Should you sell affiliate products or your own products?

affiliate vs own productIf you want to earn money with your online business there are many different possibilities. I believe that one of the best ways to monetize your traffic is to sell products.

If you want to sell products you have two possibilities. You can either sell your own products or sell products of someone else (affiliate marketing). Both of these choices have different advantages and disadvantages.

Now I want to have a better look at both sides so you can choose the side what is best for you. I’ll start with the most common way the affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing

If you sell someone else’s products you call that affiliate marketing. The principle is very simple and effective. As an affiliate, you get an affiliate link referring to the merchant. This is usually an online shop (for example Amazon). When people use your link to buy something you get a commission.

When people use your link to buy something from that merchant you get a commission.

The commission depends on the product and the online shop. In the Amazon affiliate program, you get up to 10%. The commission for digital products is usually much higher as there are no production costs. These can be between 50% and 80%.

Advantages of affiliate marketing

The big advantage of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to take care of several things.

At first, you don’t have to create a product. Creating a product can take a lot of time and if you don’t have a lot of experience you never know if you can sell your product. That means creating a product can be very risky.

Also, you don’t have to create a sales funnel or a sales page. Creating a converting sales funnel or page can be very costly. And again, if you don’t have a lot of experience it will be very likely that no one will buy your product.

In addition to the product creation and the sales funnel you also don’t have to take care of shipping or the sales process.

And lastly, you don’t have to take care of the support. These are all processes that take a lot of time and effort.  And also you need experience so you’ll have a converting product.

But with affiliate marketing, all you need to do is to send traffic and you can earn money. The better your traffic converts into paying customers the more money you’ll make.

That means you have to “warm up” your traffic. I give you an example. Someone is searching for a coffee machine with vintage design. So they search in Google for “coffee machine vintage design”. Now they (hopefully) visit your

Now they (hopefully) visit your website where you have written a review about a coffee machine in vintage design. If they like what they read they maybe will click on your button and buy the coffee machine at Amazon.

That is called “warming up” the traffic. The easiest way to warm up traffic is to solve the problems of your target group. If they have a problem and you explain to them that they can solve that problem with this or that product the conversion rate can be very high.

Another benefit of affiliate marketing is that it is easily scalable. As the merchant is responsible for shipping all the products you don’t have more effort to sell 10 coffee machines or 1,000.

As it is in life, there are always advantages and disadvantages. Therefore there are also disadvantages in affiliate marketing.

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing

The biggest disadvantage of affiliate marketing is that you only get a part of the profit. If you would sell the product on your own you would have a much higher profit.

I’ll explain that more in detail when I talk about the advantages of selling your own product.

However, there is one other disadvantage that many people don’t know. What I talk about is controllability. In control of your commissions and your paycheck is your merchant.

I’ll explain you more in detail what I mean. Let’s say you sell a product with a monthly commission. And after some weeks you made it to earn more than $1,000 with this product.

Suddenly they drop their commission payout from 50% to 25%. That means that your monthly earning shrinks from $1,000 to $500. Of course, not many companies will do that but it can always happen that the company goes to bankrupt.

That’s why I would always have several affiliate products and not focus on only one.

I think you can see now that affiliate marketing can be a huge opportunity if you don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience. It is absolutely possible to earn really good money with affiliate marketing.

Sell your own product

Besides affiliate marketing, you have always the possibility to sell your own product. Selling your own product can be a huge challenge but also offers you a lot of opportunities.

If you have a good idea and there is none or no good affiliate product you can sell you can fill that gap with your own product. A product can either be a physical product or a digital product.

Selling a physical product is a much higher effort as you have to produce, store and ship it. In addition, you need money beforehand to start producing. However, if you have a product that you can produce and sell then go ahead 🙂

But this blog is more about online marketing businesses so I want to talk more about digital products. Digital products can be an ebook, a video course or anything like that.

The advantage of a digital product is that it is easily scalable. It doesn’t make a difference if you want to sell 100 or 10,000 ebooks. Also, the money you have to invest is very low. I think you can start selling a product with less than $100.

Advantages of selling your own product

The biggest benefit of selling your own product is that you make 100% profit and not only 50%. That means you have more money with the same number of sales.

In addition, you have much higher controllability. You can raise the price at any time and earn more money with the same number of sales. That means you are much more independent from other companies and their decisions.

Disadvantages of selling your own product

The advantages of selling affiliate products are the disadvantages of selling your own product. If you want to sell your own product you need besides your product a converting sales funnel.

This can be a really high challenge if you don’t have a lot of experience. There is the possibility to outsource these activities but this can be very costly.

If you sell a product you have also take care of the product. There are always people who have further questions or problems. And as the product owner, you have to take care of it. This can cost you a lot of time.

A very fast way to sell a product

There is one possibility how you can get the advantages of selling your own product without most of the disadvantages. You can sell PLR products. I already wrote something about PLR products in my last article (read here). These are products you can buy and then sell as often as you want.

They can be used as a freebie or you can sell them. The benefit is that with PLR products you have already a product and usually a sales page and promotional tools like banners or email swipes.

With a sales system like Sellfy, you can start selling your own products in minutes!

If you are in the personal development, earning money online niche I have something very cool for you. With ViralPLR you get one PLR product per month for free you can either sell or use it as a freebie. With an already built in sales page, web hosting and much more. And the best part is that you can use it for free.


I believe that selling products is one of the fastest ways to earn money online. If you want to you can take a picture with your most favorite book and post it to Facebook. Now you only need to add your Amazon affiliate link and you could make some money really easy and fast.

If you are new to online marketing I would recommend you to start with affiliate products. You have a much lower risk selling products from other people and you can make really good money with it.

What experience have you made? Have you already sold your own product? Let me know by leaving a comment below 🙂

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