Affiliate Marketing For Dummies – Why it is the Best Way to Earn Money Online

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Why Affiliate Marketing Exist?

Affiliate marketing existed even before the internet was born, but it wasn’t that refined.

It is simply called the “word of mouth” marketing in the past, and I am pretty sure you heard about it.

Word of mouth marketing simply means if you enjoyed a product or service that you use or consume, you share it with the people you know. They buy the product or service based on your recommendation.

This was the best marketing strategy for any company before the internet was born.

Before the internet, in order for a business to reach out to potential customers to sell their products, they will probably employ sales representatives.

They may also pay advertising fees to local newspapers, billboards, or radio stations to talk about their products and to gain recognition. 

So, to put it in another way, to earn money from these businesses, you either have to be a radio station, a radio DJ, local newspaper, an author, or a sales representative for the company, to earn money from them. Make sense?

Why Anyone Can be Successful With Affiliate Marketing?

But now, because of the rise of the internet, and the ever-evolving use of the internet…

Marketing channels were born, like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or whatever that is coming in the future.

Every one of us, right now, has the power and the ability to showcase our talents, our ability, our expertise, and share thoughts and ideas with others.

Some people may use these social media channels for fun and entertainment, or whatever stuff, but for people like us who have the entrepreneurial mind can turn these social media marketing channels into income generators, if you know-how.

A one-person army can start something on these social media channels and reach out to tons and tons of people all over the world.

Why Companies Would Rather Pay Affiliate Marketers Instead of Advertising?

Businesses nowadays, instead of paying the steep cost of advertising fees to these radio stations or newspapers or all these traditional marketing channels…

Which may or may not bring customers to their doorstep, they would rather pay people like us, if we can bring customers to them.

Their only expense is when they get sales, they do not suffer any loss on advertising because a sale is made, and they can use part of the profits made from the sale to pay you back for what you have done for them. 

Now, if they were to pay money to the radio stations and newspaper to post an ad, not only do they risk losing the money if their advertising effort is not effective, they lose money on the cost of producing the advertisement.

Whatever content, image, video, text, or whatever that they use for marketing purposes requires money to produce; they need to hire designers, copywriters, marketing professionals.

So, in a sense, affiliate marketing actually saves money for companies on advertising, and it is a sure-fire way for them to make sales if their products are good and affiliate marketers, like us, find value in helping them promote their products.

Why it is Appealing to Beginners?

The only thing that we, as beginner affiliate marketers, need to learn is to find ways to reach out to people who may be interested in the products or services that these companies sell.

In other words, find the right products and match them to the right group of people on these social media channels who need the products.

All these social media marketing channels already gives us the ability to reach out to the world.

The amazing thing is, some of these businesses will pay 30, 40, 50, up to 90 percent commission if you made a sale for them.

You don’t need to worry about overheads, employees, shipping, management, after-sales service, payment gateway, or whatever, these companies will take care of them, and all you need is to bring customers to their doorstep.

What is Affiliate Marketing By Definition?

You are basically a sales rep for companies without the title.

Generally, you will reach out to a specific target audience or a niche, and you will share or promote relevant products or services to them.

While you promote or recommend these products, the companies will remunerate you when a actual sales happen.

You are not a sales representative because you are not obligated to produce sales, you are not bound by a contract, and you have the freedom to join any company and promote whatever affiliate products you want.

However, you need to adhere to the affiliate policy rolled out by the companies.

Comparing Affiliate Marketing to Other Income Opportunities

Now, let’s compare affiliate marketing to other income opportunities and don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to put any opportunities down. I am just highlighting the advantages of affiliate marketing.

eCommerce / Amazon FBA vs. Affiliate Marketing

If you heard about eCommerce, Amazon FBA, you need to source the products, buy the inventory, host the products and hope for people to buy.

All these are cost and still have to do the same thing that affiliate marketers need to do, which is to get customers to your doorstep.

Dropshipping vs. Affiliate Marketing

If you talk about dropshipping, unless you are selling a high-ticket product, you can barely make a profit from the price difference.

And, you still need to handle after-sales support and do what affiliate marketers need to do, which is to find interested buyers.

Network Marketing vs. Affiliate Marketing

If you talk about network marketing, you are only confined to sell products and services that the network marketing company offers.

With affiliate marketing, you can sell basically products from any companies as long as they resonate with your audience.

And, with network marketing, you are most likely confined to promote products to the people you know (warm market), while in Affiliate Marketing, you are reaching out to people who you’ve never met but needs the products or services.

Affiliate Marketing allows you to reach out to a much wider audience.

What I am Saying Is…

Now, I am not saying affiliate marketing is better than those income strategies…

All I am saying is that affiliate marketing can be your stepping stone to learn online sales and marketing without spending a lot of money and handling all the other aspects of a business.

Once you’ve mastered affiliate marketing, you can basically thrive in any areas related to internet marketing.

If you want to do e-commerce or sell any products online, you know how to get eyeballs on your offers. I really hope you see why affiliate marketing is good for you.

The Concept of Affiliate Marketing

Now, if you are convinced that affiliate marketing is a good way to earn some extra money, then let me show you how Affiliate Marketing works.

Check out this image:

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Here’s how the flow works (you can watch the video above if you’d like – 6:40):

  1. I have a problem, I search the keyword on google;
  2. I found the article, I read it, it recommends me to a product;
  3. I click on the link to the product;
  4. It sends me to the product page;
  5. I buy the product, the company ships the product to me;
  6. When the transaction happened, the company pays an affiliate commission to the website owner who wrote the article and has it ranked on Google.

There are other methods to Affiliate Marketing, but what we’ve discussed above is the fundamental concept, I hope this is simple for you to understand.

How Affiliate Marketers are Running Their Business?

Now, let me show you some examples of how other people are running their affiliate marketing business.

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog

To best explain this, let me walk you through the process:

1. Look at this blog;

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 1

2. It has created this piece of article;

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 2

3. The article is ranked on google for this keyword;

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 3

4. If you read the article, it recommends a product to you related to the problem you search on google;

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 4

5. When you click on the link, it sends you to a product page;

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 5

6. That product page that you are on is a website (Amazon) that welcomes affiliate marketers; You can join as an amazon affiliate here.

Affiliate Marketing Using a Blog 6

7. So, if you bought a product through the initial blog’s recommendation, the blog owner will earn a commission.

Affiliate Marketing with YouTube

Now, let’s take a look at another example on YouTube…

1. This person on YouTube, created a video that recommended a product called organify:

Affiliate Marketing with YouTube 1

2. When you watched the video, you like what you see, you click on the link;


3. It sends you to the following page. And, when you buy the product;

Affiliate Marketing with YouTube 3

4. The person who created the video earns the commission.

Affiliate Marketing with Facebook

Now, let’s go to Facebook.

1. Look at this ad;

2. Click on this ad;

3. See this page, and click on the button;

4. It sends you to a sales page;

5. When you buy the product;

6. That person who created the Facebook advertisement earns an affiliate commission.

Conclusion: Why Affiliate Marketing is the Best Way to Earn Extra Money For Beginners

I hope now you see what I am talking about, why affiliate marketing is such a powerful strategy for anybody who has no knowledge or experience, or a little money, to get started.

There are already so many people succeeding with this, and I hope that you can succeed with it too.

To recap, affiliate marketing is a strategy for companies to reach out to new customers. Companies will pay you if you can bring customers to their doorstep.

The companies saves money on advertising, and they do not risk losing money because their only expense is incurred when a sale happens.

In this day and age, there are already so many social media marketing channels for any individuals to reach out to potential customers.

So, the only thing we need to learn as a beginner is how to find those customers and present the affiliate products to them in the most effective way.

It doesn’t cost much to learn; you don’t need to worry about the business aspects of things, like the overheads and stuff. You just need to start learning and implementing.

💪 If you want to know how to systematically and realistically start an affiliate marketing business, you can check out these programs:

Thank you for reading this article, and I hope that you can too find success with Affiliate Marketing.

Your friend,


Jack Cao

Hi there! I'm Jack from Singapore, and I started my journey to find passive income when I was 24 years old. Back then, I worked as a Share Registration Officer while pursuing a degree in Economics and Finance. I was earning peanuts and I quickly realised what I was pursuing was not what I wanted to do with my life. So, I set out to find ways to make money online. The road was tough, there were many setbacks, but I'm glad I found success. While pursuing for success, I use this website as well as a YouTube channel to share what I learn along the way and hopefully make some friends here. Let's join hands and make passive income together! More about me and my success story here.

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