Everything You Wanted to Know About Two Tier Affiliate Programs

(…But Were Afraid to Ask)

Q: What exactly is a two tier affiliate program?

A: It’s an affiliate program that, as well as paying for referring new customers or users, pays for referring new affiliates (often called subaffiliates).

Q: What exactly is a subaffiliate?

A: A subaffiliate is simply an affiliate you have referred on a two tier affiliate program. So, for example, if we suggest that you join Plus500, and you join via our link, then you’d become our subaffiliate – aka our “second tier” – and we’d earn a referral fee for introducing you.

TLDR – you’re an affiliate selling affiliate programs.

Q: This sounds shady. Is it MLM?

A: “Two tier affiliate” does not equal MLM, although some certainly are scams. Our goal is to help you find the good two tier programs and avoid the scammers, MLM nonsense, network marketing BS etc etc.

In short: subaffiliate referrals are not required to make money on an affiliate program. They are an “add on” for 99% of affiliates. The icing on the cake. And perhaps the closest thing to real-life “passive income” that most affiliates ever earn.

You can earn a living promoting the products or services without ever referring a single subaffiliate, nor are there requirements to recruit certain volumes of subaffiliates.

If you want to learn more about what makes a scam, we love this presentation attacking Herbalife, one of the world’s biggest multi-level marketing companies.

(NB. We are not saying Herbalife is a scam – we have no idea – simply that the presentation is fascinating).

Q: Hmm… is it “Network Marketing”?

A: Again – nope.

Q: Hmm… what about a pyramid scheme?

A: No, not unless you are duped by a scam program.

Q: C’mon, Aren’t two tier programs a scam?

A: Some certainly are an outright scam. Many, many more simply suck, by which we mean it’s near as damn it impossible to make money promoting at a level that’d make it worth your time/effort.

Our mission is to highlight the handful of two tier programs we know of that are not scams.

Q: Wait – this sounds like residual income…?

A: We usually subscribe to the passive-income-is-a-sham school of thought. But in the case of referring quality affiliates to quality affiliate programs, it really can be a case of residual income or passive income.

Yes, you can thank us later.

While we’re on the subject, we love SmartPassiveIncome.com on the topic (but note that Pat Flynn seems to work very hard for it to be classed as “passive income”).

Q: What are the main faults of programs that suck?

A: We see two problems time-and-again since the year dot:

  • Programs that don’t track affiliate referred
  • Programs that close affiliate accounts that only earn refer affiliates

The latter is common in niches like casino, poker etc, where they expect to see (or only payout for) accounts generating depositing players. Or niches where there’s a lot of fraud by affiliates (read: the same).

No one ever said it was going to be easy…

Q: How much money can I earn with two tier affiliate programs?

A: How much money can you earn selling cars? The answer is an awful lot, or none at all. But for a few examples of what other affiliates are earnings recruiting other webmasters, take a look over here.

Most people recruiting second tier affiliates earn $0. Zip. Zilch. Our goal at TwoTier.com is to help you be one of the 0.1% that does.

Q: What exactly is a downline?

A: Some companies refer to your subaffiliates as your “downline”. It’s a phrase we loathe, for the simple reason that it is borrowed from the sleazy world of multi-level marketing. Which we’ve already established, two tier affiliate programs are not a part of.

Q: Can you add our affiliate program?

A: Probably not, but please see this page to see if it qualifies.

Got more questions? We’d love to answer them, so send them in via our contact form.