Blogging, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce are the three most popular ways to make money online. They sometimes work separately, partially together, or all under one umbrella. But whatever the case may be, they each use different models to generate income.
Some may argue that blogging is the most profitable, once you’ve amassed a large following and are now generating significant income from advertisement, sponsored posts, and even consulting.
Another sect would argue that affiliate marketing is the most profitable because every successful conversion recorded earns you money. For instance, for every successful referral you get on iPages, you could earn up to $105 per sign up, making an affiliate marketer that drives 1,000 sign ups monthly to earn up to $105,000 dollars a month, with even less than 10,000 page views a day.
While you may ponder on the possibility of this, hundreds of affiliate marketers make thousands of dollars monthly from affiliate marketing, and some even make as much as $400,000 dollars monthly.
The potential of affiliate marketing causes many individuals to run towards its revenue model.
Lastly, another sect believes eCommerce is the most profitable because you can control the sales of your items, its profit, and also start making money from day one. They know that if they sell one item, it’s all theirs and no one else’s. So they target a lot of monthly sales in order to meet their marks.
So Then, What Are The Similarities Between, Blogging Vs Affiliate Marketing Vs eCommerce?
- They are all run on the internet
- They have high earning potentials
- They are easy to start working on immediately
- They require some similar skill sets like being able to create ads, drive traffic to a landing page and other internet marketing skills
- They can be started for a relatively low price
See Also: How To Start A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Site That Makes At Least $500 A Month
Advantages Of Starting A Blog
When you blog, your intent is to consistently pass valuable information to people over a long period of time. During this period, you get them to trust you, establish yourself as a professional in the niche you’re writing about, and so, makes it a lot easier for you to sell your services to them.
Blogging will help you successfully run a service-based business, as most of your audience may be people who will require your services at some point. As you consistently pass valuable information, you build a wider audience base, get a lot more customers, and grow your revenues in the process.
Depending on what your blog niche, your audience base, their engagement rate, and your SEO ranking is, your monthly income could be far lesser than an affiliate marketer’s or could be far higher.
Most people are also drawn towards blogging because it’s very easy to do and requires a very small initial investment.
In fact, you can start a blog today for as very little as $3.95 a month. The two steps to achieve this are:
See Also: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Blog
Disadvantages Of Starting A Blog
Growing a successful blog is no easy task. It will require a lot of your time, dedication, research, and effort for it to be worthwhile on the long-run. Also, you must have great writing skills to be able to pass valuable information to your audience, else, they won’t feel connected to your articles, will perceive little or no value in them, and will more likely move over to the next blog.
Blogging is also one of the worst ways to make money on the short-term. It’s rather a long-term strategy and requires valuable time, attention, and effort on the part of the blogger.
Depending on what niche you’re blogging about, your advertising value and the services you intend to run from it may be worth so much or next to nothing. So it’s important you choose a niche carefully before you set out to start a blog.
Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing
Since affiliate marketing is heavily based on performance metrics and compensations for every successful product, service, or sign up you can get for a brand, you don’t have to worry about customer service, sales tax, warehousing, shipping, payment processing, and many other time-consuming activities.
Also, you could get as much as 3% to 85% of a successful conversion, depending on the affiliate program you joined, and sometimes, you can get the percentages every month for life!
Most affiliate marketers worldwide make thousands of dollars monthly. Some make hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then again, there are others who make a few hundreds or tens of dollars monthly.
Depending on how you’re promoting the affiliate programs you joined, whether via email or not, your income will be highly variable.
See Also: How To Make Up To $1,000 Monthly Online Without Google Ads
Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing
The major problem with affiliate marketing is that you lack complete control. An affiliate partner could delist you at any time, drop their commission rates, offer shitty products that could affect your reputation, and they could even go out of business all the same.
They could also impose strict rules on how you generate your sales. Many affiliate programs outrightly ban Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to generate leads. So if you spend a lot of money on Google or Facebook ads, they could drop you as an affiliate and all the money you’ve spent so far would go to total waste.
Lastly, when you refer a person to an affiliate partner, they get all their emails, phone numbers, addresses, and more after the purchase is successful. Meaning they could remarket several services to them over and over again, making you lose out on a lot of potential future income from your referrals.
Advantages Of eCommerce
Running an eCommerce site gives you complete control over the products and services you sell. You get to handle customer service, give discounts as you wish, collect the customer’s email addresses, and also re-market several other products to them.
Whether you’re selling eBooks, online courses, fashion items, tech gadgets, and more, scaling up an eCommerce site can be a lot faster than a blog and an affiliate marketing site.
See Also: How To Start An E-Commerce Business In Nigeria: The Comprehensive Cost
Disadvantages Of eCommerce
The largest disadvantage of eCommerce is that despite scaling-up really fast, you may make zero profits for many years. This is even worse for countries in Africa, where the largest eCommerce companies in Nigeria are yet to break-even, despite having spent million of Dollars promoting their brands.
Also, running an eCommerce business requires a whole lot of money. You’d have to purchase a lot of items for resale, handle customer complaints, be faced with a lot of product returns, and even spend a lot of money on managing day-to-day operations and staff salaries.
With all these in place, running a successful eCommerce business in Africa is more difficult than ever.
Which Should You Then Go For?
Blogging, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce have three different models. Before you decide which you should go for, you need to take note of these three areas:
- eCommerce – I want to start making money today (but could be no profits)
- Affiliate Site – I want my business to be low-risk and still be making money even if I’m not there. (Could be 100% profits and very substantial)
- Blogging – I want to be an established figure (expert) and to create an audience in the process. Money is not important to me now, but later. (Could be the best bet you make)
By reviewing these three points, your current preferences should determine which plunge you should take.
My Personal Advice
While blogging, affiliate marketing, and eCommerce are three different models, the best way to maximize your income on the internet is to combine all three.
When you pass valuable information on your blog, asides offering advert space and consulting gigs, you could also promote products from your affiliate partners, based on an in-depth review you’d post periodically, and then sell an online course, eBook, or a product that your readers really want and that compliments your articles with information that they can’t easily find online.
By combining the three models together, you could run a full-fledged online business whose revenue streams are not limited to one or two channels, but are highly dynamic, because of the multiple revenue channels you’re ultimately open to.
So to get started with this model, these two articles below that I’ve previously written contains everything you’d need to know on how to start a blog and which affiliate programs you can join today:
- How To Start A Blog — The Complete Beginner Guide
- 20+ High Paying Affiliate Programs That Will Make You Money
What are your thoughts on these three online business models that will make you more money? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Great post, Stan.
Like you said, combining all three is awesome. I would start out with a blog, gather some momentum and traction, then include affiliate marketing to monetize and sell anything I want using eCommerce.
However, any of the 3 taken in isolation still has the potential to make any serious person lots of money.
Finally, an internet marketer would need a blog anyway whether the emphasis is on affiliate marketing or eCommerce.
I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
Thank you for the contribution Samuel
Stan My Boss, I really enjoyed and appreciates your ideas leading wayward.
I absolutely like Affiliates Marketing and eCommerce marketing but serious Blogging is profitable but very difficult and time consuming.
By the way nothing good comes easy and cheaply or simple.
My picks are Affiliates Marketing, eCommerce Affiliates Marketing, and the Blogging.
Thank you for the contribution Adamu.
Boss! This is another great post… I’m really getting some serious value from your blog so far. I don’t usually comment on blogs but I just had to comment on this.
You’re an inspiration. I hope my blog is like yours when it grows up.
Thank you for the commendation, Tomi.
I truly do appreciate it.
Do have a great time!
I hate blog, I don’t comment on blog, because of what blog as put me into in the past 4 months Blogging as frustrate my life and drain all my life saving.
Let me not tell you guys the story I love your article, am inspired a lot.
Now I have a broad view of how affiliate marketing works. Thumbs up bro.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Adaka.
Do have a great time!
Great content on making money online. A real eye opener
Thank you for the comment, Jimoh.
Deeply grateful and inspired by the post.
Am looking forward to starting affiliate marketing by January 2018 as an extra means of income.
Still think i have to learn the ropes of the trade from a teacher.
Can you guide me?
Please read through the affiliate marketing articles on the website.
amazing article i have ever read on the internet i will share to all my friends
Great article. Thanks for sharing
Actually, there is no guarantee for both either but a well mapped plan for any of them. One can build a sustainable income stream.
nice work, keep up the good work.
Great. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.
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