affiliate marketingDo you want to know how to work with affiliate marketing? If you’re looking to create an online business, I’ve no doubt by now you’ll have heard the term “affiliate marketing”. Affiliate Marketing is just one way to earn an online income, we’ll be covering other methods in separate articles.

I need to explain a few things first so bear with me, I’ll try and keep it short and simple!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

TAKE NOTE, Before you apply to join affiliate programs you need to have plenty of good unique posts written

There are 3 components to affiliate marketing

  • Advertiser – the advertiser can be a company selling a product like smartphones, airline tickets, clothes or kitchen gadgets. They could also be an insurance company selling policies. As an advertiser, you are ready to pay other people to help you sell and promote your business.
  • Publisher (this is you) – the publisher is an individual or company that promotes these products and services in exchange for earning a commission. The advertiser provides you with special banners and links that have a unique id. You incorporate these into your website and earn a commission when someone makes a purchase or signs up to a service.
  • Consumer – To complete the affiliate triangle you have the consumer. The consumer is the one who sees your advert and decides whether to “click” or not. Once the consumer completes the action, whether it’s purchasing a physical product or signing up to a service, this is called a conversion.


cookiesNo, not a chocolate chip one! I’ll give you a quick explanation on cookies and the relevance to affiliate marketing.

There are many different kinds of cookies, and affiliate marketing relies on cookies to store information that makes sure the publisher receives the commission on a “conversion”.

You know when you’re asked if you want to save a password? This is done with cookies. A cookie stores information in your web browser like, login info, user preferences, login or registration information, and shopping cart contents.  You might have noticed if you’re interested in sewing and do an Internet search, you’ll start seeing sewing related ads on other sites. It’s the cookie that does this!

How to Find Affiliate Products to Promote

google searchFirst I’ll explain about the different types affiliate programs.

There are a lot of affiliate programs, some that are independent, meaning they are not tied to any particular affiliate network. An example would be Wealthy Affiliate who run their own affiliate program, Amazon are another. Other affiliate programs are run by an affiliate network such as:

  • Linkshare
  • Clickbank
  • Commission Junction
  • Share a Sale
  • Affiliate Window

There are many more, but these are some of the more well-known ones.

Now down to the nitty-gritty, let’s find  an affiliate program and this is where Google is your friend! A simple search term and you’ll have plenty of result to choose from. Say for example your website is about sewing, type in “sewing equipment + affiliate program”

affiliate program search


You can see plenty of results to choose from. Check some out, what the commission rates are and the terms and conditions (these vary from program to program).

One of the more popular programs is Amazon, they have thousands of products from almost any niche you can think of. The downsides are the low commission rate and the requirement to make a sale within a certain amount of time.

Once you’ve found a program you want to join there’ll be an application process. Each program is different so I won’t detail that here. If you get stuck at this stage you can ask for help, just contact us.

Some affiliate programs require you to have a lot of content/posts on your site, relevant to the products you want to promote, (see note above). The first time you apply you might get turned down, don’t be disheartened, look at the reasons for refusal, fix and reapply.

You’ve Been Accepted, Now What

Now you’ve been accepted into an affiliate program you’ll have a partnership arrangement. You’ll have access to different kinds of links with your unique id embedded. Some will be text links and some will be images or banners. There will be links for specific products, promotional, general (links to home page) and seasonal.

call to actionYou can choose whether to add your links within an article, for example, if you’re writing a review, as a banner or in the sidebar as a widget. The search engines don’t like too many affiliate links in an article so don’t have them littered everywhere! A well-written article with a clear “call to action” on what you want your visitor to do will give the best results in terms of conversions.

The video below will explain how to add your affiliate links, we’ll use Amazon as an example, but the principles are the same for any program.

Please note that the update to WordPress 4.5 means that adding a link to your text has changed slightly. Once the text is highlighted and you click on the chainlink icon you’ll now see this:

new way of adding links in wordpress

Simply click on the cog to display the familiar dialogue.

Note: Affiliate links are better if they’re “cloaked”, you can see how to do that here


Does this explain affiliate marketing clearly for you? Ask questions if you get stuck, you can use the comment box below or contact us via the contact page.




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