What Is Affiliate Marketing In 2024?

And how to use affiliate marketing to build passive income working from the comfort of your own home.

Updated: March 12, 2024 by Bill Burniece


Making money on the internet has never been easier.

That’s what affiliate marketing is all about.

Affiliate marketing has opened the doors to a new generation of home-based entrepreneurs who are changing the entire world marketplace and how people buy goods and services.

The affiliate model makes it possible to earn unlimited passive income from the comfort of your own home.

But is affiliate marketing still legit?

Absolutely. In fact, the global digital advertising and marketing market is expected to reach $786.2 billion by 2026.

What Is Affiliate Marketing At A Glance

We’ll go in depth about what affiliate marketing is and how it works below, but here is a summary:

  • Affiliate marketing is a performance-based online marketing model that allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products and services
  • As an affiliate, you will be earning commissions for selling somebody else’s product or service. You don’t have to do any product fulfillment, customer service, billing, or product creation because the vendor does all of that for you
  • This page is Step 1 in my free affiliate marketing training series. You’ll find the hub page that lists all of the steps and links located here

Affiliate Marketing Definition

I’ve seen many definitions put forth including ‘a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.’*

Or another definition is ‘the art of doing a merchant’s marketing better than they can, and profiting from it.’ – Chris Sanderson.

My way of explaining it is that affiliate marketing is a performance-based online marketing model that allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ (or people’s) products and services.

When a sale is made, the product owner delivers the order to the buyer then pays you a percentage of the profits.

What makes this money-making model so attractive is that:

  • You don’t have to create your own products or services
  • You never have to buy or store inventory
  • You do not ship or deliver any goods
  • You don’t perform any customer service

Affiliate marketing is your ticket to a home-based business that gives you the opportunity to earn unlimited income.

Is It Easy To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, it is.

  • You don’t need any experience to get started
  • You do not need any technical skills to get started
  • You don’t need any sales skills to make money online in this model
  • You do not need a large sum of money to get started in affiliate marketing

Before we get into specifics, let’s take a quick look at all of the players involved in affiliate marketing.

It’s a well-defined business model that involves four key players.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The 4 Primary Players:

  1. The Company: The company that creates or provides the affiliate product and offers the affiliate marketing program
  2. The Affiliate Network: The affiliate network lists offers and pays commissions from the company (merchant) to each individual affiliate marketer. However, many companies provide and manage their own affiliate program run in-house on their own platform.
  3. The Affiliate Marketer: The affiliate marketer is the person who promotes the affiliate programs to third party buyers.
  4. The Customer: The customer is the one who ultimately buys the product online through the affiliate marketers link.

The role of the marketer is to choose products and/or services to sell online through an affiliate program.

Once a product or service is selected, the product creator (company) provides an affiliate link that is unique to each affiliate marketer.

Once a sale is made, the affiliate link attributes the sale to the individual affiliate and they are credited and paid a commission.

Commission rates vary depending upon the value of the offer promoted and the company that creates it.

Commission rates can range from a fraction of a percent to up to 100%.

In my opinion, affiliate marketing is by far the best way to make money online.

All you do is promote.

You don’t have to fuss with creating a product or doing all of the other busy work involved with owning a business.

The Amazing Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing

  • Affiliate marketing allows you to earn a passive income each month in the area of interest or expertise of your choosing. There are an endless possibilities online and absolutely no limit on the amount of money you can earn
  • You can work from the comfort and convenience of your own home or anywhere you have internet access. You are your own boss so you get to work on your own terms when you want to
  • As an affiliate, you will be earning commissions for selling somebody else’s product or service. You don’t have to do any product fulfillment, customer service, billing, or product creation because the vendor does all of that for you
  • The playing field on the internet is still relatively equal meaning that a beginner can directly compete with, and often out-perform, large companies. In fact, the little-guy has many advantages over the big companies
  • Once you start profiting, you can literally make money around the clock – even when you’re not working. The systems you’ll set up are automated to earn you money 24/7/365
  • You get to choose which companies to partner with and there are a ton of affiliate networks and programs out there for you to choose from. They all offer a different products , services, and payout. This gives you endless flexibility in setting up and running your business
  • You can outsource many of the tasks involved in internet marketing if you prefer to do less work yourself
  • This business model is super easy to scale. Once you find a winning formula, you can build your income very quickly
  • Digital marketing tools exist to help you automate nearly every task involved in your online business
  • The barrier to entry in the affiliate marketing game is low since it takes surprisingly little money to get started
  • Digital marketing has a very bright outlook. It is forecasted to grow into a $500+ billion dollar industry by the year 2025. All you need to do is grab your small piece of this enormous pie to make a sizeable income
  • You never have to create your own product or service to make money in this business. But if you do decide to make your own product or service you can recruit other affiliate marketers to help do the selling for you
  • Internet marketing often leads to bigger and better business ventures. As you grow your online business, other companies and marketers will begin to notice and you will likely get invited to participate in seminars, masterminds, joint ventures, startup opportunities and more. This business model promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and this industry is made up of individual tight relationships

It may surprise you to learn that getting started in affiliate marketing doesn’t take a large investment.

In fact, it’s affordable for everyone…

How To Get Started

I have created for a free step-by-step guide to getting started with affiliate marketing.

In fact, this page is Step 1.

The lessons are divided into seven easy-to-complete steps.

You just completed the first step and that is understanding what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and how to make unlimited income with it.

You don’t need any experience or technical knowledge to follow this guide successfully.

I will show you how to get your own affiliate marketing business up and running on a shoestring budget.

In fact, the only investment you need to make is in a cheap web hosting account and domain name.

I’ll walk you through how to get started if you click on the blue button below.

In the course, you’ll learn

  • How to choose a profitable niche
  • How to start  your own website or blog
  • How to set up your website
  • How to create content for your website or blog
  • How to build a valuable email list
  • How to start driving traffic to your website

If you follow my course, you can be making affiliate sales within the first 30 days from when you get started.

Click Here to get to Step 2: How to choose an affiliate marketing niche.

Click here to go back to the Free Course Hub Page that lists all of the steps.

What Is Affiliate Marketing Q&A

What does an affiliate marketer do?
The role of the marketing affiliate is to promote products & services, created by a third party company, to consumers online. As a digital marketer, you’ll earn a commission for each sale you refer.

Is affiliate marketing easy?
Affiliate marketing is a simple model that anyone can do – even without experience or technical skills. There is no product creation, fulfillment or shipping required. Plus the product creator handles all customer service and billing issues.

How much money can I make as an affiliate marketer?
There is no limit to the amount of money you can make in digital marketing. It all depends upon the time and effort you put into your online business.

How do I become an online affiliate?
It’s simple. Choose a product or service through an affiliate network  such as Amazon Associates, ClickBank and Commission Junction. Or find an independent affiliate program that you would like to promote then sign up to market it. There may or may not be a short application involved to determine your qualifications. Usually its a very simple and quick approval process.

Do I need a website to be an affiliate marketer?
The most common method to earn income on the internet is through a website. But there are other models available as well. I wrote a recent blog post on how to make income online without a website.

What are the biggest problems with affiliate marketing?
The most common problem I see is the false belief that this is a get-rich-quick business model. Nothing could be further than the truth. Making consistent money online requires treating it like a real business, because that’s what it is. It takes a lot of work, especially in the beginning, to start making life-changing money.

Does affiliate model have a bad name?
No. But like any other system, there are players who cheat, scheme and scam others out of money. Fortunately those who do so are quickly exposed and either driven out of business or prosecuted. You can find several case studies on these fraudsters.

What are landing pages?
A landing page is a static page on a websites used for lead generation through sign ups or direct online sales.

How do I choose an affiliate program?
There are two ways to choose an affiliate program.

  1. Sign up with an affiliate marketing network and select the affiliate program from the list of programs they offer that you would like to join.
  2. Find a company you would like to promote that offers an in-house affiliate program and sign up with them to promote it.

Let’s Wrap This Up

I hope you enjoyed this lesson on understanding what affiliate marketing is.

This is Step 1 in my free affiliate marketing training series.

Again, you can find the hub page that lists all of the steps and links right here.

Affiliate Disclosure
Disclosure: The operator of this website is a 3rd party marketer with a material connection to product/service providers appearing on this site in that we are compensated for sales made through our affiliate links.

If you have any questions please contact me.

If you get a chance, go check out my affiliate lab review on hustlelife.net