What is Online Affiliate Marketing?

By | October 1, 2014
What is Online Affiliate Marketing?

You can learn to make money online.

Affiliate Marketing (AM) is among the most popular ways to make money online. If you aren’t familiar with this then in just a few short minutes we will answer two important questions: what is affiliate marketing? and how do I make money from it?  


What is Online Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a revenue sharing program between marketers and vendors. The marketers are typically people like you. They are people who are knowledgeable and passionate enough about a topic that they are able to promote products through blogs and websites. When someone clicks on the product link and buys… the affiliate gets a commission.  


The vendor may include online retailers, traditional brick-and-mortar stores, or individuals trying to sell their own products or services. Virtually every company or individual who sells products or services offers online affiliate opportunities. If they are not then they are missing out on a lot of potential sales.


How Do I Make Money From Affiliate Marketing?

The concept is extremely simple. If you are a marketer then you promote products or services through your website. You get a commission when someone clicks through your website and buys. If you are a vendor then you get paid when someone makes a purchase.


The commissions vary from vendor to vendor. Some business only offer 2% while others offer 30% or more.


Getting Started

Most vendors do not do business directly with affiliates.  Instead they use programs like Commission Junction, Linkshare, or ClickBank that links sellers with affiliate marketers. Some exceptions are Amazon and eBay who have their own programs.


Will I Get Rich Overnight?

No, this is not a way to get-rich-quick. No legitimate AM program will tell you that you can make a small investment, then retire a few weeks later. Like any job or business it takes time and you have to work. Anyone that tells you differently is looking to get rich off your money. The good thing, however, is that AM is something that anyone can do and be successful at.


Some of the most common reasons why people are not successful at AM is they have unrealistic expectations and they do not want to put forth the effort. Some people get into it thinking that all they have to do is put up a website, add some product links, then book a trip to Hawaii with mounds of cash they’ll be making. The truth is that it takes time and effort to be successful. However, the good far outweighs the bad.

Pros and Cons


  • Very low startup costs (most URLs cost around $10)
  • You can do this anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • You make money off your hobbies and passions.
  • You work for yourself.
  • Anyone can become successful.
  • Can be passive income.



  • Certain niches are extremely competitive.
  • There are a lot of scams associated with online businesses.
  • Some merchants will engage in unethical and illegal practices.


You can alleviate the bad by choosing the right niche and doing research on the merchant before promoting their products.


If You’re a Beginner

Prior experience is not necessary be successful in affiliate marketing. I came across a group called Wealthy Affiliate (WA) when I was looking for ways to make money online and they taught me everything I needed to know. After joining I had my first website up and running within 3 days, despite no IT experience. You can read my full review of their program here or click the banner below to go straight to their website.


In this article we have answered “what is online affiliate marketing,” however the important questions are “how do I make money from AM?”  and “how can I get started?”


If you’re interested in answering these questions then I suggest you try the Free Starter Membership with WA. You will learn enough within the first 10 lessons to build a successful online business.


Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you.

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