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What is Affiliate Marketing?

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon Affiliate Associate links, through which I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I genuinely believe in. Visit my Privacy Policy page for more information.

What is Affiliate Marketing, and How Can I Get Started?

In this day and age, sponsors and advertisers are everywhere – but did you know that you, too, can get in on the action and start with little or no money?

Whether you’re a blogger or a video content creator, affiliate marketing can help you earn some serious passive affiliate marketing income.

But what is affiliate marketing – and what are affiliate marketers?

If you’re new to this side of making money on the web, keep reading, and we’ll share everything you need to know.

diagram showing how affiliate marketing works

What is affiliate marketing, anyway?

In affiliate marketing, one party helps another to sell its products. The first party then earns a commission on the sale of the third party’s products. What is an affiliate? Effectively, it’s you.

Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

The great thing about affiliate marketing and being an affiliate marketer is that you do not have to go for the hard sell on the affiliate product you choose to promote with your affiliate link.

Your job will not be to feature everything they do in your work – but what you can do is be sure to mention it where applicable in your writing, or provide seamless links throughout your copy.

By offering excellent in-depth tutorials, promoting products, comparison reviews, and articles on the products on your own website, you can help your target audience gain insight and a reason to buy the products.

Is the Amazon Affiliate program is it right for you?

Have you ever noticed links dotted around inside blog posts and guides online? When clicking on them, you may arrive at an Amazon page, which is of course, because the page you were on is using the Amazon affiliate program, which may or may not be something that suits you.

The aim is, then, for the reader to click through, buy the product, and get a cut of the profit. That is, in a nutshell, that’s affiliate marketing with Amazon. Selling physical products is not for everyone and some prefer to sell digital products, which can be easier and bring repeat commission payments.

What is local seo?

Affiliate networks and Google

With Google’s latest guidelines, you need to make sure you create legitimately useful or helpful content. Therefore, it needs to serve a purpose other than just linking readers through to products! You do hear of affiliates making money selling junk products with poor content. However, this is not a sustainable business. Do it right, add value, and sell high-quality services and products.

Promote products to increase value

Affiliate marketing can also provide a great way of increasing the value of your pages. By linking your readers directly to the products they need, they will see you as a more professional and valuable source, making your content more interesting and potentially more popular.

Shopping cart for affiliate products

How do I start Affiliate Marketing?

There are a few reliable tried-and-tested routes into affiliate marketing, with many people choosing to sign up for packages and an affiliate program that reward them each month. Let’s break this down a little further.

Choose your medium

With affiliate marketing, you can effectively choose the platform through which you’d like to sell.

Whether you write for blogs, make videos, or are influential on social media, you can insert affiliate links into your affiliate website pages and drive web traffic to them.

There are rules with most affiliate programs, so make sure you check the terms as some don’t want you linking directly from social media platforms.

Affiliate marketing via blogging and YouTube video

Two of the most efficient and effective channels for affiliate marketing passive income are blogging and YouTube.

Now, unless you have a successful YouTube channel, your best bet will likely be blogging, especially with the emergence of helpful Ai tools! Blogs can be cheap and easy to run as long as you keep up with the content and continue to writehave useful blogs that interest and bring in your audience.

Again, your guides and content will need to genuinely answer questions and not be walls of irrelevant fluff. That’s not the way to increase your affiliate marketing efforts.

Choose the right affiliate marketing audience

The second most important thing to do is to find your audience. Writing for the sake of writing will get you nowhere.

You need to be writing quality content for a specific group of people or readers and choose the right affiliate marketing products you understand and believe in. Who do you resonate with, and what are you an expert on?

Once you have chosen/understood your audience, you will be able to select the right products to send them to – and look for appropriate affiliate schemes.

8 Tips for Effective Content Marketing for Local SEO ,target market hyperlocal social marketing illustration

Choose your affiliate program and products

From here, you simply need to find an affiliate program and product links you can seamlessly insert into your content.

You’ll find there are affiliate programs for casino games and online slot sites, for example, where you can promote specific games and products, but does promoting gambling feel ethical to you? If not, choose something else, and make sure it’s something you believe in.

Some of the most targeted subjects in the affiliate marketing world

  1. Fashion
  2. Travel
  3. Technology and Gaming
  4. Education
  5. Home Decor
  6. Health and Wellness
  7. Finance
  8. Food
  9. Beauty and Cosmetics
  10. Art
  11. Pets
  12. Sports
  13. Luxury Goods

Not every Affiliate marketing program is created equal

It’s relatively easy to find affiliate programs online, but do make sure there’s no ‘negative carryover’.

This refers to a scheme effectively penalising you for not making any affiliate sales month to month. As with everything else, always read the fine print carefully!

Making money in your spare time as Affiliate marketers

An affiliate scheme should provide you with products and services you can link out to and promote. Flexibility will vary from provider to provider, so choose wisely.

You can then start affiliate marketing for as much or as little time as you want – and if your blogs are seen through the Google search engine, anyone can become a successful affiliate marketer, and you can make some serious passive income on the side!

lady affiliate marketer promoting an affiliate product via her own blog

What is the best Affiliate marketing program?

The best affiliate network and programs don’t dabble in negative carryover, and provide you with a wide range of different products and services you can use your unique affiliate link to in your copy.

We won’t mention any specific schemes here, but it’s worth looking into reviews so you can compare and contrast what’s out there.

affiliate marketing strategies planning by a male affiliate marketer at home

What is high-ticket affiliate marketing?

High-ticket affiliate marketing is all about promoting premium products and services. Finance is often a high-ticket affiliate product. As a creative writer, you’ll have to find a way to promote these products in a way that’s both natural and genuinely beneficial to your readers, so if you don’t understand finance, don’t try and educate others!

  • How to start your affiliate marketing strategy
  • Tailor your approach to products you believe in.
  • Let your audience know you earn a commission. It’s OK.
  • Choose an affiliate niche you are passionate about and have knowledge of that area.
  • Only use your Affiliate Link. When needed, don’t spam people!
  • You can’t be a successful affiliate marketer if you never start. Keep making small, consistent steps toward the goal
  • Affiliate marketing takes time.

Just like with anything worth doing, affiliate marketing takes time to build up your content, audience, and skills to make money.

Successful affiliate marketing is achievable, but it’s not for anyone looking for the next get-rich-quick scheme, it takes time, patience, and skill to create consistent affiliate revenue.

Still, want to be an affiliate marketer? Check out our other posts affiliate marketing and make money online. You will be glad you did!

Website content being created

Is Affiliate marketing worth it?

Affiliate marketing It is absolutely worth it, but a high proportion of people who start affiliate marketing fail. That’s right fail. The reason is they expect too much, too soon, and far too easily, it takes a lot of time to get going and to start receiving regular affiliate income. With so many so-called gurus online saying how easy it is to make thousands per week, it can feel all too easy.

Trust me, do your research, take your time, and learn your skills. This journey is going to make you a regular income, but those looking for a get-rich scheme are probably best off not starting at all.

For those still eager to start your journey, I wish you the best of luck and as much support as we can from this site in regard to knowledge, resources, and motivation.


Guy Tomlinson brings 15 years of SEO mastery and 20 years in sales and marketing to the table. Founder of a successful SEO agency and a seasoned speaker at industry events, Guy is passionate about turning clicks into customers. Subscribe for insider tips and strategies that deliver real results

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