What is Affiliate Marketing About

By | November 1, 2015

Affiliate marketing is about a way to monetize your website by selling a product for someone else. A good example of this is by writing a review about a certain product. You write all the pros and cons about the product and provide your recommendations. Then you can provide a link to where the product can be purchased. If someone reading your review clicks on this link and buys the product, the merchant of the product pays you a commission by providing (sending) the customer to the merchant.



what is affiliate marketing about



This is the simplest form of affiliate marketing. Very similar to leaving a review of a product on the merchant’s site, however, this only benefits the merchant. Whereas if you agree to be an affiliate for the merchant, then you can receive a commission for every customer you send to the merchant that buys a product.



Who Can Be An Affiliate?


I dare say anyone that is an adult can be an affiliate for a merchant. I am sure you must have an application to be an affiliate be approved by the merchant. Generally speaking, though, unless there is a specific stipulation preventing you from being an affiliate, most people qualify. Some affiliate networks, like Shareasale.com, are huge networks with many different businesses. You complete an application to become an affiliate for one or more of the many companies that belong to their network.



what affiliate marketing is about



It takes anywhere from a day to a week to get approved. However, not every vendor (you) is allowed to become an affiliate for certain reasons. Each company has their own set of requirements for their affiliates. Some stipulations forbid someone to becoming an affiliate if you are new and not experienced at affiliate marketing, for example. Other requirements may be the amount of traffic your website gets. Everything is traceable so it is not wise to lie about your statistics.



shareasale website



There are a lot of affiliate networks and some are very large with hundreds of companies belonging to the network. The affiliates that are associated with the companies of these networks answer to the networks. Some of these more popular networks are shareasale, Rakuten LinkShare, CJ (Commission Junction), Clickbank, just to name a few.



Some of the biggest companies around were able to become large because of offering an incentive of giving affiliates a percentage of the sales by bringing customers to the merchant. Some of these companies are Apple Inc, Amazon.com, Nike Inc, AT&T, Dell Computers, Microsoft, Shopify, InfusionSoft, just to name a few.







How Do You Get Paid with Affiliate Marketing?




Affiliates advertise a product or an action to be completed by a customer. If it is a product that an affiliate is advertising the amount that they can be paid is usually always a percentage of the total amount of the sales made. If it is an action, then if the customer completes an action, for example, provide their email address, the affiliate will get paid a set amount of money, anywhere from a dollar to maybe up to fifty dollars per action.





If the affiliate is a member of an affiliate network the affiliate is paid by the network once a month, in the next month after the transaction was made. Amazon has a very popular “associate program” that their affiliates belong to. A vendor signs up with the program and 99.9% of signees are approved. The vendor can then copy and paste any link, banner or picture from Amazon.com to place on their website.






If the vendor is able to get a click from their link to Amazon, whatever the customer buys the vendor will earn a commission between 4% and 9% of the total sell. The commission will increase up to the maximum only if the vender is able to send buying customers to Amazon. What is great about this program is that your website might be advertising a book, but if the customer buys a television instead, you still earn a commission on the sale.



Can You Make Money in Affiliate Marketing?





The answer to this question is a definite yes. How do I know these things? Because I have been making money in affiliate marketing ever since 2006. I started my first online business with eBay and I have progressed each year. I no longer have an eBay store, but I really learned some very valuable lessons at eCommerce by starting with eBay. I recommend every beginner to at least try it out first to see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.



How to earn money from affiliate marketing



You don’t have to build a website, you don’t have to market or have to buy advertising. eBay already has the website, has the traffic to the website and already does all the advertising for you. All you have to do is create a store within the website. You have the choice to sell your products at auction or buy now at a set price.


You don’t even have to furnish an inventory if you so choose. You can hire a drop-shipper to store your inventory and even ship it to your customer for you. So it provides you with immense power to create a home-based business and even become a powerseller, which rewards you with lower fees and better shipping prices.


So with the benefits of having a store at eBay, OverStock.com, or Amazon.com., there are also drawbacks to this plan. The biggest drawback are the fees involved with having a store. Unless you are constantly making sales every week, you could wind up owing more money to eBay than your actual profits.


Also comparing these costs to a real brick and mortar store don’t compare at all. Look at the differences in each:


Brick and Mortar Store:

  • Costs of building or rental of store space
  • Costs of inventory of merchandise
  • Costs of employees


Home-based business:

  • No building or store rental
  • No inventory
  • No employees
  • Easy to scale up


As you can see affiliate marketing is the easiest form of business to make money from. Anyone can do it: You don’t even have to have a website even though most people do. All you have to do is market your message to the world through the search engines, social media, or email.

  • Retired people
  • Stay at home moms
  • Stay at home dads
  • College students
  • School dropouts
  • Part time people with a job
  • Full time people with a job




In conclusion to what is affiliate marketing about would be it is the most popular business model for anyone to start. You don’t have to have a college degree. You don’t even have to have an education. You can do it part time like most people do. It is also the easiest to get started with because all you need is a computer and an Internet connection. No investment necessary. To learn more about how to become an affiliate marketer, please see my report about:


How affiliate marketing works.

What is affiliate marketing training?

32 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing About

  1. Alex

    Great article! I don’t think enough bloggers use Affiliate marketing. it is the one the best and quickest ways to make money blogging.

    This is so helpful to me! I’m so discouraged with Adsense right now and I really needed some alternative options to make SOME money.

    Thanks for explaining all of this! I have a food/cooking/recipe blog. Can you advise any idea of some affiliate networks to join that provide for this niche?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you Alex on your opinion of how other bloggers can utilize affiliate marketing in their business model. It is without a doubt the best way to get people’s attention. It can also be a very good second tier to your primary form of making money.

      I would suggest for your cooking/recipe blog to first start following and commenting on very popular sites in food, like https://petespaleo.com/; http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home; or http://detoxmysystem.com; If you make some good comments you will get noticed by the website owners, as well as their other followers. This is how you start getting traffic. You have to get noticed or else your website is just another one in the 2 million of other sites that people choose from. Hey, good question. I hope this helps!

  2. Bryan

    I love your comparison between a brick and mortar business and an online business. The pluses to owning an online business are the exact reasons I have been drawn to pursue business in that manner. Any business is tough to get up and running, but the best businesses nowadays are absolutely flourishing online. With a little studying, some market knowledge, and passion to build a brand for one self, the possibilities are endless for an online business in today’s tech savvy marketplace.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Bryan, thank you for your kind words and I agree with your pursuit of starting a business online. The trend is growing exponentially because the future of maintaining a secure career is risky at best, and the need for more financial security is overwhelming. With the proper training, anyone can do this. ANYONE! I will be happy to show you how. Good luck to you and may success be only a ‘post away’ for you.

  3. Mark

    Hi Kenneth

    Thanks for a really informative article. Over the years I’ve looked into different ways of making money online, but so many of them seem difficult and costly – I’ve never made more money than I’ve had to put in! I am currently trying out affiliate marketing through Wealthy Affiliate as it’s free to sign up. You mentioned using eBay to make money, do you recommend any other forms of affiliate marketing such as building your own website? Also, are there any products or websites you would advise people, especially beginners, to avoid?


    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you Mark for your opinion of my article and I agree with you that affiliate marketing is the easiest business plan to become successful. There are obstacles that you must avoid in order to find success, though. I think there is a learning curve that most of us go through before we find something that will hone your skills to become successful. Some are faster learners and reach success very quickly. The object is to learn and not spend, which is hard for everyone to grasp.

      First, get the best training that you can find so that when you start your online business, you build correctly so that it will support the expansion as it grows. The best place that I know of to find that kind of training is wealthy affiliate, just as you mentioned.

      Second, make it a passion an work at it as often as you can. The myth of no work is exactly that. In order to be fruitful, one must plant, weed, water, and prune before you reap the harvest you sow. Once your business is built and growing, the hard work is done. You just expand from here. I look forward to hearing of your experience and success as you build your business in the future. Good fortune to you Mark!

  4. Dmitriy

    Hi Kenneth,

    I wish I’d found your post when I was at the beginning of my online marketing journey. Still, it’s always good to refresh this knowledge and I even think I managed to learn a few things by reading this. I actually never tried owning an eBay or Amazon shop, maybe now I’ll consider this. Thanks! You have provided the key to opening a door to find success.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Dmitriy, we each have our own way of doing things and we all take a different path to get to where we are going. I was never the one to do what everyone else did or do it in the same way. I have made many mistakes, but to fail was not an option. Like when I play my guitar, sometimes the right chord is not easy to find, but eventually I find it. I suggest you never give up, find what works, then rinse and repeat. I wish you much good fortune in reaching your goals.

      1. Dmitriy

        The more I read about your making money solutions, the more I am excited about the possibilities. Thank you, Kenneth!

        1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

          You are very welcomed Dmitriy. I want to help as many people as I can to learn how ez it is to live debt-free by having their own money making website!

  5. Nate

    Hi Kenneth,

    I’ve been affiliate marketing for a little while now and was looking for a couple of new affiliate Networks to join.

    I’ve never come across shareasale or Rakuten LinkShare so thank for recommending I’ll be sure to check both of them out!

    Which affiliate network would you recommend for is best for someone who is still a relative newbie ( 6 months)?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Good day to you Nate and I am happy you found my information helpful to you. The affiliate networks that I mention are sound legitimate companies that represent many other businesses, in several different niches. For example, ShareASale is a network that not only rewards members with affiliate commissions but protects your identity from would-be hackers. Same is true for LinkShare. They both have hundreds of different companies that they represent, in all various niches. Since I am a member of both, both are vital to my website since each network represents the companies that I am affiliated with. Good question. I hope I helped you.

  6. Kevin

    Hi Kenneth, this is a very helpful site and especially this article which teaches how Affiliate marketing works.

    I would add some other programs such as clickbank, JvZoo, commission junction, etc.

    Amazon is one of the most powerful affiliate networks to get in. Commissions and conversions are great.

    thanks for your knowledge.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you, Kevin, for your suggestions on adding other affiliate networks to my list. I consider JvZoo more in line with the website http://www.warriorforum.com, which is no longer a viable source of good information. Clickbank is not near as good as it used to be, since once you sell something from Clickbank, you must continue or else be penalized. This is not good business practices so I no longer support Clickbank. I do like Commission Junction or CJ, and Offervault is another great affiliate source. There are dozens of more good networks, but my article was more about getting your attention to the potential possibilities of affiliate marketing and not about a list of networks.

  7. John

    I find that Affiliate marketing is a way to get income online. The biggest problem is that even if you get signed up with a network that does not guarantee any Affiliate merchants will accept you. They do have location restrictions because of taxes and other legal things. Most will require you to have some traffic. Amazon has the most restrictions on location. I did see that Colorado is now going to allow Amazon Affiliates sometime this year.
    Selling on E-bay is a great way to get started. I earn enough to pay for the store and all of my other online expense. Any thing I make on my websites is pure profit. Just got to be careful just like any other business to make a profit on each sale.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Yes John, I agree with you that anyone can make money with affiliate marketing. The more you work, the more potential income you can make. Having a website is great. It will take six to eight months of everyday work on your site before you begin to see the fruits of your labor. I started with eBay too. They already have the traffic. You just need to have a product that you can sell with enough profit margin to make your efforts worthwhile. Thank you, John, for letting everyone here know about Amazon Associates accounts now being accepted in Colorado.

  8. Barry

    Sweet deal for all involved. If I had a product and someone wanted to help me sell it my answer would be of course.

    I have been thinking about building a website and giving this a try. Maybe I should first check out eBay and the store route you did. Which do you think is the better way to go for a beginner?

    I have had a business offline and the cost as you state can be high and can consume your whole life.

    How much time and money can I be expected to invest in an under taking like this?

    Also how long does it take to start to make some money?

    Much here to consider and maybe it’s time I jump in as the best way for me to learn is do. Appreciate the help.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      You know Barry an offline brick and mortar store will cost way more to get started and keep it running than an online store whether that store is an auction store or just a website. Depending on the amount of experience you have with the Internet having your own website would give you the most in profit as well as flexibility.

      Having a store front at an auction site or even the mega-big website, Amazon.com, puts your store in front of thousands of hungry buyers. Knowing how to entice these buyers into becoming your customers will come from your experience with using Keywords, store color selections, even what products you sell and at what prices.

      I recommend the training you will find at Wealthy Affiliate to teach you how to earn while you learn. Then your website can be successful within two to six months, depending on how fast you get your site up and running.

      Good Question Barry, I wish you much success and prosperity!

  9. Owain

    Interesting post as this is something that I want to do. I have created a website, but I feel it is the time that is against me. As I have a family and a job to go to it is difficult to work on my site. How long did it take you to become successful. I realise that it is hard work and I am prepared to make this work. Sometimes though I wonder how long will it take before I am successful?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      It took my about six months after I join Wealthy Affiliate to start having success. This is not including the two years I was teaching myself Internet Marketing before I joined WA. Success is relative to what someone conceives success to be. Someone may see “one sale” as success; another may see success as reaching 200 unique visitors a month.

      Owain, the time it takes for you to become successful is all related to your knowledge, focus and commitment to your online business. The more knowledge you have about Internet marketing will equate to having more skill to accomplish each task. Being committed equates to staying consistent in adding new content, answering comments, researching your niche, etc. Focus is being aware of what is trending and how you can provide better service than your competition. I hope this answers your question about Success and to acheive it.

  10. Cathy

    Affiliate marketing is a great online revenue model considering that you don’t have to invest a bomb to start a business. Having done this for 2 years, I must say that the challenge would be learning the internet marketing skills and writing content on a regular basis. In the early stages, it’s really hard to see any results.

    What advice do you have for people to keep going with their effort?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Hello Cathy and thank you for reading my article. You know Cathy, the most important factor in choosing to have an affiliate website is choosing a niche that you are passionate about. Too many people pick a niche that is said to earn a lot of revenue. There thinking is opposite of where it should be. They are taking shortcuts and if they don’t succeed in a short period of time, they quit. If their website is all about their passion, revenue is secondary to their enjoyment. They stay committed to adding content whether they are receiving any traffic or not. They will become successful in time because they never gave up.

      I decided to start this website to help people that were struggling with making their website a success. I wanted to help them with my experience. My main objective is to help them. I believe if you help enough people that they will help you.

  11. cesario solorsano

    Wealthy affiliate is one of the best ways to learn how to earn recurring commissions from home as an affiliate marketer! I host XXXXXXXXXX .com on WA, I can say that the training is priceless on WA to build a successful affiliate business. To become successful with affiliate marketing, you don’t need money, but you most importantly need patience and persistence. Thoroughly written, easy to understand for beginners, and most importantly very helpful in creating a business online. Great review of a fantastic affiliate program. Cheers!

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      You know Cesario the best way for anyone, even including experienced marketers, is to preview some of the training lessons that Wealthy Affiliate uses to train their members. If you use the 60/40 rule, where 40% of your time is used in writing new content, researching keywords and researching your competition and 60% of your time marketing your website in Social Media, other forums, blogs, or PPC advertising, you are guaranteed to be successful. Thank you Cesario for your recommendation.

  12. Gary

    You do a good job of laying out just how simple it is to be an affiliate marketer. I’ve tried different kinds of sales over the years, but affiliate marketing is the easiest money I ever made.

    I don’t know why more people don’t become affiliate marketers. The internet is huge and growing by the minute. With the right training, anyone who can operate a PC can make a darn good living online as an affiliate marketer.

    Do you know of a legitimate place to learn how to be a successful affiliate marketer?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you, Gary, I agree with you 100%! Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to earn passive income day in and day out. You make money while you are sleeping, watching TV, or while on vacation. The best way to learn affiliate marketing is to get the proper training, like the training you will find at Wealthy Affiliate

  13. Chris

    I’m currently looking into getting some extra training for starting up an affiliate business online – I thought I knew enough but I was very, very wrong!

    Do you feel that success is realistically achievable through affiliate marketing, I mean with all the competition floating about out there….

    Surely it’s getting much harder with all the websites online today?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      I will tell you Chris the best place to go online to learn everything you need to know about affiliate marketing is through Wealthy Affiliate. To answer your other question about the competition you will face; What is so great about this training is that by following the training, step by step, you will get your website to rank very high on the SERPS (search engine results page). This high ranking insures lots of traffic, which equates to lots of sales and lots of online earned income.

  14. Geek Hibrid

    Very good thorough explanation of the industry. Very well represented

  15. Ibrahim

    Search engine marketing or SEM is the general term used to describe SEO and PPC together as a single marketing strategy. The year 2010 shows the most activity with 52 articles (12.7 %). With Internet marketing issues becoming ever more important to researchers and practitioners, this comes as no surprise. Affiliate marketing at its core involves a kind of marketing, where the marketer promotes other people’s products or services. 35 Content marketing can be briefly described as “delivering the content that your audience is seeking in the places that they are searching for it”.

    If your business evolves to the point where your current email service no longer has the functionality to support it, you can import your contacts to a new email marketing service and go from there. Sometimes that means they click on a link in your message, but whenever possible, encourage them to actually respond to your emails. Automatically convert leads to opportunities when they open a specific email, remove inactive leads from your list or even send a follow up email when a particular link is clicked – automatically.

    Internet marketing has shown proven success over and over again. This not only wastes your time, but it keeps your messages from getting to the right targeted customers. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 2(2), 57-69. Email Marketing: Newsletters, abandoned cart notifications and remarketing all use email to target past and potential customers. Economic of the most evident benefits of e-commerce is economic efficiency resulting from the reduction in communications costs, low-cost technological infrastructure, speedier and more economic electronic transactions with suppliers, lower global information sharing and advertising costs, and cheaper customer service alternatives.

    I have to say that your article about what is affiliate marketing about is accurate and true. I would suggest initiating more email marketing within your affiliate marketing niche to maximize the ROI of your campaign.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you, Ibrahim, I appreciate your suggestions about email marketing and how to incorporate it into my marketing campaigns. It is a well-conceived idea that definitely works.


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