Best Online Business to Start, Affiliate Marketing Or Online Store?

Affiliate Marketing or Online Store?
affiliate marketing

What Do You Want To Do After You Retire?

If you’re like me, and you’ve been working for someone else your whole life and are approaching retirement, and are looking for your next gig, have you decided what that “next gig” is going to be?

People usually don’t retire just to go back to work at another job, although that seems to be the fate of a lot of people.  They look at their savings, and at their expected income after retirement, and at their planned expenses, and when the income doesn’t match or exceed the outgo, they recognize they have a potential problem.

Then there are the people who suddenly find themselves out of a job, for whatever reason.  Then things get serious in a hurry.  Especially for older workers, who aren’t as hireable as younger people.

Retirement Is A Great Time To Start A Business.

Most of us are tired of working for someone else and want a change.  If we have to earn some money, then starting a business is much more attractive than going back to work for that paycheck.

The potential alone is a great motivator.  A paycheck is regular, which is good, but it’s pretty much always the same amount, which isn’t so good.  A paycheck is what your employer thinks you and your time are wortth.

A business might start slow with not much to show for it, but after it becomes established and profitable, that paycheck amount will be left far, far behind.  You get to decide what you and your time are worth.

I’d better take a minute and clarify things a little bit.  When I’m talking about starting a business, I’m talking about starting an ONLINE business.  Brick and mortar businesses are fine and are legitimate, but they require you to be there, and to work regular hours.

An online business is open for business even when you’re asleep or on vacation.

Two Good Business Options.

I’m going to discuss two business options in this post.  They are:

Affiliate Marketing or Online Store

I’ll discuss the online store business model first.

An online store is a comfortable business method for a lot of people.  We’ve all shopped online by now, and have visited  many online stores.  I like online shopping.  I can find some great deals on things I”m looking for.  One of the biggest online stores in the world is Amazon.  Pretty much everyone has shopped there.  Another is  Here’s an example of what your store might look like.  I’m a cyclist, so I chose helmets. This is from Amazon.

There are smaller stores that cover more specialized niches, and they can compete with the big boys thanks to keyword research and SEO optimization.  If you’re wanting to start an online store, all you need is a website, products to sell, and a way to get it all set up.  There are other important factors involved, like advertising and attracting customers.

Drop shipping your products is the way to go with your online store.  You want the companies that you get products from to drop ship to your customers when they buy.  That way you don’t have to maintain an inventory, which can eat up your funds.

There are places like Shopify and Woocommerce that you can use to set up your store. They usually charge a monthly fee to use their services, but the benefits outweigh the costs.  They can set it all up for you, or you can do most of the work yourself, it’s up to you, and there are hundreds of successful sellers using these services.

Another good option is the Alidropship plugin.  For a reasonable one-time cost ($89) you can purchase this plugin for your store and manage the products you want to sell. Here’s their website.

You can make serious money with an online store, if that’s the way you want to go.  If you’d like to start small, you can sell on eBay and still drop ship.  Salehoo is a website that’s dedicated to helping eBay sellers succeed.  They maintain a list of over 8000 drop shippers for eBay sellers.  Here’s my review of Salehoo.

With an online store you have to be regularly monitoring your business, tracking sales and shipping, etc., even though your products, unless you produce them yourself, will be drop shipped.  You will also be involved with customer service issues, such as complaints and returns.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing or Online Store?

Affiliate marketing still deals in products and services, but the business model is different.  Instead of maintaining an online store, the affiliate marketer usually has a blog.  With affiliate marketing, the affiliate promotes another company’s products and is paid a commission when a sale is made through the affiliate’s website.

This is done with affiliate links.  Many companies have affiliate programs, and when you sign up as an affiliate for a  company, that company gives you an affiliate link to place with their product on your website.  When a customer clicks on the affiliate link, they are taken to the product’s main sale page.  If the customer buys, your affiliate link gives you credit for the sale and you earn a commission.

Companies can reduce their advertising budgets and pay commissions to affiliates when a sale is made.  It’s cost effective for the company because no payment is made until there is an actual sale.

An affiliate marketing business is good for the affiliate because the affiliate’s main purpose is connecting customers with the products that they are looking for.   They don’t have to be involved in the shipping or any other customer service issues.

The affiliate marketer will be writing product reviews and other promotional posts that help customers make the decision to purchase.

In Either Case, Training Is Essential!

Whether you want a store or a blog, good, quality training is essential for success.  The internet is huge, and there are enough customers to go around, but if the people browsing online don’t find your website, there is zero chance that they will buy from you. You have to know how to compete with the big websites and get your share of traffic.

You could have a big, beautiful store, or a great blog, but if you don’t get any visitors, that’s all you’ll have.  A great website, and no sales.  There are a LOT of such sites littering the web.

What it takes is an education.  Where to get one?

Fortunately there are several good websites that teach you how to get your online business rolling and how to connect with customers.  One if the best is called Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate has been around since 2005, and it’s at the top of the heap for online marketing.  It’s one of the few training platform that lets you start for free, in fact the initial sign-up is ALWAYS free.  You get 10 free lessons and 2 free websites to start marketing with before you even have to start thinking of upgrading to premium membership.

Premium membership is where you really learn the ropes.  Pricing is competitive within the industry, at only $49/month or $259/yr if you want to commit for a year and save some money.  Most successful marketers who started with Wealthy Affiliate are still there.  They know it works and they stick with it.

I’m one of those.

Free is good.  Free lets you get started without an obligation.  Free takes the pressure off.

That said, if you are looking at starting your own business, give Wealthy Affiliate a try.  You don’t have to invest a dime.

Click on one of the WA links in this post or on the banner below and you’ll be directed to Wealthy Affiiate’s sign-up page.  From there it’s easy to start.

You owe it to yourself to check it out.

Thanks for reading my post.  Please leave a comment below if you’d like.

Disclosure:  The FTC requires that affiliate marketers inform readers that the affiliate will be paid a commission if a reader ends up purchasing a product through an affiliate link.  I’m sure you knew before, but now you know again.

I’m Grant.



I agree with you that these are two of the best options available for creating your own business and eventually passive income.  Both avenues definitely require the right quality training.  While I have yet to do any deep research on drop shipping training I do have experience with Wealthy Affiliate.  I have been spending a lot of time online, reading, researching the niche marketing world and to actually get step by step training with all the ‘secrets’ and ‘tools’ of the trade is rare.  I’ve actually only found it at wealthy affiliate.  AND FOR FREE!  If someone chooses they can build a whole business with free training (although not all the training is free) and up to 2 websites, hosted and secure for free.  It really is a way to build wealth.  Real people getting real results and building a future where they can live the laptop lifestyle.  

Great article!

Thanks for your great comment, Melanie.  I’m with you about Wealthy Affiliate.  It’s an awesome training site for affiliates.  I’m glad that you read my post.

I’m really worried about retirement and the options described here has really peaked my interest. Affiliate Marketing seems like a viable and prosperous option at this stage! Is Wealthy Affiliate the only training platform available? What are the difference between a free and premium membership at Wealthy Affiliate? Thanks in advance! 

Thanks for your comment and question, AnxietyPanda.  Of course Wealthy Affiliate isn’t the only online training available, it’s just one of the best.  The free membership gives you 10 free lessons and 2 free websites to get you going, The Premium membership takes it much farther, and gives you much more.  Join the free side and see for yourself.  You never have to go premium if you don’t want to.

A lot of people are already tired of going back to a job after they retire. They want a simple life and most at the time to be at home. I have been earning some money from Wealthy Affiliate now. I can do it anywhere and anytime. All need is a laptop and an internet connection。This is very suitable to work from home

Although I’m far from retirement, I agree that people who retire are well suited to start a new challenge in life, like starting an online business.

They’ve suddenly got a lot more time and the advantage of doing this at home is a big one of course.

And they can go as far as they want. Maybe they don’t have the ambition to earn 1000’s of dollars a month, which is not as easy as a lot of marketers make it sound! Maybe they just want a bit of extra money to travel or to buy presents for their grandchildren. It’s perfect actually!

Yes, Jurgen, I agree with you that it’s a good idea for retirees to look online for a business opportunity.  There are a lot of choices.  I’m trying affiliate marketing myself, and plan on using eBay too.

I especially like the idea of having my own online store. I’ve done dropshipping before actually, but it wasn’t on a shopify store or anything, I just had an Ebay store and dropshipped items from Amazon and Walmart. I didn’t make any money though, I guess I didn’t really know what I was doing.

You mentioned Salehoo that helps dropshippers suceed, do they offer dropshipping training? I’m looking for some kind of coaching program to help me succeed in dropshipping.

Hi, Kent.  Thanks for your comment.  Yes, Salehoo does have training videos to help you use their drop shippers.  You can also become an affiliate for free and earn commissions from referrals.  Good luck to you with your business.


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