Affiliate Marketing vs MLM
Affiliate marketing seems to be the latest buzzword in the online business sphere but now that big names like Amazon and eBay are getting in on the trend, let us talk about it seriously for a moment. Is this another Multi Level Marketing scam? Or does affiliate marketing really work?
If you have ever seen a YouTube video that is sponsored by a company or a brand, or read a blog reviewing retail products- anything from a book to a pair of sunglasses while browsing for the right one to buy, you’ve witnessed Affiliate Marketing in action.
Essentially, Affiliate Marketing is a catch-all term for online creators who promote content on their websites and similar platforms and get a commission from the number of sales that go through them. It has little to do with multi-level marketing as affiliate marketing basically just serves as a bridge between a company that creates a product and is looking to sell it and the customers who might be interested in such a product.
Understanding the Difference
Consider a website that reviews books, movies, comic books and other such similar content. Their audience is a set of people who are interested in these niches and as a result, would most likely be interested in products associated with the books and comics that they read.
A company that caters to such an audience, like a t-shirt company that offers t-shirts with graphic designs of comic book characters might find an affiliate marketer in this review website, especially if they are very popular. By offering the review website an opportunity to promote the company’s products on their website and earn a commision on every sale, the t-shirt company is able to tap into an audience who are extremely likely to buy their products.
It is a win-win situation for everyone. Especially the customers, as they are not only introduced to products that are tailored to their tastes, most affiliate marketers will also offer a discount or a free trial if you place an order through them.
Things to Consider
– With affiliate marketing you don’t have to pay an yearly fee
– Unlike MLMs there is no initial investment in Affiliate Marketing that you feel pressured to justify and neither are you attempting to force a product on someone who isn’t interested in buying it.
– With some MLMs there is no product or service to sell and one only gets money from referrals.
– You just have a pyramid scheme, where the top level ones make money at the expense of the ones below
– U.S F.T.C is adverse to any MLM schemes and advises all to stay away from it.
When new people don’t join, which will happen sooner than later, you lose out on your money.
Affiliate Marketing – A Different Approach
The question though is, as a creator, do you really make money from Affiliate Marketing?
Or do you risk turning off your audience by selling out? Of course the idea of a reviewer who is financially invested in the product may make an audience wary, but most affiliate marketers only promote products that they have used and are personally fond of.
Most successful reviewers will compare several products and only associate themselves with the products that they do like and end up honestly advising you about the best ones available.
It is very easy to weed out reviewers who are paid off or are just trying to make a quick buck by promoting unsatisfactory products and on the internet, no doubt they will be called out for such behaviour by their audience immediately.
More and more online retailers are offering affiliate programs to bring their products to a wider audience.
The most popular of these is Amazon’s affiliate program through which you can promote any product available for sale on the website through your platform.
The Top Benefits of Affiliate Marketing vs MLM
– Non Intrusive Advertisements
If you are an online content creator, affiliate marketing offers a system of advertisement on your platform that is non-intrusive for your audience and at the same time, supports your creative endeavours.
– Corporate sponsorship
It is an incredible way for creators, especially those whose content is mostly online to continue pursuing their artistic interests and make enough money through it that they do not have to take up a traditional job.
– Helps You Explore Your Life
Affiliate marketing is also an incredible option available to people who are not interested in the nine to five grind.
For example, a housewife interested in writing, who blogs about her everyday life and talks about childcare, education and homecare can review and promote products that she is familiar with, like children’s books and household products.
Not only does she have relevant experience in talking about these products, her audience is also mostly other housewives who will be interested in trying them, especially now that they come with a recommendation.
Affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme or a multi-level marketing scam at all. In fact, it is an innovative and highly effective internet marketing and advertisement technique that looks like it is here to stay.
All the best,
If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out these articles as well;
What is Affiliate Marketing and Does it Work?
Online Retail Growth And Its Benefits To Affiliates
Build Up your Passive Income during Retirement with Affiliate Marketing