How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?: A Beginner’s Guide

Ever heard of the phrase “make money while you sleep”? Well, affiliate marketing is exactly that.

In fact, according to a survey by BigCommerce, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing to make money.

This tells you there’s a huge potential in this niche and it’s a profitable money-making method for businesses and marketers.

So, how does affiliate marketing work? Keep reading to learn the basics of affiliate marketing and how you can use it to make money online.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing method where you earn commission by referring products and services by companies and brands to your audience.

This is a popular tactic with influencers who use affiliate links to earn commission on things they’re advertising. For instance, if you see a pair of shoes you like on an influencer’s Instagram page and click on their link, they’ll earn a commission.

Bear in mind there’s a difference between affiliate vs influencer marketing. Influencers do use affiliate links, but influencer marketing is much more complex.

If you want to become an influencer and earn through affiliate links, the first step is to learn about successful influencer marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is all about links and tracking results. When someone clicks on an affiliate link and buys something, you earn a commission.

Affiliate links look different than normal URL links and have special markers and tags to track the sales. An affiliate link will place cookies on the user’s browser so when they buy something from the link, the commission goes to you.

However, the customer doesn’t pay more money and the company and the affiliate marketer share the profits. Some companies will pay per sale, others will pay per click just to get traffic on their website or generate leads.

Once you find a good affiliate network, you can literally start earning money while you sleep. The links will stay on your website forever, so no matter when someone clicks on them, you’ll make money.

How to Start With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is passive income but it can take a while to get things going. First, you need to have a website in a certain niche where you’ll publish content with links.

You’ll also need social media channels and an email list to gain leads. The next step is attracting an audience that’ll click on those links and buy the stuff you’re recommending.

There are many affiliate networks you can join where you can choose from thousands of brands and product categories. You can also join the affiliate programs of your favorite brands and send sales their way.

You can also use affiliate links on your social media or YouTube channel and track the results. This way, you’ll see what people buy the most and use this information to create content around those products in the future.

Get Started With Affiliate Marketing Today

If you’ve been asking yourself “how does affiliate marketing work?”, these tips will help you understand this branch of digital marketing better and use it to your advantage.

Want more marketing and growth tips? Explore our other articles on these topics and get your business off the ground the right way.