Affiliate Marketing Vs. Product Development


I love affiliate marketing.

I also love product development.

But I’m certainly not married to either.

I split my efforts between both of them, as this allows me to target different audiences and generate far greater results.

While I am able to both develop my own products and sell affiliate products, not everyone has the ability to do so. If you can’t, you’ll need to ask yourself which is right for you.

Which one will be more likely to drive leads, sales and profits with your particular resources and abilities?

Let’s take a look at affiliate marketing vs. product development—including how they work and their benefits.

From there, you can make the decision of which is right for you—or if you are able to handle both!

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Obviously, before you make a decision about what form of marketing is right for you, you’ll need to understand how each works…

Here’s a brief rundown of how affiliate marketing works:

Step 1

Find an affiliate that has a product that you want to sell. They will provide the product and often even the marketing (you simply provide the leads).

Step 2

Send emails that lead customers to someone else’s video sales letter, written sales letter, or landing page.

Step 3

Rinse and repeat, over and over.

It’s REALLY that simple.

That’s why affiliate marketing is so cool!

In order to get your emails out there for your affiliate marketing campaign, you’ll need to use an autoresponder, like Sendlane. Trust me, it’s the best autoresponder out there for email marketing…mainly because it was built for email marketers, by email marketers—including yours truly!

With, you can log in any time and any place you wish. Then, just send out emails and promote products from literally anywhere in the world.

Now that you have a better understanding of how affiliate marketing works, let’s take a look at some of the benefits…

The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

I want to start off by saying that I’ve easily made over a million dollars in commissions from different affiliate programs. By no means is this me bragging, I just want you to really grasp the power of affiliate marketing!

Affiliate marketing is an excellent tool because it allows you to make tons of money without having to spend any time or money developing your own product.

Instead, all you have to do is look for the right product (or products), plug it into your campaign, drive traffic to your campaign and start watching as the money rolls in…

I highly suggest affiliate marketing for people that have never done any sort of marketing before—especially email marketing. I personally think it’s quite a bit easier.

Keep in mind, though, that there are tradeoffs—including the amount of profit you actually make off each sale. We’ll get more into that in a little bit…

Even though you won’t be able to keep 100% of each sale, though, you will still be able to keep a significant portion. And keep in mind you won’t have to do anything when it comes to developing the product itself…

That makes affiliate marketing a very fair arrangement. The affiliate puts in all of the upfront work creating the product and making it available for marketers to sell, and the marketers sell the product and make a cut.

In order to better grasp this idea, think about most stores that you visit…

While some stores create their own products, others simply sell products that others have created.

If you go to a store to purchase a set of sheets for your bed, for instance, it’s unlikely that you’ll be purchasing directly from the manufacturer.

Sure, if you buy the sheets online you may be able to buy them directly, but if you go to Target, you probably won’t be walking out with sheets actually made by Target.

Instead, Target is selling for the manufacturer.

You are essentially doing the same with affiliate marketing. Someone has created the product, and it’s your job to sell it and take a cut.

The difference is, with most stores, there is purchasing upfront. They need to buy the products wholesale and then sell them for a profit.

With affiliate marketing, you get to sell a product without spending money upfront—and then you take a nice cut!

That’s a pretty great deal, right?

While affiliate marketing is a simple way to make a good amount of money, it’s important to keep in mind that there are benefits to product development as well that make it an excellent option for making money online…

The Benefits of Product Development

When it comes to product development, there are 2 major benefits…

Benefit #1

You can recruit affiliates, which allows you to get free traffic and do a lot less of the heavy lifting when it comes to sales.

Benefit #2

When you sell your product directly, you get to keep 100% of each sale!

Imagine you have a product. Maybe an eBook. You put up a video sales letter and you sell it for $47. Then, you also have upsell funnels (the key to building a solid business).

If this was an affiliate product, you would maybe get 50% of that $47…or less!

However, because it’s your own product, you get 100% of what you generate. This allows you to recover your investment quickly and start making serious money!

Allowing affiliates to sell your product for you also allows you to make a good chunk of each sale, all while saving thousands of dollars or more on marketing costs. That’s a pretty great deal!

While product development does take some more work and money upfront, it’s an excellent decision for those that want a little more control over how much they make, and how they make it.

How Does Product Development Work?

In order to sell your own products, you first need to understand how product development works…

Essentially, you’ll need to pick a niche, develop a worthwhile product in that niche and make the product available to purchase. This may mean either through your own website or through an affiliate.

When you are developing your product, you’ll want to consider whether you are capable of actually developing a product on your own, or if you’ll need help.

If you feel like you are able to develop your own high-quality product (and you have the time and resources to do so), then you can save money upfront and ensure that the product looks exactly how you want it to look.

If you don’t have the ability or time to produce your own product, though, you’ll need to rely on a product developer to create your product for you. This is going to take a lot more money—especially if you want the product to look exactly how you want it to look.

Still—once the product is complete—you’ll have full ownership!

From there, you can start making significantly more money than if you were selling other people’s products—and you can automate the process by allowing affiliates to sell for you!

If you have the resources, I would definitely recommend developing your own product.

Which Is Right for Me?

Whether affiliate marketing or product development is right for you really depends on a few different factors…

Here’s a good rule of thumb:

If you have little capital, you might be better off starting as an affiliate…

If you have a good amount of capital, you might do better by creating your own product. It will take a bit longer, but the results could be greater.

Ultimately, the decision is YOURS!

I have tons of students who have excelled as affiliates. I also have tons who have done well by creating their own products.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you aren’t necessarily stuck with one or the other. You are able to sell affiliate products and create your own products as well.

This is a big part of the beauty of affiliate marketing…you can sell one or more products through your email newsletter.

This means you can make a major push for your own product, but you can also leverage affiliate products to add diversity to your sales efforts.

This is all while you also have affiliates selling your products…

You can also start with one and then move to the other.

If you don’t have the capital upfront to create your own product, you can always sell affiliate products until you can afford to create your own product. From there, you can decide whether you want to continue to sell the affiliate product or simply rely on your own product.

Affiliate Marketing Vs. Product Development

So, I want you to now take a moment to ask yourself:

“What’s my preference?”

Really kick that idea around. Also consider what your resources look like, and what skillset you have.

Then, put together a plan!

In no time you’ll be selling an affiliate product, your own product or both…and making thousands or even millions of dollars doing so!