How Affiliate Marketing Works Today

Affiliate marketing works for people willing to learn and focus. I will share some secrets that super affiliates use, so you can join their ranks and start earning the big bucks. After all, affiliate marketing is one of the great ways to make money online.

Here's why:

  • You do not need to create or stock products
  • You do not need to process orders or refunds
  • You do not need to do product support
  • You do not need to write sales copy or create sales videos

How Affiliate Marketing Works


Affiliate marketing is nothing more than sending people to a web page. The vendor's sales page makes a sale, and the vendor sends you a commission.

The following diagram shows how affiliate marketing works. Briefly, a shopper sees your promotional material, follows a link to the vendor sales page, reads the sales copy, orders and pays for the product. The vendor receives the order and payment, ships the product to the customer, and sends you, the affiliate, your commission. (Commissions accrue and paid periodically.)

Once you figure out how to do it right, repeat with other products and services in your niche.

The problem is, about 90% of affiliates struggle to earn any meaningful money. The bottom line is affiliate marketing works when the affiliate marketer works.

The top affiliates may know some secrets that you don't. I will share those secrets with you now.

Focus on ‘Evergreen’ Products in Evergreen Niches

An evergreen niche is one that people will be buying products and services now and into the future. In other words, avoid fads and trendy things. 

In case you're wondering, 

The Internet Marketing (IM) niche is one of the best niches in the world because it is evergreen. People are always looking for ways to make more money. And they want to know about ways to promote their online businesses.


There is a downside to the IM niche. Scammers promote get-rich-quick schemes knowing that people are desperate for more money. Scammers also promote "done-for-you" (DFY) businesses that can make money quickly.

The DFY business pitch usually starts by telling you an average guy found a "secret" hack or created a system that made lots of money. And now the "average guy" wants to share his wealth-creating system with the world at a considerably reduced price.

People buy into the "good deal" only to find that there are upgrades (upsells) to the system to make money more accessible and faster. The scammer's underlying assumption that if a person buys the low-priced product, they may be willing to buy a more expensive upsell or two or three.

Affiliate marketing evergreen products

Moving new products into the marketplace.

Fads and trendy things regardless of the niche are not evergreen. It is here today, gone tomorrow. Once it is gone, the affiliate marketer needs to find another product or service to promote.

When you choose a niche where people are purchasing products every day, you can be in it for the long haul.

Focus on Recurring Products or Services

Have you ever seen products that have a recurring nature? These let you get paid over and over from a single sale — for example, monthly memberships (your local gym or web hosting services). 

I have promoted membership products and web services earning more than $500 from a single customer over a multi-year period. It is not as hard as you may think. Build up enough of those customers, and you have an excellent recurring revenue source.

People building online businesses are happy to pay fair prices for needed products — for example, Internet marketers use email marketing services like ConvertKit.

Moreover, beginners, as well as experienced people, want affiliate marketing training. So help them with useful information to help them make educated decisions. 

Information will benefit them and you over the long-term. Not all products you and I buy and use are recurring purchases as some are one-and-done. However, when you find the right product, it is prudent to share with your readers and customers.

There is nothing better than monthly commissions.

Build Your Opt-in Email List

If you been around long enough, you have heard it over and over. You need a list! Moreover, most new affiliate marketers skip past this step so they can get commissions faster.

However, it is a mistake.

Here is why.

Affiliate marketing works with email marketing

Communicating with readers.

Focusing on building an opt-in list helps build a permanent resource for future sales. Every time you promote an affiliate product you can send your offer to past customers.

For example, in my case, I bought a book titled, "Insider Internet Marketing" in 2003. To this day, I am still a customer buying IM products from the book's author. (He should send me a gift on my birthday!)

If you helped your customers throughout the years, they would remain loyal customers. Loyal customers convert far better than cold traffic that has no trust in you.

I know growing an opt-in list can be slow and tedious. However, it is worth the effort. If you need help, read this tutorial on list building. It will give you some more insider secrets that super affiliates use.

Do Not Use Vendor's Promotional Material

Most affiliate marketers make the mistake of using the vendor's pre-made promotional material, which is advertising the vendor creates for its affiliates.

The vendor creates promotional material for purposes of branding and control. It is not that they are control freaks. However, excessive hyperbole can get vendors into trouble with the government — for example, unsubstantiated claims of overnight riches or health claims.

Consequently, vendors may require prior approval before affiliate-developed promotional material is used. It is best to check the vendor affiliate Terms of Service.

The affiliate marketer's problem is trying to differentiate themselves from all the others. When affiliates use the same material, they tend to use the corresponding keywords, promos, and banners. It is like trying to find a specific tree in a forest. As a result, this dilutes effects.

Affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketers, like a forest, are often difficult to tell apart.

Super affiliates take time to develop their promotional material, The material may include their email promotions, keyword lists, and product reviews. Affiliate-developed promotional material helps them stand apart.

Not only that,

Their product reviews, for example, get better search engine ranking. In turn, this leads to more exposure for their affiliate links and more commissions.

I recognize that not everyone has time when affiliate marketing is their side hustle if you want to use this method but lack the time or expertise to create your material.

Check this out, This link is a super-affiliate kit for ten top selling affiliate products in 10 evergreen niches.

It comes complete with review videos, keywords and more. Plus, there are recurring elements built into many of the products so you can earn recurring income from your efforts.

Affiliate Marketing Works Conclusion

Affiliate marketing works for many people both full-timers and those doing a side hustle in their spare time. Those that do well follow a simple set of guidelines knowing that their objective is lead people to a vendor's sales page. Successful affiliate marketers let the vendor's sales page close the deal.

Successful affiliate marketers focus on:

Focus Points

  • Products and services that are timeless and not given to fads or trends.
  • Products and services that are purchased periodically.
  • Building their own opt-in mail lists.
  • Developing the own unique promotional material, whether product reviews, email messages, or other promotional material.

To learn more about the best affiliate marketing training online, please visit Wealthy Affiliate, home of affiliate marketing training since 2005.

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