What Is Affiliate Marketing & How To Start

Affiliate marketing is a very lucrative online business model. Even though it is actually considered a monetization way, people are building their whole online business around affiliate marketing.

Needless to say, affiliate marketing is exceedingly popular – but why is it so popular?

If that is what you are trying to find out or if you are trying to get started with affiliate marketing, you are in the right place!

In this article, I will teach you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing but also, I will show you how to get started in a quick step-by-step guide, so keep reading!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a monetization way, but it is often an online business model. It is a marketing model based on performance that consists of at least 3 factors.

With that being said, affiliate marketing can be extremely rewarding, and it is often the easiest way to create an online business.

Of course, it can take time, but it can also be a great monetization way if you already have a great following or audience who trusts you.

Therefore, in simple words, affiliate marketing is a marketing process that consists of at least 3 factors where everyone benefits in some way.


Most people confuse affiliate marketing with multi-level marketing. Even though they might seem similar to you, they are two totally different business models.

Affiliate marketing helps companies gain more exposure but requires them to give up a certain percentage on certain sales they make with the help of the marketer.

Marketer earns a commission based on his performance of promoting the company’s products.

This is easily tracked with an affiliate link that is unique to each marketer who is a part of the company’s affiliate program.

Even though it might be confusing to understand what affiliate marketing actually is, it will all become clear in the next section where you will see some examples of affiliate marketing and learn how it actually works.

But for now, keep in mind that even some of the biggest companies such as Amazon have an affiliate program which just shows how strong the affiliate marketing business is.

How Affiliate Marketing Works?

As I have mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing consists of at least 3 factors.

These factors are the following:

  • A company that sells products or services and yet has its own affiliate program
  • A marketer who joins the company’s affiliate program
  • Visitors/audience who search for advice or gets advice on products they are interested in (ending up purchasing the product)

It all starts with a company that creates an affiliate program. Let us take Amazon as an example. They have one of the largest affiliate programs in the world.


Even though almost everyone knows Amazon, they still are not going to leave any money on the table and yet are making sure they get all the sales they possibly can.

A marketer who joins, for example, Amazon’s affiliate program is either building an online business from scratch or is looking to monetize his/her existing marketing efforts.

Marketers often have either a strategy to expose the products/offers to the audience by a paid method or by an organic method which is slower but is free.

Marketers often have a following or audience who is often listening to their advice and is learning from the marketer.

The best way for a marketer (or content creator) to monetize on their advice or content is through affiliate marketing (promotion of products).

Of course, marketers will not promote just any product they come across.

They will promote products that they already use or strongly believe in as their goal is to help their audience in any way possible and keep their trust.

On the other end, as a visitor, you will get great advice for free and even though you are not forced to make any purchase, you might end up purchasing a product because of the advice you have received.

As a visitor makes the purchase, the marketer and company benefit financially, but do not forget that the visitor gets something in return too!

Affiliate Marketing Means Business

Affiliate marketing is extremely popular, and you could notice that I have mentioned that affiliate marketing is both a monetization way, but it is also a business model.

But why is that so?

Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time. It was around even before the internet was.

Therefore, affiliate marketing is a very great and strong concept that has been tested and used for decades.

Nowadays, with the help of the internet, affiliate marketing is really booming and with some of the largest companies endorsing affiliate marketing, it is continually growing.

wealthy-affiliate home-page

With modern technology and access to the internet, everyone has the ability to create an online business from scratch (even if it is only a blog) and monetize it with the help of affiliate marketing.

Not only does affiliate marketing give you a chance to make money in a completely different way than we are all used to, but it is also a great way of creating a new income stream and making passive income.

Therefore, before you underestimate affiliate marketing or forget about it because it might take you some time to actually start making money – keep in mind that this business model is amazingly easy to get started.

You will not need much money to run your own affiliate marketing business on the internet.

How Much Money Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?

Believe it or not, this is the most commonly asked question and that is why I decided to answer it before I get into the steps of getting started with affiliate marketing.

If you took a look at commission rates provided by the most popular affiliate programs, you might have thought that there is no money to be made in the affiliate marketing business.

But you are wrong!

There are all sorts of affiliate programs and there are all sorts of products you can promote.

This means that you can make thousands of sales at a lower-end commission rate and still make good money.

Or you can make few high-ticket sales on the mid-range commission rate and still make really good money.


And if you have at least a decent audience/following volume or any sort of an online business, including affiliate marketing as a monetization way, this is a great way to ensure you do not leave any money on the table.

How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?

If you are only getting started, that means you will have to learn more about affiliate marketing, but also create your own online business.

This is definitely possible and that is exactly the way I did it. Here are the steps you will have to take to get started:

  • Find your training ground
  • Decide on what business model you will follow
  • Get training and implement everything you learn!

Find Your Training Ground

The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you can learn the process and implement everything you learn right from the start.

Also, you can do it at your own pace so there is no need to rush the process – but be aware that the more effort and time you put into it, the better the results will be!


My “training ground” was Wealthy Affiliate which is an educational platform that focuses on teaching affiliate marketing with a mission of helping you create an online business from scratch (a niche site).

From here you can create content and monetize it through affiliate marketing along the other monetization strategies.

Decide on What Business Model You’ll Follow

The easiest and the most inexpensive way to make money with affiliate marketing is to create an online business from scratch.

This is often a simple blog or a website on a certain niche.

Wealthy Affiliate will teach you how to find something you are passionate about, see if there is a market for it, and use it to create your own online business.

From there, you will learn how to build and establish your niche site, optimize it for search engines so you can gain organic exposure (traffic), create valuable content that will help your visitors, and make money with the help of affiliate marketing.

Get Training and Implement Everything You Learn!

The reason why I love affiliate marketing training at Wealthy Affiliate is because it is a step-by-step video training with tasks you have to complete after watching each lesson.

This way, you truly get to implement everything you learn right on your own online business from day one.

On top of that, Wealthy Affiliate also features all tools you might need in the process, such as the website builder or keyword research tool.

This way, nothing will be too complex, even for someone with no technical experience or knowledge.

??Click Here to Join Wealthy Affiliate for Free!??


Affiliate marketing is such a strong concept that it can be a game changer.

It is not only a game changer for large and established websites, YouTube channels, or content creators – but it is also a game changer for new and upcoming online businesses.

There are thousands of small niche sites or blogs that are making a decent income with the help of affiliate marketing along with other monetization strategies.

Of course, I should also mention that affiliate marketing will not only help you start your own online business, but it will also help you create a new income stream that will potentially bring you passive income.

Remember, getting started is easy and you can start learning about affiliate marketing and start creating your own online business from scratch for free by joining Wealthy Affiliate!

Where did you hear about affiliate marketing and what do you like the most about it?


All the best,


Founder/Creator:  Living On Lean Means ?

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