What is Affiliate Marketing About? How Does It Work? – Beginner Guides

You might have already heard of “Affiliate Marketing”, that’s why you are here. In short, affiliate marketing is selling other people’s products or services and earn commissions.

Of course, it’s more than that, here I’m going to tell you what is affiliate marketing about, how does it work and how you can earn money through affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing About?

The Advertiser

Advertisers are those who sell products or services, those products and services belong to advertisers. For example, Amazon is an advertiser, although Amazon doesn’t really “made” or “own” those products, Amazon is the business that sells those. Another example is Fiverr, a freelance marketplace that offers thousands of services, again Fiverr only sells those services, those services are offered by freelancers. Of course, there’re other advertisers sell their own products and services that also need someone to promote, here’s when affiliates come to place.

The Affiliate

An affiliate, or you, what affiliates do is helping advertisers sell their products and services so that they can sell more, in return, they will give you a percentage of commissions. Anyone can be an affiliate, although you need to be qualified to be an affiliate of certain advertisers, most advertisers have no limit to become their affiliates, the only thing you need to do is sign up, and it’s totally free.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The Affiliate Link

You will get your affiliate links from your advertiser, it can be a link to the homepage, a link to products, or a link to whatever you want. Those links contain your own tracking code, so whenever someone clicks your links, the cookie will be dropped to their browser, and if they made a purchase, the advertiser will know that sale comes from you.

Here’s an example, I’m promoting this Audio-Technica M50X headphone.



And here’s my affiliate link for this headphone.


Click on this link and I’ll be directed to the product page. If anyone buys this headphone through my affiliate link, I can earn commissions. How simple is that?

The Cookie

You may wonder, what if my customers didn’t buy it the first time they go to the page, you don’t have to worry that, your tracking code, or cookie, will be in their browsers for 30 days (most are 30 days, some are 7 days or 24hr, it depends on who is your advertiser), so any purchase they made in 30 days will be counted as yours.

But if someone cleans these cookies or use any auto cleaner before your cookie expire, you will still lose your tracking code, that way, those sales will not be counted as yours.

How Can I Earn Money Through Affiliate Marketing?

This is what most people are interested in. After understanding how it works, it’s time to make it works.

Choose a niche

First of all, you have to pick a niche, it can be anything, like fitness, gaming or lifestyle. There’s a tip for picking a profitable niche, where has pain, there is a niche. Always remember, business is solving people’s problems, health & fitness, self-help and relationship, they’re all good profitable niches because they are the biggest pain of human. If you can target those niches, and help them to solve their problems, you will be a successful marketer.

Besides choosing niches based on their pain, I’ll be more recommend you choose a niche that can fit your passion. Make a living from your passion, sounds great? It can be true.

The point is to choose a specific niche, if you are interested in music, music is not a niche, how to play guitar is a niche. Remember the difference between an industry and a niche.

Here are the details about how to choose a profitable niche.

Find Advertisers

After you’ve chosen a niche, it’s time to find advertisers in your niche. There’re hundreds and thousands of advertisers out there, almost every niche you can imagine will have their own affiliate programs.

Here’s a quick way to find advertisers, go to Google and type (your niche) affiliate program. Let’s say you want to find a headphone affiliate program.


You can go through each page and find the advertiser you like, and done, you’ve already found at least 20 advertisers in your niche.

Another way is to join affiliate networks. An affiliate network has many different affiliate programs in it, some famous one are Clickbank, Commission Junction, Awin, LinkShare and ShareASale. The advantage of affiliate networks is you can promote different products, even in different niches and receive one payment.

Or you can join the affiliate program of famous online stores, like Amazon has Amazon Associates, Apple has iTunes Affiliate. You can find it yourself, just go to Google and search (online store) affiliate program, most online stores will have their affiliate programs.

Place Your Links

Now is time to place your links in public, you can put it on your website or YouTube channel, yeah, you need a website or a channel, you can’t directly place your links on social platforms like Facebook or Instagram, that’s how it works and you’re runing the risk to get banned. Some affiliate programs also need a website to sign up. If you don’t have a website yet, check here to learn how to build one.

Product review is a good way to promote your link, you can write a post about your product, and then place an affiliate link under your post.

Here’s an example of me promoting Audio-Technica M50X headphone. I’ve made a post reviewing and comparing different headphones.


I’m promoting many different products in the same post, you can promote single product per post or comparing different products in one post just like me.

Make a product review video is the same idea of writing a post. I found a guy on YouTube reviewing Audio-Technica M50X headphone, he placed his affiliate link in video description.


Probably the most important and the hardest part of affiliate marketing. If you have more people visit your site, the higher the chance they will buy from your affiliate links.

So how to drive traffic? DELIVER HIGH-QUALITY CONTENTS, as you build your business, you will find the more helpful your content is, the more traffic it will get. Deliver quality contents is way more important than keywords and advertisements, yet keywords and advertisements are important for a starting business, but for a successful long-term business, the only thing matters is QUALITY.

Sure, there are some tips to make you rank higher in search engines which will drive you tons of organic traffic, and it is called search engines optimization, but it will only work if your contents are good.

I suggest placing your links after you have enough traffic, because too much affiliate links is bad for ranking, and some programs will have minimum sales.

How Much Can I Earn?

It depends, some advertisers will give you up to 75% of commissions while some only give you 1%, but for a long-term business, there’s no limit of how much you can earn, many people become a millionaire just through affiliate marketing.

You may be pumped at this point, but remember, affiliate marketing is a long-term business, you may get the first sale 3 months after starting the business, or even longer. My only advice, don’t quit too early.

Affiliate marketing is a legit way to earn a full-time income online, but many people are doing it wrong and not earning a single buck, they only focus on promoting products and have no idea about what they are doing. Yeah, by now you are already know how affiliate marketing works, but you know nothing about affiliate marketing.

Don’t believe me? Tell me what’s your business plan, find a product in your niche, write a product review, place an affiliate link and start earning? There are too many things need to concern, like how to choose the right keyword, how to write a content that converts, how to attract more people…

If you’re a newbie in the online marketing world and really think you’re good to go after understanding how affiliate marketing works, I’ll see you back here in 3 months. If you don’t want to waste your time failing, check out this community which has over 13 years experience in affiliate marketing and has over 1.4 million online marketers sharing their online marketing tips every day. This a free program that teaches step by step to affiliate marketing, it covers all thing you need and need to know, if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, click the link below to read my full review of this program.

==> Read My Top Recommended Affiliate Marketing Traning Here



If you find this is helpful please share it, and if you have any problems or have anything to say, please comment below. I would like to see your feedbacks!! ?

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6 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing About? How Does It Work? – Beginner Guides

  1. This is one of the best introduction to affiliate marketing that I’ve read. I really like how clear you’ve described the affiliate marketing here. I can say I’ve learned a lot from only this one post! I have one question about products review. Do we have to buy all those products to write a review?

    1. Hi Isaac,
      I’m glad you like my post. The answer to your question is no, you don’t have to buy all products, but it’s better to have the product you are reviewing. Remeber one thing, “Believe in what you sell”, you must believe the product you’re selling can help others, even you don’t actually own the product.

  2. Hey i really enjoyed this article, i have been getting really used to affiliate marketing. I have been doing this for over 5 months now and i actually finally made my first sale. I have 2 websites up and running now and i still have a lot of work to do and stuff to figure out. We just gotta remember to not give up and keep going.

    1. Hi Justin,
      Congratulation!! Glad to hear you finally made your first sale.
      You are right, a common reason why people failed affiliate marketing is that they quit too early. Affiliate marketing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  3. You made affiliate marketing very easy to understand, and I also liked the examples you gave.

    I have doing affiliate marketing for a few years now — and it’s the business mode I love.

    Have you done any other kind of marketing besides affiliate? Like drop shipping?

    Also what would you say is the best place to learn affiliate maketkng?

    1. Hi Michael,
      I’m mainly focusing on affiliate marketing, but I’m also doing social media marketing. I think it’s better to focus one thing at a time.
      There is no better place to learn affiliate marketing than Wealthy Affiliate, you can read my review here.

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