Well we’ve made it to Round 5! Could this be the final round? After bouncing around in the ring, I’ve wondered whether we’ll have to go 10 rounds to come up with a final decision, especially if we ask ourselves one simple question…
Is One of These Heavyweights the BEST Affiliate Marketing Program for Beginners?
As you know if you’ve been part of the audience during this “battle”, today I was going to touch upon the Pros and Cons of our two contenders, My Lead System Pro (MLSP) and Wealthy Affiliate (WA), but honestly, I think we should once again focus on some differences. So, if you haven’t been “ring side” for the first four rounds, PLEASE START HERE-> Round 1
If one system is more geared toward helping out the newbie vs. working with someone who is a little more internet savvy, there could be an huge “advantage” based on an individual’s need, depending also on their existing skill sets.
Also, we should consider if both programs are set up to be launching pads for a brand new business or if one is more fitting to those that already have marketing experience and/or are running an existing, if not well established business.
Who are “The Beginners”?
If you’re unsure of yourself on that one…ask yourself these simple questions:
- Have you ever used the internet to market yourself or a business? (ie. email list, newsletter, etc.)
- Do you have a website or business page that is currently marketing you, your product or service?
- Do you use social media (ie. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) in your daily business routine?
- Have you ever written a business oriented blog post?
- Have you ever created a sales video on YouTube?
- Do you consider yourself an “expert” when it comes to marketing or website building in general?
If you’ve answered “NO” to even a couple of these questions…
CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a Beginner!
With all this in mind, we can now begin to establish which is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners. Let’s see how each corner sizes up in this round…
Building from Scratch or Giving Your Business a Boost?
My Lead System Pro (MLSP)
It’s my honest opinion, based on my experience as both a Mastery member and an affiliate, that MLSP leans more toward those working with an MLM company. Most of their marketing training is designed to pull in “struggling network marketers”. This strongly identifies with those that have burned out their “warm market” (family & friends), can’t very well distribute their products or are stuck trying to build a “team”, which is more accurately described as a “downline”.
MLSP’s primary focus is on networking, building leadership skills and generating prospects for an individual’s existing business, whether that’s B2B or MLM.
Since EVERY business needs leads, MLSP states that ANY business can use it’s system, but it’s pretty obvious that the real target audience is people who are already struggling as network marketers or are spinning their wheels as a recruiter in an established MLM.
Now I’m NOT saying that MLSP isn’t a good training ground for a beginner. They have so much information packed into their back office about marketing that you could get lost in the learning process. But, due to the elaborate (and somewhat complicated) menu structure of the member’s back office, the “step-by-step” training is primarily there to teach a new member how to use the system not how to build a business. You need to be a Mastery Member ($149/mo.) to get the fully archived training library.
Outside of that, I learned quite a few specific marketing strategies that I would have never considered had I not joined MLSP. But I also wasn’t a “beginner” as we defined above. If you’re new to online marketing, there is training on mindset, content creation, blogging, SEO, video marketing, social media marketing, and MUCH more! For the most part, they emphasize leveraging the system and the experience of their “gurus” to bring more people into the system and to build your lead base.
In a nutshell, the concept of having a “funded proposal” such as MLSP, is so that if your lead says “NO” (or even “YES” for that matter) to signing up for a system membership, buying a recorded training product, or getting involved with one of their many coaching subscriptions, you can then back end your MLM in an attempt to build up your downline, or vice-versa!
Wealthy Affiliate (WA)
In plain and simple terms, WA is a platform that is designed for ANYONE that has a PASSION for ANYTHING and helps them build a website around that passion. In fact, the developers at WA don’t look at MLM in a very pleasant light. Not everyone at WA would agree with the developer’s on that point. And that’s not to say that there aren’t any folks inside WA involved with direct sales or MLM, there are certainly quite a few.
It just seems to me that some have been down that road and decided to change directions with their online business or marketing strategy. I would dare to say the majority of its members tend to lean away from MLM in general, sticking with the mainstream method of making affiliate sales through the larger affiliate merchant sites like Amazon, Walmart or ClickBank, just to name a few.
Wealthy Affiliate’s back office doesn’t require a lengthy “step-by-step” training session to understand how the system works. There is a video or two to watch and you’re up and running with the remainder of the core online business training. The free Starter Package contains some great stuff, but the full training suite is only available to the Premium Member ($47/mo.) If you want full access to their Jaaxy keyword research tool you have three options – Free, Premium or Enterprise (follow the link for pricing).
The BIG difference here between the two programs is that WA continues it’s core business building training in step-by-step fashion, having the member tick boxes as progress is made for both site building and utilizing its Affiliate Boot Camp. Specialized LIVE training takes place every Friday evening.
Once you begin to follow the core training, it takes you through each step from brainstorming an idea, applying that idea to a website theme, building out your site, investigating your target market through keyword research and getting your quality content online as soon as possible, so you can start to build traffic to your site which is monetized using merchant and affiliate sales links. Afterwords, it’s all about tweaking, growing and scaling up.
And This Round Goes To…
Personally, I’m not one to judge you based on which road you go down to build your online business.
As for myself, MLM just isn’t my cup of tea. I’ve reviewed so many direct sales “biz ops” and even considered getting into one or two, but in the end, I made a decision. I’m just not the kind of person that enjoys recruiting people into “downlines” and “crosslines” or selling the type of products that are typically utilized in MLM structures. I am a ham though, and would love to be on stage teaching folks what I know. I was a karaoke DJ for a couple years, so it comes naturally for me! In the end, I really don’t care if I’m on a leader board or in line to win the “next big thing” contest.
To put it bluntly, I’ve seen what happens to the “newbies” in both programs, and there are HUGE differences in that regard. Either way, each program has an enormous amount of support and training for those new to online business building and internet marketing, it’s just that the training itself is more specific to the type of business building you plan on doing.
Wealthy Affiliate is about succeeding in ANY BUSINESS NICHE based on your PASSION, while MLSP is more about BUILDING UP an MLM or other existing business you are already involved in (although it wouldn’t apply to ALL) and becoming a ROCK STAR while doing it.
If you’re the Rock Star Leader type, love center stage and thinking about joining or are already involved in an MLM, I would highly recommend My Lead System Pro (MLSP). You’ll fit right in…
But, if you were to ask me to give an opinion on “What is the best affiliate program for the beginner?”, especially if that someone is on a tight budget (usually beginners), doesn’t fully understand the direct sales industry (beginners), isn’t already involved in an MLM (beginners) or isn’t running an offline business that would benefit from some “rock star” marketing… (I think you get the point)
I would have to go with Wealthy Affiliate.
Now that we have that out of the way, I’ll be certain to cover what I consider the Pros and Cons of each system in the next Round!
Ding! Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! Round SIX…