So just what do we mean by affiliate marketing?

I suppose it could be equated to the salesmen who used to work on a commission only basis. There were certainly many of them in the insurance industry and also the encyclopaedia industry. They would only get paid on the sales they made. If they didn't make any sales they didn't make any money that day.

An affiliate works in exactly the same way. The affiliate agrees to promote a product or products on a no sale no fee basis.
They find products they think will sell and then advertise them to prospective buyers.

An example of affiliate marketing can be seen in the adverts running down the right hand side of this page. These are all links to products I promote.

The commissions that they will be paid are agreed before they start their promotions. On physical products the payments can be as little as 5% or in some cases even lower, whereas on e-products the commissions can go as high as 80% or more, although 50% is the figure quoted most often.

You may ask why is there such a large difference in the commission structure?
This is mainly due to the difference of selling physical products against selling e-products. With the physical products there are manufacturing and postage costs to take into consideration, whereas e-products do not have these costs.

So if you apply for an affiliate account with Amazon your commission will be up to 10% as Amazon deal with physical products.
Your actual commission will be dependent on your turnover with Amazon. You are not going to see anywhere near 10% when you start out with them!

For e-products JVZoo Clickbank and Commission Junction are popular starting places. You may also come across a product that you think you will be able to sell.

You will find many advertisements on the internet for affiliate marketers, some from marketers with a good reputation for the work they do, and some from people who are new to the internet scene.

It is up to you to choose who you promote, but, be aware that you are going to be building your reputation on the value of the products you are promoting and selling.

Most marketers who are looking for affiliates, also supply some type of promotion materials, whether it is in the form of banners, emails, sales pages, websites or in some other form.
While you may find this to be helpful remember that there may be 1,000's of others using exactly the same materials as you are.
It is sometimes better to try and market products with your own marketing ideas and materials.

Some of the affiliate programs I have come across have given permission for the affiliate to amend some of the marketing materials or to produce their own. But please check with the owner/copyright holder if this is not in the terms of use. These have normally been affiliate programs I have joined through clickbank.

You may find that when you join an affiliate program you have to use the sales pages as they are. You may also find that all the leads go into the list of the program owner and not that of the affiliate. So if you are looking to use affiliate marketing to build your list you would need to avoid these affiliate programs.

In a case where the product can't be found other than with the author or publisher, then of course you would need to approach them and try and negotiate a deal with regards to how much you would be paid for each sale.
Most publishers/authors would be only too pleased to have someone to promote their product for them. With e-books this means you can get a healthy percentage of the sales price.

Why would you want to promote someone else's products?

Unless you already have some products of your own this is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to start earning an income online. You don't need to worry about product delivery, stock, postage & packing or returns. All of the work is done by the owner/supplier of the product.

If there are any complaints about the product, they will go straight to the owner/supplier. No one will be able to contact you as they will never see your email address. Everything is dealt with by the product owner you just assist with the sales and in most cases get paid handsomely for it.


Affiliate marketing can be a good way to start marketing on the internet. There are many marketers making 6 figure sums by using affiliate marketing as their sole source of income.

Please don't think that you are going to promote a product and make thousands of dollars straight away. It all take time to build up relationships and good productive lists to sell to. You do not need a list when first starting out but if you do have a list in the same niche that you are selling in then it will certainly help.

As an example of affiliate marketing all the banners on this and the other pages of this website are affiliate links.