Are you interested in network marketing? It can be a great way to earn an extra stream of income, even up to five figures per month – sometimes more! The business model is structured so that you get paid commission not only on the people you personally sponsor into the company, but on everyone who ends up in your downline (at least to a certain level).

But there are a lot of mistakes network marketers make that cause most of them to give up, usually within just a few months of starting. Following are the six most common mistakes which, if avoided, increase your chances of success in the business.

1. Not caring about the company’s products or services.

If you’d rather eat at McDonale’s seven day s a week with doughnuts in between meals, and you believe only crazy people take nutritional supplements, then you are almost certainly going to fail if you join a nutritionally MLM company.

2. Joining a brand-new company.

Sure, somebody has to help fledgling companies get off the ground. But let it be somebody other than you. Of course, every successful company started off small and brand new at one time. However, so many MLM companies go under within their first three years that it doesn’t make sense to take the risk of joining one.

3. Expecting to get rich quick.

Many people who start an MLM business hope to be able to quit their jobs within a year, if not within a few months. While the hyped-up business opportunity videos they watch may encourage that thinking, it is certainly not the case for even the most hard-working distributors in the industry. A more realistic expectation is that you will make a few dollars here and there your first year, and if you remain consistent with the time and effort you spend on your business, you will start developing a regular monthly check during your second or third year.

4. Waiting for your upline to “spill” people under you.

If you’re hoping that you can just sit around, and one day an incredibly successful business-builder will spill into your downline, you’re going to sit for a long time. Those who succeed in network marketing go out and sponsor and train people themselves. Spill never made anyone a millionaire.

5. Pestering friends and family.

Yes, I know, the training DVD that came with your new distributor kit tells you to “show the plan” to everyone you know. While this can work, depending on who and how many you know, it more often ends up with the distributor feeling frustrated and his friends and family feeling annoyed or offended.

Start making some money first, and then tell your “warm market” about your business and your success in it. But keep it casual and low-pressure. Nobody likes a sales pitch.

Which brings us to the sixth mistake…

6. Not learning proper marketing skills.

Throwing yourself or your business card at people is not good marketing. Read Seth Godin’s books. Learn about Internet Marketing. These two tips alone, if you take me up on them, will radically increase your chances of success.

Network marketing can be a fun way to build a great income. Avoid these six mistakes, and you’ll be ahead of 90% of your competitors.