Affiliate Marketing 101 (Q&A) – Part 1


Many looking for a way to work from home and run their own business turn to the Internet for answers. It’s only natural that people turn to the World Wide Web to find information on the topic, since television commercials seem to abound now with claims of people who are making money running their own at home business.

Maybe you even know someone personally who runs an online business. It’s not as uncommon as many think. The Internet is full of opportunities to turn your dream of working from home, being your own boss, and having control of your financial future into a reality.

With its vast amount of information on almost any subject you could imagine, people in households around the world are jumping online and Googling “ways to make money online” every day.

One of the more frequent terms that pop up when searching for ways to make money on the Internet is Affiliate Marketing. But, what exactly is affiliate marketing and how can it help you create a thriving and profitable business?

In this article series you’ll find 11 of the most frequently asked questions on the topic of Affiliate Marketing along with the answers to each of them. You’ll learn what affiliate marketing is, the basics of how it works and by the end of the report you’ll have a better understanding of what everybody online is talking about.

Who knows, you just might decide that affiliate marketing is something you’d like to try for yourself. If so, I wish you success! Just remember any business worthwhile does take time and work. It won’t happen overnight (although it is possible to do some work before you go to sleep at night and wake up to money in your pocket the next morning with affiliate marketing).

When done correctly an Affiliate Marketing business can produce the income, security, and longevity anyone looking to create a successful business could ever need or want.

Defining Affiliate Marketing

Q: What is Affiliate Marketing?

A: Affiliate marketing as defined by

“Affiliate Marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.”

I don’t know about you, but when I first read that definition, it wasn’t exactly jumping out at me, making me go “Oh yeah, I get it. Now I know what I want to do to make a living!”

Of course you can read more about the practice of affiliate marketing at the Wikipedia website, but we’ll save you the trouble, because although it isn’t hard to understand, it is a bit overwhelming and really doesn’t tell you in easy to understand terms what affiliate marketing is.

Affiliate Marketing Is The Process of Referring Others To A Product OR Service And Being PAID For Your Efforts

A great example that I’ve found most people can easily understand is that of a car salesman. When you go to a dealership to purchase a new car, you’re normally greeted by a salesperson. He or she will do their best to answer your questions, show you the car including its features, engine, warranty, and even let you test drive it.

Once you decide the vehicle is the one you want to buy, they will then walk you through all the paperwork, getting financing, taking your down payment, trade-in and everything else involved in the process from start to finish.

Once the deal has been made and you’ve driven off the lot with your new car, the dealership receives the sticker price of the car.

But, what about the sales person who worked with you all afternoon? He listened to your needs, recommended the car that you fell in love with and are now sporting around town in. What does he get out of the deal? After all, he did all the work – he should get something for making the sale. And, he does. He will receive a percentage of the sales price of the car you just bought. This is known as a commission.

Affiliate marketing is the same thing, only in this particular case you are doing the referring and “selling” on the Internet.

Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Q: How exactly do you make money from Affiliate Marketing?

A: We touched on the answer to this question in the previous question. When you (the affiliate) refer someone to a product (or service) and that person makes a purchase, you receive a commission on the sale.

However, there is more to it than that. After all, how can a company know for sure that you are the one who sent this person to their website since you’re not there to tell them and the person buying may not even know your name?

When you sign up to become an affiliate with a company or individual, you’ll receive a special link (your affiliate link) that is embedded with a tracking code to let the affiliate program owner identify you among other affiliates and their own marketing methods.

Whenever you use this special affiliate link to refer someone to the company’s website the person’s visit is tracked to you via that special code. There are various software programs that make this possible and the process is beyond the scope of this particular report. Just remember that visitors to the website are tracked back to you from this special code within your affiliate link.

Whenever someone who uses your link purchases something from the company’s website you are credited for the sale and receive some sort of payment.

Common Types of Affiliate Payments

Sales Percentage – This method is the most common form of payment to affiliates. Example: For every sale you refer as an affiliate, you’ll earn 50% of the total sales price. You refer $50 worth of sales and we’ll pay you $25. Percentages vary and are set by the company or individual who runs the affiliate program. They can vary from 5% all the way to 100%.

Pre-set dollar amount – This type of commission is not extremely common, but it is out there, specific dollar amounts could include things such as: For every $5 worth of product sales you refer to us, we’ll pay you $1 or a flat $20/sale.

– Some sites pay their affiliates in credits that can be used for future purchases of their products. An example of this would be receiving 1 credit for every dollar’s worth of product sales you refer.

Here’s the end of Part 1, in Part 2 we will discuss how to know your Market, you MUST get to know them before you can successfully promote products and services they will buy.

Affiliate Marketing Q & A


  1. Remember, there are two sides to affiliate marketing – you can be an affiliate and sell products for others – or you can create a product to sell and have others earn $$$ by selling your product.

    For example, I’ve created a product and offer a 50% affiliate commission to my affiliates. I just send some NICE commission checks to people as a result!

    The 8 Week Power Blog Launch

  2. Thanks for this summary of what affiliate marketing is. Now I have something I can give my girl to read and hopefully understand what I ‘waste’ my time on.
    Any idea when you publish part 2?

  3. hi Vera,
    Nice summary and explanation. But one question I’ve never seen dealt with is “cookies”…
    No, not selling Girl Scout cookies 🙂 , but what happens if people have cookies on their browser disabled.
    When the potential sale clicks through to the product website, it is my understanding a cookie is set with the affiliate’s number. A cookie must be set if the person leaves and comes back later and you still want to credit the sale to the affiliate.
    But I’ve read that over half of internet surfers have cookies disabled, so what happens there?
    As I’ve said, I’ve never seen this discussed. ~ Steve, custom portable exhibits

  4. Hey Vera,
    Its an interesting article on affiliate marketing..
    There is one thing of yours very similar to me, its that “I’ve never ever believed in the word can’t”.
    I haven’t achieved the success yet, but yes I am on my way to achieve that.
    Good Luck.. 🙂

  5. The Blogger Source says

    When will part 2 be posted?

  6. Jobs For Writers- Make $100-$300 Daily says

    That is good about the affiliate marketing thing. I just started as an affiliate marketer and it is very challening to say the least!I mean, all of the social networking, can be exhausting..but I guess it cost to be the boss. Keep up the good work and nice blog

  7. Kathy – Absolutely! 🙂 Running your own affiliate program is great. You may be paying out more money, but you’re making money you might not have because of your affiliates.

    Japanese – Great! This series will definitely clue her in to what it is we do online. Good luck getting her to increase her likeness of the time you spend though. Still haven’t figured that one out completely myself.

    Steve – Great question! Really? Over half? I wouldn’t think it was that high actually. Interesting. To answer your question: If someone has cookies disabled and visits a site through an affiliate link and leaves w/o buying and comes back later – in order for the affiliate to get the credit the customer must click through the affiliate’s link again when making their purchase. Hope that helps! 🙂

    Microsoft – Absolutely – Can’t gets you nowhere! Best of luck to you too and thank you!

    The Blogger Source – Although I wish I could tell you an exact date, I’m not sure as I’ve been spending a good amount of time in the hospital with my daughter lately. Be sure to come back again however as this is an entire series of articles with tons of information. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again.

  8. @ Steve
    Actually many affiliate programs can bypass cookie disabling and still credit the imprint of your links for however many days the affiliate program TOS allows.

    @ Vera
    Great write up, affiliate marketing makes me a full time income and allowed me to say goodbye to the drone of 9-5. Takes a lot of hard work, but it’s well worth it and I love it! As far as affiliate payments there is also Pay Per Click, such as with Google Adsense, one of the best affiliate programs on the web.

  9. sorry forgot to subscribe to comments

  10. Japanese – Great! This series will definitely clue her in to what it is we do online. Good luck getting her to increase her likeness of the time you spend though. Still haven’t figured that one out completely myself.

    Vera, I am very softly pushing her into creating her first own site. And when that is up and running, i tell her about the monetization 🙂

  11. You wrote such a nice introduction on affiliate marketing. It is well explained and very simple to understand. People who try to learn and join affiliate marketing should read this article. I can’t wait to read part 2.

  12. Radio Controlled Boats says

    Thanks – looking forward to Part 2

  13. Easy SEO Blog says

    That’s one thing I’ve almost completely never even considered.. other countries and languages in a marketing plan. Time to hire a translator?

  14. Japanese, what did you use to create your simple, yet effective site? Also, how do you build traffic in what I would think is a competitive area?

    I’m thinking of starting my own affiliate program, but I haven’t learned enough about it yet.

  15. I started a new astore and purchased some products from that store. But I was not paid any commission from the amazon. Why is that. Can anyone help me out

  16. Dan Gabriel says

    It’s nice to read a well documented article about the affiliate marketing.

    It would be interesting to know how to establish a business relationship online vs offline?

    I am asking this question because you closed the offline business for Only online.


  17. One way to know if there are affiliate programs for a certain keyword, is to type

    “keyword phrase” + affiliate program in a google search bar and you will get the affiliate programs related to the keyword phrase in question.

    And how to get keyword phrases to build content about?

    Well reviews one of the best resources available in this area.

  18. Richard Huntly says

    Hi and thanks for listening,
    I am about to join one of the affiliate programs, very interesting and if things are like I read I would like to participate but! one thing threw me off, and I need your help…In filling out the application I was ask to suply my SS# to get paid my commissions, the program are being sponsord from the UK and I am not sure of standard procedure or information. If someone have an answer Would you please respond. Eager to get working.

    Thanks again,

  19. Good point.
    Waiting for the part 2.

  20. I’ve looked into many affiliate marketing opportunities but the thing that frequently turned me off was the questionable practices of the various payment services associated with them. It seems like no matter which program you choose to affiliate yourself they offer a severely limited choice of companies to process payments and many of those which seem to be popular have lousy reputations for reliability (that is if you believe user testimonials found on complaint boards around the web). Do you have recommendations along these lines? As far as I know there is no consumer advocacy group to help out those who are ‘screwed’ by affiliates or their payment services.