What is Affiliate Marketing & How does it work

What is Affiliate Marketing- this is a confuse or even scary question for some people. In fact, it is very interesting while making money online by promoting all kinds of products. There are many folks creating a full time business as affiliate marketers online and you can too.

What is affiliate marketing and how to understand it

Le’s see the definition on  WIKI:

 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.

We can see there two aspects in affiliate marketing from above definition:

  1. You can sell your own stuff or products as a merchant
  2. You can promote someone else’s stuff or products and get commissions as an publisher

And there are three main factors in affiliate marketing:

  1. Merchant: also called Advertiser or company that provide affiliate program
  2. Publisher – affiliate marketer
  3. Customer- your visitor or audience

And network – link above factors together and realize the aim:

  1. Merchant or advertiser sell their products through affiliate marketing network
  2. Publisher or affiliate marketer earn commissions by promoting affiliate products through affiliate marketing network.

We usually discuss the second case: Join affiliate programs and promote affiliate products to make money online.  Diagram below illustrate the whole process of affiliate marketing in details:


what is affiliate marketing


How does affiliate marketing work

The diagram revealed the whole process of affiliate marketing and we can explain this in a simple way:

People type keywords on google to search for the product what they are looking for or need. From the search results, they find your website or ads and buy the product there. You earn commissions.

  1. You build a website or blog and join at least one affiliate program to get approval by them. ( how to build a websites in a minute.)
  2. Write review or introduction of product
  3. Add affiliate link to your product – affiliate link is a special link which includes your affiliate ID
  4. Attract traffics to your website and rank in google or bing search engines for some specified keywords
  5. People type keywords and find your website including the information of product
  6. Buy product from your affiliate link
  7. You earn commissions

So you see the first step is build a website in affiliate marketing. Some friends search for how to start affiliate marketing without a website. Of course, you can run affiliate marketing in other way, e.g, email marketing. But I suggest you build a website for this. Because many places and social media ban affiliate link and you cannot put your affiliate link directly there.

If you build your own website, you can add more contents, ads and manage them. You can publish your website without any restrictions. What’ more, as time go by, your website value will increase and it can bring benefits for you year in year out.

how does affiliate marketing work


Here are some popular affiliate networks I have joined, along with a sampling of the types of products, services or campaigns they offer. You can join free:

  • cj.com was formerly known as Commission Junction (or simply CJ) and it’s the most popular affiliate network in North America.
  • Rakuten LinkShare one of the oldest affiliate networks still in existence today.
  • Clickbank.com is the most popular marketplace for digital products with over 6 million products and 200 million customers.
  • Amazon Associates Earn up to 10% advertising fees
  • Wealthy affiliate the No. 1 Affiliate Community and provide affiliate marketing training, keyword tools… You can join it to make money as a wealthy affiliate free membership.

The next training course is: how to get started in affiliate marketing step by step

2 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing & How does it work”

  1. The affiliate marketing is the most important factor and it has been evolved around so frequently that mostly people are trying to surpass this thing in a proper style and some of the things are not according to the task which are define in it and we should try to simulate the things so that it can be more easy for the users to operate the things and the marketing strategies should be properly discuss in it.

  2. Most affiliate marketing is one way or another to earn money online, even if the writers of the publication do not know the word. The term “affiliate programs” or “affiliates” has been consolidated, the western version of Affiliate Marketing is being transmitted as affiliate or affiliate marketing.


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