Affiliate Marketing or Print on Demand: Which One is Better?

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If you are going back and forth between affiliate marketing or print on demand, we hope this article can help you make up your mind.

Even though there are many ways to make money online, print on demand is considered new compared to affiliate marketing. We’ve seen many people get confused about which one is better than the other. So, in this article, we’ll try to answer this question based on our experience and research.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Affiliate Marketing or Print on Demand: Which One is Better?

Generally speaking, every online business could work as long as you put your time and resource into it. So, we think there isn’t one that is better than the other. However, if we have to choose one, we believe affiliate marketing is better for long-term success because you don’t have to deal with customer service and production in the long run. One bad reputation could drag down an entire print on demand business.

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth it?

Based on our experience, affiliate marketing is worth it. One of the main reasons is the low cost of starting and the unlimited potential of earnings. To start affiliate marketing, you only need three things (at least):

However, like any other online business, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it wouldn’t happen as an overnight success. So, bear in mind that it will take some time to see results.

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons

Since we are affiliate marketers, we could say there are more pros than cons when it comes to affiliate marketing.

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Pros

  • Low cost of starting.
  • It’s relatively easy to apply and find affiliate programs.
  • Unlimited income potential.
  • There are a lot of free resources about affiliate marketing.
  • You don’t have to worry about product inventory, or customer service, as it directly goes to the vendor/product owner.
  • Monthly recurring commissions could provide you with a stable income.

Cons

  • There are too much false information and an oversimplified statement about affiliate marketing.
  • If you’d like to take it seriously, affiliate marketing requires you to invest in proper education and guidance.
  • For several affiliate programs, the waiting time to receive your payment can take up to 60 days.
  • Driving traffic is a big challenge as an affiliate marketer.

If you’d like to learn more about affiliate marketing, you can download our free ebook or visit our blog.


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Now, let’s compare it with print on demand.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand is a business model where you can sell a product with your design based on order request—hence the term “on demand.”

There are a lot of products you can sell using print on demand. The most popular products are t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, tumblers, wall decorations, and many more. Print on demand works by using AI to generate the visual of the product you’re going to sell. Take a look at this example below.

As you can see from the screenshot above, the possibility of creating multiple products is endless. One design can be applied to various products. Similar to affiliate marketing, print on demand also has unlimited income potential. Moreover, each sale goes directly to you as the owner of that design or product.

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Pro Tip💡
If you’re looking for print on demand platform, we recommend Sellfy to start with.

Print on Demand Pros and Cons

We did research to find out the pros and cons of doing print on demand. Although there are more pros than cons, to our surprise, we found several cons we didn’t think about before.

Pros

  • Relatively low cost of starting.
  • Print on demand has a more focused business model compared to affiliate marketing.
  • Creating a product is easy for beginners.
  • You can sell multiple products with only one design.
  • Direct payment straight to your account.
  • You don’t have to worry about a warehouse, inventory, and production costs. Everything is produced based on request.

Cons

  • You have no access to check your own product quality unless you order it yourself.
  • You also act as customer service for your print on demand business.
  • Production defects will impact your business.
  • You might need to hire a graphic designer if you don’t have design skills.
  • Promoting your product could be the next challenge.

Conclusion

If we compare print on demand with affiliate marketing, print on demand requires you to have a design before you can print it. Otherwise, there is no product to sell. However, affiliate marketing is not easy as it seems to be. Many people didn’t make it with affiliate marketing because they didn’t have access to proper education.

Since both business models have pros and cons, there isn’t one that is better than the other. But, based on our experience and thoughts, affiliate marketing requires you to keep creating content and consistently publishing it. On the other hand, print on demand relies more on marketing to drive sales. 

However, if we have to choose one, we think affiliate marketing is better for long-term success than print on demand. You don’t have to worry about customer service since you only represent the brands you promote. As for print on demand, you need to build a reputation for your products and brand, which is also challenging.

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So, to conclude our answer, everything depends on how you manage your online business. Everything could work if you spend your time wisely.


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Sugiya is the Writer and Owner of We Recommend. He is passionate about helping people make better decisions when buying things on the internet.

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