HomemarketingAffiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing

Affiliate marketing vs network marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

affiliate marketingIn the online world, a revenue sharing model called Affiliate Marketing can be used to mutually benefit a website owner and an online merchant.

Website owners (the affiliate) can make extra money through their website by promoting other people’s products/services.

The online merchant pays the affiliate for any successful sales, leads or clicks that had been generated from their referring website.

Pay Per Click

The affiliate is paid every time a visitor from their website clicks on a link that directs them to the merchant’s website.

Pay Per Lead

The affiliate is paid when a lead is referred to the merchant’s website. This involves the visitor signing up for something, such as a subscription to a newsletter, a free trial, or some kind of promotion.

Pay Per Sale

The affiliate is paid when a visitor clicks on a link that directs them to the merchant’s online shop and a purchase was successful made.

Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing

  • Becoming an affiliate for merchants is FREE! If anyone charges you for joining, it’s most likely a scam!
  • Affiliate marketing is very easy to do. Doesn’t really require much work. It’s a ‘lazy’ way of making money online. Website owners can just place the merchant’s advertisement on their website or write an article about it and leave it up to the visitors.
  • A wide selection of products/services to promote. If you are blogging for a niche topic, you can keep promoting all kinds of relevant products on your website. There is a never ending list! Read more about this topic here. CLICK HERE!
  • No need to deal directly with the customers. No customer service, packaging, and deliveries required
  • No experience required. Anyone can do it. Even retirees who might not be tech savvy can do it!
  • The affiliate is given a unique code for a banner or link to track orders. When visitors click on the link, a cookie would be placed on the visitor’s computer for a certain length of time (eg. 30 days, 60 days etc). So if the customer doesn’t buy anything on the first visit, they may return later and make a purchase. This cookie on their computer will allow the transaction to be tracked back to the affiliate for commissions to be paid.

Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

You have no control of the potential customers because they are referred to the merchant’s business instead. This means that you don’t have access to the customer’s details and transactions. Unless you are doing email marketing and already know the email address of people that you are sending the unique link to. But, if the customer has a complaint/issue with their purchase orders, you won’t know about it!

What Is Network Marketing?

network marketingNetwork marketing is a legitimate business model utilized by some companies to help increase sales of their products.

This involves a network of independent business owners going out there and trying to close as many sales as they possibly can, and also recruit new independent business owners under them to help spread the word about the company’s products.

It is also known as multi-level marketing (MLM). I’m sure many people have heard of MLM companies such as Amway, which has been around for a long time.

Some people think that MLM is some pyramid or ponzi scheme. It’s definitely not! You can read more about what a pyramid scheme is here. CLICK HERE!

Advantages Of Network Marketing

  • Support and guidance is provided from someone higher up in the rank (your upline). So you are not alone.
  • Marketing material and other resources are provided to help you build your business. All you need to do is concentrate on marketing the products and tell people why your products are so good!
  • Network marketing can be very rewarding when done properly. If you had a good size team of independent business owners under you (your downline), then you can leverage other people’s efforts and make passive income. So basically, the higher up in rank you are, the less work you need to do.
  • You can keep your customers! You will have access to their personal details such as address and phone number, and track their transactions with the company. You can keep promoting products to your list of customers over and over again. This may include new products, exciting changes, and any sales etc.
  • It is generally a lot easier to sell products to existing customers than it is to potential customers who don’t know much about the products and the brand. Email marketing is a very powerful strategy to use.

Disadvantages Of Network Marketing

  • For newbies in the business, it requires quite a bit of leg work like going out there and finding your own customers and potential business partners.
  • Word of mouth marketing is free, but if you are using other strategies such as market stalls, print advertising and Google Adwords, you would need to spend some of your own money to promote the products.
  •  Might jeopardize some relationships as people don’t like to be pushed products onto them.


Internet marketingAffiliate marketing is a powerful strategy to use if you are a website owner and want to promote a whole range of things with no risk involved.

If the advertisement isn’t getting much visitors clicking on it, then you can always change it and promote something else. Very easy to do!

On the other hand, network marketing can also be very lucrative when it comes to building a sustainable business. The low entry fee means that you can start making a profit in a short time.

The company can also give you a website for your customers to order through you, so you don’t need to create one yourself unless you want to.

In today’s time, the internet allows you to market products to anyone in the world. So both affiliate marketing and network marketing are good business models to be involved in.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Which one would you prefer? Please leave some comments below.


Affiliate Marketing vs Network Marketing — 7 Comments

  1. hi Teresa!
    Well I learned a new term here: network marketing :) Which I only knew as MLM. It might just be my own personal bias but I have a hard time not associating it with a scam….I mean I understand it better after your description but it does seem like you are working for someone higher up (who makes most of the money) and you need to network A LOT to make money. And as you say potentially lose relationships if you try to sell to people around you. Well let’s just say it’s not for me, I will stick to affiliate marketing :)

    • Hi Emily,

      I do understand that MLM won’t suit everyone. It’s really a people business and involves a lot of networking to make money. Not everyone likes to talk to strangers either.

      All MLM businesses have their own system and compensation plan to reward their distributors. But what’s important is that this type of business strategy is 100% legit if people want to choose MLM as a way to make money.

      Affiliate marketing may be suitable for those who don’t like to go out of their way to talk to strangers and close sales.

      But either way, these two marketing strategies have the potential to make unlimited income. They are both safe and legal to do. It’s really up to the individual to decide which business model would suit them.

  2. Hello! This is my first time visiting your webiste and I absolutely lovei it! I love affiliate marketing and I have been doing this for a year now and I think that you can very easily succeed with it. On the other hand I am not a big fan of MLM for the main reason that I don’t really understand it. tried it multiple times and I’ve always given up.
    I think that the only way to succeed with it is by creating your own and I don’t have the knowledge or the patience to do so. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing! Great info and clean website!

    • Thanks for your feedback on my website. It’s great to hear that affiliate marketing is working for you. I also enjoy affiliate marketing too. The best place to learn about Affiliate marketing is Wealthy Affiliate. If you aren’t a member of Wealthy Affiliate already, you can read my review HERE!

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