Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

Franco Brutti

Sep 20, 2023

Sep 20, 2023

Sep 20, 2023

Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing
Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing
Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate additional income or as some economic experts call it: passive income. 

Because you can become an affiliate marketer and recommend other brands, or you can start an affiliate program to start promoting your own existing brand.

That's why today we want to tell you how to start making money with affiliate marketing. What is the condition? That you keep reading this article.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a process where you as a publisher earn a commission by using an affiliate link to promote a product or service created by another retailer or advertiser. 

The affiliate partner (you) gets paid for providing a specific result to the retailer or advertiser. In most cases the result is the sale of a product and/or service. 

However, some affiliate marketing programs may reward you for leads, free trial users, clicks on a website or downloads of an application. The truth is, there are a wide variety of types of programs but we'll talk about that later.

Most affiliate programs are free, so you don't have to worry about high upfront costs. If done right, an effective affiliate marketing strategy can turn from a side hustle into a profitable online business idea by generating a healthy income for you.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate programs work by allowing individuals (affiliates) to promote and sell a company's products or services in exchange for a commission on each sale. 

The affiliate, which would be you in this case, earns a commission every time someone makes a purchase through the unique affiliate link associated with your referral.

Here's how it works at a high level:

  • An affiliate displays an ad or link from some store like Amazon on their website, blog or social network.

  • A customer clicks on the unique affiliate link.

  • The customer makes a purchase on 9+the store.

  • The affiliate network records the transaction.

  • The purchase is confirmed by the store.

  • The affiliate is paid a monetary commission.

Affiliate sales commission rates vary by company and offer. At the low end, you'll earn about 5% of the sale, but with some arrangements, you can earn up to 50%, often when you promote a class or event. 

Some affiliate marketing programs offer a flat fee per sale instead of a percentage, but this varies greatly depending on the type of agreement you have reached with the company.

Types of affiliate marketing

We're not going to lie to you, affiliates are always a bit of a mystery. You never know if the person actually used the product or if they are just promoting it for the money. 

To this day, both cases have been seen.

In fact, it wasn't until 2009 when renowned affiliate marketer Pat Flynn divided the different types of affiliate marketers into three groups. Therefore, understanding these types of affiliate marketing can show you the different ways you can make money online in this space. 

1. Independent Affiliate Marketing

The first type of affiliate marketing is known for being untethered, or when you have no authority in the niche of the product you would be advertising, meaning there is no connection between you and the customer. 

This often involves running pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns with the affiliate link and hoping that people will click on it, buy the product and earn a commission. Example? Google Adsense advertising.

Independent affiliate marketing is attractive because you don't need to do any legwork. Affiliate marketing companies rely on reputation and trust with a target audience online. 

Some affiliate marketers don't have the time or desire to build those relationships, so this type of marketing is their best option and may be your case at some point.

2. Related affiliate marketing

Related affiliate marketing is the practice of promoting products and services that you don't use but that are related to your niche. But how would that work? Let's look at an example: 

You as an affiliate marketer have an audience, either through blogs, YouTube, TikTok or another channel. As a related affiliate marketer you also have influence, making you a trusted source for recommending products, even if you've never used them before.

After prior arrangement, it’s possible to reach an agreement where, for example, in a YouTube video, the content creator recommends a product and/or service of a product that is not related to their channel.

While related affiliate marketing can generate you more affiliate income, it comes with the risk of promoting something you've never tried before. It could be the worst product or service ever, and you wouldn't even know it. Let's call it a coin flip.

It only takes one bad recommendation to lose the trust of your audience. Without trust and transparency, it will be difficult to build a sustainable affiliate marketing business.

3. Involved affiliate marketing 

Lastly, we have involved affiliate marketing, which refers to recommending products and services that you have used and really believe in. Let's say it’s the opposite of the previous one.

In this type of marketing, you as an affiliate marketer have used your influence to promote products and services that your followers might need, instead of paying to get clicks on a banner ad. 

Yes, it's true that you need more time to build this kind of credibility with an audience, but it's necessary to build a sustainable business.

Types of affiliate marketing

How do you generate money through affiliate marketing?

That's a wonderful question! Good thing you asked it, isn't it? Come on, affiliate marketing income encompasses a wide variety of money making methods.

On the one hand there are those who will make a few hundred dollars a month and others who make six figures a year. As you can imagine, the more followers you have, the more money you can make as an affiliate marketer.

However, we can sum it up in 5 different payment methods:

1. Pay per sale

In this case you have to generate a sale through your link to make a profit. This is one of the first methods used in affiliate marketing, and it was also quite popular at the time.

You may remember a few years ago when there were product review pages and when you clicked on them you were taken to an Amazon page. While there still are, there aren't as many as there were a few years ago, but this is a clear example of pay-per-sale affiliate marketing.

2. Pay per action

Let's say you're an influencer on Instagram and a company that wants to promote a new social network has contacted you. They are willing to pay you for each user who signs up through your link. 

There you have a clear example of pay-per-action affiliate marketing payment. It can be a newsletter subscription, a click (Google Adsense), contact request, form submission, among others.

3. Pay per install

Have you heard of a video game streaming platform called Twitch? While they are not the parents of this method, they are one of the platforms where you can see this practice.

Streamers receive requests for games and they promote video games. During a stream they invite all viewers to download the game with their link and for each installation they will receive a certain payment.

4. Pay per lead

Here you will receive a payment for each new user that registers with your link, it can be a new social network, messaging, application, sweepstakes, whatever you can imagine. It’s very common in companies looking for a new generation of customers.

This type of affiliate marketing offers are an excellent option for those who are starting in this market, and it’s quite easy to generate customers through the sale of products for a related audience.

5. Pay Per Click

We will be honest with you as we’ve always been, this is one of the most effective affiliate marketing methods, but at the same time it’s more difficult to achieve because it generates excellent earnings.

You don't have to do anything else but get users to click on the ad to visit the advertiser's website. Therefore, based on the number of clicks, you will receive payment.

How do you generate money through affiliate marketing?

How to get started in affiliate marketing

It may sound cliché, but in this market you can be your own boss, however, we are not going to tell you that it’s easy as other people would have you believe. In fact, it requires the same dedication as a business, but with effort and dedication you can achieve it by following these steps.

1. Choose the platform and methodology

The first thing you should do is choose the platform where you will create your content. You must keep in mind that each platform is best suited to a format, whether images, videos, audios (podcast), among others. 

Common platforms used by affiliate marketers are:

  • Blogs.

  • Instagram.

  • Tik Tok.

  • Facebook.

  • Pinterest.

  • Pay per click (PPC).

  • YouTube

2. Decide your market and audience

This is one of the most difficult parts of the whole process because you have to ask yourself: what do you want to talk about? Ideally, you should choose a topic that you master, because if you know about video games, it doesn't seem like a good idea for you to focus on creating videos about sporting events, for example.

Remember that you should end up being an expert that generates diffusion to an area or topic, so it’s important that you have mastery over the subject so you can create the audience you are looking for more easily.

3. Find products of interest

When you’ve already had time creating content it becomes important that you start looking for methods that allow you to monetize your content. This is when affiliate marketing enters the whole process for the first time.

Because you must search and find products that are of interest to your audience, either from a company or person who is interested in the type of audience you have. Here you will also have to choose what type of affiliate marketing you will implement.

4. Choose your affiliate program

It’s time for you to choose your first affiliate marketing program, but for this you must consider the first point, that is, the platform on which you create content and how you create it, otherwise, affiliate marketing may not be so effective, but let's look at an example.

Let's say you are an influencer who gives voice to video games, ideally your advertiser should be related to the area, like a gaming computer, for example, not a fast food service.

Tips to succeed in affiliate marketing

To conclude, we would like to give you some tips to succeed in this world:

  • Create an email list of interest.

  • Create a tutorial on how to use the product and/or service.

  • Consider related search terms.

  • Offer some additional reward.

  • Be honest with the products and/or services you promote.

But before you go let us ask you one last question: would you be willing to try affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments.