There are a ton of reasons why Affiliate Marketing is better than MLM. In this article, I list a few of my favorites.
An affiliate marketer makes money by promoting other people’s products.
Let’s say, as an affiliate marketer, you own a website about camping. On your website, you write reviews about camping equipment.
In the reviews, links direct your readers to camping gear you recommend on Amazon. Whenever a reader purchases through those links, you make money.
Because your website never sleeps, it can make money all day and all night. Life is good.
As an affiliate marketer, you make money because you found a group of people who like camping, and you introduced them to products that help them enjoy camping more.
They love you for it and come back to buy more stuff.
You could also put ads on your website and get paid every time someone sees an ad. With affiliate marketing, there are dozens and dozens of ways to make money.
Now that we have a better understanding of what affiliate marketing is, let’s see why it’s so much better than MLM.
Affiliate Marketing is a Genuine Opportunity.
Affiliate marketing is a genuine opportunity to capitalize on the global reach of the internet. It’s real.
I’m convinced affiliate marketing is the greatest opportunity most people will ever have to become financially independent.
Commerce is moving online, and affiliate marketing gives anyone with an internet connection access to the global marketplace.
Online, billions of dollars change hands each day. An affiliate marketer only needs to capture a minuscule fraction of this money flow to become wealthy.
On the other hand, Multi-Level Marketing is NOT a real opportunity for most people. The story that MLM is an opportunity is a trick that seduces people into buying boatloads of very expensive products each month.
MLM sells the dream of financial independence, but it does not deliver. The dream is sold to the distributors over and over again to keep them buying products. MLM sells false hope.
MLM is not an opportunity. It’s a trick to make the distributors first and foremost captured customers.
Extensive research published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website shows that less than 1% of MLM distributors earn more in commissions than they spend on products.
If you are considering MLM, would you buy the products if you knew you would not make money with the so-called opportunity? Most people wouldn’t.
The truth is, most people who try MLM do not make money. Read Is MLM a Scam?
Build a Business Around Something You Love.
With affiliate marketing, you can build a money-making website about something you love. Call it your passion.
Maybe you like organic gardening, or cat rescue or folk songs. It doesn’t matter because there are thousands, if not millions of people who share your interest.
As an affiliate marketer, you can build a website that reviews products people who share your passion might enjoy. And, when they purchase a product through your affiliate link. You make money.
On the other hand, people do not join MLMs because they love the product. They join because they were told they could make money in MLM.
Unfortunately, most people do NOT make money with MLM. They lose money.
Affiliate Marketing is Cheap and Easy to Start.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of online scams associated with affiliate marketing. However, when you find a reliable place to learn, you’ll discover that launching an affiliate marketing business is cheap and easy.
My friends and I teach affiliate marketing and offer free basic training. To learn about our free training and how to build a profitable affiliate marketing business on a shoestring, go here.
You can get started with affiliate marketing for free with our program and scale up for about $50 a month. Within 3 to 6 months, you can realistically expect your business to be paying for itself, IF YOU DO THE WORK.
From that point on, it doesn’t cost anything to operate, and your revenue can continue to grow.
On the other hand, MLM requires distributors to buy a starter pack that may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. These starter packs are usually just a bunch of products.
Then, after you purchase the starter pack, you must buy more products each month to qualify for commissions and bonuses.
Monthly purchases are often on auto-ship, and the minimum is usually $100.
Buying products is not the same as building a business. It’s just making money for the company.
The Internet is the Future of Marketing.
The Internet is the future of marketing and affiliate marketing puts you in the game. Anyone can make a darn good living as an affiliate marketer if they take time to learn a few skills and do the work.
As an affiliate marketer, your income potential is truly unlimited.
On the other hand, MLM is an outdated and inefficient business model born in the 1940s that only makes money for a few at the top.
An Affiliate Marketer Owns Her Business.
When you’re an affiliate marketer, you own your business. You call the shots. When market conditions change, you can adjust your business to take advantage of new markets.
Also, you can sell your business, borrow against it and leave it to your heirs. You can’t do that with an MLM.
If you build a business in MLM, you are building a business inside a business. Mostly, you are building the sales force for a company you do not control. If the MLM goes bust or is shut down, you lose your business.
If the markets change and you’re in an MLM, you’re stuck with whatever the company decides to do.
Succeed Faster with Affiliate Marketing.
As an affiliate marketer, you can realistically replace a full-time income within 18 to 36 months.
Most people in MLM never make more money than they spend on products.
Although MLMs like to preach about success, the only people who succeed with MLM are the few at the top. The rank and file burn out and quit in huge numbers because MLM does NOT work.
Affiliate Marketing Has Access to Unlimited Products and Markets.
As an affiliate marketer, you have access to unlimited products and markets. If one product isn’t making money, try another product. Or create your own.
On the other hand, with MLM, you are locked into representing the products of your MLM company. Most MLMs will penalize a distributor that promotes products other than those offered by the MLM.
Penalties may include a distributor losing their downline.
Because MLMs are locked into marketing only the products of the company, it creates a perverted sales process where the distributor tries to talk family and friends into buying products they don’t want, don’t need and never asked for.
That’s not selling. That’s harassment.
Selling is when you find a group of people who would benefit from a product and then introduce them to that product. Making money is so much easier that way. That’s how affiliate marketers do it.
No Hoops to Jump Through.
As an affiliate marketer, you can focus on your business and refine your skills. You don’t have to jump through hoops, please your sponsor or qualify to earn commissions.
MLM, on the other hand, expects distributors to dance to their tune. With MLM there are often countless hoops to jump through, meetings or conferences to attend and always another level to qualify for. It’s a circus.
Affiliate Marketing Skills Are Valuable.
More ways to make money.
In the process of becoming a successful affiliate marketer, you will learn an array of valuable skills. Many of these skills can be used to create additional streams of income.
For example, you’ll learn to build websites, and you’ll learn SEO. These skills alone are worth $100+ an hour. You may also learn content marketing, email marketing, copywriting, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media, video marketing and more.
You can use these skills to build multiple streams of income or work for hire.
Many affiliate marketers build websites, make them profitable and then sell them for 20 to 30 times monthly revenue. For example, a website earning $1000 a month can sell for $20,000 to $30,000.
In my experience with MLM, most of the MLM training wasn’t training at all. It was just motivational meetings that kept everyone excited and buying products.
Affiliate Marketing Has Simple Compensation.
With affiliate marketing, you know how much you earn each time you sell a product. The compensation is simple and direct.
On the other hand, MLMs have the most complex compensation plans on the planet. The plans are designed to be intentionally difficult to understand.
The purpose of the MLM compensation plan is to create the illusion that someone can make a lot of money with the so-called MLM business opportunity. In reality, it’s rare for anyone to make a profit with MLM.
The illusion that someone can earn a lot of money with MLM is created by making a compensation plan so complex that the rational mind stops trying to understand it, while at the same time appealing to the emotions with the promise of huge commissions, cash bonuses, and luxury car programs.
The truth is, very few people ever get near those large numbers, bonuses, and cars. Most people who join MLM quit their first year after losing money for months.
Affiliate Marketing Capitalizes on a Growing Global Market.
Everything is moving online. Brick and mortar retail business are closing as more and more people shop through the internet. In Europe, North America and most English-speaking countries, if someone wants something, they first look online.
As I write this, less than half the world’s population has access to the internet, but more are coming online each day. The internet is still young.
As an affiliate marketer, your business can grow with the internet. The websites you build now can continue to earn revenue for decades.
On the other hand, MLM is an antiquated business model that never worked very well anyway.
MLM started in the 1940s as a means of selling by word of mouth. Over the years, it morphed into an inefficient and exploitative business that preys on people’s desire to improve their financial lives.
Freedom to Choose Products.
As an affiliate marketer, you can sell the products that best help your customers.
One strategy many affiliate marketers use is to test various products and give honest feedback. This strategy saves customers time and money while generating income for the affiliate.
On the other hand, with MLM, you have to sell the products the company offers. MLMs often promote a cult-like mindset where honest feedback about the products is not tolerated.
Also, the products MLMs promote are usually over-priced.
If a distributor tries to sell other products, they are usually punished or kicked out of the MLM. In other words, they lose their business.
No Recruitment Needed.
Affiliate marketing is not dependent on recruiting. You don’t have to bug your friends and family or exploit relationships.
As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have to chase after people. They come to you.
On the other hand, MLM is dependent on recruiting.
Look at the compensation plan of any MLM, and you’ll see you can’t make money without recruiting and building a downline. Most MLMs would collapse if recruiting stopped.
It takes enormous energy to recruit and build a downline.
There is a huge turnover in MLM too. Most distributors quit their first year. The MLM business model is inherently unstable and needs constant new blood to keep it going.
Recruiting never stops.
One Person Can Own and Operate a 7-figure Business.
As an affiliate marketer, you can build your business as large as you like. Once you understand how to leverage the internet, your earning potential is unlimited.
Because you can outsource many of the jobs or use technology to automate tasks, you can build and manage a 7-figure business alone with a laptop.
On the other hand, MLM is dependent on people. In any organization, the human factor is always the weakest link. Working with people can sometimes feel like herding cats.
It gets worse with MLM because most people are not making money; they are losing money. If you recruited them into that mess, they want to know why they aren’t making anything.
You must find a way to keep them motivated while at the same time recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. It’s too much.
Affiliate Marketing Rewards Proper Sales Techniques.
Affiliate marketing revolves around finding a group of people who need help. We call a group of people like that a niche.
Maybe it’s busy people who need quick and easy dinners at home or single-mothers who need help getting a young child to sleep through the night.
When you have a product that solves their problem you can make money.
First, you find the niche; then you offer them a product that solves their problem. That’s proper sales technique.
As an affiliate marketer, you can do that with multiple niches and hundreds of products, 24/7 on autopilot.
On the other hand, MLM is extremely limited. MLM starts with the product, gives you a pep talk and says go bug your friends and family. Good luck.
True passive income is rare. It does happen, but it’s rare.
There are some aspects of affiliate marketing that approach true passive income such as building a website that earns revenue through ads or using an autoresponder to deliver emails that make money.
Some websites make money with very little additional work once they’re set up.
Also, because you can outsource many of the tasks associated with affiliate marketing, you can make 5,6 and 7 figures working less than 40 hours a week. And, at times you can take off for a week or two while your business runs on autopilot.
On the other hand, MLM is dependent on recruiting.
As an MLM distributor, you must always be recruiting. If you stop recruiting, your business dies.
Companies Pay You.
As an affiliate marketer, thousands of companies will pay you to sell their products. In most cases, all you have to do is apply to be an affiliate marketer for their company.
Some affiliate marketing programs ask that you meet some basic criteria to keep out the riff-raff, but most are easy to join.
You’ll make money with your first sale.
On the other hand, MLMs charge you money when you join as a distributor. You are paying THEM for the privilege of selling THEIR products and making THEM money.
No wonder nobody can make money with MLM.
Keep All of Your Commissions.
As an affiliate marketer, you keep 100% of your commissions. Some commissions can be rather hefty too, $50 to $100 per sale or more.
On the other hand, MLM expects you to share commissions with your upline, although they had nothing to do with the sale.
As an affiliate marketer, the only stress you will experience is the stress you cause yourself.
On the other hand, MLM can be a pressure cooker.
The company, your upline, your downline and prospective recruits might all make demands of your time and attention.
Plus, there is the added financial strain of buying product each month to stay qualified.
Ultimately, MLM is a game most people cannot win.
There you have it; a boatload of reasons affiliate marketing is better than MLM. If you step back and compare the two objectively, affiliate marketing wins by a landslide.
MLM is not an opportunity. It’s an empty promise at best.
Affiliate marketing is a phenomenal opportunity that can give you financial independence and abundant free time.
The key to becoming financially independent as an affiliate marketer is to get the right training and support and then do the work. You can start with the affiliate marketing training my friends and I offer for FREE.
To Learn More About Our FREE Affiliate Marketing Training Program* and my no-cost one-on-one mentoring, Go Here.
If you found this article helpful or if you have experience with affiliate marketing and MLM you would like to share, please leave a comment below. Thank you.
*Free Affiliate Marketing Training Program is not available in the following countries; Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ghana.