What is affiliate marketing?

What is the Affiliate Marketing you ask? the answer is rich in details and can make you rich as well!

Affiliate marketing is sweet dreams combined with dollars. You go to sleep, dream about making money and when you wake up, your dreams have turned into gold.

In the morning, you count your blessings (read money) while sipping your coffee, and can go to sleep again, if your coffee is not too strong that is!

So basically your website churns out money for you. That’s the dream right? It really is. But there are things about affiliate marketing that are a little bit complicated than just making money sleeping.

For one thing, it can be intimidating at first for newcomers!

You might not know where to look or what to do. And if you don’t know the challenges of it, you become frustrated even at the slightest setback and may abandon this dream of growing money on the trees (or on an Amazon affiliated website!)

That’s why we have decided to write a detailed article to help you get familiar with each and every aspect of affiliate marketing and to understand what it is all about.

We will also briefly discuss the challenges and how to cope with them without losing heart.

So let’s explore the details about affiliate marketing and try to understand all its nooks and crannies.

How is Affiliate Marketing defined?

By definition,

Affiliate marketing is when you get a commission for traffic and sales generated for a seller through your referrals”

Simply put, you build a platform and link it to a brand or a website that is looking to sell its services or products. People read your blogs or website content, are convinced of the quality of the product and visit the seller’s website.

If they end up buying the product or service from the seller than you get the agreed-upon commission from the seller. Thus a seller and an affiliate marketer both share the stake in selling more products and that will increase income for both of them.

That’s why it’s called a passive income as you build a website and it can generate money on its own by the visitors.

You might think why everyone isn’t doing it if it is that simple? Well, there are things you need to know and do before you start your website or even begin to think about building a website.

Let’s discuss the process in detail to give you a better understanding of the whole process.

How Affiliate Marketing Works?

Affiliate Marketing works in a cyclic manner. It starts with a seller offering its products online. An affiliate promotes the product on their blog or website and the buyer, if convinced by the effective pitch of the affiliate, goes to the seller website.

Now, if the buyer likes the product and buys it, the affiliate gets a fixed commission from the seller. There are multiple affiliates for a single product and the seller keeps track of each and every buyer and the website they came from.

Affiliate marketing is in high demand as a seller can only reach so many people. They are compelled to market their products through other means. Although they can advertise on mainstream media, but that is expensive. They can also go for social media advertising but that also has its own limitations.

So what the sellers do is offer commission to people who are willing to act as a medium of referrals for their products. They are the ones called Affiliate Marketers. If you are reading this post, chances are, you will be doing the same in a matter of months if you don’t lose track and keep following our posts.

How to get started in Affiliate Marketing?

There are things you need to do to get started and there are things you need to do even before getting started. (And you thought it was simple, right?)

The process does not start with building a website. It starts with market research and a detailed analysis. We will discuss that in detail but for now, let’s look at the most important things briefly.

First, you need to know what product you want to market. For that you’ll conduct a threadbare analysis of the products that sell more, the products that offer good commission, and the competitors already working with those products.

Secondly, you try to find the products that are comparatively high in demand but there are relatively fewer competitors. There are different tools to do that research and we have discussed those tools in a different article.

For now, in short, you follow these steps:

  1. Research about the available products and the one that suits your vision
  2. Commission and financial review of the product you choose
  3. Competitor analysis for a better understanding of your challenges and opportunities
  4. Build a website for affiliate program
  5. Generate great content on your website to increase traffic and sales
  6. Be Patient. (Yes, it’s a thing in Affiliate Marketing!)


How do you get paid?

The answer is not a simple one and we will look into detail in another article but for now, let’s go over the basics. (We are not talking about bank transfers here.)

There are various ways in which an affiliate can get paid. It depends on the program and the seller. Mostly, you get paid when a customer buys a product but that is not true for every program. Some programs pay you as long as the visitor ends up on their website.

There are different ways but we’ll discuss two of them for now.


  1. You get paid for a sale

If you have heard about affiliate marketing before then chances are, this is the one you came across. It is the standard program. One we talked above. You get a fixed commission for each product sold by the seller through your referral.

  1. You get paid for generating traffic for a website

Unlike pay per sale, here you don’t need to persuade the customer to buy the product. As soon as they click and visit the intended website, your job is done and you get a commission regardless if they buy anything from there or not. These programs are simpler but are less lucrative.


How do you increase sales?

Well, that’s where it gets trickier. You have joined an affiliate program, built a website, and have uploaded all the product reviews and informative articles. Now what? In short, now you wait!

But if your website content is of high quality, if it adds value to the products and if the customer likes your recommendations then your life will become happier with time.

In addition, your website content should be optimized to facilitate search engines. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is necessary for your website to rank it higher on the search page. This usually comes with the quality of content but there are some recommendations that you can follow to generate more traffic and increase sales.

Did I lose you in these technical terms? Well, first you learn and only then you can earn.

But don’t worry! We will look into SEO and the quality of content in detail in another article.

The Challenges

Like any other business or trade, Affiliate Marketing also filled with challenges. The good thing is that you can convert those challenges into opportunities if we persist. This is not a Holy Grail that you cannot find even after years of quest.

Major Challenges associated with this line of work are listed here:

  1. Before the beginning

You don’t know where to start, which product to target (they call it niche but you can learn about that later), which program to get associated with, and how to research the competitors. These are all genuine concerns and we will talk about each and every one of them in detail.

  1. Quality Content and SEO problem

This is a challenge if you are not a writer yourself. But it can be easily managed as there are plenty of freelancing sites available where you can find a perfect writer for your products.

  1. The Patience factor

Do you like Yoga? It may come in handy when you have done everything right and now are waiting for sales and commissions.

Like I said, we’ll discuss the challenges and how to manage them in detail in a dedicated post. For now, just know that these challenges are opportunities disguised as problems.

Final Thoughts

I hope I have cleared out some of your doubts about affiliate marketing. It is a vast field and cannot be covered in a single article.

Believe us! We’ve been working in this field for years now, but we still are in the learning phase. (Being a student for a lifetime is a blessing not cherished by many).

But along the way, we’ve gathered many pearls of wisdom and will spread this knowledge as much as possible.

That’s it for now. But we have some great resources lined up for you.

Stay tuned and we will make you an expert in Affiliate Marketing with time.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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