What Is Affiliate Marketing In 2021

what is affiliate marketing
what is affiliate marketing

Looking for some cool and easy-to-handle sort of way of earning passive income? Or… roaming about in search of a how-to guide to Affiliate Marketing for beginners? Well, you’ve already landed at your destination.

Making passive income has become thought of every other individual out there today, especially after this pandemic struck us all. And that is surely for many obvious reasons. Everyone is in search of a reliable and sustainable way of making money after this pandemic situation.

The majority of them are looking for some reliable backup that they can fall back on. Passive income is one of the sound ideas that come to mind. Having a consistent passive income source at the back-end has become as important as having a job or a business today. Really? Yes, because no one knows when their job can come to an end or their business goes to a straight fall or at least a loss. Obviously, nobody knows it. Passive income is the only thing that can back them at that moment.

Although there are numerous ways of making passive income, the most famous one in today’s world is Affiliate Marketing. There are a number of reasons why it’s the most favorite way among all others. But let’s just scroll through this article to reach its benefits section to know about that as well. This article is a guide to learn how to do affiliate marketing and what it has to offer.

Here are some key takeaways for you from this article:

  1. What is Affiliate Marketing?
  2. How does it all work?
  3. Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
  4. Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (Getting Started)
  5. Top Affiliate Marketing Programs in 2021

What Affiliate Marketing really is?

As the name already suggests, it’s a type of marketing that can be done by anyone without any marketing cost or investment to be made beforehand. All you need to do is to pick a product you love and start promoting it through various means (maybe even in your own friends’ circle) to get it sold. Once it gets sold, you get a profit on that sale as a reward for your effort. The individuals who do this job are known as Affiliates or Associates. Well, here is a proper definition.

“Affiliate Marketing is the process of picking up a product from a company that has an affiliate program and selling (promoting) it to earn a commission or profit over it.”

Each sale that you make gives you a little chunk of profit in return. Different affiliate programs have different profit margins or affiliate rewards set for their affiliates.

Some of the top affiliate programs include:

  • Amazon Associates
  • Bluehost
  • Hostinger
  • HostGator
  • eBay Partners, etc.

These are some of the prominent ones in the digital world. There are many, however. But before exploring them in detail, it’s important to learn how affiliate marketing actually works.

How does Affiliate Marketing work?

Before we learn how affiliate marketing works and how to do affiliate marketing practices, we need to know about the components or the channels involved in this whole process. There are mainly three components in all types of affiliate marketing campaigns:

1. Product Maker or the Seller

The product maker is the one who actually creates the product. He is the ultimate seller who sets his product to sell through affiliate marketing after the making. The product maker or seller can be a company or a brand in general, that designs a product and throws it into the affiliate market. It sets a profit or return for the affiliate who helps in marketing that product until it gets sold.

As a brand or company, a seller does not necessarily need to be actively participating in the affiliate marketing process. They can, however, profit from the process.

2. Product Associate or the Affiliate

An affiliate or product associate can be an individual or a brand or even a company that serves as a middleman or agent to sell the product. The affiliate is the one who plays an active part in marketing and selling the product of the seller. It solely depends on how the affiliate markets it to attract potential buyers to purchase the product. Each product they sell gives them a fixed amount of profit in return, depending upon the type, nature, and demand or worth of the product.

3. The Customer

The customer is the potential buyer or consumer who buys the product through the affiliate. When a customer buys a product, a fixed percentage or commission that was set on that product is sent to the product affiliate who has marketed the product to a potential buyer.

Let’s now have a clear look at how affiliate marketing works:

  • When someone joins an affiliate program, they are given a unique ID or URL (link) that they use to promote a specific product of that company
  • This link is known as a referral link and is used by the company or affiliate program to track the transactions or purchases made through this link
  • It entirely depends on the affiliate how and where do they market this referral link. It can be in a blog or a YouTube video description or a social media post, etc.
  • Whenever someone purchases a product through that referral link, the affiliate is rewarded with a preset commission on that purchase
  • The affiliate program tracks the purchase process and keeps a record for the affiliate marketer to look back whenever they wish

Types of Affiliate Products

There are numerous types of products that can be promoted through affiliate marketing. Both digital and physical. However, almost all sorts of affiliate products can be put in one of the following three categories:

Physical Products

These include all sorts of products that can be utilized physically. It ranges from appliances to wearables, tools to play products, and much more than that.

Digital Products

Digital products also have a vast market. A digital product can be software, a magazine, web hosting, an ebook, digital art, graphics, etc.

Digital Content

Digital content can also be included in the digital products category. However, it mainly includes paid online courses, online workshops, paid video content, etc.

Why to go for Affiliate Marketing? (The Benefits)

Everyone looks for the benefits of something that they want to step into. Affiliate marketing also has a bunch of benefits that can urge you to dive into this field. Here are some key benefits of affiliate marketing:

  • Cost-effective
  • A great source of passive income
  • Lower risk
  • A flexible and reliable source of income
  • Targeted traffic
  • No cost or qualification is required for joining the program
  • Higher ROI (Return of Investment)

These were just some of the major benefits that one can avail of by stepping into the affiliate marketing sea. If you now desire to step into it, below is a guide on affiliate marketing for beginners. Make sure you go through this step-by-step guide.

How to get started with Affiliate Marketing?

The process is as simple as it does not seem to you! Yes, all you need to do is just follow up on the steps mentioned below in order to know how to do affiliate marketing from scratch:

  1. Choose an affiliate program to join (the following section shows you a list of some really popular affiliate programs in 2021)
  2. Make sure you choose the one that gives you a good commission and is easy to work for
  3. Sign up as an associate or, in simpler words, join that affiliate program by providing all the necessary information they require to approve you as their associate
  4. Now select the product/s you want to promote as an affiliate from that platform. Make sure the product you choose is based on its usage, relevance, significance, commission percentage, and consumer interest
  5. Get your referral link (URL) that you will be using to promote the product on different channels. This link will be used to record your conversions or sales made on that product
  6. After a specific time-frame, withdraw your revenue when received
  7. Choose as many affiliate products as you can to maximize your profit and commissions. However, if it works well with less, no need to overburden the job otherwise the quality or end result may get affected

This was a simple 7 step guide to affiliate marketing for beginners in 2021. You can also use different paid methods like an advertisement, etc. to promote the product you have picked. If you have an audience or some traffic through any source, you can also market your affiliate link there to maximize your gain.

Top Affiliate Marketing Programs in 2021

Although there are numerous affiliate marketing programs on the web nowadays, it’s important to know what the latest and most trendy ones are in 2021 in order to go for the best option in the affiliate market.

Here’s a list of the 20 famous affiliate programs in 2021:

  1. Amazon Associates
  2. Clickbank (World’s #1 CPA Network)
  3. Digistore24
  4. Affiliaxe
  5. ShareASale
  6. Elementor
  7. Bluehost
  8. Hostinger
  9. HostGator
  10. Fiverr Affiliates
  11. NordVPN
  12. Wix
  13. Rakuten Linkshare
  14. Cloudways
  15. SEMRush
  16. NinjaOutreach
  17. ClickFunnels
  18. Binance
  19. Coinbase
  20. SendOwl


All in all, affiliate marketing has proved to be a great way for making passive income especially if you run a blog or a YouTube channel or a social media channel, etc. Even if you’re a layman, you can still join an affiliate program and promote their products on the web. Pinterest is probably the best free platform for beginners or laymen to promote their affiliate products FREE OF COST! Make sure you check that out as well.




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