Sooo, in this post, I would like to explain the concept of affiliate marketing for dummies. Many out there that are not into online marketing maybe have heard of this term, but don’t really know what exactly it is about and how does it work. If you are interested in understanding what affiliate marketing is and maybe even how you can earn money by being an affiliate, read to the end.

Commission-based income

If you think about certain sales representatives like car dealers or real estate agents, they get a commission based on the sales they make. Why? Because the income the sales representative get’s is based on his results, not effort. This means a great representative can make the same income in one day as another one might need a week for. If this is fair or not is up to you, but I believe in results. Many quotes say work hard… yes, but also work smart! The combination is the real deal.

affiliate marketing commission based income

Recurring commissions

Let’s think of another example here. Let’s say there is a new gym and they don’t have that much money to spend on marketing. So, they decide to give people an incentive to promote the gym themselves. Let’s assume the gym membership costs 100€/month (yes €s because I live in Europe). The owner of the gym membership says to his current 5 members: Hey, for each member you get signed up, I will give you a 25€/month discount.

Why would the owner do this? Well, he could spend 10.000€ on marketing, printing flyers or whatever. But like this he doesn’t have to spend any money on marketing, only once he really gets a new customer. Now let’s think further, why couldn’t the gym members make also money like this? If they get 10 people signed up that would be (10 * 25€) – 100€ = 150€ per month as income. And as long as the people that were recommended keep the gym membership, the recommender will get the commission.

difference one time commission recurring affiliate commission

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Now, with these 2 examples basically, you already should understand the concept of affiliate marketing. Basically, an affiliate is someone that promotes the product of somebody else and gets a commission for each sale they refer. There are one-time commissions but also recurring lifetime commissions. The big difference is, that when talking about affiliate marketing, the promotion is usually done in the online world, but we’ll get to the details 😉

affiliate marketing explained for beginners

Affiliate Marketing Program examples

Now I want to mention a few products and platforms where you can sign up and become an affiliate, so it gets clearer what affiliate marketing is.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Amazon has an affiliate program? Yes! This is one where I started out promoting TVs, projectors, and movie-related products on my movie reviews site. The commissions are very low, but it is Amazon. Who doesn’t buy stuff on Amazon?

Now think about all those PC review sites that link to Amazon… Yes! They are affiliates and get a commission every time somebody buys a product on Amazon through their link!

At the end of this post you’ll be able to get a free training series, where I will also send you an eBook about Amazon Affiliate Marketing.


This is not an affiliate program, but a platform where product creators can give the possibility to affiliates to promote their product. This platform gets mentioned a lot on YouTube and in other articles, it is very popular. I personally don’t like it that much… Not the platform itself, but the products that you can promote. You have to be very selective about the products you want to promote because there are also a lot of bulls*** products.


This is a platform where you can buy and sell services, but they also have an affiliate program you can sign up to and earn commissions when somebody buys a service through your link.

Why should I become an Affiliate?

If you are interested in ways how to make money online, this is definitely one of the most interesting ones (at least it was for me when starting out). The advantages as an affiliate are that you don’t have to create a product and handle customer service. The one thing you have to learn how to do is how to build an audience and drive traffic to the products. There are many ways how to do that and I am planning to write more about each way you can achieve that. One disadvantage is, that it is not your product 😀 Kinda contradictive… What I mean by that is what I already mentioned earlier, please do a lot of research on the products you promote. You don’t want to promote any scams. That’s gonna hurt your online image and you also hurt other people.

publisher advertiser business marketing affiliate beginners

I also made the mistake, in the beginning, to try to promote everything, but that makes no sense for many reasons. Now my rule is, I promote only products I use myself! Why? Because I know they are great and they help me, so I assume they will also help others.

There is A LOT to learn if you want to start this journey into affiliate marketing. I started my journey 6 years ago on Wealthy Affiliate and I learned a lot and still do today.

Let me know in the comments what aspect of affiliate marketing you would like me to explain in more detail 🙂