Affiliate Marketing

If you have spent much time in the blogosphere, it’s likely you’ve at least heard about affiliate marketing. Maybe someone you blog with has talked about making some extra cash just by joining an affiliate network, or perhaps you have seen company blogs advertising their affiliate pages. So how does it work?

The Basics

Affiliate marketing is the term for a relationship between a blogger (considered the “affiliate??? or in some cases the “publisher???) and a business (usually called a “vendor??? or “merchant???), where the affiliate hosts an advertisement with a link to a page selling the vendor’s product. If a customer follows the affiliate link and purchases the product, that affiliate will receive a commission off the sale. Affiliates usually choose a vendor based on their own interests after determining the quality of the product and whether or not their readers will be interested. These affiliates and merchants are typically set up through an online marketplace where affiliates can peruse potential vendors and vendors can market themselves to potential affiliates. If an affiliate succeeds, then the vendor succeeds (and to some extent, vice versa), so this arrangement can be a very profitable venture for both parties.

affiliate marketingChoosing The Right Vendors

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, when done correctly, this type of marketing can be a relatively simple way to make some extra money. But that doesn’t mean that it is a no-fail approach. For example, at first it might be tempting to snatch up every product you see and add it to your blog. After all, you will make money simply by the sheer volume alone, right? Not so fast. Adding tons and tons of un-vetted products is a sure way to lose credibility with your audience. Plus, if you have too many products to promote, you won’t fully understand how to effectively market each one. You should also take the time to test and track what works to when you are promoting products, and pay attention to what sort of products do best on your site. Once you have determined what products your readers like and the best way to promote them, you will set up for success.

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Getting Paid

When you are trying to determine what sort of vendor to host on your page, remember that you can afford to be picky. You are instrumental to helping the vendor succeed, which means you can expect to be compensated fairly. A good judge of a fair commission is 20% of the markup on a product, but if that information isn’t available, it might be necessary to estimate. Of course, the payout on a higher priced item may still be worth it even if it has a low commission.  If you are looking to make good money as an affiliate, you should shoot for products that offer at least $18 dollars per sale.

How To Succeed As A Vendor

If you are on the other side of the coin and run a business that could benefit from an affiliate program, there are a few things you can do to make yourself more attractive to affiliates. Complete transparency, detailed information, and a breakdown of the product and expected commission will all greatly increase the chance that affiliates will want to work with your business. And remember, affiliates are helping you out by hosting your product; be sure to provide a fair commission that will make their efforts worthwhile.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, the more you know the better. Is this marketing form a good match for your blog?


Guest author bio: Ryan is a writer and small business owner who writes on behalf of


Founder and chief editor of Blogger, Affiliate Marketer, Tech and SEO geek. Started this blog in 2011 to help others learn how to work from home, make money online or anything related to business and finances. You can contact me at


  1. I am just getting started in affiliate marketing. Been doing it about a year now. It is a lot harder to converts sales than i thought it would be.

    I ended up writing an entire ebook and giving it away with affiliate links which converted better for me then my blog posts.

    • That’s great Moe, if making sales through eBook is working for you. Now you just need to duplicate the process, to clone the book and you have two sources of income.For me the CPA is what is working,stick to what is working, thanks for stopping by 🙂

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