What is Affiliate Marketing and How it Works – Turn your Passion into Profit

Hi, Brad Morgan here. This page provides answers to common questions I get about affiliate marketing:

  1. Will I be selling a product? If so, who provides the product?
  2. What will it cost me (in time and money)?
  3. What should my Affiliate Business be about?

Epic Affiliate Marketing Training: Wealthy Affiliate Review
Get Brad’s Book: PURR Passive Income Power™ (USD $7)
Brad’s Niches: 659 Profitable Niche Markets (free eBook)

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You will also see on this page real life examples from my affiliate marketing business, like the featured images seen here and below.

E.g. Click the image above or go here to get my free PDF eBook and mini-course.

  • no need to create or source a product of your own to sell
  • no need to collect payments online, you get paid commission
  • no customer issues, the merchants you promote do all that
  • earn automated passive income with easy to create affiliate marketing websites/blogs that never sleep, so you can

1. Will I be selling a product? If so, who provides the product?

Affiliate marketing is about promoting products as an affiliate for some of the most well known and respected companies online, as well as many less well-known companies (which are often far more profitable to promote).

Here is one example of how it works:

You can signup for the Amazon Associates Program and promote any product you like on Amazon for a commission.

It is completely free to signup for affiliate marketing programs like the Amazon Associates Program. Most companies have an affiliate program these days.

In affiliate marketing jargon, they are the “merchant”, and you are the “affiliate”.

In true “all roads lead to Rome” fashion, the affiliate marketing merchants would like to see every website on the internet promoting them. Having an affiliate program gets them closer to achieving that goal.

That’s also why affiliate marketing programs are getting better for website owners all the time. The various merchants are competing to get you to promote their products over their competition.

Affiliate marketing merchants will sometimes offer recurring commissions for monthly subscription products. That means you get paid every month for as long as your referral remains in that merchants monthly program.

This can result in a cumulative effect to your efforts month over month, as you begin to recieve affiliate marketing commissions from old customers you referred and new ones. Needless to say, those are the kind of affiliate programs I prefer.

Disclaimer: Results can vary from person to person. There is no guarantee you will make money or achieve any kind of specific result using the information presented here.

You will learn about the best recurring commission affiliate program I know of in my “659 Profitable Niche Markets” PDF guide book.

That affiliate marketing program is for a membership site you can join for free, and has an option to upgrade to premium. The membership site teaches affiliate marketing, and is in itself a dream affiliate program to be part of. (You must be a free or paid member to promote it and receive the recurring commissions).

Affiliate Marketing is the way that most people get started in online business. Why? You don’t have to worry about:

  • creating or sourcing a product of your own
  • collecting payments from customers
  • spending time on customer service

That is how affiliate marketing works in a nutshell.

Okay, so how do you actually do this? The merchants you choose to promote will give you special affiliate links to place on your website, or whatever method(s) you use to promote your affiliate marketing business (e.g. social media, email newsletter etc.) When people click on your affiliate link and buy something from the merchant, you earn a commission.

That’s the most basic approach. By requesting my free guide and mini-course, you will learn more advanced strategies also, including how to create an affiliate marketing website quickly.

The merchant wins, you win, and your website visitor wins because you have just helped them solve a problem or make a decision on the best product for their situation.

This is why people sometimes say you can earn money online while you sleep. A website or blog is the most basic form of online automation. It is awake even when you aren’t …

… and making a sale requires no direct input from you once your website is setup and attracting visitors. This is the essence of earning “passive income” online.

This is also what people are talking about when they say you can create more freedom in your life with an online business …

… because when you promote products as an affiliate, the merchant (e.g. Amazon) does all the selling, takes care of all the customer service, and sends you your commissions like clockwork.

Your affiliate marketing commissions can arrive in a variety of ways based on your preference, and the options offered by each merchant. The most common ways to get paid are by physical checks, direct deposit in your bank account, or via Paypal.

Disclaimer: Results can vary from person to person. There is no guarantee you will make money or achieve any kind of specific result using the information presented here.

2. What will it cost me (in time and money)?

fbgirllaptop300On the money side, the costs to start an affiliate marketing business are ridiculously low compared to starting other kinds of businesses.

In fact, in my free guide you will learn about a way you can try this out completely free (by creating your first website as a “sub-domain” on another large website) …

… it is much easier than it sounds. The setup is automated (it can be done in under a minute). This is a fully functional website with no costs of any kind. It is a great way to test the waters for yourself.

However, to have a “real” viable affiliate marketing business you will want your own domain name eventually (e.g. for the website you are on now, the domain name is purrpassiveincome.com). This costs around $10 to $15 per year, depending on where you register it.

You will also need website hosting. This is often included if you signup for certain training programs.

However, if you go it alone then good website hosting is typically around $5 to $7 per month. In many cases the hosting companies offer a free domain name. In that case the hosting cost would be your only cost.

Other than that, any other affiliate marketing costs would be optional. With a website you can publish pages with your affiliate marketing links and attract visitors for free from search engines like Google (no advertising costs).

On the time side, this is where the trade-offs begin. If you restrict your “money costs” to those mentioned above, then you will spend more of your own personal time to make progress with your affiliate marketing business.

If you have more time than money, this is a good approach. You can do this in your spare time and enjoy watching the process unfold.

However, if you have some money to invest, you can accelerate your progress. You can invest in affiliate marketing training, in more sophisticated automation tools, in outsourcing some of the work to others etc.

Again, these costs are ridiculously low compared to the startup costs of other kinds of businesses.

In the end, how much you spend in time or money on your affiliate marketing business is completely up to you.

3. What should my Affiliate Business be about?

get my free affiliate marketing guideNow this is where my free guide book can really help you a lot. It is the ultimate brainstorming tool.

There may be many things you are passionate about, but only a few may have real potential for significant online profits.

There may be things you could become passionate about as you learn more about them, and the profit potential that comes with them.

The subject areas to consider for an affiliate marketing business are referred to as niche markets.

What is a niche market? A niche market is nothing more than a group of people interested in a particular thing. You yourself belong to many niche markets related to everything you are interested in at this point in your life.

Success with an online affiliate marketing business is strongly tied to picking a profitable niche market to focus on. Getting it right from the beginning can save you a lot of time and trouble learning things the hard way.

Please leave your questions or thoughts on affiliate marketing in the comments below. Let’s work on this page together to make it as helpful as possible for everyone …

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5 comments… add one
  • Helen Tran

    Very well explained.
    Thank you.

  • Mark Guthrie

    I recently joined wealthy affiliate and plan on going premium. I plan on doing affiliate boot camp and branch out into other niches etc. as I become successful. I am currently reading your book on passive income streams and find it helpful. I still need to read 659 niche markets.

    • PurrAdmin

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks so much for that update and feedback, I really appreciate it. I wish you the best as you move forward with your affiliate marketing plans.


  • Susan Dalton

    Very informative article.

  • Lauris Guptill

    Very helpful information. Just researching at this time but expect to take action very soon. Thanks !!

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