So, you’re thinking about starting a business, but you’re not sure if you should do affiliate marketing (blog) or multi-level marketing (MLM)? Starting a business is a huge step and if you are going to give it your all, it is important to know the ins and outs of both marketing endeavors. So, what’s the difference between a blog and MLM? Well, these two marketing strategies are completely different and require a certain type of person to do each one. Take a look below to see exactly what each requires from you.
Affiliate Marketing (Blog)
Writing a blog is usually a great way to sell other sites or stores products. With affiliate marketing, you get paid a certain portion of every product that is sold directly through the links you provided in your blog. For example, if you write a blog about how to organize your closet and link some closet organizers (with affiliate link) from Amazon, any organizer that is sold through Amazon from your link, you get a commission for bringing that sale. How cool, right?!
Like any business, there are Pros and Cons to affiliate marketing.
Pros: There are a lot of pros to running your own affiliate business:
- You don’t have to be pushy to sell: Affiliate marketing allows you to simply talk about a product in without trying to sell it.
- It is easy to set up: A blog is fairly easy to set up, and it is pretty simple to get others wanting you to market from them and get a profit. If you are good at writing interesting reads and promoting products within them, this is super easy.
- It is low cost start: Starting a blog is fairly low cost. There are free websites you can start a blog on and work your way up to a paid website. Keep in mind paid websites offer better URLs than free websites. However, a simple domain could be as little as a few dollars a month. SiteGround is the hosting company I use abd recommend.
- Multiple ways to make Money: With affiliate marketing, there really is no limit to the amount of affiliates you have. You can choose whatever you’re good at whether it’s traveling, kid crafts, or house repair, and grab the affiliates that best suit what you’re good at. This offers you multiple ways to make money from multiple affiliates and the potential to reach new customers on a daily basis.
Cons: Likewise, there are ample cons to an affiliate blogs as well that should be considered before pursuing.
- Competition: The competition is astronomical in this field. You really have to keep on your toes to get out new content and real in more customers than other blogs. The higher you rank on Google, the easier it will be.
- No Repeat Customers: The bad thing is that it is hard to get repeat customers for the same company. For example if a person reads your article clicks on a link to Amazon and you get a commission for that purchase. The next time they need closet organizers, they will simply just go to Amazon themselves taking you out of the equation.
- Pay is based on Your Content Performance: Like stated above, it takes a lot of work to rank in the first few pages of Google or reach a lot of people on social media and attract new customers to your page. Your performance determines the amount of pay you get. The more you get out there and the more numbers you attract to your blog, the more you get paid.
- Need to Reach New Customers Everyday: Because you won’t have repeat customers, you will need a broad range of content to target new customers each day.
Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)
MLM is quite different in its approach to sales. This is a direct sales approach in which you are only compensated from the sales you sell and the sales of your downline. You are expected to sell products through relationships and word of mouth, but also encourage individuals to join forces and become a distributor. The more people that sell the product through you, the more money you make.
Multi-Level Marketing has been known to have many Cons, but is does have some Pros for the right individual.
Pros: Unlike what many have to say, there are Pros to MLM.
- Anyone can do it: It doesn’t take a degree, a skill set, or any educational background to become an MLM. Anyone is able to do it.
- Flexible Hours: With MLM, you can work when you want and how long you want. Schedule shows around your time, and advertise when you want.
- Everything is Established: One of the best things about MLM is that the strategy is done for you. Everything you need to grow your business is right there in your kit. Most of the time MLMs even offer you letters, emails, and other marketing tools.
- Potential to Grow: You have a lot of potential to grow with MLMs because the more people you bring on that sell and the more you sell, the more money you make.
Cons: Even though there are Pros, sometimes the cons outweigh the Pros.
- Takes a lot of Effort: Being an MLM takes a lot of time, dedication, and effort. If you can sell to anyone you come across this may be great for you, but if you have a hard time with direct sales, it may not.
- Friends and Family may Alienate You: The biggest marketing tool MLM gives you is to tell all your family and friends. Your friends and family may get tired of hearing you sell to them and alienate you.
- Money up Front: Most MLM companies require a startup package up front. So, in order to even start your business, you may need $100-thousands of dollars up front.
- Continuous Financial Commitment from You: Another factor MLM companies require is a certain amount of sales from YOU each month in order to continue being a distributor.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons when deciding on any business endeavor. What other Pros and Cons have you experienced on your way to the top?
I think the biggest difference though is that most people who start a blog or an MLM business do it because they are an entrepreneur at heart, They want to set their own hours, make their owns and have their own business.
But whether you like it or not, having an MLM business is not truly having your own business. You are simply a salesperson for the the MLM product. They make the rules on how you can sell the product and what you can do “in your business.” Sure, you get to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want – but it’s not truly your own.
If you’re looking for an in-depth course on how to make more money with affiliate sales, you need to check out Make Sense of Affiliate Marketing. The course creator makes over $50,000 A MONTH. Learn all her secrets in the course. I am in the course and I highly recommend it.
Haven’t started a blog yet? Check out the extremely affordable hosting options at SiteGround. This is the company I use and I am very happy with the service.
Looking for a way to learn how to blog from start to finish? Like, what do you do after you set up a blog with SiteGround? Learn more about the free ecourse I created, Start a Blog 101, which shows you all the basics you need to start and grow your blog.
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