What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

chain links

Affiliate marketing is where you will promote products or services for another company or person.  These can be physical, digital or informational products that are sold online.  For each product sold through your marketing of the product, you will be paid a percentage or commission of the sale. Percentages and commission are very varied depending on the products, company and your own personal ability.

Why doesn’t the company promote the products themselves?

Most companies do promote their own products but they have also realised that by allowing people to affiliate with them and promote the products that

  • They can reach an audience that they themselves may not reach or target with their own advertising methods.
  • That the majority of people these days are online and it opens up a huge market that they could just not cover themselves.
  • It is more cost efficient for a company to allow others to promote their products and pay them a percentage of a sale that they helped to create.
  • It is easier for a company to employ say one person to produce text links or banners for affiliate partners to use than to employ 100’s if not 1000’s of people to drive sales.  Imagine all the wages they save on by using affiliate marketers.

How does it work?


Once you register as an affiliate with a company you will be given a unique affiliate code to use.  This can be in text links, picture and text links or banners.  Through your unique code attached to the aforementioned links and banners, they can track the customers who visit their sites and/or buy products from them.  This is how they know how much to pay you.

These links will redirect anyone who clicks on them to the company’s website where a cookie will track what they do on that site.  Many of the companies use cookies that last more than just one session, standard cookie sessions last about 30 days.

This means that if someone clicks on your affiliate link and goes to a website but doesn’t buy a product on that visit (they may want to research it a little first or read a review on it), but they choose to then go back directly to the site and complete a purchase at a later date, that cookie will pick up where it left off and you will still be credited for the sale that that person made.

Everyone’s a winner!

Using this process means that everyone wins. The company makes a sale and has a new customer, who may continue to buy from them.  You are paid and are building your online presence, audience and own business. The customer has a new product or has solved a problem.  Depending on how you delivered the link you may have gave the customer valuable information before the purchase.  This is especially true if you have maybe written a review of a product and then attached an affiliate link on the page as to where the customer can purchase the product.

How much will you be paid?

ball of money (notes)

This varies greatly but you will always know what the percentage is before agreeing to market the products.  At the low end this can be around 4-10% but on the higher end where maybe you are promoting a digital product, commissions can be as high as 75%.

Another thing to consider is if you are promoting a product that has a recurring payment whether monthly, quarterly or annually you will also be eligible for commission on these.

So if you promote an online study course that has a recurring monthly payment of say $49 a month and you get a 50% commission for the sale you could have a recurring monthly income from that 1 sale of $24.50.

So if your affiliate link to that site brings 10 customers that is a monthly income of $245.00 for the time that the customer stays enrolled.  That is just with one link, normally you will be promoting multiple products at any one time.

Can I make a full-time income from this?

Yes. Many people do.  This can also depend on what way you choose to market and if you have any money to get you started.  You may choose to use a website to display your affiliate links and there are some ways you can build a website and have it hosted for free. Although these sites tend to take longer to rank within search engines it can be done.  Some people use social media to share their links and get started earning. Some even share these with family members and friends at the start.

Most people start doing this alongside their fulltime jobs, then either cut their hours if they can while scaling the business then eventually can go full time earning online.  Some people can even treble and quadruple their current incomes in less than a year.


Where do I use or market my links?

There are many ways to market the products that you choose to affiliate with and this part is really up to you.  Please take some time to explore these, you may use one or multiple ways to share your links. Some of the most common ways to get traffic clicking on your links and banners are Facebook ads, your own website or blog site, email marketing, pay per click campaigns, Youtube reviews.  The online world is basically your oyster and you can learn how to market in many different ways, the choice will be up to you.

This is not a complete list but this gives you an idea of the many ways you can advertise your links. Have a look around the internet and study how other people are doing it.  Once you do this you will start to notice that there are marketing adverts everywhere.  Use this to help you think of how and where you want to be placing yours.

I hope this gives you a bit more of an understanding and a base knowledge to allow you to further research this yourself.


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