Affiliate Marketing: What it is and How to Get Started

Affiliate Marketing: What it is and How to Get Started

What if you could earn money whenever you wanted, from wherever you were, even while you slept? The idea behind affiliate marketing is this. An affiliate can make money by promoting the goods of another individual or business by using affiliate marketing. The affiliate merely looks for a product they are interested in, promotes it, and receives a cut of the revenue from each transaction. Through affiliate connections from one website to another, the sales are monitored.

The use of affiliate marketing can significantly increase online earnings and increase sales. The recent trend toward less conventional marketing strategies has undoubtedly paid off, being extremely advantageous to both businesses and affiliate marketers. In fact, affiliate marketing spending in the US is expected to expand from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $8.2 billion in 2022, so there is definitely opportunity for new players. This step-by-step beginner's tutorial will show you how to start your affiliate marketing company and what advantages you may anticipate.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing utilizes the skills of a range of people for a more successful marketing approach while giving contributors a piece of the profit since it works by dividing the responsibility of product promotion and creation between parties. Three parties must cooperate for this to succeed:

  1. Seller and product creators.
  2. The affiliate or advertiser.
  3. The consumer.

Let’s delve into the complex relationship these three parties share to ensure affiliate marketing is a success:

Seller and product creators.

The seller is a vendor, merchant, product maker, or retailer with a product to promote, whether they are a sole proprietor or a multinational corporation. A physical item like domestic products or a service like makeup tutorials can both be considered the product. The seller, usually referred to as the brand, can also be the advertiser and make money from affiliate marketing revenue sharing; they are not required to participate actively in the marketing. The vendor might, for instance, be an online retailer who began a dropshipping operation and desires to expand their customer base by paying affiliate websites to advertise their goods. Alternatively, the vendor might be a SaaS business that uses affiliates to promote and market its marketing tools.

The affiliate or publisher.

The affiliate, also known as a publisher, is someone or any organization that successfully markets a seller's goods to potential customers. To put it another way, the affiliate advertises the product to persuade customers that it is worthwhile or advantageous to them and persuade them to buy the product. The affiliate gets a share of the sales if the customer decides to purchase the item. Affiliates frequently market to a highly specialized audience and generally follow that consumer's interests. As a result, the affiliate develops a clear specialty or personal brand that helps them draw in customers who are most likely to take advantage of the promotion.

The consumer.

Of course, in order for the affiliate system to be successful, there must be sales, and it is the consumer or customer who drives these sales. Consumers will be exposed to the product or service through the appropriate channel(s), such as social media, blogs, or YouTube videos, and if they find it useful or helpful, they can click the affiliate link and make a purchase on the merchant's website. The affiliate gets a share of the sales if the customer decides to buy the product.
The customer must understand that you, the affiliate, are earning a commission from the sale of the goods, so keep that in mind.

The Federal Trade Commission states that an affiliate marketer must make their affiliation with the retailer both transparent and obvious so that the customer can decide how much weight to place on your recommendation. The products I'm going to utilize in this video were provided to me by Company X, for example, gives your visitors the information they need to decide whether or not to purchase the affiliate product.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

Whether an affiliate marketer has genuinely tried the product they are marketing or if they are only doing it for the money is frequently ambiguous; occasionally, it may not matter to the buyer. However, there are situations when a buyer won't trust an affiliate until they know that he or she has personally evaluated and approved the product, such as with diet services or skincare items. In order to distinguish between affiliate marketers who are strongly tied to a product and those who are not, prominent affiliate marketer Pat Flynn divided affiliate marketing into three categories in 2009: unattached, related, and involved. Here, we'll break down each category to aid you in choosing your course of action.


The affiliate marketer has no affiliation with the commodity or service they are promoting under the unattached business model. They cannot make claims about the product's use since they lack relevant experience or authority in the market.
An unaffiliated affiliate will typically execute PPC (pay-per-click) marketing campaigns with an affiliate link in the hopes that consumers will click it and buy independently. Unattached affiliate marketing may be appealing due to the lack of commitment, but it is typically for people who only want to make money without investing in the business or the customer base.

Affiliate marketing that is related but not necessarily dependent on the product or service is a good middle ground between unattached and dependent affiliate marketing. These affiliates can provide some authority because they frequently have a following that is well-established and some level of influence in the niche. For instance, you might be promoting a clothing brand you've never used before, but you already have a following thanks to your fashion blog or YouTube channel. You would be regarded as a relevant affiliate marketer in this scenario. The benefit of this sort of affiliate marketing is that the affiliate has the knowledge to drive traffic. However, if they haven't used the product or service themselves, they run the risk of endangering their audience's confidence by suggesting it.


As the term implies, involved affiliate marketing refers to those who have a close connection to the good or service they are endorsing. The affiliate is qualified to make claims about a product because they have used it, believe it will deliver a positive experience, and have firsthand knowledge with it. Instead of depending just on pay-per-click, actively engaged affiliate marketers employ their own first-hand knowledge of the product in their marketing campaigns, and their clients may trust them to be trustworthy sources of information. Although this form of affiliate marketing obviously involves more effort and time to establish trust, the long-term benefits are probably bigger.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

Affiliate marketing has an inherent allure for people trying to improve their income online because it is a simple and affordable way to make money without the headache of actually selling a product. But how does an affiliate get paid once they've connected a vendor and a customer?
The solution can be challenging.
It's not necessarily necessary for the customer to purchase the product for the affiliate to receive a commission. The affiliate's contribution to the seller's sales will be calculated differently depending on the program.
The affiliate may be compensated in a number of ways:

Pay per sale.

This is how affiliate marketing is often structured. In this program, after a customer purchases a product as a consequence of affiliate marketing tactics, the merchant pays the affiliate a portion of the product's sale price. In other words, before receiving payment, the affiliate must successfully convince the investor to purchase the affiliate product.

Pay per lead.

Pay per lead affiliate marketing programs have a more complicated mechanism that pays the affiliate based on the leads that are converted. Whether it's filling out a contact form, signing up for a product trial, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files, the affiliate must convince the customer to go to the merchant's website and carry out the requested action.

Pay per click.

The main goal of affiliate marketing is to drive traffic to websites and entice users to click and take action. So it should come as no surprise that affiliate marketing myths revolve around SEO (search engine optimization).

Although organic traffic is free, SEO can't support affiliate marketers in such a crowded industry; for this reason, some affiliate marketers turn to PPC.

The main goal of PPC (pay per click) schemes is to motivate the affiliate to lead customers away from their marketing platform and toward the merchant's website. This means that the affiliate must actively engage the user so that they visit the merchant's website instead of the affiliate's. Based on the growth in web traffic, the affiliate is compensated.

There are two common concepts in PPC:

  • CPA (cost-per-acquisition): With this model, the affiliate gets paid each time the seller or retailer acquires a lead, which is when an affiliate link takes the customer to the merchant’s online store and they take an action, such as subscribing to an email list or filling out a “Contact Us” form.
  • EPC (earnings-per-click): This is the measure for the average earnings per 100 clicks for all affiliates in a retailer’s affiliate program.

Pay per install.

According to this method of payment, the affiliate is compensated each time a customer is sent to the merchant's website and installs a product—typically a mobile app or piece of software.
Therefore, if a campaign generates 1,000 installs and a retailer spends $0.10 for each install brought about by an affiliate program, the retailer will be required to pay ($0.10 x 1,000) = $100.

Why Be an Affiliate Marketer?

Passive income.

Affiliate marketing gives you the opportunity to earn money while you sleep, but any "normal" employment necessitates that you be present at work in order to be paid. You will receive ongoing returns on your initial campaign investment as customers continue to buy the goods over the next days and weeks. Long after you've finished your work, you still get paid for it. Your marketing abilities will continue to bring in money even when you're not in front of a computer.

No customer support.

Companies and individuals selling goods or services must interact with customers and make sure they are happy with their purchases. You won't ever have to worry about customer service or customer happiness because of the affiliate marketing framework. The sole purpose of an affiliate marketer is to connect a seller and a customer. Any consumer grievances are handled by the seller following the payment of your commission from the sale.

Work from home.

Affiliate marketing is the ideal solution if you detest coming to the office. Working from the convenience of your home, you'll be able to start campaigns and earn money from the goods that vendors produce. You can complete this task without ever removing your jammies.


The majority of firms need cash flow to finance the products they are selling as well as upfront beginning costs. However, affiliate marketing may be done at a reasonable price, making it possible for you to start out quickly and with little effort. There is no need to manufacture a product, and there are no unforeseen costs to be concerned about. This area of business is relatively simple to start.

Convenient and flexible.

You have complete independence in setting your own goals, changing your course when you feel like it, selecting the items you're interested in, and even choosing your own hours because you're practically becoming a freelancer. Because of this convenience, you can choose to diversify your portfolio or stick with easy-to-understand campaigns. Additionally, you won't be subject to any limits or rules imposed by the company or underperforming teams.

Performance-based rewards.

In other occupations, you may put in an 80-hour work week and receive the same pay. Affiliate marketing has the advantage of being entirely performance-based. What you put into it will come back to you. Developing your reviewing abilities and creating compelling campaigns will result in immediate increases in your earnings. Finally, you'll be compensated for your amazing effort!