Affiliate Marketing – what exactly is it?

If you are new to the online world, affiliate marketing could be something you are not super clear on.

It has existed in one form or another for as long as sales have been happening. However, it has definitely grown in popularity with the advent of more users in the online space.

How it works

Basically, it is a commission for a referral.

  • You sign up as an affiliate for a product.
  • You recommend the product.
  • Someone buys based on your recommendation using your affiliate link.
  • You get paid a commission.

In the online space, affiliate links are everywhere. AND that is why caution is needed when you are following recommendations.

Ethical businesses will not recommend or affiliate with a product/business they do not trust as it directly impacts their reputation.

In my case, the products and businesses I recommend are always ones I have first-hand experience with. That is to say, I have either used them myself, or I trust the business owner/company implicitly.

Why would you use affiliates?

There are a couple of reasons:

  1. By choosing to use affiliates, you are tapping into a wider network than you might normally reach. This is especially true in the online space.

    For instance, each of my clients will have their own database and email list.
  • They know their people
  • They know which of them would benefit from the services I am offering
  • They know the quality of my work because they have worked with me

This makes it super simple for them to make a recommendation by sending an email that includes their link to my product.

2. It is extremely cost-effective. You only pay out the commission if someone buys from you.

From my perspective, it makes good business sense to put the commission $$ into an affiliates pocket rather than into advertising which is hit and miss.

How much do you make as an affiliate?

It depends on the products that you are promoting. The price of the item and the commission percentage.

The highest commission I have personally seen is 50% on a $2997 program.

In my own programs, I offer a standard 30% or up to $300 across the board of my online courses.

Some bloggers and influencers make a fortune through affiliate marketing, and it’s a full time income.

There are affiliate opportunities everywhere that you look for products that you probably use daily in your online business.

For example, I use this Blue Yeti Mic and a Logitec camera almost every day in my business. When I share a photo of my office setup, I often get asked what I am using.

If I share the information via my affiliate link (which is what the above links are), and a purchase is made after clicking the link, I receive a small commission, but it has not cost the purchaser anything extra. If I just recommend without my affiliate link, I do not get anything.

What do you need to run an affiliate program?

In the online space, you will need to be able to create a unique trackable link for each of your affiliates. There are several systems that do this.

If you are an online course creator, the platform that you are hosting on will have the option for you to invite and create affiliate links.

The platform that I currently use is Podia. It’s a great place to host my courses as I am not very technically minded!

Take Away Points

  1. A great affiliate relationship is built on brand trust. I would never recommend a product I do not believe in because it is a direct reflection on me and my business.
  2. Be prepared to answer questions about a product you are recommending.
  3. Talk about your own relationship with the person or how you use the item you recommend.
  4. Declare that you are an affiliate – use wording along these or similar lines “if you choose to purchase a product I recommend, I may receive a small fee, but this does not increase the cost to you.”

Let me know in the comments what experience you have of being an affiliate, or if you have further questions?

Fly like a dragon!


This post was proofread by Grammarly

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