Affiliate Marketing Versus Drop shipping


Affiliate Marketing and Drop Shipping are two popular methods of making money online. In this age of Internet, these have caught up on popularity quickly. Here we look at both the business models in order to allow newcomers to decide on which is the best way to make a passive income online.

Both Affiliate Marketing and Drop-shipping comes with their share of advantages and dis-advantages. A thorough review of both is presented here.

Affiliate Marketing – Is it the best way to make passive income?

Affiliate Marketing is a term used when you earn a commission when a sale occurs through your channel of promotion. It does not involve you selling a product but it about promoting a product and directing it to the Seller.

The Pros of Affiliate Marketing are:

– Does not involve sales transaction but it is about earning commissions. Hence, the tax liability is limited to income taxes in your own country(Disclaimer: It is better to check this with your tax consultant before becoming an Affiliate Marketer as I am not an expert in this subject)

– You create content in your niche. You work on what you like working on.

– There is no handling of logistics involved. Logistics and returns, if any, is taken care by the Seller.

– There is no need to handle customer complaints. That is the responsibility of the Seller.

The Cons of Affiliate Marketing are:

– It takes a long time to mature.

– A good website and a great hosting service is the minimum requirement to build your own channel. Though, there are ways to do it without a website which has been covered in my other article here.

– You need to create engaging content to make your readers read your content

– You need to choose the right products to promote. If it is not relevant to your content, your readers will leave your site immediately.

– You need to promote your content in the right forum.

The Pros of Affiliate Marketing most often out-weighs the Cos. Hence, my answer is in affirmative when it comes to the question of Affiliate Marketing being the best way to make passive income.

What is Good about Drop-Shipping?

Drop-shipping was practiced widely even before the Internet gained in popularity. It is about getting the product shipped directly to a customer. You pay the supplier at a rate negotiated with them while you are paid your rate which you have negotiated with the customer. There is a margin at which you sell thereby making a profit.

It is easier said than done. In Drop-shipping, you are the only one known to the customer. Therefore, the quality of the product becomes your brand.

The Pros of Drop-Shipping are:

– You need not produce or manufacture good on your own. Hence, it does not require a huge set-up cost.

– The manufacturing costs might fluctuate, but you always sell at a margin to the customer.

Shipping and Logistics is taken care by the producer/manufacturer.

– There is no need to keep an inventory at your end. Hence, working capital requirement is least.

The Cons of Drop-Shipping are:

– Customer Service is still your problem.

– Any sales returns lower your earnings. The producer may or may not accept sales returns.

– Since logistics is not your responsibility but Customer Service is, that may lead to really stressful situations       sometime of products are not delivered in time.

Affiliate Marketing or Drop-Shipping- Which is better?

We have looked at the Pros and Cons of both Affiliate Marketing and Drop-Shipping and by now have an opinion ourselves about both the business models. From my perspective, there is no direct answer to it.

For people handicapped to create content, drop shipping is a good option. It gives them a convenient option without creating content. Probably, the Cons of Drop-Shipping can be neglected in this case. Rather, Drop-Shipping is a good option for people having a liking for marketing. They market the product, state a price, get the product delivered while paying a lower cost price. This is a business where one needs real marketing skills to make an earning.

However, people good at creating content, Affiliate Marketing is always the choice of Business Model. They create content in their own Niche Topics. They continue to do what they like to do. It is about promotion of a product and not a direct selling of it. The contents in the Niche area helps in directing the readers to a product.

It is up to the people to choose which is better depending upon what they think they are good at. If one is not comfortable with content creation, they must either have good marketing skills or develop it. Some online stores like Shopify have made it really convenient for drop-shippers.

My Choice – Affiliate Marketing

Most people would like to have a job which they enjoy. It would be best if they are allowed to work in their area of interest. To top it, working from the comfort of your home without worrying about office time-lines and traffic woes would be best. This might be on the wish-list of anybody in a day-job. The Good News is that, Affiliate Marketing offers this all!

However, there are quite a few learning if you want to be a successful Affiliate Marketer. You need to learn the tricks of trade and make the right choices to be able to market your content. Hanging around wrong platforms might lead you nowhere. There are a lot of scammers in this space who are ready to take your money away without rewarding you with any returns.

I therefore, use this opportunity to recommend Wealthy Affiliates. This platform has great educational and practical content on how to be successful as an Affiliate Marketer.

Read my review of Wealthy Affiliate by clicking here.


Drop-shipping is quite convenient business for anybody with a knack of marketing. Many people have been successful in making an earning through Drop-Shipping. However, the best online business for building passive income is Affiliate Marketing. The only reason for this choice is that one gets to work on the subject of his or her liking.

In case, you need to know more about Affiliate Marketing and would like to “test” it for yourself, I recommend joining Wealthy Affiliate via my affiliate link in the Wealthy Affiliate Review page. It is Free to Join!!!

Author: Rohit

I am Rohit- a content creator, blogger and an avid observer. My interest lies in helping people make money online. My research is based on legit ways to make money useful for students paying for tutions, retired seniors, housewives or anyone looking to build a stream of income from home.

6 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing Versus Drop shipping”

  1. Although affiliate marketing is a great way of making money online, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it will take time for you to make money online with affiliate marketing. 

    Drop-shipping is another way of making money online, but I do think it is a completely different business model, so comparing affiliate marketing to drop shipping, is like comparing apples to pears. It is not actually the same thing. 

    They both have their good points, and their negative aspects as well. But both are very valid and good ways of making money online. 

    1. Thanks for thorough comment Line,

      Both affilate marketing and dropshipping are valid ways of making money online though I too fully agree with you that both are entirely different business models.

      Best Regards,


  2. It feels like I was meant to read this article today! 

    When it comes to these two business models I am still somewhat  undecided. When I looked at ways to start a business online I researched drop shipping and was keen to purchase my own business through Alidropship or Ready Made Store but through my research I then discovered affiliate marketing and decided to get familiar with the online world by exploring content creation and selling for others on my site. Its enjoyable but taking forever to get going and I often wonder how much I would have made by now with drop shipping. But if I think about why I’m in this space its not about chasing the money but to build something long lasting that can sustain me and so eventually I will earn while I sleep and all the hard work will pay off. And who knows once I know enough I can set up a drop shipping store and do it both:)

    Thanks for sharing your pros and cons 🙂

  3. Hi Rohit
    When you talk about passive income created by home based internet business, the newcomers think it as get rich quick schemes. Where is in affiliate marketing as well as Drop shipping, Planning and continuity are the essence. Both need the consistent efforts and patience to grow the business. In my opinion affiliate marketing is on the first rank as it gives opportunity to create titanic business with consistent efforts, learning and exploring the ideas of your niche. The more you learn the more you get success. Thanks for a great article.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

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