What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Updated: February 8, 2023 by Bill Burniece

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


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.

what is affiliate marketing

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 affilaite 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.

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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
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  • 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

What makes affiliate marketing interesting is that you get to decide how to promote.

There are several different models you can choose from…

Best Affiliate Marketing Models

There are many marketing channels available for you to earn income using the affiliate model.

Below are just a few of the most commonly used models. In reality there are dozens of types of affiliate models to choose from.

Publishing: Most affiliate marketers are involved to some degree in online publishing – a website, blog, newsletter, directory, ezine or review site.  Affiliates place links or ads on their sites that promote a product or service and are rewarded when a visitor clicks on those links and buys at the company’s home site. The publishing model is sometimes referred to as content marketing.

Sales and conversions are generally tracked when you (the publisher) use a link with a unique code provided by the affiliate network or company that enables the advertiser to track where the conversions come from (usually with cookies).  If you don’t know what cookies are don’t worry since you’ll have plenty of time to learn the technical aspects of how this all works later on.

Email Marketing: Selling through email is one of the most cost effective and lucrative models in internet marketing. This model requires you to build an email list using automated software.

Video Marketing: The explosion of social media video platforms has made video marketing a great choice if you prefer making videos to writing and publishing.

Social Media Marketing: The number of social media platforms these days is staggering. There are ways to earn income online directly from these platforms.

Affiliate Marketing Without A Website: You don’t have to have a website or even use social media to make income online these days. There are models available that allow you to send traffic directly to an affiliate offer without needing a website at all.

Not only do you get to choose your method of promotion…

You also get to choose how you earn your commissions. 

Affiliate Commission Models:

– Pay Per Sale (PPS) – This model of affiliate sales is the primarily focus here at High Paying Affiliate Programs.
– Pay Per Click (PPC)
– Pay Per Lead (PPL)
– Pay Per Impression (PPM)
– Pay Per Action (PPA) Also called Cost Per Action (CPA) – lemonads affiliate network is a great example.
– Pay Per Order (PPO)
– Revenue Sharing Model

Now that you know the basics of affiliate marketing, let me lay out the five steps to get you started.

Even if you have no experience or technical skills, you can do this

5 Steps To Becoming An Online Affiliate Marketer

Becoming an online marketer is so easy that anyone can do it.

You can start earning income online as a marketing affiliate without any experience, technical skills or any large upfront investment.

Here are the five simple steps to get you started:

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Step 1: Choose a niche market

This step requires a little online research and simple observation to help you decide what market to target.

Step 2: Create your own website

This may sound complicated, but its not. Today’s website builders are easy to learn and simple to use.

Step 3: Start building an email list

Building an email list is easy since the entire process is automated for you using a tool called an autoresponder.

Step 4: Start driving traffic

There are literally hundreds of ways to drive targeted traffic to your website using both free and paid models.

Step 5: Scale your business

This step occurs once you start making profits. If you can make $1 of profit online, you can scale your efforts to make thousands.

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 simple step-by-step guide to getting started with affiliate marketing..

The lessons are divided into seven easy-to-complete daily tasks that will keep you on track and motivated to follow it to completion.

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

I will show you step-by-step how to get your own internet 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 of a week you’ll learn what market to enter, how to join an affiliate program, how to choose a domain name, how to build your own website, how to pick your first affiliate product, how to generate traffic to your site and how to start earning income.

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

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

At this point, you probably have some questions about affiliate marketing.

Below are the most common questions I am asked by beginners…

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.
Partner With Me And I'll Show You How To Earn $1000+ Per Sale
Click Here to learn how to personally partner with me and have access to an award-winning sales funnel that can make you $1000+ for each sale.

The truth is that in digital marketing it takes the same amount of time & energy to promote a product or service that pays you $500.00 than it does to promote a product that only pays you $29.00. Doesn’t it make sense to get paid more money for doing the same amount of work? Let me teach you how to sell high ticket products and services for high paying commissions.

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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 make sure to contact me: bill@highpayingaffiliateprograms.com