Many entrepreneurs wonder whether they should become affiliate marketers or create their own products to sell.
Creating, owning, and selling your own products can be highly profitable in that you can choose to keep 100% of your profits yourself and have full control of the features of your product, marketing, and the management of your own business.
However, it also comes with a lot of responsibility and risks:
- You are responsible for product development costs
- You have to design yourself (our outsource and bear the costs) of all graphic design and promotional materials
- You have to write or outsource your own product and service descriptions and sales material
- You will have to create or outsource the set-up and design of your company website and manage it
- You are responsible for all permits and licenses required for the sale of your products and service
- You have to keep inventory and possibly have a warehouse and manage all the logistics to ship the products to your customers
- You are responsible for providing customer service
In contract, affiliate marketers have some limitations in their business control and decision making, such as:
- You cannot control what the company does to their own branding - if they act unethically and thus have a bad reputation, you may not be able to sell as many products to clients anymore
- You may be limited to the amount of commission you can receive each month or year or the order amount on which you can receive commissions
- You do not control whether the company goes out of business or discontinues a product or drops their affiliate
But giving these few constraints of control comes with a lot of benefits:
- You do not have to invest any money on product development
- You are provided with marketing materials such as e-Mail swipes, banner images, and other promotional material
- You do not have to keep an inventory nor need any storage space to keep inventory
- Customer service is provided by the company that you are affiliated with
- You do not have to keep track nor obtain any permits and licenses for the business to operate
- The company usually has a website with product descriptions and sales pages that you will simply redirect potential customers to (with your affiliate link)
- Your only responsibility is to market the products and/or services and have customers purchase the product or service through your affiliate link, the company will take care of the checkout process, shipping or delivering the product, customer service, etc. etc.