Affiliate Marketing vs Copywriting – What’s a Better Income Source?

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Making a living as an affiliate marketer or copywriter can be a great way to earn income. But which is the better business model? And which one is right for you?

I’ve been growing online businesses and copywriting for some of the biggest brands in the world for 10+ years, so I wanted to share my insights.

In this blog post, I will compare and contrast affiliate marketing and copywriting, so that you can make an informed decision about which one to pursue.

We’ll look at what each business model entails, who should pursue it, and the pros and cons of each. So read on to learn more!

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a business model in which you promote other people’s products or services and earn a commission on each sale.

It’s a performance-based marketing arrangement, which means that you only get paid if your efforts result in a sale.

Affiliate marketing is typically done through affiliate networks, where you can sign up to promote products from different companies.

ShareASale network
An example of an affiliate network, ShareASale.

Once you’re approved by the affiliate network, you can start promoting products and earning commissions!

Some of the most popular affiliate networks include Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and ShareASale.

How much money can you make with affiliate marketing?

The amount of money you can make with affiliate marketing depends on a few factors, such as the affiliate program you’re promoting, the products you’re promoting, and your audience.

For example, if you promote high-ticket items, you can make more money per sale than if you promote low-ticket items. And if you have a large audience of people who are interested in what you’re promoting,

Check out this list of the top-earning affiliate marketers too.

It’s worth noting that some affiliate programs offer recurring commissions, which means you earn a commission not just on the initial sale but on all future purchases made by the customer.

This can be a great way to earn passive income!

So how much money you can make with affiliate marketing really depends on your specific circumstances.

However, there are people that earn up to seven figures (you read that right) and beyond.

Once you find a winning combination of content, creatives, and offers, it’s easy to scale to the moon.

Affiliate marketing pros and cons

Now that we’ve looked at what affiliate marketing is and how much money you can make, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this business model.


  • Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn passive income.
  • You can promote products from different companies and networks.
  • Some affiliate programs offer recurring commissions.
  • It’s relatively easy to get started with affiliate marketing.


  • You need to have a large audience to be successful with affiliate marketing.
  • You need to be able to generate traffic to your affiliate links.
  • The competition in affiliate marketing is extremely high.

Overall, I think affiliate marketing is a great business model for those that are looking to make passive income.

It can be a great way to earn money while you sleep! However, it’s important to keep in mind that you need a large audience and good traffic-generation skills to be successful with affiliate marketing.

There are typically two routes with affiliate marketing as well…

On one hand, you can create content like blog posts and use SEO to organically generate traffic and commissions. This is more of a long-term approach.

Some affiliate marketers, on the other hand, use paid ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to immediately drive sales.

Experiment with both and see what works for you, if not mix both together.

What is copywriting?

Now let’s take a look at copywriting!

What is copywriting? Copywriting is the process of creating persuasive, compelling, and interesting content that encourages your readers to take action.

This could be anything from signing up for your email list to buying your product.

As a copywriter, it’s your job to write content that converts! This means writing headlines, calls-to-action, and other elements of your content with the sole purpose of getting your readers to take action.

It’s important to note that copywriting is not the same as content writing. Content writing is simply creating informative or educational content without any persuasive elements.

Copywriting, on the other hand, is all about persuasion! I.e., advertisements, sales pages, sales emails, etc.

How much money can you make with copywriting?

I’ve made up to six figures as a freelance copywriter so I can vouch it’s a legitimate and exciting career path.

Guy throwing money

And as with affiliate marketing, there are a few factors that will affect your earnings as a copywriter, such as the quality of your writing, who you’re writing for, and what you’re writing about.

For example, if you’re a new copywriter or don’t have much experience, you won’t be able to charge as much as an experienced copywriter.

And if you’re writing for big brands or high-level executives, you can expect to earn a higher rate than if you were writing for small businesses or solopreneurs.

To give you some inspiration, Clayton Makepeace earned $3 milllion/year from copywriting royalties every year since 1997!

Also, read my guide on freelance writing rates to get an idea of how much you could make.

Copywriting pros and cons

Now that we’ve looked at what copywriting is and how much money you can make, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this business model.


  • Copywriting is a great way to earn consistent income.
  • You will learn many different marketing and business skills along the way.
  • You can write for different companies and brands.
  • It’s relatively easy to get started with freelance or corporate copywriting.


  • The competition in copywriting is extremely high.
  • You need to be able to write persuasively and compellingly.
  • Copywriting is a bit more complex than affiliate marketing.
  • Deadlines and projects can be tight/stressful.

In sum, I recommend copywriting for people that love writing and don’t mind a little bit of pressure. It will test you consistently and make you into a better entrepreneur.

How can I choose between affiliate marketing vs copywriting?

Both affiliate marketing and copywriting can be great business models and sources of income. But which one should you pursue?

If you’re good at writing persuasively and enjoy coming up with creative ideas, copywriting might be a good fit for you.

You can freelance or work as a full-time copywriter for a company. And once you build up a portfolio of strong samples, it’s relatively easy to find work.

For example, there’s plenty of high-paying copywriting jobs on websites like Indeed.

Indeed copywriting job listing

If you’re more interested in the business side of things and enjoy finding and promoting products, affiliate marketing might be a better fit for you.

You can start an affiliate marketing website or blog and promote products from different companies.

You can also join affiliate programs and promote products on your social media channels.

Both affiliate marketing and copywriting can be great sources of income. It really depends on your interests, skills, and goals as to which one is better for you.

If you’re not sure where to start, why not try both? You can always pursue one full-time and freelance with the other until you figure out what you like best.

The verdict on affiliate marketing vs copywriting

If you’re trying to decide between affiliate marketing and copywriting, here’s the deal…

Affiliate marketing is one of the best sources of passive income. You literally promote a product, collect commissions, and repeat.

Copywriting, on the other hand, requires you to constantly work to earn your money.

Not saying you wouldn’t work while growing an affiliate business, but you get my point.

If you want to learn a lot of various business skills and earn passive income, affiliate marketing is for you.

For those passionate about writing, copywriting is a no-brainer.

Check out my online courses to learn more about making money online.

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