What is An Affiliate Marketing Business? 3 Steps to Sell Online

What is an affiliate marketing business and why do so many people want to get into affiliate marketing?

For good reason.. High Income Potential & Low Start-Up Costs make this business model a winner.

Affiliate marketing is simply promoting someone else’s product for a cut of the commission.

How you market your affiliate products makes all the difference in online success or failure.

So.. Let’s explore what is an affiliate marketing business; is it the right business for you, and if so, how you can create your own affiliate marketing business today.

First off…

What is an Affiliate Marketing Business?

An affiliate marketing business can be thought of in two unique perspectives.

1.) From the perspective of the owner of a product that wants to sell a product through an affiliate network or directly on an affiliate website.


2.) As the Affiliate Marketer who advertising that product on their website, then receives a commission when a sale is made from said product.

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1,000’s of People are Making Money Online through Affiliate Marketing. Why Aren’t You? Click Here To Get Started…

The relationship is mutually beneficial because both the Product Owner and Affiliate Marketer have the same goal…


Affiliate Marketing is a commission based form of sales where you, as an Affiliate Marketer, receive a commission from the product owner once the sale is completed.

The Affiliate Marketing Purchase Cycle:

When a internet user comes to the affiliate marketer’s website and makes a purchase, here’s what happens.

    • The affiliate website gets a commission.
    • The owner of the product gets a sale.
  • And the customer gets whatever goods or services they wanted to buy.

Easy Peasy, Right?

Still confused? See the diagram below for clarification.

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The commission to the affiliate website is paid by the product owner and does not cost the customer any extra fees.

So essentially in any affiliate marketing business, there are 3 – 4 players in each transaction.

The Affiliate Marketing Players:

1.) Internet Customer – They click the affiliate link (text link or affiliate banner) from the Affiliate Marketer’s website.

2.) The Owner of the Product – They offer an affiliate relationship to the Affiliate Marketer either through themselves directly or through an Affiliate Network. (discussed in point 4.)

3.) Affiliate Marketer – This can be any website or blog owner.

In affiliate marketing, the marketer is also referred to as the Publisher. This makes sense, since the affiliate marketer is publishing content that is getting ranked and generates traffic, this in turn results in affiliate sales.

4.) The Affiliate Network – This is where Affiliate Products meet Affiliate Marketers.

Affiliate Networks provide a structural system to the whole process. They handle the payments, shipments, and customer returns for both parties.

Note: Affiliate Products can be a service, retail good, digital product, or educational program.

Some affiliate products, like membership packages, allow the affiliate marketer and product owner to receive reoccurring commissions/sales on a monthly or yearly basis.

What Type of Affiliate Marketing is Right For You?

An affiliate marketing business really depends on what role you have in the transaction.

1.) You, most likely, won’t build an Affiliate Network:

An affiliate network is a large scale and massively expensive business to start up. This won’t happen for most, especially an individual.

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Examples of affiliate networks are: Amazon Associates, eBay Partners, Linkshare, Sharasale, Clickbank, Commission Junction.

These are the big guys and so discussing this style of affiliate business won’t be the focus of this article.

2.) You Can be the Owner of the Affiliate Product:

There is a good amount of potential income in this profession, but the risk is high.

You have to realize that you need an awesome product and funds to back it up.

You’ll be looking at spending 1,000’s if not $100,000 of thousands of dollars in capital for product development, patents, samples, product testing, importation fees, quality control issues, etc.

Not to mention the incredible amount of RISK if your product flops and doesn’t sell at all.

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3.) Affiliate Marketing is a Nice Middle Ground for Everyone:

This is where we want to focus our attention.

Being an Affiliate Marketer provides the average person some amazing advantages and opportunities to break into the affiliate marketing business.

The most notable advantage is the low cost start-up fees.

To start a niche website costs next to nothing ($5/mo in website hosting, $15/year for a domain name).

The cost of education can vary as well as the quality of training.

But your initial education fees can be between $30 – $50 USD/mo. The key is picking the right education.

And the key ingredients are: you need to be willing to work hard and be dedicated to your business.

You also need the ability to gain some marketing skills and learn new information.

It’s like any professional career, the more you know and practice, the better you become and the more success you will have.

Affiliate Marketing On A Budget:

Most people don’t have the capital or resources to start an Affiliate Network.

This is usually reserved for the big boys like Amazon Associates – So this business is not going to work for most folks unless you get a job with an affiliate network.

You could be the Product Owner if you have a cool product idea as well as a good amount of capital to create and supply your product.

Then you can approach any of the Affiliate Networks listed above to get your product listed within their network.

This is a rather inexpensive form of advertising and requires little effort on your part. You would just need to get affiliate marketers to promote and sell your product.

If you don’t have a product to sell and still want to get in on the action, start with affiliate marketing as an Affiliate Marketer.

The reason I recommend this is because you still have the huge income potential, but you loose all the negative aspects that go into selling your own products online.what is an affiliate marketing business image

And that is..

  • Products to Purchase
  • Inventory Storage
  • Risk if your Products DON’T Sell
  • Importation Fees, Shipping Costs, etc.

So what does it take to become an Affiliate Marketer?

Become an Affiliate Marketer – In 3 Simple Steps

1.) Find Your Passion:

Find a niche idea that is based on something you are really passionate about.

Whether it be sports, traveling, arts & crafts, whatever it may be, take some time to think about what you really want your website to be about.

Also, I always encourage potential affiliate marketers to go into this field with the intention of helping people.

We all know that money is the key motivator, but start your affiliate marketing business with good intention, forget the money, sandy beaches, and work wherever lifestyle.

Base your niche on something you love and you won’t regret it.

Special Note: Do a little research on your niche. Does it have products that you can affiliate yourself with? If it doesn’t, back to the drawing board.

2.) Be Realistic with Yourself:

Most people get into affiliate marketing with the expectation that they will be making killer money in no time.

Sorry friends, it doesn’t work like that. You need to realize that it takes time to build your website and your skills.

Depending on how competitive your niche is, it could take as long as 3 months to a year before you start seeing income.

If you niche site or blog is very specific, you could be making regular income between 3 – 6 months.

But if your niche is more competitive, it could take up to 6 months to a year or more before the money starts to flow.

This can be a tough pill to swallow for most, but for those that can handle this and continue to work on their affiliate marketing websites, you’ll find the rewards to be incredible.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is an affiliate marketing business.

If you can’t except this, then affiliate marketing may not be right for you.

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3.) Get a Solid Education in Affiliate Marketing:

For those that are serious about affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you start with a sound educational program. If you try to go at this alone, you will most likely fail.

You have to understand how to write web content that ranks, how to do keyword research, how to develop a professional website, and how to structure your affiliate links strategically.

The educational program that I recommend to learn affiliate marketing is through a company called Wealthy Affilaite.

They provide structured step by step video courses that are easy to follow and you build your affiliate marketing business while you learn.

You will have daily classes and tasks to complete. And pretty much every internet marketing topic you can think of is covered within this training program.

It’s like going to college, you have to learn, work hard, and apply what you learn to your affiliate business.

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In Conclusion:

Affiliate marketing can be a passive source of income, part time income, a full time career, and/or a money making machine.

It depends on your niche, how hard you work to develop your website, and the educational system you use that will determine your level of success.

If you know of anyone that will benefit from this article, please socially share this post using the social share buttons.

And if you have any questions on what is an affiliate marketing business, let me know and I’ll be happy to get back to you.

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Todd is a full time online marketer, avid traveler, Occupational Therapist, and currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. He strives to help people make a better life through self education, determination, and following their passions.

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