How Affiliate Marketing Works: Basics You Need To Know

How Affiliate Marketing Works: Basics You Need To Know

Chances are you've landed on my blog because your interested in making money online. I'm willing to bet you have also heard the term affiliate marketing, am I right? No worries, if you are curious about how affiliate marketing works, read on.

In this article will show you exactly how affiliate marketing works.


The points outlined here will set you up better than 90% of people getting started with an affiliate marketing side hustle or business.

My overall goal in this article is to show you the key points and “prime” you so you know exactly what you are getting into when you start your online side hustle.

Some Topics We Will Cover On Affiliate Marketing …

  • How and where to get started
  • Realistic Goals and possibilities
  • How to get traffic to your new website so you've can start selling products
  • Why you need a website, and exactly how to build one
  • The reason quality is so important

Yes, You Can Do This!

Remember this as you are reading, you can absolutely do this.

When I started out with website building and making money online I knew NOTHING about building websites or computers AT ALL !

I learned over time … Pretty much on my own, slowly building up the skills required to get this thing off the ground. After some time, the hard work started to add up.

I began to realize the potential in website development.

Around this point I found the best training for affiliate marketing, not just marketing, online business as a whole.

This is when my business started to really take off.

I'll Reveal This Training, Plus A Special Exclusive Offer In This Article … Keep Your Eyes Peeled!

Articles like this are where I learned a ton. I am truly grateful for the people that showed me quality and honest knowledge online.

Everything I create on my site is to pass it forward to You.

Fist bump out of the way ======> Let's rock and roll!

Grab A Comfy Seat … I'm About To Show You How Affiliate Marketing Works From The Ground Up!

How Affiliate Marketing Works … Made Simple

Before we dive headfirst into how affiliate marketing works, I want to take a few seconds to explain what affiliate marketing is exactly.

Affiliate marketing is simply the act of promoting another business or individuals product. That's it in a nutshell, sounds super easy right?

Not so fast, let's debunk some myths surrounding the topic right off the bat …

  • Affiliate marketing is a “get rich overnight” goldmine !

This is much of the ridiculous garbage that is tossed around all over the internet. Pushed by people that want you to buy ridiculous courses and products that simply do not work.

People that drive up in rented Lambos and film crazy videos in mansions, all the while telling you've how “easy” it is to make your first million online.

Ask me how I know this … I have fell for a few of these in the past.

  • Affiliate marketing requires little to no work …

Here's another beauty pulled from the depths of the web. “In just ten minutes a day you've can build a successful affiliate marketing business that generates – 1,000 dollars a week!”

I build my sites around people and products I use and believe in …. Period.

Owning my business offline in the automotive repair trade has taught me a lot over the years. I know what a business needs to run and thrive.

There is nothing different from running a successful website and affiliate marketing business than there is running a shop.

The physical work may be different but the hours, and dedication are the same. Especially because many people that jump into the online arena forget that there is a TON of things to learn and absorb.

This is why time needs top be focused on realistic training and techniques.
Not get-rich-quick garbage.

  • Affiliate marketing will make you rich …

Though it is very true that affiliate marketing can, and does make many people rich, this does not mean it will for everyone. Running a website and affiliate marketing is a business. There are many factors that can make or break your business and this is one point that should not be overlooked.

Building success requires commitment, hard work, and a TON of trial and error.

Some businesses make it … Some don't, it's that simple.

How Did Affiliate Marketing Start Online?

William J Tobin is the first person to come up with the concept of affiliate marketing online. Before the online world was buzzing, people were recommending products and getting commissions the “old school” way.

Using his online flower shop called PC Flowers And Gifts, Tobin used his idea of online affiliate marketing and the tracking system behind it to generate MILLIONS of dollars per year.

In 1996 Tobin applied for the patent on affiliate marketing, and the tracking system that makes it possible … The rest is history. This marketing strategy has become a 12 Billion dollar a year industry.

Don't you think we should put some work in and grab a piece of this pie? 🙂

Getting Started, Why You Need A Website …

Many people get nervous at the thought of building a website.

As a matter of fact that is probably one of the biggest reasons people never start.

They go no further than watching a YouTube video about how to learn affiliate marketing online and click away when the words “on your website” come over the loud speaker.

women nervious biting her hair

Building your own website is no where near as hard as it used to be. Technology has made it possible for ANYONE to build a website, and have it up and running in literally minutes.

Below I am going to show you exactly how a website is built, first let's find out why you need a website.

If you've ever want to build a legit affiliate marketing business that consistently brings in passive income, this is a must.

Think of your website as a foundation, it supports all of your content and acts like a “home base” for your business, a good website …

  • Gives you a place to showcase your products
  • Makes you look much more legit and professional
  • Gets you a professional looking e-mail that people are more likely to trust
  • Builds trust ( your audience can see you, and your work )
  • You can build a brand that grows over time
  • A website is active 24/7 even when you've been asleep
  • Seriously too many things to list here 🙂

Many people use social media and Youtube to drive affiliate sales, in all fairness they probably make a buck or two.

Only using this tactic however will bring mediocre cash, if any ….. Think about this for a second.

Would you start a brick and mortar business out of your car? Trying to do paperwork, store inventory and answer phones.

Of course not, this is why you've need a website. Don't worry, I'm going to show you've exactly how to build your first website further along in this article!

How Does Affiliate Marketing Online Work?


Affiliate marketing is often over complicated. To me when I started it seemed like a circle of craziness that I was never going to wrap my head around.

Affiliate marketing is promoting products that you yourself have not created or own the rights to. You are simply recommending products by showing people what value there is in it, and how that product can benefit them.

Here is an example : Say your uncle develops some awesome product in his garage, it's something that really can take off. You are over his house one day and he shows you this awesome product, then gives you one for free.

The next day he decides to go all the way and start a business making this product. He needs sales and he's busy trying to tell anyone he can about this product … Your phone rings … Hello?

” Hey, I'll give you've $25 bucks for every one of my products you sell, please help me get the word out.”

That's the golden ticket, do not over think affiliate marketing at it's core, all we are doing is promoting products and getting a cut of the sale.

There is one huge takeaway from the above story that I want you to remember ….

Your uncle's product was awesome, it worked, it was good quality … It brought you value.

If you hang on to this statement applying the law that you are only going to promote quality products honestly, and bring value to your audience ….. You will succeed.

The Hub That Brings It Together, Affiliate Networks …

The uncle story is cool, it shows at a base level how it all works. One question many beginners have is, “Where do you find products to promote?”

I'm glad you asked! The place to find 1000s of products to promote are called affiliate networks. The job of these platforms is to be the link between you ( the affiliate ) and the product supplier ( merchant )

The affiliate network keeps track of everything and makes sure you get payed and the merchant gets orders.

There are a TON of affiliate programs out there to choose from, some of the top ones are ….

  • CJ Affiliate
  • Share A Sale
  • Clickbank
  • Amazon

This is a very short list of programs that are out there, many companies have their own programs set up as well. One that is very popular is Amazon Associates, imagine the vastness of Amazon for a second….

Now let me tell you a little secret … With an Amazon Associates account you can get links, pictures, and a ton of other resources to promote ANY PRODUCT AMAZON SELLS!

The possibilities are huge to make money, if there is something you know much about this can be a great way to promote products in your chosen niche. Remember when I said that you must have a website? This is why.

Using your website you write articles and create content that people want, then promote the products that will benefit people. When you earn their trust they will buy through your links because they know you are recommending something of value to them.

Affiliate Links … How Sharing Leads To Income

At this point you've may be asking “how does the company know that I sent the customer to them online?”

Affiliate links are how these referrals you work so hard to get are rewarded. When you sign up for an affiliate program your assigned an “affiliate ID”


When someone clicks on your link, the merchant knows you are the person that sent the customer their way because they see your personal affiliate id inside of the link.

This is done by “cookies” that track and record all clicks and engagement online.

The development of cookies opened up the floodgates to the possibilities of affiliate marketing.

Let me elaborate a little on this …
When you visit a website and that cookie bar pops up and tells you that “this website uses cookies” it means that small bits of data are collected from your session on that site.

This data is collected everywhere you go online. If someone clicks a link to see a product you are promoting, the link going to the product has a cookie, and your affiliate id in it.

This is how the affiliate network tracks, and pays affiliates.

Let's Talk Commissions …

The way you get paid through this form of marketing is fairly straight forward. The merchant sets a commission payout for their product, or specific product.


It's important to remember to check what the percentage is when you choose what you want to promote. The last thing you want to do is focus on promoting a product that is only going to pay you 1% in return.

Unless this is a very big ticket item, skip it. You want to read the terms and payouts of every product you are thinking about promoting. Not only for commissions sake either, many affiliate programs have rules or restrictions that you need to adhere to.

The merchant reserves all rights to dump you from their program anytime they want, regardless of how much time you have put in to promoting their products.


How To Get Started!

It's time for the fun stuff! We can talk all day about this, but until you get started nothing is going to happen!


I will break down the first steps that you need to do to get the ball rolling below.

Choosing an interest : This could be anything that you are into. It can be a passion or something that you have no idea about. Keep in mind you will need to be writing and researching a lot about this topic, your business will be based around it. The more you know and love it the better, if you don't know much about your topic that's OK, you will need to do more research.

Building your website : This is the best part! I don't want you to shy away from this because there is absolutely no reason to. I will show you below how to build your first website in no time flat!

Attract visitors : This is where value and a lot of hard work comes in. This is the business of what we are talking about, you must attract visitors by providing what they want and need on your website.

Earn revenue : The coveted goal! Over time this hard work starts to pay off and you are making a passive .. Or full time income and higher!

 Let's Build Your Website!

I have shown you how affiliate marketing works, I have shown you the four steps to getting started, it's time to actually build your business!

Once you get your website up and running the feeling gets real, you are going to be working towards something that can bring you passive or full time income every month!

Plus you will be bringing value to the world by using your knowledge on a particular subject to enrich the life of someone out there that wants information you can give.

Now it's time to jump into my screen so I can show you how to get your website up and running in minutes using the platform Wealthy Affiliate, If you don't know what WA is you can read my complete review of the program using this link …

Wealthy Affiliate … The Best Place To Get Started

This website is the product of the huge amount of knowledge I have gained from wealthy affiliate. I have been a member of this awesome community since 2021 …

Check out my profile below!


Here is a screenshot of my profile there, I started out already knowing a bit about building websites. What I was missing was the knowledge that I needed to take things from a hobby that makes no money, to a business!

I highly suggest you get started with a free starter account today. You can jump in and try it out for yourself when you are done watching how easy it is to get a website setup below.

As a bonus, if you sign up today using … you guessed it, my affiliate link I will meet up with you inside of the platform so I can help answer any questions or help you get set up!

get started for free today button

Let's Dive Into Building A Website In Minutes!

Wrapping Up How Affiliate Marketing Works …

I hope this article and video has you pumped up and ready to jump in to get started. Learning how affiliate marketing works is just the beginning however.

Now that you know the basics there should be nothing holding you back from starting out. I encourage you to get started and find your niche.

Start to think about what you love to talk about or do, imagine being able to help someone that wants to know what you know. Then imagine how you can make money by doing this.

You now know how this works, some tips on what to look for, and EXACTLY where and how to start.

Wishing you much success … Jerry

P.S. comment below with any questions and I will be happy to help !

Thanks for reading.