What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the types of digital marketing based on obtaining results.

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Affiliate marketing is one of the types of digital marketing based on obtaining results.

The advertiser does not pay for impressions or clicks but for the results obtained.

In this case, the websites, called affiliates, are responsible for advertising advertisers by publishing their ads or promotions. They can be company products (a hosting service to host a website) or bloggers (courses for managing social networks, for example).

These affiliates obtain a commission when the user enters their web page and performs the previously determined action. What can be click on a link, fill in a registration form or buy.

One of the keys to this type of strategy is the community. If you have a blog for some time, most likely you already have an audience that follows you. If you have done your job well, with each entry you have generated, you will have gained their trust. That’s where one of the keys to affiliate marketing resides.

But it is not enough with just that. As with any other digital marketing technique, it is very important to clearly define the objectives you want to achieve, the audience you are going to address and the channel you are going to use.

Affiliate marketing is beneficial both for the advertiser, who only pays if results are produced, and for affiliates, who must focus on directing traffic to the advertiser and charging if actions and results are produced.

The basic pillars of affiliate marketing

There are a number of factors that have a powerful impact on the effectiveness of an affiliate marketing campaign. These are some of the most important:

1.- Relevance

The main thing is that the products or services that promotions really adapt to the interests of your readers. If you write about gadgets it does not make much sense that black leg hams promotions.

And be careful. If your blog becomes a meaningless bazaar you run the risk of losing many readers.

2.- Try it first

Before buying a product, what do you do? The usual thing is that you search forums for the opinion of other users. If you are going to promote a product, it is best to first try it yourself to give an opinion in the first person. Nobody will buy something just because you say buy it. Unless you are persuasive.

If your intention is to recommend a payment plugin for WordPress, it is best to try it before, make captures and publish them in your post. This will give you more credibility, generate confidence and your readers will be more receptive to your message.

3.- Solve problems

If you want those who read your ticket to buy the product or service you are talking about, focus on promoting those that provide solutions. There are many people, for example, who are looking for plugins to have their website in different languages. It is a problem for which they are looking for a solution. Offer it.

4.- Versatile product

When it comes to promoting a product, try to find information easily. Do not focus on just being interesting for your niche. Make your life easier when creating content, and opt for products that have a lot of information. This will also allow you to write different posts about the same product.

Another factor to keep in mind is that you can add accessories to the product you are going to promote. It is a very interesting option because it will allow you to create different related entries.

5.- Natural link

The era of large and striking banners with the claim of this or that product is history. After awakening curiosity and the desire to buy the product or service, the best way to guide readers to promotional content is a link in the text. It is one of the types of affiliate marketing that work best. Probably because of its simplicity. And because it is inserted into a content of value for the user.

6.- Honesty

When writing about a product or service you must be honest and do not hide that the sales report a commission. Nor is it about you shouting it to the four winds. If you are honest with the reader and he perceives that you are not looking to ‘put a goal’, he will still trust you even though he knows that you take that commission.

What can be promoted with affiliate marketing?

Now that you have some clear concepts, it is time to choose the product to promote. Which is the most appropriate? An easy way to know what kind of products are the most interesting to people is to go to the best known e-commerce.

In the case of Amazon, the giant of online commerce, you can see that it is as simple as clicking on “All departments” and then on “Best selling products”. Depending on the type of product you are interested in, you can navigate through the different categories.

The type of product you choose is critical to the success of an affiliate marketing campaign.

Affiliation marketing emerged in 1996 when Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, devised a way to link the web pages of other sellers and that they get a commission for each book sold on Amazon and referred through the other merchant’s website.

6 categories of affiliate marketing have been identified:

1.- Web pages: Consists of pages focused on specific content that may interest advertisers of products that have to do with those contents. The web pages advertise the products and get a commission for each registration or sale achieved.

2.- Cash back and sites that share their income with users: In this case, there is a database of registered users with which commissions are shared for the actions obtained. Users make purchases through the affiliation platform and receive a percentage return. There are three differentiated types in this affiliation format:

  • Distribution of money commissions directly.
  • Those that assign points that can be exchanged for objects or services.
  • Those that offer a discount or special promotion for the determined action to be carried out.

3.- Affiliates that work in search engines (Pay per click, PPC): In this case the affiliates provide qualified traffic to the merchants by buying words or phrases in search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

4.- Databases of E-mail marketing: Consists of the transfer of data of registered users who are interested in an issue related to the product offered by the merchant. The advertiser must know well the specific public and the type of client so that the affiliate can better use their database. The most used type of commission is the cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

5.- Co-registration data bases: Users who are interested in the products or services of several companies can subscribe to an affiliate’s newsletter. The user expressly consents that their data may be sent to an advertiser of a specific sector for which the user has an interest.

6.- Affiliation networks: Affiliation networks emerge to regulate relations between advertisers and affiliates. These networks act as intermediaries between thousands of advertisers and affiliates as well as providing the tools for tracking sales directed from an affiliate’s page.

Advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing

Like any type of digital marketing, affiliate marketing has its benefits for both advertisers and media. But there are also disadvantages when it comes to using this discipline.


The main advantage, from the point of view of the online medium, is that you do not have to create any product or design a service. In addition, you should not worry about giving support to customers either. All this will be the responsibility of the company to which you derive the traffic.

On the other hand, if you are a brand that seeks affiliates, one of the main advantages that you will have is that the sales of your company can grow with an economic investment thanks to external people. It is not a fixed cost and, what is more interesting, it can help you to get brand ambassadors.

On the other hand, with affiliate marketing it is also possible to reach the audience that really interests you. What becomes a greater return. This will be so as long as you take special care of the media in which your brand will appear.


From the point of view of the digital space, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that you should not abuse affiliate marketing. You have to take care of the number of times you use this marketing technique because the interest of your followers can vanish if they perceive that you only want to sell them products.

It is also important to understand that you can not relax. It is necessary to put the same effort that if you were selling a product of your own, since your mission is to push your readers to buy the product on which you write.

Another drawback is that customers who fall into your networks are for your affiliates, so you can not use remarketing to refer them to that or other products.


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