Affiliate Marketing vs. Influencer Marketing—The Pros and Cons

Incorporating links into your content is always a great way to work with your brand partners to help them increase their revenue, traffic, and exposure. But perhaps there is no better time to utilize links than during the holiday season!

affiliate marketing vs. Influencer Marketing with links?

According to Entrepreneur.coman affiliate is “a way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission.”

#paid doesn’t endorse affiliate links, as we believe creators deserve to get paid for the work they do—creating amazing content—rather than relying on getting a portion of the reported proceeds from any affiliate link partner. Sylvia Jade‘s stance on affiliate marketing is that a creator “is not the sales person”, they’re paid to provide an honest review and incorporate the brand in a way that’s authentic to the creator’s style.


  • Affiliates usually benefit from not having to worry about stock control, processing orders, processing payments or invoicing as this is all done by the merchant.
  • Another benefit of being an affiliate is that it’s usually a zero or very low risk opportunity to earn additional revenue for your business.
  • Affiliates don’t handle customers or complaints as everything from the point of sale is handled by the merchants.
  • Becoming an affiliate marketer can provide a steady stream of income. When your visitors click on their ad and buy something, you get a percentage of the sale.


  • You have no control over the programs. If the checkout process is faulty or there are issues with getting to the sale, it’s out of your control.
  • You are forced to take on all the risk. If no products are sold, you may have put a lot of work into shooting content and posting work for no compensation.
  • You are creating a big association of your creator account with your affiliate partner. If the brand or the product doesn’t perform up to standards, you—as a brand—are tied directly to it.
  • False advertising and multi-level marketing is common. Creators need to be mindful of affiliate partners that could be scams, making it difficult to get the commissions that you’re earning.


WHY Linking IS USEFUL for your followers

As an established creator and influencer, your audience is always looking for your opinion on certain topics. They want to know what you think about the latest trends, places to travel, etc. The benefit to incorporating  links in your posts is that your audience is already in “shopping mode”. They are looking for your advice on what to check off their shopping list!

How To Drive Traffic To Product Links

A great way to drive traffic using links is to create “round-ups”. Round-ups are a fun way to share with your audience your favorite finds from a certain brand in one place.

Example: Round-up the “Best Christmas Gifts For Teens 2017” or “Favorite Products To Make Holiday Cooking A Breeze!”

Your audience will not only appreciate the simplicity of a compiled list for themselves, but are more likely to share with their social network as well…thus driving more traffic for yourself and the brand! Win/win!

Pro tip: Don’t forget disclosures!

According to the FTC (not to mention Ad Standards, the ASA, and many other regulatory bodies), “Required disclosures must be clear and conspicuous. In evaluating whether a disclosure is likely to be clear and conspicuous, advertisers should consider its placement in the ad and its proximity to the relevant claim. The closer the disclosure is to the claim to which it relates, the better.” Check out their full guide here.

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Marissa is a radio personality turned lifestyle influencer who loves all things beauty, fashion, and travel. You can follow her on Instagram at @MarissaOnAir. She is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.