A Beginners Guide to What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing

Imagine you’re earning money at any time and from any place, even when you’re sleeping. Isn’t it surprising? This is the idea of Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing is when you get paid a commission for promoting someone else’s or a company’s products.

In this detailed article about Affiliate Marketing, let’s get into the deep of one of the common digital methods to earn money online. Starting from Affiliate Marketing, we will cover terms such as How to start Affiliate Marketing, How Affiliate Marketing works, Affiliate marketing examples, and Affiliate marketing salary, etc.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a process where publishers earn a commission by promoting a product or service made by another retailer or advertiser using an affiliate link. The affiliate partner is rewarded a payout for providing a specific result to the retailer or advertiser.

In other words, When you advertise third-party services and goods to meet their sales goals, then in exchange you have been rewarded as a small percentage of the sales amount generated through your affiliate links and other efforts of promoting the product.

A business can work on Affiliate Marketing because:

  1. Increasing sales, improving web traffic, and promoting brand awareness.
  2. This means reaching out to a particular group of people interested in affiliate marketing. For example, a shoe company might team up with a fitness blog to attract readers who are into fitness.

How does Affiliate Marketing work?

Affiliate programs are like partnerships where people or businesses (also known as affiliates) help sell a company’s products or services. In return, they get a share of the profit for each sale they help make. This happens when someone buys something using a special link that the affiliate shares. Each time a purchase is made through this link, the affiliate makes some money.

Let’s take into consideration 4 important steps to understand the concept of Affiliate Marketing:

  1. The affiliate, also known as the “publisher”, is the person or organization that helps advertise the product or service of a seller.
  2. The merchant is the person or company that is selling the product or service that the affiliate helps to advertise.
  3. An affiliate network is like a middleman that helps an affiliate (a person or company promoting a product) and a merchant (the one who owns the product) connect and work together in an affiliate program. Even though an affiliate and a merchant can directly work together without this middleman, it’s quite common to use an affiliate network to make this connection easier.
  4. A customer is a person who buys a product through an affiliate. The merchant (the product owner) and the affiliate (the product promoter) work together to introduce the product to the affiliate’s audience, to turn them into customers.

What are the types of Affiliate Marketing?

  1. Unattached affiliate marketing: The first kind of affiliate marketing is known as “unattached”. This means you promote a product in a field where you don’t have any expertise or audience. In other words, you don’t have any direct connection with the customer. This usually involves running ads where you pay each time someone clicks on them (PPC ads or pay-per-click). These ads contain your affiliate link, and you’re hoping that people will click on it, buy the product, and as a result, you’ll earn a commission.
  2. Related affiliate marketing: Another type of Affiliate Marketing is Related affiliate marketing is when you promote products or services that you don’t personally use but are related to your field. As an affiliate marketer, you have an audience that follows you, maybe through blogging, YouTube, TikTok, or some other platform. Even though you haven’t used the products you’re promoting, your audience trusts your recommendations because you have a stand in your niche.
  3. Involved affiliate marketing: Involved affiliate marketing” is when you only recommend products or services that you’ve used and genuinely believe in. This is seen as the future of affiliate marketing. In this approach, you use your influence to promote products and services that your followers might need, rather than spending money to get clicks on an advertisement.

How to start Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re interested in earning money without much active work and have the patience to grow your online followers, you might want to consider becoming an affiliate marketer. If this sounds like something you’d want to do, here are some steps to guide you on your way to becoming one.

  1. Pick your niche or interest field: As an affiliate marketer, you can connect with a specific group of buyers, which is good for businesses. If you narrow down your audience, you’re more specific to creating a platform that provides unique content for an audience that isn’t getting much attention. However, you should also make sure that the area you choose has a large enough audience.
  2. Pick a platform that matches your niche: While you’re setting up a review site, you can also use social media like Instagram for affiliate marketing. You can promote something on your Instagram account that links back to your platform like a YouTube channel. The platform you choose to use will depend on what exactly you’re doing. Sometimes, using a combination of platforms can be the most effective way to do affiliate marketing.
  3. Join an affiliate marketing network: Affiliate networks are like bridges between affiliates and businesses. While you don’t always need to join one, it can make it easier to build relationships with businesses and could help you earn more money.

    The kind of affiliate network or marketing program you join should match what your audience likes. There are many affiliate marketing networks (Top 3 Affiliate Networks in 2024) and programs out there that offer a variety of products and services across different industries. To increase your chances of success, do some research to find the networks and programs that align best with the product you’re promoting and your audience.
  4. Expand your network: Building a good affiliate marketing platform isn’t an overnight job; it requires patience and hard work. You can grow your audience by using various online marketing methods.

Here are some commonly used online marketing strategies:

– Sharing valuable content 

– Optimizing your content for search engines (SEO)

Marketing on social media platforms 

– Building an email list

While each of these strategies can help grow your audience, using a combination of them can be even more effective.

  1. Be consistent and master your skills: Affiliate marketing isn’t just about time and commitment. It involves many skills like marketing, writing, talking to people, giving presentations, making videos, and editing. The skills you use will depend on where you’re marketing, who you’re marketing to, and how you choose to do it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing?

In 2022, affiliate marketing was worth about $8.2 billion, so lots of businesses use it. For people who create things, it’s a business idea that doesn’t cost much, if anything, and you can make a lot of money from it. But before you start, think about the good and bad sides of getting into affiliate marketing.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Easy to execute: Your job is just to handle the online marketing part of making and selling a product. You don’t have to stress about the tough stuff, like creating the product, providing customer support, or delivering the product.
  2. Low risk: Joining an affiliate program doesn’t cost anything. Once you’ve worked to gather a group of followers, you can start earning money by promoting an existing affiliate product or service, without spending more. Affiliate marketing can also make you money even when you’re not actively working, through commissions. It’s a great way to make money.
  3. Ability to scale: With successful affiliate marketing, you can earn a lot more money without needing to hire more people. You can show new products to your followers and create promotions for more products, all while your ongoing work keeps making money in the background.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Requires patience: Affiliate marketing won’t make you rich overnight. It takes time and patience to build a following and become influential. Try out different methods to see what your audience likes best. Look for the best and most trustworthy products to recommend. Use your time to write blogs, share free stuff on social media, host online events, and do other things that will attract people to your marketing platforms.
  2. Commission-based: In affiliate marketing, you don’t have a boss who pays you every week. You earn money based on commissions, which could be from leads, clicks, or sales. Companies use a temporary tracking tool in people’s browsers to see what actions they take after seeing your content. If someone does something that the company wants, like buying a product, you get paid.
  3. No control over the program: As an affiliate, you have to follow the company’s rules for their program. This includes how you talk about and show off their product or service. Your competitors have to do the same, so you need to think outside the box to stand out.

How do Affiliate Marketers make money?

The money you can make from affiliate marketing can vary a lot. Some affiliates earn a few hundred dollars a month, while others make over a hundred thousand dollars a year. The more followers you have, the more money you can make. According to Payscale, a company that tracks salaries, the average yearly income for an affiliate marketer is over $55,000. This is based on data from over 7,000 people, and many affiliates earn a lot more than this.

What are the examples of Affiliate Marketing?

Checking out companies that do affiliate marketing can give you ideas and show you that it’s a real way to make good money. Look at examples of affiliate programs to understand the different ways they can work.

Let’s take the common examples of Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Websites like vCommission talk about a variety of subjects and include special links in their blog posts or articles. These links can earn them money when people click or buy through them.
  2. YouTube videos, like GeekyRanjit’s review of the “Lenovo Yoga 7i”, have these special links in their descriptions.
  3. Websites like BGR India and MouthShut.com focus on reviewing products for a specific audience. These sites also use these special links.
  4. Shopify’s Affiliate Program is a group of business owners, teachers, influencers, and creators who recommend Shopify to others. Joining the program is free, you just need to apply.


Affiliate marketing is a simple process where you promote products on platforms like blogs, social media, and webinars. It’s a fresh and exciting area in marketing that’s ready to be explored.

Making money with affiliate marketing programs can be a great way to earn extra income without spending a lot upfront. It takes time to find the right program and perfect your approach, but once you do, you can create a system that makes money for you, even when you’re not working on it.

Sunny Kumar
Hi there, my name is Sunny Kumar. My journey in the field of digital marketing began in June 2016, starting with SEO. Over time, I've gained skills in various areas such as SEO, SMO, blogging, and affiliate marketing. I'm currently managing my digital marketing agency, ELBESTOR, which has been a successful venture. Now, I've made up my mind to pass on the knowledge I've acquired to you.