Hey there my loyal band of sea changers… I hope you are all well. So today I am going to discuss another, if not at times controversial method of making money online with Multi Level Marketing – a.k.a MLM. Can you make money with multi level marketing? Yes you can. Is it an easy path? No, it is not, and it is certainly not as straight forward as plain affiliate marketing but if you are willing to work at it, you can definitely make enough to earn a decent living for sure.

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - header

So if you are interested in this area as a means of funding your sea change then I have your back/ We will check out the following:

  • What is MLM?
  • What is good about it?
  • What is not so good about it?
  • How do you pick a good one?
  • Can you make money with MLM?

Before we begin, it is important to note that different platforms and programs can differ greatly in terms of payout arrangements, commission levels and product purchase prerequisites. For the purposes of this post, I have decided to keep it generic in terms of what it is that constitutes MLM but as always, I strongly suggest doing some good research before joining any MLM program.

Now, let's see what it is all about…

What is MLM?

Multi-level marketing (MLM) programs are the mainstay of the ‘party plan' world of products such as Tupperware, Mary Kay and Amway etc. and within the essential oils market. The multi level aspects of MLM come from its hierarchical nature in which you make commissions based not only on those that you sell to, but also the sales of those whom you ‘sign' into membership arrangements as well.

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - guys party

In short, the process works as follows:

  1. You join the program, either via referral from another person (known as your up line) or directly through their website.
  2. You promote the products of the company via parties, workshops or online.
  3. As you make sales, you offer incentives to your customers to sign up as a member of the program (there are different names for this but they all mean the same thing).
  4. That new member is then placed ‘underneath' you in a hierarchical arrangement (known as your down line).
  5. You, and a number of levels of your up line, then gain extra commissions for everything they sell as well.
  6. If they manage to refer their customers into memberships, they also become a member of your down line allowing you to make up line commissions as well.

The number of levels of your up and down lines will vary depending on the program you have joined. Commission rates will also change as your down line grows or contracts and many will also offer other incentives such as total company sales percentages and/or access to membership prizes as your own business grows.

Hierarchical categories.

As I just discussed, once you start to make sales and your down line grows, some MLM companies will start to offer more incentives and bonuses. Now of course each program is different and some pay a flat percentage for down line referrals regardless of the number of people involved. The ones that do offer extras for larger down lines (and income) generally do so by assigning a ‘score' to each product that you sell. Usually this is a score of around 1 ‘point' per dollar spent – often based on $USD which is adjusted for different currencies around the world.

An example of this – taken from an essential oils program – is as follows:

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - Doterra graphic

Source: DoTerra.com

As you can see from this graphic, the more down line referrals that a person can attract and sign up, the more levels of commission they can receive. As they grow through the levels, they also receive bonus commission shares based on a percentage of the sales of the entire company. In this case, the movement through the rankings is regulated by a Personal Value (PV) – we will discuss this later – and Organisational Value (OV) which is assigned to every product that their down line purchase.

How this works for example is that a $40 bottle of essential oil might be worth 25PV whilst a $60 tube of natural face cream might yield 45PV. This allows the companies to manipulate the items that they want to promote by adjusting the PV score for each item.

Is it a pyramid scheme?

I mentioned earlier that MLM programs can at times be controversial for a number of reasons – many of which I will discuss soon – but one of the main ones is that this method of commission based selling is often referred to as pyramid scheme. This is technically correct as you any simple diagram that you draw based on my outline above really does look like a pyramid.

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - Pyramid

However, in terms of what a real, and illegal, pyramid scheme is – then MLM is not one of those. The illegal schemes are those where you simply give someone some cash, who then in turn will give you two names who will give you cash and then three names who will give you more cash so on. They are banned in most countries around the world due to the fact that as recruitees dry up, the schemes tend to fail and fall apart before those last in can see any return on their investment.

Now again, technically MLM programs are also pyramided schemes due to their hierarchical nature but are allowed to function in most countries around the world – mainly because there are physical products involved, meaning that the person whom you refer is actually getting something for their purchase and you are making a commission – they are not just gifting you cash. Another stipulation is MLM programs generally must be free to join.

What is good about them?

Regardless of the hierarchical or pyramid structure that we discussed above, at the end of the day, MLM platforms simply pay commissions to those who manage to sell their products to others. There are some real advantages to this type of online business including:

The model works – At the end of the day, if these types of program didn't work, they would not exist. As with affiliate marketing, it is not something that will make you rich overnight, but if you are looking for answers on how to make money with multi level marketing, then with some hard work and dedication, there is definite income to be earned.

Low barrier entry costs – For those looking to get into MLM, the entry costs are minimal. Most programs are free to join – in fact I would be wary of any that have a joining fee – however most will expect a purchase before any commissions can be earned (see next section). Apart from that, most other requirements, such as a website or social media for marketing, are generally free, or close to it. In most cases, you will be able to get yourself setup to start promoting whatever product you have chosen for about $100 – $200.

Win/win factor – The thing that does tend to get missed here is that in many cases, you are selling a product that can actually solving problems for your readers. This means that you can market the products for your readers to purchase which helps them and you are make a commission from the sale which helps you. Again, hierarchical structure aside, this is no different to any other sales process on the planet.

Harness the internet – Another of the controversial aspects of MLM stems from the pre-internet party plan business models where the ‘host' would spend more time trying to get attendees to hold their own parties than actually discussing the products being sold. With the invention of the all things internet with its website and social media, there is a whole new range of platforms with which to promote these products without alienating all of your friends and family. This has not only led to greater exposure to potential sales and down line recruits, but a rapidly growing number of MLM platforms to choose from as well.

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What is not so good about them?

Now, of course some of the sticking points with MLM also need to be highlighted and whilst I personally don't believe that they should deter you if this is a line you wish to go down, they are certainly things to be aware of. They include:

Low success rate – I have done a lot of research on this and the general consensus is that less than 1% of those who join MLM programs will make enough to make it their only source of income with 0.1% getting to the highest level available within their relevant program. Most – around 60% – only ever make enough to cover their own costs and 90% drop off within the first year. So on the plus side, with some patience, most of your competition will drop away leaving you with the spoils…

Success takes a while – I mentioned this earlier, success takes time – generally a longer time than many other online business operations such as affiliate marketing or dropshipping – meaning that unless you are patient and work hard, you may start to question whether it is all worth it.

You need to purchase every month – One sticking point for many – and a major contributor to the 90% drop out rates mentioned earlier – is that most MLM arrangements require a minimum spend per month in order to qualify for commissions (commonly around USD $100 worth per month) for other sales that you, or your down line refer. This can make things a little tight if your site is new and not making any money as yet.

You can get hassled – This may be a call back to the party plan days (we all had that friend who sold cleaning products that we avoided at parties) but with some programs, you may start to feel some ‘heat' from your up line of you are not constantly making sales or bringing in fresh underlings. Whilst this is certainly not as common nowadays (some platforms actually forbid it), if your up line is a little ‘over zealous' then you may find yourself on the receiving end of a little sales rev up!

Exclusivity – As with sales related hassling, the instances of this happening is not as prominent as it once was but some programs insist on exclusivity with their product types. This means simply that if you are in one program, you cannot join or promote another.

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - revenue

How do you pick a good one?

Depending on the niche that you are in, there is usually a large number of both large and small MLM programs for you to choose from. The larger, more well-known programs can give you good traction with brand recognition and well-established commission and payment structures. They do however also come with a lot of competition.

The smaller programs on the other hand are often a little simpler in their application and can provide some good opportunities to promote some very specific or niche targeted products. These however can be a little slower in paying commissions or enforce higher payment thresholds.

To find MLM programs within your niche, simply type “MLM: niche” into your search engine (where niche is the specific area that you are working in). Below is an example for MLM programs available within the clothing niche:

Make Money with Multi Level Marketing - MLM search

Note: search results tend to be geographically based to search results will differ depending on your location.

As you start to look through them, you will need to ensure that they not only match your brand, but their structures and commission payment schemes match the setup of your website and promotional strategies as well. So as you check out the setup of any potential MLM program, keep the following in mind:

  • Ensure that the program and the values of the site relate to your niche/problems that you are solving – remember that your brand is everything and if the MLM program seems a little unethical or does not match the values that you portray on your site then your readers will see that as well and you will be the one to cop any backlash.
  • Check that they have quality products – As above, your brand can be severely damaged if you promote poor quality products.
  • Ensure that they have solid payment and customer service arrangements – as with affiliate marketing, all of the sales, shipping and post purchase processes are managed by the company themselves. And yet again, if this is poor, your brand will suffer.
  • Do you like the commission structure? – This is a big one obviously and as we touched on earlier, commission structures, terms and reward levels can change dramatically from program to program. Some pay lower commissions but make up for it via membership deals and rewards, others pay higher commissions but only at certain levels. Do your research here and ensure that the payment system is one that you are comfortable with.
  • Do they have a good name? – Some products, even though they may be of high quality, have a name that is not so good when it comes to their sales processes. Check out what people are saying about the program you are thinking about. Do they have good testimonials? What are people saying about the issues we mentioned above?

In most cases, you will need to apply for the program before you are allowed to promote their products – don’t take this step lightly or you will be rejected. MLM programs may want to know:

  • Your website name.
  • Traffic levels.
  • Why you want to join
  • How you plan to promote their products.

Most platforms however will provide you with a good amount of promotional materials such as text links, ad banners, posters, guides, e-books and so on.

Can you Make Money with Multi Level Marketing?

Look, it takes time and a lot of dedication and continuous work, but if it is in a field that you are passionate about then there is absolutely no reason why you cannot make money out of multi-level marketing. In fact, if you are able to manage it well and take advantage of the support mechanisms that most of these programs provide, then as long as you are solving the problems of your readers as part of your online processes, then I cannot see a reason why you should not at least consider MLM as part of your online business processes.


And there it is – my honest answer to the question: can you earn money in MLM. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.

Do you want further assistance with some of the skills needed to make money with MLM or to set up some other online business building processes?

Are you looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to develop and host your very own website, ongoing assistance with SEO and social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun


Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price. This may include sales made via Wealthy Affiliate.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

wa first two steps

You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

WA graphic

Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

WA trust pilot image

And here are some of those reviews:

wealthy affiliate trust pilot

And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there


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  1. Wow! Needless must I say that this article is very insightful and has opened my views towards all the misconceptions I have on MLMbusiness. Though I had gotten involved with a couple in the past but I never truly understood what I was getting at until I joined the platform. I lost more money than I could ever recoup NAD they ended up shutting down after the first year. Since then, I have decided against joining any mlm. However, seeing the way you have presented everything to my understanding, I cannot help but be glad that you have shared this information on them. Thanks so much

  2. I am not one to really believe in mlm schemes because i personally had some very soar experience while doing it. I believe however that some people have made it while doing it so its a good thing if anyone will want to try it out but as you have said, there a low success rate which means that the risks of joining is really high. Nice post all the same. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yeah, the percentages of those who makegood money from MLM is extremely small – but like anything, they can make moeny with some hard work.  The trouble is those in uplines tend to be militant – which turns a lot of people off.

      Thanks for stopping by


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