Hi, my name is Nathaniell and I’m the owner of One More Cup of Coffee. I’ve been earning money on the internet since 2010, and working full time from home since 2012.
Before we jump into the details of how affiliate marketing can help you become MORE profitable than MLM, without all the typical network marketing pitfalls, let's take a look at my income figures.
You'll notice income from a variety of sources, and all screenshots with my watermark on them to prove that they are mine. Details of which companies I promote have been removed for privacy reasons.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the timeline of my business from the beginning to now:
- June 2010: Start First website, $0
- September 2010: First sale, $5
- Nov 2010 – Feb 2010: Taking a break
- March 2010: Making daily sales
- June 2011: Total yearly profit: $6,000
- April 2012: Monthly profit: $11,000
- May 2012: Quit job
- Feb 2013: Start new website
- 2013-2014: Total income, $100k+
- 2015: Private…sorry!
Earning income from a variety of sources means I have stable income from month to month. It also means I can sell a portion of my business for a lump sum profit, while keeping a portion as passive income.
You can absolutely achieve the same things I have, but you have to start somewhere…the beginning! Start your first affiliate website here and I'll even help you while you build your first business!
Some Background On Me & My Business
A lot of readers of my website assume because I don’t have very good things about Multi-Level Marketing, that I’ve never tried it. However, this is not true! My first attempt at making money online was through an MLM company.
Around 2010, before I found the training courses that earned me $6k and beyond, I was busy researching how to make money on the internet.
One of my first attempts to earning income online was an MLM company called People String. I didn't know what MLM was back then, but the sales pitch sounded pretty awesome. It was supposed to be a brand new social network that was going to take the world by storm, because you could earn money just by searching in Google while signed into your network.
When I signed up, I was told to get my friends and family to join by telling them about the exciting new network I joined, and that they could earn money too just by joining my network.
We could all grow our wealth together!
So I sent a pre-written message (provided by People String) to my entire address book. Not a single person signed up of all the emails I sent, and I even got a few responses from people asking if I was trying to scam them!
All of the negative responses pretty much demotivated me, but I decided to try to do it by myself, and make money inside the network. I did all my daily searches, and actually made a few dollars!
Too bad it was below the minimum threshold to cash out.
My interest faded, and when I started making money in other places, I left the website for good.
It turns out, that just a short time later, the social network portion of the company became defunct. Now the company is called Vape Holdings, and sells devices to smoke marijuana.
I’m not even kidding.
Meanwhile, I was actually starting to get results with affiliate marketing! I built a small website, started promoting some computer software. In the first 12 months I earned $6,000, and after 18 months of working on my business I was earning over $10,000 per month.
With results like that, in 2012 I started the website you see now, One More Cup of Coffee. The idea was to teach people how to get the same results I did, using affiliate marketing. It was really exciting to actually be making money online, and even cooler to know that I could help people achieve the same goals.
Part of what I do here on One More Cup of Coffee is to review companies that claim to teach you how to make money, so of course, I review a lot of MLM companies too.
From reading comments on my website, I was surprised to find out that my own failure with MLM was very common. In fact, I would say it was what most people experience as network marketers. They start with high expectations, get frustrated quickly, and quit or move on to the next business opportunity.
Very quickly, two main things about MLM and network marketing became clear to me.
1. Products being sold are a second priority to recruiting new people into the company
2. The people that make the most money are the ones building a team, or downline
Don’t get me wrong! People do make BIG money in MLM. In fact, you probably have heard a few crazy success stories.
But they are the exception, not the rule. Most people that join an MLM program actually spend more money than they make.
It’s a fact that there are two main types of people that make money in the multi-level marketing industry:
1. Recruit-a-holics. There’s no other way to say it – the big earners and the people with the biggest teams.
2. Coaches. These are the people that don't do MLM. They run masterminds, paid mentorships, or do private coaching.
Being a big recruiter isn’t a bad thing…if your downline can get results by selling product. If your downline is also focusing on recruiting because that’s where the money is at, the network marketing company becomes a product based pyramid scheme.
I know this is a word that makes a lot of people upset, so hear me out.
If you are a recruiter in order to make money, and your downline is recruiting to make money, and their downline is recruiting to make money – who is selling product?
Regardless of whether or not the company you are thinking of joining is part of the Direct Selling Association, you have to ask yourself this:
Are people making good money by selling this companies products, or by building a team of recruiters?
If you are confident that your company has good products to sell, the next question you should be asking is, if they provide you with the right tools to reach an audience that wants to buy them.
Again, many network marketers will turn to friends and family as their first option to make some sales. They throw ‘parties’ to introduce the products to them. Aside from the obvious truth that these parties are just guilt-tripping your friends into buying stuff to jump-start your business, running a business this way is unsustainable.
Let’s face it, how often can you really get them to buy stuff?! The best case scenario is that your company has some really good things for you to sell, and a couple of your buddies purchase on a regular basis.
But considering you have to purchase the products at wholesale cost, then pay for the entertainment to find potential buyers, your margins become razor thin. Although you are making sales, the money you’re making is pocket change – not income.
Can Your Friends Alone Create Financial Freedom For You?
The answer is no. To grow your business, you need to reach a much wider audience. You need to find new buyers every day. You NEED to get your business on the internet. Start your online business right now!
Of all the companies I’ve reviewed over the past two years, the few MLM companies that give you a website rarely teach you how to get traffic to the website, and turn that traffic into sales.
Teaching you how to grow your business is the job of your sponsor. If they don’t engage with you and mentor you, who is going to help you? Without proper leadership, your new business is dead in the water.
No type of business is perfect, but I think network marketing sets up a lot of folks for failure. Here are my main problems with the industry:
- Recruiters make the most money
- Your are not allowed to cross promote
- Success depends on your downline and sponsor
- Gimmicky incentives like free cars
- The “dangling carrot” of financial freedom
- High cost of entry
Let’s talk about two other aspects of MLM real quick before I tell you how I earn money, and how you can get started doing the same thing.
Car Bonuses + Other Prizes
A lot of times with MLM programs they have crazy incentives like free cars, vacations, or other non-money prizes. However, incentives like these usually come along with fine print! The most common trick I see is the ‘win a free car’ incentive, so let’s use that for an example.
The headline is simple: Make enough sales, and you can win a free BMW or Mercedes. But the fine print says that the company only pays to lease the car, and if your sales drop below a threshold, they no longer pay the lease! You could be left on the hook for hundreds of dollars per month because your performance slips temporarily. They may just give you a down payment, and then you're on the hook every month for the next decade.
The Cost Of Joining an MLM Company
Speaking of spending money, have you calculated the cost of joining one of these companies yet? Two of the main costs associated with running a network marketing business are membership fees and product autoship.
Membership fees could be a monthly cost of maintaining your “level”, or a one time fee to upgrade to the next level. These can cost $100’s per month, or $1,000’s in one-time-fees.
On top of that, you may be required to maintain product on autoship to be eligible for certain incentives or bonuses advertised.
All of these costs add up, and at the end of the day, your take-home paycheck is going to be money earned minus money spent. The high cost of running a network marketing company is why most individuals end up investing more money that they spend.
What's That About Affiliate Marketing?
But enough about MLM. Let’s talk about how I earn money, and why it’s so very different from anything you’ve done before.
What I do is called affiliate marketing, and the first thing you should know is that it’s free. You do not have to pay a dime to be an affiliate marketer.
Companies like Amazon, Apple, GameStop, and Netflix are totally free to join as affiliates. By joining their affiliate program, you essentially become a freelance advertiser for their company. There’s no cost to be an affiliate, and you get paid a straightforward commission for each sale you make.
There are literally thousands of famous (and not famous) companies with programs for you to join. Think of any type of product, and there is a way that you can sell it online, and make money.
The cool thing is that you don’t have to purchase or hold any inventory either. Everything is done online. In fact, you don’t even have to deal with customer service, payments, or refunds. You are in charge of advertising, and that’s it.
Next awesome thing: No recruiting! You don’t have to tell your friends or family about it. Again, everything is online, and we are only focusing on customers on the internet.
In fact, you don’t have to ‘sell’ either. This is your own advertising business, and you can decide how exactly you want to pitch the product. For example, one of my favorite methods is to compare three similar products. I am 100% honest about the pros an cons of each product. Each customer makes their choice of which one they prefer, but because I’m an affiliate of all three companies, I get paid no matter which one they choose.
Being able to compare and contrast similar products is another huge advantage of affiliate marketing over network marketing.
How many MLMs do you know that will allow you to openly criticize some of their products, and promote competing companies instead?
Multi-Level Versus Single-Level
One of the big criticisms I hear about affiliate marketing is that it does not leverage the multi-level commission tier of MLM, and is therefore less profitable.
Well, I can only admit that this is true. There is no way to leverage the work of a downline within the affiliate marketing business model.
However, despite this fact, folks are still able to earn very good money…like, six figure incomes. In fact, I personally think this type of business model has the advantage over MLM. Why?
In my opinion, it’s extremely hard to motivate other people. If you have ever been the leader of a team in any type of activity, you know that there’s always a few people that simply won’t do the work. They want to rely on the work of others to carry them to the finish line.
And the problem with MLM is that it’s impossible to earn good money without a good team. You may recruit 100 people to your business, but of all those people, how many will actually devote the time and energy to growing their business? Then, after they start a downline, how many of those folks will have the motivation and fortitude to recruit and make sales?
The answer is not many.
So for me, network marketing type of business model relies too heavily on things I can’t control! I’m totally dependent on other people being motivated, strong-willed, and savvy business people. I just don’t have the leadership skills to run an efficient team.
However, I now that I can count on myself to get the work done. When it’s my butt on the line, I know that I can wake up early, go to bed late. I can give up TV, or work through the holidays, or spend my free learning how to grow my business.
Since there is no upline or sponsors in affiliate marketing, ultimately, I will reap 100% of the benefits of my efforts. Imagine that – I can give myself a raise any time I want just by working harder (or smarter). I may not be able to lead a team, but I’m a highly motivated individual and willing to work hard for myself.
So, let’s take a snapshot of what affiliate marketing looks like so far
- It’s free to join
- You can rely on yourself for results
- You reap 100% of the rewards of your effort
- You get to choose which products to promote
- You don’t have to sell anything to family or friends
Who do you sell this stuff to?
The key to being successful in the business of affiliate marketing is getting your business online, and reaching people from all over the world.
There are over 2 billion people that use the internet every day, and that number grows every year.
In fact, of the people on the internet right now, only a small portion of them are shopping online. However, in the next few years, this number is going to EXPLODE as technology makes online shopping easier and easier.
Think about how many teenagers right now are going to be getting their first credit card in just a year or two. As people start connecting their watches, cars, and even sunglasses to the internet, sales of products is going to be the norm.
The earlier you get in on this gig, the more time you’ll have to get a foothold in any industry you choose. Now is the best time to start your online affiliate business.
How To Get Your Affiliate Business Online
As mentioned above, I started earning money online in 2010. It took me just three short months of training to make my first sale (only $5), and after 18 months of growing my business I was able to quit my job and start working from home.
I’ve now been working full time for over 4 years, and my business earned multiple six figures last year. My business doubled from 2013 to 2014, and is set to grow another 40% this year.
When was the last time you got a 40% raise?!
No, path to success wasn’t instant. No, I’m not a millionaire. No, I don’t live on a beach and work only 15 minutes a day.
Yes, it did take lots of hard work to get where I am today. Yes, I do have to work hard to keep my business running and growing.
Despite not being the ‘picture perfect’ success story, I have the confidence that I’ll never need to work a typical 9-5 again.
How did I get started, and how did I grow my business to six figures in just a few years?
It all started with having two main ingredients: Training and Support.
With no previous experience in online business or affiliate marketing, I joined a website called Wealthy Affiliate in 2010. With step-by-step training, they taught me how to build my first website, get traffic to it, and eventually make sales.
But this is not your normal PDF guide or online forum.
Wealthy Affiliate is a community of newbies and professionals all learning how to start and grow their businesses. The support of the community had a huge impact on my success.
Remember! I was a total newbie, without a clue. I had no idea how to make a website, write an article, or make a link. For every single problem I faced during the initial phase of my first business, I was able to turn to the community to answer my questions. Sometimes, I just needed a bit of motivation, and would chat to the other members to see what they were working on.
These two main ingredients – training and support – were what taught me how to get from Point A ($0) to Point B (Profit!), and beyond.
They currently offer a free Starter membership for anyone that wants to look inside the community and see what’s up. There’s no credit card needed. You can create an account, talk to other members, and even start your first affiliate website with free lessons!
It’s that crazy! It’s totally free to start your first affiliate business!
How Does Wealthy Affiliate Work?
For those of you that are curious about how Wealthy Affiliate works, I’m happy to give you some details about what they teach, and how you’ll be making money online.
Choose an Interest
The first step in building your internet based business is going to be picking a topic of your website. This is the fun part! You can pick anything you are interested in and turn it into a money-generating business.
This will not be a typical ecommerce store or Amazon copycat! Our website is essentially going to be a ‘hub of information’ on the topic you choose.
For example, last year I created a website about homebrewing. Inside my website, I wrote tutorials about how to brew beer at home, plus things like equipment reviews, recipes, and my own delicious experiments.
Other successful website topics I’ve seen generate income in the past include:
- tablets for kids
- organic makeup
- disaster preparedness for families
- beard and facial hair care
- motorcycles for women
- fitness technology reviews
- …and so many more!
You’ll be able to pick a topic that fits you, and what you’re interested in or have knowledge about. You can even speak to other members, including myself, if you want to bounce some ideas around.
Build a Website
This is the part that scares some people, but it’s easier than you think. Nowadays, we don’t have to know any code to build a website. In fact, I’m terrible at code!
We use a website builder called WordPress. It allows for a lot of customization, but is also easy to run for newbies that want to keep things simple. There are thousands of different pre-made looks to choose from, that do the web design part for you.
Your main responsibility as an affiliate marketer is not web design – it’s creating helpful information. That means you’ll be doing research and publishing articles to your website.
Because it’s so easy to make a website these days, it means there’s a lot of competition out there. So how can you make sure that your website is ranked #1 in Google and getting visited by hungry buyers every day?
Ranking your website and keeping people coming back is part of the training inside Wealthy Affiliate. You’ll learn how to find low competitions areas of any industry (even highly competitive ones like weight loss).
I have tested this training myself, and was able to take my website from 0 to over 1000 visits per day in just 10 months. This was done using the research and writing techniques taught within the training you’re about to start.
This is probably the part you’re most curious about! The concept of making money through affiliate marketing is quite simple.
Each company you sign up for to do advertising will give you a special link. By placing this link on your website, you get credit everyone time someone clicks and buys.
This link can be placed in a banner advertisement, or within the body of text on articles you write. Banner ads are quite outdated though, and you’ll learn techniques to get people to buy stuff after reading your articles.
Some places pay a one-time fee of 5%-75%, depending on the products you promote. Other places may pay recurring commissions for any customer you refer. This can stack up some pretty sweet passive income! Money is generally paid through Paypal or direct deposit to your bank.
So now that you have a pretty good idea of what’s taught in Wealthy Affiliate, are you ready to get started?
Remember, it’s free to create an account, and you can start your lessons or even chat live with other members immediately. Live chat is open 24/7!
What Else Is Inside Wealthy Affiliate?
Learning how to set up your business and get it generating income is just the basics of what this community offers. There’s a lot more that’s included in your membership.
Weekly live webinars: Get training on hot topics like search engine updates, ranking local business websites, and website optimization
- Free hosting for 25 websites: You can create up to 25 websites on any topic you want
- 24/7 Tech Support: If your website crashes, contact support and they’ll fix it for you ASAP
- Live Chat: Trade ideas with other members, and even chat with the owners and myself
- 13 Classrooms: Post any question you have on any topic like market research, video marketing, email marketing, and content creation
- Community support: Be part of a network of folks just like you, sharing successes, failures, and personal support
There’s actually a few other cool things related to creating your websites and ranking them in Google, but you can discover those things as you move through the training (it’s all part of your lessons).
OMG that’s a lot of stuff! How much is all of it going to cost?
Well, to be clear, it’s exactly $0 to create your account today. They don’t even take a credit card.
With your free account, you’ll be able to create two websites, and follow 10 step-by-step lessons to get your business off the ground. You’ll also have access to 500+ training modules within the community, as well as live chat with other members.
If you decide to upgrade your account to the premium membership, the cost is $47/month. There is only one level of premium membership, so don’t worry that you’ll be sold any kind of platinum, diamond levels or other crazy stuff! It’s $47/month, and there is no contract, so you can cancel any time.
The special deal they are running right now is that if you upgrade to premium within 7 days of creating your account, you get a discount, and only pay $19 for your first month.
That’s less than $1 a day for a full 30 days access to EVERYTHING in the community.
So now that we are 100% clear on what’s inside Wealthy Affiliate and how you are going to make money by following your training, it’s time to get started.
Remember – I am an active member of the community, and you can contact me at any time with questions you have. I have built my own six figure business by following their training, and you have access to me via the private and publish message boards inside.