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What is Affiliate Marketing? Pros & Cons, And How To Profit in 2023



What is Affiliate Marketing? Pros & Cons, And How To Profit in 2023

You’re starting to see the term everywhere, but you’re wondering what is affiliate marketing? Keep reading for the ultimate guide to affiliate marketing, including its different types, how to make money with it, and its pros and cons. 

What is Affiliate Marketing? 

So, what is affiliate marketing? Let’s review the affiliate marketing definition: 

Through affiliate marketing, marketers earn commission by promoting products through an affiliate link. When a sale is made through the affiliate link, the marketer that promoted the link earns a commission from the sale.

These affiliate links can be promoted on a website, blog post, podcast episode, YouTube channel, social media account, and more. 

Most commissions from affiliate marketing are earned by making a sale. However, marketers can also earn money by generating leads, free-trial users, app downloads, website clicks, and more. 

How to Start Making Money with Affiliate Marketing? 

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money because it typically doesn’t require any start-up costs. Joining an affiliate program and getting an affiliate link is usually free. This is because the money is earned after the sale is made, meaning it doesn’t cost the partner money upfront. 

To help you become a successful affiliate marketer, let’s break down this marketing strategy step-by-step: 

  1. Join an affiliate program and obtain your affiliate links. 
  2. Create and publish an ad that promotes the affiliate product. 
  3. Your target audience engages with the ad.
  4. The potential customer is sent to the affiliate website to view the product or service. 
  5. The customer makes a purchase, thus triggering an affiliate sale. 
  6. The affiliate partner records the affiliate sale. 
  7. An affiliate commission is sent back to you, the affiliate marketer. 

If you feel like you need more guidance on how to become an affiliate marketer, we have a course suggestion for you.  The Affiliate Lab is an affiliate marketing course. It was created to teach participants to build, rank, monetize, and eventually flip affiliate marketing websites. 

This online course includes 160 videos and can be completed at your own pace. It takes an in-depth discussion of the exact methods and templates the founder, Matt Diggity, uses to grow his own agency and portfolio of sites. 

Whether you’re looking to flip your affiliate site or keep enjoying its monthly income, this course will help you get there. Click here for $200 off The Affiliate Lab course

Want to see more options? Check out our post on the best affiliate marketing courses to help you make money.

Affiliate Marketing Types

While the process of forming an affiliate partnership might feel easy to you, you can try many types of affiliate marketing. Whether you consider yourself an expert or want to learn more about affiliate marketing for beginners, knowing the different types you can engage in will help you know where to target your affiliate marketing efforts. Let’s review a few different types of affiliate partner marketing. 

Involved Affiliate Marketing

Firstly, we are going to discuss involved affiliate marketing. 

Involved affiliate marketing occurs when the marketer promotes only products and services they’ve used themselves and deeply believe in. 

This type of affiliate marketing is seen as the most trustworthy. This is because it’s founded on authenticity by the marketer and trust with their audience. Influencer marketing is a form of affiliate marketing. 

This type of affiliate marketing requires more time and effort to build an authentic connection with your audience. However, this also makes it one of the most sustainable options. Having this authentic relationship with your target audience means they’ll trust your recommendations, earning you more sales. 

On the other hand, it also means you should be choosy with each affiliate merchant you partner with. While you might be turning down potential partnerships if the product or service doesn’t meet your standards, it will be better for your affiliate business in the long run. 

This type of affiliate marketing effort can include authentic promotions like:

  • Instagram Stories providing your genuine review of a product 
  • YouTube video discussing in detail how you use the product you’re promoting
  • Blog posts detailing your experience with a particular service
  • TikTok video showing how useful the product is

The second form of affiliate marketing is related affiliate marketing. 

Related affiliate marketing occurs when affiliate marketers promote products and services that are related to their specific niche. However, they don’t currently use them. 

These types of affiliate marketers are typically already content creators. This is because they’re using their existing platform and audience to promote these products and services. These affiliate marketers have influence, which makes their target audience trust their recommendations despite the fact that they’ve never used the product or service they’re promoting. For example, influencer marketing is also a form of related affiliate marketing. 

It’s considered “related” because the products and services are relevant to their existing audience. However, the marketer isn’t promoting the products based on their personal experience with them. 

The risk with this type of marketing is that it can put your reputation as a thought leader in danger. For example, if you promote a product or service that doesn’t live up to your hype, you could lose the trust of your audience. Once you’ve lost the trust of your followers, it’s very tough to earn it back. 

Unattached Affiliate Marketing

As the name suggests, unattached affiliate marketing is the most withdrawn form of affiliate marketing work. 

Unattached affiliate marketing occurs when the marketer has no attachment or authority on the product they’re promoting. As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have a relationship with your target audience or the product or service you’re promoting. 

This type of affiliate marketing campaign involves creating pay-per-click advertisements for a product or service, directing traffic to that affiliate link, and hoping they make a purchase. This can include Google Ads, Facebook ads, banner ads, and more.

It’s attractive to people who don’t want to or aren’t already big-time content creators with an engaged audience. You don’t need to be a thought leader in your niche in order to start promoting products or services. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend the time or energy building those relationships with your target audience. 

While this method doesn’t involve building that relationship, you do need to be savvy in your pay-per-click campaigns. If you’re not able to create effective ads that earn clicks, then this type won’t work for you.  

Affiliate Marketing Examples

Now that you understand the concept of affiliate marketing and how to make money from it, let’s explore a few examples. 


The Amazon Associate program is one of the most popular forms of affiliate marketing. 

Through the Amazon Associate Program, participants promote some of the millions of products available on their website. This is typically done by creating an Amazon storefront and linking to it on their website, podcast, or social media. After the sale is made, the affiliate marketer earns a percentage of the value of the sale. These percentages are preset by Amazon, and they often change. 

Here is just one example of the many promoters of this popular affiliate network. 

The first picture shows a TikTok video promoting the user’s latest product find from Amazon.

what is affiliate marketing

The link in his TikTok profile takes you to his Amazon storefront, pictured below:

1681757902 109 What is Affiliate Marketing Pros Cons And How To

This affiliate marketing program offers a low barrier to entry. It also offers a wide variety of available products to promote. This means that no matter which niche you occupy, you can find products uniquely helpful to your specific audience. 

Blog Site: Wirecutter

The New York Times acquired Wirecutter. This blog site earns money by writing about products and listing affiliate links.

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With this model, the site earns money by posting lengthy product reviews and linking to each product. This is a great example of how you can create a website and fill it with blog posts for the purpose of earning additional income.

Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

As affiliate marketing’s popularity continues to rise, how do you determine for yourself if it’s worth diving in? Whether you’re a small business, digital marketing professional, or an influencer, making an informed decision is important. To help you decide if building an affiliate network is right for you, we discuss some of the pros and cons of affiliate marketing below. 


There are many pros to building an affiliate network. Let’s dive right into discussing them. 

The pros of affiliate marketing include the following: 

  • Low cost: Joining an affiliate marketing program requires little to no cost. Affiliate commissions are earned after the sale is made. This means that money is exchanged after it’s earned, thus eliminating the need to pay upfront. 
  • Easy execution: While the burden of inspiring a sale falls on the affiliate marketer, the job of filling the order falls on the affiliate partner. This means that you don’t have to order products, fill an order, provide a service, or offer additional customer support as your affiliate partner does. 
  • Remote work: One of the biggest draws to affiliate marketing is that it can be completed remotely from anywhere. It doesn’t require you to drive into an office at specific times. This means you can start building your own income at any time from anywhere. 
  • Low risk: Affiliate marketing requires little investment, so it’s a very low-risk business venture. You don’t have to invest a significant amount of time, money, or resources to begin. 
  • Easily scalable: If you find yourself asking how much do affiliate marketers make, the answer might happily surprise you! This venture is as scalable as you would like it to be. Once you find partnerships and promotional methods that are working for both you and your target audience, these affiliate marketing efforts should be easily scalable. 


You’re now aware of the benefits affiliate marketers experience. Now, let’s also review some of the cons of affiliate marketing. These cons include: 

  • Tests your patience: Executing an effective affiliate marketing strategy requires time, patience, and consistency. You will not get rich overnight off of one affiliate link. However, with consistent effort, your hard work will start to pay off. 
  • Adhere to affiliate partners’ rules: When you choose to partner with a specific affiliate program, you have to follow the rules of that program. Your affiliate link will be revoked if you do not follow their rules. Every other affiliate partner has to adhere to these rules too, which means you’ll have to work extra hard to stand out from your competition. 
  • Inconsistent pay: When you engage in affiliate marketing, you’re earning money when the sale is made. This means you’re earning money sporadically, not on a bi-weekly basis, like with a consistent corporate job. 

It’s Time to Get Started

Joining an affiliate program can be a low-cost and low-risk way to earn extra income. With consistent effort and an effective strategy you can start earning passive income from affiliate marketing!

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With Its Novel Affiliate Model, The Sporting News Bets on Lifetime Value



With Its Novel Affiliate Model, The Sporting News Bets on Lifetime Value

Sports publisher The Sporting News raised $15 million in Series A funding in September, in large part because of the unique affiliate marketing model it employs.

The company, like a growing number of sports media newsrooms, generates revenue from referring its readers to sportsbooks and gambling operators. 

But unlike traditional affiliate models—where retailers like Amazon pay publishers like Wirecutter on a cost-per-acquisition basis each time a customer makes a purchase—The Sporting News uses a revenue-share structure, meaning that it receives a percentage of the lifetime value of the new customers it sends to gambling operators.

“When it comes to delivering a customer to a platform with a longer use case, it is short-sighted to take a one-time fee,” The Sporting News CEO Rich Routman said. “If I send someone to a streaming platform, and they spend $10 a month for five years, why would I take a $20 bounty? I’ll take $2 a month for five years.”

The model enables The Sporting News to act more as a long-term partner to the sportsbooks it works with, sharing in their successes by generating revenue when their referrals spend money. This year, the sports-betting industry in the U.S. is projected to generate $7.62 billion in revenue, according to Statista.

Interest in this kind of model has risen as publishers look to diversify their revenue streams.

While affiliate marketing and commerce are critical in these efforts, they are challenging because publishers have to stack up thousands—if not millions—of individual purchases to make the operation worthwhile. 

But revenue-share models let publishers generate recurring income from the customers they generate while placing the onus on them to source quality referrals—a dynamic similar to performance advertising.

Potential in other publishing sectors

The revenue-share model is commonplace in Europe, where the sports-betting market is more mature. The Dutch firm Better Collective, for instance, projects 2023 revenues of $345 million, according to company filings.

But it’s rarer in the U.S., where gambling on sporting events became legal federally just five years ago. So far, only sports publishers have embraced the model, as it functions best in industries in which customers have high lifetime values.

But there is no technical reason why it wouldn’t suit other media companies with similar market dynamics, such as software sales or subscription services, said Bryce Widelitz, vice president of publisher innovation at partnerships management platform

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How Creators Are Powering Social Commerce



How Creators Are Powering Social Commerce


In the ever-evolving landscape of social media and shopping, a profound shift is underway as retail giants like Amazon and Walmart, along with social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, rely on creators to delve deeper into social commerce.

At the forefront of this transformative journey are creators, emerging as pivotal players in steering the course of social commerce.

From Walmart launching its own creator marketplace to the emergence of TikTok Shop, here are the key developments.

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Cyber Monday 2023: The best extended deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple and more



As a participant in multiple affiliate marketing programs, Localish will earn a commission for certain purchases. See full disclaimer below*

There is still time for Cyber Monday savings. If you didn’t have time to pick stuff up on Cyber Monday, don’t worry as many of your favorite brands still have extended Cyber Monday sales. Here is every major brand’s extended Cyber Monday and Black Friday 2023 sales that you need to know. Check out best Cyber Monday deals under $100 and best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon.

Deals from top retailers


Amazon’s Cyber Monday event has ended, but there’s still time for holiday shopping with sales up to 71% on all things tech, household appliances and more.

Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

This is your last chance to get the Apple Airpods 2nd Gen for under $100.

1701217563 216 Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

The most powerful Beats headphones yet, the Studio Pro is on sale for more than 50%.

1701217563 213 Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

Hisense 58-Inch ULED 4K Smart Fire TV

The crisp Hisense TV is on sale for 41% off.


Walmart’s Cyber Monday Deals is live until supplies last, with massive sales on items from Dyson, Sony, Apple and more.

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PlayStation 5 Spider-Man 2 Bundle

The PS5 bundle comes with the hit Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 disc for 10% off.

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The Xbox Series S bundle comes with an additional Xbox controller and a 3-month Game Pass subscription.

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The fan-favorite Bissell Vac-and-Steam All-in-one is on sale for nearly $100 off.

Home Depot

Home Depot is offering Cyber Monday deals online and in stores now through 11/29, with up to 60% off on home appliances.

Best home products deals

HexClad Cookware

Gordon Ramsay’s favorite cookware brand is offering 50% off their excellent pan and pot sets for Cyber Monday 2023.

HexClad 12-piece Cookware Set

At 40% off, you could have Gordon Ramsey’s favorite 12-piece cookware set for the lowest price ever.


Dyson deals are the best, with many of its revolutionary hair products and vacuums now on sale for up to 50%.

1701217563 385 Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson’s revolutionary Supersonic Hair Dryer is on sale for the first time this year – grab this excellent product for 25% off.

West Elm

West Elm is giving 70% off on many of its best luxury furniture for extended Cyber Monday sales.

roar rabbit geo inlay nightstand 24

Roar & Rabbit Geo Inlay Nightstand

This beautiful nightstand is going for 30% off at West Elm.

Solo Stove

Solo Stove is the best fire pit retailer on the market, so get their warmth for up to 40% off.

MESA Stainless Flame On White?io=transform%3Afill%2Cwidth%3A1100%2Cheight%3A1100

Secure some holiday warmth with the table top Mesa fire pit for 22% off.

Tech and entertainment


Take advantage of Hulu’s amazing Black Friday deal for a limited time! Subscribe to the Hulu (With Ads) plan for 99 per month for one year, current regular monthly price after. Get this deal now by clicking here. Ends 11/28/23. Eligibility restrictions and terms apply.

Best jewelry, clothing and fashion deals


Crocs’ Cyber Week sale are hosting sales up to 50%.


The Classic Clog is a classic for a reason at 25% off.


UNIQLO is having its only sale of the year, with amazing Cyber Week deals for your online shopping experience.


Nordstrom has Cyber Monday deals until midnight tonight, offering up to 82% off across all categories like Nike, UGG, Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and more.


The popular athleisure wear company has a number of great extended Cyber Monday finds, especially in their “We Made Too Much” page for the holiday shopping season.

Best haircare and cosmetics deals

Find deals from Ulta, Sephora and more.


Ulta’s Cyber Monday sales are now live and ends Tuesday November 28th, with up to 50% select beauty products.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of Hulu and this ABC station.

* By clicking on the featured links, visitors will leave and be directed to third-party e-commerce sites that operate under different terms and privacy policies. Although we are sharing our personal opinions of these products with you, Localish is not endorsing these products. It has not performed product safety testing on any of these products, did not manufacture them, and is not selling, or distributing them and is not making any representations about the safety or caliber of these products. Prices and availability are subject to change from the date of publication.

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