What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote other companies’ products. When someone buys through your affiliate link, you get a commission.
As an affiliate, you’re a salesperson for the company. You help to make a sale, the company rewards you.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you can do it at scale. A typical salesperson only sells products from one company. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from many different companies and earn commissions from all of them.
How does affiliate marketing work?
The merchant gives each affiliate a unique link so they can track who was responsible for a sale. The link will usually look something like this:
When someone clicks that link, a small file called a cookie gets stored on their device.
An affiliate cookie does two things:
- It helps the merchant attribute the sale back to the right person;
- It (usually) holds an expiration date, so you get paid even if the buyer delays their purchase.
Here’s an example of how this works.
Imagine that a reader visits your post about the best winter jackets. They click on one of your affiliate links, leading them to a product on Amazon.
But they realized they have to pick up their daughter from school. So they leave their house, pick up their daughter, have dinner, and then finally go back to Amazon where they find the product again.
Since they’re already shopping on Amazon, they decide to purchase some ski gear too.
Here’s the good news. Earlier, they clicked on your affiliate link and a cookie was stored on their device. Because Amazon has a 24-hour cookie duration, you get compensated for both the winter jacket and ski gear—even though you didn’t promote the latter.
How much money can I make as an affiliate marketer?
The simple answer is that there is no limit. It depends on your niche and the amount of work you put in.
The most successful affiliate marketers make six or seven figures a month.
You need to manage your expectations. You won’t earn the big bucks right off the bat, but don’t let this discourage you.
The success of others tells you that with hard work, time, and the right knowledge, you too can potentially reach those levels.
How to get started with affiliate marketing
Follow these simple Guides to get started with affiliate marketing.