Affiliate Marketing in 2024: A complete guide for beginner's

what is performance marketing

Affiliate marketing is a process by which you earn commission by promoting another person’s or company’s products. The commission can range between 1% to 80%. It is considered as the most valuable source to generate online revenue. You can earn heavy commission by promoting products in your niche, or by building an audience network to promote their offerings. It’s a win win situation for both- the affiliates and brands. 

After going through this blog, you’ll get to know about affiliate marketing, how to get started, types of programs, and strategies to boost your affiliate journey

How Affiliate Marketing works?

Affiliate marketing is a kind of performance marketing, where the affiliate (an individual) earns commission by selling products or services that belongs to a brand (seller). The affiliate gets commission, only when the customer purchases the product through the affiliate link, that helps the brand track revenue that they got through that affiliate.

Let’s understand this with an example:

Nike has launched a new pair of shoe. You are an affiliate who is interested in that product and want to be a part of it’s campaign. Your job will be to spread awareness and drive revenue by reaching out to the right set of audience. The moment any customer buys that shoe through your affiliate link, it will bring you a direct commission on that purchase. 

The commission is usually set by the seller depending on the demand of it’s product and market size. Once you get hold of this process, your earning can go as high as $10,000 every month which totally depends on your audience network, brand name, and the product/ service. At the end, customer will purchase your product only if it brings value.


Now let’s dive deeper in order to understand the actual process.

  • An affiliate promotes products using a link (URL) on their blog, website, youtube, social media or email.
  • A customer clicks that link (also called Affiliate link)
  • The customer makes a purchase.
  • The affiliate network records the transaction.
  • The purchase is confirmed by seller.
  • The affiliate gets commission.

Every seller wants to reach out to a wider group of audience in order to drive sales. They approach publishers (affiliates) who in return provide high quality traffic to the seller. The amount of traffic is directly related to the amount of conversion. The publishers run ads on their platforms ( Youtube, Website, Social media, emails) with the aim to promote the product. These ads can be in the form of banner ads, pop-up ads, native ads, in app ads, etc.

Visitors who click the ads or links are redirected to the merchant’s site. If they purchase the product or service, the merchant credits the affiliate’s account with the agreed commission

How to Get Started?

1. Select a niche: Find a niche that aligns with your interests. It could be fashion, technology, marketing, finance, fitness, education, travelling, food, gaming, music- anything. The well chosen niche must be related with your expertise, experience and audience. 

2. Look for affiliate programs: There are tons of programs in every niche. Do your research, find an affiliate program that you find suitable according to your industry. Some popular affiliate networks include Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and ClickBank which offer a wide range of products and services to promote for every niche.

3. Creating Content: In order to promote anything, there should be a strong online presence which starts by creating content. Identify the right platform for your niche and start creating high quality content. Look out for the most popular creators in your niche and analyse their content. Create valuable content that resonates with your target audience. Include videos and images in your content to make attractive. Place your affiliate link in the content and make sure you put it naturally, without making it feel too comm

4. Tracking your reports: Using analytical tools can help you track your campaign objective. Be it sales, leads, app installs or clicks. Identify where you are lagging and implement the right strategies. It becomes extremely important to optimise your strategies to maxmimise your end goal.

Why choose Affiliate Marketing?

1. Generates Passive Income: Once you spend good time being in the affiliate industry, you can earn even when you sleep. You don’t need to work for 10 hours daily. Once you invest time into a campaign and work on the right set of networks, you will see continuous returns as consumers purchase products over the following days and weeks. Income streams keep getting bigger and better with time.

2. Flexibility: Affiliates have the freedom to choose any product, how to promote, and when to do so. This flexibility allows affiliates to work in any niche, without following any tight schedule as per their convenience. You can be working from the comfort of your home or while chilling in the beach- anytime, anywhere.

3. No operational cost: In order to start any business, one requires capital, inventory, bears operational costs- transportation, salaries, acquisition and more. In affiliate marketing, you do not need to spend anything, maybe just a membership fee and you’re good to go. Imagine it as a third party business where you only share profits without much hassle.

4. Scalable: Affiliates grow their earnings as they scale their network, engagement and reach. More traffic leads you more commission which keeps growing over time. You can explore new niches, partner with programs, identify diverse income potential, only if you’re consistent and follow the right practises.

How much Money can you make as an Affiliate Marketer?

Affiliates usually get paid in form of commission for promoting merchants products. The commission can vary between 1% to 50% normally. Some companies even pay as high as 80% commission to their affiliates. Income may vary for every individual with some making a few hundred dollars and some making six figures. It all depends on the product and the affiliates’s network. It becomes easy for affiliates who have an existing audience base on any particular niche. Often, those spending more time marketing the company’s products will earn more money. Becoming successful through affiliate marketing takes time, skill, and experience.

Pat Flynn is a renowned affiliate marketer who shares his journey and strategies through his blogs, Smart Passive Income. He generated over $100,000 in commissions within a year by promoting products and services to his audience. Almost 80% of his income comes through affiliate marketing.

The average income for Affiliate Marketing is ₹1,52,240 per month in India. It can range between ₹28,620 – ₹2,11,500.


Top 5 Affiliate Websites to get started

Getting started with affiliate marketing for a beginner can be confusing. You just don’t know ehere to start from.  So here are some popular websites for you to choose from! 

Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program run by Amazon that provides commission to bloggers, social influencers, and website publishers for promoting Amazon’s products. Individuals can monetize their content by promoting Amazon’s products to their audience network.

Commission range: 1% to 10% (depends on product category)

One of the best affiliate programs one can come across. A Shopify affiliate, you can make money through blog posts, video tutorials, or unboxing videos by using affiliate links. Shopify allows it’s users to build an ecommerce store for promoting their products. It can easily be integrated with Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

Commission Rate:  5% to 30% 


eBay Partner Network (EPN) is an affiliate marketing program offered by eBay, one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. Based on the product category, you earn a percentage of eBay’s revenue from that purchase. With over one billion listings from a wide range of products, eBay‘s affiliate program has similar advantages like Amazon’s. 

Commission Range: 1% to 6% (depends on product category)

Rakuten (formerly known as LinkShare) is one of the oldest affiliate networks. Being one of the most trusted network it has a lot of big players involved like- New Balance, Sephora. It has a network of more than 150,000 active publishers and a dedicated support team for it’s affiliates. It’s considered one of the best in affiliate programs for someone who has just started out in this journey.

Commission Range: Depends on merchant

CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction) is one of the most popular affiliate networks. Due to it’s popularity Dell India recently migrated their affiliate programme to CJ. It has customisable commission structures for every partner. For publishers, CJ offers its Deep Link Generator tool to create tracking links from a brand’s website

Commission Range: Depends on merchant

Types of Affiliate Campaigns

1. Pay Per Sale: You earn a commission for each sale you make. It’s a common payout model for e-commerce offers.

2. Pay per action: You earn commission for a specific action- a newsletter signup, a click, contact request, form submission, etc. 

3. Pay per install: You are paid for every app install generated from your website traffic. The goal of your content would be to promote mobile apps and software so that people download or install them.

4. Pay per lead: You are paid every time a new user registers or fills out personal data. It’s a popular payout method because companies use it for lead generation, and other types of offers. Cost per lead offers are common for beginners because it’s easier to generate leads than to sell products to an audience. 

5. Pay per click, a rare payout system where you earn commission on every click on your affiliate link. A pay-per-click affiliate program may be used by big merchants with a goal to build brand awareness. 

Affiliate marketing presents a viable opportunity for beginners to generate passive income online by utilising their online presence and audience engagement. By selecting the right niche, partnering with right affiliate programs, creating quality content, and optimizing their practises, beginners can build sustainable income streams through affiliate marketing.

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