What is Affiliate Marketing and How to Make Money Online?

 make money online

Affiliate Marketing is a great way to make a part-time or full-time income online selling other people's stuff.

This business model developed in the 1990's, is an arrangement between an individual and a company.  You market the company's products in exchange for a commission when a product is sold.

For a company, affiliate marketing is great way to generate sales without having to spend any significant marketing dollars.

This form of online marketing is also known as Performance Marketing.  As an affiliate you are a sole proprietor and not a company employee.  An affiliate can use several methods of affiliate marketing to promote a product:

  • Product review
  • articles posted on a website
  • email marketing
  • Social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.)

This article will explain further what Affiliate Marketing is, also known as performance marketing, and how to make money online.

Choosing a Blog Niche

A niche is a highly specialized market segment.  A niche can include such markets as:

  • weight loss
  • dog training
  • fitness and exercise
  • home electronics

It is important that you choose the right niche for your audience.  There are literally thousands of niches you can focus on.  Some market niches are popular and some get literally no traffic.  Before you launch your blog, you need to pick a niche that you have knowledge in or have an interest in that you can make money with your content.


find a blog niche

Easy way to find popular niches

An easy way to find popular niches is to simply search the topic in the search engines.

Weight loss has about 1,690,000,000 results.  Yes, that's 1 billion!

Male enhancement has about 213,000,000 results.

Dog training has about 1,680,000,000 results

Learn to play guitar has 251,000,000 results

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Basket weaving has 23,000,000 results.

People make fun of basket weaving, and there is some truth.  The low number of search results means it is probably not a good niche to pursue.


Don't sell unrelated products on your blog

A good affiliate marketer will focus their blog in one niche.  They will not sell unrelated products on their blog, such as cell phones, cooking equipment and dog training videos.  If you sell products in a niche you have little or no knowledge, your readers will detect this, and they will click away never to return.  Readers today are very savvy.  They will expect you to have a certain level of knowledge in the niche of your blog. You are likely to make little or no money if you have a blog in a niche you have little or no knowledge of.

If you want to focus on multiple niches, you need a blog for each niche.  This. will help people who come to your blog understand what the focus is of your blog.  Your blog should focus on one niche.  People are more likely to read your content if they perceive you as a subject expert in your field.

your content is more likely to be ranked higher in the search engines, if they see your blog has high quality content that adds value to the reader, rather than being a mishmash of unrelated articles.


Pick a Name for Your Blog

Your blog name and URL should be related to your niche.  This will help the search engines rank your blog and content faster and higher in the SERPs (Search engine results page).

Most popular blog URLs have a (.com) extension.  It it recommended to stay away from using .net, .org, .co, etc.


How an Affiliate Gets Paid:

make money online

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate receives a commission when a person clicks a link you have placed in your content, such as a product review, in an article or email, or in a banner ad. When the person buys the product, you receive a commission.

An affiliate link can be placed in of the following locations:

  • an article
  • in a banner ad
  • sent in an email
  • a social media ad
  • newspaper
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As an affiliate, you are not an employee of the company whose products you are promoting.  Rather, you are an independent agent simply representing or marketing the company's products or services on your blog.

When the person comes to your blog and clicks a link, they are sent to the website of the product are promoting.  If the person buys the product, you receive a commission.

Your affiliate link includes a unique snipet of code that includes your affiliate ID.  This code tells the affiliate network which affiliate has referred the sale.


Here is an example of an affiliate link.




The code in orange is the affiliate ID.  The other numbers identify the company in the shareasale network and the product being offered.

You receive the commission 30 days after the sale.  This is in case the customer returns the product, which usually happens within 10 days of the sale.

The key to being a good affiliate marketer and making money online is not just to post lots of articles with links and banners. A good affiliate marketer explains what the product is.  They will discuss how it can resolve your issue and  the benefits of the using the product to resolve your issue.

You can also be an affiliate for a company that is not selling a product up front.  The company wants the email addresses of prospective customers to market products and services to them. An example is an insurance company that is offering free quotes in exchange for an email address.  You receive a commission every time a person fills out and submits a form.


Marketing Physical Products vs Digital Products

For new affiliates, selling physical products can be easier to make your first dollar online than selling digital products, although digital products often pay a higher commission.

Amazon.com is a good example.  Amazon.com is one of the best resources to market physical products on your blog.

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Amazon has name recognition, so when you create good content for an Amazon offer, you have a certain level of credibility.

This is unlike digital products, since the link usually sends the reader a product-specific landing page, and if the reader doesn't buy the product, you don't get paid.


Learn to Make Money Blogging

The old days of making money online are long gone. That's when you put up a blog, add some links and money rolls in..

To Make money online with blogging is a real business.  It takes time, effort and education to learn how to make money online.

With the right education and training, you can start making money online with a blog in as little as 2-3 months.

A good online course to learn to make money online should include the following:

  • How to set up a blog
  • Finding a niche
  • Creating content
  • Proper keyword research
  • Master On-page and Off-page SEO

Learn to Make Money Blogging for Less than $50.  This is a complete video course.  



Key Affiliate Marketing Terms to Know:


  • Affiliate marketing: a form of online marketing, in which you make money by marketing products on your blog.  You receive a commission when someone buys the product.
  • Affiliate: an individual who markets other companies products on their blog.
  • Affiliate marketing network: a marketplace where companies offer their products to affiliates to promote on their behalf.
  • Manager: A person who works for the company or network, and they help affiliates promote products and make commissions.
  • EPC: Earnings per click.
  • Landing page: a webpage that encourages people to buy the product or enter an email address.
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