What is Affiliate Marketing?

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Updated October 27, 2022

What is affiliate marketing? It is the process of earning a commission for marketing a product of another brand or company. The affiliate’s work is to look for a product, promote it, and make some profit from each sale. The tracking of the sales is via affiliate links across different websites. 

Affiliate marketing can be fun and highly lucrative if done correctly. You won’t have to face things such as returns for online orders or forcing people to buy your product. Developing trust and relationships with consumers via social belonging and building trust with peers can help you succeed.

However, just like any service or product online, affiliate marketers can experience fake reviews, just like companies on Redbubble have experienced. Keep reading to learn more about affiliate marketing.


  • Affiliate marketing allows you to make money when promoting a company’s products and driving up its sales.
  • As an affiliate marketer, you should have an affiliate network and determine how you will earn when people buy into your marketing.
  • Affiliate marketing involves the contribution of a creator, affiliate, and customer.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

At the core of affiliate marketing is distributing the work of the product marketing team and creating marketing content for multiple parties. In the end, the product owner has different marketers providing effective marketing efforts at a price that leads to better sales for your brand. For this type of marketing to work, three parties have to be in play:

  • The consumer
  • The advertiser or affiliate
  • The creators and sellers of the product

Let us now look at the relationship between these parties and how it will lead to successful affiliate marketing.

Insider Tip

An affiliate is a person or company that markets a product/service engagingly and effectively to new customers.

The Creators and Sellers of the Product

The solo entrepreneur, corporate entity, or large enterprise is the seller. For example, a merchant, retailer, or vendor wants to market a product without actively engaging in the process. Using affiliates, the company can split the revenue from selling the product/service to customers by using affiliates. Note that this is totally different from how peer-reviewed articles work.

The Advertiser or Affiliate

An affiliate is a person or company that markets a product/service engagingly and effectively to new customers. Affiliates have a certain audience that they market to because the product relates to the audience’s interest. This setup makes it easy for an affiliate to sell more because the consumers will act on the promotion. The inclusion of User-Generated Content (UGC) can help, too.

The Consumer

The consumer is one of the prime drivers of affiliate marketing. They are the people in the affiliates network who will consider the product. So, with the common interest of the content in that channel, the consumer will either watch, buy, or watch, buy, and share the content with others.

Some consumers will purchase a product through an affiliate marketing structure. Others will be completely oblivious to the sale structure. Either way, they still get to make an affordable purchase through this system. Remember that this is completely different from product reviews that do not influence the purchase cost under normal circumstances.

How do Affiliate Marketers Make Money?

The affiliate does not have to purchase the product for the affiliate to make money; it depends on the program. Therefore, the measurement of the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales depends on various factors. Now, generally, payments to the affiliate are made in several ways.

Insider Tip

An affiliate payment structure where the merchant pays a certain percentage to the affiliate after selling the target product/service is a pay-per-sale structure.

Pay Per Sale

An affiliate payment structure where the merchant pays a certain percentage to the affiliate after selling the target product/service is a pay-per-sale structure. 

Pay Per Click

When the affiliate redirects the consumer to the merchant’s website, they get an incentive. This referral means that an affiliate has to engage the consumer to a level where they can move them from the affiliate site to the merchant’s site. If the website’s traffic increases, the affiliate receives payments.

Pay Per Lead

The conversion of the leads is what creates compensation for the affiliate. The affiliate’s work is to persuade the customer to browse the merchant’s website and take the appropriate action.


Which is the best product for affiliate marketing?

It all depends on the market trends. So, when you sign up to the site, look for products that people are searching to purchase. And then, pick what you can use from these options.

The best product for affiliate marketing is what is currently trending. So, when signing up, go for products that people are actively looking for or purchasing at that moment. Generally, some of the most popular products include: 

  • Fashion and apparel
  • Health and wellness products
  • Computer and gaming accessories
  • Car Accessories

Can you make money from affiliate marketing?

Since you are not the producer of the products, affiliate marketing is one of the most ingenious money-making options on the internet. Furthermore, you can make extra income through affiliate marketing because it is a low-cost job that needs consistent effort.

How can I begin affiliate marketing without money?

There is no investment when you sign up for affiliate marketing. You also do not need a lot of money to promote affiliate links. Your only work is to develop a marketing strategy that will get you to the right audience.

STAT: If you are currently getting 5,000 visits within a month at a 2% conversion rate, your referral list consists of 100 people. (source)

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