What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?


This is a brief article to answer two questions: What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

The first question: What is Affiliate Marketing…

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is recommending another company’s products or services and getting paid when someone purchases through your recommendation.

1000s of companies maintain affiliate programs including Amazon, Target and Best Buy.  These companies will allow you to become an affiliate and promote their products / services.

I don’t know if you can grasp the significance of that.  You can literally promote 10s of 1000s of the world’s highest quality products, goods and services in virtually any market:

  • That you did not create
  • That you don’t have to maintain
  • That do not require customer support
  • That you do not have to hard sell

Affiliate marketing is one of the best online businesses for all of these reasons and more.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

There is a four step process for making money with affiliate marketing:

how does affiliate marketing work?

Step 1 – Customers Search for Information

Millions of users search the web every day for information on products or services.  They want to know product features, pricing, reviews, user experiences and so forth.

This information can be in the form of a video, online article even a podcast.

An example is someone who is looking for an espresso machine who types the following into Google or Bing: best espresso machine. This customer is in the research phase.

This search term will generate a list of sites that are relevant to that search term.

The customer may then type: where to buy x esspresso machine or review of breville barista express machine.  This is when you know the customer is close to purchasing.

Step 2 – Your Website – You Create Niche Content

On your website, you have already created a series of relevant articles that speak to exactly what the customer wants.

The reason you have written these articles is because you have done your research.  You know your market, what they want, and what they buy and you provide valuable information that helps people make good decisions.

You also know how to put together keyword focused content pages that rank well in Google (for training on how to do that, check out a review of the platform I use.)

Step 3 – Customer Purchases Product Through Your Link

Within your site, you have several strategically placed affiliate links to Amazon or other stores where visitors can purchase this type of espresso machine.

When the customer clicks on that link, he / she will not pay any more money for the product or service. Your customer will be linked directly to Amazon to begin the purchase process.

Step 4 – You Make Money

For every purchase that is made through your affiliate link, Amazon will pay you anywhere from 5-8% of the purchase price. On a $350 espresso machine, that’s $21.

This is not going to break the bank, but these add up over time.  Also, this would not be the only product you promote on a coffee website for example.

BONUS! What’s great about this kind of affiliate link is that Amazon will pay you a commission on everything the customer purchases in that checkout period.  If they add books, clothes, or whatever, you’ll get a commission on those items as well.

Step-by-Step Guide for Success with Affiliate Marketing

wealthy affiliate online marketing training

If you really want to get a fast start on your affiliate marketing career, then I would recommend that you sign-up for a free account at Wealthy Affiliate (see my review here).

Wealthy Affiliate is the premier affiliate marketing platform, created by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers. It includes training, hosting, support and a step-by-step guide for creating a profitable affiliate marketing website.

What Does Your Free Account Include?

Your free account includes the following:

  1. 7 days of live help
  2. Two free websites
  3. Online Entrepreneur Certification (Phase 1 – 10 Modules)
  4. Affiliate Bootcamp Training (Phase 1 – 10 Modules)
  5. 2 Training Classrooms
  6. Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool (30 searches)
  7. 1-on-1 coaching for 7 days

Again, before you decide if this is right for you, I would encourage you to check out my very detailed review of WA. I think you might find that it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for…

Here’s to your success.