This is a very common question but there is no right or wrong answer to this. It will depend on your preferences and where you wish to take your business. There are pros and cons to both product creation and affiliate marketing.
The best affiliates usually do a mix of both. They not only promote others’ products but they also create their own and get others to promote them. Doing this multiplies their income. Diversification is also good business sense.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of both systems. Once you have an idea of what both are about, you will be better informed to make your own decision.
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Affiliate marketing is simple
This simplicity is the most attractive point about affiliate marketing. Someone else does all the work creating and delivering the product but you take a chunk of the sales through your commissions. Of course, you will need to drive traffic that converts, but that is not half as much work as creating the product.
No customer interaction
There is a saying, “Hell is other people”. This can be very true when dealing with difficult and unreasonable customers. As an affiliate, you will not need to deal with all these cantankerous folks. That’s the job of the vendor. There is minimal accountability on your end.
Fewer tech skills are needed
A certain amount of tech skills are required to set up sales pages, payment processing, delivering the product, etc.
As an affiliate, all you will need is an affiliate link. If the visitor buys, you automatically get your commission. All you need to do is focus on traffic generation methods.
That’s just one area of expertise and if you devote most of your time to it, you will get very good at it.
Now let’s look at why product creation is worth considering despite the disadvantages mentioned above.
You have a chance to brand yourself
Unlike an affiliate who is a faceless cog in the system, you are a product creator. You have the ability to brand yourself and your products. If your products are good, you will have a loyal group of customers.
Generally, product creators get more respect and recognition while affiliates are not trusted because they have a vested interest. The laws even state that affiliates need to have an affiliate disclaimer on their site.
You make money no matter what
There are quite a few dodgy affiliate networks that try to con the affiliates out of their hard-earned sales. They can easily do this by suddenly changing the affiliate program technology. As a product owner, you will receive all payments. Nobody can shortchange you.
You’re building your own business
All affiliates help to build the product owners’ lists. In most cases, this is a buyers list which is infinitely more valuable than a general list of freebie seekers. Of course, affiliates too can build a list by directing their traffic to a squeeze page first.
However, the visitors will then go on to join the product creator’s list if they buy the product. So, the product creator is building a valuable buyer list from the efforts of the affiliates.
You can build a backend and residual income
Buyers who have purchased from you will be much more likely to buy again. As a product creator, you can always create new products that will appeal to your buyers and you will be able to generate sales over and over. There is no limit to what you can achieve.
These are some of the pros and cons of both methods. Do not look at them as mutually exclusive. You can get your feet wet by starting off with affiliate marketing. Once you are a successful affiliate marketer, you can see what products are selling well and try to replicate them.
You can then direct traffic to your own offers and make 100% of the sales. You’ll also be able to recruit other affiliates. In this way, not only will you have income as an affiliate but you will also be making money selling your own products. This is fantastic. Give both a try.