The world economy has proven to be unpredictable especially since 9/11, and a lot of people are losing their jobs as a result. Having with close to NO options for work, how could anybody prosper in this changing environment?

As a result to this, a lot of people are looking for opportunities to start their own business. With a low startup capital, Affiliate Marketing and MLM are legitimate business models that could make you money online.

Affiliate Marketing is a model where a company rewards the marketer based upon his personal marketing efforts. For example, a customer visits the marketer’s website, clicked on an advertisement that directs him/her to the Seller, and upon purchase, the marketer is compensated with a sum of commissions for his business referral.

Multi Level Marketing(MLM) however, is a model that compensates individual distributors/members for various income possibilities, mainly from personal sales, personal recruitment, overiding commissions on group downline sales and their recruitments as well as more compensations depending on the program you got involved in.

The advantage of affiliate marketing is on its leverage with the internet to a global marketplace. With a website, or various lead capture pages, you could be making a respectable 5-6 figures income with the comforts of your home.

With MLM however, identifying your marketing strategy is key, as there are countless ways to market the opportunity and one could easily be drowned if a focus could not be established. If marketed well, with its leverage on the personal organization growth, you could be realizing a limitless income spanning generations as the business could be inherited by next-of-kin if the worst should happen. Another advantage of MLM is the business education you could acquire from the sponsor. A good company/sponsor would definitely train you to succeed as with your success, comes their success. NOT the other way around.

As to anything in life, you should be prepared to face a learning curve to master being either an affiliate or an MLM entrepreneur. If you are expecting both prospects to be easy, get ready for a ride of life…

Being an affiliate marketer requires you to master certain online marketing tactics namely, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Website Development, Pay Per Click(PPC) Advertising, Social Media, Copywriting and many more.

Overwhelming is just a small word to explain affiliate marketing all together. Even so, as any other skill, it could be learnt and you could definitely profit online when the skills are acquired.

As for MLM, if you intend to market online, the same learning curve apply and furthermore, the marketing approach becomes more important as you wouldn’t want to come off as a jerk forcing people to join your MLM opportunity without any obvious benefit apart from “this is the greatest ever opportunity you would ever come across in your lifetime” pitch.

Regardless, both business models shares certain foundational principles for success.

1-Get A Mentor

Choosing a mentor to start your career online determines your success rate tremendously. There are hundreds of ‘gurus’ online who could either be a great resource for you OR just there to sell you the next deal.

A general rule of thumb, follow those who are VISIBLE in the net. Your due diligence could be from their fan base or testimonials, ie. Facebook, Twitter. Remember, the internet is VERY resourceful. Just do your research and you would definitely find a mentor who resonates with you.

Try to avoid learning from underground marketers who promises you a ‘Push Button’ simple product.

Learn the basics right, from the right people and you could go further in your search for online profits.

2-Learn Core Skill Sets

From the mentor, learn the core skill sets. You’d be surprised to find many who could offer FREE training for your initial success. Identify their strength and just follow through on the training.

To site some examples, the person could be an SEO expert, a professional blogger or a copywriter. Just absorb what they have to offer and…

pay careful attention to how they position themselves in the marketplace. Are they a resourceful expert? Are they interacting with the visitors? Do they have value added service to their subscribers, like webinars?

3-Join An Opportunity

Before you start marketing, you’d need a product to sell. From earlier descriptions, I trust you could decide whether affiliate marketing or MLM sits well for you.

4-Initiate Your Marketing Efforts

Set your budget for your marketing efforts and initiate what you have learned online. Nothing beats experience. Continue to make mistakes and you would definitely grow to be a better marketer online.