Digital Marketing Vs Affiliate Marketing (2)

Digital Marketing VS Affiliate Marketing (Simple Guide)

Welcome to the world of internet marketing, where two powerful and distinct approaches reign supreme: Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. In this ever-evolving digital landscape, understanding the details between these two strategies is essential if you’re goal is to increase business growth and work on achieving your goals.

I never knew there was a difference between the two, until I attended a Google Digital Garage course.

Today, you’ll discover the differences of digital marketing and affiliate marketing.

I recently took a certification through Google Digital Garage so that I could understand more in depth what the difference is between having digital marketing skills and affiliate marketing skills.

As the internet and electronic devices become increasingly important in our daily lives, the need for digital marketing strategies will also increase.

Therefore, businesses are using digital channels more than ever. Additionally, the opportunities in this sector are excellent as well.

Nearly, all online retailers from the TOP 500 list, have an affiliate program. With that said, learning how to utilize digital platforms to promote or share products and services would be beneficial.

What Is Digital Marketing?

With digital marketing, you can reach a wide audience and connect with people who might love the products you promote. Also, marketing digital helps you measure and track what’s working and what’s not. This all typically happens in real time.

It’s like a data science. The goal is to is to understand, identify patterns, trends, and correlations, and make data-driven decisions. Above all, digital marketers use various data analysis techniques, machine learning algorithms, and statistical models to make data-driven decisions that improves the effectiveness of their digital advertising efforts.

Reasons Digital Marketing Is Preferred By Advertisers

In simple terms, the reason digital advertisers use digital marketing channels is because, it’s like taking a super-duper magic wand, that helps the marketer reach a wide range of people. The people that can be reached aren’t just locally but, are world wide.

Furthermore, digital marketing involves using a lot of cool strategies like creating engaging content using your social media profiles or paying for social media ads to show off your cool products and services.

In fact, you can get super creative and create fun videos or branch off to writing interesting articles to get customers excited about the things you recommend. In short, businesses use digital marketing because it is the practice of promoting products online through different free and paid digital channels.

The difference between digital advertising and traditional advertising is a digital marketer uses digital technology and platforms, which allows them to analyze their marketing efforts. Your goal is to reach the right people at the right time. And all this happens online.

The cool thing is digital marketing allows small business to compete with larger corporations, especially if the right digital strategies are used. It’s nothing sweeter than driving traffic and generate more leads from the internet.

To help you better understand, when you see the word digital marketing, think of electronic devices and the internet.

In other words, digital marketing refers to promoting your online business products through various digital channels like below.

Landing Page

A landing page is a single page website, and its designed to convince people to do something specific, like joining an email list, or buying a particular product or service.

YouTube Channel Or Ads

YouTube is a powerful digital marketing channel, and it allows business or individuals to promote their products, services, or brands through video content. Additionally, YouTube has other advertising options which allow you to reach specific demographics, interests, and or behaviors. YouTube is valuable to those who want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, boost sales, or generate more leads.

Email Marketing

If you want to send messages to a group of people all at once so, that you can share information, products, services, or maybe build a relationship with your customers, then you can keep them up to date using an email autoresponder services.


Online newspapers offer the same contnet that a print counterpart news article would. With an online newspaper, you could use their advertising space where you can include display ads, banner ads, or sponsored content to increase the reach to your target audience.


Search engine optimization is a fundamental component to digital marketing. It refers to the practice of optimizing websites, webpages, online content to improve the visibility and its rankings within the search engine results pages (SERPs). The primary goal of using SEO is to attract visitors organically.

Micrsoft Or Google Ads

Using either Microsoft or Google Ads, allows businesses to display their ads on the search engine so that you can reach a broader audience. This methods does require funds. Careful planning, effective targeting, and continuous optimization are essential for achieving cost-efficiency and success with Microsoft Ads or Google.

Social Media Marketing

With social media marketing, you can pay for ads or use the free method. Some popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok and other. You can post helpful content on your wall, or within relevant groups.

Quora Ads

Quora is a popular Question and Answer platform. It allows individuals and businesses to create and display ads.

Online communities or Forums

With online communities or forums, you’ll join a forum or community where like minded people come together and you’ll interact with them. Within the forum you’ll share valuable information, help answer any questions related to your niche, and simply engage. This allows you the opportunity to connect with your target audience.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing allows you to send marketing messages to potential customers right to their mobile phones.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is when you focus on creating and distributing valuable content. It should be relevant and consist so that you can address the needs of your target audience.


Chatbots can be used to help automate repetitive tasks. This helps your customer receive real time assistance enhancing your chances of customer engagement, driving more conversions, and optimizing your overall marketing efforts.

The main point here is that, it’s advertising with any internet based method.

Pretty cool, huh!

Either way, if you’d like to learn more about the fundamentals of digital marketing, check out Google’s course, it’s free.

Pros Of Digital Marketing


Flexibility is one key advantage. It refers to the ability to adapt, adjust, and optimize marketing strategies based on real-time data, market changes, and customer feedback. You can have real time results. This agility ensures that marketing efforts stay relevant and effective.

Measurable Results:

Another significant advantage if the ability to measure results. You can track, analyze, and quantify the performance of marketing campaigns and strategies. With experimentation or A/B split testing, marketers can test different variations of ads, landing pages, and content to see which performs best, leading to continuous improvement.

Cost Effective:

Digital marketing allows businesses of all sizes, including startups and small enterprises, to participate in marketing activities without the need for substantial financial resources. This levels the playing field and enables smaller businesses to compete with larger ones.

Cons Of Digital Marketing

Information Overload:

As a beginner, you’ll come across a vast amount of information about various digital marketing strategies, tools, platforms, and techniques. It can be overwhelming to process all this information at once.

This can cause confusion, lack of focus, and decision paralysis. Many beginners find themselves, jumping from one topic to another without deeply understanding any of them.

Technical Challenges:

Some businesses may struggle with the technical aspects of digital marketing, such as setting up click tracking, email marketing, tracking and managing analytics, running and maintain a WordPress website, or even running paid advertising campaigns.

Dependence On Technology:

Since, digital marketing relies on internet connectivity and technology, unforeseen technical or disruptions can impact your performance.

Digital Marketing Vs Affiliate Marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Simply put, affiliate marketing is when you join various affiliate programs or affiliate networks. After signing the affiliate agreement, you are essentially agreeing to promote products that you haven’t created, nor do you own them. The purpose of this is for you to earn money, as well as increase exposure to business products or services.

If you’re successful, a potential customer will click on your unique affiliate link, make a purchase and in return you will earn a commission for your efforts.

Reason People Become An Affiliate Marketer

There are many reason why people choose to become an affiliate marketer. However, the most common reason people become affiliate marketers is because it offers an accessible way to start an online business, with low startup costs, potential for passive income, and the freedom to work independently.

It’s a business model that appeals to those looking to leverage their marketing skills, create diverse income streams, and enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere in the world.

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

Easy to Get Started:

Affiliate marketing is a beginner-friendly way to earn money online. You don’t need to create your own products or services. Instead, you promote other people’s products and earn commissions for successful referrals.

Learning the skills of affiliate marketing helps you learn other valuable marketing skills, such as content creation, social media marketing, and email marketing, which can be useful in other areas of online business. In some cases it can even be valuable in certain careers.

No Product Creation or Inventory:

As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have to worry about creating products, managing inventory, or handling customer support. The product owner takes care of these aspects.

In fact, as an affiliate, you don’t deal with customer service inquiries, shipping, or returns. Your main focus is to drive traffic and refer customers to the product owner’s website.

Earn Passive Income:

Once you set up your affiliate links, you can earn passive income. This means you can continue to earn commissions even when you’re not actively promoting the products.

Unlike a regular job where you get paid a fixed salary, affiliate marketing is performance-based. The more sales you generate, the more commissions you earn.

Cons Of Affiliate Marketing

Learning Curve:

As a beginner, you’ll need to learn about various marketing techniques, tracking tools, and analytics to be successful in affiliate marketing. It might take time and effort to grasp all the concepts.

Competition Among Affiliates:

As an affiliate marketer, many people might be promoting the same products or services, making it a bit more challenging to stand out and get noticed by potential customers.

Uncertain Income:

Since you earn commissions based on successful referrals, your income can be unpredictable, especially in the beginning when you’re still building your audience.

Is Affiliate Marketing Considered Digital Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is considered part of digital marketing. The key distinction is that affiliate marketing is when an affiliate marketer focuses on promoting products or services for other companies.

While digital marketing is the way you will promote those products and services.

Digital Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing Which Is Better?

There is no one size fits all for this question. Affiliate marketing is a business model of promoting other peoples products, and earning money for your successful efforts. While digital marketing includes various strategies and tactics to promote those products and services. In most cases affiliates use a combination of both affiliate marketing and digital marketing, which helps them increase their target audience reach.

What Is The Downside Of Affiliate Marketing?

While affiliate marketing offers numerous benefits there are disadvantages to affiliate marketing as well. The most common challenges that beginner affiliates face are as follows:

The income can be unpredictable. This all depends on the affiliate program, product popularity, and the target audience buying behavior.

In addition to that some affiliate programs offer low commission rates, which may not provide the affiliate with significant earnings. Furthermore, using too many affiliate links, can make your audience lose trust which also can lead to income decline.

Despite these downsides, affiliate marketing remains a popular and viable way for beginner affiliates to earn passive income. Being aware of the potiential challenges and taking steps to address them before hand.

Do Affiliate Marketers Really Make Money?

Yes, they can and do. Its an effective online business model that allows beginner and expert affiliate marketers, to make money.

What Makes More Money Than Affiliate Marketing?

There are several online business models that have the potiential to make more money than affiliate marketing.

  • e-Commerce
  • SaaS
  • Online Courses
  • Local Lead Generation
  • Membership Sites
  • Referral Real Estate
  • Web Design

Is Digital Marketing And Affiliate Marketing The Same?

No, digital marketing and affiliate marketing are not the same.

Digital Marketing refers to the overall marketing strategy and tactics that use digital channels to promote your products, services, or brand. It’s a wide range of marketing activities through channels which include the internet.

Digital channel marketing difference like:

  • Social Marketing
  • Email
  • Mobile Apps
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Video Marketing

On the other hand, with Affiliate Marketing is a sub-category of digital marketing that focuses on promoting another company’s products. Affiliate Marketers are known as affiliate, use a performance based business model, where affiliates promote products and services for other companies, and in return they earn a commission for every successful sale made through their affiliate link.

For instance, a marketing affiliate will complete an affiliate agreement to join an affiliate network. Once the full form is completed and approved. That affiliate will take their unique affiliate link which is assigned by the merchant and promote it through digital channels.

Affiliate Marketing vs Digital Marketing Conclusion

In conclusion, Digital Marketing and Affiliate Marketing are two powerful strategies that play distinct roles in the world of online marketing.

Each approach offers unique benefits and caters to different objectives, making them both valuable assets for business seekers whose goal is to have an online presence and drive revenue.

It’s also important that you learn the disadvantages of affiliate marketing. So, it’s up to you to decide which side of the fence you prefer to be on.


  • Hi Lakisha, I guess they do come across as quite similar to people that don’t really know but there are differences like you’ve mentioned. I think affiliate marketing is a good place to start but digital marketing is the next level. Instead of doing the donkey work for others you can essentially either sell your digital products for best part of 100% profit or you can create your own affiliate program. I been toying with this myself. Sold 2 ebooks in the past couple years £5 each nothing major but I would love to do this more. Think running a website is a good opportunity for it. Thanks for sharing

    • A

      Hi Alex, you’re welcome and thank you for clearing the airway. You’re exactly right affiliate marketing is where a beginner should start especially, if they are new to the idea. Then after that, digital marketing would be the next level.

      As you mentioned creating your own affiliate program, that is a digital marketing method I didn’t think of – Thanks for helping us add this to the list. eBooks is another method that I never thought of either. And you’re right it fits perfectly with Digital marketing. As we can see digital marketing can take all forms.

      By the way, congratulations on starting an eBook and making some sales with it. The amount doesn’t matter as much as getting started. That in itself is a grand stepping stone. I agree, see other marketers running websites for these types of opportunities. I say go for it. Wishing you the best and continued success.

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