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Affiliate Marketing 101

Updated: Jul 1

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of making money (Passive income) while you sit at home!

Affiliate Marketing has grown a lot in the past decade with a new affiliate program popping up ever since.

In simple words, affiliate marketing is a way to earn money by promoting products or services of an online advertiser (retailer) who pays you a commission when users buy their product or services using your referral link.


What is a referral link?

A referral link is a special custom link that the retailer or the advertiser provides you to promote their products or services online. It tracks the sales made by you by using cookies.

How do you get the referral link?

To get a referral link, sign up for an affiliate program provided by the advertiser or the company which provides the products which you wish to promote. Most affiliate programs will ask you for the following information.

  1. Name.

  2. Email.

  3. Current Address.

  4. Tax number/Pan card number.

  5. Mediums you will use to promote the products.

  6. Preferred payment method.


After you have provided the information, the program will usually take 48 hours to get back to you. Verify your email meanwhile. Once approved, they will assign your account a unique id and an affiliate manager, the unique id will be used to generate the referral link or the tracking link for the affiliate program


Once you have access to the affiliate program, you have the following

  1. Personal account

  2. To generate tracking links

  3. Access to reports

  4. Access to creatives - Images, banners, screenshot, etc


You can find all the things you need to promote the products in your affiliate account, all you need to do is to promote the product to your audience and earn some cool commission!


What is a commission?

The commission is what you earn by selling the product to your audience.

Usually, it’s a percentage of the actual price of the product you are selling, for example, if the affiliate program has a default commission of 30% and the product price is $100 you will earn $30 every time you sell the product to a new user!

There are distinct types of commission structure depending upon the program, here are a few examples.

  1. Revenue Share - In this model, a part of the income got by the sale of the product will be shared with the affiliate.

  2. CPA (Cost per action) - widely used in eCommerce, the affiliate is paid a fixed commission for every sale made. For example, $10 per sale made

  3. CPL (Cost per lead) - Affiliate is paid per lead (registration, completing a download, completing a form, etc), it’s unnecessary to make a sales here to qualify.

  4. CPC (Cost per click) - Affiliate is paid a commission for a preset number of clicks, followed by affiliate programs that need product exposure.

  5. CPI (Cost per impressions) - This related to the number of times an ad/banner is viewed, the affiliate is paid per 1000 impression.


Why affiliate marketing?

Why should you become an affiliate? What reasons are there to become an affiliate?

The first and the most stand out reason for becoming an affiliate is


  1. Passive Income Affiliate marketing unlike most jobs that would require you to work to make money has a fire and forget method, which means you can earn money while you sleep! You can set up your site or blog or ads once a week or a month and then sit back and reap the rewards! All that matters is your marketing skills you don’t even have to be near a computer all the time.

  2. Work from home As I mentioned above, you don’t have to work all the time in order to earn the money and you get the added feature of working from the comfort of your home! No traveling time, no weekly meetings, no bosses, no dress codes. You are your own boss!

  3. Flexibility Working from home means you can get the work done at any time! There is no fixed timing, so you can be away on a vacation or at an important function whenever you want. You can select the campaigns that work best for you, there is no restriction or rules that tie you down like in a Company.

  4. Light on the pocket You don’t need any kind of seed money or big funding to start affiliate marketing, the costs to start an affiliate marketing campaign are very low and the affiliates program are free of cost to join.

  5. Performance-based earning Compared to other jobs where you earn a steady salary month in month out, affiliate marketing has the potential to scale your earnings, the more effort you put in the marketing the more potential you have of earning a higher commission.

  6. Learning opportunities There are a lot of learning opportunities where you will be exposed to a lot of marketing strategies, SEO strategies, improving your content, etc. There are a lot of forums and Facebook groups dedicated to helping out new affiliates and free training courses available on YouTube that will allow you to master the skills required for affiliate marketing.


What are the common Affiliate Marketing Channels?

There are a lot of ways you can reach your audience, here are some popular ones

  1. Blogging Blogging is one of the most popular ways of affiliate marketing, a blogger reviews a product or services after sampling the products or services. The traffic is driven to the products or services to the seller page via a well-written review that promotes the brand exposure of the product or services.

  2. Focused micro-sites Usually, a micro-site is advertised within the seller’s site. Compared to a larger website a micro-site provides a clear focused presentation on the product or services, hence the customer has a more rational idea about the product or services resulting in higher conversions.

  3. Social Media Influencers An influencer is an individual who has a huge social media following and who is able to leverage this following into potential customers for the seller.

  4. Email and Newsletters Some affiliates have an email list that they have built in time via various campaigns. They use this list to send out an email or newsletter to their subscribers with a product description and affiliate links.

  5. Websites These are designed to promote the products via banners and text affiliate links to their audience, these websites have the potential to reach millions of customers if SEO and marketing are done right.


If done right affiliate marketing will be a huge earner for you, put in the time, in the beginning, built those audiences and funnels, stay updated with the latest news and updates regarding affiliate marketing and Always lookout for those tips and tricks to make your affiliate marketing campaign the winner!

Here are some Affiliate Marketing stats and information for 2020

  1. Most affiliate marketers prefer to promote 1 to 10 products.

  2. Mobile devices contribute to more than 50% of the referred traffic from affiliates. Optimize your mobile site now!

  3. Around 35% of affiliates earn over $20k a year in commissions!

  4. The Global affiliate marketing industry is worth well a massive $12 Billion! (Source: IAB). The biggest market being US - $4.5 Billion followed by the UK - $1.7 Billion.

  5. Brands that rely on affiliate program - 81% globally

  6. Web Hosting services have the best affiliate programs

  7. Fashion products have the highest affiliate marketers - 18.70%.

  8. A 10% annual revenue growth has been recorded for affiliate marketing programs since 2015.


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