How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO?

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How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO?

When it comes to SEO, it's just a matter of building the right type and right amount of backlinks to your site in order to improve that sites ranking in the SERP's. Obviously it's not quite as simple and straight forward as that but that's about it in a nutshell.

But when it comes to Affiliate Marketing, it's a whole different ball game. Because in order to promote and sell the products you're an affiliate for, it might involve advertising such as through Adwords PPC or on other sites, as well as, doing SEO on a site that promotes/sells the products/services that you're actually an affiliate for. Not to mention SMM/SMO which is basically another form of advertising except its free.

That said, being an (and doing) SEO doesn't make you an affiliate marketer. And doing affiliate marketing doesn't always involve doing (or being an) SEO either.

So in effect, can affiliate marketing be compared to SEO? Seeing as even though they are two separate things, they are often intertwined or go hand-in-hand with each other.

Which can be more effective in a shorter time and which has the most pay off over a longer period? Doing affiliate marketing (advertising etc) or doing SEO?

Personally, depending on where I'm promoting my affiliate products I'm an affiliate for, or promoting my affiliate link for somewhere like SEOClerks, I can see results quicker because I can get an ad up much quicker where as with SEO it takes more time, it doesn't happen overnight, but the end results can be better rankings which means more traffic and less money you need to spend on advertising (PPC etc).

What do you think? Which do you prefer to do, SEO or A/M? What are the pros and cons to each as far as you're concerned and which work best in your opinion? How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO?



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Comparing SEO and Affiliate Marketing is like comparing fishing and hunting. They're both in similar fields like hunting and fishing (outdoor sports) but they are completely different in most cases.

Now doing SEO on your own websites and doing it for clients is a bit different as well. Your own sites are easy since you don't have to show results to anyone. You definitely want results, but no one is questioning your work. I've had plenty of clients question what I was doing and how long it will take before they're doing an extra billion dollars in sales lol How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO? When I'm working on my own websites I tend to be more lazy since I can slow roll my results because I have other projects going on. And since I know SEO isn't an overnight type of job, I don't expect to see any fruit for my labor until 3+ months after I start. Clients that hire my company for SEO and Marketing want to see detailed reports each week and want results asap. But we all know this is not possible, at least the rankings. I send them reports, but I normally have to go over everything and take a few hours every week explaining what I did and where EVERY backlink is and why I placed it. Talk about the headaches I go through each week with new clients lol How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO?

I'm not as active in the affiliate marketing game, but I'm no newbie either. Back when I would do affiliate marketing I would start off by building lists and emailing those lists with auto responders using third party services. I could set up auto emails to send out 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, etc. with quality information and of course my affiliate links within them ;) Affiliate marketing is nice because you don't usually have to talk to any of the "clients" you gain before, during or after the sale. There are the few moments you will somehow have to talk to a client in order to make a sale, but it's rare unless you are doing affiliate marketing through social platforms. Now when I refer to social platforms and affiliate marketing, I'm not talking about paying for an ad. I'm talking about running social profiles that are dedicated to pushing affiliate links and you may have to talk to people on facebook, google+, twitter, etc. Of course you won't get many sales just posting your affiliate link on the "About Us" section of your profiles or pages, but you can set up a website and redirect through your affiliate link ;)

SEO Pros:
- You can take your time if you are doing this for your own websites.
- Less hassle for your own websites since you don't have to show results and/or reports.
- Typically a higher priced item, $500+ a month is pretty common, so you get clients who aren't worried about investing.
- Clients are more understanding that they won't see an instant ROI (if you let them know ahead of time).
- If you're good at it, clients will love the spike in rankings in the first few weeks and stay signed on for 6+ months
- You don't have a boss to answer to, which is pretty great.
- You can set your own schedule. Work during the day, party at night, it's all up to you. Note: Try not to party too much ;)

SEO Cons:
- You get less clients since the prices are typically higher than one off service.
- Losing one or two clients can impact your monthly profits a lot.
- Client turn over is 1-3 months since they aren't very understanding of the service.
- A lot of headaches due to you having to teach your clients what you're doing.
- Clients get angry pretty quick when they pay $500+ today and don't get their investment back by the first week.

Affiliate Marketing Pros:
- You don't have to talk with clients unless you want to set up social profiles and be active with them. It's optional.
- You get paid by a company every 2-4 weeks on auto pilot as long as you hit the minimum amount of sales.
- You can build a list of clients and push your new ventures (your affiliate links) to them and get instant sign ups.
- You don't have a boss or a deadline.
- You can work as much or as little as you want. I would advise working a lot and automating as much as possible to reduce hours.

Affiliate Marketing Cons:
- You're not guaranteed to make sales even if you're actively promoting your links and talking to potential clients.
- Most affiliate systems only pay our once per sale unlike SeoClerks that gives 10% of any sale your sign ups make, for life (which is awesome!).
- Cookies are used to track your traffic and sign ups and they can be deleted pretty easily from a computer. Sometimes automatically by a third party system.
- Cookie length is up to the website owner you're promoting and could be one day to 90 days. 1-7 day cookies aren't great How Does Affiliate Marketing Compare to SEO?
- Profits from affiliate sales tend to be much lower than selling your own service. This means you need many more to equal the profit from a higher priced item.
- Some companies will withhold your profits if they think you're getting sign ups from fraudulent methods. I've even heard horror stories from people who had their earnings withheld because the website was deleted and/or the business claimed bankruptcy. This is a big red flag for me because I always think they CEO just wants to close up show and keep 100% of the sales :'(

I'm sure a person who is more in on the affiliate marketing side of this could show some more light on this subject than I could. I've been doing SEO and Online Marketing for over 13 years and only dabble in affiliate marketing.



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I think that it would be a mistake to go for one or the other as they can be used in conjunction to each other. Some of the best sites have been in affiliate sales, and there is no denying that SEO is important anytime. If affiliate marketers lack SEO knowledge that is a big mistake. Affiliate management should thus be one of the main elements in an SEO strategy as both have a lot to offer.

However, I feel that a good number of advertising and affiliate marketing firms simply decide to do away with SEO as an online marketing strategy. This is often done deliberately or at times, out of ignorance. This can ultimately get a site into trouble because if the affiliates are not being managed effectively it can very easily lead to many missed sales opportunities. Hence, I think that effective search optimization ultimately benefits everyone. And by everyone I mean, the affiliates, the end users, the businesses and the search engines too. I think that learning how to do SEO is important for anyone who is in affiliate marketing and sales. They should go hand in hand and not against one another or without each other.

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How about mixing both the SEO and Affiliate marketing? Right now, I am in the process of considering work in affiliate marketing. I am just worried on the time that I can spare for that since I have a full time job. But anyway, when you do affiliate marketing, you earn from the product sold and, of course, you also have to do posting of the product that you are promoting. In that case SEO work is also needed since your webpage that contains the product needs to be advertised too.

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