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Network Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: The Differences, Explained

network marketing vs affiliate marketing

Are you looking to make money through marketing but don’t know what technique is the best for you?

If you’re just getting started as a marketer, it can be confusing to understand the different strategies. If you want to make use of your skills and training, you need to embrace the right strategies in order to connect with your ideal customers.

This is why it’s important to know the similarities and differences between network marketing vs affiliate marketing. Once you know what their differences are, you’ll have clarity on what technique is best for you to work with. 

If you want to find out about the relationship between these two important kinds of marketing, read on and we’ll tell you what you need to know. 

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a strategy where you spread the word about somebody else’s product or service. By doing this you make money in the form of a commission for every sale that you make.

Most skilled affiliate marketers track the sales they’ve made by using a unique link. This link tells the person or company which of their affiliates referred the customer to them. 

To understand affiliate marketing, it’s important to be clear about several different concepts. The merchant is the company that offers the product or service. The affiliate is the promoter of the product. The customer is the one who purchases it. 

The affiliate can work with the merchant in several different ways. They can either work in a direct relationship with the merchant, or they can make use of something that’s known as an affiliate network

It can be complicated for affiliates who are affiliates for many different merchants. This is why they work with affiliate networks. They do this to streamline the process for affiliates and the merchants whose products they’re referring customers to. 

Successful affiliate marketers create their own niche websites that get high rankings on Google. Potential buyers perform searches on Google for the product or service that you’re promoting.

They then follow a link to visit your website to buy the product. In exchange for your help in making a sale, the merchant will pay you a commission, which is usually a percentage of the product’s cost.

What Is Network Marketing?

There is an important subtle difference between network marketing and affiliate marketing. Network marketing is often referred to as multi-level marketing.

Just like affiliate marketing, it embraces a business model where you make money by referring products to people. But through network marketing, it’s also possible to make money by finding others to join the business. 

There is another big difference between network and affiliate marketing. While affiliate marketers promote as many products and businesses as they wish, network marketers promote only one product or company.  

Network marketing is also more complex than affiliate marketing. There are usually more layers within a network marketing company. When there are more layers, the network marketer will make more money. 

As a network marketer within a company, your goal is to recruit other network marketers. When these marketers sign up to work for the company, you earn a commission. If this new marketer in turn refers somebody else to work as an affiliate marketer, you’ll make a commission for this referral as well. 

For people who are not yet familiar with how network marketing works, it’s easy to confuse it as being just another pyramid scheme. The truth is that there are many clear differences between the two things. 

Network Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing: Similarities and Differences

As you can see, there are many similarities between these two types of marketing. Since the differences can be subtle, I’ve broken them down so that you can understand them more clearly. 

Expenses for Participating

If you work as an affiliate marketer, you usually don’t have to pay to promote a merchant’s products. With this being said, there are upfront costs that you might need to pay on your own.

For example, you’ll need to pay to build yourself a website. It’s also a good idea to invest in training to become an affiliate marketer. You might do this by hiring a mentor or taking a course. 

If you are a network marketer, you’ll generally need to pay in order to become part of a company. The fees can be anywhere from a hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. 

One of the benefits of network marketing is that you get the chance to use your skills as an influencer in order to make sales. Many network marketers embrace the concept of living the product. They do this by posting pictures and videos of themselves using the product across their social media channels. 

Making a Passive Income

Affiliate marketers have to do all of their work on their own. They need to build their websites and create the systems for marketing the products they’re selling. 

Network marketers, on the other hand, have support from the company they’re working with. This is why it is much easier for them to make a passive income.

As a network marketer, you have the potential to make a lot of money. If you want to be as successful as possible, there are several easy tips to follow in order to succeed. 

Which Is Better: Affiliate Marketing or Network Marketing?

Now that you know the differences between network marketing vs affiliate marketing, you might be asking yourself which is better. If you want to have more personal freedom as a marketer, it’s probably better to work as an affiliate marketer. If you want to set yourself up to earn a passive income, network marketing might be the best option for you. 

If you want to find out more about the benefits of network marketing, we’re here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you with anything that you might need. 

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