What is affiliate marketing and how to use it to earn money online?

“Affiliate Marketing” is one of the most popular terms you will hear from popular bloggers. If you are not sure what is Affiliate Marketing and why bloggers keep referring it, again and again, keep reading this article. In simple terms, “Affiliate Marketing is the most profitable way to make money online.” Yes, this is the most profitable way. If you are confused, don’t be. I will explain it in easy terms in the coming paragraphs.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the process where one refers someone to any online product and earns commission on the purchase.

For example, If I recommend web hosting on my blog and you use the link added on the blog posts to purchase the hosting, I will earn a small commission from the web hosting company for referring you as a customer.

The affiliate commission varies from $0.10 to $10,000 depending on the product you are promoting. Most of the online stores and services have affiliate programs to drive more sales.

The reason why I say it is the most profitable because you can even start earning from your new blog using affiliate marketing while it takes a bit of time if you monetize your blog using ads. Until you have 5000 per day daily visits, you won’t earn considerable earning from ads, but you can drive 1 daily sale if you have just 10 visits a day. BlueHost gives $75 for one sale of hosting. So think if you are driving one daily sale, you will be earning $2250 a month. And this commission goes up if you drive more sales. Like $100 per sales for sending more than 20 customers a month.

Here is how affiliate marketing works

Step 1: You join an affiliate program and get a unique tracking link to promote the product.

Step 2: You share the link on your blog, social media, Facebook ads, YouTube video descriptions or in the blog’s newsletter.

Step 3: Someone clicks on your link and purchases the product. You earn an affiliate commission.

How to Start Affiliate marketing?

I have given steps above but step 1 is really important. Until you are using proper tracking links, your sales won’t be tracked. So, it is really important to use proper links. Now if you are ready to start a blog, here are a few things you need.

A) Places to promote products

You can start earning from affiliate programs even if you don’t have a blog. You just need to find out places where you can promote affiliate products and earn commissions. You can use WhatsApp, Facebook Pages, Quora or YouTube. If you have a blog with good traffic, it becomes really easy to drive affiliate sales. For example, I have a blog post “Best laptop under Rs. 50000 in India” and it ranks at the top on Google search on keywords related to laptops under Rs. 50000. So, Even if I am doing nothing for a week or month, this post keep referring customers to different online stores and my blog is selling laptops even when I am offline.

B) Affiliate Programs to join

This is another most important thing. Most of the people keep asking me the affiliate programs they can join to earn big. There is no specific answer to this. It depends on your expertise, your blog’s niche, and your interest. You cannot sell beauty products on a tech blog or hosting on a beauty blog. So, first properly analyze your blog’s content and see what kind of products you can recommend. Now think about the products and services you can promote. Make a list of it. Now visit websites where these products are up for sale. It can be the brand’s own site or any other retailer. On the website, go to the footer and look for the link “Affiliate program,” “Become An Affiliate” or “Affiliate.”

Here is the snapshot of the affiliate link on Amazon’s website.

Amazon Affilate program

Most of the electronics, home, kitchen and beauty products are found on Amazon. So, you can simply join Amazon and start promoting products.

There are also several websites that bring most of the affiliate programs in one place. These websites are admitad.com, optimisemedia.com, shareasale.com, CJ, and Clickbank. Most of the online services and retailers run their affiliate programs from these websites I added.

You can also use Google and search: “(product name) + affiliate program.” Here replace the product name” with the name of the product you want to promote. This makes it easy to know if a service offers an affiliate program.

On all the affiliate programs you join, you will get a referral link that includes a tracking code in it. You need to use that link to use on your blog posts or promote on social media.

In some of the affiliate programs, you can make custom coupons for your customers that will give an additional discount to people you recommend. This will help you in increasing your sales.

C) Payment

All the affiliate programs you join pay via Cheque, wire transfer, PayPal, and others. You can select the method suitable for you.

Your earning depends on the number of sales you drive and the commission rate. Most of the online services offer a fixed percentage but a few companies also offer a flat fee. All the companies running the affiliate program make these things clear at the beginning.

How to effectively promote a product?

You cannot just sell any product by sharing a link. The blog post must make it clear why one should buy the product. If you are sharing it on social media, you should make it clear why this product is worth to buy. Product review is one of the most effective ways.

Here, you must understand that promoting a bad product is not a good idea even if that offers a big sum. You cannot sell bad products much and it will ultimately hit your reputation. So, it is always better to use a product and understand if it is really worth to recommend.

Never stick on one or a few products. Keep looking for new, interesting and valuable products.

You can also build an email list on your blog. An email list helps a lot in promoting products. You can send promotional emails containing affiliate links. You can also put banner ads on your blog that points to the affiliate link. See the SEMrush banner on the sidebar. That is basically an affiliate banner.

You can also make special landing pages to boost conversion. It all depends on hit and try. If you try several ways, you will surely get one working way to sell products.

Why do companies offer an affiliate program?

Every company needs promotion to reach target customers. One way of doing this is to spend on advertising. But advertising is not as converting as the recommendation of bloggers. If you follow a blogger, you are most likely to follow his recommendation. But you can ignore the ads of the same products if you see online. So by offering an affiliate program, brands attract bloggers and bloggers promote products to earn.

How much does it cost to join an affiliate program?

There is no charge for joining an affiliate program. You can just signup and get tracking links.

How to know how much I have earned?

Every affiliate program comes with an affiliate dashboard where you can always check how much clicks and sales you have driven. The dashboard also lists the pending earning you will be paid in the next billing cycle.

How much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

There is no limit in earning from affiliate marketing. Except for the Indian retailer Flipkart, no other retailer or service puts limits on earning. You can refer as many people as you want and earn as big as you can. There are bloggers who are earning more than $50000/month from Affiliate marketing.

The key to success is how you promote products and how to refer to someone. If you use the product om your own, you know if the product is worth recommending.

Can we use Affiliate links and Adsense together?

Yes, you can use both affiliate links within blog posts and Adsense on the same website. There will no wrong if you do this. Not just Adsense, no other ad network thinks it is wrong. So, you are free to monetize your blog using Affiliate marketing and Ads.

Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

No, affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. It is like a sales job where you will earn only if you sell a product. More number of sales you drive, the better you will earn.

Final Words

If you are new to blogging, I will recommend you not to fill the blog with ads and wait until you achieve a considerable amount of traffic. But you should start talking about good products and services from the very first day. That will not just make blog posts impressive but you can use affiliate links to earn.

Affiliate marketing is also my primary source of earning. I earn a handsome amount and this helped in establishing a blog network and a team of people working under a company. now you can assume how big one can earn from Affiliate marketing. If you are a blogger or thinking to start a blog, do not ignore affiliate marketing.


I am a tech blogger, traveler, and entrepreneur


  • I agree with you Mr. Deepanker, affiliate marketing is the easiest and cheapest way to make money online, this is a blessing and curse at the same time, it makes it harder to succeed, most people don´t take action on things that are free or cost little money.

  • manish more says:

    Thank You for this information.

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