What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?

Once upon a time, I was just like you Googling what’s affiliate marketing. Now, here I am making a blog post about it. It all might seem complicated at first but it will all make sense the more you learn.

So What is affiliate marketing and how does it work? Simply said: Affiliate marketing is referring people to a product or a service and getting a commission in return. And by the end of this post, you will know how you can start an online business with affiliate marketing.

And it’s no small industry. Affiliate marketing spending is worth over $6.8 billion dollars!

The way it works is, the work you do at the beginning of your affiliate journey rewards you with PASSIVE INCOME in the years to come. This is why I do affiliate marketing and why you should too. In fact, Just Online Business is mainly monetized by affiliate marketing, so you know this is something I’m actively learning and applying to my own business.

So let’s get into the details!

What is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Process

As per the diagram above. Starting in the number 1 position, A customer does a search query on the internet, and your website or social media pops up then the customer reads your post, blog, or video and clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase. Then you get a percentage of that sale.

So how common is affiliate marketing and how many people do affiliate marketing?

You have definitely seen affiliate marketers but you might not have realized it was affiliate marketing.

If you have been on a website reading an article about let’s say “The best coffee maker”. Guess what those links to buy at the end might be? If it leads you to the company selling that product, It’s an affiliate link.

You probably get on YouTube to watch videos. Maybe some are just how-to videos, some are reviews of products you’re interested in. The creator of those videos have links in the description for products they talk about in the video or special discounts for products if you use their special code. Heck, it could be a chair he or she sits on. If you see a link like that and when you click it leads you to the product on Amazon or other retailers. That’s most likely an affiliate link!

Youtube Affiliate Marketing Example
Here’s an example from one of my favorite Youtubers

What Are Affiliate Programs

I can’t talk about affiliate marketing without talking about affiliate programs. Because to do affiliate marketing you have to be part of an affiliate program.

An affiliate program is a company you join as a publisher to promote their product or service.

You might be thinking… there can’t be many companies that have affiliate programs, right? Wrong.

You have heard of Amazon, right? They have one of the oldest and the biggest affiliate program. eBay has a really good affiliate program. K-Mart, Walmart, Uber, Godaddy, they all have affiliate programs!

There are people right now making really good money promoting products of these companies right now!

And a company like ClickBank, which has a marketplace for digital products pays up to 75% of a sale.

ClickBank Front Page

So you might be wondering how is it all tracked? How does the company you’re promoting know that it’s you that sent the referral so you get paid?

By using links with your unique ID on it.

The link you are using to direct customers to the product or service you’re promoting is unique to you. They contain a special ID so that the company knows, the person using that link is your referral.

Read: This is where I learned affiliate marketing

What Makes Affiliate Marketing Awesome?

You can promote to the world and it can be done for free through organic traffic. Organic traffic is when you write a post or review or create a video about a product and get traffic for free from search engine sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved:

The Company your promoting gets customers that they would have never gotten if it wasn’t for you and you the affiliate marketer gets paid for basically just sending the free traffic from your post to the company that sells the product and if the product is actually good and does what it says people are going to buy. And that earns you money.

In the online world, you aren’t limited by the area of a physical store. If you do this right and work at it, learn new things to promote your business, and work hard you can absolutely build a six-figure income from affiliate marketing.

At any given time, you have access to BILLIONS of people all over the world. What physical store gives that? This business model can be used by anyone who wants to succeed and make money online. It has been around since the beginning of the internet we know today.

How Much Money Can You Earn?

Traffic is the key here when it comes to affiliate marketing. If you have the traffic you can use that traffic to earn money. How much money? Well, that depends on you. Could be $20 a day or $200 a day, and some comfortably earn a six-figure income every year from affiliate marketing.

These high numbers take time to hit but think how much an extra $50 a day will mean to you. Just $50 a day is $1500 a month.

One thing I have to mention is that it is definitely NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. Tell me the last get-rich-quick-scheme worked for you? That’s right, this a real online business.

How You Can Build a Business in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing in its simplest form is a 4 step process.

Choose Your Niche – Affiliate Marketing can be on any topic you wish. I recommend that you choose something you are interested in writing about. Because if you aren’t interested in writing about that topic you will eventually get bored and quit. This can range from phone cases, golf clubs, drones, to learning how to play the guitar. The topics are endless and there’s always a quality product or a service to promote in any topic.

Build a Website – Back when I built my first website 10 years ago, it was a difficult process. I had to learn HTML and use complicated programs like Dreamweaver. Well, gone are those days. It is so easy to build a website in 2021. Now you can build one literally in minutes. There are platforms like WordPress that will build you a brand new professional looking website within minutes.

Let the Traffic Build – You’ve chosen your topic, you’ve built a website, now you need people to visit your site. To get traffic, you need content for your readers to read. So, write a post about the topic you’ve chosen. The traffic will increase with time. And no you don’t have to write amazing literature pieces. It just needs to be simple and easy for the reader to understand.

Earn Money! – Earning money is the easy part. You’ll earn money even when you are sleeping. Once you have the 3 things above money will come with time. It takes a grace period for a website to mature. It could take you a few weeks, or a month or 2. It all depends, but one thing for sure, if you are persistent, and you follow a good affiliate course, and work hard, you’ll surely see the fruits of your labor sooner.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

  • You can do it while working on a full-time job
  • It costs next to nothing to build compared to building a business offline
  • You don’t need to create the product or service
  • You don’t need to be the expert
  • Your customer base is not limited geographically
  • You get to choose what companies to partner with
  • Work at it whenever you want

Downsides to Affiliate Marketing

  • It can be confusing until you get going and learn the basics
  • It might not be for everybody – Look, no matter how good is something it’s not something we all like equally
  • It takes time to see results – Good things take time 😉

How You Can Learn to be a Successful Affiliate Marketer

You can read all about affiliate marketing on this website. I write weekly about affiliate marketing on JustOnlineBusiness. However, I learned to do affiliate marketing on an online platform.

This platform is called Wealthy Affiliate. The best part is I’m still a member there. So if you want to learn all about affiliate marketing and have all the tools you need to run and maintain an online business, that’s the place I will recommend.

Wealthy Affiliate Membership Banner


Affiliate marketing is the best online business to get started as a beginner entrepreneur. It does require some work upfront but it all pays off at the end if you do it the right way.

The online world is ever-changing. Affiliate marketing has changed and evolved a lot from 10 years ago and with Google setting new industry standards it will continue to change.

That’s actually really good news for you. Why? because change is not all bad. In fact, I would say affiliate marketing has become easier for a beginner with all the tools and resources around. And with the ever growing internet, it will only continue to increase in popularity. That’s why I recommend that you join a platform like Wealthy Affiliate to place the proper foundation for your affiliate business.

Did you find this post helpful? tell me if I answered your question in the comments. You can also leave a comment if you have any area you would like me to answer more in detail. Your feedback will help me improve my content.

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