Saturday, March 31, 2007

Network Vs. Affiliate Marketing

Running a traditional brick and mortar kind of business with an online presence, is obviously one very good way to make at least part of your living online. But for the purposes of this article we are going to assume that you do not have your own business. So I am going to discuss two of the biggest online money makers right now: online business opportunities and affiliate marketing.

Network marketing

The typical online business opportunity is commonly built around some sort of network marketing concept, inheriting the basic qualities of the offline business model that has been available for many decades - the basic idea being that you recruit two or more people, who in their turn recruit two and in this way your efforts will (at least in theory) be greatly leveraged.

The main difference doing this online is that, utilizing the power of the Internet, you as a network marketer can literally reach people all over the planet.

The problem with the network marketing, or "mlm", concept is that it sounds so good on paper - way too good in fact. Most people who joins up with a company of this type tend to get a dose of Mr. Reality rather soon.

They discover that recruiting new people, which is what all mlm is all about - even if they try to tell you differently - is not at all a simple process. There has been plenty of fraudulent businesses in this niche, and people tend to stay on their toes as soon as they hear the words mlm or network marketing.

To further complicate things this business model is also based on you paying a set monthly fee - wether you make any money or not, which means that many people who start this kind of business actually end up loosing money.

It is definitely possible to make a good living in network marketing, but it is definitely not for everybody. "Getting in on the ground floor" is allegedly not always as good as it seems.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is similar to network marketing, in the sense that you will be promoting a product produced by another company or person. This can obviously make life very simple for you, as the merchant will usually take care of all shipping and customer support issues. Amazon.com is probably one of the most well known (an respected) companies utilizing the power of affiliate partnerships.

As an affiliate, your task is simply to refer new clients to the merchant and when these people go ahead and buy something, you get credited with a certain percentage of the sale.

Contrary to network marketing it is generally free to act as an affiliate marketer. Although there are certain companies that have sort of a hybrid structure between network and affiliate marketing - requiring you to pay a start-up and/or monthly fee to market their products. Most affiliate programs are completely free to join though, so I'd personally stay away from those using their affiliate programs as an income generator in it's own right, or "affiliate sharks" as one marketer aptly named them.

Affiliate programs are thus a great way in which almost anyone can start to make money online, without having to invest a lot of money, if indeed any at all.

There is however certain strategies and marketing methods you need to be knowledgeable of, if you are to make anything but peanuts with your affiliate marketing.

Choosing the right affiliate program and promoting it to the right people in the right way is an art form in it's own right. And the people who are really good at this, generally referred to as "super affiliates", make a very good living doing nothing else than selling other people's products.

If you are looking to make an additional income from the Internet, or eventually even replace your current income altogether, affiliate marketing is a great way to get started. To achieve the success you desire, you should study and learn the same techniques super affiliates use on a day to day basis.

About The Author

Andreas Sundstrom has made a full time living online for the past six years, largely thanks to the power of free affiliate programs. At his website http://www.webhosting-tips.info/affiliate/ he will share some of the most important super affiliate secrets.

1 comment:

gracie said...

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