There is all this fuss and fight over which is worthwhile between Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and affiliate marketing. With their methods of operation and mode of payments being entirely different, this is one subject that asks for deep thought and thorough evaluation. And to get into the quest of finding the right way to go, let’s have a deep look into MLM vs. affiliate marketing.
But before we get into things here, we need a breakdown of how we will be making our comparisons. And we are going to be comparing them according to tools, resources, method of operation and mode of payment. And here we go!
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• Affiliate Marketing – In affiliate marketing, the tools that are needed to work is a website, an affiliate program, products and their links. With the website, you create a platform for selling the products to people who are looking for the same products, give them more information about them and then give them a provision for buying the products.
Using affiliate links in texts and photos of the product is how you get the potential buyers to get into the affiliate program’s website and purchase the product from there.
• Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) – In MLM, you only need means of communication, links and the company you are to get people to join. It is not compulsory to have a website, but if you desire to have one, you can get. There are no products to sell, and the company is the actual product.
So with the means of communication available to you, you try as much as possible to talk to people about the importance of the company you are promoting and the reasons why they should join not to mention how greatly the company will benefit the aspirants.
The winner? Affiliate marketing! There is a lot of professionalism portrayed by affiliate marketing regarding tools. You communicate to people using the tools you have to sell them actual products.
• Affiliate Marketing – When it comes to resources, affiliate marketing has at its disposal some options to get its resources from. As an affiliate, you can get your products to promote on your site from different affiliate programs. The product you are promoting is the same, but prices may differ from one vendor to another.
The commissions may also differ from one vendor to the other. But the good thing is that the highest the commissions are the better. Also, you can get to promote the same product for two or more vendors and get paid your due as it is.
• MLM – In multi-level marketing, you can still do the same. You can promote some pyramid schemes, so to speak, and then get your pay separately and as you have worked. Although, this can be very hard. It is true that you can sell a variety of programs to people but the audience you will be selling to my start being somewhat skeptical about following your invites.
Just imagine, you had a friend, and you told him about one of the many programs you are promoting, and them he decided to join. A few days or weeks or even months later, you come to him with another one, and he joins and then you do the same thing a while later, is he going to trust you?
Winner: None! There was a tie between the two as the resources each category of marketing has as they are both similar in functionality and resources at their disposal.
3. Method of Operation
• Affiliate marketing – So here is how affiliate marketing works: you build a website based on your passion, it can be anything, sports, music, art or education. And then you give lots of information about your passion which is quite enjoyable to do. From there, you make the website ready for affiliate programs. And then you go through different affiliate programs out there and compare their prices and rate of commissions.
Choose the one that suits you best. Apply for the affiliate program. The owners of the affiliate program go to your site, and if it’s great, they approve and connect with you for you to be helping them sell their products and then out the sales you get a commission.
• MLM – Multi-level marketing works this way, you look for a company that wants people to join it, mostly there are no products although some may have. You join and then pay to upgrade. And you should note that the money you pay a certain amount, which may differ from one program to the other, to upgrade is a start up cost, you will be required to be paying a certain amount of money every month to renew your membership. From there, you will have to start talking to people and showing them the benefits of joining that particular program.
You need to know it is very hard to make people who know what they are doing to join such multi-level programs easily. But if by chance you happen to, the person will join, pay the upgrade fee and then he starts too to look for people to make to join. And the cycle continues.
Winner: Going by an ease of use and professionalism again, affiliate marketing wins! Websites are a neater and easier way to have people know about your products in affiliate marketing. And once you are ranked in Google, you already have people coming to your site without having to talk to them directly or send them spam messages as in MLM.
4. How Payments Work?
• Affiliate Marketing- You only get paid to affiliate or internet marketing once you sell a product you are promoting, it is shipped and delivered to the buyer. And the good thing with this is that you don’t struggle that much to make sales if you have the right simple training to do it.
• MLM – you are paid in MLM when you refer a person into the program, and then they get to upgrade. The transition from joining to upgrading can take a very long time, though. And still, when the person you refer to the program refers yet another person, and he upgrades, you get a cut too although lesser than the one you get from your direct referral.
This means that if you are the first to refer people, you will get money from every referral made in your pyramid but the pay reduces as you go down the pyramid.
Also, you need to persist to the person and use very wise strategies, some of which can’t be taught, to make the person upgrade.
In this, we are going to be a bit different. When it comes to convenience, we look at ease of use, ease of getting paid, initial investments needed and the rates of return on initial investment. And almost everything has been covered in the past comparisons.
So, any winner? Affiliate marketing! The reason behind is that with affiliate marketing, it is possible to sell up to a thousand products to one person, but it’s very difficult and scammy to sell some multi-level programs to the same person for all other reasons.
And that’s it! So going by the individual winners in each case, it is evidently clear that affiliate marketing is the ultimate way to go. It has very good strategies, if you can learn them, you can also do this all free without any need of initial investment among many other benefits. Also, you are selling products that people need, necessities of life. On the other hand, in multi-level marketing, people may take it as a luxury, it is not a necessity which means people may be reluctant to buy it.