What is affiliate marketing and basic affiliate marketing terms

The industry has four core players: the merchant, the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as the affiliate), and the customer. Here is guide to to know what is affiliate marketing and basic affiliate marketing terms, basic affiliate marketing tips.

What is Affiliate Marketing??

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

affiliate-marketing what is affiliate marketing


Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some extent, as affiliates often use regular advertising methods.

Some methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing etc.

Affiliate marketing is mostly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer.

However, both are distinct forms of marketing and the main difference between them is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations for driving sales while referral marketing relies on trust and personal relationships for driving sales.


“Perhaps the simplest way to explain what is affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online in which you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site.”


There are various forms of these types of promotions but in most cases they involve you as a publisher earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then buy something.

Commissions are mainly a percentage of a sale but can also be a fixed amount per conversion. Conversions are generally tracked when the publisher uses a link with a code only being used by you embedded into it that enables the advertiser to track where conversions come from which is usually by cookies. Hence it is clear what is affiliate marketing but there are terms or words which are used in affiliate marketing.

Common affiliate marketing terms


# Affiliates: Publishers who use affiliate programs links to promote and make sales.

# Affiliate marketplace: There are many marketplaces like Shareasale, Commission junction and Clickbank, which work as central databases for affiliate programs in various different niches.

# Affiliate software: Software used by companies to create an affiliate program for their product.

# Affiliate link: Special tracking link offered by the affiliate program you want to work with to track the progress of your affiliate promotion.

# Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, but many affiliate programs offer a unique ID which can be  added to any page of the product site.

# Payment mode: Every affiliate programs offer different modes of payment like check, wire transfer, Paypal and many more.

# Affiliate Manager/OPM: Many affiliate marketing companies have dedicated affiliate managers to help publishers to earn more money online by giving them optimization tips.

# Commission percentage/amount: The amount or percentage amount you will be receiving in affiliate income from every sale.

# 2-tier affiliate marketing: This is a great way of making money from an affiliate program. With this  you recommend others to join affiliate programs under your referral, and you receive a commission when a sub-affiliate makes a sale.

# Landing pages: A unique product sales page used for the purpose of increasing sales. Most of the affiliate marketing programs that you will be promoting have many landing pages and you can do further testing as of which page drives more sale to you.

# Custom coupons: Many programs allow affiliates to create custom coupons which are also used to track sales. Custom discount coupons help you to increase affiliate sales as well.


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