If you are the type of person who loves pushing new products to your friends and families, there have been a few companies that have taken advantage of this mindset. MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) companies like Lularoe, doTerra, and Amway empowers people with products and services to sell for a chance of financial independence. Sadly, most of these businesses fail and leave potential re-sellers out of business and possibly in debt.
Sure, there are success stories within the MLM business model, but for the most case, each Multi-Level Business is aimed at pleasing the top person or person’s involved. You’ll be pushing a singular product that may or may not be the best.
Being Anti MLM (and the logical alternative)
It drives me crazy when the most significant and most logical alternative to MLMs is smack dab in each customer’s face. Affiliate Marketing is a term that may or may not be intimidating, but it’s mostly referring people to products and services of major companies. Sound familiar?
Yes, in fact, Affiliate Marketing is a competent replacement for MLMs but with many significant benefits when comparing to MLMs. I’ve been teaching this business marketing principle for over 6 years now, and it’s always a cringe-worthy experience whenever I see a Facebook post about some sort of MLM.
1: MLMs Like Selling Avon Cost Money…
The price of being an Affiliate Marketer is zero, zilch, nada.
2: You can sell ANYTHING
So you want to sell AVON-like Makeup? So you want to sell essential oils? Do you want to sell…cars? Check, Check, and Check. Cost of doing it? None. Plus you get money if you successfully do sell someone on these products.
3: Most Major Companies Use Affiliate Marketing
There’s a reason why companies like AVON and doTerra are not typically found in stores like Target. Their quality is up for grabs. Plus, you are limited to unique products. The difference here is that you can represent Target.com yourself and sell whatever the heck you want! Here are some other companies with Affiliate Marketing capability:
- Home Depot
- Best Buy
- uh hello, are you still with me?
Who is Successful with Affiliate Marketing?
Before you get all excited about becoming the next millionaire through Affiliate Marketing, and trust us, we’ve met many of them. It’s time to take a step back and tell you that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows being an affiliate marketer either. Competition is aggressive. Original content, as in, not just showing people products or links, is required.
Plus, it’s no given that Affiliate Marketing is better for you than MLMs. Maybe you need that upfront cost to get you invested in the products. However, the opportunity is out there for becoming an Amazon seller and not just an Essential Oils salesperson. For us, the choice is easy.
If you want examples, here are the most common successful Affiliate Models
Cash Back Portals/Malls/Websites
Without Affiliate Marketing there would be no Cash Back sites like an EBates or Topcashback. Reason being, each advertiser on the site is a part of an affiliate network, and they have a pre-existing deal to be placed on the website. The model is quite simple:
- Take Affiliate Commission
- Give a Large Portion of the Affiliate Commission, the Customer
- Take the Rest of Company Revenue
In other words, for each sale that a cash back portal refers, Ebates stands to make a small portion of it, based on their existing affiliate program partnership. Interested in starting your Cash Back portal? It’s still a bit technical but possible. You’ll need to dive into another layer of Affiliate Marketing into a term called SubIDs.
Blogs and Influencers
While this is a reasonably broad type of publisher, you can get the gist of what is offered Affiliate wise when it comes to blogs. If you’ve read an article with a link inside of the post there’s a good chance there’s an affiliate link in there somewhere. For most personal bloggers, affiliate revenue could be more of a side gig. But for a select few who know what they are doing, they are making some serious commission! Examples?
- The Penny Hoarder – Referring people to unique ways to earn money
- Making Sense of Cents – Referring people to BlueHost by letting them know it’s easy to Start A Blog
- Thrifty Traveler – Refer people to unique travel deals
- Tim Tracker – YouTube Influencer with Affiliate Links on Video Descriptions
If you are starting a personal influencer based blog, that deals with a niche, i.e., Parenting or Vaping you’ll need to research a few brands that you would like to refer people to for the long haul. Personal blogs tend to be approved onto Affiliate Networks reasonably easy if they rank well or have a following of 200 and up (social).
Yes, you’ll be pleased to know that even more significant news sources can link out to an affiliate program. Remember the last time you’ve read something, clicked, and was brought somewhere else. Good chance there’s an affiliate link involved!
Affiliate Sub Network or Tools
Several online software companies will take advantage of affiliate tracking. Some of these include:
These companies often re-broker affiliate programs. In essence, they operate a lot like a Cash Back portal, but instead of reward customers with cash back, they’ll reward publishers with a commission. For those who use these types of tools, it’s best to find direct partnerships for higher commissions, but in some cases, it may be better to work with these types of devices.
Coupon and Voucher Websites
One of the bigger revenue producers when it comes to affiliate revenue, coupon publishers produce information about a discounted product on a given Affiliate Program. Sometimes being an affiliate of some advertisers will give you early access to coupon codes. And through networks, you’ll be able sometimes to make your own coupon codes! Popular coupon sites that use affiliate marketing as a main source of revenue:
- Krazy Coupon Lady
- Deals 2 Buy
- Groupon Coupons
At one point all these businesses were small, but through affiliate marketing, they are now heavy revenue producers! It’s not impossible for you to start a business today and make affiliate revenue that produces big numbers.
Why You Should Avoid MLMs
We respect when you have a successful business utilizing an MLM, but we think that if your efforts were made in a different direction, the one we’ll talk about in this post, you may have garnered even more success. Why are we against MLMs to begin with:
1: They Cost Money Upfront (Lots of it)
We hate the fact that MLMs require a significant purchase beforehand to start reselling. Some MLMs are affordable and useful and do not need tons of money, to begin with, but for those that do, like…90% of them, we’re against this. One Reddit user even deemed MLMs as “Moms Losing Money.”
2: Locking You Into Buying, Means Your Invested
The internet is ever-changing, and so are social channels. MLMs lock you into a product and service that may not apply to most people at any given time.
3: Are MLMS a Scam?
doTerra operates much like an MLM or Pyramid scheme, letting others sell the products for them as the resellers make a profit on them. It’s a legitimate business, so it’s not entirely a scam. Albeit, it’s not the most efficient way to re-sell products.
Also, many of these products seem to claim health benefits, although nothing is proven. Even the whole organic certification from doTerra is also objectionable, was proven to be purchased from the company itself.
It’s not that we don’t like AVON or doTerra people, but it’s a wildly inefficient way to sell, and like other MLMs, it’s quite insecure because one day you could be selling these like hotcakes and the next the products could be recalled or banned due to an upset MLM customer or lawsuit.
Traditionally, MLM (or Pyramid Scheme) programs like this one could be written off as a scam immediately, and we’ll reserve judgment on that but bear in mind that they sell “sports wraps and applicators,” and there typically is no real proven health benefits to these types of things.
Just Scan Reddit’s AntiMLM Forum!
Reddit is a free and popular forum where users are allowed to voice their own opinion on various topics without restriction. There’s a lot of tension when it comes to the commitment of these types of businesses. Yes, even this post will anger people who just started their venture into an MLM of any kind. Just scan this forum for horror stories before you dive too deep into these ventures.
Think About Using Wildlink…
We talked about Affiliate Marketing, and yes it’s a very technical marketing plan. For one, it requires a blog or somewhat of an influence. But what if I told you there’s an app that will EASILY let you share links and earn money referring products from Target, Walmart, and more?
Wildlink is an app where you can share links from Lululemon, Target, and more. Send a link to your friend and tell them about an awesome pair of Yoga Pants from Lululemon. Open up the Wildlink app, share Lululemon and if your friend buys from the link…you make real money!
This the real rare opportunity that most people don’t know about. It’s free too, so this is not a shameless MLM plug.
I now ask you this: Can you honestly tell me you’d try to sell AVON over any Target or Sephora makeup product?
Truth is, I never tried an MLM service before, so if you’ve been successful please ignore this post. One thing I have done before is actually working within the corporate structure of one of these places. No, not a member, an actual employee.
It’s certainly a flawed model, and I wasn’t afraid to share my opinion on it either. If a product or service has a true value proposition, you wouldn’t need to have the reliance on paid members to keep it afloat.