There are a million ways to make money on the internet and affiliate marketing is one of the most famous ones.
Affiliate marketing works on references – affiliate marketers are paid for referring new clients and customers to a business. In simple words, the more the business makes money off of your referrals, the more money you make.
The relationship between a business and an affiliate marketer can involve a number of platforms including, but not limited to blog posts, web pages, websites, emails, and social media posts and pages.
The relationship can also take a number of different forms. You may partner with a brand launching a specific product and receive a percentage of the revenue generated by your referrals. Or, if you work with websites like Amazon, you receive a percentage of whatever purchase a follower makes through your referral links, even if they don’t buy the product you were specifically recommending.
All-in-all, affiliate marketing is a form of self-employment that has low initial overhead and doesn’t require a person to produce, stock, or ship product inventory1.
How Much Can You Earn?
According to the famous statistics and figures website Statista, the affiliate marketing industry is on the rise. The website reported that in the United States, alone, the affiliate marketing industry was predicted to reach up to $8.2 billion by 2022. That’s up considerably from $5.4 billion in 2017 and $1.6 billion in 2010.
VigiLink, another statistics website, conducted a survey that revealed astonishing results. According to the survey, 9% of publishers produced more than $50,000 in affiliate income in 2016. The majority of merchants—65%—said they were making between 5% and 20% of their annual revenue from affiliate marketing. The survey also showed a link between experience and revenues. Among the merchants with the most revenue, 60% had been involved in affiliate marketing for five years or more2.
Developing Affiliate Marketing Strategies That Work
It is relatively easy to get started in affiliate marketing, but generating sustainable income from affiliate programs is an entirely different ballgame. If you’re thinking of giving it a try, it is vital to lay the groundwork first.
Start by thinking about your audience. What kinds of goods and services do they want? Which products are you currently using that you would feel comfortable recommending to your readers? You can always add links to any affiliate program to your site. However, it would be best if you stuck to products that are connected with your websites to maximize the click-through rate and keep your audience.
Next, research individual affiliate programs to compare their structures. You want to consider factors such as the size of the commission and how often the company pays affiliates. Make sure you also understand any rules they impose on members of their affiliate networks. Always remember that you’re likely to make more money with affiliate marketing content that is similar to your own.
Finally, be upfront with your readers. Adding a disclosure to your blog posts or somewhere on your website lets them know that they may come across affiliate links. This disclosure adds to your credibility, and it is also required by the Federal Trade Commission’s endorsement guidelines.
Getting Paid – Exploring Different Payment Systems
Getting paid is the next step in learning how to make money with affiliate marketing and it requires one to learn a little bit more about how the commissions and the whole payment system actually works.
In short, you get paid via an agreed upon payment system3.
This payment program means that every time you complete a sale, you get paid. Depending on your arrangement, payment can be immediate, or on set days of the week, month, or quarter.
Pay-per-click is the third most common type of payment system, and it simply means that you get paid when your merchant’s banner ad or link is clicked on your site. Since you get paid regardless of whether the customer makes a purchase, this has good potential.
Leads are potential customers that your merchant can follow up with, and can be of immense lifetime value to the right brand. Pay-per-lead systems are similar to pay-per-sale, except the ‘proven win’ is that you produce a qualified lead.
The best way to make money is to make sure you make yourself comfortable with the resources you have, to follow what you actually like and have knowledge about, to work hard, and to be very patient4.
Keep your content fresh and relevant, promote good products, and find the best affiliate program for you; round this off with an e-mail list and you will be well on your way to creating a long-term income earning affiliate business.
 Duermyer, Randy. “Does Affiliate Marketing Work?” The Balance SMB. 17 January, 2020.
 Lake, Rebecca. “Make Money With Affiliate Marketing.” Investopedia. 27 October, 2019.
 Smith, Brad. “How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing.” Oberlo. 5 November, 2019.
 “Make Money with Affiliate Marketing.” Smarter Affiliate.