How Does Affiliate Marketing Work? 

Before we look into the entire affiliate marketing process, let’s first dive into the parties involved in this lucrative endeavor. 

The Affiliate

This is the marketer or content creator who runs a website and places affiliate links. This person receives a commission every time a visitor to their site purchases through one of their affiliate links.

The Network

Every affiliate marketing program needs a network, whether a third party or an internal platform, that provides the links that the affiliates place on their websites. They’re also the ones paying commissions to the affiliates. 

The Seller

Sellers are companies that sell the products that the affiliates are marketing. The seller and the network can be just one entity since some companies run their affiliate programs. 

The Buyer

These people visit the affiliate site and make purchases through affiliate links. 

The Process

If you’re still confused about the whole process, we’ll break down what it would look like if you’re an affiliate with links on your website. 

How Do I Start Affiliate Marketing? 

Affiliate marketing is not always easy. It might take some time and investment before you actually start making money off it, but we’ve laid out digestible pieces of information as to how beginners can get started. 

Find a niche. 

When deciding on a niche, you’ll need to consider its profitability. Also, choose a niche that you’re either an expert in or eager to learn more about. When buyers trust your judgment on the products you recommend, they will likely make a purchase. Some of the top niches for affiliate marketing include lifestyle, technology, personal finance, and pet care. 

Choose a platform. 

There are so many platforms you can choose from, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Our pro tip when you’re unsure is to choose a platform you’re comfortable with. Using platforms that you understand will make it easier for you to create genuine and relevant content. For example, if you love making videos, you can create content for either TikTok or YouTube. On the other hand, starting a blog may be the best route if you have a penchant for writing. 

Create relevant content. 

Various types of content are currently saturating the internet, so your goal is to make your content valuable and relevant to your target audience. If you’re a beginner, it will pay off if you focus first on creating high-quality content and building a highly engaged audience. Look into creating SEO-optimized content to generate traffic to your platform. 

Grow your platform. 

To grow your platform, you can regularly upload new content, send newsletters, or provide exciting offers for new subscribers or followers. You can also do keyword research and implement best SEO practices to grow your organic traffic. As the traffic to your platform grows, there’s a high chance that so will your commissions. 

Apply for relevant affiliate marketing programs. 

After you’ve grown your platform and created a handful of relevant content, you can start looking for appropriate affiliate marketing programs and applying for them. An estimated 80% of companies have an affiliate marketing program, so it’s crucial to find one that suits your needs. Mainly, find programs with reasonable commission rates, an excellent reputation, and high earnings per click rates. 

Follow FTC rules. 

The Federal Trade Commission ensures that marketers are not deceptive to consumers. The FTC requires affiliate markets to be transparent about being paid by the brands they promote. That means you have to disclose that you’re getting paid, and you should also inform your audience if a link is an affiliate. While there are a handful of affiliate marketers who would mislead and scam consumers to make some quick money, you should refrain from doing this. 

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing may be hard at first, but once your website takes off, you’ll start earning money passively, which is one of the advantages of affiliate marketing. Your earning potential is also virtually limitless. As long as someone clicks on your link and purchases the product you’re promoting, you’ll earn money from that.  Some affiliate marketers even earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Some have huge earnings that they can afford to quit their full-time job.  Lastly, perhaps the most significant advantage of affiliate marketing is that anyone can get started. You don’t need massive capital since none of the products you’re promoting are manufactured or distributed by you. You may spend money on ads if you want your platform to gain traction, but other than that, you don’t need much else except for time and effort. 


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