What Is The Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and Digital Marketing?

Starting an online business is extremely exciting. However, since there are so many different options in terms online businesses, it could be hard to choose what to do.

How about affiliate marketing and digital marketing. If you’re caught between these two, you may be wondering what the main differences are. So what are they?

There are quite a few difference between the two. Below we will go over these factors:

  1. Digital Marketing Is General Marketing On The Internet
  2. Affiliate Marketing Is More Specific To Selling Other Peoples Products
  3. Which One Is Better For You

Below we will go more in depth about each of these differences.

Digital Marketing Is General Marketing On The Internet

When speaking about Digital Marketing, it means the overall marketing for a business using the internet.

There are so many different strategies and tactics that fall under the umbrella with digital marketing that it’s hard to keep up with.

Some of the things involved in Digital marketing include:

Search Engine optimization: As a digital marketer you need to know search engine optimization to help businesses rank on Google and other search platforms.

Content Marketing: Between blog post, videos, and social media, content plays a big role in digital marketing.

Paid Ads: You need to know how to do paid ads to get customers targeted leads. There are many different ways to do this including Facebook Ads, Google ads, and more. Each is unique in their own way, so the challenge of learning them all in depth could be hard.

Email Marketing: Building an email list for clients is important. This is one of the most affective ways to promote a business and build a relationship with potential customers.

Social Media Marketing: Learning each social media platform and how it could benefit your clients is another aspect of digital marketing.

Affiliate Marketing: We’re comparing digital marketing and affiliate marketing, but affiliate marketing is just a small portion of digital marketing. As a digital marketer, your job when it comes to affiliate marketing is to help businesses with their affiliate marketing strategy.

Meaning getting people to promote their products and rewarding those affiliates who are successful.

Not only do you have to learn these aspects, but you also need to focus on finding businesses to work for, which could be a process within itself (sales, networking, finding the right fit).

Affiliate Marketing Is More Specific To Selling Other Peoples Products

Now that we know that digital marketing is such a broad term, what about affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing focuses on promoting other businesses products and getting a commission for each sale made through your affiliate link.

You barely have to even communicate with anyone, all you have to do is be in a specific niche, find products within that niche, and find a way to become an affiliate for those products.

This is the beauty of having an affiliate marketing business. It’s very simple in comparison to digital marketing. Below we will go over the benefits of affiliate marketing over digital marketing.

You don’t need to spend as much time managing: With digital marketing you need to worry about doing customer service, sales calls, overhead costs, and more. As an affiliate marketer all you have to do is choose a platform, create content around a certain niches products, and promote those products.

You can make passive income: One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you can continue making sales while you sleep. Some affiliate programs are set up to where you will continue making commissions on repeat purchases from customers.

Regardless, even if it’s a one time sale from a YouTube video you made, or a blog post you wrote, the potential to continue making income from your promotions is there.

You can have multiple streams of income: As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products in many different niches and have multiple streams of income coming in at once. Whereas with digital marketing, it’s more likely that you are just focused on one business and their needs.

For example, you can have three separate niche sites, which will allow you to have three separate streams of income.

Who Is Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing For?

Affiliate marketing is more for people who like to create content, are a little more to themselves, and want to make a passive income.

Digital marketing is more for those who are looking to work with businesses, have excellent communication skills, and want to be able to build long-term relationships with clients.

Both can be very profitable career options, it just depends on what your strengths are and how you like to work.

It’s not impossible to have both either. If you’re making a good income via a digital marketing agency, you could always venture out and start an affiliate niche site.

A portion of the money you make through digital marketing could be used to scale your affiliate niche website or websites.

Don’t limit yourself to just one or the other, both have their own benefits and can be very lucrative if done correctly.

What Is The Importance Of Affiliate Marketing In Digital Marketing?

I’d say it’s very important. Affiliate marketing is almost like word of mouth marketing. If you have a good affiliate program, the more people will talk about your product and the more sales you will get.

Not only will it help with sales, but it will also spread brand awareness. There are many products I’ve used in the past that I came across on YouTube and purchased through affiliate links so it’s safe to say it can really make a difference.

Not having an affiliate program as part of your digital marketing strategy could be a very big mistake and could potentially hurt your overall sales and brand awareness.

Which Makes More Money, Affiliate Marketing Or Digital Marketing?

There is no straight answer to this question. They both are scalable due to being able to outsource content and outsource work, but it all depends on how well you execute your strategies and how much effort you put in.

It all depends on the person business acumen, work ethic, and also the niche they are in. Some niches have higher commissions for affiliate marketing while others may be more profitable for digital marketing. It truly varies.

But overall, both can make a significant amount of money if done correctly and consistently. It really just depends on the individual’s approach and execution of their strategies.

One thing I will say, is that affiliate marketing may take a lot longer to get off the ground. When you take platforms like Google and YouTube they can take quite a while.

If you have a business model in place for digital marketing, you could get a contract with a business within a few days or weeks, which will result in your making money much faster.

Can Digital Marketing Knowledge Help You With Affiliate Marketing?

This is a no brainer. Digital marketing tactics can be applied to affiliate marketing, such as SEO, PPC advertising, email marketing, and social media strategies.

Having the deep bag of skills of a digital marketer can also help with creating better content for your affiliate website or promoting your affiliate links on social media platforms in a more effective way.


Now that you see the various differences of affiliate marketing and digital marketing, you could start thinking about which one you want to start with.

I personally like the affiliate marketing aspect as I have more control and can work on my own schedule, but it’s up to personal preference.

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What Is The Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and Digital Marketing?
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