How does Affiliate Marketing work?

Affiliates are typically paid whenever a visitor makes a transaction, such as a click, form submission, or sale. Affiliate marketing is mostly performance-based, meaning you only get paid as an affiliate if your visitor takes an action (versus just visits your site).



Let’s say you have a popular knitting blog that saw 100,000 hits per month, and a knitting supply company contacts you to promote their needles and yarn on their website. As an affiliate, you will place links to their products throughout your blog content. In this case, if a visitor comes to your blog and takes an action – either a click, form submission or purchase – you will receive affiliate income.



Pay-Per-Click (PPC): The affiliate is paid for all the clicks that were generated, regardless of whether a lead or sale occurred. This is quite rare as all risk is on the product manufacturer.


Pay-Per-Lead (PPL): Affiliates get paid for each lead generated by them. This can be an online form submission, trial build, or a pre-purchase. This is a shared risk for both the trader and the associate.


Pay-Per-Sale (PPS): Affiliates get paid for every sale they generate. This is the most common model as all risk is on the affiliate.


Now let’s talk about how to start Affiliate Marketing.


How to Start Affiliate Marketing


Choose a platform and niche.

Build an audience.

Sign up for an affiliate program.

Select a product to promote.

Create remarkable content that promotes your affiliate products.

Optimize and track.

get paid.

When it comes to Affiliate Marketing, most people think that it is the process of earning a commission by promoting the products of other people or companies.


While affiliate marketing may seem straightforward – just find a product you love, promote it, and earn a slice of the profit with every sale you make – there are actually some moving parts that need to be addressed. You need a monitor.

Choose a platform and niche.


To become an affiliate, you must have influence. Setting up a website or blog that specializes in a niche is the best way to establish an impact. Whether you focus on finance, personal health, business, or even cats, a niche blog or website will help you gain impact and build an audience.


Affiliate marketers also build audiences through SEO friendly blogs (on WordPress or HubSpot), through newsletters, or on YouTube or other social media channels.


Build an audience.


A large, engaged audience is a highly valuable asset to any blog or website. Having people who read, see and engage with your content can help you earn affiliate income.


The best way to build an audience is to first establish who your target audience is, and you can directly research your target audience by researching competitors, monitoring your traffic, and talking to customers and clients.


Once you have established this group, grow and develop your loyal online audience through targeted content and emails. Give your audience a reason to read and engage with your content, and they’ll also find a reason to buy your recommended products.

Sign up for an affiliate program.


The best way to get started with affiliate marketing is to sign up for an affiliate program like Amazon Associates or HubSpot Affiliate Program. After signing up, you will get an affiliate link that will have a unique ID.

There are generally no upfront costs when it comes to joining an affiliate program, but your variable running costs will depend on how you want to promote the products. If you choose to outsource content or run ads, those are the costs that will come out of your pocket.

Choose which products to promote.


Choosing the right product to promote, working with the right company, fostering relationships, and updating content are all essential to excellence in affiliate marketing.


According to Pat Flynn, one of the pioneers of creating passive income by providing value to your audience, there are two important rules when it comes to affiliate marketing:


Recommend products only as an ally that you are extremely familiar with. If you don’t trust the product and don’t think it will help people, don’t promote it.

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