Affiliate Marketing VS Network Marketing

Affiliate Marketing VS Network Marketing. Aren’t they the same?

Oh, No!they’re totally different.

Today, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between the two?

After trying both business models.  Here’s what I’ve discovered. Both has it’s pro’s in con’s

Either way, as a busy mom I prefer affiliate marketing over network marketing.

Today, we’ll find out which option is best for you?  

Affiliate Marketing VS Network Marketing

Table of Contents

What Is Affiliate Marketing?


Imagine selling a course or a product that you didn’t create.

In addition to that:

  • You do not have to purchase inventory.
  • You don’t handle shipping.
  • You don’t have to deal with customer service. 
  • You don’t have to train a downline.
  • You don’t even build a team.
  • You don’t have to keep up with invoices.
  • You don’t process payments.
  • And you don’t have to process refunds.

Amazing, right?

As an affiliate marketer, part of your job is to promote someone else products.

It’s not as, easy as it sounds because, there’s skills that you need to learn in order to make this work. 

To sum it all up, when you decide to become an affiliate, one of your steps is to join an affiliate program.

When you join the affiliate program, you’re making an agreement with the business to promote their product and sell to your audience, in exchange for commissions. 

Once a product is sold to your audience, the business that you’ve partnered with, will pay you a pre-determined percentage of the products original price. 

For example sake, as an Amazon affiliate, once you’ve sold a product from Amazon’s website, you’ll earn anywhere from 2.20% commission to 12% commission per item sold.

Hence, it all depends on what category the product is sold in. 

As you can see, the Beauty niche will give you a 12% commission for each product sold.

On the other hand, the wireless niche will give you a 2.20% commission. 

Amazon Associates Program Standard Commisison Schedule

3 Affiliate Marketing Examples

Not only does Amazon offer an opportunity to sell their products and earn commissions from it. Most companies you do business with offer an affiliate program. According to Media Kix, over 80% of brands rely on affiliate marketing. 

In either case, some examples are listed below. 

Best Buy Affiliate Program


If you’re an electronics fan, Best Buy has an affiliate program, that you can join and promote their products.

Walmart Affiliate Program


Do you shop at Walmart? As a Walmart affiliate you would receive a monthly payout with up to 8% commission. This is a global affiliate program, so you can be located outside of the United States if you choose to join. 

Host Armada Affiliate Program


Not every affiliate program is a retailer. There’s all kinds of affiliate programs, to include hosting. So, if you were to go into the hosting niche Host Armada is a company that you could offer to your audience. 

Host Armada Affiliate Program

What is Network Marketing?

As a mom, you’re probably more familiar with MLM or network marketing, than you are with affiliate marketing.

Why? Because, of course women rule

No, seriously!

According to network marketing pro, around, 77% of the distributors in America are Female. 

Either way, another term for Network Marketing is, multi-level marketing or MLM. 

In layman’s term, network marketing is where you are selling products face-to-face or direct selling to an individual, that you’re most likely close too.

Such as:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbors
  • Co-workers
  • Aunties
  • Uncles
  • Grandmas
  • And Grandpas. 

Your biggest job is too recruit other people that are interested in what you have to offer. 

Network Marketers Build Teams

Network Marketing Examples



Let’s use this company as our first example, because, many moms, are familiar with Mary Kay. According to direct sells, it’s also the sixth largest multi-level marketing company in the world.  

Mary Kay sells beauty and skin care products.

If you were to join Mary Kay, their starter kits range from $30 to $130.00.

Java Momma

Java Momma sells all kinds of flavored coffee. Plus tea pots, theme boxes, spice racks and body products. 

You can get started with this company, and work towards the vacation of your dreams by purchasing their starter kit. The kits range from $20 – $65.00

Jordan Essential


New consultants can get started with this network marketing company by purchasing a starter kit.

You can start a business for as low as $24.50. The starter kits range from $49.00 to $99.00. 

As a consultant you have the potential to earn 25 to 35% for making personal sales. On the other hand, if your team earns a commission you’ll earn additional overrides, and bonuses. 

Jordan Essential offers essential oils and skin care products.

What Are The Pro’s of Affiliate Marketing?

Pro #1- Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Appear To Be Dead

I see this question a lot, “Is affiliate marketing dead?”

In short, no!

Far from it…

According to Statista, in 2022 affiliate marketing spend will increase from $5.4 billion to $8.2 billion.

Those figures alone all are based on America’s spending. 

Either way, that’s a $2.8 billion increase.

Pro #2- You Don't Have To Create Your Own Product


Many people would like to start a business or work for themselves but a few hurdles get in the way. 

  • They don’t have a product.
  • They have no idea what their going to do or where to start. 
  • And they don’t have tons of capital. 

With affiliate marketing, you don’t need a product. As previously stated, you’re promoting other peoples products. 

Secondly, you don’t have to know where to start or what to do. There’s free training on YouTube and there’s always an option to take an affiliate marketing course. 

Keep this in mind, to get where you want to be you have to start somewhere. Therefore, everyone has been a beginner.

Last but not least, affiliate marketing is one of the most affordable ways to get started online. Many affiliate programs will cost nothing to join. You just need a platform to promote the products on.

Whats Your Marketing Strategy Affiliate Marketing Or Network Marketing

Pro #3- Small Investment Upfront


Every business will require some type of investment.

In  many cases, it’s fairly easy to get started with affiliate marketing.

Most people start a blog, which wouldn’t cost you anywhere near the amount that’d pay for a brick and mortar.

Furthermore, most affiliate programs are free to join.

The bottom line is, with affiliate marketing, you don’t start investing in additional tools until you decide that you want to too.

And even then, you won’t break the bank.

A Lady With An Empty Wallet

What Are The Pro’s of Network Marketing?

Pro #1 – You Can Make A Lot Of Money


If you get good at recruiting other distributors, and training them, you can make ton of money with network marketing. 

The more distributors you recruit, the more potential you have.

Furthermore, Network Marketing can pay you up to 8 levels deep. When you make a commission, it’s considered a direct commission.

And when you recruit makes a commission, it’s considered an indirect commission. 

Pro #2 – MLM Is A Relationship Business


This can be a positive or a negative. With Network Marketing, it’s a relationship business.

You’ll call your friends, family, cousin, and neighbors. You get them to join and you all work together to build a business. 

Pro #3- Easy To Start


Most network programs are easy to start. Usually, you’re required  to purchase a starter kit. While other network companies may not require a purchase at all. 

After you become a distributor, you’ll make a list of prospects that use the same product or something similar to what your promoting. 

After jotting your list down. You’ll start reaching out to each and every person on that list.

Once one of your prospects agrees to join the network company with you.

You’ll have that person connect to the same system that you are using so that they too, can distribute the same business offer and earn commissions as well. 

Initials For Multilevel Marketing Also Known As MLM

What Are The Cons Of Affiliate Marketing?

Cons #1- You Have No Control Over The Product


While promoting other people’s products, there are a few downsides.

  • You have no control over what price your audience pays.
  • You don’t control the customer service that your audience will get from the third party. 
  • You can’t control if the company decides to stop selling products. 

To sum it all up, the business that you’re an affiliate of, sets the rules. 

Con #2 - Each Affiliate Program Works Differently


As an affiliate, you’re free to join as many programs as you would like.

Besides, most programs are free and it creates multi-streams of income.

Isn’t that everyone’s dream? 

Well, that was my thought process when I first started affiliate marketing.

However, I definitely don’t recommend joining too many affiliate programs in the beginning, because, it just causes confusion.

In addition to this, every affiliate program that you join, has it’s own set of rules.

You must learn and follow each affiliate program rules or you’ll get kicked out.

For example, I joined Amazon affiliate program before, I even had traffic to my blog.

Pro Tip: Before you apply to the Amazon Associate Program make sure you have consistent traffic first. 

As an Amazon Associate, you’ll have many rules.

To explain a few, first you’re placed on temporary affiliate status until you prove to Amazon that you can make 3 sales within 180 days.

Secondly, those 3 sales can not come from friends or family. 

Thirdly, you have to place an Amazon affiliate disclosure on your website whenever you promote Amazon products.

They also have many more rules, that you’ll need to read over if you decide to become an Amazon Associate. 

In any event, if you don’t meet the above requirements, you will be immediately kicked out the program without notice.

hmmm….I take that back, they will send you an email like the one below.

Amazon Associates Termination Email


It’s almost like being fired from your day job. 

Not a good feeling… 

What Are The Cons To Network Marketing?

Con #1- The Failure Rate May Be Higher Than Affiliate Marketing


Can you imagine making $0.70 per hour?

According to Magnify Money, participants are earning less than 70 cents per hour. In addition to this, a report was done about Nu Skin by the Federal Trade Commission.

In that survey, the FTC determined that most recruits lose their money.  In fact, they determined it was at a rate of 99.997% rounded off to 100%.This information is located on page 7-11.

Nevertheless, although there’s data stating that 99% of the people fail, women sill join network marketing companies. 

A Sign That Says Business Closed

Con #2 - You'll Need To Be Comfortable With Training & Building A Downline


Network Marketing relies on you and your team that you’ve built.

Imagine this, you’re living the dot com lifestyle.

Making six figures a year.

Then suddenly, half of the team quits. 

What this means to you is that, you have suddenly went from a six figure lifestyle to half of that. 

The bottom line, is you’re paycheck is relying on other people. 

What Are The Main Differences between Affiliate Marketing and Network Marketing?

Difference 1- The Business Model


As with affiliate marketing, you are recommending and sharing a product that you love to other people that you believe will benefit from it as well.

The biggest difference between the two is with Network Marketing you’re recruiting other distributors. 

Most of those distributors are all ready aware and using the product that you’re promoting. 

On the other hand, with affiliate marketing your audience, isn’t necessarily  using the product that you’re promoting.

They’re searching for the product. 

In other words, you’re introducing a product or solution that you believe can make your audience life a lot easier. 

Difference 2 - Affiliate Marketing You're On Your Own


Network Marketing can be leveraged a lot easier because, you have an entire team helping each other out.

In fact, you’re recruiting other people to build a team. 

In other words, not only will you make a commission off of your efforts but, you’ll earn commission off your team efforts as well.

To further explain, when you bring in other distributors, you earn a commission. When those distributors make a sell you make a commission too.

This continues up to a certain level.

With affiliate marketing, you’re not recruiting other people. You’re simply recommending a product to your audience.

When he or she purchases that product through your affiliate link you will make a commission and it stops right there.

Unless, the product that you offer has a monthly recurring fee. 

Difference 3 - Network Marketing Might Not Be As Sustainable


As mentioned earlier, with affiliate marketing, you’re not relying on other people while promoting products.

So, you as the affiliate write your own check.

You’re not recruiting people, or building a team.

You make your own moves.

With Network Marketing usually, the person at the top of the pyramid is making the most money because, you are building a team and leveraging other peoples money and work. 

What Is Your Marketing Strategy Affiliate Marketing Or Multilevel Marketing (1)

Final Thoughts Of Affiliate Marketing Vs. Network Marketing


By now, you should have a better understanding of the difference between affiliate marketing and network marketing. 

In my opinion, affiliate marketing, is a lot easier. Especially, if you prefer not to recruit other people.

If you want to learn affiliate marketing I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. Their geared towards complete beginners. 

It can also be more sustainable because, you are not relying on a team to help you build your empire.  

On the other hand, if you enjoy socializing, training, and recruiting other people, you may want to leverage the multi-level opportunity.

Neither one of them requires you to create a product, and they both can be flexible. 

If you had a choice which one would you choose?

Welp, that's all folks!

Until next time, if you have any questions or need help please do let me know. I wish you the best and continued success…

Lakisha Akbar

Lakisha Akbar

Leave a Comment

This website may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please read my full disclosure for more information.

About "She Tried That"

Learn To Create Passive Income Online With An Affiliate Blog. No experience required! 

Recently Published Guides