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All you need to know about Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is being popularized as the new goldmine. Tons of people are venturing into it, young people and old people alike. It has been praised as a “ million-making business from which you can make six figures in a week”. But what is affiliate marketing, and how exactly can you make six figures in a week from it? These questions and more, are what this article seeks to answer. Here’s a breakdown of all you need to know about affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing refers to a marketing role played by a third-party agent, to attract paying customers to patronize a company’s products or services. These agents are called affiliate marketers and receive a commission from the company for every successful sale they make. Affiliate marketers are actively involved in promoting the brand through advertisements, campaigns, and other forms of digital marketing. However, they are not full-time employees of the company and work based on contracts.

Who can do Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be done in several forms and by anyone in any profession. A blogger who is an affiliate of a brand can include links to the brand’s products or services in his blog posts and newsletters. Social media influencers can also be affiliated with brands that they can promote through their videos, and earn commissions for every patronage. An affiliate marketer’s major tool is the digital space. Anybody could be an affiliate marketer, as long as they know how to leverage their network. It could be a lucrative side hustle or a profitable full-time job.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are three types of affiliate marketing. The type practiced depends on the agreement between the brand and the affiliate marketer. They include:

1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing

In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate has no previous connection with the company, nor any history of patronizing their products or services. The affiliate has no related skills, and may not be able to give expert advice regarding the product or service because it belongs to an entirely different niche. The contract is solely an agreement to promote the product for a fee, with no attached discounts or freebies for the affiliate. A perfect example is a software engineer working as an affiliate marketer for a beauty brand.

2. Related Affiliate Marketing

This type is done for products in the same niche as the affiliate marketer. A typical example is if our case study software engineer becomes an affiliate marketer for a brand that trades digital tools and software. Now, the software engineer has enough expertise to offer professional advice on the right digital tools and software to invest in to attend to different needs.

3. Involved Affiliate Marketing

Social media influencers and brand ambassadors are the people who engage in this kind of affiliate contract the most. In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate marketer has a first-hand experience with the product or service through direct patronage. He now serves as a testifier of the product’s credibility to the public. People buy the company’s product through his link, based on his good recommendation.

 A typical example of this type of affiliate marketing is a food blogger who becomes a brand ambassador for a fast-food chain. The offer may also come along with the benefit of free products and access to the company’s services at a discount price.

The only danger to this kind of affiliate is that he will be accountable for his recommendation.

How does Affiliate Marketing work?

The affiliate marketer is given a unique link by the company or brand who they work with. This link enables the brand to trace a sale back to the particular affiliate marketer who influenced it. The contract agreement signed by the affiliate marketer would state the percentage commission that he would be paid by the brand for every sale. This percentage varies based on the company and the speed of lead generation of the affiliate marketer.

There are also several affiliate marketing platforms like Expertnaire and NormsDigi Store which serve as middlemen between companies and affiliates, for those who may not get affiliate offers from companies directly. Affiliate marketers usually build their careers on these platforms, before they can get direct offers from interested companies and brands.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is popular because it does not require any capital to start up. With affiliate marketing, all you need is a website and a large network. Other benefits include:

Opportunity to freelance

 Unlike a regular sales representative or brand marketer, affiliate marketers can promote products from several companies and earn commissions from all of them.

You earn from every sale.

Affiliate marketers earn a commission from every sale. As long as the affiliate link is still viable, if 20 people purchase the company’s product from your link, you get paid for all twenty sales. Affiliate links only last for a few hours.

Gifts and discounts

For affiliates who function as brand ambassadors, the company gives them gifts or access to discounts on the company’s services.

Low cost of advertising and a wider reach

Companies also benefit from patronizing affiliates. They benefit from the creative marketing efforts of the affiliate marketer and reach a wider audience leveraging his network.

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

Just like affiliate marketing has its perks, affiliate marketers also face a few challenges. They include:

  1. Affiliate marketers often fall into the hands of scammers at the beginning of their careers.
  2. The affiliate marketer bears all costs of advertisement.

Skills required to be a Successful Affiliate Marketer Include:

  1. Copywriting
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Good verbal and written communication skills.
  4. Interpersonal relation skills.
  5. Social listening skills.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer

  1. Acquire the required skills. 
  2. Register with an affiliate marketing platform
  3. Choose a niche and focus on it.
  4. Start a blog by creating a website, or a YouTube channel.
  5. Share relevant content on your social media.
  6. Build a personal brand
  7. Leverage your network
  8. Organize e-campaigns for advertisement, and run paid ads to drive more traffic to your site.
  9. Add affiliate links to your sites.

How much do Affiliate Marketers Make?

The average affiliate marketer in Nigeria earns at least NGN500,000 monthly from commissions. High-level affiliates are said to earn up to NGN50,000 from commissions in a day.

High-level affiliates are affiliate marketers who have gained a lot of experience in the field and engage in the business full-time. They spend a lot of money to drive traffic to their sites via paid ads and advertisement campaigns.


Imagine a business that you can start with no capital and no degrees, and earn up to six figures in your first week. Imagine being able to take vacations and sleep in late with peace of mind, because you have a business up and running that lets you earn money while you sleep.

Well, affiliate marketing can be all that for you. However it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and you may not hit six figures in your first week or even your first month, but you will make a lot of money. It takes diligence, commitment, and the right level of consistency to grow in this field and make a career out of it.

I hope you found this insightful.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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