Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner?

Written by Donna Patterson

In my coaching sessions with many business owners, one topic that usually comes up is how to add additional income without taking them away from their core businesses.

And invariably, I am asked about affiliate marketing. I myself, also suggest affiliate marketing especially to those who are just starting their businesses.

Why? Because of the cushioning effect affiliate marketing can provide them, particularly at those early stages of the business’ life, when business survival is dependent on that initial inflow or cash.

Cashflow is the life blood of your business

Even if you a long time business owner, affiliate marketing can add additional cashflow for your business and increase your financial security that comes from having multiple streams of incomes. Yes?

Multiple Streams of Income = Financial Security

One great thing about affiliate marketing is that it can be a full business in itself or easily added to any business type and business model.

In this blog post, we will be discussing affiliate marketing, its definition, benefits, risks, pros and cons. Especially if you are new to affiliate marketing, or considering affiliate marketing as an additional income, keep reading.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affilorama gives this explanation for affiliate marketing, “An Internet-based system where you (as an affiliate) get paid for referring sales or customers to another business.” … If the person does decide to purchase, then the affiliate that sent them to the site earns a commission, which is a percentage of the product’s sale price.

A quick look at Wikipedia defines affiliate marketing as 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 marketing efforts.

Many favour the above definition because of its simplicity and completeness. It captures affiliate marketing simply as a revenue sharing program, in which you earn a commission for promoting other people or business’ products or services, usually through an affiliate network.

Who Are The Players In Affiliate Marketing?

Parties to an Affiliate Marketing Program

There are four parties to an Affiliate Marketing program namely, the Merchant (the Creator), the Affiliate (the Publisher), the Consumer and the Affiliate Network.

Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner? 1
Courtesy to Tune

For our sake, I will only focus two:

The Merchant: this refers to the seller or the vendor, who creates the product(s).

The Affiliate: This refers to the party in an Affiliate program who promotes one or multiple affiliate products with the aim of attracting potential customers and offering them valuable products and services provided by the merchant in exchange for money. An affiliate can can also be paid for a particular action taken by potential customers related to the merchant’s product(s).

Is Affiliate Marketing Still Viable?

Think about affiliate marketing this way. You bought a really great product for your acne, and it was so great that people started asking you what you are using for your acne.

Now, you can tell them the product you are using and let them scour the internet looking for it, or you can just give them your affiliate link to the product and earn a commission when they purchase the product.

Now this model is similar to network marketing , but there are some core differences that you must be aware. Look out out for that info in a future conversation

Similarly, if you use a particular service provider for decorative boxes or email. Similarly many of these businesses reward you for referring business/customers to them. Some will even pay you a recurring amount every month for the life of the account like Aweber.

Sounds easy enough. Right? What is even better, is if you are leveraging the internet to build your business, you can automate the entire affiliate marketing process!

Affiliate Marketing has been with us for some time now, but many still are not aware of its existence. Is Affiliate Marketing dead? Nope! It is certainly here to stay, more and more companies find it more profitable to have affiliates promote their products and services than having a large marketing staff and traditional advertising.

Just like network marketing , this business model capitalizes on the concept of Word of Mouth Advertising.

However as I said before, with online affiliate marketing you can fully automate the process without necessarily talking anyone.

However, many business owners have continued to embrace it because it still pays them well, and I am going to share with you how you can learn all about affiliate markeking from top 6, 7 and 8 figure earners in this space in just a bit.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are three types of affiliate marketing, namely;

1. Unattached affiliate marketing: In this type of affiliate marketing, the affiliate has neither presence nor authority in the niche of the product he/she is promoting. There is also no connection between the affiliate and the end user. What you simply do is to put an affiliate link in front of your target audience.

2. Related affiliate marketing: This type of affiliate marketing is a situation where the affiliate has some sort of presence or authority either through a blog, a podcast, videos, or on social media – and then goes ahead to post affiliate links of the products related to that niche on those media – but they are links to products the affiliate doesn’t actually use.

3. Involved affiliate marketing: In this case, the affiliate has used the particular product or service, and believes in it or its claim, and then personally recommends it to his/her audience through an affiliate link.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

1. Earn Passive income

With affiliate marketing, if you have done your homework well, you can earn money even while you are sleeping, because you will receive income for your effort long after you had finished exercising your marketing skills. So an initial investment of your time and effort can continue to bring you good income to your pocket as customers make their purchases from your link.

I would never forget the thrill I felt when I woke up to find an email that I got my first commission. All while I was sleeping … literally. This Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp is perfect for beginners. It really gives you a strong foundation of the skills and tools you need to be successful in affiliate marketing even if you are brand new online, never made sale online and especially if you are not tech savvy

2. Work from home (or office).

As a business owner, you can choose what time to work and what amount of time to invest in affiliate marketing, and where to do the work involved. You can start from home, before getting to the office and complete it there in the office when you are less engaged in your normal workflow.

You can launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that merchants create while working at your convenience. It can even be done from your phone. If this is starting to sound a bit complicated, don not worry . This is a system has done the heavy lifting for you with several of its done for you packages. You just have to ake the first step. Isn’t that fantastic?

Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner? 2
Woman using a laptop in a meeting room

3. Affiliate Marketing is Cost effective. If Done Correctly!

With affiliate marketing, there are many affiliate marketing programmes where you don’t need startup fees or the purchase products being sold like Clickbanks and Amazon. That means you can get started quickly because it is relatively straightforward and with less hassle.

4. Flexibility.

With affiliate marketing, your main economic activity will not be affected because you can choose your timing and the products you wish to promote. Your independence is certain and it is very convenient for someone who already owns a business.

5. Performance-Based rewards.

Unlike at a job, where you could still earn the same salary for greater efforts, affiliate marketing will reward you for greater effort invested, because what you earn is based essentially on your performance. Isn’t that one of the major reasons we started a business?

How to Achieve  Success in Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner? 3
5 Steps To Affiliate Marketing

Courtesy Buildabazaar
  • Acquire Knowledge and skills from the best
  • Research and choose your product or offers
  • Plan your way to success
  • Develop your affiliate marketing strategy
  • Take action and execute the plan
  • Evaluate and adjust your strategy
  • Be patient with yourself and never give up

The pros and cons of Affiliate Marketing

The post would not be complete if I failed to highlight some of the advantages, and challenges that you may face with affiliate marketing.


  • Low cost to start
  • You do not need to create a product start earning some extra income
  • Thereare tons of affiliate marketing companies and products. You will never run out of niches for affiliate marketing.
  • You can easily promote several affiliate marketing products simultaneously.
  • You can do affiliatemarketing without a website. You can simply use your influence through social media sucha as Facebook and Pinterest.
  • You do not have to stock any product or manage inventory. I donot have to tell you that this is a huge saving in terms of money and hassle. As I am wrting this post, I am waiting on a package of health and beauty products to send out to my local cusotmers. It is late and it is an inconvenience since I have to leave the country soon for business. The life of a business owner right? Where is the wand when you need it lol.
  • You do not have to deal with customer service or after sales service.
  • You can outsource the activities of the business or use affiliate marketing systems with done for you options like this one.
  • You can totally automate the process.
  • You can work at your schedule, and from anywhere you can get Internet access ( if online).
  • Provides you with potential passive income.
  • Can seamlessly be added to you your current business to create an additional income stream.


  • Affiliate marketing could take time to generate the high consistent volume of visitors to your offers needed to make consistent significant earnings.
  • Although affiliate marketing can be started very easily with very little capital, you shough be aware that the risk increases with high ticket, high commission affilate marketing prgrams
  • Some affiliate marketing programs could be less trustworthy and could be scams. So do your due diligence before investing in any programmes.
  • You have no control over the merchant’s product ( quality or price) you are promoting.
  • The customers you attract belongs to the affiliate merchant unless you take certain actions which you learn in what I call the Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp. Certified and FTC approved. This is perfect for newbies or affiliate marketing beginners.

Who Should Consider Affiliate Marketing?

Everyone can take up affiliate marketing because it affords just anyone the opportunity to passive income. As a matter of fact, a good number of business owners have found affiliate marketing as a reliable means to earn some good money while not being distracted from the day-to-day running of their businesses. So if you are a business owner who likes the idea of multiple streams of income, then affiliate marketing is a great avenue to consider.

The Unspoken Truth about Affiliate Marketing

It is imperative that from the outset, you recognized that affiliate marketing is not a-get-rich-quick program and that your level of commitment and dedication determines your level of success.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner? 4

You simply sign up to an affiliate network and generate a custom affiliate link (in some cases with banner) to the merchant’s products. You will then promote that link to target potential customers using a blog, social media pages, or online advertising; whenever someone purchases using your link, you earn a small commission.

Your affiliate link leads to the merchant website and has a tracking code that monitors the purchase of the merchant’s product or predetermined action. Whenever your audience clicks the link, it sends a signal to the affiliate’s server showing the source of the visit and creating a cookie on the visitor’s computer or mobile device used to click your link.

Sales are attributed to you only when the cookie that comes with a self-destruct timer is still active on your lead’s device at the time of their purchases.

From the foregoing, I will want to believe you have before you a guide to achieving success in affiliate marketing even as a business owner.


Affiliate Marketing is simply a business model where you refer persons to someone else’s service or product using a unique link, code or ID. You are paid when the visitor, user or potential customer either buys their product or service or takes specific action.

Affiliate Marketing: An Income Source for the Savvy 21st Century Business Owner? 5

Affiliate marketing exists both online or offline and almost every niche imaginable. Thus it can be easily added on to any business for additional income.

Majors benefits include not having to create, purchase or store products. You don’t have to deal with customer service. If you are using online affiliate marketing, it can be totally automated and hands free.

On the flip side you don’t have control over the sales process or products quality or pricing. Plus as in everything else beware of scams. Ensure that the affiliate programmes are FTC (Federal Trade Commission) approved.

There are three things you need to be ultimately successful at affiliate marketing and that will be shared in the next blog post. So check back for that one.


If you want to start an online business or wish to start affiliate marketing either as part of your existing business or stand alone venture…

Then you will certainly benefit from this bootcamp that gives you the essentials about online marketing and affiliate marketing. 15 modules with the guidance of your personal 6 figure coach for this unbelievable discount. ( over 90%)

Are you looking for legit affiliate marketing programme ? Here is my # 1 recommendation as one of the top affiliate marketing networks.

If you are a network marketer, then you will want to check out this free special training course that ( different from above).

  • Teaches Network marketers to leverage the internet to build their business so they can stop chasing family and friends.
  • Teaches Network Marketers online marketing concepts.
  • All the while allowing Network Marketers to earn affiliate commissions when persons say NO their business opportunity if they so choose.

Put your questions or comments below about affiliate marketing. Do you think it is a viable option for business owners?

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