Affiliate marketing has become one of the more lucrative ways people can earn an income of more than five figures per month. But in order to get to this level, you have to put in a lot of time and effort. Reaching this level is by no means easy, and only about 1 to 5 percent of affiliates make it here. Even so, achieving this is by no means impossible.

With the right mix of dedication, productivity, hard work, and commitment, you can become the best affiliate marketer. Combining these traits with the right marketing tactics and strategies can help you speed down the road towards being in that 1 to 5 percent of affiliates earning that five-figure income.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

As with any business, the key to being successful is to understand how it works. In a basic sense, the need for affiliate marketers comes when a merchant has a product or service they want to sell. Starting an affiliate program allows them to find people interested in promoting these products or services through links or ads on their website, which helps them gain more credibility and trust with their targeted consumers.

By working with affiliates, a merchant can optimize their visibility and increase the likelihood of consumers availing of what they have to offer. This is because affiliates are not just able to advertise their product, but they also promote it through blogs and other digital media. Such methods bring people closer to the brand on a personal level. This, in turn, leads people to trust the offering more as they can see a reliable source has vouched for it.

Merchants gain this visibility and credibility by having their affiliates post linked on their websites and blogs describing why the offering is unique and worth giving a try. Usually, affiliates will create informative content and posts that engage consumers and convince them why they need it in their lives. Once a consumer or potential customer clicks on the links or ads promoted by affiliates, transitions are tracked. And from there, affiliates get a commission from the merchants based on the number of customers they are able to get to avail of the product, service, or subscription they are after.

On a more detailed level, affiliate marketing works in the following ways:

  • A visitor to your website or blog reads an article pertaining to the offering you are trying to promote
  • The visitors then click on the affiliate link, which directs them to the merchant’s website.
  • On the merchant’s site, visitors can then perform the desired events based on eh call to action.
  • Affiliates are then credited for the actions visitors take.

It’s important to note that affiliates must make use of appropriate and proper attributes to properly track their efforts to get accurate commission rates. This means that you have to track the amount of traffic on your website and analyze the conversation rates or click rates you get.

While monitoring this is not always 100% accurate, doing so will still give you a general overview of how your site is performing and how you can take steps to increase or improve the traffic you receive. Affiliate marketing tracking software is always improving, but there will be instances in which some conversions will be missed. One way to combat this is to join an affiliate network, which tends to do a better job tracking conversions than an in-house affiliate program managed by the merchant themselves.

Affiliate Networks vs. In-house affiliate Programs

Concerning the last section, a network affiliate program entails working with a third party to manage your relationship with the merchant. As an affiliate, you will have a lot on your plate when it comes to promoting your blog or website and getting enough traffic to them to make a commission. To lessen the responsibilities on your shoulders, the affiliate marketing industry came up with networks that help you manage communication, affiliate links, tracking, reporting, and payment.

Once you are approved to become part of the network, you are granted access to special affiliate links unique to you. Such links are what you will place on your website, blog, or social media when promoting the merchant’s offerings. This link will also inform the merchant that you are the one who got those customers to visit and adequately compensate you for your work.

The main functions of an affiliate network within the affiliate marketing industry are to:

  • Act as the link between you and the merchant
  • Ensure that you get the proper payouts and commissions
  • Allow you to work with thousands of merchants, all consolidated in one dashboard.
  • Serve as the auditors of the merchant’s conversion to make sure they are meeting quota.
  • It helps guarantee an accurate tracking of affiliate clicks and conversions.
  • Provide you with a better reporting system compared to in-house affiliate programs.

On the other hand, an in-house affiliate program, affiliates work closely with the merchant and have a more direct relationship. Similar to affiliate networks, you get affiliate links from the merchant’s affiliate program. But in this case, the merchant is responsible for the conversion tracking. This, however, means you have no sure way of knowing if the merchant is properly accounting for the conversions and largely depends on the merchant’s ability to give you your payments in a timely manner.

The advantages of working with an in-house affiliate are:

  • You have a closer relationship with the merchant, meaning if any issues arise, they can be addressed immediately.
  • The payouts are usually higher compared to a public network affiliate program.
  • Your options are more flexible in terms of increasing your conversion rates.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but it is your prerogative to see which system works best for you as the affiliate. There is no harm in opting to try both to discover where you fit in and which one can help you become the best affiliate marketer.

How Do I Start As An Affiliate Marketer?

In order to start your journey as an affiliate marketer, the first thing you need to do is pick your niche. When deciding which niche to enter into, it would be ideal to choose the one you are interested in. Additionally, it should be something that will be helpful and appealing to a specific audience.

Once you have a niche ready, it’s time to start getting yourself credibility and visibility from your target audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is to start a blog. Blogs will help boost your organic traffic and is considered to be the core strategy for affiliate marketers to start gaining traction in their chosen niche. In line with creating a blog, the content should be of value and quality to your readers. Moreover, make sure to use SEO tactics and methods that help rank your blog and therefore attract more visitors.

While creating a blog will bring in quite a bit of attention to your offerings,  you can expand your audience by engaging them through other channels and means. Methods such as email marketing, YouTube videos, podcasts, Twitter posts, Quora answers, and Instagram can all increase your visibility and potentially bring in repeat visitors to your blog and website.


By keeping in mind how the affiliate marketing world works and incorporating the right strategies, becoming the best affiliate marketer is highly possible. Though it will require a certain level of dedication and time, investing in these two things can reap a huge potential in return for investment.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent choice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business without the need for high start-up costs and capital. The best thing about becoming an affiliate is your ability to choose what to work with in terms of a niche and the associated products or services within it.