What On Earth Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be considered one of the hardest concepts to get a grasp of and make lucrative, but at the same time, with the right resources and a helping hand, it can be one of the easiest.

Most businesses require you to invest money, sell a product, ship a product, set up a complicated merchant account, etc. Affiliate marketing doesn’t require any of this. Affiliate marketing is simple enough for a teenager to pick up. To be successful, all you need is a little bit of time, dedication, and you’ll be just fine.

It’s Not Brain Surgery!

It’s one of those things that doesn’t require you to have a college diploma and at the same time, still gives you the opportunity to make some big bucks! You don’t even need a high school diploma, I started making money as an affiliate marketer before I even graduated high school!

The only thing you need to become an affiliate marketer is the drive to be your own boss, the dedication to stick to the plans you make for yourself and the heart to keep trying even when things aren’t going exactly as planned. Affiliate marketing gives anyone a chance to make money online, that’s what makes it so popular!

Reasons To Become an Affiliate Marketer

  • Low Risk – Unlike most business ventures, when you start an affiliate marketing business, you don’t have to worry about excessive overheads, bills, and things like getting in debt. In the world of affiliate narketing, you only have business expenses if you choose to!
  • No Boss – Like any other work at home business, you get to work for yourself! You don’t have to worry about going to work everyday or waking up at a certain time. You work when you want and do as much as you feel like doing!
  • More Vacations – What’s great about affiliate marketing is that you can work wherever you want! You don’t have to worry about not being able to go on vacation or relocating because you won’t be able to keep bringing in the cash.
  • Anyone Can Do It – Affiliate marketing isn’t one of those businesses that is only for people with big college or high school diplomas! Anyone can do it as long as they have the right attitude and the determination to work at it.
  • Money Money Money – There is so much money to be made in the affiliate marketing business. As long as companies keep creating products, the opportunity to make lot’s of money will be there!

Being An Affiliate Marketer Does Not Mean…

  • Overnight Riches – A lot of people tend to think that working online is the secret to getting rich overnight. This is one of the Internet’s biggest myths! If you go into the affiliate marketing business expecting to be rich the next day, you’re going to be gravely disappointed.
  • Scamming People – Some people tend to think that being an affiliate marketer is being a scammer. This is not true. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to connect customers with the products that they are looking for. New affiliate marketers tend to think that their job is to trick people in to buying things that they don’t need by telling them anything they need to hear.
  • Spamming – Another thing that new affiliate marketers tend to think is that they are supposed to spam as many mailboxes, forums, and pretty much anywhere they can. This is also not true, affiliate marketing and spamming are far from the same thing, as an affiliate marketer, you only target a certain group of people that you think would be interested in what you’re promoting. Spammers target anyone.

So What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be considered by many as the biggest opportunity to ever hit the world of marketing. Running an affiliate marketing business lacks a lot of the risks that you’re guaranteed to run into with most other businesses.

Most businesses require you to invest money, sell a product, ship a product, set up a complicated merchant account, etc. Affiliate marketing doesn’t require any of this. Affiliate marketing is simple enough for a teenager to pick up.

To be successful, all you need is a little bit of time, dedication, and you’ll be just fine.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is the process of you directing Internet surfers to a product that does what they’re looking for. You make money by directing them through your link and getting them to make a purchase. They make the purchase, and then you get paid from the company who made the product.

Sound simple? It’s a little more complicated than that but now that you have an understanding of Affiliate Marketing, it’s time to further break things down for you. Affiliate marketing consists of four parts, the Merchant, the Network, the Publisher, and the Customer.

The Merchant:

In other words, the merchant can be called the retailer. The retailer is the one who goes through the process of designing the product, distributing the product, and making sure the product works the way it should.

Affiliate marketing has become extremely popular among merchants due to the Pay-When-Paid nature of it. Merchants get free advertisement from those affiliates who don’t make any sales, and make money when affiliates do make sales.

Examples of merchants can be pretty much any company that you can think of like, Nike, Adidas, or Kellogg and Quaker Oats. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about the retailer, you’ll be doing business with the retailer through a middle man known as a Network. Making a little more sense?

We’ll go into more detail about becoming a merchant in a later section. The best affiliates are really good at understanding customers, and because of this tend to become the best merchants. For now,the merchant is something you need to be too concerned about, but keep your options open for the future. Now it’s time to go into what the functions of a network are, and we’re not referring to the network that connects your computers, we’re talking about an affiliate network.

The Affiliate Network:

Affiliate networks play a huge roll in the world of affiliate marketing today. Affiliate networks act as a middle man between you, the publisher and the merchant selling the product or service. Affiliate networks make it a lot more simple for you to gain access to the affiliate programs you’re looking for.

The way it works is that you sign up with the affiliate network on their website and then the affiliate network has an interface that provides you with a large database containing links and banners to promote the Merchant’s product of your choice.

Each affiliate network has a system built where each publisher signed up on their site, has a unique member id that is added to the links they provide you with for promoting merchant products. This way, whenever a customer makes a purchase after clicking on your link that you sent them to, you get credit for the sale and get paid a commission, percentage of the product price. Because your unique link has a tracking ID, the merchant and affiliate network know that it was you who made the sale and not someone else.

Examples of some popular affiliate networks are ClickBankCommission JunctionAzoogle Ads and Linkshare, but as you become more of an advanced affiliate marketer, you have a lot more to chose from.

The Publisher and The Customer

You’re the publisher, or in other words the affiliate. As an affiliate it’s your job to drive traffic to links that you place online, through one way or another. We won’t go in to too much detail here about how you’re supposed to get that traffic to your link, and how to get your link online, because there’s way too much to list in this brief section, but you’ll learn more than enough information as you continue to read through the pages on this site.

Now it’s time to look at what a customer does. We’re sure that anyone who’s made it to first grade understands what a customer is, but in the world of affiliate marketing, understanding how a customer thinks is one of the most important aspects.

There’s more to a customer than most new affiliates think. It’s not as simple as finding someone that wants a products, and getting them to buy the one you’re promoting. In most cases with new affiliates, the customer won’t even read what you have to say, let alone buy what you recommend. The first step is to connect with the customer so that you build credibility. The average customers believes that whatever you’re recommending is a scam, when buying things online, mainly because they don’t know who you are or what your motive is.

Another big mistake new affiliates make when dealing with customers, is lying to them just to make a sale. If you trick a customer into buying a product by making up things, they’re going to feel ripped off and nothing is worse than a ripped off customer. They’ll get a refund in many cases and then on top of that, they’ll do what they can to spread negative publicity about your site, blog, article or whatever method you used to lure them in.


Affiliate marketing is an awesome way for anyone to make money online, no matter who they are. If you want to start making money online, affiliate marketing is the way to go. Just remember, be honest, and practice ethical marketing strategies.

What do you think of affiliate marketing?