What Is Affiliate Marketing Programs About? Let Me Explain

What is affiliate marketing programs about? I am sure that there will be quite a few of us out there who will probably be scratching their heads and wondering about it. Therefore, if your answer is no but you are keen to find out, then let me explain here what they are all about.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

It is Marketing sloganIt seems that since the introduction of the 4-hour Working week, everybody appears to share sharing the same goal.

What is this goal I hear you ask, well apparently the goal is making money while you are sleeping, otherwise known as Passive Income.

Affiliate Marketing appears to be the way to start for about 99% of people. Affiliate marketing works with you promoting products that belong to other people usually with the use of an affiliate network.

This is based on revenue sharing because if someone decides to buy something thanks to your marketing, you then earn a commission.

If you have a product of your own that you are looking to sell, with the use of an affiliate program you are able to offer a financial incentive to promoters.

On the other hand though, even if you don’t have your own product for selling but are still interested in making money, you have the ability to promote a product that you believe has a monetary worth and as an affiliate marketer you can earn an income.

Defining Affiliate Marketing

If you would like to know the definition of affiliate marketing, click on the following link Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn, you will find what is classed as being the best definition.

According to Wikipedia, there are 4 different parties involved in affiliate marketing and these are the following:

The merchant, the network, the publisher plus the customer.

There are other definitions however that only speak of 3 parties rather than 4, as shown in the image below.

Three Parties of Affiliate Marketing Program

I will introduce you to the 4 different parties soon but firstly, when we are talking about actual marketing then there are only 2 sides to the affiliate equation. These are the product creator and seller as well as the affiliate marketer.

This then means that affiliate marketing is seen as the process of spreading product creation plus product marketing midst different parties and where the parties involved each receive their share of the revenue but in accordance to their own contribution.

Now when defining who you are as an affiliate marketer, it is not just the product creation or the promotion that fits the bill. You are able to be both creator and marketer plus still be able to make a profit from the original idea of sharing the revenue.

Four Parties In Affiliate Marketing

To have a successful affiliate marketing system, let me introduce you to the 4 parts that make up the full system.

The Merchant

Who can also be called the creator; the seller; the brand; the vendor or even the retailer. It is this party therefore that creates products. The merchant can be a large company such as Sony who make TV’s as well as other electronic items.

It could even just be an individual such as Melyssa Griffin who teaches online entrepreneurs and bloggers how to make their passions profitable as well as popular.

Therefore, going from solo entrepreneurs, to start-ups and to even massive Fortune 500 companies, almost anyone has the ability to be the merchant running an affiliate marketing program. All they need is to have a product they can sell without even being actively involved.

The Affiliate

Here is the party who can also be referred to as the publisher. As well as being single individuals, affiliates can also be complete companies. Affiliate marketing businesses can generate anything from a few hundred to tens of millions of dollars in commissions each month.

Here is where the marketing occurs. The affiliate decides whether they are promoting one or more affiliate products, they then have to try and attract plus convince any potential buyers that the value of the product from the merchant is worthwhile so that they will be interested enough about the product and buy it.

There are two ways that you are able to achieve this and these are by creating a review blog for the products that belong to the merchant or, you could have a whole site which is dedicated entirely to finding trendy products which are relevant to a specific topic then promoting the affiliate products.

If you are interested to know more about one of the affiliate network sites which is proving to be very popular with people, then click on the button below.

CTA button for find out more

The Consumer

The Consumer (aka the Customer), is the person who helps to make the affiliate system go round. Therefore, if there are no sales then there will be no commissions that can be distributed and this then leads to no sharing of revenue as there won’t be any to share.,

Basically, the affiliates main aim is to try and offer to sell to the Consumer using the best channel that they choose. This can be anything from a social media platform like Facebook, digital marketing or with the use of a search engine and content marketing in the form of a blog.

Now, it is mostly up to yourself as the affiliate whether you decide to inform your Consumer that they are part of an affiliate marketing system.

There are some affiliates who choose to tell their consumers straight away, as always though, there will be more who tend to take the same path and are being more transparent in the fact that the marketing they are doing has a financial incentive.

There are however also some that don’t say anything.

One way that the affiliate keeps the Consumer/Customer aware of what’s happening, is by allowing the tracking system to run behind scenes so that the Customer can keep an eye as usual on the process of their purchase, plus the affiliate still gets paid a commission.

Due to the fact that the price for the affiliate network has already been added into the retail price, this means that the Consumer’s price they pay to the affiliate marketer will not be a higher price.

The Network

There are only some people that actually consider the network as being a part of the affiliate marketing equation. However, it is believed by others that there is a need for the inclusion of networks with an affiliate marketing guide.

This is thought to be because in lots of cases it is deemed that the network acts like a go-between with the affiliate and the merchant.

Even though you have the option of technically just promoting someones course that they have created online while arranging with them a direct share of the revenue.

Letting networks such as Commission Junction or even ClickBank take care of the payment plus the delivery of the product which gives your affiliate marketing a more serious look.

There are times though when the affiliates have no option other than to use an affiliate network so that they are able to promote a product. As an example, this can only happen when the merchant is managing the affiliate program they own on that network.

This then means that the affiliate network can also be used as the database for a number of products, from which it is up to the affiliate marketer to decided on what products they want to promote.

An example of a good network you can sign up to is Amazon.

Now when you are talking about promoting products from customers such as books, toys, household items or even tools, then Amazon is undeniably the biggest affiliate network available. The Amazon Associates affiliate program allows you to promote every item that they sell on their platform.

Amazon Affiliate ProgramIf you are interested in becoming an affiliate for Amazon, you will be interested to know that anyone is able to sign up, this then generates you a custom affiliate link which you can use when advertising the products at Amazon.

If someone then visits your website and purchases anything at all while using your link then you will receive a small commission.

Now that we have clarified the basic terms of affiliate marketing and programs, I think we should now look at the best ways to get you started building an affiliate marketing enterprise.

Merchant Or Affiliate

Now as you can see, affiliate marketing has two sides to the equation that you are able to go for.

You have the choice to be a Merchant, where others promote your products for you and in return for the sales that they complete, you give them a commission.

Your other option is to be an Affiliate Marketer who can either promote one or numerous products, as well as marketing them to customers so that you can make money.

Affiliate Marketing Program Banner

You will notice that most people make the decision to begin with taking the affiliate route. It has been said that this is definitely the simpler course to take. However, trying to build enough traffic to get an income you feel is worthwhile just by making affiliate sales is not easy or quick.

I am therefore going to show you how you can do the 4 simple steps that will help you to get started on the 2 sides of the affiliate marketing industry.

How You Can Be A Merchant In 4 Steps

If you have made the decision that you would like to be an affiliate program merchant and make your money by letting others sell your products, then I am going to show you 4 simple but not easy steps you can follow.

Step 1

First things first, you will need to have an idea of the product you want and I’ll show you some ways you can use for generate those ideas and these will be centered on what already appears to be popular.

It has been said endless times that it is hard trying to come up with an idea, Having said that it is easy to get an idea but the hardest part is finding that idea which needs to be exquisite, original and also born from the pure ingenuity of your brain.

If you are really planning on making money with an affiliate marketing business, then you cannot afford to be fondly attached to the idea you have.

A better thing to do is to look at the products and services which are already available out there and think about what you can do to improve them and that could be something which can solve problems with any of the products.

Step 2

Once you have decided on your product, you then have to validate your idea. You could just make the decision to build your idea, however what if you do build it only to find out that people are not even interested in it?

It is important to remember that an idea is only worthwhile if there are actually people who would like to see it materialize.

Step 3

You would then have to create your product and as creating a physical product can lead to big risks as well as an immense investment. Instead, I will show you different ways where you can produce digital products.

As digital products only really need your time plus very little or even no money, then these are the best items to use for get started.

Step 4

Lastly, once you have created and released your product, there is still the need to get affiliates who want to promote your product. This is really where the affiliate networks can be a help to you.

Change of Direction

Alternatively, you could make the decision to become an affiliate yourself and go down that path. Becoming an Affiliate Marketer, is the very same as becoming a Merchant. There are 4 steps to both sides.

Become An Affiliate Marketer Using 4 Steps

Step 1

You firstly need to begin by making reviews on the products that are in your niche. You can do this in a few different ways like writing a blog, using live streams on places such as Periscope or even using a YouTube channel.

Step 2

Your second thing to do is to start collecting emails as you will need these if you are looking to connect with your audience whenever you wish to rather than having to hope that they see your content.

Step 3

You could choose to make use of joint venture webinars for making a fair amount of sales in a short timescale. While doing this, you can also be growing your email list as well as producing new content.

Step 4

Lastly, after your affiliate marketing business begins to make money, then you are able to escalate your growth using pay per click advertising.


As I said in my header, “let me explain”. I feel with this post that I have explained to the very best of my knowledge I have explained to you what Affiliate Marketing Programs are all about.

I hope that by reading this it will help you to understand better what is all involved with affiliate marketing and how it all works.

If you have any questions or feedback on this article, then please leave them in the comment section below or contact me at WealthyAffiliate.com and I will be more than happy to answer.








4 Replies to “What Is Affiliate Marketing Programs About? Let Me Explain”

  1. A great site and very helpful for somebody such as myself who’s looking into starting Affiliate Marketing, I particularly enjoyed reading about your journey through Wealthy Affiliate and hope i can one day achieve the success you have done. What has captured my eye the most however is that you take time to discuss the tools that you’re using such as Jaaxy which i’d never heard of prior to this day.

    1. Hi Callum, thank you very much for your comment and I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed my post. I enjoyed typing my journey through Wealthy Affiliate and it is perfectly possible for anyone to do if they work at it hard enough. I thought it was a good way to incorporate them all. Jaaxy is a great tool and is so versatile. 

      I do not know if you have already joined us here at Wealthy Affiliate, but it would be lovely to see you here in this Community if you are not already here. Feel free to ask if you want any more information or have any more questions.

  2. I have heard the term affiliate marketing but didn’t really understand the concept, so I turned to my good friend Google and started doing some research. It’s interesting to see both sides of the equation, if you have a product to sell, or if you are interested in selling a product. There are benefits for both parties involved.

    How hard is it to get started? Can someone with no technical background do this maybe part-time for starters? I love the idea of passive income, as I am sure many people do! I am interested to hear back from you and I may have more questions. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Steve, thank you for your comment and can I quickly ask you a question as in did you find any of my post helpful at all? 

      When I started in 2016, I was a complete novice, had no idea at all about affiliate marketing or anything to do with it. But by joining Wealthy Affiliate and following their training I have got to where I am today. I would certainly say that yes anyone at all with no experience or technical background like I was myself could definitely start this and do it part time. One thing I will clearly point out though is that this is not a qet rich quick scheme and you have to be prepared to put the work in to make it work. However, the training at Wealthy Affiliate is second to none and they are well worth signing up with. If you have anymore questions I will be happy to answer them. I hope this helps you too.

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