Internet Marketing is a plan and that Success comes with a plan

How To Start Affiliate Marketing | Part 1

This is a 2 Part series on How To Start Affiliate Marketing The Right Way Including Affiliate Marketing Strategies.

In Part 1 we’ll take a look at:

  • What Is Affiliate Marketing
  • How Does Affiliate Marketing Work
  • How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid
  • And the all important Why Be An Affiliate Marketer

In Part 2, I’ll examine,

  • Common Types Of Affiliate Marketing Channels
  • Tip To Help You Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer
  • What Are The Top Affiliate Marketing Trends Today?
  • I’ll visit on what Affiliate Marketing Strategies Should You Employ Today?

Before we begin, Affiliate marketing has been around for longer than you think.

It didn’t just start with the invention of the internet, although that is where it really started to gain ground and take off.  Let’s take a quick look at how affiliate marketing got started.

William J. Tobin

The patent for affiliate marketing as we know it today was granted to William J. Tobin in 1989.  Mr Tobin, pioneered affiliate marketing by starting affiliate marketing program for this company PC Flowers and Gifts.   Mr. Tobin ran his own lawn mowing business with equipment purchased for him by his mother.  He later joined the Army and afterward got a business degree from Adelphi University.  He went on to create several startup companies, which eventually led to PC Flowers & Gifts.

PC Flowers and Gifts soon gave way to the company we know today as FTD, Florists’ Transworld Delivery.  William J. Tobin created the framework for what is known as the history of affiliate marketing as well as modern day affiliate marketing. It has changed a bit over the years, but the basic concept is still the same.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a really simple concept in marketing.  Simply stated, an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they like and enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The promoting affiliate has an affiliate link from the affiliate company in which sales are tracked via this affiliate links from the company to your site.


How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing works by spreading the marketing responsibilities of the companies product across various individuals, the company manages to leverage the abilities of a variety of individuals for a more effective marketing strategy.  The company then is able to share some of the profit, from that sale to the referring affiliate.

In order for this to work, three different parties must be involved:

  1. Seller or Company who has the product.
  2. The affiliate partner or marketer’s advertising.
  3. The buyer or consumer.

Jut how does this work?  Let’s look at these three parties…The Seller, The Affiliate Marketer and the Buyer.

1. Seller or Company Who Has A Product.

Let’s look at a simple example.  I’ve used Nike past example because it sets the example.  Nike developed a new product.  The want to market that new product to the public.  Their marketing strategy work in various ways, however in our example, they have many affiliate partners, one of which is you!

You provide the marketing for Nike’s new product to your customers.

So in this example, Nike is the seller, merchant or product creator with a product to offer to the public.  They have specify branded themselves to the public as a producer of high quality sports apparel.  They have created the “brand,” and advantage to the seller/company is that they don’t need to be involved in the actual marketing.

The affiliate marketer provides the marketing.  However, they may advertise the product or products which helps the affiliate marketer to better sell or market to the public.

The advantage to both seller and marketer, is that the seller reduces their marketing cost so they can create new products.  The marketer does not need to create a “brand” since this has already been done by the company.  The sell will make money when a product is sold, and the marketer will make money when the product is sold.

This is called, “revenue sharing” and it is the best part associated with affiliate marketing.

2. The Affiliate Partner or Marketer’s Advertising.

Also known as the marketer,  the affiliate partner can be either an individual, such as you and I or a company such as Amazon that markets the seller’s product to potential buyers.

In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade buyers that the product is valuable or beneficial to them and through advertising, convince buyers to purchase the product.  If the buyer does purchase the product, the affiliate partner receives a portion of the revenue made.

Affiliates partners often have a very specific audience to whom they market, generally adhering to that audience’s interests. This creates a defined niche or personal brand that helps the affiliate partner to attract buyers who will be most likely to act on the promotion.

The affiliate partner has done several things…they have created a target audience…they have advertised to that audience…the audience has purchase the product through the advertising.

3. The Buyer or Consumer.

Whether the buyer knows it or not, they and their purchases are the drivers of affiliate marketing. Affiliates share these products with them on social media, blogs, and websites.

When the buyer purchases the product, the seller or company and the affiliate share the profits. Sometimes the affiliate partner may choose to be upfront with the consumer by disclosing that they are receiving commission for the sales they make. Other times the consumer may be completely oblivious to the affiliate marketers relationship with the company.

Either way, the buyer rarely pays more for the product purchased through affiliate marketings efforts. As mentioned, the affiliate’s share of the profit is included in the retail price. The buyer will complete the purchase process and receive the product as normal, unaffected by the affiliate marketing system in which they are a significant part.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online.

But how does an affiliate partner get paid after linking the seller to the buyer?  The process is not complicated.  And the buyer doesn’t always need to purchase the product for the affiliate to get a commission.

Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently. The affiliate partner may get paid in various ways:  Pay per sale, Pay per lead or Pay per click:

1. Pay per sale.

This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this pay per sale structure, the seller or company pays the affiliate partner a percentage of the sale price of the product after the buyer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate partner offers the product to their customers and get paid or a commission when a purchase is made.

2. Pay per lead.

This is a little more complex.  This program compensates the affiliate partner based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate partner persuade the buyer to visit the companies website and complete a desired action.  This could be filling out a contact form or signing up for a trial of a product.  It could be subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.

In either case, the affiliate partner receives a commission based upon the “lead” and not necessarily the sale.

3. Pay per click.

This program focuses on incentivizing the affiliate partner to redirect buyers from the affiliate partners’s marketing to the seller’s website. This means the affiliate must engage the buyer to the extent that they will move from the affiliate’s website to the seller’s website. The affiliate is paid based on the increase in the seller’s web traffic.

Setting up your company in either marketing strategy is completely up to you.   I will tell you that the most popular approach is Pay Per Sale and less complicated.

Why Be an Affiliate Marketer?

What are the reasons to become an affiliate marketer?

Let’s begin with a real world discussion on why so many people today are looking toward affiliate marketing as a way to earn a good income either part-time or full-time.

Here is an example of many people’s life:

You wake up at an ungodly hour. Shower, get dressed have a quick cup of coffee (if possible), start the car on a cold or hot morning, drive to the office through total gridlock, streets jammed with other half-asleep commuters.  Greet your co-workers, slog through email after mind-numbing email until the sweet release at five o’clock.  In between, there’s coffee breaks, lunch, meetings, paper work and or working on the production floor.

We’re not done:  It’s time to go back home.  Remember the morning gridlock drive?  Your doing it again.  This time the streets are jammed with other people wanting to get home.  Some may have had a bad day.  So you get cut-off, honked at, rude comments, stopped by traffic and a combination of all.

Your home, tired and frustrated with day.  Then you hear, “Let’s go out for dinner or we need to go to the mall.”

Tomorrow you have to do it all over again.

Sound terrible?

What if, instead of dealing with the monotony and stupor of the rat race to earn a few bucks, you could make money at any time, from anywhere, with your very own company and work when you want — even while you sleep?

That’s the concept behind affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy to drive sales and generate significant online income.  The strategy is extremely beneficial to both the company and affiliate marketers, the new push towards less traditional marketing tactics has paid off. In fact:

  • 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing, a statistic that will continue to increase as affiliate marketing spending increases every year in the United States.
  • There is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the United States each year, meaning that by 2020, that number will reach $6.8 billion.
  • In 2018, content marketing costs were gauged to be 62% of traditional marketing schemes while simultaneously generating three times the leads of traditional methods. In fact, 16% of all orders made online can be attributed to the impact of affiliate marketing.
  • In March of 2017, Amazon’s affiliate structure changed, offering rates of 1-10% of product revenue for creators, providing the opportunity for affiliates to dramatically increase their passive income based on the vertical they’re selling on.
  • The affiliate marketing of Jason Stone, otherwise known as Millionaire Mentor, was responsible for as much as $7 million in retailer sales just in the months of June and July in 2017.

1. Passive income.

While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. Now this won’t happen over night.  When your business is mature, it’s working 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

By investing an initial amount of time into a marketing campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as buyers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.

2. No customer support.

Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their buyers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction.

The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the buyer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.

3. Work from home.

If you’re someone who hates going to the office, affiliate marketing is the perfect solution.

You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that sellers create while working from the comfort of your own home. This is a job you can do without ever getting out of your pajamas.

Learn Affiliate Marketing Strategies from people who are already in the affiliate business and your work from home skills will be greatly reduced.

4. Cost effective.

Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward and very easy.

5. Convenient and flexible.

Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours.

This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.

6. Performance-Based rewards.

With other jobs, you could work an 40-50-60-hour week and still earn the same salary. Affiliate marketing is purely based on your performance.  “You’ll get from your business what you put into your business.”  Honing your skills and writing engaging campaigns will translate to direct improvements in your revenue. You’ll finally get paid for the outstanding work you do!


Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in tandem with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service.

Although the success of the business does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals.

Developing skills and marketing along with advance marketing tactics is how affiliate marketers become financially independent.  As mention, this does not happen over night.

Time, honing skills and shorting the learning curve is how many successful affiliate marketers built a successful business.

You can now reduce the time frame, hone your skills, avoid mistakes and shorten the learning curve by getting help, advice and the latest marketing strategies.  HOW?

There are other articles in my site that will address various affiliate marketing ideas, tips and suggestions.

You can also look at the TABS above to look into some recommended programs such as Home Business Academy and Wealthy Affiliates.

Both programs are highly rated, quality and professional.


Here’s to your business success,








About the Author


Bill Fletcher is an experienced marketer and coach. My goal is to help anyone who is interested in building a business through a systematic approach to success. With a professional team of experts, we will guide you with some of the best articles and coaching program available anywhere. I have available some of the best coaches in the area of affiliate marketing willing to help and guide you to success. it is safe to assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend. Please note that I will make a commission if you buy through my link.

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