Q: What is the best way for an affiliate to build a downline?
A: At the risk of sounding snarky, I’d say the best way to build a downline would be to understand that you’re engaging in multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing, and not affiliate marketing.
While there can certainly be legitimate MLM programs, the concept is often associated with illegal scams such as pyramid or Ponzi schemes.
As the name suggests, individuals are compensated based on their leads or sales, as well as the leads and sales achieved by those they bring into the business. The original referrer can be compensated for multi-levels of people recruited into the business, hence the name.
Anyhow, it’s something of a gray area, as affiliate programs sometimes have two tiers. But programs with more than two tiers, regardless of what they call themselves, are not affiliate programs.