What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?

Affiliate Marketing

Imagine a scenario, where you wake up earlier then you wanted to, then drive to your office while dealing with traffic jams or completely jammed public commuters. Then sit on a desk the whole day and sift through documents and emails until the clock hits six o’clock.

Sounds familiar?

What if, instead of dealing with all this repetitive work just to make a few bucks, you could earn money whenever you want, from wherever you want, even when you are watching Netflix on your bed? That’s exactly the opportunity Affiliate marketing offers you.

Affiliated Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that allows you to drive sales and generate money online. As an affiliate marketer, you will refer people to products online and when they make the purchase, you earn a commission.

And what’s best, every big brand such as Amazon, Google, or Apple, has its own affiliate program that you can enrol yourself in. And they are free to join as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at how affiliate marketing works and why you should give it a try.

How does Affiliate marketing work?

The whole process revolves around three parties i.e. the seller or brand, the advertiser, and the consumer.


First, the seller or the brand, the first party who wants their products to be sold. Their product can either be a physical product such as goods, or a digital service such as software or streaming services.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, it is not necessary for the brand to get involved in the process other than dealing with the marketer, affiliate, or the advertiser. These sellers usually leverage affiliates to help sell their software to a new audience by paying a commission to the affiliate.

Affiliate or Advertiser

Affiliates also referred to as publishers, can be an individual who works on their own or a business that helps brands market their products. These affiliates promote a product from a brand and earn a commission for each sale made through their reference, that is paid to them by the seller. The commission for each brand and product can be different and is provided by the seller themselves.


Now the most important aspect of the whole process, the consumers. Without them, affiliate marketing would cease to exist. The consumers purchase the products shared by the affiliate on a website, social platforms, or via regular links via messages. Once the consumer purchases a product from the affiliate link, the profits are shared among the seller and the affiliate.

The affiliate and the consumer are not affected by the price of the product, since an affiliate profit is included in the retail price and the consumer pays the price of the product unaffected by the affiliate system.

How do Affiliates get paid?

There are multiple ways an affiliate marketer can get paid with this marketing strategy. They can either get paid per sale, pay per lead, or per click.

Per Sale

This is one of the most common structures that is used in affiliate marketing. With this program, the penchant offers a certain percentage of commission for each type of product. 

The affiliate marketer will get their commission after the customer has bought the product from their affiliate link to the seller’s inventory, which is usually an eCommerce website. This means if a consumer does not make the purchase from the affiliate’s link, they will not get their commission. So the affiliate will need to get its consumer to interact with their link and complete the purchase.

Per Lead

This process is a bit more complex than the previous one. Such affiliate programs offer commissions to their affiliates based on lead conversion. The affiliate will need to build a strategy to persuade a consumer to visit the website of a seller and complete the action that will get the affiliate their commission. This action usually consists of activities such as signing up for newsletter, or trails, subscriptions, downloading some files, or filling contact forms.

Per Click

This one can be the easiest and the hardest at the same time. The affiliate needs to redirect the consumer from their platform to the seller or brand’s website using a link. It is up to the affiliate to build a strategy to get the customer to click on the link and land of the seller’s site. Usually, in such affiliate programs, the affiliate gets paid based on an increase in traffic on the seller’s website via their link.

Why Become an Affiliate Marketer?

Apart from the reason, I explained in the beginning, there are other benefits of becoming an affiliate marketer as well.

Passive Income

One of the best reasons to become an affiliate marketer is being able to make passive income. This would mean that you can go about your day as you used to and the affiliate program will earn you money on the background, as long as you have done everything right.

Customer Support

Since you are referring a product to the consumer from a seller, you will not have to deal with any kind of customer satisfaction or customer support. The brand or the seller will deal with it using their channels. All you have to do is link the consumer with the seller and your work is done. The seller will handle any complaints a consumer might have.

Work From Anywhere

As long as you have an internet connection and a computer, you can work from wherever you would like to. Going on vacation? Take your laptop with you and you can make some extra affiliate money while enjoying your holidays. Or just relax in your home, you don’t even have to go anywhere.

Convenient and Cost-Effective

Since becoming an affiliate marketing is essential to becoming a freelancer, you have the independence of how you want to shape your career, how many hours you want to invest working on it. The cost of starting this journey is significantly low as well. All you need is a system and the internet and you are good to go.


If you are looking for a way to gain control of how you earn your income, affiliate marketing is one of the best solutions out there. Even though success will depend on your marketing skills, it is still an effective method to meet your expected income and cover all expenses.


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