What It Is Affiliate Marketing and How It Works For Bloggers In 2024

By Joseph Nyambura                
Last updated on June 18, 2022  
What It Is Affiliate Marketing And How It Works

When you buy something through one of the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing for beginners. Whether you have some clues about what it entails or you’re completely new to blogging and making money online, you’ll find this post helpful. 

I’ve been building affiliate websites for over 5 years now. And I must admit that it’s one of the best sources of passive income.

Once you know how it works, and you have an action plan already in place, you can turn your WordPress website from a simple platform into a blog that makes you full time income.

Throughout this guide, you’ll learn all the basics of affiliate marketing, including: 

  • What affiliate marketing is
  • Types of affiliate marketing
  • How affiliate marketing works
  • Examples of affiliate marketing networks and
  • The benefits of doing affiliate marketing

Let’s get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing? 

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is the promotion of products and services for companies via an online platform.

A person that takes part in affiliate marketing is an affiliate marketer. Their role is to drive traffic and conversion to the products and services offered by the merchant’s website.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are three main types of affiliate marketing. These are: 

  • Involved affiliate marketing
  • Related affiliate marketing
  • Unattached affiliate marketing

1. Involved Affiliate Marketing

With involved affiliate marketing, the promoter has a connection to the product or service on offer. The affiliate uses the product or service and then writes a review about it based on their personal experience.

This gives their audiences certainty that the product or service is worth it. People involved in this type of affiliate marketing are much trusted but the problem comes when their recommendations fails to meet buyers’ expectations as advertised. 

2. Related Affiliate Marketing

Related affiliate marketing is the promotion of products and services by affiliates who have a connection to the offer.

For you to qualify for this type of affiliate program, you will need to have a good level of authority to make you a trusted source. In addition to having enough influence, you need to know how to generate targeted traffic to your site.  

3. Unattached Affiliate Marketing

As the name suggests, the affiliates don’t have a connection to the products or services they are advertising. Therefore, they can’t make sound and solid claims about the products and services because they don’t have known skills or serve as an authority.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is an online business strategy where you create a blog and use it to promote merchants’ products or services. You’ll implement blogging SEO to build an online readership, direct consumers to merchant website, and earn commissions if they buy the products you promote on the blog.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are not hidden secrets to building an affiliate website.

The first thing you need to do to start making money with affiliate marketing is to identify a product or service with a potential market gap in a category or niche you love.

In other words:

  • Find a profitable niche
  • Do in-depth search analysis
  • Create high quality content on underserved topics and
  • Do basic SEO for your website

That’s it.

You can build and scale an affiliate website that makes you full time income, so you can become financially independent.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Make Money? 

As an affiliate marketer, you can: 

1. Get Paid Per Sale

The merchant will pay you a certain percentage of cash when a customer successfully purchases a product or service through your affiliate link. PPS is the standard structure of affiliate marketing.

2. Get Paid Per Click

With pay per click, you will need to engage with your audience enough to persuade them to move from your website to the merchant’s website.

Here, you make money based on web traffic. Other concepts you will find under Pay per Click include EPC (Earn per Click) and CPA (Click per Acquisition).

3. Get Paid Per Install

As an affiliate, you earn money when you refer people to a merchant’s website where they download mobile apps and software. Most Pay per Install programs pay $0.10 for a single install.

4. Get Paid Per Lead

Affiliate programs working on pay per lead basis will pay affiliate marketers based on lead conversions.

You work as an affiliate to get your audiences to visit the merchant and complete the intended action, which can be anything from signing up for a trial and downloading files or software to filling out a form and subscribing to newsletters.

Examples of Affiliate Marketing

The following are some of the best examples of affiliate marketing: 

1. Etsy Affiliate Marketing

Etsy is an online marketplace where affiliate marketers can promote products and earn. You will need a website with a unique brand identity.

You can apply online via their affiliate program portal, and that’s so provided you’re at least 18 years of age and can meet the additional requirements for the program.

Once you are approved, you earn each time a customer visits the store and makes a purchase through your website.

Etsy can withhold your compensation and terminate partnerships for any legal reasons. Sellers on Etsy can also be affiliates but they will need special approval to earn commission on their products.

2. The eBay Affiliate Marketing

The eBay Affiliate Marketing Program, also refers to eBay’s Partner Network, allows you to make money by sharing your listings on eBay Incorporated.

Affiliates are awarded a commission on their final merchant fee. Other sellers’ items on eBay will also earn you a commission.

More often than not, eBay will pay you if customers immediately purchase or bid on products within 24 hours of clicking the link from your website.

The commission rate depends on the category of products you promote, but you can earn past $550 on a single item.

3. Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program, also known as the Amazon Associates, is the largest affiliate program on the web.

Video creators, bloggers, and publishers can sign up for an account and start making money from the sales they generate.

This platform is strict in a way. For example, the content you promote their products with should never be a replicate of another. In other words, you need to make sure your site publishes unique content all year round.

Also, your content must not:

  • Be obscene
  • Promote violence or
  • Be harmful to others

Also, you must make 3 qualifying purchases within 6 months of opening your Amazon associates account to qualify to become an affiliate marketer with Amazon.

Associates on Amazon earn commissions of up to 10% for qualified purchases. Certain events will earn you bonuses on top of the 10% sales commission.

Can You Starting Affiliate Marketing without a Website

Although I recommend promoting affiliate products on a blog, it is still possible to make money promoting these products and services without a website.

Here are your options:

1. YouTube Videos

The use of videos to promote products and services is yet another effective way to do affiliate marketing.

You can create a YouTube channel, build audience that would be more interested in your niche, and then use the platform to promote the products.

A YouTube channel is a great platform to use for affiliate marketing because you get the opportunity to describe and demonstrate the product.

2. Community Forum and Social Media

This works well for people who have an online presence. You post reviews of products and services you trust with an affiliate link and when your audiences purchases, you get a commission.

3. Email Marketing

You can also send affiliate offers to your email distribution list. Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool as it has a 17% open rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How fast can you make money with Affiliate Marketing?

To be frank, it’s going to take anything between the third and the sixth month to make your first sale or see substantial growth.

So if you want affiliate marketing to work for you, you will need to be patient and invest in content creation and content marketing because that’s all you need to succeed in the business.

2. How much do Affiliate Marketers make?

The answer isn’t something cast in stone. From my experience, earnings generated from affiliate marketing varies from niche to niche, traffic, and seasonality. 

But on average, 35% of affiliate marketers make more than $2,000 annually, and about half that number, from my investigation, have reported making more than $20,000 annually.   


Affiliate marketing gives you the ultimate independence you need to set up your goals, choose products that interest you, and work on hours you find convenient. Also, it lets you diversify your portfolio and concentrate on a simple campaign.  

Affiliate marketing will make you money depending on your performance. It is an opportunity fart much different from usual jobs, which expect you to work more than 60 hours a week and still get a fixed paycheck. And fix paychecks never leave room for growth. 

About the author

Joseph Nyambura

I started this website to help bloggers by sharing everything I’ve learned in the past decade working as a professional digital marketer, web designer & developer. I help passionate bloggers like YOU start and supercharge their own glossy blogging journey and enjoy the flexibility to work from home. I will help you master content creation, making money, and build an audience blogging online.

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