In this article, I’m going to explain to you what affiliate marketing is and break it down into plain easy-to-understand English.

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting someone else's product or service. By promoting someone else's product or service using what is called an affiliate link, which is a link that you can get from a company, when someone clicks on that link and then goes ahead and buys the product, you earn a commission.

There are many different affiliate programs out there. Most companies, products, or services have what is called an affiliate program. This is basically a program that gives other people the ability to join for free and promote their product and earn a commission.

When you join an affiliate program you'll get what is called an affiliate link, which is a special link that will allow you and the company to track which sales were attributed to you. There are some circumstances where things might not be tracked perfectly but for the most part, you get a commission for promoting that product.

Affiliate marketing is a great thing and the reason why it's so valuable to get started with online is that:
- You don't have to create a product;
- You don't have to create a service;
- You don't have to be the expert;
- You don't even have to really sell the product.

Basically what you're doing is sharing a product or service with people that you might know: family members, friends, your lists, subscribers, or followers. Whatever might be, you're sharing a product or service with them or you're endorsing something, and when they click the link they're going to go to the other person's website, which will sell the product or service.

The product owner has already done all the marketing, has customer support, and the delivery of the product. You just get paid by sending traffic to their website and then you make money in exchange for that.

Affiliate marketing is always a win-win for everybody involved:

- It's a win for the company because the company has now acquired a customer or a sale that they previously would have never gotten if it wasn't for you.

- It's a win for you because you've got to earn money and a commission with very little effort. You didn't have to come up with the idea, you didn't have to take the risk, you didn't have to invent something, you didn't have to be the expert, you didn't have to spend all the time and money to create all the marketing, the website, and all that sort of stuff. You easily get paid just by leveraging your subscribers, followers, list, or traffic in some way.

- It's a win for the customer because the customer now gets to benefit from the product or service. Hopefully, the product meets their needs and helps them out in some way.

Every successful business owner that I know leverage affiliate marketing because it just makes sense. If you've got a business selling supplements then it makes sense to maybe find information products or digital products that can complement it, so you can also promote and earn money from it. If you have an audience interested in health and fitness, you're not going to invent a blender like the Vitamix but you can just enjoy their affiliate program and promote their blender instead.

You're partnering your joint venturing with other businesses and companies. Your whole job as an affiliate is just getting traffic and visitors.

Affiliate marketing is just a great way to get started because you don't have to take any of the risks of creating a business and a product. You might fail, it might not work out, it might cost you a lot of money and a lot of time, besides the need to have customer support.

Instead, if you just focus on building a blog, a YouTube channel, or a Facebook page, you attract people to you and then you can easily funnel them into other people's products and earn a lot of money by doing that.
Affiliate Marketing Programs

Here are some examples of affiliate marketing programs.

- Amazon is the number one online retailer and has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Anyone can join and it's free. After approval, you have the opportunity to earn up to 10% on purchases made by your referrals. And since Amazon sells everything, you can find relevant products regardless of which niche you choose.

- ClickBank is a marketplace for digital product producers. Essentially, they connect the vendors with affiliates. The best part is that ClickBank processes all of the transactions for the vendors and pays the affiliates. When you partner with ClickBank, you can rest assured that you will be paid.
Since their products are digital, there are almost no fulfillment costs. This allows companies to pay 75% commissions. Meaning $60 products can earn you $45 commissions.

ClickBank has a huge selection. In their marketplace, you can find a digital product to fit any niche. They have everything from WoodWorking Plans to Survival Strategies and Forex Trading.

- Software As A Service (SAAS) and website hosting are highly lucrative affiliate marketing opportunities that are easy to promote. Online businesses need tools to run their business. You can earn commissions by connecting new businesses in need of the software required to run their business. No selling necessary.


When someone clicks on an affiliate link, a cookie is placed on their browser and that will track usually for up to 30 days. Some might track for up to 60 days or longer, and others like Amazon track within 24 hours. What that means is, if you click on my affiliate link and you go to the product page and you decide that you don't want to purchase it just yet (you want to think about it and do some more research), if you go back to the website two or three weeks later and you decide to purchase the product (as long as that cookie is still on your browser) I'm going to get credit for that sale, even though you purchased 30 days after clicking my affiliate link.

How great is that?


Affiliate marketing is a big opportunity and it’s been helping thousands of people that were not even marketers to begin with.

When you learn how to leverage the online world to make it work for you, you’ll find it very fulfilling and you’ll never want to go back to another boring 9 to 5 job.

Author's Bio: 

Vasco Lourenço is a freelance digital marketer that teaches people how to start their online business and generate a side income. You can find out more at