Affiliate Marketing, an introduction

Tired of being broke and bored?

Passive income is one of the most sought-after idea these days and it is one for a reason, I mean who would not want to wake up in the morning to see hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars in their bank account, and that too without working several hours for it. Sounds like a dream to most, but it is a reality. Thousands of people make money this way, and if not full time, most have side hustles that contribute to their savings for that one dream holiday they have been planning for years but don’t have the money for.

A lot of us are tired of following the same boring, mind numbing routine day in and out, going to the same place that we dislike, doing the work that we despise. Well, what can you do to get out of this situation, there are several things, but one may argue that he/she does not have specific skills to do anything other than what they are doing, which is why they ended up where they are now in the first place.

Some maybe motivated to start a business but lack the capital for it. A business or a startup idea requires heavy investment in the beginning and still does not guarantee success in the future


I argue that everybody has that one special talent maybe not very refined, but that one thing maybe something that people praise whenever you are in a gathering, whether you know about a specific field more than an average joe and can educate him or her about it, or if you have writing prowess and have convincing powers. There are numerous things that you can do in this time and age of the internet.

Now that you are all excited, and confused, I will tell you about an idea that may change your life and that Idea is called “AFFILIATE MARKETING”.

You may or may not have heard of this phrase, well you are one lucky person because right here, right now you will understand all the basics to get started in this field and maybe make a living out of it in the future.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

To understand this better, lets first find out the meaning of “Affiliate”.

According to google:

verb

/əˈfɪlɪeɪt/

Officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization.

Affiliate marketing is basically when an affiliate makes a commission by marketing a product or a service offered by various individuals or companies to a consumer. One just simply recommends a product to an audience and in the process makes a profit if a person buys it through that person, in this case by clicking on a link provided by that person.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Function?

Affiliate marketing is simply assigning marketing responsibilities to numerous parties while providing a share of the profit to the individuals involved. This strategy is highly successful since there are no upfront costs and is practically a free method to advertise to a larger audience that may have been unreachable otherwise.

Since its based-on revenue sharing it is a win-win situation for everyone included.

There maybe three or four parties involved, we will discuss that in a second. But the actual marketing has two sides to the affiliate program, the product manufacturer or seller and the affiliate marketer.

You can be on either side of the equation and still make money due to the unique business model.

Parts of an Affiliate marketing ecosystem

The Merchant: The creator or producer here is mentioned as the merchant, this is where it all starts, where the products or services come from. A merchant can be an individual or an organization selling a product like a T-shirt or can be someone who makes courses about Guitar. Anybody can be behind an affiliate marketing program to sell anything to anyone anywhere in the world. They have something to sell.

There’s no need to be actively involved for this to work, which makes this so compelling even to fortune 500 companies.

The Affiliate: Also known as the publisher, this party is the one which actually markets the product through various methods. An affiliate just like the merchant can be an individual or an organization, you just have to sell something to others. People who work as affiliates earn from hundreds of dollars to even millions of dollars per month.

An affiliate promotes products or services and convinces people by making them realize the utility so that they end up buying it from the merchant and in this process the affiliate earns their fair share of the profits. There are several affiliate marketing programs that one can join.

Now the sweet part here also is the passive nature of the whole process, one person creates a piece of content once and it keeps on attracting potential customers for a long time in the future. The way one markets the products may also vary, people use very creative ways to sell stuff, we will discuss this in a later section.

The Consumer:  Any marketing campaign or product is futile if there is no one to buy it, and hence this part of the chain may arguably be the most important. The consumer or the customer will pay for it in the end, this is where the money flows in from. The consumer may end up buying a product from social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest else they might end up on a blog where they get to know about some trendy graphic tees and decide to add some to their closet or a digital Billboard may catch their attention.

It depends on the affiliate if he or she decides to tell the consumers if they are part of an affiliate chain, but as of recent a majority of affiliate marketers have started being transparent with their following about the incentives that they receive. For example, several youtubers include links to the products they use in the description and explicitly mention the money that they make from that.

The Network

While many do not include the network as a part of the affiliate chain, but given the role that it plays it becomes an integral part of the whole process. The various affiliate marketing networks are where a lot of merchants and affiliate marketers meet. They also help set up standardized prices if one does not know what percentage of profit should be shared.

There are several popular networks like: Clickbank, Amazon etc.

A lot of the times, the affiliates have to use the networks as well for finding relevant products and merchants since networks act as databases and this provides flexibility to individuals regarding the different niches that exist.

The biggest affiliate market Network by far is Amazon, it has everything a consumer may need, clothes, electronics, photography equipment, any kind of paraphernalia is available on Amazon and hence it is considered one of the best.

Payment Models

Now the question arises, how do affiliate marketers get paid?

There are various methods a marketer can be paid and each one has a specific advantage.

  1. Pay Per Sale

This is the most commonly used model to pay marketers and is preferred by many since it has many advantages, the biggest one being the profits you make. Since you get a share of the sale profits, it depends on you to select the value you want, since the more expensive the product, the more money you make. But the affiliate must get the customer or the consumer to spend his money in the first place and this can be a major struggle.

  • Pay Per Lead

If a company or a product just wants people to know about their products or services and need leads to work with in the future, then this method is the best choice. This model is used in cases when companies want to just give a taste. For example subscription based services like audible use this method where they pay the influencer according to the number of people he can get to sign up for a trial period. Now this is advantageous to them because down the line a lot of these people will stick to the service and subscribe to it. But this works only when you have a decent following.

  • Pay Per Click

This method is used by the merchants to increase the traffic flow to their websites or product pages. And the payment depends on the number of people an individual was able to direct to the merchant site from his platform which maybe anything ranging from a blog to an Instagram page or a Youtube channel.

The Advantages of being an Affiliate marketer and why you should be one in 2020

The first and foremost edge that this filed has on traditional jobs is its passive nature, i.e. you don’t have to be actively involved to make money. But several other reasons are mentioned under:

  1. You are your own Boss

Since you don’t have to report to anybody and there are no defined targets, it depends on you regarding how you want to carry out the business ahead in the future.

  • Work at the convenience of your home

You don’t need to go to offices spaces to do this work, and working from home when not under the pressure of others can be very fun. The timings also depend upon you, if you want to work in the morning, you can, in the evening, at night your choice. This also does not require you to purchase specific equipment and you don’t have to prepare invoices. All in all this is a very hassle free job, you just need to convince people from the comfort of your bed.

  • Do what you love

Since you can use any platform that you want, you can express your views, showcase your talents, or do anything you like. And no one will stop you from it, infact you would be rewarded for your work. Can there be anything better than this?

  • The Sky is the limit

Your income is performance based, you can either make several hundred dollars or several hundred thousand dollars a month. It can start out as a side hustle but easily convert to a full-time work if done with dedication. A lot of people have made this their primary source of income.

  • No investment needed

You don’t need large amounts of money to start an affiliate business and even if you have to, the investments are nothing when compared to what you would have to spend even if you wanted to start a temporary food stall.

  • Who you are does not matter

It does not matter who you are, or where you live. You can be anyone from any part of the world, of any age, still you can make money from this. This is the beauty of the internet. It allows people to do things they had never even thought of in their wildest imaginations.

Various types of affiliate Marketing Channels

Like it is mentioned earlier, it depends on you how you want to sell a product, the more creative the better. But there are some common tried and tested ways that people have been using to carry out affiliate marketing and using these platforms or methods may help you to get the start that you require and will introduce you to the unique but fascinating world.

  1. Influencer Affiliate Marketing

The most successful method to carry out affiliate marketing is the influencer affiliate marketing method. Basically, grow a fan following and then recommend them certain products that you love. Since your audience develops a personal connection with you, they are more likely to buy products that you recommend as they believe in you. But remember, only recommend products that you think are very good, else this may backfire, and people will stop following you. Several examples of this can be found on Youtube and Instagram.

  • Bloggers

Google search results for different queries bring a lot of new and organic traffic that genuinely need advice before they make a decision. This is where bloggers step in who can write reviews, this will not only bring in new traffic but existing readers will also be able to purchase through you. All you have to do is write good content and use good SEO.

  • E – mail lists

Email marketing can be a major source of revenue, but you need to develop a method to collect data. This can be done using your blog in the forms of weekly newsletters or you can offer guides to people on their Emails. You can include links in the mails using which the consumers can buy the products and help you generate income.

  • Paid Search Microsites

One can develop microsites which focus on a specific niche, these sites are listed in the the search engine’s sponsored listings or may be advertised on a partner website. These sites have high conversion rates due to their simple design and strong call to action.

  • Facebook Pages

Yes, people do have facebook pages where they find interesting products or discounted listings and then post on the platform. Interested people click on the link and purchase the product.

  • Instagram Pages

One of the most fun ways to do this is to grow niche specific Instagram pages. You can make travel pages or dive into the motivation niche. Physical fitness is one of the most popular topics and can be a viable option. Since you will have people who love specific things, marketing products related to that niche would ensure high conversion rates.

Just like I said earlier, the possibilities are limitless, in the end It depends on how you can attract people’s attention.

Some tips for the budding affiliate marketer inside you

  1. Try to personalize and grow a fanbase

When people are connected to you on a personal level, they develop trust with you and anything you say will be accepted very easily, this gives you manipulative powers but remember you should always use these powers carefully and never try to deceive people by recommending crappy stuff.

  • Follow the Trends

Always follow the current trends, since these waves can bring you unprecedented leads, just like what happened with fidget spinners can happen again, a lot of people jumped on the opportunity train and sold thousands of fidget spinners through amazon and became millionaires in the process. Hence you should look out for possible opportunities.

  • Use Several Sources

Don’t just rely on a single method, try to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. Maintain email lists even if you have a blog and start an Instagram page for it, set up a Facebook page also. The more people you can reach the better.

  • Carry out research

Carry out market research before you decide on one particular product. Always remember that the consumers are just like you. You would not want to be cheated, would you?

A lot of money can be made here, and this is a golden opportunity now that internet is so cheap and almost everyone has a smartphone and a laptop. Do not let this slip. There are real life examples like Jason Stone who made more than $7 million in one single year just from affiliate marketing. Now that is not a small amount of money, a lot of people don’t earn this much in their entire lifetime.

If you are not a hundred percent sure about it, just experiment with it a little, if you see results do it on a bigger scale.

Just start, you can always come back to us for help, we will publish multiple articles about affiliate marketing with tips and tricks that will make you an expert in the field. Who knows, you may be the next affiliate marketing millionaire.