When it comes to marketing, reaching a considerable client base is a crucial factor of success for any business or individual. Affiliate marketing has advantages over other strategies of advertising and sales.

In this guide, I explain what affiliate marketing is and whether the referral gig is a profitable one.  We also define a game plan that you, as a marketer should follow if you aim for steady revenues. Finally, the article concludes with the advantages and disadvantages of referral operations, pinpointing opportunities and risks that our readers should account for.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Putting it down in simple terms, affiliate marketing is an operation of hoarding customers for a sponsor and earning interest payment as a reward. The company pays affiliate marketer a part of the revenue gained through referred clients. In many ways, organizations turn towards this method of sales/marketing strategy as it significantly lowers down costs. This is especially true when compared to fully-fledged campaigns.

According to the Awin report for the year 2018, affiliate marketing constitutes about $15 billion worth of revenues. The number increases over time, as the expenditure on mainstream marketing campaigns lessens (TV, billboards, radio, etc.). Moreover, the affiliate program connects customers and companies globally, not depending on borders in most industries. With industry growing, opportunities are within reach, if you design a proper plan before the campaign’s release.

Setting up a Profitable Gig

Before you decide to dig into the world of referrals, online marketing, and analysis of your pageviews, there are few things to consider. Affiliate marketing comes with a lot of preparation, demands patience and quite a lot of effort on your side.

Thus, it is crucially important to set things right from the very beginning and plan out your action sequence. The following guide aims to arm you with clear steps on how to set up your affiliate gig.

Research Lucrative Industries

In affiliation marketing, it is crucial to promote products that sell well. Without a sound company behind the portfolio, you can implement all the best strategies and yet earn very little. Thus, seek out those industries that are rapidly growing concerning customer number and revenues.

Apart from income analysis, you do need to understand what you are advertising. A more in-depth investigation, as well as self-education,  is crucial if you wish to convince a large number of leads to doing a desirable action.

Promote Right Platforms

Although you may identify a good product, companies differ in the affiliation level expenditure. Thus, attractive referral programs are a must-have if you wish to succeed in establishing a stable business. Take SimpleFX for example. The trading platform, apart from a variety of investment products, offers affiliation rewards of up to 25% of revenue.

The more you bring in, the more you will earn over time, since the said percentages are not limited to one trade only. With future in your mind, one-time payments are quick to run out, leaving you dry very quickly.

Understand your Audience

Now that you have a selection of good companies with excellent affiliate programs, it is time to look into your audience. Ask yourself next few questions: What are they searching for? How do they locate necessary information? Are they picky about their choices? Are they well-informed about programs available in the market?

Answering these would lead you towards an understanding of the market you wish to penetrate. Thus, you can set your referral advertising strategies from the beginning and reach your target audience more effectively.


Online marketing, affiliate including, use SEO heavily. When we say SEO-friendly, we mean frequent use of popular keywords, an organization of your content, and Google search position. Very few channels have little use of SEO, with the majority being heavily reliant on it. Social media, blogging, website, forum advertising, and others all require a certain degree of SEO-heavy content.

We also advise several channels of advertising for your affiliation gig, including a website, blog, and social media accounts. You can find more information about how to create a proper referral gig by reading our article “Attracting Traffic to your Affiliate Site.”

Advantages and Disadvantages that You Should Know

As with any business opportunity, there are advantages and disadvantages that potential affiliate marketers should be aware of.


– Low-level investments needed to get started

– Ability to work with numerous companies at once

– Potential of passive income with the small effort required

– Operations can run from your home

– Affiliate marketing involves internet only


– Reputation is everything, with word-of-mouth devastating to your gig

– No control over companies that you are promoting

– Growing competition as the industry grows

– Most of the revenues belong to companies

– The potential scam programs


All in all, it is entirely possible to earn adequate passive income from affiliate marketing. However, you should keep in mind that, without a proper plan, your gig will fall apart quite quickly. Arm yourself with patience, choose right platforms to promote and hang in there. It takes time for a passive income to accumulate and grow on its own.


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