Did you know that Affiliate Marketing is expected to be a $27.78 Billion industry by 2027?
The industry is so huge that 8 out of 10 brands admit that Affiliate Marketing is their primary revenue source.
So you cannot help but wonder what the heck Affiliate Marketing is and how you can make commissions promoting the products you love.
Robert Foster Bennett, a popular American businessman, has wonderfully summarised Affiliate Marketing in his statement, “Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”
So, in today’s post, I will tell you what Affiliate Marketing is and how you can start earning commissions promoting brands and products you love.
So, let’s jump in!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
In simple words, Affiliate Marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products or products that are already there in the market through your unique affiliate link.
And, if you make sales (through your unique affiliate link), you will make a commission.
Let me give you an example of how Affiliate Marketing works so you will understand the business model.
Suppose, you are an affiliate and promote a laptop. The cost of the laptop is, let’s say, ₹1,00,000. (Yes! Yes! I Indirectly mean MacBook.)
The commission rate – decided and specified by the seller/vendor – for each sale is, suppose, 5%.
Now, you grab your unique affiliate link and promote it to your audience.
Let’s say, 3 people buy the product – the laptop – through your unique affiliate link.
Now, let’s do some calculations:
The cost of the product is ₹1,00,000.
The commission rate is 5%.
So, for each sale, you will make a commission of:
5% of ₹1,00,000
Since you made 3 sales, you made a total commission of:
3 x ₹5,000
Suppose, you had generated 7 sales. How much will be your total commission in that case? Let me know in the comments box below.
So, that was a bit about Affiliate Marketing and how it works.
This is also to tell you what Affiliate Marketing is totally worth it!
If you’d like to learn how you can launch your Affiliate Marketing business, click the below button and join my community for FREE!
Advantages Of Being An Affiliate Marketer
Now, let me share a few benefits of being an Affiliate Marketer.
(1) You Do Not Need To Create Your Own Product
As I shared above, “Affiliate Marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s product(s) and making commissions if you generate sales.”
This implies that you need not create your own product which saves a lot of time, effort, and cost.
Since the product is already available in the market, you simply promote it to your audience.
Affiliate Marketing saves you a lot of costs and you can earn a fat commission on a few products (up to 90% for digital products).
(2) No Need Of Inventory To Store Products
As an Affiliate Marketer, you can promote both types of products – digital and physical.
Digital products include software, e-books, online courses, and so on, whereas physical products include books, shoes, t-shirts, mobile phones, etc.
Since your work as an Affiliate Marketer is to promote products created by someone else, you need not store them anywhere.
The product creator/owner/vendor looks after inventory and shipment. You simply promote the product(s) and if people buy from your link, the shipment and delivery are looked after by the vendor.
As a matter of fact, Amazon pays anywhere between $0.48 and $2.40 per cubic foot monthly.
So, if you are an Affiliate Marketer, you save this amount on inventory making Affiliate Marketing a cost-effective model.
(3) No Need To Write Sales Copy
If you promote digital products, vendors will provide you with the necessary marketing materials – sales copy, email swipes, banner ads, ad copies, audience demographics data, and so on.
This will save your copywriting effort, time to brainstorm ideas, marketing cost, and so on.
Almost everything is given by vendors and you can use the data to start promoting the product(s) right away.
(4) Little To Zero Initial Investment
If you set up an offline business, you would need to invest a huge amount. You would need to buy or rent a place, then pay for the products, inventory, storage, shipment, and so on.
On the other hand, to promote a product as an affiliate, you only need an affiliate link.
After getting your affiliate link, you can start promoting for free on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Instant Messaging apps – WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, emails, and so on.
All the above platforms require zero investment. However, your audience is limited and your links will only reach the people in your social media contacts, WhatsApp contacts, and email contacts.
Secondly, you could invest a small amount and run ads on Google and/or Facebook to reach a wider audience.
(5) You Can Reach People Globally
Suppose you have a shoe shop in Mumbai. No matter how hard you work, your audience/target market is the population of Mumbai.
You can only sell to the people of that particular city and your reach is limited.
On the other hand, when you promote products as an affiliate, you can reach anyone situated anywhere.
For example, if you promote shoes as an Amazon Associate, your target audience can be anyone anywhere in the world.
Similarly, if you promote an online course, you can promote it to anyone who is suitable for it.
(6) Unlimited Income Potential
As an Affiliate Marketer, you are not limited to only 1 product. You can promote as many products as you want and you could earn from each and every one of them.
A lot of digital products can help you make commissions up to 90%!
So, if you love and promote 10 products, no one will stop you from promoting all of them.
Affiliate Marketing empowers you to earn from multiple sources.
These are few of the many advantages of Affiliate Marketing. Once you become an Affiliate Marketer, you will reap all of them!
Types Of Affiliate Marketing
In 2009 Pat Flynn, a renowned Affiliate Marketer, categorised Affiliate Marketing into 3 types:
Pat categorised Affiliate Marketing to help you different between Affiliate Marketers who are closely tied to a product and those who are not.
I will break it down for you to help you decide which type of Affiliate Marketing you want to do.
(1) Unattached Affiliate Marketing
Unattached Affiliate Marketing refers to a scenario where an affiliate promotes products or services without having any personal connection or involvement with the merchant or the products.
In this type of Affiliate Marketing, you focus solely on generating sales or referrals through you marketing efforts.
You may create websites, landing pages, or advertisements to drive traffic and earn commissions.
Unattached Affiliate Marketing often involves promoting a wide range of products or services from various merchants.
(2) Related Affiliate Marketing
Related Affiliate Marketing involves affiliates who have some degree of connection or interest in the products or services they promote.
In this type of Affiliate Marketing, you align your marketing efforts with your personal or professional interests or expertise.
For example, a fitness enthusiast might promote fitness equipment or nutritional supplements as an affiliate.
Your connection with the products enhances your ability to provide relevant and valuable recommendations to your audience.
This type of Affiliate Marketing often leads to higher engagement and conversions due to the perceived authenticity and knowledge of the affiliate.
(3) Involved Affiliate Marketing
Involved Affiliate Marketing goes a step further than related Affiliate Marketing.
In this approach, you have a deeper involvement with the products or services you promote.
You may have firsthand experience using the products, collaborate directly with the merchants, or even develop your own products.
Affiliates in involved marketing often share their personal success stories, create in-depth reviews, and provide detailed insights into the benefits and features of the products.
This level of involvement helps build trust and credibility with your audience, leading to increased conversions.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
As the above image depicts, 3 components make up Affiliate Marketing:
- Product Creator / Vendor
- Affiliate Marketer
(1) Product Creator
Product Creator is also called a Vendor, Merchant, Brand, etc. They are the ones who actually create and own the product or service.
The Product Creator can either be a big company or an individual and the product can be either a physical product (for example, mobile phone, t-shirt, shoes, etc.) or a digital product (for example, online course, e-book, etc.)
(2) Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate Marketer or Publisher promotes products to people. The aim of Affiliate Marketers is to convince people or potential customers to purchase the product.
As an affiliate, you can promote products (or services) through videos, blogs, live and recorded webinars, social media, etc.
The people you promote products to will vary depending on the product.
For example, if you promote health related products, your audience will be of a specific kind – people who search for fitness related workout, diet, etc.
On the other hand, if you promote beauty / fashion related products, your audience will be different.
The Affiliate Marketers promote their products with the intention of convincing people to purchase their product.
The people who end up buying their product (or service) are called Consumers.
Consumers are the end-users of the product (or service) and without consumers, no Affiliate Marketer can earn a single penny.
They are, what I call, the “Soul” of Affiliate Marketing business – or any business , as a matter of fact!
As an affiliate, you must be transparent with your audience about the fact that you will get commission if they purchase the product.
How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
(1) Pay Per Sale
The first method by which Affiliate Marketers make money is the PPS method or the Pay-Per-Sale method.
The Pay-Per-Sale method is the most popular and standard method of paying Affiliate Marketers.
In this mode, the product owner or product creator pays a certain commission for each sale by the Affiliate Marketer.
For example, let’s say Adam is the product owner and he owns shoes.
The cost of the shoes is, for example, ₹2,000 and Adam promises a commission of 40%.
Tom, an Affiliate Marketer, gets his unique affiliate link and promotes shoes to his audience through his blogs, videos, and email marketing. Tom’s efforts were noticed and 5 people bought shoes from Tom’s affiliate link.
So, let’s do some calculations:
The cost of the shoes was ₹2,000
The commission for each sale was 40%
So, for each sale, Tom made 40% of ₹2,000 which is ₹800.
Since Tom made 5 sales, he made a total of 5 x ₹800 which is ₹4,000.
So, Pay-Per-Sale works as I shared in this example. PPS is the most popular and the standard method of paying Affiliate Marketers.
(2) Pay Per Lead
The second method of paying Affiliate Marketers is Pay-Per-Lead.
The Pay-Per-Lead is a less common but old method of paying Affiliate Marketers.
The Pay-Per-Lead method works as follows:
Suppose there is a landing page of some company with a lead form.
If an Affiliate Marketer could get people to visit the landing page and fill the lead form, he or she will be paid for each form submission through their link.
For example, ClickFunnels pays Affiliate Marketers $1 for each lead form submission on their site.
Another popular platform, Share-A-Sale pays between 1 cent and $150 for each lead to Affiliate Marketers.
Companies run Pay-Per-Lead programs to increase the number of sign-ups to their newsletters, free trials, and so on.
Pay-Per-Lead method is common in the real estate business where companies pay Affiliate Marketers a decent amount per lead for encouraging people to sign up for the quotation and free calls.
If you want to explore the Pay-Per-Lead programs, you can click the link below:
(3) Pay Per Call
Through the Pay-Per-Call method, Affiliate Marketers make money when people call up to book an appointment, be it a doctor’s appointment or a call with a real estate consultant.
Affiliate Marketers are paid per call only if people call the company or the individual.
The Pay-Per-Call method is common in the real estate business and interior decorators.
(4) Pay Per Click
The Pay-Per-Click method works as follows:
Suppose you have written a helpful blog on losing belly fat and you mentioned that a company provides products or coaching to lose belly fat.
After writing the blog, you publish it on your website.
People visit your website, read the blog and click the link of the company.
The company’s website identifies the visitors from your blog thanks to their Analytics.
Once the website identifies the referrer, that is your website, you will receive a certain commission or a fixed amount.
So, in a nutshell, if people click the link of a company on your website and visit the company’s website, you will get a certain commission.
The amount can be a few cents or tens of dollars.
And, yes, you do not have to make sales to make money. You only need to send visitors to the company’s website.
No sales are required to make money! Just send visitors to the company’s website and you will make commissions.
The purpose of Pay-Per-Click programs is to increase traffic on the company’s website.
(5) Pay Per Action
The fifth method is the Pay-Per-Action or Pay-Per-Acquisition method.
In this mode, the Affiliate Marketer has to convince people to take a certain action.
The action could be calling a company, filling up and submitting a form, booking an appointment, installing a game or installing an application, and so on.
Whatever action the company describes, if you can get people to do it, you will get paid.
Another example of an action is booking a free hair spa, or a free haircut through a phone call.
Whatever action the company defines, if you can get people to do it, you will get paid.
The commission or earnings through Pay-Per-Action could range from a few cents to hundreds of dollars.
Affiliate Marketing Channels
Affiliate Marketers have various methods and channels to promote the products or services they are affiliated with.
Here are some common strategies used by Affiliate Marketers:
(1) Content Marketing
As an Affiliate Marketer, you can valuable and informative content related to the products you promote.
This can include blog posts, articles, product reviews, tutorials, or videos.
By providing helpful information and demonstrating the benefits of the products, you attract and engage your target audience, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
(2) Social Media Marketing
Many Affiliate Marketers leverage social media platforms to promote their affiliate products.
You can create engaging posts, share product recommendations, and interact with your followers.
(3) Email Marketing
Affiliate Marketers build email lists of interested subscribers and send out regular newsletters or promotional emails.
Within the emails, you can provide valuable content, recommendations, and exclusive offers to your subscribers, encouraging them to click on affiliate links and make purchases.
If you want to learn Email Marketing, you must check out this post.
(4) Paid Advertising
Some Affiliate Marketers use paid advertising methods to drive targeted traffic to their affiliate links.
This can include running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on search engines like Google or advertising on social media platforms.
Paid advertising requires careful targeting, ad optimization, and tracking to ensure a positive return on investment (ROI).
(5) Product Comparison Websites
As an Affiliate Marketer, you can create product comparison websites or niche-specific review websites.
These websites offer detailed comparisons, reviews, and rankings of different products, guiding potential buyers in their decision-making process.
Affiliate links are strategically placed within the content, allowing visitors to make purchases directly through your affiliate or referral link.
(6) Influencer Marketing
A powerful strategy to promote your products is to collaborate with influencers or content creators who have a large and engaged following.
Influencers can promote affiliate products through sponsored content, product reviews, or endorsements, leveraging their influence to drive conversions.
If you want your favourite influencer to promote your products, you will love this post!
It’s important for Affiliate Marketers to choose the promotion methods that align with their target audience, niche, and personal strengths.
Building trust, providing value, and being transparent about affiliate relationships are key principles for successful Affiliate Marketing.
How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?
I have been an Affiliate Marketer for a few years now and I figured out 6 steps to get started with Affiliate Marketing.
These 6 steps will work for you even if you want to start Affiliate Marketing with no money.
So, let’s see those 6 steps:
Step 1: Niche Clarity (Identify Your Niche)
The first step for doing Affiliate Marketing is to identify your niche.
For those of you who do not know what a niche is, I will say that niche is a segment of a large market. Niche is a small part of the big market, okay?
I give the cake analogy to my students when I talk about niches. As per my cake analogy, if the cake is the big market, then your niche is a slice of that cake, got it?
For example, if fashion is the big market, “men’s watches” is the niche, okay?
Every successful online entrepreneur has clarity about his/her niche. Or, if I may put it the other way, many Affiliate Marketers fail because they do not have clarity about their niche.
If you are a beginner and have no idea about your niche, I will ask you a few simple questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What is that one thing which you can do hours upon hours?
- What is that one thing which you will never get tired of doing?
Your answer to the above question will be your niche, alright?
Step 2: Product Selection: Select The Product You Love
In this post, I have listed all the types of products you can promote as an affiliate.
Step 3: Content Creation (Create Content That Provides Value)
So, if you want to create high-quality content, you can use any or all of the following formats:
(1) Product Reviews
The first method is Product Review. Here is the thing! When you review a product, focus on the benefits, not the features, okay?
People want to know how the product can help them. So, instead of sharing all the cool features of the products, share the benefits those features will have to the users.
An ideal approach to reviewing products is to present them as solutions.
Before sharing the product review, share how your life was before using the product and how it is, now, thanks to the product.
Paint the ‘before-after’ picture in people’s minds and provide value.
(2) How-To Guides
The second type of content you can publish is a how-to guide. In how-to guides, you could share the steps of how people can achieve their goals in a step-wise manner.
I am going to promote product A, hence, I will share the steps of how people can achieve their goal.
Please bear in mind that the users are normal people and they only want the steps of achieving their goal.
So, do not go into technical details, if not needed, and try to share the steps in an easy-to-understand language, okay?
Now, the third format is Checklists. A checklist is a list of items that must be done to achieve a goal.
For example, if you want to bake a cake, you can create a checklist of the ingredients that you must have to successfully bake a cake, okay?
If you create a checklist post, you can share a PDF towards the end of your post, so your audience can maintain the list of items they have completed.
Your checklist should contain all the items that people must complete to achieve the ultimate goal, alright?
(4) Product Demonstrations
Now, the fourth type of content you can post on is Product Demonstration.
Although Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning commissions by promoting products owned by other people, you can buy them yourself, use them and share to your audience how the products look and how they work.
A product demonstration will also help people to discover the benefits of the product, okay?
You can purchase the product, use it and show people how it will provide value and solve problems.
WIthin the demo, you can also answer the top 3 questions that address people’s doubts and queries,.
(5) Case Studies
Now, we come to the fifth type of content you can create is Case Studies.
Look, long story short, people want to know if the product you are promoting works, isn’t it?
So, share the results of people who used the product and got results, okay?
If you are promoting a weight loss product, you can publish a case study of someone who was overweight before using the product and saw results they desired after using the product.
Case studies help greatly as they shout that people who use the product get results, alright?
People want to know if products work, and case studies pretty much clear their doubts, alright?
And, always provide value! Always put people’s aspirations before yours. Your aim must be to help people, solve their problems, and provide them with value, okay?
Step 4: Marketing (Promote Your Affiliate Products)
Until you promote your content, people will not know anything about you and the products and services you offer.
Promote content that solves people’s problems and provides them with value.
So, before you promote your content on Facebook or WhatsApp, make sure that what you have created helps people and solves a specific problem your audience might be facing, okay?
You can promote your content on social media, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
You can also send emails to people describing your content and telling what problem your blog or video solves and then add the link, okay?
The third method to promote content is by running ads on Facebook or Google.
Running ads will cost you money, so if you think your content is powerful to attract sales, go ahead.
Affiliate Marketing is a “free of cost” business is a myth and there are occasions where you would need to invest money, alright?
Step 5: Traffic Generation
Now, the fifth step is Traffic Generation. You can generate traffic organically or you can run ads
WIthout traffic generation, you will fail to reach people.
No traffic will lead to no sales, so generate quality traffic, alright?
Step 6: Sales & Reinvestment
The final step to do Affiliate Marketing is to generate sales.
Your content and how it helps people will help you to generate sales. Your content must be unique and you should solve people’s problems.
Please bear in mind that people are not looking for products, they are looking for solutions.
So, if your content can bridge the gap and paint the picture in people’s minds about how the product can make their lives better, they will click your affiliate link and buy, okay?
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Affiliate Marketing
Q. 1. Can beginners do Affiliate Marketing?
Ans: Yes, anyone who has a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet and a stable internet connection can do Affiliate Marketing
Q. 2. Can you start Affiliate Marketing with no money?
Ans: Yes, you can start Affiliate Marketing with no money on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels.
Q. 3. How do I become an Affiliate Marketer?
Ans: You can sign up on Affiliate Networks such as Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, DigiStore24, etc.
Once you sign up, search for the product you want to promote.
After finding the product, copy your affiliate link and promote it to your audience.
If people click your affiliate link and buy, you will earn a commission.
Q. 4. Is Affiliate Marketing legal?
Ans: Affilate Marketing ia 100% legal. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and 8 out of 10 brands utilise its power to generate revenue.
Q. 5. How do I start Affiliate Marketing from scratch?
Ans: You can start Affiliate Marketing from scratch by following the below steps:
Step 2: Once you sign up, search for the product you want to promote.
Step 3: After finding the product, copy your affiliate link and promote it to your audience.
Step 4: If people click your affiliate link and buy, you will earn a commission.
Q. 6. What are the best Affiliate Marketing products?
Ans: As per my experience, products related to the following niches are the best Affiliate Marketing products:
- Personal Finance
Q. 7. How much money can I make as an affiliate?
Ans: Affiliate Marketers earn a few hundred dollars and some even make six figures. Your income will depend on the product you are promoting, how valuable it is, and your audience.
Q. 8. What is Amazon Affiliate Marketing?
Ans: Amazon Associates is Amazon’s Affiliate Program. It is an easy way of monetizing your website and/or blog.
To get started, open Amazon, sign up and you will be instantly approved as an Associate!
Then, you can place your affiliate links on your website, and when your website visitors purchase from your link, you will make commissions – easy-peasy!
To become an Amazon Associate, you can follow the steps in the below video:
Q. 9. Can you make money from Affiliate Marketing?
Ans: Yes, you can definitely make money from Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketers earn a few hundred dollars and some even make six figures.
Your income will depend on the product you are promoting, how valuable it is, and your audience.
Q. 10. Where can I promote affiliate products?
Ans: You can promote your affiliate products on your website, social media, emails, webinars, etc.
Q. 11. What is EPC in Affiliate Marketing?
Ans: EPC stands for earnings per click. EPC refers to the average amount of commissions you earn each time your visitor clicks your affiliate link.
Here’s how you can calculate your EPC:
EPC = total amount of commissions you earn / number of clicks on your affiliate links
For example, if you earn ₹5,000 and 25 people click your affiliate links, your EPC is:
₹5,000 / 25
Q. 12. What is cookie duration in Affiliate Marketing?
Ans: Cookie duration, also known as cookie length or cookie lifespan, refers to the length of time that a tracking cookie, stored on a user’s browser, remains active after they click on an affiliate link.
In Affiliate Marketing, when a user clicks on an affiliate link and is redirected to the merchant’s website, a tracking cookie is placed on their browser to identify the affiliate responsible for the referral.
The cookie duration determines the period during which the affiliate can earn a commission if the user makes a purchase.
If the user makes a purchase within the specified cookie duration, the affiliate is credited for the referral, and they receive a commission based on the agreed-upon terms.
The cookie duration can vary between 30, 60, or 90 days.
Q. 13. How do you start Affiliate Marketing on Amazon?
Ans: To start Affiliate Marketing on Amazon, you can watch the below video:
Q. 14. How do I do Affiliate Marketing without a website?
Ans: To do Affiliate Marketing without a website, you can read and implement the methods listed within this post.
So that was an exhaustive post answering the question: “What Is Affiliate Marketing?”
Although Affiliate Marketing is going to be a $27.78 billion industry, you mustn’t expect overnight commissions.
Affiliate Marketing takes time and if you really want to become an Affiliate Marketer, I would love to invite you to my elite community for Affiliate Marketers!
Usually the cost of the membership is ₹4,999 but only for you, I am giving it away for FREE!