Affiliate marketing vs product creation

33 replies
Hi everyone

can you make salary level income just from affiliate marketing?

As I learn about IM, I have made the assumption that creating your own products is the most lucrative for of IM.

Is this the case?

thanks!

Geoff
#affiliate #creation #marketing #product
  • Profile picture of the author sainteve21
    Hi Geoff

    You CAN make a decent level of income just being an Affiliate (if you can drive targetted traffic) If you do not have, or cannot for some reason, create your own product, then this is a viable alternative

    Yes, you will make more earnings per sale as a product owner, obviously any traffic you drive will be purely your own profit, PLUS you can also have other Affiliates driving traffic to your product

    Either option is viable for earning an income, having your own product just gets you to your desired income level quicker

    It is not really a case of choosing one method over another, you should certainly try mixing it up, especially if you are just starting out

    In fact if you are just starting in IM, then why not hone your skills at driving targetted traffic to affiliate offers, whilst at the same time working on the creation of your own products?

    Best of luck

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
    Awesome - thanks Steve. I certainly have the skills to create my own products. As I am learning this new world of IM it is trying to work out what is right for me - and what I will enjoy the most. As you say - maybe start as an affiliate while I learn more about what sells and what value I may be able to provide
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  • Profile picture of the author elyshemer
    Hi Geoff,

    Steve gave you solid advice I only wanted to emphasize a point I think he left out.
    It is crucial that while you drive traffic to the offer (be it your product or an affiliate offer) you also make sure to build your list.

    Actually two lists - a list of prospects or leads (that can later be convert to buyers) and a list of buyers.

    Once you have those lists, new promotions become easier

    BTW - finding good affiliates to promote your product is also a skill you will need to learn and work at it, just as you need to work at generating targeted traffic to offers.

    I would suggest for you to start as an affiliate. Learning the ropes from that angel will be of great value for you when you go over to the other side...
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    • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
      thanks elyshemer - so you can build a list as an affiliate as well? So first would be to pick the niche and then some kind of free offer I could come up with?
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  • Profile picture of the author elyshemer
    Hi Geoff (the name is Ely).

    If you do that, then you are building a list as the main activity. You can do that, and then market to the list.

    However, you can do your affiliate marketing AND build the list at the same time.
    If you do a good job with your affiliate marketing, you do not just send people to sales letters. There are many pre-sell stuff you can do that will both increase your sales and create your brand. The most common is setting up review sites...

    Use the traffic to your pages as input for your list building. There are several ways you can do that. One would be to offer a free report on the topic of the review (usually you make this, also, promote the product) as an incentive to sign up. Another great tactic to use is to capture exit traffic and offer then a different free report on a similar subject.

    As you can see by now, there are many tactics, techniques and strategies you can use. Can't really go into all of them here

    Ely
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Originally Posted by Geoff A View Post

    Hi everyone

    can you make salary level income just from affiliate marketing?
    Yes. And then some....

    I have made the assumption that creating your own products is the most lucrative for of IM
    Assumptions are bad.

    Affiliate marketing and product creation are two completely different things that both have earning potential far beyond what most people expect.

    What you really want to do, in my opinion, is to find which one suits you best and then nail it until you find your income goals... then, if you feel it necessary, branch out into the other..

    Peace

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    why not do both?
    Create a product and then slip some affiliate links in there that will not compete as much with your created product.
    That is known as a win win situation.
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  • Profile picture of the author elyshemer
    There is a shortcut to product creation and that is finding high quality PLR.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Geoff A View Post

    As I learn about IM, I have made the assumption that creating your own products is the most lucrative for of IM.

    Is this the case?
    It's different. In general, if you have your own product, you can put it on sale any time you like. Need fast cash? Have a sale. You also tend to get the money right when someone buys, not when the affiliate network cuts a check.

    But with an affiliate product - especially a physical product - you'll do a lot less work and take a lot less risk. Of course, you also have a lot less control... if a product vendor decides to make a stupid decision, you're at the mercy of it. And of course, we can't neglect the recent storm of people being dropped entirely from Amazon's affiliate program when the laws in their states changed.

    You can make a solid living from either one. Most people don't, but that's not the fault of the method - it's the fault of the people.
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  • Profile picture of the author willyboy104
    I definitely think you should try both fields out before you decide which is more lucrative for you personally.

    It depends what skills you have and where your interests lie. As Elyshemer mentioned, you can also pick up some very high quality PLR for a good price which will help get you on your way to becoming a vendor/product owner and then you can start to build your own affiliate army up

    However affiliate marketing is also a good idea, you should mix and match, try them both out then perhaps focus on one out of the two after you decide which is best for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    I would like to advise to test first which suits you better. If you have a list and can make few sales with it, you can go for affiliation. If you lag on that its better to concentrate on a very good product which affiliates will help in the sales.

    I myself in the second option

    Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    The two things are not related, so no reason not to do both.

    They both have there pros and cons

    For those not capable of/or those not willing to create a product of there own should do affiliate marketing, and if your starting out in IM the do the affiliate thing first, just to learn the ropes of the marketing first before you step into products of your own

    For some people me included it is a way to dip your toe into the business to see if it can work out for you.

    Robert
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    I agree with Dhira. When starting out you can really learn a lot about how to market and what sells by being an affiliate. You can also build a list.

    You can definitely make an excellent income as an affiliate if you do it right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
    thanks for replies everyone. It only recently occurred to me that one could be successful in IM purely as an affiliate marketer. There was a good thread along the lines of "What is your favorite way of making money?" and many people responded "affiliate marketing".

    The task as many of you have suggested is to see which suits me better - or a combination of both

    Geoff
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  • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
    You can make money in affiliate marketing. Less money per sale, but zero customer service issues.

    You can make money as a product creator, but initially you will spend hours upon hours to create a quality product or deal with a lot of customer service inquiries. This can be done by outsourcing or DIY. Either way will invovle a major time investment and some knowledge of the niche you are creating a product for. So you will either invest time, money or both before you have made the first dollar.

    Now look at it from this standpoint. Focus on recurring revenue models to sustain the time and effort you invest into your promotions be it affiliate marketing or product creation. At $20 per month, 50 sales conversions would equal $1k per month. Repeat that across 10 niches and you got yourself a major source of income.

    You could then kick back, relax and just focus on the 4 hour work week maintaining these niches while spending the rest of your time doing whatever you want. So it isn't about where the income comes from, but rather what kind of income you are generating. One and done, or One and then some.
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    • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
      Originally Posted by jjpmarketing View Post

      You can make money in affiliate marketing. Less money per sale, but zero customer service issues.
      Thanks for the reply! I like the thought of of no customer service issues - at least to begin with. This was mentioned in thread on what do you love doing to make money. Many of the affiliate marketers mentioned this.

      Originally Posted by jjpmarketing View Post

      Now look at it from this standpoint. Focus on recurring revenue models to sustain the time and effort you invest into your promotions be it affiliate marketing or product creation. At $20 per month, 50 sales conversions would equal $1k per month. Repeat that across 10 niches and you got yourself a major source of income.

      You could then kick back, relax and just focus on the 4 hour work week maintaining these niches while spending the rest of your time doing whatever you want. So it isn't about where the income comes from, but rather what kind of income you are generating. One and done, or One and then some.
      Awesome - it is very appealing the potential to have time once established. I realize this is a much longer term goal for someone just starting like myself. I must admit it is a really interesting field IM and I am enjoying learning!

      Geoff
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      • Profile picture of the author sinpeople
        Affiliate marketing is much easier than product creation, which requires niche knowledge and a lot of time. And most importantly, you still need the traffic to promote your own product. Learn traffic skills with affiliate marketing.

        You can do both.

        1) Drive traffic from articles to your squeeze page to get leads on a topic by offering a high quality report. Do tracking properly to get the converting keywords if you want to try PPC traffic later.
        2) Promote affiliate products to your list. In this step, you know what is going to sell and some of the niche knowledge which is highly sought by your subscribers.
        3) Create your product if you are confident enough. After you have a product and a list, you have much more edge to recruit affiliates and to do joint ventures.

        build a list and/or create a product are two keys that a marketer can leverage on. Create product is somehow more important, and more difficult. With a good product, you can build a list very easily. If your product is a membership or some kind of subscription, it can become even more profitable.

        Build a list is much easier. Start affiliate marketing from there. Always minimize the learning curve and risks along the way to your bank! :-)




        Regards
        David
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  • Profile picture of the author Aira Bongco
    Hi Geoff,

    You can make practically have the same amount of income in creating your own product and promoting other people's product as an affiliate. However, the downside of being an affiliate is that you are promoting other people's brand. Creating your own product will increase your own name in the industry and increase your follower base, making it easier for you to sell one product after another. So in my opinion, it is not a question of which earns more. It is a question of what your goal is.

    Do you want to simply make money? Then go with affiliate marketing. It is faster since you do not have to come up with your own product.

    On the other hand, if you want to build a reputation, go with your own product.

    I would suggest that you do both and see how they differ.

    Regards,

    Aira
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I do both (create products and affiliate marketing), and there are two reasons I prefer product creation. First, more profit per sale, generally speaking. You could, of course, affiliate with a high-ticket product or service and make a big chunk per commission, but that's not the norm. Second, once you get a sales page converting nicely, product creation takes the pressure off of constantly needing a ton of traffic to make a living.

    Also, as someone above me mentioned, list building is a good fit with your own products. Branding yourself in a niche, too. Many reasons to prefer creating your own, in other words.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
    Of course it always works well to use the best of both worlds...

    Tie affiliate marketing in with product creation. This can be done with PDF's branded with affiliate links, or via videos redirecting to affiliate links. I have seen the video tactic used many times... and it is quite effective.

    Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author nando1125
    Great advice in this thread.
    I would also suggest on starting up with affiliate marketing first in order to learn the ropes of internet marketing and then switching to product creation.
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  • Profile picture of the author elyshemer
    When you do Internet Marketing, you are doing marketing.
    Marketing involves skills and knowledge that most don't have.
    The easiest, less "risky" way to learn the ropes is doing affiliate marketing.

    With affiliate marketing you are focused on the marketing side of IM.
    The skills you learn will serve you well with whatever you will do next.
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  • Profile picture of the author Underground SEO
    you can certainly make a salary just from affiliate marketing, I personally would advise doing it as a hobby like me, but yes it is doable. I have always been off from creating a product due to sheer amount of time it would take and also having to provide continuous customer service etc, you're better off just being an affiliate for the product and cutting out all of that but still making a decent chunk from each sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    In info-product marketing a sensible approach is to test affiliate
    offers and when you find one that works for you, develop your own
    product and start keeping all the money.

    This is a common strategy among info-marketers.

    It's done with all sorts of other things like widgets too, but of course
    with a widget you have real costs to manufature it, store it and so
    forth. Many Amazon affiliate sales, for example, are for products
    you could not knock-off yourself without a large amount of capital
    to pay to have the product manufactured for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Carczak
    IOt's never an "either or" scenario. Doing both will contribute the greatest return for your business and it's a logical path to follow.
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    • Profile picture of the author Geoff A
      thanks again to all who have responded here. Some great information here! It seems my questions has been answered - you can indeed be purely an affiliate marketer if you want to from a financial point of view.

      It then comes down to what I want to do - either/or or a blend of both.

      cheers
      Geoff
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingWiseGuy
    I would recommend starting with affiliate programs and learning how to promote those products effectively. Also see what products work/don't work and why that is. Then you'll be READY to launch a new product and be successful GL to you
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogBoom
    Definitely no need to choose when you can do both. Compile your articles in a format that makes sense as a product.
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    a few points, from personal experience:

    1) creating own stuff: as Loren points out, a great approach is to promote other people's stuff first, if it works really well, then create your own version.

    2) list-building: I started out doing affiliate marketing only, however I made the HUGE mistake of not building a list, every promotion was just straight to the vendor's squeeze page. Made excellent money with big-ticket items, but ... once the promotion is over 'all' I had was the cash. So, it's just like a well-paid job, because you have to start from scratch for every single promotion.

    3) ditching it if it doesn't work:
    - an affiliate promotion you can quickly test, if it doesn't work out, you dump it, no hard feelings.
    - if you've got your own product, then it's (emotionally) much harder to just say "ah screw it" if it doesn't work ... and then question is: how much more energy do you put in to make it work?

    4) focus on making one work, then try the next: If you multi-task too much and build up 10 campaigns at the same time, it'll take you ten times longer to start making real money. (simple example: say we've got 3 projects A,B and C and each requires 5 steps before they make money. You can either multi-task: ABCABCABCABCABC where it takes 13 time-steps before project A makes money (but then you suddenly have lots of cash, because B and C come online very soon after) OR you do AAAAABBBBBCCCCC where it only takes 5 steps before you start making some cash. Many (if not most) IM-newbies give up disillusioned because they take the multi-tasking approach (hey, let's try this course, oh, look another course, oh....) and quickly end up with overwhelm and NO sales whatsoever. So: again, from personal experience, pick ONE promotion only, do everything you can to make it work (for affiliate marketing that means going full out for anywhere between a couple of days if you use paid traffic and maybe a month if you're using SEO....)

    5) want vs need: when you do your own product, make sure you have something the market WANTS, instead of NEEDS. Trust me, everybody knows this intellectually, yet (I think it's fair to say) the majority of entrepreneurs keep coming up with better mouse-traps... hey, this is awesome, you absolutely NEED it (yet nobody wants it). If they absolutely need it, make sure you package it in a way that they WANT it.

    6) being salesy: with affiliate marketing, the selling part is pretty much taken care of. When you do your own sales-material, you may be part of the 90% of the population who don't actually like being 'salesy'. And as a result, many people don't test "cheesy" sales-pages ("hey, my audience wouldn't like that" is a statement I keep hearing, and it's usually never been tested...). So, with your own product you have to be clear about any mental blockages you may have about selling, and if necessary get someone else to do it for you.

    the list goes on...

    anyway, personally, I'd go with affiliate promos to start with, figure out which ones work, but pick the ones where you'd feel comfortable building your own brand and product if it converts well. You know, there's awesome money to be made in phone-sex, but it just ain't my thang...

    Veit
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