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Affiliate Marketing - What It Is And How To Get Started

What if you could earn money at any time, from any location - even while sleeping?

This is the premise of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for promoting the products of another person or company. The affiliate simply finds a product they like, promotes it, and earns a percentage of the profit from each sale. Affiliate links from one website to another are used to track sales.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of online sales strategy in which a product owner allows others targeting the same audience—"affiliates"—to earn a commission by recommending the product to others. At the same time, it allows affiliates to earn money from product sales without having to create their own products.

Simply put, affiliate marketing is the practice of recommending a product or service by sharing it on a blog, social media platform, or website. Each time someone purchases through the unique link associated with their recommendation, the affiliate earns a commission. If done correctly, this performance-based opportunity can transition from a side hustle to a profitable business by providing you with a steady income.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Word Affiliate Marketing in a button and a finger
Word Affiliate Marketing in a button and a finger

Affiliate marketing leverages the abilities of a variety of individuals for a more effective marketing strategy while providing contributors with a share of the profit because it works by spreading the responsibilities of product marketing and creation across parties. Three different parties must be involved for this to work:

Seller And Product Creators

The seller, whether a sole proprietor or a large corporation, is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer who has a product to sell. A product can be a physical item, such as household goods, or a service, such as makeup tutorials.

The seller, also known as the brand, does not have to be actively involved in marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.

The seller could, for example, be an ecommerce merchant who started a dropshipping business and wants to reach a new audience by paying affiliate sites to promote their products. Alternatively, the seller could be a SaaS company that uses affiliates to help sell marketing software.

The Affiliate Or Publisher

The affiliate, also known as a publisher, can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller's product to potential customers in an appealing manner. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product in order to persuade customers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and persuade them to buy the product. If the consumer purchases the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue.

Affiliates frequently market to a very specific audience, generally adhering to that audience's interests. This helps the affiliate attract consumers who are most likely to act on the promotion by creating a defined niche or personal brand.

The Consumer

Of course, sales are required for the affiliate system to function, and the consumer or customer is the one who makes them happen.

The affiliate will market the product/service to consumers via the appropriate channel(s), such as social media, a blog, or a YouTube video, and if the consumer finds the product valuable or beneficial, they can follow the affiliate link and checkout on the merchant's website. If the customer purchases the item, the affiliate receives a percentage of the sale.

Keep in mind, however, that the customer must be aware that you, the affiliate, will be paid a commission on the sale of the product.

Types Of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing infographics on laptop screen and hands using it
Affiliate Marketing infographics on laptop screen and hands using it


The affiliate marketer has no connection to the product or service they are promoting in the unattached business model. They have no expertise or authority in the product's niche, and they cannot make claims about its use.

An unaffiliated affiliate will typically run PPC (pay-per-click) marketing campaigns with an affiliate link in the hopes that shoppers will click it and make a purchase on their own.

While unattached affiliate marketing may be appealing due to its lack of commitment, it is typically for those who want to generate income without investing in the product or customer relationship.

Related affiliate marketing is a happy medium between unattached and involved affiliate marketing for those who do not necessarily use the product or service but are somehow related to the niche audience. These affiliates frequently have some sort of influence in the niche and a large following, and can thus provide some authority.

For example, suppose you're promoting a clothing brand you've never tried before, but you have a large following thanks to a fashion blog or YouTube channel. In this case, you'd be classified as a related affiliate marketer.

The affiliate has the expertise to generate traffic, but they risk recommending a bad product or service if they've never used it before, potentially costing them the trust of their audience.


As the name implies, involved affiliate marketing refers to those who are inextricably linked to the product or service they are promoting. The affiliate has used the product, believes it will provide a good experience, and is authorized to make claims about its use.

Customers can trust involved affiliate marketers as reliable sources of information rather than relying on pay per click.

Of course, this type of affiliate marketing requires more legwork and time to establish credibility, but it is likely to yield greater rewards in the long run.

Benefits Of The Affiliate Marketing

A word Benefits inside a bubble head
A word Benefits inside a bubble head

Affiliate marketing has several advantages for affiliates (like you), one of which is its simplicity. Your role is simply to handle the "marketing" aspect of creating and selling a product - educating customers. You don't have to be concerned about the more difficult tasks, such as developing, supporting, or fulfilling the offer.

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk business. Because there is no cost to join affiliate programs, you can start making money with an established affiliate product or service right away. Affiliate marketing can also generate relatively passive income via commission, which is the ideal money-making scenario. Though you will have to invest time in creating traffic sources at first, your affiliate links can provide a consistent income.

Finally, successful affiliate marketing allows you to significantly increase your earnings without hiring additional help. You can introduce new products to your current audience and create campaigns for new products while your current work generates revenue in the background.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that effective affiliate marketing is based on trust. While there appear to be an infinite number of products or services to promote, it is best to highlight only those that you personally use or would recommend. Even if a product interests you or fits into an existing hobby, becoming a great marketer for that product requires a significant amount of effort.

People Also Ask

Can Beginners Do Affiliate Marketing?

Simply join their affiliate program, obtain your link, and post it on your page or website. It's ideal for beginners because you don't have to invest a lot of money right away in physical or digital products.

Does Affiliate Marketing Require A Website?

Absolutely not for affiliate marketing; all you need is traffic or an audience, which could be on your YouTube channel, Instagram, or Facebook. It is only necessary to include the affiliate link in your post in order to track the sales generated by your post or video.

Is It Hard To Get IntTo Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a cutthroat business. A large number of affiliates promote the same products and compete for the same traffic and customers.It can be difficult to become an affiliate for well-known companies or products. Lack of ownership: The merchant owns the customers.


There was no need to reinvent the affiliate marketing wheel here. These are the fundamentals, and following them will get you started in the right direction. Just don't expect to make a fortune or be able to quit your job overnight. Affiliate marketing is time-consuming. First and foremost, concentrate on making your first affiliate sale. Set new goals and keep experimenting as your site grows. This is how you build a site that will eventually generate a good income.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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