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Everything About Affiliate Marketing Business Model For 2024

Have you ever heard about the affiliate marketing business model? This blog post will explain thoroughly and provide exciting information! Please note that whether you are publishers or advertisers, all the knowledge below is helpful for ...

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Affiliate marketing business model

Have you ever heard about the affiliate marketing business model? This blog post will explain thoroughly and provide exciting information! Please note that whether you are publishers or advertisers, all the knowledge below is helpful for you!

For publishers, you can find the reasons why you should tap into this potential market. Not just that, the detailed and complete instructions to promote effectively will be revealed.

For advertisers, you also find the remarkable aspect of investing successfully! Some accurate statistics provided are also a good reference for running a campaign!

Let’s get started!

What is the Affiliate Business Model?

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 1

If customers ever searched for smartphone reviews before making a purchase, they likely encountered an affiliate marketing business. These businesses use various methods such as reviews, tutorials, rankings, deals, and suggestions.

It helps to attract and engage their target audience. They then provide users a link to buy the product from their partner’s website. The affiliate business earns a commission whenever a user completes a purchase after clicking on that link.

The affiliate model usually involves the participation of three or four parties. It depends on the type of partnership between the affiliate and the product owner. These parties are:

  • Affiliate (Publisher): An affiliate is a group or individual who promotes products from a third party to a specific audience.

In exchange for successful sales referred by the affiliate, they receive commissions. Affiliates can take many forms, such as bloggers, vloggers, social media influencers, etc.

  • Merchant (Advertiser): The entity selling the product is called the merchant. The merchant collaborates with affiliates to boost the sales of their products.

A merchant could be an individual selling a miniature course or a large corporation like Amazon, which sells millions of affiliate products.

  • Network: A mediator often connects the merchant and the affiliate! It also handles payment and product delivery on behalf of the merchant. The affiliate communicates directly with the network rather than the merchant.
  • Customer: The individual who purchases the product after being referred by the affiliate is the customer. Whether or not the customer knows the partnership between the affiliate and the merchant is uncertain.

Benefits of the Affiliate Marketing Business Model

No Need to Own Product

Affiliates can earn money by promoting other people’s products! And without the hassle of creating your own.

Unlike the ecommerce business model, where you have to source the products you sell and deal with customer service and logistics, affiliates are just the marketing arm. It means they don’t have to worry about managing a store or shipping products!

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 2

Passive Income

In addition to earning commissions through affiliate links, you can make money through Cost-Per-Action (CPA) offers. With CPA offers, you can get paid a commission even if you don’t sell anything.

These offers typically require the visitor to take action! Some are submitting the email to become an email lead for a company/ filling out a form. While CPAs pay lower than pay per sale, they often convert at a much higher rate.

It is because there is no money the customer has to put down for the conversion to be complete. This higher conversion rate often makes up for the lower profits earned individually.

Low or No start-up and ongoing costs

Affiliates do not need to invest in creating or maintaining a product, inventory, or customer service. They only need to create content and drive traffic to the company’s website. The company only pays for the results, not the efforts.


Publishers can choose the products/ services they want to promote! The platforms they want to use and the strategies they wish to implement are also flexible. Plus, they can work at their own pace and schedule.

Affiliate Marketing Business Model: How to Get Started?

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 3

We provide you with the incredible benefits of an affiliate marketing model! It seems easy! Here are instructions on how to get it started!

Select an industry and narrow down your niche

How? We give you three criteria for selecting an industry and narrow down the niche! It should be the niche that

  • You are interested in
  • High profit
  • Less competition

Selecting the right niche is crucial for a thriving affiliate business. While many people lean towards technology or fashion niche, affiliate marketing is not limited to these products and services.

Affiliate marketing requires patience, and it is easy to lose interest in a niche you are not passionate about. There are affiliate opportunities available for almost any niche you can think of.

For instance, if you are interested in cell phones, Amazon offers an affiliate program. If you are into makeup, Bbia, Vaseline, and Pone, offer commissions for selling their products.

Plus, it would help if you also found a profitable niche you are passionate about, and there will be no one to stop you. Look for niches where the demand for products is high or where products are sold at a price that offers a good commission.

You can check Amazon’s bestseller page, Google Trends, Pinterest, ClickBank, Aliexpress, Reddit, and other platforms to find out what’s working and what’s not.

Last but not least, choosing a niche with room for growth and expansion is essential. Consider exploring emerging markets and industries with the potential for another affiliate marketer! It will make a significant impact.

While highly competitive niches like smartphones and laptops may not be the best choice for new affiliate marketers, plenty of other opportunities out there are waiting to be discovered.

Find a suitable affiliate program

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 5

Firstly, you can use search engines like Google to find affiliate programs in your niche. One common way is to type “affiliate marketing programs” followed by your niche. For example, if you’re interested in gardening, you could search for “gardening affiliate marketing programs.”

Affiliate networks like ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon Associates aggregate many different affiliate programs under one platform. These networks can make it easier to manage multiple affiliate programs and payments.

When evaluating an affiliate program, there are several factors to consider:

  • Commission Rates: This is the percentage of the sale price you’ll receive for each successful referral. Higher commissions can lead to higher earnings!
  • Payment Terms: Understand when and how you’ll be paid. Some programs pay monthly, others quarterly. Some require a minimum earnings threshold before you can receive payment.
  • Product/Service Quality: Promoting high-quality products or services can maintain the trust of your audience.
  • Company Reputation: Research the company to ensure they have a good reputation. Check for any red flags like negative reviews or complaints.
  • Support: Good affiliate programs offer support through promotional materials, affiliate training, and a dedicated affiliate manager.

Once you’ve found a program that fits your niche and meets your criteria, you can apply to join. It usually involves filling out an application form on the company’s website.

The company will review your application to ensure your content marketing aligns with their brand and products.

Build your marketing channels

Once you have everything to join a program successfully, it’s time to start building your sales funnel. It could be a website/ landing page or a social media profile (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc).

Affiliate marketing websites are designed to save users time, effort, or money. You can establish yourself as an influencer or a niche expert! Some methods include sharing reviews, tutorials, rankings, and suggestions.

Alternatively, you can create a deal website that helps users save money.

Provide compelling and relevant content

Here are common ways to provide high-quality and relevant content!

Deeply Understand Your Audience: It means researching your audience’s interests, preferences, and needs. Marketers can use tools like surveys, analyze features on social media listening, and website analytics to gather data about their audience.

This information can help publishers tailor the content and offers to match the audience’s needs and interests.

Use Personal Experience: It is a common way to make the content more relatable and trustworthy. Plus, it provides firsthand insights about the product, which can help your audience make informed purchasing decisions!

Leverage SEO: By using relevant keywords, affiliates can improve the website’s visibility on SERPs. So it will attract more visitors. But SEO isn’t just about keywords. It also involves optimizing your website’s technical aspects! Some of them like its speed and mobile-friendliness!

Use Video Content:  Around 50% of people watch videos about a product/ service before purchasing. Video content can give customers a clearer idea of how a product works! It can enable them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Be Honest and Transparent: Marketers must disclose affiliate relationships to their audience! They should also be truthful about their experiences with the products you promote. It helps build audience trust and ensures publishers comply with legal requirements.

Drive traffic to your channels

Some of the common ways are to promote via email list available, SEO or paid advertising, etc. We are sure you have read many articles on this topic, so we will highlight 2 particular ways to drive traffic to your channels!

  • Use social media
  • Use link building

For social media

Social media is a powerful platform for affiliate marketing, with an estimated 4.9 billion users worldwide as of 2023. The average user now uses six to seven platforms every month! So, it is a significant potential customer base that publishers and advertisers can tap!

However, you need to know that different platforms cater to different demographics. For instance, LinkedIn suits people interested in improving their careers through courses! So marketers can promote these services on this platform.

On the other hand, Instagram and TikTok appeal to younger generations, making them ideal platforms for products and services targeted towards this demographic.

For Link Building

Link building is an essential part of affiliate marketing. It involves creating links that lead back to your affiliate website to increase traffic and improve your search engine visibility.

When other websites link to yours, it can boost your authority and bring visitors directly to your site or indirectly through search engines.

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 6

Regularly review and optimize your strategies

Both affiliates and merchants need to check and optimize their effective marketing strategies regularly. Why? Well, for starters, the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. By keeping your strategy up-to-date, you can ensure they remain practical and relevant.

But that’s not all. Regular optimization can also help you identify what’s working and what’s not. So, it allows you to allocate the budget more effectively & maximize your return on investment.

Plus, without regular adjustments, your efforts may suffer from fatigue. As a result, it leads to slumping results or stagnation in growth.

So, what can you do to stay on top of your game? One key strategy is tracking your performance using key indicators (KPIs).

You can better understand how your affiliate marketing efforts are performing by monitoring metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. You can also make adjustments as needed.

Example of Affiliate Marketing Business Model

So much theory, right? Don’t worry! Now is the time to analyze the famous following 3 real examples!

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 7

The Amazon Affiliate Program (refer to Amazon Associates) is a popular affiliate marketing program!

They allow website owners and bloggers to earn commissions by promoting Amazon products on their websites. The program provides a wide range of products to promote, including books, electronics, clothing, and more.

To become an Amazon Associate, websites must meet Amazon’s standards and be approved by Amazon staff. Once approved, Associates can earn up to 20% commissions for qualified sales. Amazon makes payments monthly, usually with a cheque or gift certificate, within 60 days of each month’s end.

Amazon provides special commissions for specific events, but approval is subject to a comprehensive review by Amazon staff and meeting a qualified sales quota (three within 180 days of the application). If an application is declined, it will not be eligible for reconsideration.


Affiliate Marketing Business Model 8

The Clickbank Affiliate Program is one of the most popular online affiliate marketing programs. They offer a platform for product owners to connect with affiliate marketers! And the publishers can promote these digital products to a broader audience.

There are various categories, including health, wealth, and personal development. The platform also offers a competitive affiliate commission of up to 75% on each sale made through the referral.

Getting started with Clickbank is easy. You only need to create an account by signing up on their website. Once you have an account, Clickbank will provide resources!

3 sources include ClickBank University, ClickBank courses, and Clickbank spark course reviews to maximize the earning potential.

eBay Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Business Model 9

EBay’s affiliate program rewards partners for sharing listings outside of eBay Affiliate marketers can earn a commission and even get credit toward your final merchant fees. Even better? eBay partners can also get commissions on other sellers’ products. How cool is that?

Here’s how it works: marketers earn a commission when a buyer clicks on the eBay purchase link on the site and bids on or immediately purchase an item within 24 hours. Publishers still get paid if the customer wins the auction within ten days of the bid.

Commission rates vary depending on the category and range from 1% to 4%. And the best part? Publishers can earn up to $550 on any one qualifying sale.

However, remember that gift cards, items sold by charities, and special promotions are generally excluded as qualifying sales because of their low revenue streams.

What is the Suitable Affiliate Marketing Business Model for Beginners?

It seems hard to give accurate answers!

Here are the three main types of affiliate programs:

  • High-paying, low-volume: These are programs that pay high commissions but have fewer customers. The products or services in these programs are often niche-specific and expensive.
  • Low-paying, high-volume: These programs offer lower commissions but cater to a large market, meaning there’s a high volume of potential customers.
  • High-paying, high-volume: These are the holy grail of affiliate programs. They offer high commissions and cater to a large market. However, they’re not very common and are highly competitive.

So, what is the suitable affiliate marketing business model for beginners? You can choose the niches with “high volume, low-paying” and “low volume, high-paying

Affiliate programs for beginners with high volume, low-paying

  • Amazon Associates: Amazon’s affiliate program has millions of products available. Some categories include PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray, Televisions, Digital Video Games, Amazon Fresh, Physical Video Games and Video Game Consoles, Grocery, Health & Personal Care, etc.
  • The lowest commission rate is 1% but can go up to 20%. Overall, the average commission rates are relatively low, and the high volume of products and brand recognition make it a good choice for many affiliates.
  • eBay Partner Network: Like Amazon, eBay offers a wide range of products with 1.4 billion listed. The commission rates vary, but the highest-paying categories pay 4% commissions! It is just for Clothing, Shoes and accessories, Health and beauty, Jewelry and watches, and eBay Motors.
  • AliExpress Affiliate Program: AliExpress is a popular retail service based in China! They have over 150 million affiliated products. And the basic commission rate can go up to 9%!

Affiliate programs for beginners with low volume, high-paying

  • Referral Factory is suitable for beginners as it offers flexible referral software. The average affiliate commission rate for merchants for all sales is 10-20%! Pretty high!
  • Refersion is an affiliate marketing platform that makes managing referral programs simple.

It offers three commission structure options: Percent of Sale, Flat Rate, and Tiered. The inclusive average affiliate commission rate for merchants using Refersion is 10-20%. Even this program’s lowest commission rates are higher than other programs!

Final Thoughts

That’s all! Now, you have a deep understanding of the affiliate marketing business model! We also explain and analyze the benefits of the model for both publishers & advertisers. You can see this type of marketing will continue to improve and bring more profits for all entries!

After that, we recommend six steps to start the business effectively with helpful advice. Readers perhaps feel a lot of theory. We understand and immediately provide the three successful examples of this model! After that, we listed and summarized the most suitable affiliate program for newcomers!

Thank you for reading!

Ellie Tran, a seasoned SEO content writer with three years of experience in the eCommerce world. Being a part of the UpPromote team, Ellie wants to assist Shopify merchants in achieving success through useful content & actionable insights. Ellie's commitment to learning never stops; she's always eager to gain more knowledge about SEO and content marketing to create valuable content for users. When she's not working on content, Ellie enjoys baking and exploring new places.