For 10 years I was a direct sales queen.
I rose up the ranks and went beyond the typical 80 % who never make a dime in that type of business model to the top 20%. I even earned all sorts of prizes like cars and other fun stuff. There is nothing wrong with network marketing when it’s done correctly, but I found it wasn’t something I personally wanted to continue doing. Even though I officially quit several years ago, I’ve signed up with a network marketing company on occasion to purchase an interesting product as a customer and then contemplated if I wanted to go forward with it as a business. I finally decided to wean myself off all the programs those slick tongued rascals talked me into and am now free, at least until the next slick tongued rascal comes along.
As someone who was in the top 20% of a company, I know what it takes to actually make the business work and become successful. However, for me I just wasn’t having fun calling up people who didn’t want to be called, shuffling friends off to meetings hoping they would buy or recruit, or getting them on three way calls with up-lines who put the pressure on much easier than I felt comfortable doing myself.
To add to that, I’ve recently experienced some of the yucky traits of a few (names not mentioned) network marketing companies. For example: I went to a business networking event and purchased a product from a nice woman I met. It was a weight loss product and I thought it might be worthwhile to try. The next month, I found out I had been signed up to an auto ship even though I had specifically asked the person if that would happen when I purchased it. That was super sneaky, in my opinion. Since I wasn’t going to continue using the product, I called and demanded a refund.
On another occasion, I received a phone call from a good friend who invited me to something “exciting I want to share with you.” Because he was a good friend, I decided to show up, but figured it was probably some sort of business venture and started planning how I was going to escape. His upline also called to thank me for RSVPing for the meeting to make me feel guilty if I decided not to show up. No one ever mentioned the name of the business. When I arrived I found out it was a presentation for a company I already knew about and had no interest in. If they had told me what it was about ahead of time, I wouldn’t have come. It turned out to be a big waste of time not only for me, but also my friend, who didn’t get the sale or recruit.
Even dumber was when I accepted an invitation to go to coffee with someone I had met at a business networking event to “get to know each other.” When I arrived it was not about “What do you do and how can I help you?” Instead he proceeded to launch into a full on presentation of his company only to find out at the end I was already a customer (though not anymore) and that I had been signed up by a friend of his. Duh! That was another case of “don’t tell your prospect what company you are with, as if they are ashamed of it. I can say that with the company I worked with in the past, we were always very up front and honest and that’s why the company has been around forever.
Observation: Sales scripts. (They are all the same for just about every network marketing company and you can smell them a mile away) I always found being authentic and truly caring about the person’s needs rather than my wallet worked better for me.
A while back, Rosalind Gardner, an affiliate marketing guru whom I highly respect, created a video with her impression of MLM. It was hilarious, but was also a “tell it like it is” of how certain companies in that business model worked. It may be worth a watch HERE.
Back to my post title though.
Below are the reasons I switched over from network marketing to blogging:
As a blogger/online marketer:
- You have the freedom to promote whatever it is that truly turns you on
- You set the rules on your companies policies and procedures
- You are able to market in whatever way feels compatible with who YOU are.
There is no required overhead with blogging aside from initially setting up your website and paying for hosting.
Shared hosting, such as Bluehost, costs less than $100 per year. If you have a dedicated server, it will cost more, however, there is no need to be on a dedicated server unless your traffic is so large it’s crashing your site. For most small businesses, this is generally not something to worry about right away unless you are a celebrity or a rockstar. WordPress, one of the most popular website programs, is free to set up on your server. Do it yourself via the 1 click install on many servers, or have someone help you get set up and looking pretty at a very affordable price.
Affiliate Income is Cool
An affiliate product is an item for sale online that is complimentary to your niche. For instance, if you are writing about puppy dogs, you may want to promote a certain brand of dog collars. Almost every product imaginable is available at Amazon.com. Amazon has an associate (affiliate) program that offers commission rates that are only a few percentage points of the purchase price, or you might also find an affiliate program on the product’s company website that offers a larger affiliate commission. Typically affiliate programs offered directly on the product’s website are usually larger with some up to 50% or more of the purchase price. Look into affiliate networks such as Commission Junction, Share a Sale, Click Bank, or Linkshare. (there are many more)
To sell affiliate products, all you have to do is sign up as an affiliate with a company that has a partner program FOR FREE. Then you can choose to write articles or reviews about the product with your affiliate link embedded into links within the article. If you have a mailing list (mucho important to build for most online businesses) send emails using your email service and mention the products in your message with a link to find out more or purchase.
In all cases affiliate programs are free to sign up. If anyone wants to charge you it’s probably a scam.
(For network marketers – this includes lead building sites that sucker you in to build up your list of leads and possibly earn affiliate income. It’s rare that you get actual recruits out of those sites. Ironically, I first found out about affiliate marketing from one of those sites and their training was not bad. However there is no reason to pay a monthly fee to earn affiliate income. If your primary goal is to sign up more recruits in your business then File Lead Generating Sites in the WASTE OF TIME receptacle.)
People Who are Interested in What You Are Promoting Will Find You Online
In network marketing it’s all about team work and creating income producing connections. (recruits) For the most part, this is more easily done with one on one relationships and in person.
As a blogger, it’s easy to develop partnerships with people on or offline who have similar interests, and who will help you promote your products and/or services. The difference is that when you write content online, people find you via search engines and seek you out rather then you having to go out and hunt for them. Even if you want to stay in network marketing, creating content online will set you apart from other consultants in your company.
How to Create Income Via Blogging
There are myriad ways to monetize your presence online besides affiliate income. (Services, Ebooks, Online Courses, physical products, events, tele-seminars, etc.) Once you have enough targeted traffic to your site, you may even consider creating your own affiliate programs. Then, others will be out promoting you and multiplying the chances of customers purchasing your products.
You control your paycheck.
It’s simple to set your business up to receive cash via Paypal or Google Checkout. Create an account with either of the two services. Inside your account, create a button and embed the button code on your site or have someone do it for you.
I use a service called Freshbooks to send invoices to clients that has a Paypal link. I love it! It helps me keep track of all my sales and customers are able to easily print out invoices.
In addition to Paypal and Google Checkout, it’s also possible to take credit cards, checks, cash, or trade for a great massage. It’s up to you.
Be a Control Freak
In any business, you can’t just sit there and expect money to roll in just because you’ve signed up to work an MLM or set up a website to blog your passion. You still have to work it and treat it like a real business.
The difference is; in network marketing, or when working for any type of third party company, you have to adhere to the rules set by your company.
As a blogger/online marketer, you have complete control over your business. Your website is your own, you have a choice of what you want to promote, there is no monthly fee or (autoship) and, in many cases, no inventory unless you are selling jewelry, T shirts, or the like.
Be as wild as you want depending on your target audience without worrying about getting slapped on the wrist if you fall out of line.
Your Bottom Line
Please realize, I have absolutely nothing against network marketing. It’s a great business model if you are excited about what you are doing and you are willing to do what it takes to succeed. However, access your profit and loss statement. You may find that you are spending more money on products and supplies, meetings, seminars, sales tools, etc., then you are making. The fact that “it takes money to make money” is certainly true in any business, but if you find you are not making enough profit to pay for expenses and are going into debt doing network marketing, (or another other type of business), then you may find blogging and promoting your passion more to your liking. Or just bite the bullet and get a real JOB like your family is probably begging you to do.
DISCLAIMER: To make money online as a blogger/online marketer takes time, dedication and skill. It’s rare to see an overnight success. However, if you keep your expenses at a minimum to start off, you will have the time to build your business on the side until your income streams start to kick in.
If you want to develop your real passion in life, rather than someone else’s passion, and live within your own rules rather than those of super rich network marketing CEO’s who are making the majority of the profit, why not give blogging or an online business of your own a try?
If you are happy in your network marketing business and are making a great profit, by all means, keep it up. Believe me I loved earning new cars. It was COOL! But, even still, consider having a backup plan. Think of your business as the business of YOU, rather than that of your company. If your company folds, (which happens frequently in that arena) you will be able to keep creating income without interruption.
Without getting snarky, (playing the blame game or whining and complaining) how are you building the business of YOU whether you are in network marketing or not? Please leave a comment and tweet/ share this post.