One of the most popular ways to make money online is through affiliate marketing. According to influencermarketinghub.com, affiliate marketing is estimated at $12 billion in 2022, while the United States alone will account for $8.2 billion according to Statista. In the borderless digital world, you can work not only for Indian affiliate marketing programs but also for the United States or any other part of the world. So, if you’re planning on giving affiliate marketing a try, here’s what you need to know to make money online through affiliate marketing.

What is an Online Affiliate Marketing Program?

Online Affiliate Marketing can be loosely defined as an online referral mechanism in which a company selling certain products or services pays you for referring customers when you use your website to showcase or promote their products and services. with hyperlinks redirecting customers to the seller’s website and leading to a successful sale. Websites promoting third party products or services are referred to as affiliate partners of the respective sellers. As an affiliate partner, if your website starts receiving successful referrals on a regular basis, it can become a stable and significant source of online income for you.

How does affiliate marketing work?

When you want to buy a juicer blender, a smart phone or enjoy a home spa service, how do you find the best product or service that not only meets your requirements, but also offers the best value for money? A popular method used by many is to search online which leads to search results with many websites offering relevant information with their unique insights and recommendations. Along with their pre-selected and recommended products or services, these websites also offer links under the affiliate marketing program to buy them directly from the seller. Most people trust one or the other website that offers the most satisfying information and often end up clicking on those referral links and buying their recommended products and services. Affiliate partners receive compensation from the seller for each successful referral.

What kind of income to expect

Typically, most affiliate networks pay between 5% and 15% of the lead’s successful conversion into sales from a given link. However, a good number of sellers offer a lower commission, especially in highly competitive product segments. Most sales may result in a one-time payment, however, some referrals may earn a recurring payment depending on the type of product or service sold. Recurring payment mainly occurs in regular subscription-based products and services.

When the amount of commission on each sale is not significant, the seller keeps a minimum threshold like Rs 5,000 or $100 to make any payment. The affiliate partner continues to refer customers and their commission continues to accrue until it reaches the minimum threshold. Payment is only made after the total winnings have reached a minimum threshold decided by the brand.

For example, if you are working on a fashion or beauty product that costs Rs 500 and the seller pays a 10% commission, you will need at least 100 successful sales to reach a commission of Rs 5,000 and receive the payment. However, if you are working on an expensive product like an electronic gadget worth Rs 20,000 and you get a 5% commission, then just 5 sales would be enough for you to reach the payout threshold of Rs 5,000.

There are no restrictions on the number of affiliate programs you can work with and there are many affiliate partners working with multiple sellers and earning monthly income in lakhs. However, there are quite a few newbies who don’t even reach the minimum payout threshold.

How Much You Can Earn From Online Affiliate Marketing

Most of the major e-commerce players are known to run great affiliate marketing programs. For example, Amazon under the Amazon Associates program pays a commission usually between 0.2% and 10%. The eBay affiliate pays a 12% commission on each sale, while the Flipkart affiliate pays up to 15%. Hosting and web development players offer the most attractive payouts. For example, Reseller Club pays Rs 5,000 for each conversion while Godaddy Affiliate pays up to 100% commission on a successful sale.

The United States being the leader in online affiliate programs, offers very attractive income to online affiliate partners. According to Payscale.com, the average income that an average affiliate marketer earns is $52,590 as of the updated date March 2, 2022. American web hosting company Hostinger has one of the most affiliate programs remunerative where she pays up to 60% commission. While SEMrush, an all-in-one marketing platform, pays $200 for each successful subscription. So anyone working on international brands in the US can aim for higher earnings, even if that also means increased competition.

Popular products vs niche products

Popular products often also have the highest competition. For example, mobile and television are the most searched categories and therefore the number of affiliate websites competing for this segment is also very high. Therefore, any individual player starting with limited resources will have to work harder and wait longer for any significant gains in these categories.

Web hosting is one of the most lucrative affiliate marketing programs. The fashion and wellness industries are the first niches with very attractive remuneration for affiliates.

Some niche categories for affiliate marketing

  • Finance – Borrow, Invest, Debt Settlement, Credit Card, Mortgage, Bitcoin, NFT
  • Health and wellbeing – Fitness, Yoga, Meditation, Weight Therapy, Fitness, Organic, Nutrition, Vegan, Hair Transplant, Cosmetic Surgery
  • Way of life – Luxury, Fashion, Jewelry, Online Dating, Matchmaking
  • Tour and Travel – Travel, Hotel, Destinations, Restaurants, Cruises, Airlines, Trains
  • Hobby and passion– Photography, Trekking, Sports, Event Tickets, Online Rummy, Online Casino
  • Home & Family – Home Security, Coffee, Baby Products, Dogs, Gardening
  • Technology – Web Design, Web Development, Web Hosting, WordPress, VPN, SaaS, Games
  • Various – Essential Oils, Herbal Products, Personal Development


Tools and Strategy to Use in Affiliate Marketing

The more traffic to your website, the more people will show interest in your content and the greater the chance of converting them into sales. To do this, in addition to creating a good website with very attractive content, you will also have to work on many other aspects to improve the effectiveness and reach of your website. There are many marketing and analytics tools that often come in the form of plugins and extensions that help you improve your website rankings. These can help you with keyword targeting, trend analysis, content planning, social media promotions. There are many plugins available that help you track and analyze your performance in real time and make improvements if needed.

Things to remember to succeed

People come looking for a solution to a problem they are facing, and they are only convinced by a website that truly addresses their concerns to their satisfaction. You should select a good product based on your competitive analysis, revenue scope, familiarity, interest, and expertise on the subject. Therefore, if you are considering doing affiliate marketing, there is no substitute for good content.

The Success Mantra for Online Affiliate Marketing

  • Be patient because it takes time
  • Choose the right product you trust
  • Have more than one attractive product to diversify
  • Do research to assess product demand
  • Select a good advertiser that meets your needs
  • Choose a suitable web platform and design
  • Provide useful product and service related information
  • Optimize your content for keywords
  • Use videos for product description and promotion
  • Use social media to promote your content and website
  • Use digital marketing tools
  • Research new methods and techniques to improvise


Should you try?

Although affiliate marketing offers great potential for making money online, it’s no picnic. You should only consider this option after thorough research to understand the challenges and if you have the skills and passion to excel in this field. The time lag between when you start and when you receive the first payment can be long, so you need to take this into account when planning your finances.