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What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way for companies to promote their products or services through other people or businesses, called affiliates. These affiliates earn a commission for every sale, click, or lead generated through their unique affiliate link.

For example, if you sign up as an affiliate for an online store and promote their products to your audience through your website or social media, and someone clicks on your unique affiliate link and buys something from the store, you’ll earn a commission on the sale.

How does affiliate marketing work

In Affiliate marketing three parties are involved: the company, the affiliate, and the customer. The flow for a typical scenario is as follows:

  1. The company creates an affiliate program: The company creates an affiliate program and sets up a system to track the performance of its affiliates. The program includes the commission rate, terms, and conditions, and unique affiliate links for each affiliate.
  2. The affiliate signs up for the program: The affiliate joins the program by signing up and getting approved by the company. Once approved, the affiliate gets access to their unique affiliate link or code.
  3. The affiliate promotes the company’s products or services: The affiliate promotes the company’s products or services to their audience through various channels like their website, blog, social media, or email list, using their unique affiliate link.
  4. The customer clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase: The customer clicks on the affiliate link and is directed to the company’s website, where they make a purchase.
  5. The company tracks the sale: The company’s system tracks the sale made through the affiliate link and attributes it to the respective affiliate.
  6. The company pays the affiliate commission: The company pays the affiliate commission for the sale, according to the agreed-upon commission rate and payment terms.

Note that the steps 4-6 are executed much more often than steps 1 and 2. You only need to sign up once for an affiliate program. You can then promote it multiple times through the various channels. For every promotion there can be many customers who make a purchase. For example, you can sign up for a single program. Then write ten blogs in which you place affiliate links and get commission for thousand sales made by customers.