What is Affiliate Marketing? Ultimate Guides to Get Started

Can one earn money whenever and wherever he/she wants, even while sleeping? This idea underlies affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the procedure by which an affiliate receives a commission for promoting the goods of another individual or business. The affiliate just needs to look for products they are interested in, promote those products, and get paid a commission on each transaction.

Do you wonder to know how to conduct affiliate marketing? This article will guide you through every step to start earning money as an affiliate marketer. Keep reading to learn more.

What is affiliate marketing?​

Affiliate marketing is a method which helps people to earn passive or main income by utilizing an affiliate link to promote goods or services sold by other businesses. The affiliate partner receives a commission for helping the shop owners or advertiser reach their goal.

Usually, affiliate marketers will receive the reward once there is a sale. However, some affiliate marketing programs do offer commission for clicks or impressions.

There is nothing to worry about expensive setup charges because most affiliate programs are often free to join. If done correctly, an efficient affiliate marketing approach can transform from a side job to a main online business since it will bring in a large amount of money.

How does affiliate marketing work?​

You are engaging in affiliate marketing by promoting a good or service on a blog, social networking site, podcast, or website. Each time a customer makes a purchase using your particular affiliate link, you get paid a commission. To help you have a deeper insight into how affiliate marketing works, we will explain each factor involved in the process and how they relate to one another.

Affiliate marketing involves three main parties joining in, and each of them has a unique part to play in the marketing process:
  • The seller: The person or business sells the products or services that need to be promoted. Their good could be both physical and digital.
  • The affiliate or publisher: The person or organization advertises the goods or services of the sellers or product creators. The affiliate gets a share of the sales if the customer purchases the item from the link published.
  • The consumer: The person buys products from the seller or product creators via the affiliate or publisher.
The affiliate marketing process:
  1. The affiliate puts a link or advertisement for promoting a product from the seller's store on their website, social network or blog.
  2. A consumer clicks the link on their website, social network or blog.
  3. A consumer place an order in the seller's store
  4. The order is confirm by the seller's store
  5. The affiliate get a commission for that sale
So you can clearly see that, it is not necessary for the affiliate to get paid when the customer buys the exact product on the promoted link. As long as the consumer makes a purchase of any product on the seller's store, the affiliate is eligible to receive a reward for it.

How do affiliate marketers get commissions?​

The answer can vary. It's not necessarily necessary for the customer to purchase the goods for the affiliate to receive a commission. The affiliate can get paid in a number of ways:

Pay per sale​

This is how affiliate marketing is often structured. In this program, once a customer purchases a product, the affiliate can get a portion of the product's sale price from the sellers.

Pay per lead​

This affiliate marketing program has a more complicated mechanism. The affiliate get paid depending on the number of leads that are converted. A converted lead can be understood as a potential customer who downloads a software, signs up for an app trial, fills out a form, etc., but don’t need to place any order.

Pay per click​

Pay per click or PPC is a way affiliates get paid when they lead customers away from their marketing platform toward the seller's website by clicking the affiliate link.

How to start affiliate marketing?​

Like starting your own business, you need a plan, strategy, commitment, and discipline to succeed as an affiliate. Follow the detailed instructions below if you are about to launch an affiliate marketing business.

Decide your niche​

A niche is a certain sector of the market that is characterized by shared interests or habits. For instance, if you choose to promote products related to electronics products, your niches could be computers & accessories or TV and monitors.

Each niche targets specific groups made up of potential buyers. Therefore, the more specific your niche, the more likely you can create an affiliate network with original content that satisfies the needs of an underserved audience. Additionally, it would be best if you choose a niche with a large audience share.

So, how to decide your niche?
  • Think about your own hobbies and interests
  • Identify prospective ways to make money within the niche
  • Evaluate the competition and search volume for the niche
  • Calculate the number of available traffic sources
  • Look for market deficiencies you can make use of
  • Check for websites that have already been sold or successful acquisitions
  • Identify your USP
Learn more details about each way in the article 7 Ways for Finding a Profitable Niche for Affiliate Marketing.

Choose a platform that suits your niche​

After you have decided on the niche you cover, you could move to the next step: pick the platform you are going to work on.

There are three main types of platforms: product review websites, blogs, and social media like Facebook or Instagram.

Product review websites: These kinds of platforms often provide readers with reviews, buying guides, and suggestions for a product line compared to its counterparts. To engage readers to your site, you must provide information relevant to the review area and update frequently.

Blog and social media: These platforms are best for digital content makers like bloggers, YouTubers, or social media influencers. They provide content that appeals to a specific audience to introduce niche products to those who will like it. Once the audiences buy products via the link they provide, they can get paid as an affiliate.

Choose your niche products and appropriate affiliate programs​

If you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you must choose the products or services that your audience actually desires to promote and advertise.

The kind of product your target market is keen on will determine the affiliate network you participate in. In reality, several affiliate marketing networks and programs provide various goods and services that meet your business requirements. Make sure to investigate those networks and programs to find the best match for your target product and audience to increase your chances of success.

Some well-known affiliate marketing programs for your reference:

Start your business​

An effective affiliate marketing platform requires effort and time to develop. But using various digital marketing strategies can help you broaden your audience size.

Some practical digital marketing approaches are:
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email Marketing
While applying just one of these strategies to engage more audiences can make your work more effective by combining several of them.

Pros and cons of affiliate marketing​


Low cost & low risk​

Starting an affiliate marketing business is quite straightforward and uncomplicated. To promote your clients' items, you just need to build your affiliate website. In actuality, you can run an affiliate marketing business without a website. You only need to join an affiliate network and concentrate on promoting a certain product category on your social network account.

No Specialized Expertise​

Starting affiliate marketing requires no prior marketing experience or knowledge. The benefit of affiliate marketing is that you can progressively learn it while using, experimenting with, and improving in different ways.

Easy to scale​

Effective affiliate marketing allows you to expand your revenue rapidly without hiring more staff. You can create new content to promote news goods to your audience while the existing ones keep producing affiliate money for you.


Affiliate marketing provides you with good income and freedom in your working environment. As long as you have access to power and the internet, you can work wherever you choose. It sounds like the perfect job for freelancers who are often not subject to any organization's reporting requirements or its chain of command.

Passive income​

Passive income means that you can keep making money from your website while relaxing, traveling, sleeping, or being busy with a full-time job.


Require patience​

Affiliate marketing is not the way to earn money quickly. It does take you time and patience to have more audience and gain influence.
To determine which niche, platforms, and approaches work best for you, don't forget to research carefully and spend time creating helpful content.

Unlimited Competition​

The affiliate program offers high profits with just a small investment. That means anyone can join in, and you can control that.

Get start affiliate marketing business right now​

Affiliate marketing stands a great chance to earn money for those who can spend time and effort creating helpful content that can engage more audiences to their websites or blogs. Building your affiliate marketing skill set with AffiliateCMS.com if you want to start your business with ease.
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