How to Make Money with Two-Tier Affiliate Programs

Whether you are inexperienced when it comes to affiliate marketing, you will find that you need to know about two tier affiliate programs.  Two tier affiliate programs can represent an important type of income to you, so make sure that you learn about it and what it can do for you. At the most basic level, all that a two tier affiliate program is is that wherever you sign on new affiliates, also known as second tier affiliates, you will receive a commission whenever they do.

When you are working on a two-tier system, you will find that being in the first tier is essentially no different from working as a basic affiliate marketer.  The only difference comes around when you are looking to add on that all important second tier of sub-affiliates, where you will start earning commissions while they do most of the work!  While there are some affiliate programs that will take this concept even further and let you work on multiple tiers, it is worth noting that this will run into some limitations and more complex problems.   As the number of tiers go up, so too does the number of people who are just looking to make some money off of other people’s work.

When you are looking at two tier marketing, you will find that it is also called multilevel marketing.  If you are going to be a part of an affiliate program, you will find that you will start out as the first tier.  The first person that you sign up is going to be the second tier that is referred to in the title, and if it is a multi level offering, you will find that you will also consider the people that they sign up part of your network.  Remember that multilevel marketing, also known as MLM is losing the momentum that it once had; today, with so many affiliate opportunities to choose from, you will find that many people prefer to switch from one opportunity to another

Remember that you cannot depend on your second tier to be a reliable source of income for you.  If you are looking to make money using the two-tier program, you will find that you need to think about choosing your affiliate merchant very carefully.  Make sure that you are going to get a fairly high, fairly reliable stream of primary income.  The income coming in from your second tier should be secondary, and you should make sure that you are selling quality product and working with people who have good advertising infrastructures in place.  You will also find that a good merchant will give you a high visitors to sales conversion rate in order to safeguard your investments.

If you are working with a merchant, make sure that they have a good, user friendly site that is as good to you as you are to your clients!  Remember that you should always be able to monitor your own sales to understand what you are bringing in and what you are making.  Look for a merchant that has lots of tools to offer you.

If you are promoting poor products or bad services, you are wasting your time, wasting your efforts and perhaps damaging your reputation beyond repair.  If you recommend a product that isn’t going to do the job, remember that they are not going to give you a second chance; you can kiss that customer goodbye forever!  When you go to pick what affiliate program you want to be a part of, make sure that you research it and make sure that you can keep your visitors trust.  When you are looking to make sure that you are getting into the right opportunity, beware of those that want you to sell memberships more than they want you to sell products.  This means that you should beware of systems with low pay first tiers and high-pay second tiers.

Make sure that when you think about affiliate marketing that you think about what has to be done when you are looking for single or two-tier programs. Both programs have merit, but think about both of them.

With a two tier profit program, you will have the potential for high sales and for commissions from your second tier.  You will also have more customers to work with and because of this, you income will be a great deal more stable and impressive.  You will find that you can nurture life long site and brand loyalty in this fashion if you are careful.

With the two-tier system, if you keep the right information in mind, you will be able make a real difference to your income.  Make sure that you get the profits that you need, do your research and take a look at how you can make this system work for you!


  • max

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Great information. What Two Tier programs do you recommend or how do you find two tier programs?

    maxs last blog post..Affiliate Marketing Plan: A Proven Plan Is The Key To Making Money Online!

  • Arthur greiss

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Hello,I get thousands of e mails like yours,being sucked in, many times for big Bucks,without making a Penny back.How is your program different.????? Or how would it be different ??????

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Hey Reed, Hope you and your family are having a wonderful day! I love the Idea of two tier
    affiliate sales, it would be great to make more money off of someone else’s labor.My last post on my blog directly relates to this, be sure and check it out. See you tomorrow,Timothy Millar
    “The Leprechaun”

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

  • Bryan Hee

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Two-Tier Affiliate Programs is the best programs for us to recruit affiliates to promote affiliate programs. You can benefited from your donwline effort.

    To Your Success
    Bryan Hee

  • Jan Attila

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Thanks Reed, i’ve been working with Two-Tier affiliate program for half a year now and experiencing it’s power. 2-Tier system is probably the most lucrative payplan on the internet now a days.

  • Peter

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Hey Reed,
    are you changing the channel ? The whole thing sounds as if you are promoting some specific system of MLM. I don’t like the original nor this enhanced Version, You may support this way but the workload behind is for a single homerun too big and for the darkside expensive as you need employees to follow up the business and that is profit consuming. To be careful is neither pro or against the system such one is a very very timeconsuming.
    Have a nice day Peter

  • Michael S. Copeland

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    I know 2 Tier is a NO NO with PayPal. Is there a similar vendor you recommend which allows 2 tier?

  • Rivers

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Arthur…he does not have a system he is promoting here…he is promoting a mindset!!

    And he is right!!

    Rivers Corbett

  • Kamsani

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Two tier programs sound interesting! But where to look for one? Is it the same as an MLM business?

  • Tom Bianco

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Two Tier is a form of MLM and there is nothing wrong with that it should be part of your marketing mix


    Tom Biancos last blog post..Google pages is dead

  • David

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    I love the idea of 2-tier or mlm and it is in fact the only kind of program I’m interested in.
    And indeed, like you say, I am always considering it as a one-tier business and see all my sub-affiliates as a nice extra.


  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Greetings Reed, Thomas Richmond here, was there a reason for this lol, i mean i offer a two affiliate program with my S.E.O. website, its when you sign up as an affiliate, you the first affiliate i offer you 30% of what you sell from me and 15% on your second tier or Your affiliate who sell for you, the commissions can be as high as you want them to be depending on who you deal with, like say another company that needs S.E.O. for there business members such as i am doing with my site now or an independant marketer, this is the ideal two tier program i think and i am glad to help those who are looking, its a win win situation i think, but its only good for those who know how and where to find those good prospects and or business that need catering to those specific needs.

  • When I enter a 2-tier program I usually focus on helping my “downline”; I give them coaching, support or materials to make sales.

    Recently I did not pursuit any 2-tier programs anymore as I’m focusing on blogging and selling my own stuff…

  • John Counsel

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Identifying two-tier affiliate programs with MLM is potentially confusing. Strictly speaking, yes, they’re a form of MLM — but extremely limited and, in reality, outside the MLM business model, with non-consumable products that aren’t really suited to the MLM model.

    (Continuity programs are, theoretically, suited to MLM… but since the typical lifespan of a continuity program member is no more than three months, they’re not suited in reality.)

    PayPal can’t be used to receive two-tier commissions (or to pay your two-tier program affiliates) and you risk permanent closure of your account if you try.

    I deal with all of these MLM-related issues on my blog at

    In late November you’ll be able to find two-tier affiliate programs at (you can register for notification right now).

    John Counsel
    CEO, The Profit Clinic

  • Jason

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    What i think is irrelevant but I’m going to weigh in on this one. A 2 tier program is used by PayDotCom, and can be affective if you do it right for example I offer my affiliates in Tier One 50% of a sale, if they make more than 25 sales then I bump them up to tier 2 where they make 75% of the sale. If you do it this way, it can be very good for your business. If you mean some kind of mlm matrix then I have no idea whats up, but this is a two tier affiliate program. Good luck everyone!

  • Marilyn

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Last time I looked there were at least 43 MLM statutes that regulate MLM and participants no matter what they are called in the process, in the USA. MLM is described as any sales situation where there is the company (product owner) you and another involved who is not the purchaser. How is two-tier different?

  • Derek

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    The idea of two tiers sounds great.

    Usually most packages only provide one tier but this will allow greater expansion of my business.

    Dereks last blog post..Clickbank Ad Rotator

  • Dale Kydd

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    I would have appreciated this blog years ago when I first started as I was even paying to be an affiliate.
    Now days there are few that try that stunt but they are still there and the offer makes it so attractive that the people not knowing will do what I and hundreds of others did. LOOSE their money.
    To-day I even avoid membership sights and that is another thing that the newbie’s should research thorourly before joining they can get taken here to.
    Affiliate membership is a great way to start as it costs you nothing to get going and quite often you are given a replica site, but I feel that even this is a bit much for the newbie’s at times.
    Being an affiliate is a great way to learn about the internet and for us older people that never had computers until toward our middle age it is the best way to go.
    I would recommend that you do not join any program with more than 2 levels. there are plenty of sites where you are a strait affiliate and there are no levels and this is the best as you get all the commission and do not have to share it with anyone else. Remember the owners of the product have to make their money as well as the affiliate and if you have levels who’s money is going to be cut short to pay the next level?
    I look at leveled affiliating as a good top up only and do not count on it for income unless it is a big paying item; say over $100.00.
    Please also remember that if you want to be as Reed puts it “Respected and trusted affiliate you must know your product”.
    There are 3 Ways to do this.
    1: Study the info. If not enough info ask the support for more details.
    2: Purchase the item and try it out.
    3: look at the emails you are getting from the people you know are reliable.
    If you know no one then look at the web site and if they do not have their full company name and address + phone # it could be anywhere on the site but usually top or very bottom of the web page; if it is not anywhere to be found and you like the sound of the product then email them or place a ticket asking them but if there is no address then I walk away. It will save you in the long run.
    If the site is honest then why not put their address on it?
    I trust my blogs in reply to Reeds do not take away from his great insight and training but enhance them and save his brain a bit so we can see other wonderful thoughts and advice.
    Take care

  • normz2

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    I am not sure how to set up a 2 tier system. It does sound like MLM which does not last very long and the only people that make any money are the first ones in.

  • Wayne Bell

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    Not putting all your eggs in one basket is a key to online success. Like my Daddy use to say,”Try And Diversify”, It worked for him and it works for me to.

    Regards – Wayne

    PS – I was invited to be part of this great JV with a TON of ebooks and software. Check it out at:>

    There is only a few days left to get involved.

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Two tiers affiliate programs are powerful, you can make more money if you know how to use them.

    ^PV Reymond

  • Ronald

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    I like the way you think and I am sure that by implementing your techniques a lot of good things will start to happen.

  • BIG AL

    Reply Reply October 31, 2008

    That Was Great!!

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    @Max a good two tier program I recommend is Russell Brunson’s this is also a popular directory of 2-tier affiliate programs

    @Arthur I suggest going with your gut instincts and focusing on one program that sounds like a good fit for you that you have faith that it will work.

    @Timothy thanks they are doing well

    @Bryan yes it’s nice to make money off of others

    @Jan thanks it can be very lucrative especially if you go about JV brokering these programs

    @Peter I should clarify… I meant that it’s similar to MLM since you can get paid off other people’s work. The nice thing about two-tier affiliate programs is you can make a lot of money promoting the program yourself and a lot of money if you recruit others but it’s not like traditional MLM where you need tons of people to sign up in your downline to make anything

    @Michael I’d say your best bet is to use your own merchant account

    @Rivers thanks for replying to Arthur

    @Kamsani please look to my replys to Max and Peter.

    @Tom thanks agreed

    @David yep it’s nice to see them earn something and you get rewarded for it

    @Thomas yes to be lucrative with a two-tier affiliate program and take it to the max you need to have relationships with people who would profit from promoting the program.

    @Codrut that’s good did it help boost their sales?

    @John thanks I agree I wrote it in a confusing manner.

    @Jason That’s a bit different. That would be more like a reward system for your top performers

    @Marilyn Two-tier programs are similar to MLM but the nice thing about them is you can make money just promoting the product the ability to make money off others work is a bonus. Where as MLM you typically have to have tons of people in your downline to make any money

    @Derek thanks yes it can help you expand quite a bit

    @Dale thanks great post.

    @Normz2 please see my posts to Max and Peter

    @Wayne agreed

    @PV agreed thanks

    @Ronald keep us posted on your results

    @Big Al thanks I’m modifying your post as it’s very promotional. Please don’t do that again.

  • delords

    Reply Reply November 3, 2008

    Two-Tier affiliate program is really a recommendable income source in affiliate programs cause you never can tell you might just refer a very good online marketer or team leader with a good buying list and is already generating good sales and income for himself and also for you so its a profitable thing to do.

  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply November 5, 2008

    Great information once again! Though I think these economic times will increase the popularity of MLM aswell as all other forms of work-at-home opportunities. In Finland it can be seen, as people fear about their personal finances they choose to go about and start making more money themselves.

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 9, 2008

    @delords you can refer people who do well but oftentimes it’s hit or miss unless you specifically target high performers.

    @Jussi thanks

  • bali catering

    Reply Reply March 3, 2009

    thank you for you opinions.

  • Rev Jeff Lewis

    Reply Reply April 30, 2009

    Just wondering but do any of you look at Traffic exchanges for your marketing resources? I have found that most users of the TE’s are extremely targeted ie beginner and veteran marketers. I have recieved a number of conversions using splash pages rather than just simple affiliate links. If nothing else, they will give you a creative look at how others are doing their marketing.

    Rev Jeff Lewiss last blog post..What are the Types of Affiliate Programs and Different Marketing Opportunities?

  • avi

    Reply Reply May 3, 2009

    Since PayPal doesn’t accept 2 Tier Affiliate Programs, which payment processors do?

  • Some advertising sites have paid the site hosting their link based not on the number of times an original IP visits through the link, but on the number of times the banner ad was “seen.” This method presents a whole host of problems since things like hit counts can be forged and there is no way to insure that just because someone visited a web page that had your logo on it that they even saw it or if they did, that they even knew what it was.

    Other methods of affiliate marketing include paying only when a link is followed AND some kind of transaction takes place. This can be tough on the site hosting the link because the attention span of the average Internet user isn’t long enough in most cases to follow a link and then either complete a purchase, or fill out a form of some kind. The conventional method simply pays a host a commission for every time an original IP is directed to their site.

    In a matter of only a few years, affiliate marketing has become one of the most cost effective ways to drive traffic to a site. Since, in most cases, both the advertiser and the host profit from the set up, there is no reason to believe that affiliate marketing won’t be a dominant advertising method well into the future.

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