Affiliate Marketing’s Digital Media Advertising Revenue

Affiliate marketing

Today we will take a very quick look at the Affiliate Marketing Business Model.

More than 10% of the entire global digital media advertising revenue, which was roughly about 496.08 Billion dollars in 2018 was earned by the Affiliate Marketing industry.

Those are truly awesome numbers and also a good indicator that this type of marketing is only growing from strength to strength, and is here for the long term..

Read on for a real quick look at this business model and how it can better your life.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are a lot of definitions out there as to exactly what is meant by the term Affiliate Marketing,

I like to think of Affiliate Marketing as:

A method of advertising that allows a third-party to earn an income by promoting the goods or services of a partner company.

Affiliate Marketing Business Model

Using online and also offline promotional methods intended to drive customers(AKA traffic) to the company for the purpose of purchasing products.

At which time the third-party person or business (the affiliate marketer) receives a small percentage of the earnings the company receives from each sale generated.

As a commission for the part they played in helping the buyer find the products or services that they needed.

The Business Model


It can be said then that the Affiliate Marketing Business Model is based on a kind of partnership.  A partnership between the affiliate and the business who’s products or services they promote.

We could even take it a little further and call it a tripartite partnership.  For this we involve the customer as well.  So all 3 parties benefit from each completed affiliate sale.

The customer benefits from obtaining the product or service that they wanted.  The affiliate merchant earns their portion of the profits from each affiliate sale, and one successful affiliate marketer earns them self that affiliate commission.

At this point we’ve taken a quick look at the affiliate marketing business model in terms of it’s global market share and a very basic definition of what Affiliate Marketing is.  Now let’s look briefly at how it works.

How Does It Work?

For the Affiliate Marketing Business Model to work the following components have to be in place.

An Affiliate Merchant

The Affiliate Merchant is basically the company that is providing the products that the marketers are going to promote.

The merchant may choose to run their affiliate program in-house or choose to outsource the tracking and other administration to a third party affiliate network such as the Share A Sale network.

Some of the top ranked Affiliate Merchant programs include:

Amazon Affiliates

This is the affiliate program of which is currently the world’s largest online retailer.  Amazon’s program is available for website owners and bloggers to join.

For new affiliates there is a requirement to generate 3 affiliate sales over a 6 month probationary period in order to be fully accepted into the program.

Target Affiliates also offers a good affiliate program, and while the selection of products you can promote isn’t as massive as that of the largest retailer, the affiliate program still manages to provide a very decent array of affiliate products for marketers to promote. Affiliate Outpost - Target Affiliate program

Walmart Affiliates

Yes Walmart is actually an affiliate merchant too.  The Walmart affiliate marketing program has a huge array of the products you know and love from the Walmart Supercentres around the world.

Affiliate Marketers

These are the driving force behind the marketing of the affiliate products that the merchant has on offer.

Sometimes referred to as Affiliate Marketing Publishers, these are the people whose job it is to showcase the affiliate products and drive targeted traffic to the merchants websites for the purpose of generating sales.

The Customer

As we continue with our quick look at the Affiliate Marketing Business Model we must also mention this group as one of the components of affiliate marketing.

This component grouping is the most important one for the success of the business model.  As the saying goes.  No customer, no business.  No job.

In the case of affiliate marketing it is.  No customer, no affiliate business, because the simple fact is that without a customer there cannot be a product or service business.

So the customer is the most important part of the equation for this business model.

The most obvious benefits of this business model

The basic benefit of affiliate marketing from the point of view of the marketer is the ability to earn money from the sale of a product that they did not have to create themselves.

Therefore the affiliate earns money from the sale of products without having to find lots of money in order to start an online business. Or an offline afflilate marketing business if they decide to work offline.

For the Merchant, the most obvious benefit is the fact that they are able to broaden their market reach using this method as they benefit from the additional reach of their partner affiliate marketers.

They also will not need to spend quite as much time or spend as much money in their own efforts to find customers for their products or services.

Putting them all together

Once we have all the components in place the affiliate marketing business model is able to work as intended.  As mentioned before some companies will incorporate another component to manage the administrative aspects of their Affiliate Marketing program.

The component i refer to here are the Affiliate Marketing Networks.

Here is a quick step-by-step illustration of the Affiliate Marketing Sales Process

Step 1 – The Merchant produces the products that they intend to put into their affiliate program,  Or in the case of some merchants the product is procured from manufacturers and placed into inventory for sale via the affiliate program.  Or the merchant joins an Affiliate network.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

Step 2 – Prospective publishers apply to become a part of the Affiliate marketing program.  The Merchant or Affiliate Network reviews the applications for access to the program and decides on which applications to accept.

Step 3 – Successful applicants choose products they would like to promote from the merchants products, then select from available promotional materials for those products such as banners and text links.

Step 4 – These publishers then go on to write high quality content on their blog or website regarding the product they want to promote.  They can also use the promotional banners and text links etc. that were downloaded beforehand.

As well as doing affiliate product promotions on Social Media, etc.

For those affiliates who opt not to market online, they can promote products via  offline promotional methods such as business cards, flyers, posters and classified ads in the newspapers.

Step 5 – Prospective customers see the promotional material.  Whether by visiting a website, or a blog.  Or viewing some form of promotional content offline.  Some of this traffic will go on to make a purchase from the merchant.

The purchased affiliate product gets shipped off to the customer once payment is made

Because the sale is resulting from the efforts of one successful affiliate marketer.  This person will be eligible to be paid a commission from that sale by the merchant.

Who can become an Affiliate Marketer

Basically anyone can become an affiliate marketer.   There doesn’t seem to be a defined minimum age requirement to do so.

There are no educational requirements and in most cases you don’t need to be located in any specific location on the globe to get involved in affiliate marketing.

Starting a business in this area also doesn’t require one to have lots of money, or in fact any money at all to get started.

However if you are going to be doing this business online it is wise to have at least a basic knowledge of computers and the internet.  Also a good computer and internet connection.

Fast affiliate marketing

Once you have these tools you can sign up here to learn everything there is to know about affiliate marketing and earning money online.

Will you need a website?

While most affiliates use a blog or other website to do their marketing.  It certainly doesn’t mean that without a website you cannot become an affiliate yourself.

If you are serious about getting started as an affiliate marketer then there are methods that you can use to promote the affiliate products you choose to.

Here are a few ideas that you could use for your promotions.

Posting in forums

This is a quick and simple method that you can use for your promotions.  To do this you join some forums.  Then start posting interesting content to these forums.  Make sure to include your affiliate link and a few words in your signature.

Create a Youtube channel and post about your products

With Youtube’s simply massive poential audience this could turn out to be a very good affiliate promotion method for affiliate marketing without a website.

Promote with Social Media

Yes social media can be used for affiliate promotions too.

To take advantage of affiliate marketing on social media you need to create short affiliate marketing social media posts and place them on your Facebook feed, in Facebook groups and use them as Twitter tweets.

Make sure to include your affiliate link in your posts or tweets.

For Instagram you can place your affiliate link in your profile description and post pictures of the products you want to promote.

Categories: BLOG


Anna · at 2:30

Great post, Don! I am new to the affiliate marketing scene and your post really explained the basics quite nicely. I really like how startup costs are low, like you mentioned, we just promote a product that already exists, no need for lots of money to start an online business. I think affiliate marketing offers a lot of potential to earn some money on the side if done right. 

Thanks for the info!

    Don · at 9:25

    You definitely have gotten the concept of Affiliate marketing Anna. I’m happy that i have been able to help you understand what it’s all about.

safia · at 2:12

Hello friend,  

To be honest, I never get any commission before I have my website. I believe those who ignore having a website, just work for free for others and are wasting their time.

For affiliate marketing to be done right, it needs a lot of content/writing even if you do videos (still needs a written draft). Having a website will save you time and traffic. I have to say that a website is yours completely but the forms, social media (youtube…..) is not and your account could be switched off without you being able to do anything!

All the best

    Don · at 9:23

    You are so right Safia. Your website is your own little piece of internet real estate. Happy that you liked my quick look at the Affiliate marketing model.

Benny · at 10:44

Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. i have been across many training platforms and non of could explain what you just did in a single page. my interest in affiliate marketing was depleted because of misinformation. but that has changed now thanks to you

    Don · at 9:21

    Glad you’ve rekindled your interest.

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