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By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

106 thoughts on “Affiliate vs. SEO Marketing – Shoemoney ?s Ep. 16”
  1. I busted out laughing when I saw the Free Weezy shirt!! I don’t know why. But yes you make a good point. Affiliate guys can make money right out the gate; as long as they know what they are doing. 🙂

    1. I agree. And Shoe’s right. You can always hire someone to do the SEO marketing for you.

    2. Affiliate marketing may be a lot more costly in terms of investment at the onset but it offers the quickest route to your income stream. If you can afford to wait then SEO marketing should work for you.

    3. The right product and a website with good SEO would make it even easier and more lucrative.

  2. Free Weezy. Really?

    Actually, the question Aaron asked is one a lot of newbies ask. It is straightforward enough though. Thanks for taking the time to answer that question.

    1. It’s a good thing that you don’t reject what you think is a stupid question outright. Some of the questions you get there may be a no-brainer for the more experienced marketers but there will always be some people who’d find the answer useful. Nice answer, by the way.

    2. Interesting post. I plan to get into the online business soon after I graduate so this video gives me an idea about possible tracks I could pursue.

  3. FREE WEEZY! I love that you wore that shirt today. It really threw me off there for a second. Great question with a even better answer this week.

    1. Yeah. This is definitely one of your better episodes. I was wondering about the same question when I was starting out. I decided to go for affiliate marketing since it seems to be the one that offers quicker returns, which it sure did.

  4. Wow! That Free Weezy is too funny! lol

    Affiliate marketer will win just about everytime against SEO. I’ve never been a big fan of SEO but you can avoid it.

    1. I guess it’s a matter of finding out what works best for you. I like what you said about not letting SEO take away your time from doing other more important things. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of creating something that which provides more value or ROI to you.

      1. Focused effort on something that could bring in the best results is the key. Whether it’s affiliate or seo marketing, it’s all up to you.

    2. It can be useful so if you can somehow use it to your advantage then why not, right?

  5. What’s with the shirt? LOL Anyway, nice vid. You sure made your point as to which one’s better especially when you’re starting out.

    1. I don’t think the question was dumb. I thought it was a relevant clarification of what is really trending in e-commerce these days. While there are certainly die-hard PPC advocates and internet marketers who use only SEO techniques, each method has its merits, as well as its drawbacks.

      1. It’s great that you shared your thoughts on it even if you think the question’s dumb. Seriously though, it’s all a matter of making each work to your advantage. I’m sure a lot of affiliates out there appreciate the value of SEO marketing. It’s just that they probably find that affiliate marketing generates revenues much quicker.

  6. In affiliate marketing, the combination of high traffic and compatible product can already help you make a sale. There will always be people looking for something to buy and you need to take advantage of that instead of waiting for your SEO efforts to produce the results you want.

    1. SEO works but it does take a more considerable amount of time than affiliate marketing. You would need a lot of exposure and funding to drive more traffic and jumpstart the conversion funnel though.

  7. Nice shirt! As for the Q&A, I think both are worth exploring if you have the time and resources. But if you need to focus on one that generates more income quickly then affiliate marketing is indeed a better choice.

    1. I don’t have the capital to spend on campaigns so SEO marketing seems to be the best bet for me now.

    2. In my own perspective, it is a draw. Both SEO and affiliate marketing are generally both search engine marketing techniques and feed off of each other. If your SEO is bad, PPC will be more expensive. If your PPC is bad you will drive expensive less qualified traffic. It all works together, more like a fixed wrestling match than a boxing match.

  8. I’ll go for affiliate marketing. SEO techniques can be useful though for affiliates in finding out which offers, competitors and/or referrer sources are worth pursuing.

    1. Success in affiliate marketing usually requires many affiliate marketing-related sites in order to generate a substantial income. Most affiliate marketing professionals have hundreds of sites.

    2. If you are good with SEO marketing (which really means setting up targeted pages) then you can use the same theories in setting up an affiliate marketing campaign. This will give you the affiliate marketing traffic as well as great keyword data for use with SEO.

  9. There are a lot of possibilities in both. Choose the one where you can maximize your skills and talents as well.

    1. While there are advantages and drawbacks to both SEO and affiliate marketing techniques, they are not mutually exclusive. The immediate feedback provided by pay-per-click can tell an internet marketer a lot about the effectiveness of their landing pages and chosen key phrases, while search engine optimization can be used as a low cost way to continue driving website traffic for the long-term.

      1. Setting up an affiliate marketing web site is quite simple really. You create a web site, populate it with articles, reviews or content about each product, and provide links to merchants’ web sites. Any time a user clicks on a link to a merchant’s site, fills out a form or buys a product after clicking on a link to a merchant’s site, the affiliate marketer earns a commission.

  10. An advantage of SEO that I really like is that it has more of a lasting effect in that once a website begins to rank well. The site and its content can continue to drive traffic for years. PPC, on the other hand, stops driving traffic once the money runs out, which can be sooner rather than later, if campaigns are not managed properly. What do you think, Shoe?

  11. The most successful affiliate marketing sites are built using unique content. This makes the concept very compatible with blogs and sites focused on providing information that users seek.

    1. Affiliate marketing campaigns can provide insights into how effective a particular search phrase is at driving the type of traffic that will be receptive to affiliate offers. The immediate feedback that a pay-per-click campaign provides can be consistently evaluated to determine the optimum combination of key phrase and landing page that generates sufficient conversions to offset the cost of the whole campaign. That’s why I’m a bit partial to it, IMHO.

    2. Affiliates have a lot of resources at their disposal that they can use to optimize their sites. Using SEO could further drive the traffic and potential conversions as well.

  12. The textual content for each page should ideally be unique. If data feeds are used, there is an ongoing problem with using the same content that may also be used on hundreds or thousands of other affiliate sites. This suppresses the ability of the site to rank well in search engines.

    1. Well, that is why affiliate marketers should be really conscious about feeding their websites fresh content daily. I’m not talking about recycled ideas here, I mean spanking new stuff to keep the traffic going. Fail to do that and you’ll almost instantly lose your rank in your niche.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. Fresh and keyword rich content is important if you want to drive more traffic.

  13. With SEO marketing, you can bring customers to your site who are looking for the specific products/services you provide day or night, 365 days a year. The downside is you really can’t guarantee exact results (like first position for a keyword) as well as only a limited number of keywords are optimized unlike PPC/affiliate marketing where keywords are endless.

  14. An affiliate marketing web site can only succeed if you can drive a lot of traffic to the the site–and that is not always easy to do.

    1. SEO and PPC can both be great. If you have a great SEO campaign, it’s a good idea to pop it into PPC. It’s sometimes better to start a PPC campaign to find the SEO keywords to target. I’m focusing on SEO since it’s much cheaper (and I’m still saving up for a bigger campaign).

      1. I started out with SEO then ventured into a bit of PPC campaigns. Eventually, I decided to focus on affiliate marketing. It was when I was doing SEO that I learned the techniques I use to run successful campaigns.

  15. In this context does Affiliate Marketer = PPC Marketer? I ask because in theory I can be an affiliate for a program and use SEO techniques to sell the programs products.

  16. I like affiliate marketing very much because if a catalog or product-related site is designed properly, almost all of the cost is up-front and the site generates an ongoing annuity stream of income.

    1. Nonetheless, a simple affiliate site that does not add value for a user will likely get flagged as a “thin affiliate” by Google, which means it will be penalized so that it does not rank well.

    2. A little SEO marketing savvy could help in your affiliate marketing campaigns though. You can put some effort on something that can potentially yield maximum results in the long-run.

  17. I like to start with the SEO route to see if money can be made in a particular niche as the start up costs are small. If I find that there is money to be made, I might supplement my SEO efforts with some PPC.

  18. You sure has a soft spot for affiliate marketing and you understand it well. Is that why you created that Link Control service you recently launched?

  19. I am just so excited for the ASW recap posts! Shoe, any chance we can have guest contributions in the next few days?

    1. I heard ASW was a huge success. What’s the latest on Vinay? When is he going to get that logo tattoo?

      1. I think it’s just a gimmick. Well, no matter which option you choose between SEO marketing and affiliate marketing, if done correctly both are sure to improve your website’s performance and your business in general.

        1. True. SEO marketing’s been a huge help in promoting my business. But I don’t dismiss the potential value of affiliate marketing even if I haven’t done it yet.

  20. I try to use both techniques myself, but find I always end up going for SEO over affiliate marketing. SEO like you said is a cheaper alternative and can generate a nice amount of traffic to your website.

    1. It is harder to be successful on affiliate marketing. At least, I have difficulties getting nice profits, but SEO is definitely the paradise in earth for unique high quality content writers 🙂

    2. I find affiliate marketing a bit more risky especially when you’re starting out. But you’re right, it offers the quickest and easiest way to raking in the cash. SEO marketing’s still worth a shot though.

    3. Bottom line, you don’t have much control over anything you get for free. If you want to succeed in something that you can at least have measure of control then affiliate marketing’s a better option. Of course, you can also benefit from SEO but you don’t put all your eggs into that basket so to speak.

  21. I believe using a strategic combination of both PPC and SEO is still the best choice. Using the short term advantages of PPC is a good way to identify keyword phrases that produce quality leads and conversion. These keyword phrases can be implemented into SEO for more long term results without the long term expense of PPC

    1. SEO works but it takes time. Affiliate marketing also works but there is more risk, exposure and funding required to pay for traffic to jump start the conversion funnel.

      1. Well said about SEO Vs. Affiliate Marketing. It’s like time vs. money and investing money to make more money.

  22. I agree. You don’t have to worry about which is better just do BOTH if you want to survive in your niche 😉 Though I think affiliate marketing could become more important in the future.

    1. There’s more competition in affiliate marketing in my POV. So you really need to make use of techniques and resources at your disposal to get more conversions.

    2. If it’s immediate results you want then go for affiliate marketing. But you can also work a bit of SEO if you can spare the time. There’s a lot of potential ROI there as well if you’re thinking long-term.

  23. If you’ve got the funds, then I would say sure try the affiliate marketing strategy. In the long run, SEO really does pay off, because you have to remember affiliate marketing is always a gamble.

    1. Any chance you’ll share snippets of your presentation at ASW? I read John Chow’s post about it yesterday. It would be nice to read about some of the highlights of your talk.

  24. Be nice to newbies. They don’t know as much as you do. Besides, you’ve been there, right? I think you answered the question really well. I can’t wait to watch the next one.

  25. Both have advantages and disadvantages but those who understand what each has to offer and can benefit from their virtues is less dependent on the weaknesses of either performing SEO or trying to get paid as an affiliate marketer.

  26. The takeaway here is both are dependent in some form. For example, without great offers affiliates cannot thrive (as the time invested does not correspond to the ROI) and without clients SEO essentially turn into affiliates.

    1. Yes, but you’re spreading yourself too thin if you do both on your own. Better to focus on one then hire someone to do the other.

  27. Question should really be running an affilate blog vs expansive paid traffic vs seo by hand. Whats more profitable.
    I find most pay for traffic guys dont know SHADY SEO, and most SEOs dont even understand paid traffic. Selling shovels during the gold rush is where the real money is.

    1. If you don’t want to wait long to gather relevant feedback and data on market conditions then PPC is a good investment. But it can be a lot more expensive in the long run as opposed to when you’re performing SEO.

    2. I read an article about a study that shows people are less likely to click on paid ads than on organic SEO results. I’d be willing to bet on that if I were an affiliate.

  28. Thing is.. a SEO monkey probably has an affiliate offer to promote.. so they are merged into each other..

    You can be both you know, you cannot say a aff marketer makes this and a seo monkey makes that!

    Have to admit that I am mostly a SEO monkey and getting some good results without selling products.. Long live adsense & private advertisers 🙂

  29. Clearly if an SEO is doing ringtones, he’s technically an affiliate, with the assumption that he’s not running his own ringtone, which if he was he wouldn’t need to be bumming out SEO anyway.

    Level the playing field, a top-end affiliate running CPA/CPM/CPC/Fixed cost ads across a variety of campaigns vs a top-end SEO whose secured SEO contracts from a couple of fortune 500 clients, then it’s pretty debatable.

  30. It would be great to explore both but SEO marketing takes a lot of time. I’ve been an affiliate for less than a year but it’s already been a source of extra income 2 months after I started out.

    1. Ideally, you can use both but budgetary constraints usually makes it impossible to do that. It’s more realistic to focus on one or the other. Just make sure that you pick the one that is best for you.

  31. Affiliates could benefit from including SEO in their marketing plan. The more traffic you get, the more conversions you can expect.

  32. I’ve never liked search engine optimization myself. You said there’s some benefits. I personally think there’s none. The reason why is because there is no guarantee that you will ever get high rankings in the search engines. I learned this the hard way a few years ago when I first started online. My whole focus was on SEO, and I never got the rankings, so my company never got traffic and pretty much failed. It’s more important to focus on the traffic sources that you can get right away, not praying for the Google Gods to give you a ranking 6 months from now after getting thousands of backlinks.

  33. Even i am over SEO and wanted to ask some questions about affiliation and marketting, i somewhat got the solutions sir, thanks for being.

  34. I don’t think people understand what affiliate marketing means. It doesn’t mean you use ppc as your main source of getting traffic. Affiliate marketing just means you promote other peoples products or services for a commission. Regardless of whether you use ppc or seo to get that traffic that doesn’t define what an affiliate marketer is. So the question should REALLY have been, what makes more money: ppc or seo? In my view, it is subjective because different people have different methods that utilize their personal talents and skill sets. What works for some people, don’t work for others.

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