Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing venture between two businesses. It involves a business earning commission for sending new customers.

For example, let's say you're running a company that specializes in shoes. But maybe your customers have asked you about handbags, so you recommend another handbag company. This deal can be finalized by affiliate marketing, and you can earn a commission as you're acting as a marketer for the handbag company and fully satisfying customers.

Affiliate marketing is popularly done by having your affiliate host your ad on their website. The affiliate benefits by being paid to host your ad, and your business benefits by acquiring potential new customers.

If this is your first affiliate program, you may want to consider working with an affiliate network. They connect advertisers and publishers who can drive traffic to your website. Affiliates also feel comfortable working with networks, due to confidence in tracking methods and timely payment methods.

Managing your affiliate program

Successful affiliate programs require serious time and commitment. Managing your program involves many ongoing tasks such as recruiting, launching new promotions, managing creatives, reviewing applicants, newsletters and a lot more.

There are several options to help you manage all these tasks:

  • In-house: You can run it yourself or have another staff member manage it. Just be sure to dedicate an adequate amount of time and effort to effectively manage the program in order to get the results you are looking for.
  • Networks: All major affiliate networks offer the option of managing the program for you. It can be a costly but effective way since the team would be experienced in these tasks.
  • Outsourced: You can also opt to work with an outsourced program manager (OPM), which offers industry experience and might also be less expensive than network management.

Promoting your affiliate program

Once your program is set up, the next step is affiliate recruiting, which is an ongoing task and should never end. Your affiliates and fans of your brand should be aware that your program exists. Here are some simple and low-cost ways to promote your affiliate program:

  • Your website
  • Company email newsletters to your email lists
  • Your company blog
  • Your social media pages
  • Affiliate forums
  • A newsletter to your affiliates, containing latest affiliate links, new products or services, ideas, contests, incentives, etc.


Affiliate marketing is a great way to grow your business. It can be time-consuming, but it's worth it in the long run. It is important to be sure to attract only quality affiliates to avoid fraud. In affiliate marketing, quality is as important as quantity.

Affiliate programs are appealing to advertisers as there is no loss involved. It is entirely based on "pay per performance," as advertisers pay for incremental sales only.

There is a lot more to learn about affiliate marketing, but the above is a good starting point to show how affiliate marketing can deliver increased traffic and sales.