Affiliate Marketing vs. Dropshipping

Affiliate Marketing vs. Dropshipping

Anyone entering the digital marketing world can find it challenging to pick between affiliate marketing and dropshipping. You’d want to settle for the better one between the two. You also want to know which is more profitable and easier to manage. We will examine the two models and help you identify the best.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing enables you to earn money online by recommending other products or services. It involves a unique affiliate link potential customers can click to purchase products from the merchant’s website. Conversion tracking enables the identification of sales to match them with respective links.

You can earn in various ways, including:

  • Sales made
  • Clicks
  • Leads generated
  • Downloads

Many affiliate programs offer a fixed percentage commission.

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons

Affiliate marketing has several pros and cons.


  • It is free to enter. Interested persons can apply to any affiliate program without paying any fees.
  • You are not responsible for handling sales or customer complaints.
  • Offers a great avenue to earn passive income


  • People may not trust affiliate links and remove them.
  • You don’t control the pricing.

What is Dropshipping?

With dropshipping, you can use your website to sell products from different suppliers. You display the goods on your website with your product prices. The price you set determines your profit. i.e., your profit is the difference between wholesale and selling prices.

The supplier allows you to create marketing campaigns and engage with customers. The customers channel complaints to you, and you must respond to them.

Customers place their orders on your website, and you forward them to the supplier. You also pay the supplier, and they complete and ship the customer’s order on behalf of your behalf. The dropshipping arrangement doesn’t need you to carry an inventory.


Dropshipping Pros and Cons

Dropshipping has several pros and cons.


  • You determine your profits by setting the selling price
  • You can build your eCommerce brand
  • Easier to scale


  • You handle customer support.
  • You have limited control over shipping.
  • You may earn less in overcrowded niches.

What to Choose: Affiliate Marketing vs. Dropshipping

Affiliate marketing and dropshipping provide an excellent opportunity to earn money online. The choice may be a matter of preference based on individual needs.

The biggest challenge with dropshipping is the high level of competition that you face. Remember that you must set a price that allows you to earn profit. Competitors may sell the same product at a slightly lower price and attract more customers.

Stiff competition may come from Amazon, as the platform sells almost everything. Since most people trust Amazon, it may be difficult for someone to choose your eCommerce store over Amazon. Therefore, you can settle for products that are not on Amazon. Thus, you can only choose from a few products.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing allows you to earn when marketing products on all platforms, including Amazon. And you can also market multiple products simultaneously. While you may earn a lower commission as you build a following on your website and social pages, the earnings increase with time.

Both models require you to focus on the long-term goal—none is a get-rich-quick scheme. You must create content or design marketing campaigns that appeal to the audience.

Get Training for Affiliate Marketing

Because of the stiff competition dropshipping merchants face, we advise you to opt for affiliate marketing. You can undergo training and learn how to make the most out of affiliate marketing. A platform like Wealthy Affiliate offers comprehensive training with personalized coaching to meet your needs. You can also meet other affiliate marketers and build networks for future partnerships.

Click to learn more about us.

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