If you want to make money as a marketer, then you really have two main options. One is to create a product and sell that. The other is to sell an affiliate product.

Neither of these is the ‘right’ option. The right option will instead depend on what niche you’re in, what you enjoy doing, what you’re capable of doing and more.

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The Pros and Cons

With a digital product, you of course have the advantage of keeping 100% of the profit. You also have the freedom and control to market your product however you like and even to edit it and alter it if you so wish. This also makes it easier for you to create a strong brand – if someone has enjoyed one of your products, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in buying more from you in the future.

But then of course that means you’ll also need to actually create that product. This in turn means you need to invest a lot of time and effort – or money if you plan on outsourcing – into the creation of that offering.

And what that means is that you can potentially end up out of pocket. If you invest lots of time and money into a product that then ends up not selling, you’ll have lost money. There are ways you can ‘validate’ a product to ensure there’s an audience for it, but ultimately you will always be taking a gamble.

On the other hand, if you choose an affiliate product that is already making lots of sales, then you’ll know for sure that it can sell. All that’s left is finding the right audience. In some cases, even the marketing materials will be prepared for you.

In terms of profit, affiliate products still offer very high commissions – up to 75% in some cases. If you pick a more expensive item then or sell multiple items, you can make just as much money as you can from having your own product.

There’s no right answer then but remember: you don’t have to choose. Why not start with an affiliate product and use that to fund a digital product of your own?

Or better yet, why not use affiliate products to learn what works and what doesn’t, and then use that to help design the perfect product of your own. You can also look into PLR products to sell online as digital downloads.

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Barry Macdonald

Born and raised in Kingston Ontario Canada, I have an extensive background in online marketing including social media marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing and ecommerce. I created this blog to help other online entrepreneurs find the best tools, services, and latest business opportunities and trends in digital marketing. The father of three boys, I'm also an amateur photographer and local history buff and I enjoy sharing my photos on Instagram.

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