Making Money On The Road

Affiliate Marketing: What Is It?

Affiliate Marketing Cycle

Affiliate Marketing Vs Traditional Advertising

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve the way they advertise. Let’s face it. A business will not last long if they do not sell their products or services. No one will even know they have products or services for sale if they don’t advertise.

The problem is advertising is expensive. Both small (and large) businesses are always looking for ways to get more bang for their buck. With the costs of traditional advertising skyrocketing and results varying widely, affiliate marketing has become more attractive to more and more businesses.

So How Does It Work?

We have already established that any business whether it sells a physical product, digital product, or service needs to advertise. They can have the best product or service in the world but if no one knows about it you will never sell it.

So How Do They Get Their Product/Service In Front Of People?

Ah, that’s the age-old million-dollar question. The traditional thoughts were to invest a huge chunk of money into a TV or newspaper ad and hope that someone will see it and buy their product or service.

TV Commercials

Let’s take a look at TV commercials. The problem with them is most people today can’t be bothered. They either mute the commercials or use that as a perfect time to use the bathroom or get a snack. Also, with today’s technology, you can record a show and play it back later with the ability to fast forward past the commercials. So how many people are actually seeing the ads?

The Other Problem

The other problem with advertisements like that is that everyone is seeing everything. What I mean by that is you may be watching a show and then a commercial about dog food comes on. If you don’t own a dog you are obviously not going to be interested in dog food. Therefore that business owner is paying for people to watch their ads that have no use for the product.


A business can try a local newspaper but like TV commercials they can’t narrow in on their target audience. A good portion of the people that are reading the paper or magazine has absolutely no interest in what a business might be selling so they just turn the page or tap the screen to bypass the ad and go on to the next article. It’s not an efficient way to get their ad in front of their target audience. Again, not too many people are actually putting eyeballs on the ad.

PPC Or Pay Per Click

PPC is another way a business can advertise. It’s a little more targeted to people that may be interested in the product as it is based on keyword searches so at least they know someone is interested in their product or service because they are searching for it. The ad would pop up on different social media outlets or search engines. If someone clicks on the ad/link the business pays. It does not matter if they buy anything or not. The business pays for the number of clicks on the ad not the number of actual purchases.

Smart Use Of Your Cash?

With all 3 of the methods I talked about above, you need to pay for the ad space whether people actually see it or not or buy something or not. That is not a very efficient way to spend your advertising budget especially if you are a start-up or small business and have a small advertising budget.

What Other Options Are There?

There is another way for businesses to get their product out there and it won’t cost them any money unless someone actually buys their product!!! What? You read that correctly. They can advertise for free. They don’t pay anything unless their product sells!!! This is where you come in.

What Is This Called?

It’s called affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, a business doesn’t pay any advertising fees unless someone buys their product. Let me explain how this works.

How Does This Work?

The first thing you need to know is there are millions if not billions of websites and blogs on the world wide web. In today’s society, you can virtually look up anything you want information on and find websites that have the answer. Keep that in mind as I continue.

You Want To Sell A Product

Let’s say a business owner is trying to sell a product. Let’s say for argument’s sake they are selling baseballs. They feel they make the best baseballs in the world and they can back that up with tons of research. Ok, what now?

Use Traditional Methods

They could use one of the methods I discussed earlier and lay out a bunch of cash and HOPE someone sees their ad. If someone does see it, they hope that person buys their product. Whether they do or not, the business pays for that advertising.


They could reach out to any website owners or bloggers (that would be you) that talk/write about baseball. Now they can contact them and ask them to put an ad and/or an article with links that lead to their site featuring their baseballs. They would supply you with a link or banner that when clicked would take that prospective customer to their website featuring their products and/or services. 

Click The Ad From Your Article

Everyone that is reading that article on your website and/or blog will now see their ad/link. Here is the difference though. If someone reads their ad and/or clicks on the link from your website but does not buy anything, the business owner just got some FREE exposure and pays nothing for that. It does not hurt you in any way because they are still reading your article. 


If someone goes to your website and clicks on the link to the ad you placed in your article and winds up buying something (like baseballs…lol), you get paid!!! It’s a win/win for everyone involved. So what actually happened here? 

  • You wrote an article that you were going to write anyway and placed an ad within that article or on that page
  • Someone reads your article and winds up clicking on the link
  • They buy the product
  • You get paid!!

It’s A Win/Win

The business makes money on the sale of their product/service and in return pays you, website owner/blogger, a small percentage of the cost for the lead. The consumer pays the same price for the baseball that he would have paid if he went directly to the website. See how it’s a win/win situation for everyone involved?

Continuing To Grow

Affiliate marketing has grown over the years and continues to grow. New programs are popping up every day. Companies are starting to realize this method of advertising reaches many more targeted customers than newspapers, magazines, or TV ever could.

Final Thoughts

With the incurrence of the COVID-19 virus, life as we used to know it will never be the same. Businesses will need to find more targeted, cost-effective, and innovative ways to market and sell their products. For them, affiliate marketing makes sense.

There were already a lot of people that purchase merchandise and services online already. The people that thought about purchasing online but were on the fence or even the ones that were dead set against it will now be rethinking their ways.

If you think this might be a good way to make money (and it is) check out our article on creating a website.

If you have any questions on affiliate marketing leave them in the comments below

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