What is Affiliate Marketing and How to Get Started?

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affilate marketing and how to start

You have probably seen the term affiliate marketing being mentioned on the Internet and been wondering what it is. Affiliate marketing can be defined as

“Promoting products of other people on the Internet.”

Affiliate Marketing is usually described as a compelling and straightforward concept to market goods and services. As such, it is characterized as one of the easiest and the quickest way of earning money on the Internet.

The basic concept of affiliate marketing is to market the products of other companies on a commission basis, on the Internet. The affiliate marketer will get a sales commission on every sale, from a merchant, done via the affiliate marketers links.

Compensation can be based on numbers of visitors to the merchant’s websites, clicks on the merchant’s website or as explained above, completed sales of a product.

In this article, I will explain what is affiliate marketing and how to get started if you want to create your online business.

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Affiliate Disclaimer: The post contains links to merchants and services. These links are affiliate links. When you click on these links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission from the purchase. The purchase will be of no extra cost to you.

Third-party Disclaimer: We are not legally responsible for what happens when you click on third-party links, because we have no control over third-party websites, content, functionality, or security, and cannot be held responsible for any technical or other damage to your device such as a computer, mobile or tablet used when clicking a link to connect to other platforms, download material, install, modify or distribute any material, software or other.

Earnings and Result Disclaimer: Programs or products mentioned in this post, article or review, that involve earning money will not work for everyone. There is no guarantee for success, because there are too many factors that influence the results such as skills, knowledge and circumstances that we do not control. We intend to provide you with opportunities and tools that potentially can be helpful to your success.

Opinion Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this post, article or review, are my own and not the merchant(s) or provider(s) views or opinions. Projections in this post, article or review are not endorsements.

Definitions and Explanations of How to Do Affiliate Marketing

Several of the terms used to describe affiliate marketing can be confusing and not easy to understand. The following are some explanation fo terms used.

Advertisers and merchants are the ones that have a product to sell or a service to offer, either a physical or digital. They are commonly referred to as affiliate merchants.

The bloggers, influencers, publishers or salespeople are commonly named affiliates. You will be an affiliate if you have a website and write about a product you use and love, and you put a link to the product on a merchant’s website.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing – Can You Make Money Off It?

Making Money with Affiliate Marketing

There are benefits for both affiliates and merchants from using affiliate marketing as a method of reaching customers. For the affiliates, the benefits are both increase in traffic to your blog or social media platforms, as well as the opportunity to earn money.

For the merchant, it is an excellent method of doing commercials without the cost of direct commercials. Affiliate marketing is a kind of word to mouth approach of selling your products. As an affiliate marketer, there are a lot of tools that will help you automate the process of marketing, giving you greater exposure, faster than doing it manually.

A merchant can also benefit from using automation tools in the administration of its affiliates. Activity and payouts can be automated and monitored, and ease the toll of administration for the company.

There is always a risk involved when doing online business. The risk applies to the merchant, affiliate and the customer. Mutual trust and good systems to prevent fraud is essential in this business.

There will always be bad apples in any business. But once you know what you’re doing with affiliate marketing, you’ll be reducing the risk of fraud by hard work and diligence in a well-designed website and good quality content on the website.

Affiliate Marketing is the Reason For the Rise of the Giant Companies Online

Affiliate marketing has been the contributing factor to the rise of many big companies online. One of them is Amazon. Amazon was one of the first companies to make use of affiliate marketing, and has thousands of affiliates that are promoting Amazon’s products every day.

Google has its program and tools for affiliate marketers to use, and it is essential to understand how Google uses its search engine to facilitate end-users, affiliates and the merchants, in finding what they are searching after. Information is a very valued commodity today, and it will be even more valuable in the future to come.

Bing and Yahoo are also influential performers in all this, but have only a small percentage of the search traffic compared to Google.

How Do I Start in Affiliate Marketing?

It isn’t tricky to start with affiliate marketing. Pre-requisites are access to a computer, an Internet connection and a burning passion that you want to share with the world. After you have the pre-requisites in place, do the following tasks to get started:

1. Research the market related to your passion. Cars, Health, Pets, Food & Drinks, Children’s Equipment and Home training are some hot markets to enter into as an affiliate marketer. But remember choose a market, or a Niche if you will that fits with your burning passion

2. The next step is to find a hosting platform for your website. There are lots of hosting platforms to choose from, and it is easy to be confused about which of these that will fit you best. One of the better ones, which has superb site support, fast hosting platform, education an a thriving community is Wealthy Affiliate (WA). Producing content and publishing it to your website is a breeze. Wealthy Affiliate gives you also access to one of the best Keyword Tools, in the world, Jaaxy

3. Further, to build your website, you need to choose which software to choose as your website builder. WordPress is free websitebuilder and very easy to use. There is a massive library available of plugins to expand the functionality of your website.

4. The next thing is to start writing articles about your passion. Content on a website is the most crucial thing of your business. The content can be reviews of a product or several products, or you can write your experiences about a product or how to do stuff.

5. After having produced content on your website and started to get a bit of traffic to it, you have to apply as an affiliate for affiliate programs related to your selected niche. Once you get approved, you can start to promote products or services from the affiliate programs that have approved you as an affiliate.

The way to promote the products is to provide your affiliate link for the specific product on your website.

Remember to do a thorough research about the product or service you have chosen to promote in order to produce a good article that shows your visitors that you know what you are writing about. In the research you do, you should try to find specific words or phrases; this is called keywords” that people are searching for. Try to think about what phrases or words you would search for yourself, and use that as basis for your keyword search.

The keywords you find you will use in the content you create.

How to Promote Your Affiliate Link?

promote affiliate marketing

As written above, you will receive your affiliate links for each product or service you have chosen. The links you have received, you can promote within your content on your websites, you can send them out in newsletters, emails, classified directories, YouTube videos and other channels.

You can use one or all these methods of promotion, for best results. There are many tools to help you do this. The important part is how to drive traffic that is interested in what you are offering.

If you write interesting and helpful content, people will get their curiosity triggered to visit your website, and as such the chance of getting commissions from sales will increase concerning the number of visitors to your marketing channels (website, social media and more).

How Do I Get Paid When I Have Received My Commissions?

There are several options today that a merchant can use to pay you your commissions. Depending on the affiliate program you are registered with, they offer payout by, checks, bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer and Stripe to mentioned some methods. The commissions are generally paid at the beginning of every month after the related sale has been verified. In other words, the payout can take some time. My first commission took 45 days after the sale of the product was completed.

Why Do Companies Make Use of Affiliate Programs?

The companies that have affiliate programs available have them for some rather obvious reasons. It is a way to promote their product without using too much money on advertising. The most potent marketing force there is, is the “word-of-mouth” marketing method.

When I buy a product or use a product and is very satisfied with it, I will speak positively about it to my friends and family. My actions will trigger interest with some of them, and they will check this out, and maybe buy the product themselves. The company that provides the product haven’t used a single dollar on advertising in this case.

An affiliate program is based on the same principle, but the difference is that there is a small expense in commission for each product they sell. Letting a blogger or a digital marketer to write about their products on their blogs is a cost-effective method for companies to promote their product.

A lot of bloggers have thousands of visitors each day and months. In this way, the company saves a lot of money on advertising, but at the same time increase their reach to their target group of potential customers. Some of the companies that have affiliate programs are the giants Amazon and Google. Beware of the big companies as they do not always pay a lot in commissions. It could be wise to turn to smaller companies with a better commission rate than the big companies. Wealthy Affiliate does also have an affiliate program which pays you well as an affiliate.

Some Final Words

If you’ve been looking for a way to make some extra money or to create a full-time income of working from home, affiliate marketing is a great way to follow. Connect with several merchants to have more sources of revenue than just one to secure your business from suddenly being without any income.

By doing a bit of work every day, researching new topics to write about and creating new and unique content every day, will develop your capability to do this kind of work each day.

Do good research, both on content and on which companies you would like to be an affiliate of. The commissions the different companies pay their affiliates, varies quite much, percentage-wise.

The essential part of every business an undertaking you start to build is that it is not “a get rich quick” endeavour. I takes time to get noticed and get traffic to your website.

14 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing and How to Get Started?”

  1. Thank you Roysin for articulating really clearly what Affiliate Marketing is. There are so many “scams” on the internet, having this sort of clear explanation is invaluable. I was also very interested to see your link to “Webtalk”.  My partner is involved in simultaneous translation on-line, do you think that system would work for that purpose? It is very reassuring to see that you do not think it is “tricky” to start affiliate marketing.  I can see you have lots of experience and am grateful for this advice.  I have saved the URL.  I would really appreciate a reply to my question about Webtalk.

    • Hi, Trevor! I appreciate your kind comment on the article. I am very glad to see that you have found it to be of value to you. I have seen my share of “scams” that only trick the visitors into paying a fee for something and they don´t get anything in return. 

      Webtalk (this is my affiliate link to Webtalk) has nothing to do with translation. It is a social media platform similar to Linkedin, but so much more. You can use it a “central hub” for the other social media platforms you are registered on like Twitter, Facebook, Slack and Linkedin at the moment, and Instagram will be added shortly. You get credited for being active on the platform, by socializing and connecting with others. Further, it has an affiliate program like Wealthy Affiliate.You can read more on Webtalk´s Newsroom.

      I hope that his answers some of your questions.

      All the best,


  2. Affiliate marketing seems like a lucrative business model and I think I’m finnally ready to give it a shot. (after all these years)

    I’ve been trying to make this dropshipping thing work for such a long time and I’m finally over it. I was planning to switch and try something else instead, and your guide came at the right moment.

    I checked out WA, and it seems very legit. I just might give it a try and I’ll be back to you with some feedback!

    Keep up the good work and stay safe!

    • HI, Gorjan. Thank you for reading and giving feedback on the article. Affiliate marketing is a good way to do business. WA is a legit platform with good training and the tools provided to do your business. The training they provide is very good and any questions you have will be answered quickly. There is a huge community that stands by to help if you get stuck. And they offer a great affiliate program with good commissions if you want to promote WA.

      In my opinion, you will not go wrong trying WA. They have the tools and knowledge, you have to do the work to succeed with the provided tools.

      All the best,

  3. This is an excellent overview of affiliate marketing, what it is and how it works. I’m fascinated with this business and I’m working on my affiliate website every single day. It’s my passion and it has become a full-time business now and I did it using your recommendation in this post, Wealthy Affiliate. These guys can teach anyone how to become a successful marketer. Thanks for sharing and keep up to good work!

    • Hi, Ivan and thank you for providing your thoughts about the topic in the article. I am doing affiliate marketing as a side job to my daytime job. But I have to retire from my present occupation in 5 year time due to age restrictions in my line of work. My intention is to have built my online business as a digital marketer and creator, including affiliate marketing. I have only been doing this for 6 months, but have already started to see some income appearing. I enjoy this line of work as it gives me the opportunity to enjoy my hobbies and passions, and at the same time earning revenue from it.

      When I joined WA I didn´t know what affiliate marketing was, but they have great courses to teach anyone how to succeed with business online, just like you say in your comment.


  4. Recently I have discovered that you can actually make money with affiliate marketing. It’s not just another online scam. It’s a real thing. And I find it interesting. We can write about things we’re really pasionate about. I never imagined this could be possible. And now that I have discovered it’s possible, I’ll give it my best shot.

    • Ann, thank you for reading and your comment. Affiliate marketing is not a new method of marketing. It is basically the “Word of Mouth” method, which has worked very well through our whole history. I started 6 months ago and are already seeing money coming in.

      For me, it is a perfect way to earn money on the side and build my foundation until I have to retire from work.

      I wish you luck on working towards your goals,


  5. Affiliate marketing is a very nice way to make money online. Most people who read about it often think it is easy to do and that they can make money quite fast. However, starting with affiliate marketing, the best way to do it is to start to learn. This article has helped me understand some basic elements of affiliate marketing and I’m glad to have found it.

    • Hi, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the article. You have some good points on the fact that it takes training and time to start earning money from affiliate marketing. It is not a get rich quick scheme.


  6. I know that Affiliate marketing is an online business that helps you to earn money online by promoting other people’s business online.  People can earn through affiliate links in many ways like via email, youtube videos or via links in your articles on your websites.  

    The important part is to make sure that you have a lot of traffic on your website to increase the possibility of someone clicking on your links. The more visitors you have on your website, the bigger possibilities ofr earning money.

    Having a website with a lot of content that your website´s visitors enjoy, makes a solid foundation for becomeing successful.

    Great article!


    • Maureen, thank you for reading and commenting on my article. Affiliate marketing opens up enormous possibilities to do business online. There is literally unlimited possibilities to earn income. Creativity will pay you back tenfolds.


  7. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review as it contains valuable informations one needs to be aware of. For me affiliate marketing is a really good deal and although I’ve been on it, this article is detailed. Wealthy affiliate remains the best affiliate marketing platform in my opinion because you don’t just earn at wealthy affiliate, you learn. It’s a community. 

    • Hi, Sophie and thank you for your comment. I am with WA, but I do also have a membership with a couple of other similar platforms, but my “Home” is Wealthy Affiliate. They have learned me what I know about affiliate marketing today, with a minimum of expenses on my behalf.

      The community here at WA is one of a kind. The other platforms I am a member of has similar communities, but they have a long way to go to be like a helpful and friendly community in WA. And another feature with Wealthy Affiliate is their own affiliate program, which is one of the better ones I have seen


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