It does sound like a right pain to start and then….easy……
It can be difficult to find a topic or niche to create content about, something you are really interested in – so you can stay talking about this for a few years if necessary.
But you are not tied to it and can change tomorrow if you want to.
Start a new site in another niche and leave the old one up there making you money – or at least starting to rank and get visitors without you doing anything.
Promoting your content via social media and if you want to paid ads (ppc) or solo ads ( renting an email list) can accelerate your return.
And that is where one of the problems of affiliate marketing comes in – the loooong wait for organic traffic – building up relationships with visitors trusting the words you put down as solutions to their problems – them getting to know that what you say will help them amongst all the other noise that is put on the internet daily.
In one of my other posts i stated there are over 4 million blogs put online daily…..you are competing with that….
So you go narrow with your niche – cut through the noise, make people remember you for that particular section of their lives so they come back.
You can always broaden your niche in the future once you have got known for the first topic…
But there is always something to do – looking for that angle to out compete all the other sites in your niche.
The best way to learn affiliate marketing is to take a course – but only a course that actually teaches you how to do it, not just what to do….
I can tell you what to do…
Select a product – work out what problem it solves, create a site about that topic.
Write articles about the problems in that niche, write reviews on the products that will solve the problems.
Promote the articles to people in your niche —make money….
There you go – that’s one way of affiliate marketing that is proven for years on the internet and is still practiced today….
Now there are al the little bits of information…like how to structure your articles…how to structure your site…how to get ranked ( getting onto the first page in google)…how to get google to know about your site….
All this is available for free on the internet and some say ‘why should i pay for a course’ to which i would respond ‘ if you know what you need to know then find it out, if you don’t know what you need to know then take a course’
It is the easiest way to gain the knowledge fast, i won’t lie , there is a lot to learn at the start…but the skills you learn are there for the rest of your life.
It may even start a new career for you if you don’t go it alone…
Between the two what would i recommend…
If you don’t mind the pressure, and the need to get constant sales then maybe network marketing is the route you should take…
But make sure that you pick a product you like and want to promote.
Make sure that the company is interested in product sales rather than recruiting more sales persons….
If you are a social person who doesn’t mind face to face then network marketing…
If you are a bit reserved , don’t want the constant hassle of the phone calls, taking orders, fulfilling orders, the returns, trying to recruit people then maybe affiliate marketing is a way to make money online.
It is a bit more scary, if you are going it alone, but one thing i would say is to pick a training course with active members who don’t mind helping – or are allowed to help you.
This way you are part of a community that are all going in the same direction and you can ask questions and receive answers…
Setting up a website nowadays really is no hassle – you don’t need to be technical, you don’t need to know coding – that has all been taken care of with wordpress and its plugins.
Remembering that you are solving problem with words and that your site can be simple will help you a lot.
Finding keywords, if you know your niche ( topic) will be relatively easy – finding the ones that are low competition – now that is a bit of a challenge…
But new searches are carried out each day and there are tools to help you find the information….most of the courses include training on keyword research, so don’t worry about it at the moment.
If you don’t mind creating content – promoting it on social media and only having a few people read it for a few months then affiliate marketing maybe for you.
It does take time to get it going – it can take a year or more of consistent work to ‘make it’ – which can put people off.
But once you have started to gain traction then it can take off and grow rapidly.
So which one have i chosen –affiliate marketing at the moment but may dip my toe into the water again with network marketing in the future….
I now know a lot more about how the internet works and affiliate marketing works.
It is starting to take off on my third attempt….
I will tell you the courses i would recommend – that is for the raw beginner who is just thinking of starting with affiliate marketing – the wealthy affiliate training program – there is even a free trial….
Or for the person who has already looked and knows a bit and is prepared to go it alone a bit more then project 24 is the way to go – with their 60 day courses in both affiliate marketing and video marketing- along with other courses that keep being added to to keep you up to date…..
Which one is better
But whichever method you choose be prepared to work hard at the start and you can reap the rewards later.
Mindset is the major factor in both of these methods.
Looking long term rather than short term gains and planning out what you will do over say a year or two will keep you focussed on the end goal.
I wish you well in whatever you choose – or if this has changed your mind about either , i wish you well in whatever you decide to do.
But remember you only have one life – make the most of it and take control of it rather than being controlled….
Thanks for reading about some of the differences between network marketing (or MLM) and affiliate marketing.