network marketing vs affiliate marketing: Why affiliate marketing is much better

Last Update: Feb 8, 2018


If you want to know why I came to wealthy affiliate, it was because I wanted to learn how to build a business and make passive income. My first foray into this new venture was through network marketing. I did not make a single dime from it whatsoever and wanted to try a different strategy. That was when I thought about doing affiliate marketing and learning from the Wealthy Affiliate platform. So with my experience in both the network marketing realm and the affiliate marketing realm, I want to go over the differences.

So Network Marketing vs. Affilate Marketing: What is the difference?

Network marketing: The business model is based on signing up and paying to be a part of a business opportunity. After paying the sign up fee, you then are able to sell the company's products. This will vary based on the products they are offering and the type of company they are. Some companies fall into the health and fitness, others financial, others cosmetics, etc. The other way to make money within these companies is to recruit other members into the system to sell the products. This is called your "downline". You make money every time they sell the product to other people or whenever their "downlines" sell a product. This is where the residuals come it.

Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing on the other hand is free to sign up to a company's affiliate program. Said another way, affiliate marketing has NO SIGN UP FEES! All you need to do is fill out a form and grab your affiliate links. The only cost in affiliate marketing are a website domain and a hosting platform. The money is made in affiliate marketing when a visitor of your blog clicks on a link and buys a product from the company. For example, I recommend a product someone can get on amazon, they click the link, they buy the product from amazon, amazon pays me.

So which model do I like better and why?

With Network Marketing, I loved the idea of recruiting new people into my "business" with the attempt to make residual income from them but hated the actual recruiting part and getting shut down with "pyramid scheme" and understandably so. On top of that, I started to feel equally as sleazy about asking personal friends and family to help me out under the false pretense of "helping me get training". It just didn't feel as authentic to me.

With Affiliate Marketing, I love that I can recommend products that I truly enjoy and I love the fact that I can recommend the Wealthy Affiliate Course to people who are looking to start a passion related niche blog with the idea of making money in it. I have seen so many websites here at Wealthy Affiliate in many different topics. Fitness, Drone Flying, Stock Trading, Metal Detecting, Dog Training, etc. There is no bounds to what niches you want to pursue. The fact that I can help someone learn how to make money in their passion drives me to continue recommending this course. I feel less sleazy recommending this wonderful community because I believe now that this place is all about helping each other and I know that this course can help anyone with making money from whatever type of blog they want to start.

What is your experience in both Network Marketing and Affiliate Marketing if you have had an experience in them? Are you indifferent? Do you like one over the other?

Recent Comments


Just read it. I am still learning slowly on Level 2 Courses I wish I will get revenue soon after finish all of courses. There were friends introduced Network Marketing to me before, I am not good at it at all. I wish I can survive in Affiliate Marketing .

Hi Jessie,
Thank you for your insightful article. Sue and I Have been involved with several MLM companies, even one that claims they are not an MLM but are pretty close.

We have have made a very little revenue with MLMs. I have felt the same uneasy thing about asking friends and family to join our particlair venture.

Although Sue and I have been with with Wealthy Affiliate for awhile, I must admit, I was directionless and really did not put in very much effort into building a substantial business.

My efforts have now radically changed in learning/relearning the Affiliate Marketing principles. I know this time it will work well.

My vote is, of course, for Affiliate Marketing. "Upward and Onward".


OK.for me There is no doubt in my mind...Affiliate marketing...The "Freedom" to be " REAL" about what you are comfortable doing when truly helping people for what you are sure is the best for them; solving their unique concerns....

I am with you. I do not want to make money off anything that does not benefit my customer / client!!!

Sorry, I have no valid input... Just started and my first attempt is Affiliate marketing... Getting some knowledge and skills. It is new area for me... So far, I am happy, knowledge base is great... What will happen next, we shall see

After the last MLM I joined, I asked myself "Why am I doing something I truly don't like?" I never felt comfortable recruiting! I have had some past success with affiliate marketing. I enjoy making money simply from pointing somebody in the right direction...and look forward to being able to do it again

I am glad you shared your experience and have some success with affiliate marketing compared to network marketing.

Cannot do MLM. But I can do affiliate marketing.....

I think anyone can do affiliate marketing and not feel sleazy about it. We do recommend things to our peers all the time. Why not get rewarded for it.

Very true.

A good comparison Jessie.

I like the idea of a community of people helping each other become successful which is often how network marketing is portrayed but there's something about it that's too restrictive for me.

I'm happier creating my own independent business but with the community part of it via WA. Works for me.


Pyramid structures often = pyramid schemes!

Cool cool cool!

Still not enough experience on the potentials of affiliate marketing just yet and no experience of network marketing.

I could easily recommend the community support through WA!! If interested in affiliate marketing, WA would be the way!

Cheers Jessie!


Way to summarize this for us.


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