While Network Marketing and Referral Marketing are not bad at all, MLM gets a bad reputation mainly because there are many schemes that employ this marketing method promoting only their own schemes, sometimes hiding behind the theme of being an advertising service. You pay, get referrals and hopefully the referrals will get more referrals, so that one gets paid, hopefully more than one pays. In fact, there are no "real" products or services sold and thus it becomes a Pyramid or Ponzi-like scheme. As a result there are many blog services, for example, that categorically rule out any references to MLM.
Then there are programs, which actually do sell products and/or services and quiet many do actually include a referral program, so that you can benefit from your referral's sales. I feel there is nothing wrong with that, because why shouldn't you participate in the success of your referrals, when it you who showed them the chance to make money? However, why should you pay for it? There are so many companies, like Avon, Sears, ClickBank and, and, and, that you can sign up for free! There are also programs that combine many vendors/retailers, etc. into one, so that you don't have to market/advertise them separately! And they're also free!
But whether you market products or services and/or to prospective referrals, the ways and means to go about it is obviously the same. You do all the work, getting the leads/contacts in whatever form and with that (hopefully) the conversions. Now why should you actually pay for that?
From my experience, you pay for getting websites, etc. and "training" all of which you can actually do yourself and rather quickly. What you don't get, in most if not all cases, are the leads and conversions. And if anyone promises or guarantees that, you are being duped! Plain and simple!
I make it a point to let anyone know how to go about doing this on my website www.internetadvisor.weebly.com and even expose the worst of Internet Money-Making Scams on www.scamhunter.weebly.com. If you have any further queries please feel free to contact me.