Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]

“My mom tried telling me I couldn’t have it all—but as it turns out, it’s possible to have it all but it’s impossible to do it all well,” says Meredith C. Carroll, 45, a Colorado-based freelance writer who’s written about her WAHM challenges. Carroll has two daughters, ages seven and 10. As a WAHM, Carroll felt she missed much of her eldest daughter’s early childhood, so she stayed home with her second child to fill in the gaps. “The stuff I missed wasn't necessarily tangible,” she says. “It was more about being emotionally absent in the many small moments that quickly add up.”

At the beginning, Murphy created her own affiliate program in house. She found that this process was a major time sink — she had to take the time to constantly monitor her program and remember to pay affiliates regularly. She made the jump on an affiliate network, where she could immediately access tracking, reporting, and payment systems (as well as instant access to affiliates who were more-than-ready to help sell her products).
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