What is affiliate marketing and how do you actually make money with it?

Last Update: April 19, 2020

It seems like everyone and their mother are making money as affiliate marketeers. Some call themselves travel bloggers, others mommy bloggers. You will see titles as content marketeers and straight up affiliate marketeers, but all of them have one thing in common. A large portion of their online income is coming from affiliate marketing.

But what is affiliate marketing and how do you actually make money with it?

I'll try to break it down as simple as possible.

All these people are really sales people for one or more companies they are affiliated with and earn commissions if they sell something.

So step by step this is what happens.

Step 1 - Product

The Affiliate starts when he/she has found a product that they want to promote.

For this example we will use the mommy blogger that has the newest and best stroller (in her opinion) and she finds out this stroller can be bought online and that the website in question have an affiliate program. So she signs up.

Step 2 - Review/Article

Next the blogger/marketeer creates content to let everyone know how much she loves this particular stroller. She writes an extensive review, maybe creates a video about it too and somewhere in the text she will put her affiliate link.

Step 3 - Promote

Then the blogger will start to promote so that you will actually find the article. You may land on her page about the stroller through Google Search or through Pinterest.

Step 4 - Visitors

When a visitor lands on the review page and ends up clicking the affiliate link to check out the promoted product, they are taken to the website of the store that sells it. Where they can look at the stroller in more detail, see how much it is and what other products the company offers.

Step 5 - Purchase

Then the visitor buy and the mommy blogger does a happy dance. Because this is (for most affiliate programs) when the blogger gets paid. In most cases even if the visitor bought another product, the affiliate still gets paid.This means a certain percentage of the total purchase price.

The affiliate commission can range from any where between 2% and 75% depending on what you are promoting.So if the stroller costs $100 and the mommy blogger gets a 20% commission, this means that she will get paid $20 per stroller that is sold through her.

If you want a more visual representation of this explanation please see the image below that was created by Wealthy Affiliate's co-owner Kyle.

If you want to start as an affiliate marketer and build your own niche website, I highly recommend joining Wealthy Affiliate. They have a free option which will get you the training you need to start building your online business. Then when you are ready you can upgrade to premium ($49/mo or $359/year, totally worth it) to get more training, more features and access to the amazing community at Wealthy Affiliate.

You can read all about the features in my article "10 Reasons Why I Love Wealthy Affiliate".

Still not sure about all this, I recommend you read my article on the 3 reasons why running a niche site is the best side job ever.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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