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Affiliate Marketing 101:  How to Start Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog

If you watch my Q & A video at the Passionate Bloggers and Writers Group, you will know some ways on how to earn from your blog. One of the ways I mentioned there is affiliate marketing. In this post, I will be talking about affiliate marketing definition and how to start affiliate marketing on your blog.

affiliate marketing 101

Being a blogging newbie, you might be asking yourself:

“Can I really make money from my blog?”

“Can I actually earn  from my blog even if I’m busy with other things?”

A resounding YES! You might have already heard how affiliate marketers brag about how they earn anytime and anywhere even if they are busy. This is possible! But, there is a caveat to this. In affiliate marketing, you will need to create an effective sales funnel. This is a system that will help you sell even if you are not in front of your computer.

So what is affiliate marketing? You might have heard about it a dozen times before, but you are not quite familiar with what it is all about and how does it work. This article will help you understand the complexities of affiliate marketing. Read on as I share how it works and how to get started with affiliate programs on your blog.

Affiliate Marketing Definition

affiliate marketing definition

Here’s a simple Affiliate Marketing definition – it is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.

As a blogger and affiliate, you can earn by integrating your unique affiliate link inside your blog. It can be in a form of a button, text link or banner within a blog post or page. This leads to either a lead magnet provided by your merchant (the owner of the product) or their sales page. If somebody clicks on your link and buys a product, you will earn a commission.

Who Composes an Affiliate Marketing Business?

Most of us know that affiliate marketing comprises a merchant, an affiliate, and a consumer. They are not the only parties involved actually.  According to Wikipedia, there are 4 different parties in affiliate marketing, and these are the merchant, the customer, the publisher or affiliate, and the network.

The Merchant. They are sometimes referred to as the creator, the seller, the brand, the retailer, or the vendor. This is the party that creates the product, whether a big company or a sole proprietor. Anyone can be the merchant behind an affiliate marketing program. A merchant is usually not actively involved in marketing; they just have to have a product to sell.

parties involved in affiliate marketing

The Affiliate: This party is sometimes also known as the publisher. Affiliates can also range from individuals to companies. Affiliates work to introduce the merchant’s brand to their visitors. They can write blog posts about the product, feature banner ads on their page, or offer visitors a special coupon code. If people click and buy, then the affiliate earns a commission.

The Consumer: The customers or consumers are called the drivers of affiliate marketing. They are the ones who buy the product or avail of a service online. When consumers buy the product, the seller and the affiliate share the profit. Affiliates may also disclose to the consumer that they are receiving a commission for the sales they make. But, sometimes the consumer may be completely unaware of the affiliate marketing infrastructure behind their purchase.

Consumers don’t pay extra cash for the product they purchased through affiliate marketing. Whether they buy it through the affiliate or the merchant, the price will still be the same.

The Network: Only some consider the network as part of the affiliate marketing system.  A network works as an intermediary between the affiliate and the merchant.

A widely-known affiliate network is  Amazon Associates. Amazon is considered as the world’s biggest marketplaces, that is why most merchants sell their products and manage their affiliate program on their network.

Commission Junction is another great option because it allows you to become an affiliate for companies that you already know about. You can also try Clickbank, which is preferred by most affiliate marketers because the companies on that site usually offer lucrative commissions.

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

affiliate marketing for bloggers

Affiliates share some common practices when promoting someone else’s products or services. However, they do not advertise them in exactly the same way. If you become an affiliate marketer, you can employ various types of marketing channels, either by becoming a social media influencer, an email lister, a webmaster, or a blogger, to name a few.

We will focus on how you can get started with affiliate marketing on your blog since our area of interest is on blogging

One of the reasons why most merchants still favor bloggers to market their brand is because of their ability to drive organic traffic to their site. By writing product reviews on their blog in such a way as to entice consumers to buy them, affiliates are able to link the consumers to the merchant’s site. This, in turn, will increase web traffic on the merchant’s part.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing on your Blog

how to start affiliate marketing on your blog

To get started with affiliate marketing, you can follow this process:

First, you need to select an affiliate program to join. Find a product that interest you or that is suitable for your niche and content. Select which vendor you want to be affiliated with very carefully. There are plenty of affiliate platforms to join, from affiliate networks to individual vendors.

After you have registered to an affiliate program of your choice, you’ll get an account and a dashboard you can log in to. The dashboard is where you get your unique affiliate links and all sort of information about sales you made and commissions you’ve earned.

For every product you choose to promote, you’ll get a unique affiliate link connected to your account. You can use this link each time you mention the products in your contents, be it your blog posts or the email you send to your subscriber list. When readers click and purchase the product through your unique link, it will be credited to you and you’ll get commissions for the sale.

Most affiliate programs also feature an upsell system. Upselling means to get the readers to upgrade their purchase to include additional features or package upgrade. You’ll get an additional commission and earn more with each upsell.

Cookies make tracking the sales easier. Once a reader clicks on your unique affiliate link, the information will be saved in a text file in their browser. So, even if they will not purchase today, as long as they did not clear their cookies manually, purchases the next days will still be credited to you.

You can monitor the sales you’ve made from your affiliate platform dashboard and collect the commissions. Payment is usually made straight to your bank account or through payment systems like PayPal.

How Can an Affiliate Get Paid?

affiliate commission
nattanan23 / Pixabay

As an affiliate, you only need to refer readers or visitors to a business’s particular product or service. Moreover, the consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for you to earn your commission.

How an affiliate earns money depends on the program. So the affiliate’s contribution to the merchant’s sales will be measured differently. Here are the various ways an affiliate can get paid:

  1. Pay per sale.

In this program, the affiliate gets a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the buyer to purchase the product before they are compensated. This is the typical structure of affiliate marketing.

  1. Pay per lead.

This program compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate’s job is to persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and accomplish some of the desired actions such as filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.

  1. Pay per click.

This program incentivizes the affiliate by redirecting consumers from their blog site to the merchant’s website. An example of this is when a link or a banner of the merchant is provided within the affiliate’s website and the consumer clicks on the same. The affiliate is then paid by the merchant based on the increase in the latter’s web traffic.

Benefits of Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing holds a remarkable amount of potential for business owners and affiliates alike. But because most of them are uninformed how it works, they put it aside and just do conventional marketing for their businesses instead. Actually, if you are able to understand the intricacies of affiliate marketing, you’ll soon appreciate it and enjoy reaping its fruits in the long run.

So what could be the good reasons to choose affiliate marketing? Here are some of them:

It is a great source of passive income. You don’t have to work all day in order to make money. Affiliate marketing offers you a steady flow of income even while you sleep. You only need to invest an initial amount of time doing promotional campaigns.

After which, you’ll see continuous returns as consumers purchase the product you promoted over the following days and weeks. So even when you’re not in front of your computer, you can continuously receive the money you have worked hard for.

There’s no need for customer support.

As an affiliate marketer, your sole job is to link the seller with the consumer. You don’t have to deal with consumers and ensure they are satisfied with the products they bought. The seller deals with any consumer complaints.

Affiliate marketing is cost-effective.

You don’t have to worry about paying fees as some businesses require to finance the products being sold. This means you can get started quickly and without much hassle.

perform well
rawpixel / Pixabay

You earn based on performance.

In corporate jobs, you will work more than 40 hours a week and still earn the same salary.

Affiliate marketing is purely performance-based, hence your earnings depend on the quality of work that you do. That is why you need to hone some skills like writing and social media marketing as they are most essential for increasing your revenue.

The best part of all, you work from home! Traffic jams, pollution, and rush hour are just some of the inconveniences that we hate about working in the corporate world. Affiliate marketing offers a perfect solution if you want to monetize your blog and manage your own business. This also allows you to choose the products to promote. You can determine your own working/business hours, and you are free from company restrictions and regulations.

So, do you want to boost your affiliate marketing skills and make your blog a money-making machine? This whole month of October, I will be talking a lot about affiliate marketing. So please stay tuned for my next article. Also, you can learn more about affiliate marketing in my Blogging 101.1 Online Course which I have discussed in full details.

And, oh by the way, when you enroll in the Blogging 101.1 Online course, you will also automatically qualify as our affiliate. So, you can earn through your blog as soon as possible while crafting your own products.

It’s okay if you have your own products or services to offer. If you know people who are interested to create their own blogs, you can still be our affiliate to earn extra cash.

Charlyn June

10 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing 101:  How to Start Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog

  1. Hi Charlyn June,
    I read your article and found it very helpful.
    I hope you do not mind me asking you for some guidance on affiliate marketing that you discussed in this article, as a newbie blogger i am grateful for all the information i can get.
    I am trying to make some good money from blogging but the competition is on rise and it is tough. I want to integrate with affiliate marketing but i have no insight on the matter that which program should i join as starter and why.
    Actually i have been doing some of my own research cause obviously i need to find a program for my blog as i can’t keep up with adsense alone. I did come across some articles that suggest different types of programs mostly the ones that are providing multi niche products data and some theme and hosting programs.
    As a multi niche blogger i need a program that is too offering multi niche product data to promote. I also came across this local UK company that is offering all sort of tools that a newbie can use but i need suggestions on it or maybe recommendations related to matter if possible.
    Here is the link to their tools that they suggest can be used for wordpress monetizing can you help me out with it please? They seem to sell data of stores and offer 100% commission with free plugins which is kinda impressive.
    Any sort of guidance is awaited and appreciated.

    1. Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for waiting up for my response. You can approach me at if you have queries needing immediate answers. By the way, you mentioned your blog is multi-niche. I suggest you narrow down your niche and focus on finding affiliate programs that are relevant to what niche you finally arrived with.

      Having multiple niches in your blog makes your blogging business really difficult to prosper unless you have a team to work on each particular niche.

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