What if you could make money anytime, anywhere, even while you sleep? It is what affiliate marketing can make.

Affiliate marketing definition

Affiliate marketing is the process by which a distributor earns a commission from marketing the supplier’s products/services.

The marketer’s job is to find the product he likes or matches his capacity and understanding and then promote it. Every time a product is sold to a customer, the affiliate/publisher will receive a profit. Revenue is tracked through links from one website to another.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to drive sales and generate substantial online revenue. It is highly beneficial for both the brand and the affiliate marketer.

In fact, by 2022, spending on affiliate marketing in the United States will have grown from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $8.2 billion. Affiliate marketing is still a lucrative piece of cake for anyone who wants to join.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Because affiliate marketing works by allocating marketing and product creation responsibilities among parties, it leverages the ability of multiple individuals for a more effective marketing strategy. Also, give contributors a share of the profits. To make this work, three different parties are involved:

  • Sellers and creators of products
  • Marketers, Advertisers
  • Consumers

Seller and product creators

A seller, whether an individual or a large enterprise, is a supplier, merchant, product creator, or retailer whose products are brought to market. Products like household items and intangible services like makeup tutorials can be tangible.

Also known as brands, sellers do not need to be actively involved in marketing, but they can also be advertisers and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.

For example, a seller might be an eCommerce seller starting a dropshipping business and want to reach a new audience by paying affiliate sites to advertise their products. Or the seller could be a SaaS company leveraging affiliates to help sell their marketing software.

The affiliate or publisher

Also known as a publisher, an affiliate can be an individual or a company that markets a seller’s product in a way that appeals to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to convince consumers that it is valuable or beneficial and convince them to buy it. If the final consumer purchases the product, the affiliate earns a share of the revenue.

Affiliates have a particular audience they market to, often according to that audience’s preferences. It creates a defined niche or personal brand that helps the affiliate attract consumers likelier to act on the promotion.

The consumer

Of course, for the affiliate system to work, there need to be sales — and the consumer or customer is the one who makes them happen.

The affiliate marketer will market the product/service to the consumer through the necessary channel(s), whether it be social media, a blog, or a YouTube video. If the consumer thinks the product is valuable or beneficial to them, they can follow the affiliate link and pay on the merchant’s website. The affiliate receives a portion of the revenue if the customer makes a purchase.

However, remember that the customer must know that you, the affiliate, are receiving a commission from the product.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, an affiliate marketer must clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationship with the retailer, thus allowing consumers to decide how important it is to endorse for you.

Disclaimers such as “The product I will use in this video is provided to me by Company X” gives viewers the information they need and allows them to make an informed decision about whether or not to use it. Buy affiliate products or not.

How do affiliate marketers get paid?

A quick and cheap method of making money without the hassle of actually selling products, affiliate marketing has an undeniable appeal to those looking to increase their online income. But how does an affiliate get paid after linking a merchant to a consumer?

The answer can get complicated.

Consumers don’t always need to buy products for affiliates to receive kickbacks. The affiliate’s contribution to merchant sales will be measured differently depending on the program.

Affiliates can be paid in different ways:

Pay per sale

It is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the product’s sale price after the consumer purchases the product due to affiliate marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must get the investor to invest in the affiliate product before they are compensated.

Pay per lead

Pay-per-lead affiliate marketing programs compensate the affiliate based on lead conversion in a more sophisticated system. The affiliate must convince the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action — filling out a contact form, signing up for a product trial, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading software or files.

Pay per click

Affiliate marketing is mainly about generating website traffic and getting customers to click and take action. So the myth that affiliate marketing is all about SEO (search engine optimization) comes as no surprise.

However, while organic traffic is free, SEO cannot sustain affiliate marketers in such a saturated market — which is why some marketers affiliate marketing using PPC.

PPC (pay-per-click) programs incentivize the affiliate to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website. The affiliate must attract consumers to the point where they will move from the affiliate’s site to the merchant’s site. Affiliates are paid based on an increase in web traffic.

There are two common concepts in PPC:

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

Pay per install

In this payment system, the affiliate is paid each time they direct a user to a merchant’s website and install a product, usually a mobile app or software.

So if the retailer budget bids $0.10 per install generated through the affiliate program and the campaign results in 1,000 installs, the retailer will pay (0.1 dollars x 1,000) = $100.

Why become an affiliate marketer?

Passive income

While any “regular” job requires you to work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you’ll see continued profits as consumers purchase products in the days and weeks that follow. You get paid for your work long after you complete it. Even if you’re not sitting in front of a computer, your marketing skills will give you a steady income stream.

No need to worry about customer support

Individual sellers and companies that provide products or services must deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased.

You will never have to worry about customer support or satisfaction thanks to the affiliate marketing structure. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller to the consumer. The seller resolves any consumer complaints after you receive the commission from the sale.


Affiliate marketing is the perfect solution if you hate going to the office. You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from sellers’ products while working from the comfort of your own home. It is work you can do without taking off your pajamas.

Cost savings

Most businesses require upfront startup fees and cash flow to finance the products sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done cheaply, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. No surprise fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Starting this workflow is relatively simple.

Convenient and flexible

Since you’re becoming a freelancer, you get the ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel like it, choosing products you care about, and even defining your own working hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio or focus on simple campaigns. You will also be free from company restrictions and regulations and underperforming teams.

Performance-based earnings

You can work 80 hours a week with other jobs and still earn the same salary. The good thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s entirely based on your performance. You will get from it what you put in it. Hone your review skills and write compelling campaigns that directly improve your sales. You will eventually get paid for the outstanding work you do!

Popular types of affiliate marketing channels

Most affiliates share standard practices to ensure their target audience is engaged and willing to buy the advertised products. But not all affiliates promote products in the same way. There are several different marketing channels they can take advantage of.


An influencer is a content creator who holds power to influence the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population.

This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to a seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with followers. The influencers will then receive a portion of the profits they helped generate.

Influencer affiliate marketing campaigns are viral on Instagram and TikTok, where brands form partnerships with influencers who are seen as experts or authorities in their respective fields.

Depending on the deal, the campaign could include a series of product reviews with photos, an account takeover, or a live video.

While an influencer can have their brand and taste, it’s important to add elements tied to your brand to ensure brand recall and recognition. You can achieve this by using apps like Instasize, where you can quickly edit and customize your campaign’s ads with a single tap.


With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing seller conversions through content marketing. Bloggers sample a product or service and then write a comprehensive review that engagingly promotes the brand, driving traffic back to the seller’s website.

Bloggers are awarded for their influence in spreading information about the value of a product, helping to improve seller sales.

Small sites focused on paid search

Developing and monetizing small sites can also generate many affiliate sales. These sites are advertised on a partner site, or a search engine’s sponsored listing. They are distinct and separate from the main website of the organization. By providing more relevant, focused content to a specific audience, small websites lead to increased conversions due to their simple calls to action.

Email lists

Despite its older roots, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists that they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others can use email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning commissions after consumers purchase products.

Another affiliate marketing method is for affiliates to build an email list over time. They use their various campaigns to collect bulk emails, then send emails related to the products they promote.

Major media sites

Designed to generate massive amounts of traffic all the time, these sites are focused on building millions of viewers.

These sites promote products to their large audience through contextual affiliate links and banners. This approach delivers superior visibility and improved conversion rates, generating the highest revenue for merchants and affiliates.

One of the most popular sites is Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates, which boasts the largest market share in affiliate networks (46.15%).

Other big-name affiliate marketing programs include:

  • AvantLink.
  • LinkConnector.
  • CJ Affiliate.
  • Affiliate Future.
  • ClickBank.
  • ShareASale.
  • FlexOffers.

Or, if you want, you can contact the retailers directly and see if they offer an affiliate program. If not, they may still be willing to give you coupons or special discount codes to share with your audience to help drive traffic to their online store.

Tips to help you do successful affiliate marketing

Ready to try your affiliate marketing? Here are our top online marketing tips to get you started.

Develop a relationship with your audience

When starting your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to appeal to an audience with specific interests. It allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you will convert. By claiming to be an expert in one place rather than promoting a wide range of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy a product.


There are plenty of products you can promote in the affiliate marketing world.

You’ll be able to choose products you trust or even products from your favorite brands, so make sure your campaigns focus on value products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve impressive conversion rates and establish credibility for your brand.

You’ll also want to get good at email outreach to work with bloggers and other influencers. Use a tool like ContactOut or Voila Norbert to collect people’s contact information and send personalized emails to solicit guest blogging and linking opportunities.

Start reviewing products and services

Focus on looking at products and services that are in your niche. Then, leveraging your relationship with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product or service you’re advertising.

Almost anything sold online can be considered if there is an affiliate program — you can look at physical products, digital software, or even services ordered online, like shopping, carpooling, or booking a resort.

It is especially effective when comparing this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, ensure you create detailed, clear content to improve conversions.

Use multiple sources to do affiliate marketing

Instead of just focusing on an email campaign, spend time making money blogging, creating landing pages, posting on review sites, reaching your audience on social media, and even reviewing promotions on multiple channels.

Test various digital marketing strategies to see which of your audience response most. Use this technique often.

Choose your affiliate marketing campaigns carefully

No matter how good your online marketing skills are, you will make less money from a wrong product than from a valuable one. Take the time to research the demand for a new product before promoting it.

Be sure to research the seller carefully before partnering. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to ensure you’re spending it on a profitable product and a seller you can trust.

Stay up to date with trends

There is enormous competition in the affiliate marketing field. You’ll want to ensure you stay up to date with new trends to stay competitive.
In addition, you will benefit from at least some new marketing techniques that are constantly being created.

Make sure you keep all these new strategies up to date to ensure that your conversion rates and, therefore, revenue will be as high as possible. I hope you soon succeed in conquering financial freedom with affiliate marketing!