Build Your Lists First, Downlines Second

I have a huge warning for anyone in affiliate marketing or online business…You could be setting yourself up for disaster!

In 2003 I started building my downline in a program that ended up becoming a leader in my industry. It grew to well over 1 million members and became the example that similar programs followed. It had a unique ‘referral’ structure that while it looked like an MLM, the 6 levels you built didn’t pay cash but advertising credits. So you would refer people, they would earn advertising and you got a chunk of what they earned. No cash, just ads.

Since 2003 I had built that 6 level downline to well over 130,000 people. Not bad huh? Over 10% of the entire membership of that program was in my downline.

That all changed on August 19th. The program changed the structure and got rid of the ‘MLM’ aspect. So we went from 6 levels to 1 level in the blink of an eye. In my case, it was 130,000 to 1100 in one swoop. Now let me be crystal clear, I don’t fault the program. the only issue I have is that they didn’t tell their members they were doing this. but because of certain situation with some payment processors, they were forced to do this change to comply with their terms.

It’s their business. Their program. And they are free to do with it as they please…

And that’s the huge lesson for me right there.

I didn’t ‘own’ that downline. I didn’t own the program. So I had zero influence or say in what they chose to do. However something I ALSO did 14 years ago, helped me bounce back from that loss of 130,000 people in my downline.

A huge chunk of those 130,000 people are on my mailing list as well.

You see, I was building my list via that program as well as my downline. In fact, my list came first and the downline came second. So when they decided to make this change, it sucked but it didn’t destroy my ability to use the program because I had built my list first.

Please understand, I’m all for building downlines. It’s a fantastic business model. However the important lesson to me is that you need to build your lists first on the front end and then build your downlines on the back end.

Recommend products and services via your list to build your downlines the right way.

Programs and opportunities come and go. And unless you OWN them, you have no control over what happens to them. However your list, now there’s something you actually OWN!

Don’t make the mistake many people made by simply promoting this program 14 years ago and now are left out in the cold because they have no communication with the downlines they built. Build the list first and you can stay in contact with your downlines…Forever!

12 thoughts to “Build Your Lists First, Downlines Second”

    1. So true….Might take a while and slow at first but so much better in the long run for sure. Thanks Carol, appreciate the comments.

  1. Yep Jon,

    There is a difference from building a downline, to building your own list. A huge difference as you pointed out. My downline there is also significantly diminished. But my list…why its humming along.


    1. Thanks Nick, appreciate the comments very much. And yeah man, that’s the funny thing right, once it gets going, the list starts compounding and growing. It’s great!

  2. Hey Jon,

    Remember the topic I started in the forum that you operated few years ago?

    That subject line was a killer on that topic.

    I forget how many thousands of views it received, It was ” YUGE ”

    It kicked butt, and every owner seemed to want to get in the middle of it,
    trying to defend themselves

    Sometimes I wondered, it must of been my topic that closed your forum.

    Shortly thereafter, came the click me, trick me , profit me website.

    I think the light bulb came on after I took on every site owner that engaged
    on that topic.

    Not long after you closed that forum, CTP was luanched.

    Forum post topic: Kicking Admins to the Curb, Killing Your Downline.

    1. Great Rod. You have a much better memory than me man. Thank goodness this blog is called +1 and not -1. Need to move forward man. Future is bright 🙂

      1. Hey Jon, on one point the future is bright to target the left / snowflakes.

        Oil and water don’t mix.

        I’m on the MAGA train.

  3. Well Jon,

    You stated ” Quote ” Since 2003 I had built that 6 level downline to well over 130,000 people. ” Unquote ”

    If you had been in a home based business that pays residual monthly income,
    that could of been earning you $130,000.00 a month based at $1.00 per month.
    per member. You would’ve been earning cash instead of credits.

    John D. Rockefeller quote: I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than
    100% of my own efforts.

    1. Thanks Kerri, yeah I learned this very early on. So important so you dont go through the madness I just did LOL Thanks so much for your comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.