Everything You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

Everything You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

Roshni Dhal 22/07/2021
Everything You Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.

What is Affiliate Marketing? 


Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

What Does an Affiliate Marketer Do?

Essentially affiliate marketing involves a merchant paying a commission to other online entities, known as affiliates, for referring new business to the merchant's website. Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction.

What are the Four Core Players in Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer.

What's the Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and Referral Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships to drive sales.

How to Earn a Commission by Using Affiliate Marketing?


In order to earn a commission, your content needs to be tailored to a specific niche such as travel, technology, lifestyle, finance, e-commerce, cryptocurrency, and digital marketing. 

If you are promoting a company's product online and someone buys it based on your recommendations, you receive a commission. This commission would be anything from $1-$100 depending on the product you are promoting online.

How Can I Track My Sales?

You'll be provided a tracking URL, which is called a unique link allotted to you by the product's company.

This unique URL is used to keep track of all the traffic and sales you are making via your website or other promotional techniques. Many old-fashioned affiliate programs allow a buyer to add the email or referral details in an effort to account for affiliate sales, but this is certainly not the best way to track progress.

How to Sign up in an Affiliate Marketing Program?

Many online companies who sell products such as T-shirts, Domains or any service, offer an affiliate program. You just need to go to their login page and sign up for their program and get your unique tracking link which is your affiliate ID. Now, whenever you are promoting a product or writing a description about it you can simply put your unique affiliate link to recommend the company's site, if your buyer purchases anything or reads anything you will get a commission.

Can I Still Earn a Commission If a Buyer Makes a Purchase on a Different Day?

Just to tell you that every affiliate program has a set TOS. For example, most of them provide 60 days valid cookie period, which means if any one uses your special link/affiliate ID to land on the sales page of the website instead of buying today, he/she buys anything from your ID within the next 60 days, you will be entitled to get sales commission.

Important Affiliate Marketing Terms You Should Know:

  • Affiliates: Publishers such as websites and blogs who are using affiliate program links to promote and make sales.
  • Affiliate marketplace: There are many marketplaces like Amazon Associates, internetprofits, Vcommission, & Clickbank etc.
  • Affiliate software: Software used by companies to create an affiliate program for their product, for example: igloo, Amplifier, Optimizepress etc.
  • Affiliate link: Special tracking link offered by your affiliate program to track the progress of your affiliate promotion.
  • Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, but many affiliate programs offer a unique ID which you can add to any page of the product site.
  • Payment mode: Different affiliate programs offer different methods of payment. For example: check, wire transfer, PayU money and many more.
  • Affiliate Manager : Many companies have dedicated affiliate managers to help publishers to earn more by giving them optimization tips.
  • Commission percentage : The amount or percentage you will be receiving in affiliate income from every sale.
  • 2-tier affiliate marketing: In this method you suggest others to join you and you will receive a commission when they purchase any kind of chain affiliate commission.This is known as sub-affiliate commission.
  • Landing pages: A separate demo page for products. For example if your website is related to homes then the landing page is “Drawing Room” where you will promote only what you want to sell, not all products. Usually, the idea is not to make users confused while purchasing so always try to keep user friendly and super easy for all users without any diversification. Most marketers do this for A/B testing like which LP is converting most for their product.
  • Custom affiliate income/ account: Unlike a generic affiliate account, many companies offer custom affiliate income to people making the most affiliate sales for them.
  • Link clocking: Important thing to keep in mind is that affiliate tracking links are usually ugly and sometimes it looks like a scam instead of tracking ID. What you can do is shorten this link with the help of URL shortener. You can turn ugly affiliate ID into a short and readable link for your audiences.
  • Custom coupons: Many affiliate programs create custom coupons which can be used in track sales. This helps you to increase affiliate sales faster.


Affiliate marketing is a popular way to earn money for many website owners. It’s a type of referral arrangement where an online retailer pays you a commission for helping them sell their products through your website or blog. 

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that anyone can do it. It works via referral links, which can be placed on your website. This means you have to pick out a company and its products that are relevant to your website’s content, as well as your audience.

There are multiple ways to promote products. You can create in-depth reviews of particular products, recommendation lists, send out newsletters, place banners on your website or come up with new unique ways to promote these products.

If you promote your chosen products well, your website visitors should be interested in purchasing them. Once on your website, they can click on your direct affiliate link and buy the product that they are interested in. After that, the original seller will pay you a commission for your sale. The commission rates can vary but they are usually between 5% – 30% of the product's price.

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Roshni Dhal

Digital Marketing Expert

Roshni is the cofounder of HighOn M, a digital marketing consulting firm that helps SMEs & MNCs to grow their business using various digital marketing methods. She is a renown Internet Entrepreneur who has helped 20+ major brands improve their online marketing management. She has featured on the LinkedIn Top 15 Voices of India 2016. Roshni holds a bachelor's degree in Commerce from P.G.D.A.V. College. 


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