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Looking For A New Income Stream? Affiliate Marketing Vs. Dropshipping


In recent years, affiliate marketing and dropshipping have been two of the most popular ways to make money online. However, most newbies in the digital marketing world often need clarification about these two options and wonder which can offer a more profitable business.   

This article compares affiliate marketing and dropshipping to help you decide which online business model to go with.   

Affiliate Marketing Vs. Dropshipping: A Brief Overview  

Affiliate marketing means promoting other brands and their products and services to help them generate revenue. Meanwhile, dropshipping allows you to set up an online business on dropshipping-enabled platforms like Oberlo and sell another business’s products under your brand name.   

Both business models eliminate the need for you to carry inventory and take part in the shipping process. Let’s take a closer look at each business model.  

Understanding Affiliate Marketing  

Affiliate marketing is performance-based advertising. With this method, you promote services and products you believe in and earn money in the process. Businesses reward affiliate marketers for every visitor or sale from their affiliate links. Generally, there are three ways to earn through affiliate marketing—commissions on sales, generated leads, or link clicks. Affiliate marketing is performance-based advertising, but it's important for affiliate marketers to be cautious of potential scams and ensure the legitimacy of the programs they engage with for avoiding affiliate marketing scams.


Due to its nature, affiliates are usually influencers, publishers, writers, or web content creators.   

Pros Of Affiliate Marketing  

  • Low Cost  

The costs are low when running an affiliate marketing business. Typically, there are no fees for affiliates to pay since the merchant often covers admin fees on most networks like Amazon. You only pay for your server, website, and marketing costs.   

  • Passive Income  

Affiliate marketing is one of the best sources of passive income today. Although it will need upfront effort to produce content and run ads, once you’re done, this side hustle allows you to generate a continuous income stream for the long term.  

  • No Customer Support  

With affiliate marketing, you advertise a business’s product or service. That’s all. You don’t have to worry about customer service since users are directed from your website to the business’s store or website through your links.   

Cons Of Affiliate Marketing  

  • Commission-Based