Affiliate Marketing In 2021: What It Is And How It Works

Affiliate Marketing In 2020

If you look up the definition of affiliate marketing on Google, you may get the impression that it’s an easy way to make money for doing nothing.

At least, that’s what a lot of search results can make you believe. In reality, everything is a bit more complicated and requires work.

Nevertheless, if you’re ready to put in the required effort, affiliate marketing may become a great way to earn money, a decent amount of money. Depending on the way you choose to promote affiliate products, your affiliate efforts may bring you passive income.

In this post, we’re going to talk about what exactly is affiliate marketing and how it works, so you have a comprehensive understanding and realistic expectations.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.

Simply put, you promote a product of your choice to others and if they end up buying it, you get a share of the profit for each sale.

Affiliate marketing is a global industry worth well over $12 billion, with the US and the EU leading the way. The projections are the impressive growth of this industry will continue at least till 2021.

Together with email marketing, affiliate marketing is one of the largest sources of online income, responsible for over 16% of all eCommerce orders in the USA and Canada.

The popularity of affiliate marketing continues to rise. This is largely due to its performance-based nature and cost-effectiveness. According to Awin’s stats81 percent of brands had adopted affiliate marketing. This business model is extremely lucrative for aspiring entrepreneurs and bloggers.

While the most popular categories in affiliate marketing are fashion, sport, health/wellness, you can find products to promote in almost any niche. Starting from software, info products to artwork, physical products, and much more.

How Does It Work?

For quite some time, affiliate marketing was associated with the scam. It’s mostly because not so long time ago, a lot of affiliates used unethical methods of promotion, like black-hat SEO, spyware, spamming, and so on.

While nowadays, some affiliates still use unethical strategies, advancements in technology have greatly improved and matured the affiliate marketing industry.

The rise of self-publishing tools and social media marketing became a changing factor in promotion strategies. Transparency is now more usual and, therefore, initiates stronger ethical practices by affiliates.

Affiliate marketing is no longer the stuff of black-hat methods and scams, but a transparent and clear process.

Simply put, it consists of 3 steps:

  1. You promote an affiliate product or service to your audience using a traffic source of your choice.
  2. Some people purchase the product/service through your affiliate link.
  3. You get commissions for the sales made using your affiliate link.

You may wonder how you make sure that you get all the commissions!

All the affiliate links to the products you’re promoting contain your unique affiliate ID. When somebody clicks on your affiliate link and buys a product, the company/person who pays out commissions will know that exactly your affiliate link was used for the purchase based on your affiliate ID. This way, you’ll receive your commission for every sale.

Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

Let’s have a look at the list of the reasons that make affiliate marketing a lucrative business model.

1. One of the biggest benefits of AM is that you don’t have to spend your time and money creating your own product. You don’t have to think about product delivery or customer service. All you need to take care of to earn affiliate commissions is marketing.

2. With the help of affiliate marketing, you can easily create an additional source of income for your business or monetize your blog, YouTube channel, and so on.

3. It doesn’t require a huge investment to get started.

4. As an affiliate, you can enjoy the luxury of being your own boss. This goes with a lot of freedom as you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a laptop and internet connection.

5. If you’re still working at a regular job, affiliate marketing can be a great side hustle and an additional source of income.

6. If you promote affiliate products that offer recurring commissions, it’ll let you build passive income.

As you can see, affiliate marketing is a great business model for a side hustle or a start of your entrepreneurial journey. It doesn’t require a huge initial investment and any specific expertise. It also can be used as an additional income stream for your business or as a way to monetize your blog or YouTube channel.

What To Start With?

If you just start with affiliate marketing and is not sure yet what strategy to use, we recommend you to take a free affiliate training created by ClickFunnels, the Affiliate Bootcamp.

Russell Brunson, CEO and Co-Founder of ClickFunnels, reached out to the most successful affiliates to ask them one single question.

What would they do if they had to feed their families with nothing but affiliate commissions?

How would they start from scratch without an email list, connections, or established online reputation? What would they do every day (for the next 100 days) to start earning a full-time income from affiliate marketing?

The Affiliate Bootcamp includes 15 plans from highly successful Clickfunnels affiliates on how to achieve success starting from zero. You’ll, most likely, be able to find a strategy that fits best to your current situation.

If you’re curious to learn more about the training, read our detailed review of the Affiliate Bootcamp.

What Else You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing

Can you make living off affiliate marketing?

You definitely, can make a decent living off affiliate marketing. If you promote products with recurring commissions, this will even let you build a stream of passive income. Check out the strategies outlined by Clickfunnels top affiliates on how they’d build their affiliate business starting from scratch.

How much do affiliate marketers earn?

Monthly affiliate income may be inconsistent; therefore, it’s better to look at the annual numbers. A decent affiliate can make anywhere from $10,000 to $400,000 a year. Some super affiliates make around $1,500,000 a year.

Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

No, it is not. You may think of affiliate marketing as a sales job where you get a share of profit (affiliate commission) for each sale.

What are popular affiliate networks?

The most popular affiliate networks are Clickbank, JVzoo, Clickbooth, Commission Junction, Amazon Affiliate Program, and eBay Partners Program.

What is the best free affiliate marketing training?

One of the best free affiliate marketing trainings is Affiliate Bootcamp created by ClickFunnels. The training includes 15 strategies described by Clickfunnels’ top affiliates on how they would bring their affiliate business from zero to making a full-time income. You may promote any affiliate products using these strategies.