What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work for Beginners?

Are you interested to make passive income online? Great! There are so many amazing ways to earn money using the internet. But here we are going to talk about one of the most trustworthy tricks Affiliate Marketing – What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work for Beginners?

In this post, I am going to explain all the essential details about affiliate marketing, the concept behind it, how to get started and what kind of benefits you can avail from this scheme. This money-making idea is grabbing attention of all age groups these days. People that are already doing some regular job prefer to join affiliate networks to make some extra income to support their expenses. 

According to the source, the U.S. affiliate marketing spend is due to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017.

Affiliate Marketing Facts & Stats

  • 15% of the total digital media advertising revenue is attributed to affiliate marketing.
  • Affiliate programs generate 15%–30% of all sales for advertisers.
  • More than 50% of affiliate-referred traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • 35% of affiliates earn over $20,000.
  • Jason Stone made $7 million in affiliate marketing revenue in a single year.
  • Awin affiliates earned over $700 million last year.

The great news is that in order to work as an affiliate, you need not invest big amount. Anyone can start with this idea, and it can help them to earn considerable passive income within very less time. There are so many websites and big brands online that are ready to serve your needs with their flexible affiliate programs. However, if you are a little confused about whether to join or not, prefer to go through the guide below. 

What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work Beginners?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Well, in general, affiliate marketing can be better defined as a modern interpretation of an old idea. It is all about getting a commission for selling something. The affiliates simply introduce the target audience to the services and products of some trusted company. 

Whenever people find any niche interesting and place an order for it; you will get commissions for that particular sale. Different affiliate networks follow unique protocols for generating commissions; however, in most cases, they offer enough amount per sale. 

Affiliate marketing is basically a two-way process. You are going to promote products for some company, and at the same time, you will be helping consumers to find the product of their interest. This is the most genuine way to make money online. 

The affiliates need not create their own products and services; rather, they need to do promotions for others. It doesn’t take much of your time as merchants will provide you all essential material for promotions as well. The process of spreading awareness about niche offered by merchant is quite easier. 

How Affiliate Marketing Works? Step-By-Step Guide

The process of affiliate marketing follows some technical steps, but the task is easier for beginners as well. The merchants have some solid affiliate marketing software that keeps on running in the background. These tools record all sales and maintain a perfect track of affiliate performance. Your commissions will be generated automatically whenever customers are directed to make purchase on merchant website. 

What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work

Affiliate Marketing Process

  • Whenever a person joins the affiliate program, the merchant provides them with a unique ID along with a specific URL. They need to use these credentials to promote the products of the company.
  • The affiliates can use that specific link on their email marketing campaigns or add it to some blog content online. The idea is to invite readers to click on the specific link to know more about the product.
  • If a potential buyer visits the product page by clicking on the link created by the affiliate partner, the system generates a cookie identifying that particular affiliate, and it is placed on the buyer’s computer. This cookie makes sure that whenever a sale occurs, even after several days or weeks; the publisher account gets credited with the commission associated with that referral sale.
  • As soon as the buyer makes a purchase, the merchant gets notified about the sales record and the cookie associated with that sale. With this, it becomes easier for the merchant to identify the exact source of referral.
  • For every sale that happens via such referrals, the affiliate partner associated with that particular ID gets credited with the set commission amount. 
  • The merchants also sent the details about the purchase to the associated affiliate so that he can be notified with the commission amount being released. 
  • The payments for the affiliate commissions are made collectively by the end of the payment period. 

The entire flow is pretty simple and straightforward. It can help you enjoy great returns for the long run. 

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

When you start working as an affiliate marketer, you basically earn commissions for giving some valuable insights about products and services to the users. The idea is to capture the attention of the buyers for the products that they were already thinking about buying. In simple terms, we can say that people are already buying things from different platforms. As an affiliate marketer, you just need to present them the best platform to buy by directing them to merchant’s website. 

As you are going to add value to the business of the merchant, you can earn a huge profit for all these initiatives. Beginners might be curious to know about the steps to start working affiliate marketer. Don’t worry! Below you will find complete details to enter this business to make passive income online.

1. Select A Product That You Want to Promote As An Affiliate

When you are looking for ethical services and promotions, you must be having some constrained area of interest regarding product selection. There are two important options for choosing your product; you can either consider products that belong to your experience and knowledge base or those which are more suitable for the target audience. Some people also prefer to promote products that they get access for evaluation; either by buying them or through the free sample.

No matter what kind of approach you follow for product selection, you need to invest some time for picking up the best product for the target audience. 

2. Get Associated With An Affiliate Network/Merchant

There are two options to set up yourself as an affiliate. You can either associated with a merchant or become a part of an affiliate network. In both cases, you have to provide certain information to get approved to work as an affiliate. Once you get affiliate ID and product URL, you can start promotions and get paid for all sales occurred through your channel.

The minimum requirement is the submission of a business/personal contact information for reporting and tax purposes. Secondly, you have to provide bank account details where all commissions can be sent. 

The merchant must further provide you with an affiliate link. Whenever you promote the product online, you have to use the particular trackable link as it is associated with your specific affiliate ID. 

Once you join the merchant or network, you will also get some essential marketing materials and other useful assets. The list includes:

  • Sample of web page swipe or email copy.
  • Some online marketing tools, such as sidebar graphics and banners. 
  • Affiliate guide along with instructions on how to use the specific platform. 
  • A summary of policies regarding pay-outs. 
  • Ongoing communications about new product launch and other activities at merchant platform. 

The network or merchant team will be always active to support and help you regarding all promotional activities.

3. Start Promotions Online

Once you become part of an affiliate program, it is time to motivate someone to buy the products from your merchant. You cannot achieve the desired level of success by just talking to the people around you about this. Rather, it is important to develop some strong marketing strategies to capture audience’s attention online. 

Most of the affiliate marketers fail to present their product or service to the people online. The main target is to make your promotional activities look trustworthy and genuine. Experts advise following some trustworthy social media strategies that can help you to create a buzz around. Below you will find some trustworthy tips to achieve success with affiliate marketing.

  • Affiliates can start by creating a resource page online. Although these pages can have a variety of products, they must be organized very carefully on the website. Make sure your content can capture the attention of readers online. And the collection must appear relevant and interesting to the target audience. 
  • It is not just about creating a loud sales pitch; at the same time, your blog must have educational value as well. Well optimized and SEO rich content can help your webpage to avail higher ranking on search engine results. It is the most trustworthy way to bring organic traffic to product pages.  
  • Another remarkable idea is to create some customized content to meet the specific requirements of buyers. Basically, your blogs and campaigns must make sense to the target audience. You can start by writing detailed reviews for courses, products, books and software products. 
  • Your campaigns must prove how your product is better than the competitors. It will help to build more trust in the market and people would definitely love to initiate a purchase. Make use of the right keywords and place the content on most engaging platforms online. It is the best way to ensure consistent flow of traffic in the market. 
  • Other than this, you can also offer some bonus content to the audience. They would definitely love to get video demos, overviews, quick start guides and set up instructions for products. 

4. Meet Legal Requirements

If you are beginning your business as an affiliate marketer in the United States, it is good to take permissions from Federal Trade Commissions. However, in case if in your city, there is no specific requirement or legal restrictions, you can start this business anytime with ease. 

It is good to be transparent and honest with the work you do. Trust plays a major role in the success of any business, and it will make your life better with time. 

Whenever you share the product links online, you can tell them that you are going to get some commissions for every purchase. Also, let them know about why you are recommending that specific product. Let them know that you have used or tested it earlier and it can ensure great results. 

What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work

Types of Products You Can Promote As An Affiliate

Now, you know what is affiliate marketing, and at the same time, you are now aware of how does it work. It is time to pick the best product to make money online using affiliate network. Well, there is a wide range of products that you can think of promoting online, but they are primarily divided into four different categories. Few essential details about them are listed below:

Digital Downloads

The first most idea is promoting digital products such as eBooks, books, software, and mobile applications. These products are accessible to the buyers instantly; they need not wait for several days to receive the package. Digital downloadable products can be in any form such as PDFs, video files, audios, links and eBooks as well.

Hosted, Online and Professional Services

When we talk about selling services, it is important to target audience without any geographic restrictions. Location-based promotions can limit your earnings. In this category, you can choose the services of a designer, some creative business, content marketing services, accounting, finance, research and consulting or membership sites. Make sure your offers appeal to the audience, and they find them more valuable. 

Online Courses

Here is another important subset of digital products. This product idea is more valuable for the bloggers as they can easily create valuable content for this. You can start with some educational courses or training programs. The target audience can be school students, parents, kids, or some adults as well. 

eCommerce Stores

Last but not the least idea in the list is eCommerce business. You can promote various merchant products via your eCommerce store online. Before you begin with this idea, it is important to understand that profits on eCommerce products are usually low because you have to manage shipping, storage and production cost as well. Some of the best ideas in this category are tech gadgets, niche shopping, and many other cool things that are required for everyday usage. 


Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to make online income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. This guide on what is affiliate marketing and how does it work help beginners to grow business online. Success of the job depends on affiliate marketer skills. A skilled affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from home without making their own products or services.

Above guide on what is affiliate marketing and how does it work help you to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and start making online money.

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