What is affiliate marketing and does it work?

What Is Affiliate Marketing and Does It Work? How To Make Money Online From Home

what is affiliate marketing and does it workUnderstanding the fundamentals of affiliate marketing is a huge piece of building revenue online. Most everyone agrees: if you have aspirations of building a successful online business, a question you need to be able to answer is: “What is affiliate marketing and does it work?”.

The internet is a powerful tool. But have you been using it to its fullest potential? The most successful people who are at the top of their game sure have, and they’ve been doing it for decades.

But don’t worry! It’s not too late to enter this game.
Affiliate marketing is a $6 BILLION/YEAR industry and it’s only GROWING MORE!

In this article I’m going to show you exactly how to take advantage of this gold mine for yourself. With the right training and mentorship, being successful in the world of affiliate marketing will be your reality.

Grab a pen, take notes, and prepare to feel like you’ve just found your golden ticket.

What is Affiliate Marketing and Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing allows you, the affiliate, to be able to earn a commission on products or services you promote through your website for companies, or merchants.

The end.

Thanks for reading the article! Leave a comment below.

(Just kidding, there’s more).

Just about every single one of the tens of thousands of merchants you’ve shopped with online has an affiliate program.

Let’s use an extremely popular merchant like Amazon.com as an example. You can buy just about anything on Amazon. As a result, no matter how unique the product, you can make money promoting it through an affiliate program.

What is affiliate marketing and does it work

How does affiliate marketing really work?

When was the last time you bought something online and researched it before buying it? We all do this.

Let’s say on your website you write an honest review for this Nikon AF NIKKOR 50mm lens (suuuuch a good starter lens for photographers in case you were wondering).

What is affiliate marketing and does it work

Additionally, at the end of your review you place you own custom affiliate link that you got from amazon’s affiliate program. This directs the reader to the amazon product page for the lens.

They buy it, and bam, you’ve got yourself a commission!

Different merchants have different affiliate commission rates. For example, amazon pays a 6% base commission with additional performance incentives based on volume. (Update: As of March 1st, 2017 Amazon has made changes to its rates. Read my article here detailing Amazon’s new affiliate commission rates and why you benefit.)

In this case, the lens retails on amazon for $131.95, so your 6% commission with no additional performance incentives would be $7.92.


Wait, you’re not excited about $7.92?

Well don’t write off affiliate programs just yet, because let’s say you also did a review on this Samsung curved 88 inch 4K Ultra HD television.

Just for me, right now, take a wild guess at how much you think an 88 inch television might cost and then click that link above and prepare to have your mind blown before we move on. (Do it).

What is affiliate marketing and does it work


Because of its hefty price tag, your 6% commission for that sale would be $1,199.88!

Not bad for writing a review and referring your traffic to the merchant.

How much can you make with affiliate marketing?

This is where getting traffic becomes important, because the higher your traffic, the more commission potential you have.

Increasing your website’s traffic comes from a combination of creating relevant content for your site, and making the user experience a great one.

What if there was a tool that studied Google’s search data and told you exactly what your target audience was searching for? There is, and once you read this article on Jaaxy you’ll never leave home without it.

Knowing what your target audience is looking for is one of many factors you need to understand to build consistent traffic. It will also create a better user experience. And with consistent traffic, your opportunity to succeed with affiliate marketing presents itself.

Now, let’s work out some conservative numbers

Let’s say you’ve followed your training correctly, and have built a site that gets 1000 unique clicks per month, just a little over 30 per day, which is very realistic.

Out of those 1000 you have a 20% click-thru rate on your affiliate links. That’s 200 clicks per month. Don’t go buying that new ‘vette just yet, because not everyone who clicks the link actually buys the product.

Out of those 200 who click your affiliate links, we’ll say 1 out of 50 makes a purchase. This is very conservative.

That’s 4 sales in a month, and if those 4 sales were for that crazy expensive television, that’d be almost $5000 (hurry go get the ‘vette!). But a more typical commission is closer to $25 -$30, or anywhere from $100-$120/month for those 4 sales.

Those are monthly commissions working for you even while you sleep, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is that “working smarter, not harder” concept you halfway heard while you halfway slept through that one class way back when.

Can you make good money affiliate marketing?

Let’s bump up the traffic just a bit shall we?

From the conservative 1000 clicks/month let’s ramp up to a steady 3000 clicks/month. And from the conservative $25-$30 affiliate commission, let’s go up to the very nice round number of $100 per sale.

There are many products out there offering this high of a commission that you can earn repeatedly.

Read my review here for my #1 recommendation which not only offers great training on how to create a successful online business and build massive traffic, but also has an affiliate program that meets and exceeds that average of $100 per customer after retention.

So, at 3000 clicks/month, keeping the same 20% click-thru ratio, this is 600 people clicking through your affiliate links every single month. And from the 1 out of 50 conservative scenario we had earlier for customers who actually buy, let’s also ramp up to a very doable 1 out of 20.

That would lead to 30 purchases/month, and if you’re promoting something that returns a $100/sale commission, that would be $3000/month!

Especially relevant is the fact that there is no ceiling to how much you can make with affiliate marketing. Some have even boasted of over $1000/day consistently.

And now that you understand it and finally know what that little “affiliate” link at the bottom of every merchant’s site leads to, it’s time for the obvious next step.

What are the top paying affiliate programs?

There are literally tens of thousands of affiliate programs out there, but if you’re thinking of a top 5, some popular ones are:

And definitely don’t forget to check out my top recommendation here.


Still have questions on how affiliate programs work? What products do you love and use regularly? Don’t think there’s an affiliate program in your niche? Think again. Share your ideas and questions! Leave me a comment below. Ask away.

Found an even higher consistent affiliate commission you’d like to share? Leave me a success story! Understanding how to capitalize on the internet is a dynamic process.

In conclusion, I hope this information helps you. Take the right steps, and you’ll be well on your way to financial and time freedom and a very successful online business.


  • Jessica says:

    Hi thanks for this. I have been looking into this for while and I want to do it so badly but here’s my problem. I literally have $0 to spend on anything. I under stand how it all work but the only thing I don’t understand is how to start. How to make my own business to put up those links and stuff do you have another link that explains it or a class or something? I can’t go around spending money I don’t have to make money… please help me.

    • Eric Cantu says:

      You’re not alone. Don’t worry. I’m going to point you in the right direction for training and the very best part of it is that you can try it out free to see if it’s for you. It’s what I’ve used to build this entire site and I had no experience whatsoever. And if you do decide you want to go all in after trying it out free, it’s very affordable. Definitely worth the free try, right? Check out the full review on it that I wrote here. If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help!

  • Alan says:

    Thanks a lot for showing how it’s done, brother. I am relatively new to well informed affiliate marketing, but I have been on this work from your laptop journey for quite a while trying to figure it all out. It took me a long time to find Wealthy Affiliate. I am just hoping that it’s a timing thing, and it’s my time. You know what I mean?

    I like your writing style. It’s engaging and I read the whole article. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Thanks man, I really appreciate that. Sometimes it’s all about timing, so I absolutely know what you mean 🙂
      Thanks again for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  • Nick Hoyt says:

    Hey Eric, you did a great job at explaining what affiliate marketing is and the whole process that you go through to use it. One of the reasons why I’m interested in it so much is helping people to find great products that will improve their life.

    It also looks like it saves you a lot of time since you don’t have to create the products yourself and you also don’t have to facilitate the sale and any possible returns. From my perspective, being an affiliate marketer is a pretty sweet deal!

  • Greg says:

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for the tips and top affiliate programs. I use most of them and will be checking out the others. I agree with your top recommendation. Wealthy Affiliate has so much to offer and their new SiteSpeed feature really speeds up your websites. Have you tried the SiteSpeed feature yet?

  • Melani says:

    Hi Eric, I like your sense of humour when you said “this is the end, leave your comment”. That is inspiring how to entertain the readers. I have never bought things by searching information in internet first and that is very useful way to get good qualification things ( included my handphone which I used and I am satisfied ). Great job explaining a new concept to someone still in the old school 🙂

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Hey Melani! Thank you for the kind words. Even the old schoolers can use a useful tool like the internet from time to time, right? Thanks again for the comment. I appreciate it! Don’t get tangled up on your phone cord! 🙂

  • Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Eric,
    Jeepers, reading this article made me feel so pumped up to join! I’ve heard good things about affiliate marketing and I’m guilty of spending a lot on Amazon.

    Just a curious question though, if I’m an amazon affiliate and I spend on Amazon using my own affiliate link, I can save more money that way too right?

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Hey Riaz! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Affiliate marketing is somehow still under the radar for most, but it’s definitely a gold mine if you ask me.

      I like the way you think when it comes to buying through your own affiliate link, lol, but unfortunately Amazon is on to that loophole. Amazon doesn’t give you any commissions when you purchase through your own affiliate link in an effort to get a bit of a rebate. Sorry, brother.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • jessie palaypay says:

    I have heard of affiliate marketing before and have heard awesome things about wealthy affiliate.

    I have seen a lot of sites that do reviews on them.

    I was wondering if Wealthy Affiliate only teaches you to promote Wealthy Affiliate? I have seen other similar programs where I am just promoting the program itself.

    Thank you for your help,


    • Eric Cantu says:

      Thanks for the comment Jessie. The great thing about Wealthy Affiliate is your ability to choose your own profitable niche and build your business from there. My passion is traveling the world. I have an absolute fire inside me to build a business that I can just take with me. For that reason, after finding WA, I decided to build this site to pass on that training to others just like me.

      That’s why I promote Wealthy Affiliate, but you have the ability to build your site around whatever you like. In fact, I also have a site built through WA that chronicles my travel adventures and I’m looking to build another micro niche site in the very near future as well.

      Thanks again for the comment, Jessie. I really appreciate it.

  • Norman says:

    Hello, I like the sound of that, work from your laptop. Wealthy affiliate has the kind of program that can make this a reality. When you look at the training that this community is offering you know that you are on your way to online success. There are many success stories that continue to come from this community because their training does work. I would encourage anyone who wants onilne success to make wealthy affiliate first choice.

  • Lynne says:

    Eric, this looks like something I have been looking for! I am definitely interested in learning more! I appreciate you explaining this in easy to understand terms. I will just bet that this is going to be a boom industry, if it isn’t already! I am prepared to learn more, thanks!


    • Eric Cantu says:

      I’m really glad to help. I agree that affiliate marketing is a hidden gem most don’t seem to know about. I’d definitely suggest following any of my links to Wealthy Affiliate and starting there. It’s free and they offer massive training for affiliate marketing. I give a free bonus as well to those that go through my links so merry early Christmas lol. Thanks for the comment!

  • Steve says:

    I’d agree with you 100% re: Wealthy Affiliate… It’s the finest Internet business training available to mankind… particularly suited to beginners.

  • Marcelo says:

    It’s good to know how this all works. I’d seen the “affiliate” link on different sites like amazon but didn’t realize they were for us to explore. Thanks man.

  • Emily says:

    Very informative post! I have actually been trying to start earning money online this way and have never been able to explain to my mom how it works. I had her read your post and she now understands. You also helped me on how to go further with my endeavors. Thanks!

  • I, like many people I know, have fallen for scams in the past when looking for online marketing platforms that actually work. With so many options online all claiming to be the right one, it is hard to know which one you can trust. I have heard of Wealthy Affiliate in the past and have actually read a lot of good things about them. My question is, can you confirm they are legit? If so, do they offer any type of support or mentoring system for beginners? Thanks in advance.

    • Eric Cantu says:

      I’ve been exactly where you’re at Patrick. I appreciate your honesty. I’ve been nothing but satisfied with Wealthy Affiliate and that’s why i speak so highly of them. And if there’s one point to make about them that will help anyone who’s been burned by scams before, it’s that it’s free, with no credit card saved for when a “trial” ends. You could stay with the free membership forever if you liked and get lots of great training. If you want more details check out my Wealthy Affiliate 2017 review here.

      Thanks Patrick!

  • Marlaine says:

    Online affiliate marketing is one of those intriguing ideas that grabs you once and never lets you go again. Once you get the dream in your head of building passive income streams and having people who are going to spend money anyways buying online leave a small commission… well, that dream just doesn’t go away until you look into it further.
    So, I’ve looked into this Wealthy Affiliate community that you recommend and it’s seriously appealing. Pretty sweet! Here’s to our online success, my friend! 🙂

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Cheers to that! For so long i was never even curious as to what the “affiliate” link i saw on every single website meant. If only i could go back in time and learn sooner lol. If you get involved with Wealthy Affiliate look me up! Take care!

  • John says:

    First affiliate marketing does work. I do make money from my site almost daily. Getting to the make a living at home is a lot harder. The more work you put into it the more you will get out of it. If you treat it like a full time job, you will get to a full time income in time. You must have training and a drive to work on something that does not get results very quickly. Great points made in your article.

  • Marc says:

    This is a very informative article! Thanks for posting it.

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Thanks Marc. Somehow your comment got lost in the shuffle and I’m only now seeing it almost a month later, lol. Im sorry, but I’m very glad for your support. Thank you!

  • Linda Watson says:

    I was a network marketer who wanted to know more about affiliate marketing. I was tired of having teams of people that I had to hound to keep them excited month after month. Affiliate marketing is awesome because you rely on YOU and you alone. If I make money, it’s because of what I’ve done to make it happen. But when I started, I had no idea what affiliate marketing was and how it worked. You did a great job of explaining the how-tos to people who are like I was. I also like Wealthy Affiliate for what they have taught me.

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Thanks Linda, I can appreciate that coming from the network marketing world myself. Which MLM(s) were you involved in if you don’t mind me asking? I’m looking to do some review posts in the future on different MLMs, both good and bad. Any input would be great. Thanks!

  • A Habil says:

    Hi, thank you very much for this article.

    May I have your opinion on Wealthy Affiliate, does it works like ClickBank that has their own products to be marketed or it is just truly a platform to start our own website?

    I am still thinking to have my own website with my own domain, hopefully I can learn it through WA.

    Thank You

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Very good question. Wealthy Affiliate isn’t like the other affiliate programs like Clickbank, etc. that work with other merchants. It’s a website building platform that I compare to a college class for building an online business. There is so much information it’s almost overwhelming and if you follow it, you’re site is going to be booming with traffic. That’s why I say if you’re going to use it anyway to get that traffic you need you might as well enjoy its affiliate program which has great commissions and lifetime cookies which is unheard of in the affiliate marketing world.

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