What is affiliate marketing?

what is affiliate marketing

What is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is one of the most exciting online business models. The gist of this business model is that you promote products for online retailers, and these online retailers pay you a commission based on any sales that you generate for them. The is minimal investment, no inventory overhead, and no products to ship. Your affiliate partner does all of the hard work. You just send them web traffic that turns into sales.

What is affiliate marketing? Why affiliate marketing?

what is affiliate marketingSome affiliates are able to generate over $100.000.00 per month from affiliate marketing. Some can even generate this type of money in one day. It is an exciting opportunity to makes boatloads of money from your laptop if you are willing to learn the skills to be successful, and are willing to do the work to build a website that can get visitors that want to click on your links for affiliate products.

Here are the quick highlights of affiliate marketing:

What is affiliate marketing? Pros

  1. Low upfront financial investment
  2. No inventory
  3. Low to non-existent overhead
  4. Extremely high income potential
  5. No physical products to handle or ship

What is affiliate marketing? Cons

  1. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, it can take a lot of time to see results.
  2. There is a lot of work required to be successful. Loads of hours will be spent trying to build a highly visited website.

The pros far outweigh the cons.

What is affiliate marketing? How do you make money?

If you are a fashion blogger, you can showcase an outfit in a blog post with links to where your visitors can make the purchase. Let’s say that they can buy the outfit at If a visitor to your website goes to and makes a purchase then Zara will pay you a commission based on any sales that you generate.

How would Zara know that you generated the sale for them? When you sign up for an affiliate program, you get access to links that have a code that identifies you as the source for any visitors that you send to their website. You go the website, find the product you want to promote, and then you get a coded link to add to your website.

What is affiliate marketing? How much do I get paid?

It depends on the program that you sign up for. Some affiliate programs pay you a commission while others pay you a flat fee. For example, fashion retailers usually pay around 5% of the sales that you generate. On the other hand, online dating sites like will pay you around $20.00 if you send them a new member.

Here are the ways that affiliate programs compensate their affiliates:

Pay Per Sale / Percentage (often the percentage goes up as you make more sales)
Pay Per Lead / New registration / Signup

What is affiliate marketing? How do I get paid?

Most affiliate programs will offer a few options on how you get paid, while others will only offer you just one.

Here are some the affiliate marketing payment options:

Direct Deposit
Online payment service / Paypal

What is affiliate marketing? How often do I get paid?

The majority of affiliate programs have a minimum in commission you have to reach before you can get paid. This usually starts around $25.00. Once you have reached the minimum, they will usually pay based on a prearranged schedule. This could be bi-weekly, or every month, or on a specific day each month.

What is affiliate marketing? How do I sign up?

Websites like Amazon, and eBay have their own affiliate programs that you sign up for directly on their website. Usually, there is a link at the bottom of websites where you can research and sign up for their affiliate program. Just look for the affiliate titled link.

The majority of online retailers join affiliate networks which manage affiliate programs for multiple companies. Instead of going to each online retailers’ website to join, you just join an affiliate network where you can build relationships with multiple retailers in one place. This makes it much more streamlined to get paid, generate links, and monitor your sales.

Once you join an affiliate network, you will have to apply to the specific retailers you want to build relationships with. The requirements for being accepted vary by retailer.

Some of the criteria for acceptance are:

Quality of your website
Website traffic
Past affiliate sales
Relevance of website to the company’s niche

Get your website set up first. Build some content to make sure that you make a good first impression. I think that it is a good idea to build up some website traffic first before even attempting to join affiliate programs.  It can be discouraging to get declined because you have not built up your website brand enough.

What is affiliate marketing? Where can I sign up?

Here is a listing of the more popular affiliate networks, and programs:

Commission Junction
PepperJam Network
Affiliate Window

What is affiliate marketing? Some affiliate marketing successes:

Here is a listing of some successful affiliate marketers:

Lisy Irby
Rosalind Gardner
Neil Patel
Pat Flynn
Pinch of Yum

Take some time to check out their websites, and see what they have to offer.

What is affiliate marketing? Wrapping up

Affiliate marketing is extremely lucrative, and low investment way to make money online.   I love this online business model.

It is not a scam, or a get rich scheme. Sweat equity is required.  You have to learn about creating a content rich website, and how to market your content to attract more visitors to your website.  Many make loads of mistakes along the way, but if you stay consistent, you will see results.  There are plenty of books and online resources that you can use to educate yourself further about how to succeed with this business model. Check out the successful affiliate marketers above to get some ideas.

Affiliate marketing is a realistic way to become a laptop millionaire.

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