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A Learner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

A Senior Instructional Designer by profession, Preety loves to write about IT world that include digital marketing as well.


You may have heard that people around the world are making millions through Affiliate marketing. Well! That’s not at all false. People are genuinely making big moolahs just that they know how to leverage it efficiently. In other words, you can say they own the right affiliate marketing skills. If you too want to take a stab at it, the article is worth reading.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

One of the widely used forms of marketing these days, affiliate marketing was first introduced in 1996 in Amazon. As the name signifies, affiliate marketing is a marketing method by which you earn money in the form of commission for promoting a business, product, or service in different ways. And, as far as becoming an affiliate marketer is concerned, it is possible for anyone anytime, all you require is a popular blog or website and some knowledge of digital marketing to capitalize on it.

Believe it or not, some people make more than $1,000,000 a year as an Affiliate Marketer. Once you step into the affiliate marketing arena and move ahead, you will gradually get to know several people who make a big income through affiliate marketing.

It’s not that only you as an affiliate get benefit from affiliate marketing. The reason why the affiliate marketing sector is growing rapidly is that it benefits the merchant as well proving to be a win-win for both parties.

In affiliate marketing, a company wants to boost sales for their product or service without impacting the overall expenses for which they take the help of the affiliates who promote their offerings and get a small percentage of each sale as an incentive.

If the words like affiliate and the merchant sound a bit technical to you here are the main terms involved in affiliate marketing with precise information as to what they are:

Merchant: The Company or the brand that wants to sell its products or service.

Affiliate: The person who promotes the merchant’s products or services and earns a commission for each sale. An affiliate is also known as a publisher.

Network: The link connecting the affiliate and the merchant that allows the affiliates to enter the affiliate program. The network looks after the tools that are used to monitor the sales & performance as well as does various other tasks like generating reports, processing the payments, and so on.

Customer: The one who makes the purchase.

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Affiliate Marketing Illustration

The illustration of an affiliate marketing site will help you understand the concept of the subject more effectively. Here is an example of a very good affiliate site called, a shopping catalog website that promotes a variety of gifts. Now, every gift they display is linked to a merchant site and once the searchers click the Menu Arrow icon, the link or More, they get directed to that merchant site.



Before you become an affiliate for any merchant, you must research your merchant’s target market so that you are well acquainted with what its customer wants, what issues they are going through, what they like or dislike, and various other crucial information related to them. This is how you can better identify and engage your merchant’s prospective customers. You will be able to create content relevant for the searchers and serve their purpose.

So, this was a brief introduction to affiliate marketing and now we will talk about the mechanism behind affiliate marketing however before that let’s have a quick look at a few numbers related to it:

Affiliate Marketing Stats 2022:

  • Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry. (Source: Statista)
  • 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs. (Source: Mediakix)
  • An astounding 94% of publishers are using multiple affiliate marketing networks. (Source: Affise)
  • More than 73% of merchants believe affiliate marketing programs meet their revenue expectations. (Source: Fetch Profits)
  • About 9% of affiliate marketers today make more than $50,000 a year. (Source: Investopedia)
  • Ad blockers don’t affect affiliate marketing done right. (Source: Commission factory)

Moreover, as revealed by BloggingX the affiliate marketing global worth is estimated to be $12 billion and even a small portion of the market share will be a decent income for you.

The mechanism behind Affiliate marketing: How does it work?

Let’s come directly to the story!

You as an affiliate or publisher own a blog or a website and you are given a link to the merchant’s product or service that are mainly direct links that you can place on your blog or website relevantly. Now, when the readers of your site click on these links that are called affiliate links they are directed to the merchant’s website where they can purchase the product if they want.

Now the idea is how you get paid as an affiliate? The affiliate links that direct searchers to the merchant’s website place cookies on the searchers’ computers that are valid for a significant number of days and if any purchase is made by the searcher on the merchant’s website, then the commission is paid to you. The movement of the buyers is tracked by the internet cookies that attribute the sales to each affiliate and so they play a critical role in affiliate marketing.

There are various compensation methods in affiliate marketing such as PPS (pay-per-sale model), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-mille/cost-per-thousand views (CPM), or a cost-per-action (CPA) but the most popular is PPS i.e. pay-per-sale where a commission is paid to you based on sales. Even companies like Amazon use the PPS mechanism for compensating the affiliates.

One thing that’s quite straightforward is – the more the people flock to your site, the chances are bigger the figure of the commission that is paid to you.

Wrap Up

Of course! Affiliate marketing lets you earn big but earning a big fortune or making big bucks right in the beginning isn’t that easy in any business. At the start, it requires a considerable amount of time, relevant skills with the right set of tools, some business understanding, and a lot of determination.

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