Affiliate Marketing VS Multi-Level Marketing [MLM]

Which Is Best Affiliate Marketing or MLM?

I have been involved in Both Multi-level Marketing commonly known as MLM or Direct Selling. I have also written a Review on My experiences with Lifeplus just one of the MLM companies I was with before I met Affiliate Marketing.   I am also an Affiliate Marketer. I want to tell you what both are about and why I prefer Affiliate Marketing instead of Multi-Level marketing. I am going to put both business modules head to head with all the pros and cons. So let’s dig in and find out more about Affiliate marketing Versus Multi-Level Marketing. Why Affiliate marketing is best!

Included in this review are, What I have found to work better? Why I earn money easier with Affiliate Marketing than I have done with MLM? I will include some of the lesser-known pitfalls your upline in MLM does not want you to know. I was an MLM Associate for 2 and a half years with two MLM companies. I have been in Affiliate Marketing now for three years.

Just a quick Summary of both before we get into this review.

  • What is Multi-Level Marketing (commonly known as MLM)?

MLM is more about building a team in order to promote a product or service. The more people you recruit, the more commissions you’ll earn. However, you will have to have so many people in your downline before you can start to earn any commissions. You will also have to buy the product and buy a monthly subscription also. That can cost from as much as $50 to $1000+ a month depending as all MLM companies vary.  Most are similar to Pyramid schemes.

You have to recruit people in order to earn and so will your downline. That way you can also earn commissions from your downline also. This is a constant system where you will have to keep recruiting new people all the time. Once you have a successful downline you then take care of them and push them to get more people who they can recruit. It is hard work and most do not succeed and give up easily. Or just become product buyers. Most MLM companies restrict you on certain aspects of sales and normally you can only be with only one MLM company at a time.

  • What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a service or product you can tell people about via your own website or via email marketing and social media. Like Facebook and yes even Youtube. You don’t have to own the product and mainly people come to you. You market a product on behalf of a vendor. You get paid commissions based on your monthly or quarterly sales volume. These products you promote can come from places like Amazon, Click Bank, Shareasale to name but a few.

By being an Affiliate Marketer you do not have to do customer services nor do you have to post on the product so you don’t have to deal with postage and returns. You are basically letting people know about the product and if they buy via your Affiliate link you then earn a commission. No recruiting at all needed for this. Most Affiliate companies do not charge you to join them. As an affiliate marketer, you work independently and promote as many products as you like.

<<Want to Learn How to be An Affiliate Marketer find out more and get your Free training included>>


How to get started with MLM and How to sell the products. 

You can find a company yourself. Most are recruited via family or friends first. MLM is a form of direct selling. Where you will join a company that will also give you a pin number and you will be allocated a sponsor if you haven’t been recruited by anyone. These are called your upline. There are many MLM companies but most people know them for their health benefits. As an example, I was with both Forever living and also Life Plus. I will be writing up reviews and my experience with both these companies in the coming few days so please keep a lookout.

Direct sellers are given the opportunity to build there own sales team, where also, in addition, they can make money by selling the products and earning commissions from the downline they have recruited. Direct sellers or MLM Marketers are able to sell products via friends or by hostessing your own parties. That is a good way to sell products but also get newbies to join you as potential MLM recruiters. That is where the biggest money is earned of course. This is hard work and hopefully, you have a massive family and friend list to get started with.

Forever living mainly base their products on Aloe Vera. They have the Aloe Gel that is one of their biggest sellers. Life Plus was mainly based on herbal remedies by tablet form. You cannot buy these products on the high street that’s why they need you to help them sell the products. You buy these products at a discounted price and sell them on at a retail price. Every company differs in its terms and conditions. Like with Lifeplus you are not allowed to promote on social media etc.

Find out more here from the DSA. Direct selling association’s Main website. 

All the training that you will need will come from your upline. Everything you are taught you will also need to teach your own downline that you have recruited. Recruiting is not as easy as you think. I hear of many stories where people end up falling out with family and friends etc. I know this myself. As I was recruited by a friend of 25 years for Life Plus we now do not talk. You have to trust your sponsors if you have a greedy sponsor they will try all sorts of tactics to undercut you or cut you out. Not all sponsors are the same but mine was not good at all.

There can be lots of bad reps as there are good. That is down to you to test the waters. If you like the products that you are selling then that isn’t so bad as you get to use the products yourself. So it can have its advantages. If you want to make a side income this can take up to 5 years to earn a $3k a month investment. Obviously, some may do it quicker. Some take a whole lot longer.

Just be careful your going to need to do a lot of selling and recruiting. Make sure any MLM company you decide to join are a legit and registered company also. Make sure you love the products yourself too. That way at least you are gaining something even if you find it hard to recruit your downline.


Pros of MLM.

  • Can be flexible in the hours you work.
  • Get to host your own parties.
  • Can be empowering and increase your confidence.
  • You can join social groups to help you move forward.
  • Work from home or can be a Part-time side gig to supplement your income.

Cons Of MLM:

  • Hard work
  • Products are costly.
  • You need to buy a starter pack.
  • The monthly subscription gets higher and higher the more you recruit.
  • Many fall out with friends or family.
  • People only join if they see you earning money this can take years.
  • Many bad companies out there.
  • Having a bad upline can hinder you moving forward.
  • You need three to five people below you to start earning.
  • You cannot promote as you would like they have many rules of what you can do and can’t.
  • you can be stuck with the same company.
  • Many products although are not allowed are widely sold elsewhere like eBay and other market places.


This can hinder your sales. Be careful there and check out the products you may promote. I see many Forever living Business boxes being sold on FB market place, Gumtree, eBay. These are from people who have failed at recruiting and are trying to gain back the £200 they paid out for business boxes. It is against the rules but they still do it. So you will be questioned by new sales prospects about it.


How to get started with Affiliate Marketing and how to Earn Money as an Affiliate Marketer?

You can start out as an Affiliate Marketer and it won’t cost you a dime. However, if you want to make this a full-time business then there are certain things you will need. A website is important. You will need an email list and you will need to learn how to monetize your website. By monetizing your website means by promoting other people products. As an example. Amazon has a zillion products that they sell but they also have an affiliate side to it.

Let’s think like this. Let’s say Mr Shoes. He has a shop that sells shoes. I have a blog that sells pointed high heeled shoes for ladies. I would promote Mr Shoes on my blog. If somebody likes the review I write and the look of the shoe they will then click my unique affiliate link which will take them straight to Mr Shoes where they can then purchase the pair of shoes I wrote about on my website/blog. If they buy I earn a small commission. Those commissions differ depending on the products I promote.

That way you don’t have to buy the product in advance. Nor do you have to deal with the customers. You do not have to deal with posting or returns. You don’t have to worry about all the hassle with customs like you would if you had to buy a load of stock to sell first. That way you get more time to earn more money by selling other people products without having to purchase them.

You also don’t have to hound people like family or friends to buy your products. Most people find me without promoting on social media or by doing PPC pay per click. Very similar to how you have found me by searching for what you are looking for in the major search engines like Google and Bing/Yahoo.

There are also ways to earn a recurring commission. That means you get paid every month every time someone upgrades to a monthly subscription. Not the same as MLM. Recurring commissions are always better and can work out better than some of the high ticket sales that you can promote.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing.

  •  Flexible hours
  •  Can be turned into a full-time income.
  • You don’t have to keep recruiting people.
  • You do not have to own a product.
  • You do not need to Deal with customers.
  • You can promote as many companies as you like.
  • Is less work than MLM and easier to earn money.
  • You don’t for most companies need to pay a fee.
  • The pressure is off you all the time as you can promote what you like.
  • No high pressured sales involved.
  • If you know what you are doing you can have multiple incomes coming in from different sources.

Cons of Affiliate Marketing.

  • If you don’t know what you’re doing it can be hard.
  • Many scam companies waiting to suck you in and take your money.
  • You are better with a website as the best affiliate companies need you to have one.
  • If you are not sure what to do you need to invest in good training that will not break your bank.


Getting the right training is easy if you want to pay out tens of thousands of dollars. finding the right training platform that will not only help you succeed but will not break your bank neither that is harder. To be an Affiliate Marketer you are best off getting all your training in one place. A training platform that will teach you how to build your own website even without any skills and will also teach you how to monetize that website and not only that will give you the chance to earn money also as you learn the whole process. You can do that right here with this website and training platform I have found


Why do I prefer Affiliate Marketing To Multi-Level Marketing?

Well, that’s easy enough to answer. I spent 2 and a half years altogether on MLM companies. What did I learn absolutely nothing other than bothering as many people as I can like family and friends? On one company I spent £51 per month some months were £120 for their weight loss programme.

I didn’t realise I wasn’t earning anything at all as I needed 3 people in my downline to earn money. Basically, all I was doing was buying products that my upline was earning from. They didn’t care what I was doing they were more interested in their own gains. The other one I was with cost me £200 to start I didn’t t like their products at all especially the creams.

Same again. I was hounded by my upline to buy another extra £150 so they could get their quota in. I wasn’t into setting up stalls anywhere I could in the high street as they were doing without licenses. Most market traders will run you off if you do that in the UK. It was a constant barrage of sell this recruit that. The pressure was endless and I got sick of it.

The first company all in all cost me more than 2K for products that I still have.  That I can not get rid of now. The people that get to the top are the ones that stay there and they very rarely have any under them that get as far as they do and if they were like my Upline at LifePlus they do it very underhandedly. Never again for me.

That is my own personal reasons I wanted to earn money not waste it. Not only that every time I wanted to try something I wasn’t allowed especially on the internet which is rather crazy to me as the majority of people shop online nowadays. I was constantly held back from moving forward. The things I did notice I was told not to worry about. Which annoyed me again. Like I said have two and a half years I learned nothing at all from MLM..

 Affiliate Marketing why it is the best?

Once I found the right training I was up and away. I started to earn money around the 4th month. I was also taught how to be a Local marketer. I have no hassles and I do not need to hassle anyone at all. I earn recurring commissions and I am trained constantly after all we have to be as the internet and the way we promote or sell changes every single day. I did this with less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day. I haven’t looked back since. It’s so much easier than MLM and less hassle. No more recruiting for me at all. No stress at all. I do as I want and answer to nobody. The amount of stuff I have learned is way beyond I could have ever imagined..

Want to build your own online business today and Earn While You Learn you can just JOIN US HERE IT’S FREE. 


6 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing VS Multi-Level Marketing [MLM]”

  1. Hello Deborah, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Personally, I am more with affiliate marketing instead of MLM because MLM is somehow like a “scam” to me. I know there are folks who rock with MLM but I think that affiliate marketing is much better and more rewarding when it comes to online income.

    • Hi,

      some MLM companies are scams but not all. I have just write a review on Lifeplus I was with them for a good Year and half. I never earned a penny. 

      Wealthy Affiliate was the way to go for me for sure. Since I started with them I have never looked back. I hate all that recruiting palaver to be honest. It just wasnt worth all the hassle and the aggravation. 

      Not to mention you have to teach your downline everything where as If I get referrals with Wealthy Affiliate they are trained the same way I was. By Kyle and Carson the co-founders and of course Jay our live training chief. Not to mention all the extra training we get from Wealthy Affiliate Members.

       Imagine how much time is saved rather than spending hours a day constantly training and repeat training members for MLM. That can take up hours in a day. I know I have done it lol/. 

      Affiliate Marketing sis so much easier in the long run once you know how.

      Kindest Regards Debs  🙂

  2. You have done a great job juxtaposing between affiliate marketing and MLM. oMG! I hate MLM business offers because I came across them first in the making money online region and I lost a lot of cash due to buying products that I was unable to sell and also a lot of friends that I invited to the platform who wasted their money too. But then, affiliate marketing has been a blessing to me. I must couldn’t say enough concerning the various benefits I enjoyed through affiliate marketing. The fact that it requires less capital is a plus and I don’t have to do the tedious work of personal selling or buying products. I have made some cash but I still hope to establish my self more through affiliate marketing. 

    Thanks, Rodger

    • Hi, Rodger,

      You sound like me lol. I struggled with MLM. I havent looked back since starting with Wealthy Affiliate. I now earn two forms of income so I am super happy. I think I started earning with Wealthy Affiliate in my 4th month. That is so much better than losing money and friends and buying products I certainly did not nee nor want. 

      Wealthy Affiliate and Affiliate Marketing is the best way to go for sure. 🙂

      Thank you for your comment.

      Debs 🙂 

    • Hi, Justina,
      What is your country? I know Nigeria cannot access the free start-up account. You can join via the Premiumsign up. Some use a VPN a Virtual Private network. We have many members who have joined us from Nigeria.
      Here is the link for Premium Signups. What is included is way too much to share here so please take a peek. With Premium you do get 50 websites all with FREE SSL and so much more.
      Everything you will need to get your Own Online Business up and running on the internet
      Debs 🙂


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