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What is affiliate marketing? It’s a pay-for-performance business model that allows you to earn passive income. You’ll usually find that affiliate marketers are very knowledgeable about digital marketing. However, they must adapt to an ever-changing technological and business landscape to succeed.

But don’t be fooled to believe that affiliate marketing works in a vacuum; most successful marketers take into account the principles of business and economics. It’s a business with low entry barriers but the possibility of paying sizeable dividends where investments in money and time go a long way. Today, I’ll explore what affiliate marketing is about.

Definition of affiliate marketing

An extended definition of affiliate marketing is the arrangement of a marketing deal where a retailer on the internet pays a commission to a person or business for sales or traffic. As you can see, the basics are simple.

The good news is that the more you work, the brighter you are, the more you earn. Affiliate commissions can substitute your income from work entirely or can be a valuable extra at the end of the month.

What is passive income?

When you work, even freelancing, your work hours have a price. This means the more you work, the more you earn, that is, until you extinguish your time. Then, if you want to make more, the answer is usually to increase your fees.

Passive income comes from an enterprise where the individual or business owner is not involved by actively participating. This means that your work lives on the internet, and it can make you money even while you’re sleeping at night.

About the merchant

Also known as the brand or retailer. The merchant is the owner of a product or service. You will find traditional brands such as Amazon and Home Depot, which stock physical objects, and you’ll also find merchants who produce digital products exclusively.

Digital products tend to provide a generous affiliate commission. This commission usually begins with 50% of the eBook’s price, course, software, an audio file, photo, videos, game, etc. This is the # 1 reason why affiliates worldwide think about promoting digital products.

About the network

Some product creators choose to take care of payments to affiliates and provide all the transactions needed for the business to function correctly. However, the truth is that a network is a centralized place that handles all this for you.

The network is an intermediary between you and the merchant. It allows you to choose suitable affiliate programs. In addition, they provide value by sharing quality information not only about these affiliate programs but also giving you marketing expertise and valuable statistics.

About the publisher

This will be you if you decide to become an affiliate. You take care of making products available to the public in exchange for a commission. You’ll usually promote products you’ve used or products you like.

To become an affiliate, you choose one or many platforms. Then you pick a niche you have experience with. The next step is to join an affiliate program. You then create content and drive traffic to your site. This allows people to click on your affiliate links. Then you transform these clicks into sales.

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About the customer

All these processes and people involved are created to satisfy a customer. The customer is king and is the one who pays for these products. The whole system moves when they make a purchase, allowing you, as an affiliate, to get paid by providing value to these operations.

A consumer is the one who drives affiliate marketing. They find out about the products they need through the affiliate’s blogs, social media channels, websites, or email newsletters.

Choosing products

There are many ways to choose products. The most reasonable is to promote a product you’ve used. You can select an evergreen product; this means this product is in demand most of the year for an unlimited period. This way, you’ll make sure your efforts pay year after year.

It’s recommended that you select a niche before you pick a product. The reason for this is that you’ll want to provide related products. In addition, this allows coherence to your brand and advertising materials.

How to market

As an affiliate, you have many marketing channels and tactics you can follow. The first step is analyzing what your strengths and weaknesses are. With this information at hand, you may want to choose from the following:

  • Promoting products through an email list
  • Create webinars
  • Write reviews
  • Write blog posts and drive traffic to them
  • Pay-per-click advertising

You can focus on one or many of these methods at the same time. Then, feel free to add more ways to market the products you choose.

Affiliate marketing opens the door to digital marketing

As you gain experience, you’ll understand more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), copywriting, social media marketing, content marketing, how to drive traffic, conversion optimization, etc. These elements are all part of digital marketing.

As your skills evolve, you’ll find you get better at being an affiliate. These improvements include understanding how the internet and the markets you’re in work. Affiliate marketing is a subset of digital marketing.

Can you make money from affiliate marketing?

The short answer is: absolutely yes. It can be a lucrative business. However, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme; you’ll need an investment of money and time. Perform your research before jumping in. An advisor or mentor can be an asset if they have walked the path you want to be in.

The more you know, the better you’ll do with affiliate marketing. It’s a rewarding path, professionally and monetarily. You’ll succeed in this field with the proper training, mindset, tools, and work.


We have explored the definition of online marketing along with the question of what passive income is? We’ve analyzed the different players in the affiliate marketing industry: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.

We understood how to choose products, how to market, and the relationship between affiliate marketing and digital marketing. Finally, we acknowledge the question about financial gains from affiliate marketing.

As a product creator and affiliate myself, I can tell you that affiliate offers are a fantastic way to provide value to an audience. This audience might be searching for solutions for a particular problem, or they are exploring an opportunity, and you can be the one who points them in the right direction.