What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a general term that describes a financial model where businesses — an affiliate — reward affiliate marketers for bringing them customers.

In other words, affiliate marketing is the act of earning a commission by promoting products that aren’t yours. But keep in mind, you’d only earn money when one of your customers buys an affiliate’s product you’re promoting.

Which Product Is Best for Affiliate Marketing?

The best affiliate product is the one that brings you the most money. This doesn’t mean the one with the highest conversion rate.

That’s not likely the answer you’re seeking, but it’s the only way to answer such a subjective question.

If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest the Amazon Associate program as over half of all affiliate marketers use Amazon as their primary earnings channel. It’s easy to get started and will give you a taste of how these sorts of programs work generally. As you grow, you can move on to higher paying, albeit more difficult affiliate programs.

Can You Make a Lot of Money from Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, affiliate marketing is indeed a viable way to make money online and many affiliate marketers have been able to earn millions of dollars.

Making affiliate marketing work well generally requires a lot of time and effort as the process requires a trustful customer base, which doesn’t happen immediately.

Remember, affiliate marketers only make money when they refer someone else (their customer) to an affiliate program that pays them commission on a sale.

If you’re promoting small products, there’s less risk to your customers so you’ll have more success, but you’ll also earn less — a lot less. Look for bigger offers that relate to your niche.

The key to making it work well is to build trust and good will.

What Is an Example of Affiliate Marketing?

An example of affiliate marketing is the Amazon Associate program because of its size.

Most folks know about Amazon and trust their brand to deliver exceptional products.

Affiliates like Amazon because they’re honest brokers, which sadly cannot be said for everyone in the affiliate marketing space.

The way online affiliate programs work is through hyperlinks with special parameters.

Let’s look at an example.

The affiliate marketer signs up for an affiliate program which thereafter provides a special link. The affiliate marker then promotes this link so sales are tracked.


The link will contain an affiliate code (as illustrated above) — see the “affilaite=abc123” above; this identifies the affiliate marketer who should be paid a commission on a sale.

If a customer clicks the above link, but doesn’t buy — at least right away, they’re often tracked via cookies for a period of time. If the customer buys tomorrow, for instance, and continues to possess the cookie from the earlier click, the affiliate marketer is still paid a commission.

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