What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing for small businesses

There are several ways to make money online: advertising, selling a product or service, and affiliate marketing. The first two ways are self-explanatory. So, what is the third way?

Affiliate Marketing is difficult to master. But when you do it right, it can prove to be a vital component of your revenue stream.

In Affiliate Marketing, there are four parties involved: The Advertiser, the Publisher, the Consumer, and the Exchange Manager.

The Advertiser has a product or service that he wants consumers to know about. The Advertiser may already be advertising in traditional ways such as online banner ads, print, TV, radio, etc., but he may be looking for other creative ways of reaching his audience. The Publisher has access to his audience through his blog, news website, or app. The Consumer is the person looking to buy the product or use the service that the Advertiser has to offer. The Exchange Manager is the central hub that connects all three parties. There are many Exchange Managers out there. CJ Affiliate by Conversant is the most popular and, in my opinion, the best.

As a Publisher, it's important to keep in mind that you need hundreds of thousands of visitors every month to your blog or website in order to start generating even a few dollars. However, as Advertiser, it's easy to get set up with Affiliate Marketing and start promoting your product or service right away by paying the Exchange Manager a few for getting your product or service in front of the right Consumers.

Free SEO Audit Tool

See how optimized a specific web page, landing page, or blog post is for an exact keyword or phrase

Steven Matt

I am the Director of Digital Marketing at one of the world’s largest financial institutions. I teach Digital Marketing courses to small businesses on behalf of the NYC government and General Assembly in NYC. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelors degree in Communications Design. I have a Masters degree in Management and Technology from New York University. In my spare time, I organize volunteer glass cleanups in NYC parks and I make jewelry out of the broken glass that I and the volunteers collect. I sell the designs at an artisan market in Brooklyn.