Affiliate marketing is best defined as a process of referring internet users to an online product on sale and when those users actually makes a purchase on the product you have referred them to, you earn a commission. It is one of the best methods that many bloggers have adopted to earn a lot of money online. Other money generating methods bloggers use include Google Adsense.

ALSO READ: Affiliate Marketing Business for beginners, a step by step guide

Affiliate Marketing Parties

Affiliate marketing involves four major parties as briefly explained below. the merchant, the customer, the network, the publisher.

The Merchant is the person who creates the products for sale. The type of products could be physical products like tables, laptops, phones. They could also be digital products like e-books, softwares, music, videos. Also the type of products could even be services like web hosting. The Merchant then places these products on a network.


The Network is a platform where the merchant places his or her products for sale. Such networks include Amazon and Click bank. The network works as an intermediary between the Merchant and the Publisher.


The Publisher is a website owner, a blogger like you and me who would like to earn some cash by promoting products on sale at the network. The network issues the publisher a unique affiliate link to the network. The publisher writes a review about a specific product on sale at the network and then inserts his unique affiliate link in his review for a prospective customer to click.


The Customer is the end consumer of the Merchant’s product. The customer reads a review on the publisher’s blog about a specific product. If he is interested in buying the product being reviewed, he clicks the unique affiliate link provided by the publisher. He is then redirected to the network where the product is being sold. If he buys the product, then the publisher gets a commission from that sale.

ALSO READ: How to choose best affiliate product to Promote

Below is a diagram illustrating affiliate marketing process

Affiliate Marketing Steps

Affiliate Marketing Steps

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  1. The customer develops interest to buy a product
  2. He then visits a publisher’s blog
  3. Next, he  is redirected to the network where the product he wants to buy is displayed
  4. Finally customer buys the product. Merchant receives his money and publisher receives his commission


Basic Things to Consider in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing can be easy or hard depending on the approach. Before you venture into it, there are a few things that you should consider if you want to succeed:

First, you need to ask yourself, which product will I promote?

There are millions of products you can promote but choosing the right product to promote can really make a significant contribution to your conversions. Every buyer would love to spend his money on a product that has been tested for work-ability. No buyer would like to experiment a product.

As an affiliate marketer, your goal is to convince the buyer that whatever product you are promoting is worth for him or her to spend a few dollars on. You can achieve by writing a review on products you know well about. This way, you will be able to provide an honest review regarding the product’s advantages and disadvantages. Therefore the buyer will have an informed decision prior to buying.

Secondly, how will you promote the product to as many people as possible?

We live in a world of competition where everyone is trying to cease any available money generating opportunity. To win the competition, you need to work smart.

As far as affiliate marketing is concerned, you should strive to create good, SEO friendly and engaging blog content. In that way, your website will rank high in search engines and therefore every internet user that is searching a specific keyword that you have published a good content about it will most likely land in your website.

Also to increase website traffic you should make use of social media for example Facebook and twitter. Further, you should consider making use of email marketing which is a process whereby readers subscribe in your blog to receive regular updates in their inbox regarding your blog. This way you can send them your affiliate link.

Thirdly, from which network will you promote the product of your niche?

Internet has many affiliate networks ranging from legit ones to scam ones that don’t pay commission at all. To avoid waste of time and money, it is your duty as a publisher to do a detailed research on the network you wish to join.

Read about various reviews posted by other users who have joined that network before so as  to establish its credibility and below are some of the legit affiliate programs you can join and begin your affiliate network business.

Amazon Associate



CJ Affiliate



Fourth, what are the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing?

As with starting any other business, it is advisable to first establish the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing. This will help you to be well informed. Therefore you will know which success oriented strategies to adopt so as to gain profit and find out what worked well for others and what didn’t hence you will be able to plan well. Below are major advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing


  • Publisher advertises merchant’s  products  for free and they only pay the publisher when someone buys the product
  • The publisher promotes a product to many people and in doing so, many people become aware of the publisher’s website or business
  • Publisher can earn a lot of Money even as they sleep depending on the number of products sold


  • A hacker can highjack publisher’s link hence commission stolen
  • Merchant may close down the affiliate program without paying the publisher