What is Affiliate Marketing


Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which an online product is referred or promoted and when a purchase is made, a commission is received.

It is the oldest form of marketing which has emanated as an effective way for both sellers and publishers to market their product and monetize their audience respectively. In very simple words, Affiliate marketing is a manner to earn a commission by promoting other company’s brand, which when purchased will earn you a fraction of profit.

What does Affiliate Marketing consists of?

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Affiliate marketing consists of three basic components

  • A merchant; also known as the retailer or the brand
  • A publisher; also known as the affiliate
  • A Network

A merchant is someone that sells the product or the one who owns it. An affiliate or a publisher is the individual that promotes the product to an audience and the brand; the product that has to be promoted.

The pathway for online affiliate marketing


At its simplest, affiliate marketing is just a four step pathway.

  • The first step is when an online buyer decided to buy an item.
  • Next is when the customer lands on the affiliate site.
  • The third step is when the customer is automatically redirected to the merchant’s site.
  • The fourth step includes the purchase made by the online buyer and a commission being earned by the affiliate for guiding the buyer to the merchant’s website.

Affiliate marketing can also be described as a kind of cost-per-action (CPA) advertising. This can be as described as no efforts by the publisher to highlight the partner’s product on their site and doing nothing for getting a visitor to click through to that site. The commission is only earned when a sale is completed.

Affiliate marketing is expedited by “affiliate links” that allow merchants to track the origin of their customers. In simple words and in its true essence, it is to know which profit was earned by the specific affiliate and rewarding the affiliate accordingly.

The process of offline affiliate marketing


The process of offline affiliate marketing is similar to that once followed at schools. The fundraising event that required the students to go door-to-door to sell any product; let’s say a magazine that would be mailed to the subscriber’s house on weekly or monthly basis as chosen by the subscriber himself. In this kind of marketing, there are the three aforementioned components.

First the merchant; that is the magazine company that owns magazine as the product which is to be sold. Next the school acts as an affiliate as it possesses the ability to sell the product via its students and thus earns a commission from the marketing company. Here, however there is outsourcing of the actual selling by the school to the students; in exchange of prize for meeting the goal.

Affiliate marketing as simple as it seems, can sometimes be hard to achieve because the publisher is not aware of the correct meaning of affiliate marketing and basic mechanism of how it works. For such reasons, it is impossible to seek guidance from the professionals to earn the maximum revenue.


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