The internet has made it possible for any individual to build their own audience. A talented individual may build an audience of hundreds of thousands of people interested in watching them cook in their home kitchen. While that’s a wonderful passion, monetizing that audience isn’t always straightforward. 

Meanwhile, there are businesses everywhere looking to sell their pots and pans, cookbooks, and kitchen appliances. This is where businesses and content marketers have joined together with a strategy called affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a practice where one business, the affiliate marketer, has a sizable audience interested in a specific niche. They then form a partnership with a retailer. In this agreement, the affiliate marketer promotes a product or service to their audience. When they do, they usually use a tagged link to send their audience to the sales page from the company selling the product or service. The tagged link tallies up how many sales are made from that link. 

In exchange for promoting the product or service, the affiliate marketer receives a previously agreed-upon percentage from the sales. 

Why is affiliate marketing so popular?

For the affiliate marketer, this gives them a way to monetize their audience. The affiliate is not responsible for shipping the product or handling customer service. The affiliate marketer simply needs to find a company offering a program that will be profitable for them, sign up, get approved, and then link their audience to the product or service. Of course, it’s important to only partner with trusted companies since linking to a poorly run company can hurt the trust a marketer has built with their audience. 

Businesses love creating affiliate marketing programs because it helps them reach new audiences with little risk. Many other advertising strategies require companies to put money upfront, like buying a commercial on television. With affiliate marketing, the company only pays for sales made, meaning they’re cutting a profit with less upfront work on their part. 

At the end of the day, affiliate marketing offers a lot of businesses for both companies and content marketers looking to monetize their audience. These programs are often fairly straightforward on both sides, with simple agreements that lead to strong partnerships.