Network Marketing – Why People Fail!

Why people fail with online business

Many people have tried and failed at making money online when they joined network marketing programs , multi-level marketing programs and other online businesses. There are several things that I have observed during my twenty some years online that have I believe contribute to those failures. And I think some of the same observations apply today.

Here are some of the reasons I have observed over the years:

Hype – Unrealistic Expectations – Looking For Easy Money

There is a lot of hype in the online world, especially when in comes to making money online. We have all heard the claims of the ability to get rich overnight, how to make your first $100 in an hour, earn $10,000 in six months, build an income without referring anyone, do not worry about referring anyone, we will fill your downline with spill over, and the list can go on and on. When you have been working online as long as I have, I have seen most of them. And the offers with the highest hype are the first ones that disappear and leave the members with nothing. Of course the promoters have made their money so they just go on to the next offer and repeat everything.

These offers create unrealistic expectations on the part of the newbie coming into the industry. And yes it is an industry, there are numerous legal MLM businesses out there who have been operating for years, some as long as I have been online, over twenty years. They are strong companies, with valid products and/or services and members that work at it. If you are looking for easy money or money you are going to make overnight, you are not going to find it.

I have seen people, in the need for income, enter a business with only enough money to pay for their first month of product and then use a credit card to pay the next month. They had expectations that within the first month they were going to cover the monthly expenses. They didn’t even consider that they would need to promote the business and what that would cost. They were convinced by the hype that they were going to make money without doing anything.

They do not know where to look for support

When you are new to the network marketing and/or multi-level marketing (MLM) business, you are in need of direction and training. There a too many businesses of this type that do not furnish any training at all. And many of these companies do not even furnish sample advertising, banners or other promotional material. For all intent and purposes the newbie is left to fend for herself or himself. There are many sponsors who are available to assist their new sign ups with this type material and to mentor and coach the newbie for one basic reason, if the new member is not successful, then the sponsor will not be a success. So a good sponsor knows it is advantageous to train their new recruit, the bottom line is each new recruit in network marketing is money in your uplines pocket.

But on the other hand, there are just as many sponsors who do not support their downline. They get the sign up, send a personal welcome email and they are on to getting more recruits. I have seen many instances of sponsors who recruit the heck out of one business, get in enough people to make a profit and then move on to another business to repeat the process.

Most new recruits in a business are feeling their way around and do not no the ins and out of the business. For example, I have operated an autoresponder service, for many years. Every once in awhile I will get a support question as to whether I can furnish a series of autoresponder messages that they can use for their business. Of course I answer in the negative since I do not have message series that fit each and every marketing business out there. My first suggestion to them is to go to the back office of their business and check to see if the company has such messages that you can just copy and add to your autoresponder. If they do not have them then ask your sponsor and/or upline about sharing their messages. I get the same type question regarding where they can get banners or ads for their business. My point is that they do not know the business and do not know where to go for help.

You have to treat your new business “like a real business”

Too many new entrepreneurs come online and see the possibility of making some money but do not really treat it as a business. Why? Because they do not have to worry about overhead expenses for rent, utilities or other expenses incurred when opening a business offline. They do not have to keep regular hours as you have to when running an offline business. The end result is that they can loose focus and devote time to the business when they feel like it. Running a business online, while considerably less expensive than an offline business still needs to be worked at. It can’t be treated as a hobby. Well it can, but it probably will not be a success.

Many entrepreneurs give up too soon

I have seen it over and over again. Someone joins a business I am involved in and after one or two months go by, they are gone. They either found out that they are not going to make easy money overnight or they realized that there was some work involved. Many new entrepreneurs hop from business to business because they next ad that they see sounds a lot more lucrative and easier to do. Many just quit down the road because they are frustrated and/or out of money and the whole idea of making money online leaves a bad taste. The next time someone asks them about their online activities they take the position that online businesses are all scams.

So what is the bottom line?

My recommendation to anyone that is considering an attempt to build an income online is to…

Make sure that you do some investigation before you join a business. The Internet gives you a big tool. You can find positives and negatives regarding the opportunity you are considering and can help you evaluate your options.

Contact your potential sponsor in the business. If you are reacting to an ad that you received, email that individual back and see if he or she will agree to talking to you on the telephone. If you do not get an answer, I would think twice. If they do respond, then make a list of questions you have.

Recognize that you need to promote any business that you get involved in. In order to market products and/or services, you need to create traffic to your web site, if you don’t, it is simple, you will not make sales. Now it is very possible with many online businesses, especially when you are involved as an affiliate of a company, that you will not have to build your own website. A good affiliate program in most cases will furnish a specially coded web site with a custom web page address for you to promote. Once you get a little experience, you can then consider developing your own web site.

I hope that you will consider some of my comments above and I would really be interested in any comments that you might have. You can leave comments below.

Joe Reinbold
Proud member of Wealthy Affiliate


  1. You made some great points above. So many people enter online marketing, whether it be MLM or affiliate marketing, with totally unrealistic expectations, both in terms of how much and how fast they are going to earn.

    Mind you, you can’t really blame them – there is just so much overblown hype around that it’s hardly surprising if new marketers expect to get rich quick.

    It’s really important to get into a good scheme – and with a good mentor. Not one who is already looking for his/her next batch of recruits before you’ve even finished reading the “personalized” welcome e-mail.

    It’s a real shame, because there are some great opportunities to earn online – you just have to wade through a pile of dross to find them!

    • Hi Jim,

      Agree with all your points. It can be a challenge to get it right, but when you do, it can be really worth it. Wish you the best of success in your endeavors. Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Wish you a successful 2017.


  2. This is a very well written article with some great insights. I have been burned multiple times online, and eventually I just had to realize if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is. It takes hard work and dedication to build an online business. Great article.

    • Hi John, Thanks for visiting my site and thanks for the nice comments. You hit the nail on the head, if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is. I like you have been burned many times over the years but you just learn from your mistakes and become a little smarter as a result. Yes, you are right, it does take hard work. It is really no different from starting a business at the strip mall, you have to work at it. Like they said in the movie, build it and they will come doesn’t work when you build a web site. It needs some promotion.

      Wish you the best of success.


  3. So I am very new to online marketing. I have decided to commit myself to this so I can eventually work from a home based office and pick and choose my hours. I am a very hard worker so the time and effort is not a problem. I have been able to create a website, and I am focusing on quality content for my niche. I have joined 2 affiliate programs so far, and will look into other opportunities to make revenue from my site as I gain more experience. I have a couple questions that I really hope you are willing to answer.

    1. What is a realistic time frame to expect to see some sales happening from my efforts? 6 months? 12 months? 2 years?

    2. What is the best place to get the information I need for advancing my career online and learning what I need to become a pro?

    I am one of those people that when I decide to do something I do it. I have been very successful over the past 20 years and I intend to make this new venture a success as well. I appreciate your post and your time!

    • Hi Scott, thanks for your comments. It sounds like you are on your way and that you are taking the initiative to creating success. It is hard to say when sales will occur. When I joined Wealthy Affiliate which you can see I advertise on my site here at I had my first 4 sales at the start of my fourth month. These were affiliate sales in Wealthy Affiliate. It all depends on how active you get by getting some of your web pages on the search engines and doing promotions through other advertising media.

      One of the best places that I have seen since I have been online is the Wealthy Affiliate community. It has information to help the new guy or gal and the more experienced. You can always get an answer and the community is a wealth of information. I have not seen a community that compares during all my years online.

      I wish you the best of success and a very prosperous 2017


  4. Hi Joe,

    I can relate to so much in this article. I first looked to start making money online some 10 years ago and signed up with several huge MLM and network marketing companies.

    The hype however did leave an unrealistic vision of what could be achieved in relation to the work they said you could put in.

    I am now steadily getting in the right direction and 10 years worth of trials and tribulations have aligned my perception with reality and I am now working on making the foundations of what will be a “proper business”.

    • Hi Marin, thanks for visiting my site and for your comments, I really appreciate it. It sounds like I have been where you have doing some of the same things over the years. Glad you have stuck with it. Have a great New Year. Joe

  5. Hi Joe,
    You hit the nail right on the head with regards to why so many people fail at running a profitable online business.

    Regarding the ideal of a person trying to get rich quickly through owning an online business: I feel that one flaw inherent within many human beings, greed, is why these scam companies still exist polluting the Internet. They sucker naive people into the promise that they could earn money quickly and with little effort through what they have to offer in their sham programs.

    I know all of this personally because I fell for one such bogus program myself years ago. It ended up costing me a couple thousand dollars to join, the bait being that I’d eventually attain financial freedom and become a multi-millionaire through their “system”. Funny how years after I left the Feds came in and shut them down permanently after complaints coming from members who lost a lot more than I did.

    People have got to learn that it just will not happen, becoming rich in a matter of months much as you stated.

    There is also the fact that these companies all offer poor training, part of the ideal you mentioned as being #2 on your list of why people fail. The get rich quick schemes offer bogus training – just follow their proven “system” which really is a bunch of garbage.

    Third sadly even if a person gets involved in a great program, still having this notion within their beings of attaining money quickly they end up giving up, not allowing themselves a chance to correctly build their business.

    Very astute ideals that you brought up in your article Joe. With your 20 years of experience in the business i is quite clear you know what you are talking about. And that a lot of people, new to running an online business would benefit from reading this article!


    • Hi Jeff, thanks for visiting and for your comments, I really appreciate it. It appears that from your comments, we think alike about some of these problems. I too have spent a bundle on a couple of businesses over the years that I found to be poor decisions. Ultimately they went out of business both because they were not built intentionally to be long term and in a couple of cases because they were closed down by authorities. I am glad that you liked the article. I wish you the best of success in your endeavors.


  6. all great points. I do not believe many people fail. They quit. And the reason are outlined in your blog. They enter withy unrealistic expectation of quick bucks and have little or no upline support and training. Well don

    • Hi Len, thanks for visiting my site and for your comments. I really have seen many quit too soon because of the expectations. Wish you the best of success. Joe

  7. #1 is a real killer Joe. Some MLMers play off of hype and people’s fears, or greed, and tailor campaigns to appeal to these fears, totally skewing expectations. Follow guys like Ray Higdon. He has made millions by transparently sharing how he connected with hundreds of folks a day. While other MLMers dishonestly hyped things up he was working hard, doing things the right way and building a fortune in the process.

    Fab post!


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