What affiliate marketing is and how it works

What affiliate marketing is and how it works

What affiliate marketing is and how it works

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing works by earning a commission for promoting another company’s products or services. For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate marketer for Company X. You promote Company X’s widgets on your blog and social media channels, and whenever someone buys a widget from your link, you earn a commission. It’s that simple!

how does affiliate marketing work?

The market has grown in complexity to include a large range of players, including network types, affiliate types, and platforms. Affiliate marketing is an attractive option for many brands because it offers a low-risk way to expand their reach.

When done correctly, affiliate marketing can be an effective way to drive traffic, generate leads, and increase revenue.

The benefits of affiliate marketing for brands

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for brands to reach new audiences and drive sales. affiliate marketers are typically web or social media influencers who promote products or services in return for a commission on sales. This means that brands can tap into affiliate marketers’ large audiences and reap the benefits of their influence.

While advertising involves spending money to reach potential customers by pushing copy, images, and videos through channels like television, radio, print, search or social, affiliate marketing offers a more cost-effective way to reach your target audience.

By partnering with bloggers, influencers, and other online content creators, you can promote your products or services to a wider audience while only paying commissions only when sales are generated.

In addition, affiliate marketing can help to build brand awareness and trust among potential customers. By aligning yourself with well-respected online voices, you can create a positive association with your brand that will encourage people to give your products or services a try.

So if you’re looking for a more efficient and effective way to market your business, consider affiliate marketing.

The benefits of affiliate marketing for creators

If you’re a creator, there’s a good chance you’ve considered affiliate marketing as a way to monetize your work. And for good reason – affiliate marketing can be an extremely effective revenue stream.

Not only does it provide commissions for sales, but it can also lead to increased exposure and brand awareness.

And best of all, in most cases it doesn’t require any upfront investment.

For example,  if you have a blog or YouTube channel, you can join affiliate programs for products that you recommend.

When you sign up as an affiliate, you’ll receive a unique link or code to promote the product. When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission on the sale.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for creators to monetize their work while also building relationships with brands.


By promoting products that they believe in, creators can help introduce new customers to brands and generate more revenue. In turn, this helps brands reach more people with their message and grow their business.

Additionally, media companies can also use affiliate marketing as a low-cost add-on to other advertising products offered to brands.

For example, a media company could partner with an affiliate network to offer access to its audience of millions of people. This would give brands a way to reach a new and engaged audience, while also providing revenue for the media company.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for brands and creators to work together and create mutually beneficial relationships while offering value to consumers.

So if you’re looking for a way to generate some extra income, affiliate marketing might be just what you’re looking for. Just be sure to do your research and choose an affiliate program that’s a good fit for your audience. With some effort, you can reap the many rewards that affiliate marketing has to offer.

How brands can get started with affiliate marketing

For businesses large and small, affiliate marketing can be a great way to drive sales and boost brand awareness. And yet, many companies are unsure of how to get started with this type of marketing.

The first step is to find the right affiliate partners. This means finding creators who align with your products or industry and also have large audiences that trust them.

Once you have identified potential affiliates, the next step is to pick an affiliate network. This is a platform that will help you manage your affiliate relationships and track affiliate sales.

Some popular affiliate networks are Rakuten, CJ Affiliate, and Awin.

Once you have registered with an affiliate network, you will need to create affiliate marketing content. This can include product reviews, how-to guides, or simply highlighting the benefits of your products or services.

The key is to make sure that this content is helpful and interesting to your target audience.

This content will be used by affiliates to promote your products or services, so it must be high quality and relevant.

Once you have created content, reach out to potential affiliate partners and let them know about your offerings. Make sure to include links to your affiliate marketing content so they can learn more.

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for businesses of all sizes to reach more customers and generate more revenue. By following these steps, you can get started with this type of marketing today.

Finally, be sure to track the results of your affiliate marketing campaigns so you can see what’s working and what needs improvement.

How creators can get started with affiliate marketing

For anyone who has ever dreamed of making a living through their creativity or content, affiliate marketing can be a great way to make that dream a reality.

By finding products that align with their interests and promoting them to their audience, creators can earn a commission on every sale they make. And best of all, getting started with affiliate marketing is easy.

First, do some research to find affiliate programs that align with your interests.

Affiliate networks like Awin and CJ Affiliate are a great place to start, as they have a wide variety of affiliate programs and offer support for creators.

Once you’ve found a few programs that look promising, sign up for them and begin promoting the products to your audience.

Creators can check the affiliate brands to see if they have any content that can be used to promote the products. Their marketing teams may have a library of eBooks, videos, how-to-guides, templates, or social media posts that can be used to drive traffic to the affiliate program.

However, creators know their audience best. So I usually advise them to create their content focused on adding value to their audience. So whenever possible, always try to promote products in a way that is helpful and interesting to your audience.

afiliate marketing

Creators who are successful with affiliate marketing are those who provide valuable content and build trust with their audience.

Keep these tips in mind as you get started with affiliate marketing, and you’re sure to see success.

When you’ve created a few pieces of content, reach out to affiliate partners and let them know about your new partnership. Make sure to include links to your affiliate marketing content so they can learn more.

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for creators of all types of content – from bloggers and YouTubers to podcasters and social media stars – to make money while doing what they love. By following these simple steps, you can get started with affiliate marketing today!

Examples of successful affiliate marketing campaigns

When done right, affiliate marketing can be a great way for brands to earn “low cost” revenue from their target audiences.

And while there are many ways to run a successful affiliate marketing campaign, here are a few examples that stand out.

  1. The $100k Mistake: This affiliate marketing campaign was launched by a blog that focuses on personal finance. The blog featured a post about a woman who made a $100,000 mistake by not investing in a specific type of insurance. The post went viral, and the blog made a commission on every insurance policy that was sold as a result of the article.
  2. The Weight Loss Transformation: This campaign was launched by a fitness blogger who had recently lost a significant amount of weight. He created an ebook detailing his transformation journey and then promoted it through his blog and social media platforms. He also offered affiliate commissions to anyone who promoted the ebook. As a result, the ebook became a bestseller and he made a commission on every sale.

Both of these campaigns were successful because the bloggers created content that was interesting and valuable to their audiences. They didn’t simply promote affiliate products for the sake of making a sale – instead, they provided helpful content and then recommended affiliate products as an additional resource.

Examples of affiliate commission structures

If you’re thinking about getting into affiliate marketing as a brand or creator, you might be wondering how much you can expect to earn or pay in commissions. Here are a few examples of brand affiliate programs and how much they pay creators in commissions:

  1. Amazon Associates: Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs, with over 1 million participants. Creators can earn up to 10% in commissions on qualifying purchases.
  2. eBay Partner Network: The eBay Partner Network is another large affiliate program, with over 2 million participants. Creators can earn up to 50% in commissions on qualifying purchases.
  3. Apple Affiliate Program (now called Performance Partner Program): The Apple Affiliate Program is a smaller program reserved for iTunes-connected products like books, podcasts, and songs. Creators can earn up to 7% in commissions on qualifying digital product purchases, or up to 200% initial commissions on digital membership purchases.

And many brands utilize affiliate networks beyond the ones above to do their own affiliate marketing. Here are a few examples.

  • MVMT: MVMT is a digitally-native watch brand that has built a reputation for quality, stylish watches at an affordable price. For their affiliate program, MVMT offers commission rates of 20% on all sales, with an average order value of $200.
  • Birchbox: Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription service that sends its subscribers a box of personalized makeup and skincare samples. For their affiliate program, Birchbox offers commission rates of 20% on all sales, with an average order value of $50.
  • Bluehost: Bluehost is a website hosting company. This is an example of a company that relies heavily on affiliate marketing to drive growth in its business. They offer a commission of $65 for every customer that is referred to them through an affiliate partner. As you can see, affiliate commission structures vary greatly from program to program. Be sure to research the affiliate programs


So there you have it – a quick guide to getting started with affiliate marketing! If you’re looking for ways to grow your business, this could be a great option for you. And remember, always consult with an expert before making any major decisions about your marketing strategy. Thanks for reading.

Written by
John Timmerman
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