DropShipping Vs Affiliate Marketing

A question that comes up time and time again on sites such as Quora (and questions I get asked 100 times a week on that site) is 'should I do Affiliate Marketing or DropShipping'. 

So really, there is no simple answer, both can be highly profitable, and both can be disastrous.

It depends on your background, your skills and how much effort and time you are willing to put into it.

I wanted to create a short, but too the point post that looks at both of them and give you some background as well as skills required to succeed!

Affiliate Marketing

So, this is a bit like CPA, but rather than getting paid for a lead, or a download..you require the person so actually purchase a product.

But again, much like the CPA it can be done very much in the same way, but it usually requires you building trust with the person.

Blogging or creating review articles/videos is one of the best ways of doing this, buying the product and then telling people how said product can solve their problem or fix their issue or build up customer relationships or whatever that product does.

Doing this gives the person a reason to purchase from you - For example if you had a product that could write blog posts for you, and you showed people how it worked, your opinions and any tips or tricks, then someone is engrossed, pulled in and eager to purchase it, so more likely to buy!

You usually get a higher payout for doing affiliate marketing, earning anywhere from 15 %- 100% of the checkout purchase, plus you can make even more money if they use sticky cookies or funnels to encourage people to pay more.

Skills Required

​Traffic generation would not go amiss here and would be massively useful (think landing pages etc). Again as with CPA, the ability to craft blog posts or create brilliant looking videos is crucial.

This can cost around $20 or so to get sorted - A domain name + some hosting for the year is around $20 or so from places such as Bluehost (especially with black Friday coming up, there will be some crazy deals)

Or you can get set up with YouTube for virtually nothing if you already have a laptop/computer and a camera or screen capture software

If you want to find out more about affiliate marketing, then I would look at Savage Affiliates.


Definitely the flavour of the year, DropShipping!

From personal experience,  DropShipping takes the most skill and time (but if you are good at it it can be the most profitable and the quickest to return on investment)

DropShipping is obviously running an e-commerce store, and then getting a manufacturer or wholesaler to send the items straight to your customer (think Amazon FBA, but you never see the product) .

Most of the time these DropShipping stores are set up on Shopify, though you can do it on WordPress and it can be cheaper per month (around $100 cheaper a month)

The main way these stores get their customers is through Facebook adverts or social media influencers. And that is the part that requires the skill.

You need to be able to find products that are currently ‘hot’ or ‘in’ and be able to create adverts that capture peoples attention and that’s difficult.

You then also need to be able to target those adverts correctly and scale them to a large enough scale (this is where the money drain can come into effect)

The markup on DropShipping can be fantastic, anywhere from 100% - 2000% markup is achievable if you find the right products or suppliers.

Skills Required

Copywriting would be beneficial, as well as the ability to create nice looking listings/stores. As with the others, being able to run adverts and being able to scale those adverts without blowing through your budget.

As I said, it’s one of the more expensive ways of making money online, using Shopify will easily run you $50 - $100 a month to use their platform alone, and scaling ads from $5 a day per item up to $50 -$ 1000 a day per item can happen if you find products that give you a good return on investment, but the ROI can be fantastic.

You will have to learn some good customer service skills though, as you can easily expect poor quality products, lost orders and unhappy customers!

If you go down this route, then I would massively recommend soaking as much knowledge as you can from YouTube videos etc, or taking on training or a mentor.

I personally used a guy called Franklin, who runs Ecom Elite - he has a decent YouTube channel that gives tons of advice, but if you really want to take it to the next level, then taking some training would be useful

2 thoughts on “DropShipping Vs Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Hi!

    Thank you so much, I have been sitting for days trying to decide which one to do, weighing up the pros and cons, and you have essentially given me the answer.

    Have a brilliant day

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