What is affiliate marketing? Your best guide to getting started

What is affiliate marketing? This article covers what affiliate marketing is, the types of affiliate marketing programs available out there, and also why affiliate marketing is worth your time and money.

Successful e-commerce entrepreneurs are always thinking of ways to grow their businesses. Taking things to the next level can be achieved by finding a second source of income.

What is affiliate marketing

Having a second business is not the way to achieve that, but by finding ways to add value to your customer and follower base to complement and grow the business you already operate.

Consider taking advantage of this lucrative revenue stream if you aren’t currently participating in affiliate marketing.

Learn how to get started with affiliate marketing with this guide and get tips and tricks to grow it.

What is affiliate marketing?

An affiliate marketer earns commissions by promoting products and services created by other retailers and advertisers. Affiliate programs are monetization models where affiliate partners, which is you, earn payments for referring merchants or advertisers.

In most cases, this results in a sale. There are some programs that allow you to get paid for leads, free-trial users, website clicks, or app downloads.

It’s usually free to join affiliate programs, so there aren’t any high startup costs. Performance-based opportunities can lead to a lucrative online business idea that earns you a healthy income as you turn them into side hustles.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

A large part of affiliate marketing’s success has been due to the internet. The practice was popularized by Amazon, which offers an affiliate marketing program in which websites and bloggers place links to the Amazon page for a reviewed or discussed product to receive advertising fees when they make a sale. Essentially, affiliate marketing is a form of pay-for-performance marketing where sales are carried out across a wide network of companies.

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Despite the fact that affiliate marketing predates the Internet, it has become a billion-dollar industry thanks to digital marketing, analytics, and cookies. Affiliate marketing programs can be tracked to determine how many leads convert to sales by using internal analytics.

In this model, affiliates and merchants both benefit from increased sales. It is an innovative, profitable model that is gaining popularity.

Thanks to the internet and improved technology, the model can be implemented more easily. For example, companies have developed better ways of tracking and paying commissions to qualified leads. They can improve or better position their products if they can better track leads and sales.

It will be beneficial to affiliate marketers to understand the basics of affiliate marketing, as well as the benefits and drawbacks. It is important for affiliate companies to properly vet and qualify their partners. Overall, advertising via social media is a low-cost and effective way to spread awareness of brands and products, and expand one’s consumer base.


Types of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be classified into three main types: unaffiliated, related, and involved.

#1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing: A program in which affiliates are not involved with the products or services they promote. Neither of them has any known relevant expertise or skills, nor do they serve as authorities on or claim that its use is appropriate. This is the least involved form of affiliate marketing. Affiliates are not obligated to recommend or advise a potential customer if they have no attachment or interest in the product or customer.

What is affiliate marketing

#2. Related Affiliate Marketing: This type of affiliate marketing program involve affiliates promoting products with which they have some relationship. Either they have a blog who’s niche is connected with the products or they write content about this product. Affiliates are generally connected to a product or service based on their niche. Their level of authority and influence make them a trusted source of traffic, as well as enough influence and expertise to drive the traffic. Although the affiliate is not making any claims about the product or service, they may recommend it.

#3. Involved Affiliate Marketing: An affiliate who uses this type of marketing has a closer relationship with the product or service that they’re promoting. Having used the product or been exposed to it, they are confident that others will benefit from their positive experiences. Having used or been exposed to the product, they are trusted to provide relevant information. However, as they are providing recommendations, their reputation may be compromised with any issues that might arise.

What are the advantages of affiliate marketing?

Given its popularity, affiliate marketing is without a doubt worth the effort. By 2022, Statista estimates affiliate marketing will generate $8.2 billion, an increase of 56 percent from 2017. The business venture is also low- or no-cost and can be extremely profitable.

In addition to the fact that industry growth is a good sign of success, entrepreneurs also use this referral marketing approach for other purposes.

Execution is straightforward

As a digital marketer, your role is simply to manage the digital marketing side of a product development process. It isn’t up to you to do the more difficult tasks, such as developing, supporting, or completing the offer.

It’s a low-risk investment

With no cost to join affiliate programs, you can use affiliate marketing to make money without investing any money upfront. Commissions from affiliate marketing can generate relatively passive income as well, making it a lucrative business model. Despite having to invest initial time creating traffic sources, affiliate links can deliver a steady income in the long run.


You can scale it easily

You can significantly increase your earnings through affiliate marketing without having to hire additional help. The revenue you generate from your existing work will continue to be generated while you introduce new products to your existing audience and build campaigns for additional products.

Know that trust is the cornerstone of affiliate marketing before you become too excited. It’s best to highlight only those products or services you use yourself or would recommend, regardless of how many there appear to be. Although you may be interested in a product or have a hobby that fits with the product, becoming a great marketer requires a lot of effort.


Now, since you have an idea of what is affiliate marketing, it is time to learn ways how to promote affiliate marketing links. They are numerous ways to promote affiliate marketing links. The recommended option is usually to start your own blog since a blog makes your affiliate journey simpler and much easy. Even though it is possible to promote affiliate marketing links without a website, it is highly recommended to have your own website or blog.