The World Cost of Living Survey states that global prices of around 200 goods and services have increased by 7-8% over the past few years. This trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years driven by different forces including ongoing wars, economic downturns, geopolitical uncertainties and more. While these conditions are hostile and call for additional financial prudence, affiliate marketing offers a potential light at the end of the tunnel.

Did you know that nearly 73% of retailers said they meet their desired income level through affiliating marketing? It is also worth noting that the affiliate marketing sector is a $17 billion market in 2023 and is expected to surpass $27 billion in 2027. These numbers indicate that affiliate marketing is becoming increasingly lucrative for people worldwide and has emerged as a viable full-time and part-time opportunity to make money online.

So, what is affiliate marketing? How does affiliate marketing work? This article answers these questions in detail and explores the different types of affiliate programs.


What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be defined as commission-based online marketing wherein brands pay a commission to individuals in exchange for promoting and selling their products and services. The marketers in this equation are known as affiliate marketers.

It is akin to how companies pay incentives or bonuses to their sales representatives. That said, affiliate marketers are not employed by the brands they promote and operate like freelancers.


How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing offers fertile grounds for growth to both; brands and affiliate marketers. While brands can boost their sales, establish a solid digital presence, and increase their outreach, affiliate marketers can earn significant money for their marketing and promotional efforts.

So, how does affiliate marketing work? The affiliate marketing ecosystem hinges on three major components.

  • Brands and product creators
  • Affiliate marketers
  • Consumers

This is how affiliate marketing works

  1. Brands and product creators

Brands and product creators seek the most relevant and effective ways to market their products, and affiliate marketing is one of them. Many major companies, particularly in the software and tech industry have affiliate programs that are open to all. That said, even consumer brands have jumped onto the bandwagon by turning to affiliate marketing through influencer programs, product reviews, and more.

It is worth noting that brands and product creators may or may not be directly involved in the marketing side of things. This is primarily because their goal is to onboard affiliate marketers through their affiliate program who market their products or services for them.

  1. Affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers are also referred to as publishers. Affiliate marketers can either be solo entrepreneurs or companies that use their marketing genius and prowess to market a brand’s services or a product creator’s products.

The affiliate marketer can use different digital channels to persuade their audience to buy the product or service they are promoting. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, website content such as blogs, product reviews, and email marketing are some of the most popular affiliate marketing strategies used today. If they convince their audience to complete a purchase, they earn a commission from the seller’s revenue.

  1. Consumers

The affiliate marketing network cannot survive without consumers. Ultimately, it’s them who complete the sale. Remember, affiliate marketers leverage various digital channels to reach consumers. In most cases, affiliate marketers cater to a niche audience with specific tastes, interests, and preferences by creating content. If the consumer is convinced, they can click on the affiliate link, strategically placed on the page, directing them to the seller’s product or service page. The affiliate marketer makes money only when the consumer completes the purchase.


Types of Affiliate Programs

  • Unattached affiliate marketing

Unattached affiliate marketing is for all affiliate marketers, especially those without niche authority over the product or service they are marketing. In this case, affiliate marketers primarily rely on pay-per-click marketing wherein an affiliate link is displayed to consumers through Facebook ads or Google AdWords. Basically, there is no real connection between the affiliate marketer and the audience.

  • Related affiliate marketing

Related affiliate marketing is a blend of unattached and involved affiliate marketing. Here, an affiliate marketer may or may not use the product or service they promote to their audience. However, they leverage their bond or connection with their audience and hope to convince them to purchase the product.

  • Involved affiliate marketing

The name gives it away, doesn’t it? Involved affiliate marketing means the affiliate marketer is directly associated with the service or product they promote. In this scenario, the affiliate marketer typically markets something by sharing their experience after using a service or a product. Involved affiliate marketing requires more groundwork and personal engagement as opposed to related and unattached affiliate marketing.


Why Should You Start Affiliate Marketing

If you are still on the fence and wondering if affiliate marketing is for you, here are a few reasons why you should consider starting affiliate marketing.

  • Passive Income

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make passive income. If done right, it is one of the most effective ways to make money even while you’re asleep.

  • Work from anywhere

Thanks to affiliate marketing’s flexible structure, you can work from part of the world as long as you have an internet connection and a laptop.

  • Easy to Start

Affiliate marketing does not require you to create a product or service. It is easy to start even if you have limited or no authority over a specific niche.



We are certain that by now, you know what affiliate marketing is. As we march toward an increasingly digital world where consumers prefer buying products and services online, affiliate marketing opens up new avenues and income opportunities for businesses and individuals.

What are you waiting for? Start your affiliate marketing business today.




What does an affiliate marketer do?

An affiliate marketer promotes a product or service via different digital channels in exchange for a commission for each sale they influence.


What are the 3 main types of affiliates?

The three main types of affiliates are unattached, involved, and related.


Can I do affiliate marketing without a large social media following?

Yes, you have an edge over other affiliate marketers with a modest following if you have a large social media presence.


How do I track and monitor my affiliate marketing performance?

You can track and monitor your affiliate marketing performance by monitoring the key metrics including website traffic, cost-per-click, page visits, conversions, revenue, and more.


If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to send an email us on [email protected]