Earn money with affiliate marketing – how does it work?

by Keyweb Redaktion
Last edited on: 2023-06-30

Especially in times of social distancing the desktop traffic and at the same time the opportunities for performance marketing rise. Some enterprises rely on affiliate marketing. This form of marketing can be implemented ideal with coordinated content on your own blog or website, so that nothing stands in the way to passive source of income. How you can earn money with affiliate marketing and what you should consider, can you find out in the following blogpost.

1. What is affiliate marketing?

Earning money with little effort through affiliate marketing, without affecting the full time job. This dream can quickly become a reality. But how does it work? Affiliate marketing is an advertising measure in performance marketing. The aim is to create a measurable user interaction in order to optimize the online presence. Considered more in detail, affiliate is nothing less than recommendation marketing, where a commission is paid for each successful recommendation. Some enterprises offer on their website or extern networks an affiliate program. Other website operators or blogger can register in this program, to do affiliate marketing on their website.

How does affiliate marketing work?

An advertising company (seller) provides a platform in the form of an affiliate program to have its products or services advertised by a website operator (sales partner). The seller sells its services on the internet and the sales partner recommends whose products and services to its customers via its website in form of banners and links. For this, the sales partner receives a certain commission from the seller, which is based on the offered commission model of the seller.

This procedure represents a so-called win win situation. An enterprise can with the help for affiliate program profit of more visibility and traffic on its website, while an affiliate partner can generate passive income through the commission. The follow example should show in a simply way, how affiliate marketing works generally.

Let's imagine that we run a blog about garden plants with helpful tips for plant care and recommendations for suitable products. In order to be able to conduct affiliate marketing, we are registered with a suitable partner program for garden items. On this platform we choose a suitable product and embed it in a suitable place as a banner in our blog - the so-called affiliate link. A visitor to our website who recently bought a garden can find out more about “fertilizing hydrangeas” on our garden blog and will find the right fertilizer on our recommendation. The garden lover becomes aware of the striking banner, clicks on it and is forwarded to the online shop of the partner program. If the interested party orders and buys the linked product, we receive a commission from the seller of the garden items for the mediation (pay per sale principle). This scenario can be individually transferred to various industries using a variety of affiliate programs.

2. Find the suitable affiliate program

Everyone who decides to earn money with affiliate marketing, needs its own website as well as readers or visitors. For this, you should understand exactly the needs of your website visitors and create your content corresponding so that the potential customer gets a benefit. So you can be safe, that your content or your website solve a supposed problem. Especially niche topics with high-quality content are lucrative in affiliate marketing.

The needs of the website visitors and reader are in the focus, therefore in affiliate marketing applies: Less is more. Of course can you take part on many partner programs and therefore also embed more affiliate links on your website. But that is by no means a guarantee of high sales through affiliate. On the contrary! All what looks to much like advertising and contains no added value, nobody wants to buy. If multiple links are used, then the content should match.

If you want to use the advantages as a sales partner for yourself, you should choose a suitable affiliate program or affiliate network. Because not every affiliate program or network fits the content of every website. In order to be successful with affiliate marketing, it is very important that the program and the content of a website fit together. As a guarantee of the credibility of the readers, the affiliate partner should really stand behind the products that he recommends. Visitors to a garden blog usually want to get valuable and honest tips for their garden. So he also expects to find authentic recommendations for suitable products related to the care of plants and gardens.

Now there is the question: Which type of partner program suits my website? The two types of programs are explained below.

A.) Money earn with affiliate networks

→ the creative blogger, who reports on different topics

Enterprises of different industries, who want to offer an affiliate program by herself, integrate their program in affiliate networks such as in awin, Affilinet or Belboon. An affiliate network is a platform that brings seller and sales partner together. Companies of different industries provides advertising media for sales partner via this platform. Some such networks charge fees for the membership however sales partner and seller enjoy real benefits. The seller profit e.g. from existing customer base und doesn‘t have to worry about technical support of the program. The sales partner receive a big select of different partner programs and at the same time diverse products.

B.) Income generate via in house partner program

Companies, that want to store their sales data and customer data intern and dispense with fees, provide their sales partners an inhouse partner program. At this variant the company cares about the program, mostly with help of a specialized agency. The implementation assumes the know how of the employees and technic. Examples are Amazon PartnerNet, Auxmoney or Keyweb.

Amazon PartnerNet

→ for a student, who wants to earn money with affiliate marketing in addition:

Amazon PartnerNet is suitable for anyone who writes about general topics on its website or blog. The Amazon PartnerNet is one of the largest and most successful affiliate programs. There are the right products to every topic - as usual from amazon. Depending on the product category, 1-10 percent of the value of the commissions can be distributed with the sale of an article to the sales partner. With niche sites, up to three to four-digit commissions per month can be achieved.

Industry-specific partner programs

→ For professional website operators who specialize in a specific topic / industry (e.g. online marketing agencies) but do not have the right product in their range:

Compared to an affiliate networks the in house partner program offers some advantages: Between seller and sales partner there is no platform, so that direct contact and individual agreements are possible. Mostly the commissions are higher through the save of network fees.

In the next step we want to elaborate on the inhouse partner program of Keyweb and describe when it makes sense to become a partner.

With its examples, this representation is only for understanding. Of course, a blogger can also choose in house partner programs or a professional website operator can find a suitable partner in an affiliate network.

3. What does an affiliate program look like in practice?

As a hosting provider, Keyweb offers its own hosting partner program, through which anyone who operates a website can register for free. After the registration you receives access to many advertising media like text links or banner of different Keyweb products. An affiliate partner selects a banner that corresponds to his content and embeds it on his website. If a partner‘ s customers clicks on the integrated link and initiates an order, the partner receives a commission based on the pay-per-sale principle (remuneration per sale).

Who can become an affiliate partner?

Anyone who runs a website can usually become a hosting affiliate partner. Of course, it only makes sense to recommend Keyweb products if the website visitors could also be interested in the corresponding products and services. Therefore, you should also be aware of the needs of readers and visitors to your own website before registering for the Keyweb partner program. For example, the readers of a start-up blog, technology blog, visitors of advertising agencies or other web hosting providers may find Keyweb products relevant.

4. Tips for good affiliate marketing and how you can make money with it

Let's summarize what needs to be considered: If you want to gain a foothold in affiliate marketing, you should be the operator of your own website, know the needs of your readers and register with a suitable partner program. The following tips serve as a supplement and can be very interesting for successful affiliate marketing.


  • Content that matches increases the click rate and commissions
  • Create maximum benefits for website visitors and connect them with affiliate content
  • Less is more! - The focus is on the quality of the content, not on sales
  • Do not overlay website with affiliate links and banners → good content quality generates sales, not the number of affiliate links
  • be convinced of what I recommend
  • be transparent to the readers → it should be recognizable when it is affiliate marketing with which one makes money