Make Money Online

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work (and How to Get Started) - Specks

Before I go into the nitty-gritty of things; I'll love to thank everyone that has been following specksblog for some time now. It has officially been one year since the inception of specksblog. From day one, our sole purpose is to provide the best content as possible - we provide content that will suit the need of our audience. A few days ago, I published the 10 best affiliate programs and I said I was going to publish a new content titled (how does affiliate marketing work.) Thankfully you have it now. If this is your first time visiting this blog; you should consider subscribing to our newsletter so you'll get notified anytime we update our blog. That being said; this blueprint has everything you need to get started in affiliate marketing.

When starting out as an affiliate marketer - there are tons of things you should have in mind. If you've ever thought about how to do affiliate marketing, or probably turning your side hustle into a cash cow, you shouldn't for any reason miss this post. Having conducted and reviewed numbers of YouTube channels, I discovered that people in the digital marketing niche are making one mistake - I am worried that you might also make that mistake; this blueprint will explain everything you need to know about affiliate marketing.

Before I further my writing on how does affiliate marketing work, you should have in mind that affiliate marketing is a fascinating way to make real money online - But looking for products to promote and driving sales through your affiliate link can be very daunting; trust me, hundreds of people from all walks of life are making thousands of dollars each month just by promoting products for brands and you can be a mile away from earning your first $100 affiliate marketing. You simply have to follow this blueprint to walk you through.

What is affiliate marketing?

I am so happy to inform you that affiliate marketing has literally become one of the most common ways to make real money online from anywhere in the world. I'm sure that you must have been hearing about affiliate marketing and probably you do not have any insight. You probably have heard that thousands of people are earning from affiliate marketing every month. But wait! Before I go any further; you'd like to know what affiliate marketing is exactly?

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing is simply to promote a product for a brand or company - any product or service, then whenever someone buys the product or takes action towards the product you're promoting, you will earn money (commission) for each sale or action taken by the person who buys the product. For example, let’s say you saw a microphone on Amazon and you copied the microphone page link and you sent the product link to someone on your website, email or social media, when that person buys the microphone through the link I get paid.

Choosing the right product, niche and services

The idea behind affiliate marketing is very simple, all you have to do is to promote the right product or services to the right audience. The only way you can get a commission is driving sales of products that will solve your audience problem. Sometimes people do not necessarily need to buy a product from you before you can earn - you can earn commission when people take actions like submitting of zip code or phone number. You can find thousands of products to promote from affiliate marketing platforms like Click bank, Amazon, Commission Junction, ShareASale and more. Having known that - it’s time to sign up as an affiliate so you can get a unique affiliate link that would be used to track sales. Once you have successfully registered as an affiliate, you can now copy your unique affiliate link.

As an affiliate marketer your sole purpose is to promote the right product to the right people. Affiliate marketing is not about promoting any product of any niche. When starting your affiliate marketing journey, you need to pick a niche.


"A niche is just like a subject area that you'd focus on so you won't mix products and services up". Here on specksblog - my niche is a digital marketing and I'm promoting services like games (email sending software), Bluehost (web hosting service), Envato (digital library for creators.) Obviously all these Products fall under digital marketing. My target audience are people looking to build self-hosted websites, people looking to drive traffic to their website - these are my target audience. There is no way I would begin to promote Baby Diaper here - I could if I wanted - but it doesn't look professional and finding the right people to buy from me would be very daunting.

How much money can an affiliate marketer earn?

It’s obvious that affiliate marketers make thousands of dollars per month. But the fact is; it totally depends on your efforts. The harder you work the more likely you are to earn. Affiliate marketing is one sure way to make passive income online and it’s not consistent. Do not be misled by anyone. Your earnings will surely fluctuate - people around the world are making $10,000 dollars to a $100,000 dollars monthly. So, the earning isn't static - consistency is all you need to keep earning. Just so you know, Pat Flynn is one of the most successful affiliate marketer that earn millions of dollars every year from affiliate marketing alone. According to a popular blog I follow; it is reported that Pat Flynn hasn't been revealing his affiliate income reports. It was recorded that he made over $200,000 affiliate sales just recently.

If you do not know how affiliate marketing work, then you probably won't make any sale though. The image below is my domainking affiliate report. I have heard about affiliate marketing since 2018 but I didn't take it seriously. Thankfully, I discovered a free affiliate marketing course online and I enrolled. Generally, you do not need any special traffic to earn from affiliate marketing. You simply need to drive sales through your unique affiliate link. Your sales can come from the email list, social media or organic source (Google).

Below are some unique ways to drive traffic to your affiliate link:
  1. SEO: Search Engine Optimization is a technique used by webmasters to rank a website on Google, increase its traffic and visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). You can learn SEO online and implement what you learnt to make your website reach its full potential. SEO will make your website visible on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. SEO will help you get target audience and better conversion rate.
  2. Social Media: You can use social media platforms like Facebook pages and groups, Quora, telegram, and using Instagram to boost your website so it would get to the right audience which will later turn into potential customers. You should have in mind that some social media platforms wouldn't allow sharing of affiliate links - so be mindful so you won't get banned.
  3. Email Marketing: If you have a huge audience you can use email marketing to communicate with them. If you do not have an email list you can start building one right away.

Why people fail in affiliate marketing

Since affiliate marketing is done by almost everyone without any prior technical skill; hundreds of people are diving into this business because it’s easy to join, implement, and the payout is on a regular basis. Below are some of the mistakes I made as a beginner and I'm sharing my experience so you won't make the same mistakes as me.
  1. Do Not Promote Too Many Products:

    Affiliate marketing is really easy to start - some affiliate programs would approve you within a day - some affiliate programs don't need approval at all. You just sign up and you have access to your affiliate link. Most beginners try to join multiple affiliate programs to boost their earnings. The fact is, you shouldn't have one source of income, but as a beginner in the affiliate marketing ecosystem you won't cope with multiple affiliate programs because you'll find it hard to concentrate on each one of them. The best way to approach this and to achieve a maximum result is by joining just one affiliate program that pays 30% - 60% commission. Once you have these, you can start promoting and tracking your performance. Once you begin to make reasonable profit from that single product then you can now join another affiliate program.
  2. Do Not Focus On Selling Alone:

    Many of us think that affiliate marketing is all about making money. But that is just a BIG fat lie. Just like I wrote at the beginning of this post; affiliate marketing is about looking for the right product that would solve your audience problem. Many beginners ignore this aspect. Your sole purpose is to promote the right product to the right people. You’re reading this blueprint because you want to know how to do affiliate marketing. I have linked to valuable products on this page. Your content must be relevant, engaging, and educating before you can attract customers to purchase through you. Once you are able to convince your audience beyond reasonable doubts, they will buy from you and thank you in the future.
  3. Not Knowing Your Target Audience: is a digital marketing blog - we share tips on Search Engine Optimization, affiliate marketing, how to make money online, etc. By now I already have a clue of who my target audience is. I cannot promote irrelevant products like baby diapers because that's not what my audience are about and they are not interested in that niche. They are looking for ways to increase their traffic, web hosting companies, and legit passive income sources. If your audience are related to health and fitness and your promoting electronic products to them, you barely will make any sale - no one is going to buy it. Know your audience and their interest before promoting any random product.
  4. Lack Of Content:

    As an affiliate marketer looking to increase his conversion rate, you have to pay close attention to your content. You have to create content around the product you're promoting - his would help your audience understand its benefit and it would compel them to buy from you. There are several ways to produce content for your products, you can do the following:
    • Create videos explaining how the product will help them solve their daily problem.
    • You can make comparison posts i.e. compare different products.
    • You can offer discounts and coupon codes.
    • You can make a dedicated product review blog or video for your YouTube channel and social media pages.
  5. Ignoring Your Competitors

    : Your competitors are those people who are in the same niche as you. You can track and analyze their own website to see what product they are promoting and what technique they are using to drive sales. The best way to choose the right product to promote is by buying and using the product by yourself. Instead of choosing random products - select a product and test it yourself - equally, check if the product is in demand. The idea is to promote products you're conversant and passionate about. If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing you should avoid this mistakes.
Related Posts:
>Top 10 Best Affiliate Marketing Websites That Will Boost Your Income Online | Affiliate Marketing
>The 10 Highest Paying Affiliate Program
>15 Real Ways to Make Money Online - Work from Home

How to promote affiliate products to generate your first sale

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work (and How to Get Started)
It takes just one sale to motivate you. Your first affiliate sale will motivate you and you'll develop passion to work more. All the video tutorial I watched plus all the blogs I read; they're all saying the same thing. You need to produce relevant content around the product you're promoting - these would compel people to buy. Your audience won't buy from you if they do not have any insight about the product. Try solving your audience problems through relevant content and you'll get leads. Let’s say you’re selling Umbrella, for example, if you're telling your audience about the features of the Umbrella they probably won't buy. You need to tell your audience about how the product will help them solve their daily problem. Of course, everyone wants an Umbrella that would protect their skin from rainfall and sun rays.

"Do not sell features to your audience. They care about how the product will solve their problems. So, sell benefits. There are many ways to promote your affiliate products: you can do a compelling product review, video review, comparison with other products you've tried and much more."

Everything I've written so far is based on real case study; I am sharing the ways that I use to promote my own affiliate products - and so far, I am getting good result.

  1. Blog Post:

    Blogging has been around for a long a now. Many affiliate marketers use blog articles to promote their products. It is cool to create a blog or a website around for the product you're selling - this is an amazing way to generate a good sale. Write a genuine review of the product you're promoting - only then will you get the sales. In this blueprint, I am also promoting affiliate products and thankfully I am getting positive results.
  2. Email Marketing

    : Email marketing is an amazing way to communicate with your audience. Building an email list will sky-rocket your affiliate sales plus it will also increase the amount of returning visitors to your website. Way back in 2018 when I started my blogging journey, I was ignoring email marketing because my organic traffic was a bit encouraging back then. Soon, I realized that my marketing campaign isn't complete without email list. I quickly began to learn email marketing and I've realized its potential. If you're still doubting whether to start building email list - you might be making the biggest mistake ever.
  3. Video

    :Although I haven't leverage videos perhaps I'm working on that aspect soon. I follow a lot of Youtubers who generate thousands of dollars through their sales videos. "According to BloggingQnA - one of the most successful blogs in India - he stated that 50% of his affiliate sales comes from his YouTube channel". You can also promote your sales videos on Instagram as well. You can install video editing software on your computer to help you make the most of videos.
  4. Affiliate Banners

    : Banner advertisement and call-to-action buttons will levitate your affiliate earnings - they are two of the most creative ways to make your audience buy from you. You can place affiliate banners on the sidebar section of your blog or on pages that get the most visit.
  5. Use Search Engine Optimization

    : Search Engine Optimization (SEO) cannot be overemphasized. It is worth knowing that organic search is the most amazing way to generate leads. Just so you know - SEO will help you get target audience who will eventually become potential customers. When writing your "make money online tips" use keyword tool to generate keywords your audience are searching for. When those keywords begin to rank higher on Google you will be so amazed at your conversion rate.
  6. Free Materials

    : Another great way to increase your affiliate sales is by creating a free course for your audience. Within the content of the free course, you can put affiliate links that will be valuable to them.

Having read through the 6 ways to promote your affiliate products - you're going to make sure that your blog is not just a random blog. A branded blog will generate more money for you, it will give you a lot of positive name, fame and sales. Branding is the future of blogging and any business planning to reach its full potential. Below are some of the most successful branded blogs that are making it BIG. 1.Shoutmeloud by Harsh Agarwal
2.Masterblogging by Ankit Singla
3.Bloggerspassion by Anil Agarwal by Amit Agarwal
Just to mention a few; I only listed them so you'll have the insight of what a branded blog looks like - the potential of branded blogs cannot be underestimated.

The very first action step to building a branded blog is to have an understanding of:

Content Marketing

There are different ways you can communicate with your audience. You can use blog posts just like I'm doing right now to communicate with you about how does affiliate marketing work. You can use visuals like images and interactive landing pages. I also talked about how you can use videos to make more sales. You can write comprehensive eBooks or online course with value to share with your valuable audience. When you use any of the above tips - you brand will get noticed. Remember that your sole purpose is to reach people who will likely become buyers. So, give your very best when producing your content. Product evergreen contents - these are content that live long on the web. They have a lot of value and people keep searching for them year after year.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing isn't just about using social media platforms like Facebook or Quora to promote your affiliate product. There's more you can achieve with social media. It goes beyond link sharing - share valuable resources that will solve the problem of your audience, by doing so, you are building a branded business and its a win-win for you; people will gradually begin to discover you and your achievement in the future will be mind-blowing. When it comes to SEO, people mention names like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Moz and Ahrefs. These people are the go-to brands as far as digital marketing ecosystem is concerned. That being said; you can build your brand to become a leading one in your industry. Rome wasn't built in a day - it took a lot of hard work and time. You can become a leading brand in your industry by connecting with influencers in the same niche as you. You can literally become an authority in your brand by producing high-quality content around your niche. Also, networking and collaborating with other influencers will sky-rocket your career. You can also do publications on content sharing platforms and lastly, getting interview opportunity will make you famous.

Brand Yourself

There is one thing you should have in mind; people won’t buy products from someone they do not know. They will only buy products from people they know and trust. Be honest with your audience and help them in any way you can. A satisfied customer will always refer you to other people - product high-quality content that will add value to your audience.

Also Read:
>15 Real Ways to Make Money Online - Work from Home
>Gmail Extensions – 10 best Gmail extensions

How to start your affiliate blog in 5 minutes

Now that you have an understanding of affiliate marketing, it's time to create your free blog. A blog is a content website where you'll be promoting your affiliate products - you will also be publishing your content there. is a blog - just so you know. A website or blog will automatically boost your affiliate earnings. To start a blog, you need two things:
  1. Web hosting: Web hosting are companies that would store all the content on your blog in their server so that it can be retrieved when requested. You will be paying some amount of money to them every month or year depending on your budget - web hosting will make your website or blog live on the internet.
  2. Domain name: A domain name is the web address of your blog. Think about your house address if anyone wants to visit you they will go straight to your house address. People will use your domain name to access your blog. They come in different extensions like .com, .ng, .org, etc. You will also be renewing your domain name every month or year depending on your budget - they are relatively cheap anyways. Once you have gotten your hosting and domain name you can now proceed to build your blog.
I'm not going to discuss this aspect in full because I will write a separate article on (how to start a free blog) immediately this affiliate marketing blueprint is published.

Final thought: how does affiliate marketing work

If you have read this blueprint to this point, it shows that you are really interested in what wrote about affiliate marketing. This blueprint took a lot of time and effort to put together. I want you to know that affiliate marketing is not a ret rich quickly scheme - If your main goal is to make money with affiliate marketing I advise you to get over that mindset. You should focus more on how you can help people solve their problems. Affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and effort before you can earn passive income. Equally, it takes time and effort to build up traffic to any website. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate looking to make it BIG; the best approach is to be committed to providing good content for your website. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter and I'd be glad if you share this blueprint (how does affiliate marketing work.) If you like this write up and you've learnt a lot from it, you can share your thoughts in the comment below.

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