Affiliate Marketing: What is it and how does it work?

Digital Marketing 06 December 2023

Affiliate marketing is a collaborative digital strategy that has revolutionized the way companies promote their products and generate revenue online. This model is based on a partnership between merchants and affiliates, offering significant benefits for both parties.

In essence, affiliate marketing involves affiliates promoting third-party products or services through various marketing channels, such as blogs, social media or emails.

The key lies in the use of unique affiliate links, which allow you to track the traffic and conversions generated by each affiliate’s promotional activities.

In this article we explain affiliate marketing in more depth, and how companies can reach new audiences and affiliates can build passive income.

What is affiliate marketing?

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is an online business model in which an affiliate promotes another company’s products or services in exchange for receiving a commission for each sale, click or specific action generated through their marketing efforts.

In this model, the affiliate does not own the products or services, but promotes affiliate links provided by the partner company.

The basic dynamics of affiliate marketing involve the affiliate receiving a unique tracking link (called an affiliate link) that tracks the conversions generated through their promotional efforts. When visitors click on that link and make a purchase or take a desired action, the affiliate receives a commission for the sale or action.

This form of marketing is beneficial to both affiliates and businesses, as affiliates can earn additional income without having to create or manage products, and businesses can increase their sales by expanding their reach through an affiliate network.

Why should you consider affiliate marketing?

There are several reasons why affiliate marketing can be an interesting option for online entrepreneurship:

Low cost and risk:

Unlike starting a traditional business, affiliate marketing does not require a significant initial investment. You just need a website or online promotion channels to get started. If it doesn’t work, you will have lost some time and a little money, but without the barriers to entry and upfront costs of a conventional business.

Easy scalability:

As an affiliate, you can promote products from multiple companies and earn commissions from all of them. This gives you the opportunity to diversify your income sources and increase your earnings as you expand your online presence.

3. Earning potential:

While income may vary, many people have made significant profits through affiliate marketing. According to a survey, approximately 16.87% of affiliate marketers earn $50,000 per year or more. In addition, there are cases of successful affiliates generating even higher monthly figures.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing offers several benefits for both affiliates and partner companies. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Passive income: Affiliates can generate passive income by promoting products or services without having to worry about creating, stocking or shipping products.
  1. Low initial investment: No large initial investment is required to get started with affiliate marketing. Affiliates can start with minimal resources.
  1. Variety of products: Affiliates can choose from a wide variety of products or services to promote, allowing them to focus on niches that interest them or in which they have expertise.
  1. Scalability: As affiliates build their online presence and develop audiences, they have the opportunity to scale their revenue by expanding their reach and promoting more products.
  1. Risk reduction: Partner companies also benefit by reducing risks, as they only pay for concrete results, such as sales or clicks, rather than investing in advertising with no guarantee of return.
  1. Expansion of reach: Companies can reach new audiences through the affiliate network, leveraging the online presence and influence of affiliates.
  1. Cost efficient marketing: The pay-for-performance model of affiliate marketing can be more cost efficient than other forms of advertising, as companies pay only for results achieved.
  1. Tracking and analysis: Most affiliate programs provide tracking and analysis tools that allow affiliates to monitor the performance of their marketing efforts.

How does affiliate marketing work?

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing works through collaboration between three main parties: the merchant (company offering products or services), the affiliate (individual or company promoting the merchant’s products or services) and the consumer. Here I explain the basic steps of how affiliate marketing works:

  1. Affiliate program registration: The merchant establishes an affiliate program and provides affiliates with unique tracking links, known as affiliate links. These links allow the merchant to track the sales or actions generated by each affiliate.
  1. Promotion by the affiliate: The affiliate uses various marketing methods to promote the merchant’s products or services. These methods may include blogs, social media, content marketing, videos, emails, among others. The affiliate incorporates its affiliate links in these promotions.
  1. Clicks and conversions: Consumers who interact with affiliate promotions click on affiliate links. When they make a purchase or take a desired action, such as completing a form or subscribing to a service, it is recorded as a conversion.
  1. Conversion tracking: Affiliate links have a built-in tracking system that allows the merchant to record conversions and attribute them to the appropriate affiliate. This is done through cookies, which are small files stored on users’ devices.
  1. Commission payments: Once conversions are recorded, the merchant pays the affiliate a pre-agreed commission. Commissions can be based on a percentage of the sale, a flat fee per click, or compensation per specific action.
  1. Analysis and optimization: Both the affiliate and the merchant can use analysis tools to evaluate campaign performance. This includes tracking clicks, conversions and other relevant data. With this information, they can optimize their strategies to improve results.

How much money can you make with affiliate marketing?

Earnings in affiliate marketing can vary depending on several factors, such as the niche you are in, the level of experience and the dedication you put into it. According to a survey, most affiliate marketers earn less than $10,000 per year, but approximately 16.87% earn $50,000 per year or more.

There are outstanding success stories in affiliate marketing, such as Ruben Alonso, whose blog has generated more than 38,000 euros in affiliate commissions in the last year. However, it is important to keep in mind that these cases required time, effort and brand building over the years.

When starting out in affiliate marketing, your income may be low at first, but with hard work, time and the right knowledge, you can aim for higher levels of earnings.

How to get started with affiliate marketing?

affiliate marketing

If you are interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, here are some steps you can follow:

Step 1: Choose your niche

The first step is to choose a niche you want to focus on. A niche is a specific category within a broader market. It is advisable to choose a niche that you are passionate about and in which you have knowledge or experience.

To differentiate yourself from the competition, it is better to be specific rather than to address a broad sector. For example, instead of focusing on food in general, you can choose a more specific niche such as vegetarian or gourmet cuisine. This will help you build a more targeted audience and help you rank better in search engines.

Step 2: Create a content platform

The next step is to create a content platform where you can promote products or services as an affiliate. You can choose between different options, such as a blog, a YouTube channel, a social media page, a podcast, among others.

It is advisable to create a web page and use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to position your content in the first Google search results. This will allow you to generate organic and consistent traffic to your affiliate links.

At Kiwop we are experts in digital marketing and web development. If you are looking for expert advice and support to launch or improve your affiliate marketing strategy on any of these platforms, our agency can be your perfect partner!

Kiwop has expertise in optimizing digital strategies, creating effective content and maximizing online visibility.

Whether you need guidance on how to get started with a blog, improve your social media presence or boost your YouTube channel, Kiwop can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to stand out in the competitive world of affiliate marketing.

Remember that it is important to be transparent and disclose that you are using affiliate links in your content. You must comply with legal regulations and provide clear information about the commissions you will receive.

Step 3: Find affiliate programs

Once you have your content platform ready, you can look for affiliate programs you want to participate in. There are different types of affiliate programs, such as those that offer high commissions but low sales volume, or programs that offer lower commissions but high sales volume.

It is important to choose affiliate programs that are relevant to your niche and offer quality products or services. Research and compare the commissions, payment terms and promotional tools offered by affiliate programs before making a decision.

Step 4: Create relevant and engaging content

Once you’ve joined affiliate programs, it’s time to create relevant and engaging content to promote the products or services of partner companies. You can write reviews, tutorials, comparisons, buying guides, among other types of content that are useful to your audience.

It is important that the content is authentic and of quality. It’s not just about promoting products, it’s about providing value to users and helping them make informed decisions. Use keywords related to your niche to optimize your content and improve its visibility in search engines.

Step 5: Promote your content and grow your audience

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to promote it and grow your audience. Use digital marketing strategies, such as SEO, social media, email marketing and online advertising, to reach more people interested in your niche.

It is important to establish an effective promotion strategy and use different channels to diversify your traffic sources. You can also collaborate with other content creators in your niche and participate in online communities related to your topic to increase your visibility and reach.

Step 6: Analyze and optimize your results

As you promote products or services as an affiliate, it is important to analyze and optimize your results. Use tracking and analytics tools to measure the performance of your affiliate links, conversions and sales generated.

Identify which strategies and types of content are working best and focus your efforts on those areas that deliver the best results. Make constant adjustments and improvements to your affiliate marketing strategy to maximize your performance and increase your profits.

Step 7: Maintain constant communication with your affiliates and partner companies

As you become more involved in affiliate marketing, it is important to maintain constant communication with your affiliates and partner companies. Stay updated on news, promotions and new products or services that may be relevant to your audience.

Establish a solid and trusting relationship with your affiliates and partners. Collaboration and open communication can help you get better promotional opportunities, increase your commissions and strengthen your presence in the affiliate market.


Affiliate marketing is an effective and profitable way to make money online by promoting the products or services of other companies. It can be an interesting option both for those who are looking for additional income and for those who want to start an online business without having to create their own products or services.

When starting out in affiliate marketing, it is important to choose a relevant niche, create a content platform, join reliable affiliate programs, create quality content, promote your content and grow your audience, analyze and optimize your results, and maintain constant communication with your affiliates and partner companies.

If you work hard, have patience and stay focused on providing value to your audience, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative opportunity to generate income online. Start today and take advantage of the potential of affiliate marketing!


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