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What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising form in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the products and services of company. The 3rd-party publishers are affiliates, and the commission fee encourage them to find ways to promote the company.

The Internet has increased the vogue of affiliate marketing. If we take an example of Amazon then Amazon made this practice popular by creating an affiliate marketing program whereby websites and bloggers put links to the Amazon page for a discussed product to get advertising fees when a purchase is made. In this sense, affiliate marketing is mandatorily a pay-for-performance marketing program where the selling act is across a wide network.

What are the Types of Affiliate Marketing?

We can categorize Affiliate Marketing into three main types:

  1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing
  2. Related Affiliate Marketing And
  3. Involved Affiliate Marketing

Unattached Affiliate Marketing

Unattached Affiliate Marketing is an affiliate advertising model in which the affiliate has no connection to the product or service they are promoting. They do not have known expertise or skills related with this and do not serve as an authority on or make claims about their use. It count as the most uninvolved kind of affiliate marketing. The lack of attachment to the potential customer and product acquit the affiliate from the duty to recommend or advice.

Related Affiliate Marketing

As its name indicates, related affiliate marketing involves the advertisement and promotion of products or services through an affiliate with some type of relationship to the offering. Generally, the connection is between the niche of affiliate and the product or service. The affiliate has good level of expertise to generate traffic, and their level of authority makes them a trusted source. However, the affiliate does not makes claims about the use of the product or service.

Involved Affiliate Marketing

In the Involved affiliate marketing, a deeper connection establishes between the affiliate and the product or service they are promoting. They have used or using the product and are confident that their positive experiences can be shared by others. They serve as trusted sources of information and their experiences are the advertisements. On the other hand, since they are providing recommendations, their reputation may be compromised with any problems raising from the offering.

What are the Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can generate great rewards for the advertising company and the affiliate marketer. The company get benefits from low-cost advertising and the creative marketing efforts of their affiliates, and the affiliate get benefits by earning extra income & incentives. The ROI for affiliate marketing is high as the company only pays on the converted sales. The cost of advertising is borne by the affiliate, if any.

The advertising company make the terms of an affiliate marketing program. Earlier companies largely paid the CPC-cost per click (traffic) or CPM-cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As technology developed, commissions on actual sales or qualified leads has become the focus. The early affiliate marketing programs were easy to fraud since clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.

Now, most affiliate programs have strict terms & conditions on how to generate leads. There are some banned methods too, like installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to a page of affiliate. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to design how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.

Thus an effective affiliate marketing program needs some forethought. The terms and conditions must be strong, especially if the contract agreement pays for commission on the traffic rather than sales. In affiliate marketing, the potential for fraud is possible.

Unscrupulous affiliates can play a game on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect. They can generate online registration forms with fake or stolen information, and they can purchase Google Ads on search terms the company already ranks high on, and so on. Even if the terms and conditions are clear, an affiliate marketing program needs that someone monitor affiliates and embed rules.

In exchange, a company can access creative and skilled people to sell company’s products or services to the world.


  1. Access to a wider market
  2. Better accounting of qualified leads
  3. Low-cost advertising


  1. Subject to fraud
  2. Less creative control
  3. Vulnerable to theft

The Bottom Line

Affiliate marketing is a profitable as well as advertising model that is becoming increasingly popular. The improved technologies make it simple to implement for the company and the affiliate.

Now Companies have elevated how they track and pay commissions on qualified leads. Better ability to track leads and sales contributes to how they can improve or better position their products.

Those interested in pursuing affiliate marketing will benefit from understanding what is involved, as well as what the associated advantages and disadvantages are. Overall, it is a cost effective and easy way of advertising or promoting products and services, increasing brand awareness, and protrude a consumer base.