How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

So, you are considering venturing into affiliate marketing and want to know how it works. Doing your due diligence before jumping into a program is a great idea since there are so many options.

I will explain how it works so that by the end of this article, you will know more than enough to make an informed decision about the program you are considering joining.

Sound good? Okay, let’s go…

Affiliate marketing is a business in which you create content that you monetize in a way to get your audience to buy from vendors your content sends them to through affiliate links.

Confusing right? Not at all. Let’s break it down in steps.

Here’s how it generally works:

  1. Choose a Program or Product: You’ll want to pick products or services that resonate with your audience. Once chosen, you want to stay focused on it. It would be weird if a blog about food suddenly started promoting surfboards. You want to stick to your audience’s expectations. The product, hobby, or passion you choose to promote is called your NICHE.
  2. Create Content: Once your niche has been selected, the next step is to create content around it to share your expertise with your audience. Share stories, reviews, and expert opinions based on experience or information you have researched. This can be done by building a website, using a YouTube channel, or both. There are many ways of reaching an audience, and the right way is the one that works for you.
  3. Attract Visitors: Your blogs, vlogs, or adverts are the workforces you send out to the field to get people to read or view your content. Links placed in your content let vendors know who to send commissions to. This is the “make money while you sleep” aspect of affiliate marketing you keep hearing about.
  4. Wait for the Clicks and Sales: Every time someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission. Depending on the affiliate program, this could be a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale.
  5. Cash in the Earnings: Depending on the program’s rules, you’ll typically be paid monthly, quarterly, or when a threshold is met.

And voila! You’re in the affiliate marketing game.

Okay, so that’s a general overview of affiliate marketing. Now I would like to expand on each of the topics of Choosing a Niche, Building a Website, Attracting Visitors, and Collecting Commissions.

Here’s how it works at Wealthy Affiliate, the platform I work from. If you want to see how trustworthy the platform is, look at Trustpilot.

Affiliate Marketing At Wealthy Affiliate

Affiliate marketing at Wealthy Affiliate is no different than in the general description above. I will add my three-year member experience to answer some questions you might have.

1. Choose a Niche. Oh yeah, that’s easy, right? No, it’s not. If it is for you, then you are ahead of the crowd.

Most people don’t have a burning passion for an activity or product. If they do, it often ends up being the same as everyone else’s. That is not to say that you can’t write about your passion. You must drill down into your passion and find a subniche within the larger niche to pinpoint buyers of that subniche product or service. 

What do I mean?

You love golf. I mean, you loooove golf. That’s fine. Millions of people do. To get started in a lucrative niche, you will want to specialize… drill down to, say, “How to master the short game,” which would be all about close-to-the-green mastery.

You wouldn’t choose the immense “golf” niche. It’s too broad. You’ll want to dig deep. I hope you understand the difference.

Let me put it another way.

A golfer is looking to improve their short game because everybody knows that the short game will make or break you. You have two websites. Website one is all about golf. Website two is called “Howtomastertheshortgame .com”. Where do you think the person is going to look for advice?

2. Build a Website. Wealthy Affiliate uses WordPress to build any site you can imagine. It is pushbutton easy to do by following the simple step-by-step instructions on the platform.

There is no need to get fancy because people are more interested in finding helpful information than looking at a pretty site.

And that is what the website is all about. You write articles on your golf website about the best club for ‘close to the green’ play. Is it the seven iron or the pitching wedge? Roll it or pop it on?

In the article, you place links to affiliates to direct your audience to the best clubs, balls, bags, shoes, etc., to use.

And so on. Do you see?

3. Affiliates. There are so many affiliate programs that you could write about earthworms and find a program to affiliate with. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with earthworms. Amazon is a huge one. Chewy has one. Hatcheries have one. Golf outlets have them. The list goes on and on. 

You sign up for the affiliate programs of your choice, and the affiliates provide the links you need for your blog.

4. Collect Commissions. You collect a commission when a reader reads your blog, likes your writing, clicks on a link, and purchases from one of your affiliates.

Seems simple enough, right? Yes, it is simple but success in affiliate marketing, like any business, requires patience and persistence. If you have that, you can succeed at affiliate marketing. 

The training at WA teaches you how to rank fast, and yes, it works. I was recently looking at a post I created five months ago, and it is currently ranked #1 on Yahoo and Bing and 11th on Google. I expect it to climb on Google in time.

So, what does it take to be successful in the affiliate marketing business?

It takes desire, consistency, and the ability to recognize that it will take a few months to see dime one. Patience.

It takes patience!

Is it worth it?


Waking up to new commissions earned while you slept never fails to bring a smile and a warm feeling, knowing that you have taken something special into your own hands to secure your future.

If you would like to see the affiliate marketing program I recommend above any I have been acquainted with, and there have been a few, feel free to…

===>Take a free test drive right here<===

Take care, and I wish you great success in everything that you do.


2 thoughts on “How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?”

  1. Hi Dave,

    Having a hard time understanding the legal requirements to this. I was going to get on the Affiliate program with amazon and sell on Pinterest. But, saw something about Affiliate disclosure and the FTC and stop. Do I need to worry about all this if I am not selling thru my own website? What requirements do I have to follow?

    • Hi, Dan. I get it, but it’s not really a big deal. All you need to do is place the following copy in a conspicuous place on your product pages: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” I have actually put it in the footer of my main site, so it is viewable on all posts. Thanks for stopping in. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.


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