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Whilst writing a recent review on a digital marketing training course for new or existing affiliate marketeers, we recognised that those people starting out on their new affiliate marketing venture may not immediately know what the difference between Affiliate and Digital Marketing is. In fact we also recognised that other terms such as ‘Internet Marketing’ may also be confusing and we therefore intend to expand this post later to hopefully clear up the confusion between them all.

Affiliate Marketing and Digital Marketing

It’s a problem when starting-out on something new, that often you find very helpful blogs that use jargon that you simply don’t know or have never come across before. And as humans, we are often too shy to ask or we don’t want to look stupid.  ‘What’s the difference between affiliate and digital Marketing?’ might just be one of those questions.

At Potters Magical Money, we are here to help, advise and give tips. Therefore there is no such thing as a stupid question. If you ever need anything clarifying or explaining from scratch then please do not hesitate to comment on one of our posts or email us directly. As I say, we are here to help.

So let’s get into the reasons for the post and take a look at the definitions of what each one means, thereby  explaining the difference and how they relate to each other.


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Just to make things even more confusing there is actually 2 definitions of affiliate marketing depending upon what perspective you are looking in from.

From the Perspective of the Affiliate Marketeer (most of our readers) 

Affiliate marketing is all about selling other company’s products or services for a certain commission percentage, therefore it actually comes under the umbrella of digital marketing.

Best Business Opportunities Affiliate Marketing

It really is explained as simple as that. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning income every time you promote / sell someone else’s products or services. Generally if you generate a sale or a confirmed lead for the company, you get paid. If you don’t generate the sale,/ lead you do not get paid.

From the Perspective of the Product or Service Provider

Affiliate Marketing is a performance based marketing strategy that is based on sales and leads. You have affiliates who link to your product page.

When setting up your affiliate program you have choice whether to pay the affiliate based on leads or sales. i.e.

  • for lead based programs, when a visitor views your product or service through the affiliates particular link, you pay the affiliate for the lead. Maybe 1p per lead ( or pay-per-click as it is commonly referenced).
  • For sales based programs, when a visitor buys your product or service through the affiliates particular link, you give the affiliate a certain percentage of that sale, which could be anywhere between 1% and 75%., depending upon the product or service


What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is marketing products or services using any form of digital technology to drive customers to your offers, make sales, and promote your business.

Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of channels and platforms, such as TV, Radio, Websites, Social Media platforms and Email Marketing.

Basically anything you do to promote your business or product/ service that utilises digital technology as the delivery method can be classed as Digital Marketing

For the purpose of clarity it is important to note that digital marketing includes selling both your own products or services, in addition to other companies products for a commission (i.e. affiliate marketing).


Hope we Helped.

Remember Potters Magical Money are here to help, advise and give tips.

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If we didn’t or you need clarification or even if you just want to show us some very welcome appreciation, please feel free to comment below.




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6 thoughts on “Difference Between Affiliate and Digital Marketing

  1. Digital marketing is like the basic of all things while affiliate marketing entails everything else other than just going with the basics. The distinction you have made here is right on track and I can reason with it. I prefer affiliate marketing because it is more concentrated and can go a long way in ensuring individuals being very central in creativity towards building up and offering help to people while making gains from recommendations in profit from sales. Thanks

    1. Your Comments much appreciated Rodger, thank you.

      You give a slightly different definition of affiliate marketing, but I understand your thought process etc.

  2. Thank you so much for such an informative post. I have always thought that affiliate marketing and digital marketing are the same. Well, they are based online after all. 

    Does that mean that affiliate marketing is part of digital marketing? or affiliate marketing is it’s own thing? This makes me want to expand my knowledge of digital marketing. Which one do you think is the perfect skill to have? 

    1. Thank you for you comments and questions.

      You need knowledge of digital marketing to succeed at affiliate marketing. Hence you really need both skills. But you can’t really say the affiliate marketing is part of digital marketing. I have said it comes under it’s umbrella because it really does depend on it.

  3. Great comment. I like your explanation of the distinction between affiliate marketing and digital marketing. I would like to point out, however, that you could do affiliate marketing that is not online. For example, someone could do sales over the phone or in person and still be an affiliate. So I would say they overlap but neither one is contained inside the other one. What do you think?

    1. Thank you. You raise a very valid point. I will be sure to include your extension of the definition of affiliate marketing inside the article when I expand it to include online marketing definitions etc .

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