How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Tips & Guides — 05 Oct 2020

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing


In our previous article, we discussed how much money one can make in affiliate marketing. The answer seems to be very encouraging. With the possibility to choose a vertical of your interest and come up with creative ways to stand out, everyone has a chance to succeed in affiliate marketing. You just have to give it more of an effort.

The following question arises: how can I earn in affiliate marketing? What exactly should I do, and what are my first steps? This article will tell you about the common roles in affiliate marketing, ways people make money, and what your actions should be.

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

You already know what affiliate marketing is. Right?

But just in case, affiliate marketing is an advertising scheme under which a third party publisher can promote a product or service and get a commission from a sale or lead generation.  

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Why does everyone like it?

By everyone in this context, we mean vendors, or product owners, from one side, and publishers, or affiliates, the ones who promote a product on their online platforms, from the other side. As such, even a person with only one hundred subscribers on Instagram or other social media could be a publisher.

Vendors see affiliate programs as a great chance to increase their marketing coverage without spending a lot of extra time of their own. It is not the case when doubled efforts require doubled time because other people do the job for you. And you only pay them upon the result; in other words, when they drive you traffic, leads, or direct sales. Vendors do not lose anything in this case. 

And as for publishers, they gladly join affiliate programs as it presents them an opportunity to earn. As some people may joke, out of nowhere. But this is not true. They don’t need to have a product of their own, but they need to be digitally savvy and know how to promote products successfully. It requires them to continually work on their online platforms to grow a loyal audience. 

So, the basic earning scheme in affiliate marketing looks like that:

  • 1
    An affiliate promotes a product on his online platforms;
  • 2
    Somebody stumbles upon the post, likes the product, and buys it;
  • 3
    The affiliate receives his commission for the sales he generated.
How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Thus, we clearly see two primary ways: to become a vendor and become a publisher. While vendors can significantly benefit from affiliate marketing, it is not when you start from scratch. You must already have some product that is your business’s foundation, while affiliate marketing helps drive more sales and earn more. 

Earning plainly from affiliate marketing is the case of publishers who have some online platforms, but without supplementary products, they won’t be able to monetize it. Thus they earn by promoting products.

We suggest to look into both parties and the role affiliate marketing plays for their income.


Earning in affiliate marketing as a publisher


If you start from scratch and with no investments, your only option is to become a publisher and promote products. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? While it may sound so, it is not that easy in practice. Do not expect to post several links and see hundreds of people buying products via them. To achieve this, you first need to have and implement a well-thought-out marketing strategy.

Staring in affiliate marketing cannot do without two essential steps:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Consider starting a blog or other platform where you will post relevant content

Choosing an affiliate niche

Choosing an affiliate niche is an essential step in predetermining your job satisfaction and approximate income level. 

Correspondingly, when choosing one, you should take into your personal preferences towards the possible product. If you already have a blog with a loyal audience, you can reverse the science and choose the vertical where your already existing content fits. You may choose a nice that is close to your professional background, your hobbies, or something you have a genius interest in.

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Further, check what the average affiliate commissions for products within the chosen vertical are. Be ready to find out different commissions, but also diverse conditions that affiliate programs apply. Knowing the average commissions will also help you understand the volume of effort and amount of content you need to produce for the desired profit. We have a short overview of affiliate commissions in the most popular verticals.

Creating a blog

As a publisher, you need an online platform where you will post affiliate links. Two common options for affiliates are either a blog or a youtube channel. Or both suppose you can handle it timewise. 

It would be best if you did not solely base the choice of a platform on whether you feel comfortable in front of the camera or not. Keep in mind some fundamental differences between blogging and vlogging. Among the most important are: 

  • The blog is your property, while a youtube not. You can’t sell a youtube channel should you wish;
  • Blogging is more SEO complicated;
  • Blogging will cause extra costs on the domain, hosting, development, while Youtube is free;
  • You can edit text and add new affiliate links over time. You can’t edit published videos.

You can check tips on how to promote affiliate content here.

I've launched a blog. Does it mean I am all set to go?

Of course not. You can’t just set up a blog and post an affiliate link there. Well, you can, but you won’t receive anything from that. We hope you understand that.

Growth your blog audience

The strength of affiliate marketing was always about unobtrusiveness. Users shouldn’t understand that it is an advertisement. The placement should be of a maximum native character. To achieve this, you need to produce content regularly to grow a loyal audience that may further take an interest in advertised products. 

In digital marketing terms, you need traffic first. The majority of ad networks will ask you about the traffic volume once you apply to join them. Hence, keep in mind that traffic first, sales second. 

Do not neglect email list growing, it would help to widen your presence in different channels of promotion. Free webinars  and different tutorials are a great tool to grow an email list.

And don't forget about SEO

You won’t have much traffic if your website is poorly SEO-optimized. Ensure that you research your niche-specific keywords, and use them in the right places, create competitive content for top search positions. If you don’t think that is enough, look for SEO tools to optimize your blog.

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Join ad networks and affiliate programs

Once you have a blog with stable traffic, you can start applying for affiliate programs. Consider both affiliate networks ( Amazon, Clickbank, Rakuten, Commissions Junctions etc. ) where you will find plenty of programs and products to promote. But also research a stand-alone partner program. Check websites of products you would like to promote, whether they have information about the affiliate program. Not all businesses join affiliate networks; some create programs of their own and recruit publishers to join. 

What are the perspectives of professional growth in affiliate marketing?

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Obviously, your first personal KPI is the size of your monthly check proportionally to the amount of effort and time you put into the work. As any affiliate marketer, your goal is to make a passive income in perspective.

Second, once you are a skillful affiliate looking for new growth points, you may think of launching an affiliate network. 

Check how one can start an affiliate network from scratch.


Earning in affiliate marketing as a vendor

Suppose you have a product of your own. In that case, you will probably agree that as a product owner, you want to concentrate on developing the quality of your product or direct product delivery. You want somebody else to take care of the promotion, and you want them to do it well. Whether a vendor has in-house marketing or not, adding an affiliate program into your marketing strategy is a great asset. One can significantly increase sales with affiliate help.

Interesting fact, being a vendor from the start, Amazon was the first to increase its profits by introducing Amazon affiliate program.

How can one do it?

In this context, vendors have two options: join an affiliate network and create a partner program there or create a partner program of their own on a SaaS partner marketing platform. You can compare two options here.

Once an advertiser signs up, he can create a program. Advertisers usually start with a partner program description, its rules, and policies, marketing collateral. Once it is all set, they begin recruiting affiliates to join their program. 

Check top insights on finding affiliates

The benefit of running a partner program is that you have access to all ad campaign data. You can control the performance of all your partners and see what performs better. 

Interested in growing your business with a partner program? Then try Affise!

Take advantage of a free 30-day trial to see how easy ad campaign management can be! 

Share this article

Content Manager

Yulia is a Content Marketer with a love to a great story and an eye to small details. Carrying a voice and delivering an accurate message - that’s what Yulia believes content marketing is for. Looking for thorough research and long-reads? You came to the right person. Her goal is to produce content that educates and entertains, and most importantly, has an impact. Challenges and something that is yet to be explored are her main motivators.

See all articles →