Internet Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing

definition of marketing

Web Internet MarketingIn this post my purpose is to clarify the meaning of common terminology used to describe online marketing methods and strategies.

What is the difference between internet marketing, affiliate marketing, online marketing, and multilevel or network marketing.

The concept to understand is that Internet Marketing or IM is a broad umbrella term that includes different methods and processes used to market products and services online. Under ‘internet marketing’ are various methods to generate income using the internet as a marketing tool.

These include: affiliate marketing, direct selling, reselling with private label rights, website flipping, buying and selling domain names, network or multilevel marketing, blogging, traffic brokering, advertising, lead generation, e-commerce, and so on.

With the exception of multilevel marketing and network marketing, as I explain below, the end goal of the other methods is the same: to satisfy consumers with products or services that meet their needs.

Multilevel And Network Marketing

In multilevel or network marketing (they are the same), the main focus is on recruiting new members into a downline of distributors. There may be a membership fee that does not always include use of the products or services.


The bulk of the income made by MLM distributors is through recruiting new members
who pay membership fees and buy products for re-distribution within their sponsored membership base.

While in some MLM compensation plans actual sales of products can be made to the public, members mostly end up selling company products to their downlines, who in turn qualify to earn higher commissions if they do the same.

Before joining an MLM program, my advice is to look at the financial statements of the company to verify that at least 50{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8} of the sales made by distributors are derived from retail sales to public consumers who are not required to become a member or distributor in order to participate.

Legitimate MLM companies with quality products, retail sales and ethical business structures do exist. I have nothing against valid MLM business models where products have legitimate value and consumers are able to buy them without having to participate in the business.

Unfortunately, the industry is rife with pyramid-like schemes where the product is questionable or non-existent and the majority in the system struggle to make money.

I posted about the Federal Trade Commission investigations into the multilevel company Herbalife. Ultimately the company was fined $200 million that they had to pay back to 350,000 members. The video I posted in that article is compelling viewing and reveals what to look out for when choosing the multilevel marketing route for your business.

If you are thinking of joining a multilevel or network marketing program, I urge you to read my article and watch the video. View it here.

Ownership of Affiliate Products and Services

definition of marketingThe product or service promoted with affiliate marketing can belong to a company, small business or individual. As an affiliate marketer, you do not own the product.

It could be worthwhile to develop and promote your own products in addition to having your own affiliate program so that others can promote your products.

If you are promoting products that belong to a company or someone else, you are known as an independent affiliate, affiliate marketer, reseller, or associate.

Many companies are keen to have affiliates enlisted to promote their products in exchange for commissions.

For the average person whose goal is to make money online, this is a practical way to get started and learn the basics of affiliate marketing.

Commission payments can range from 5{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8} to 75{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8}, depending on the company and the product or service.

Watch this video tutorial on How To Make Money Online – The Process Explained.

Note:  when viewing the video, a few seconds in a big popup will appear. Simply click the X in the top right corner and continue watching the video. Do not worry about the date of the video.  This type of content is ‘evergreen’.  It continues to be relevant today.

For ongoing success, you will also want to learn how to drive traffic to your web pages and various marketing strategies, such as getting ranked on the first page of the search engines.

Frederich Nietsziche.

Resell Rights, Master Resell Rights

Midway between being an affiliate (for someone’s product) and creating your own product, there is another way to earn online. The method is to obtain e-products, usually e-books, software, or graphics that you can sell from your own website and receive 100{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8} of the sale price.

These places may offer a “free” website-product package for you to get started in the hopes that you will succeed and will upgrade to their paid services, and they will give you resell and master resell rights.

Be aware that “editing”  is usually not permitted with Master Reseller Rights products. They require you to sell the product “as is”.  Always check the terms of use and license requirements that is included with the products.  Understand the licensing terms before you buy.

Not all but most Master Resell Rights (MRR) products contain affiliate links to external products and resources. Those affiliate links belong to the creator of the product or their selected affiliates.  This means that in addition to the income you get from the direct sale, you are also helping the product creator promote his or her links. This might be a reasonable trade-off but check that your customers are not going to be led to any dubious products because all they will remember is that they got there through you.

Private Label Rights

Or you might be interested in digital products with private label rights or PLR, which include niche websites, articles, e-books and PDF reports that can be branded as your own.  Research the web to find these and don’t forget to do due diligence on the service before you start using it.

With Private Label Rights or PLR, you can edit the content to make it unique to you.  I recommend that you do a thorough rewrite of any PLR content. Make sure it is up to date (most PLR products have outdated info and links) and put it under your own brand and links.

Over the years I have seen a common newbie mistake to buy these type of products (for example from eBay or Facebook) and then not know how to sell them.  The sales and thank you pages provided with the product must be set up on a hosting account.  The ‘buy’ button will need to be connected to Paypal or other payment processor account to receive payment. It is the same procedure as selling your own products.

My recommendation is that you understand the process required for payment processing, hosting, uploading and how the buyer will pay you and download the product. Some private label rights, resell rights and master resell rights services provide these resources and a ‘how to’ guide, but many don’t.  It’s not difficult but you need to have the information and web tools to make it happen.

Internet Marketing Methods and Strategies

Four Essentials at WAOne can pursue a variety of internet marketing strategies. Savvy marketers may create their own unique formulas, or add a twist to an existing strategy.  The important point to appreciate is that those marketers are usually experienced in the traditional marketing techniques before they start applying innovations to their business.

Newcomers, eager to make money fast, tend to put the cart before the horse. They sign up for something that looks good and start promoting without understanding the basics.  Thinking back, I could have saved a lot of time, effort and money had I done more homework before diving into the internet marketing waters.

Once you know the nuts and bolts, you can customize some methods and strategies to suit your preferences, or you can break away from them entirely to do your own thing.

I trust that the topics I share on this site will help to enhance your knowledge and skills on the web.

How To Get Started Creating Income Online

How does one “do” internet marketing?  You can learn everything you need to know at the training and business community where I hang out.

This can make a big difference to your results.  Find out about how you can benefit.  Free to join. Check it out in the review section

Jude Banks - Bridging The Gap

You might also enjoy:
Learning vs Doing Mindset
Getting the Basics Right is Fundamental to Success
Learn How to Make Money Online


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8 thoughts on “Internet Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing”

  1. This is a great overview of the different ways of marketing online. I wasted a ton of time on network marketing over the years. I was fortunate to find some companies with good products so what I wound up being was a product user. As, just as you said, similar products became available much cheaper, those companies were dropped too.

    It was only after I became serious about affiliate marketing and the training they have over at Wealthy Affiliate that I actually began having some consistent earnings.

    Thanks for posting this informative piece.

    1. Glenda, I can relate to wasting a lot of time on network marketing. For a long time I did not appreciate the positive difference it can make to follow the right business model for one’s purpose. I’ve tried several different approaches over the years, and affiliate marketing is the method that suits me best. With MLM, my income was based on the efforts of my downline and 98{b836676211964b66ddb1a94012779accd2cb69eec60a63bc16d10fd7c8344bc8} did nothing. With affiliate marketing, the results equate entirely to my own efforts, something I can decide and control.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your feedback. See you around. ~Jude

  2. Great Post Jude, there is nothing wrong with combining Affiliate Mktg and Network Mktg as we are all trying to generate multiple income streams. I have to admit that Network Mktg can be difficult if you do not have the right leadership. Thank you for you valuable insight.

    1. Hello Patrick,

      We’re fortunate to have many different choices these days in how we go about generating income online. For me, it is more about self-leadership. It does help to have the right role models for the path we choose. I have nothing against multiple streams of income. The mistake I see some folks make is trying to achieve “multiple streams” before they are successful in one stream.

      I appreciate your visit and your feedback, Patrick. I look forward to visiting your site. ~Jude

    1. Hi Zora, so nice to see you. How are you? Must catch up with you. Been missing my partnership friends.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it. ~Jude

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