Should You Choose Dropshipping Or Affiliate Marketing?

Should you choose dropshipping or affiliate marketing?

If you’re looking for ways to make money online you’ve probably asked yourself this question.

What sets the two apart and which is better for earning an income online?

I can speak from experience about the pros and cons of affiliate marketing.

I’ve built websites that have earned respectable amounts of money and those that have made nothing at all.

You’re not reading marketing fluff from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

I’m now in the process of building my first dropshipping store.

Along the way as I build my store I’m going to share with you all the lessons that I learn.

This should help you when you decide to build a dropshipping store of your own.

But first, let’s answer the question – should you choose dropshipping or affiliate marketing?

Differences Between Affiliate Marketing and Dropshipping

Affiliate marketing is a great way for beginners to learn the basics of making money online.

In order to be successful you’ll have learn the basics of sales copywriting, website design, keyword research, and search engine optimization.

These are skills that will serve you well in the future.

If you want to jump straight into dropshipping you’ll have a steep learning curve because you’ll need to already possess good copywriting skills and have some basic understanding of website design.

In addition to this, you’ll need to learn how to make two or more different websites work together – whatever site you buy products from and the site you use to sell those products.

You’re also going to be responsible for customer service and responding to your buyers’ questions.

Marketing will also play a huge part because you’ll need to spread the word about your store some way or another.

Closely tied to marketing is building relationships with influencers who you may contact to ask to promote your store.

Benefits of Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a great way to earn income quickly, compared to affiliate marketing.

When you build an affiliate site, you basically spend a couple of months writing articles and inserting your affiliate links into those articles.

You then wait while Google does its thing and indexes your site and puts it into search results.

If you’ve done some basic keyword research and search engine optimization and written good content, your website will hopefully show up in the first page of search results.

People will see it and click on your site, read your articles, and hopefully click your affiliate links and buy products so that you can earn a percentage of that sale.

If you’re lucky, you may see your first sale after your site has been up for a couple of months.

As you can tell, there’s a lot of waiting and a little bit of luck mixed in.

On the other hand, dropshipping puts you almost exclusively in the driver’s seat.

You pick the products, you write the sales descriptions that will convince people to buy them, you create the ads, you reach out to people to promote those ads for you, you fulfill the orders when people buy, and you get the profit that’s left over after ordering from your supplier and shipping the product to your buyer.

If you do these things right, the potential exists for you to make a LOT of money, and to start making it as soon as you can get your store up and running and start running some ads.

There are some mistakes that are easy to make, but you can thankfully avoid them by reading this article about the mistakes I made my first week setting up my Shopify store.


Affiliate marketing or dropshipping, which is better? Dropshipping is more expensive to set up, but has larger revenue potential.

The Risks of Dropshipping

This all sounds great, but what about the downside?

Compared to affiliate marketing, you’re going to spend more money to set up a dropshipping store.

Quite a bit more, in fact.

You can start an affiliate site for what it costs to pay for web hosting and registering a domain.

This may be as little as $60 for a domain and a year of hosting (Webhostinghub has a great deal, is reliable, and their customer service is fantastic – it’s what I use for all my sites).

If you want a nice logo for your site you can have one made for $5 on Fiverr.

That’s it.

On the other hand, dropshipping requires much more of an investment.

You’ll have to pay for your store website, pay for any extra apps you’ll need to make everything run better, and pay for advertising.  (And don’t forget about the $5 for a logo.)

I’m spending $36 per month for my store, just for the basic Shopify plan and an app that I need.

Advertising is probably going to be the biggest expense.

Expect to spend anywhere between $5 to $25 to run a single Instagram ad.

Facebook ads will probably start at $5 per day.

All in all, I’ve budgeted $1000 to spend just to get started on dropshipping.

Is Dropshipping Worth the Cost?

Right now you’re probably asking yourself whether dropshipping is worth such a large investment of money.

That’s an answer you’ll need to decide for yourself.

What I can tell you is that I wouldn’t have gotten into dropshipping if I didn’t believe that I would be making my money back exponentially.

I had looked into dropshipping before, but never really did a deep dive into it.

Recently James Holt, a friend of the website with whom I’d worked together on a few affiliate marketing articles and who has given me invaluable advice over the past couple of years, started writing about his experience with dropshipping and the success he’s seen.

This got me interested in dropshipping and after doing some research I’ve jumped into it full speed ahead.

I highly recommend you check out James’ site  You’ll find valuable advice if you’re interested in getting into dropshipping.

In addition to this site, of course. ☺


Dropshipping has a steeper learning curve and requires more money invested up front than affiliate marketing.

You’ll need to already understand and be able to apply the basics of sales copywriting, website design, customer service, and building relationships with others online.

Also, you should plan to spend around $1000 if you want to see some success.

The benefit – and it’s a big one – is the ability to quickly start earning income and to scale that income exponentially once you know what you’re doing.

If you decide to jump on board the dropshipping experience, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter so that you get news about the latest posts and exclusive content I’ll only offer to subscribers.


You can get started with dropshipping at no risk.  Shopify offers a 14 day free trial without having to enter your credit card information.  You’re able to  get your store up and ready to sell products before you even spend a single penny.

Click For Shopify 14 Day Free Trial
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