What Is Affiliate Marketing? Is It For Me?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of e-marketing where a company pays someone who offers a form of lead generation a defined percent or per order placed from that lead. Simply put, the affiliate, or lead generator, will normally post a link or banner ad on their website in exchange for a commission on each sale that resulted from that link or advertisement. This type of marketing can be used for almost any e-commerce site and with a wide variety of products. What’s the beauty? Someone else is doing the advertising and you don’t pay out unless you’re making money first.


Does it cost anything to start an affiliate account?

Yes. Depending on which affiliate you choose to work with, there is a start up fee to activate your account. After the initial activation you may or may not be subject to monthly fees thereon. Again, the types of fees and the amounts depend on which affiliate program you decide to use.

How much should I pay in commission?

Commission prices are left completely up to you, the publisher. To give an example, an airline that has affiliates will pay 1-2% on each sale because it is a substantial amount of money. Other sites, such as small online retailers may give up to as much as 10-15% depending on their product line and their maturity in the marketplace.

Generally speaking: the higher the percentage given, the more attractive your company looks to affiliates.

Does affiliate marketing hurt my branding image?

Absolutely not. Affiliate marketing will do just the reverse if done properly. Well done graphic banners and well thought out text links will increase brand awareness all over the internet. It will also drive traffic directly to your website where the products are located. There is no middle ground in between the ads and your site.

What will hurt your branding image would be to start selling your products anywhere else aside from your website, ie Ebay or Amazon.  The customer will 9 times out of 10 associate their purchase with the specific marketplace they used and not your store. “Oh, I bought this on Ebay…” or, “I found this on Amazon.”

Can I limit my ads to only content approved sites?

Yes. Usually affiliate programs offer the publisher two options:

The first option is to have all applications for affiliates approved so that you can start making money without the hassle of reading and approving each application.

The second option is to have each application held for approval. This means that as the publisher, you would have to manually read and approval all applicants before they can start advertising for you. Typically this is done to prevent your ads from showing up on any site where the audience may find your ad unhelpful, unrelated or inappropriate.

When should I market using affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is typically used with e-commerce solutions. Thus, if you can purchase an item online through a shopping cart and payment processor, affiliate marketing would be appropriate to use for marketing.

When shouldn’t I market using affiliate marketing?

Typically if you are offering a service online i.e. mediation, real estate, or any other service that requires a consultation, it is difficult to track at what point the sale was made. Thus, affiliate marketing wouldn’t apply to sites such as these, nor would it be available.

Where can I get started?

The following sites are Compete Now approved and trusted for affiliate marketing:


Commission Junction

Click Bank