From The Desk Of:

Justus Meyer,
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Affiliate Marketing
vs. Network Marketing

"The differences between
Network Marketing
and Affiliate Marketing."

Why look at both?

Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing are very close cousins of each other - both are essentially based on the concept of referring products to other people. The benefits of Affiliate Marketing are:

  • No direct involvement with the customers,
  • no to low maintenance, except for the initial work, setting up your website.

The problem with Affiliate Marketing is that it is essentially limited. In order to reach your target market, you have to aim your web-site at a specific niche. You only have so many keywords to write content for, until you have to move on to your next site... And trust me, one web-site is a lot of work (at least, for some of us, it happens to be fun!).

Affiliate Marketing is also very unreliable - some months could be good, while others may be bad. Do not get me wrong - I am a big fan of Affiliate Marketing: it forms a big part of my cash-flow strategy... What I am saying, is that it is not something you should bet on for your primary cash-flow, until you have enough sites that you are sure will generate a minimum amount every month. And even then, you need to keep on building sites to stay above inflation...

Network Marketing, on the other hand, involves human interaction to a bigger extent than Affiliate Marketing does. And even though this sometimes seems like a disadvantage, it actually brings some benefits to the table:

  • Organic, exponential growth, thanks to the concept of leverage,
  • an optional "away-from-keyboard" base for your business (in other words, an optional way of building the business, away from the Internet)
  • and a stable, reliable, residual income.

I suggest looking at Affiliate Marketing as a short-to-medium term solution to financial freedom. Network Marketing, on the other hand, is more of a long-term solution instead - a plan used in creating wealth. The key, if you are looking at getting involved in both, is to integrate Affiliate Marketing into your Network Marketing lead generation system, via helpful information products and tools.

Affiliate-Network Marketing companies

A few Affiliate programs offer pay-plans that include multiple levels. This sounds like a good idea in theory, but there are a few catches to look out for:

  • Your first level of commission is usually lower than what it normally would be, due to the other levels that need to get paid - something to keep in mind is that Affiliate programs generally do not pay as much per sale as other marketing plans do;
  • human relationships are essential when growing a network and are tough to maintain with these plans, since one of the main attractions of Affiliate Marketing is the avoidance of human contact - the people that will join you, will most likely not want to hear from you;
  • you are limiting your organisation's growth to only those who have the time and skill to design web-sites and
  • there is no offline security, like other Network Marketing companies offer.

At the end of the day, like with any business choice, it depends on how much risk you are willing to take and what you are looking to accomplish.

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