What is Affiliate Marketing? Spill-the-Tea

About this post: Spill-the-Tea Tuesday is a weekly series where I chat about all things to do with Influencer Marketing. While I’m a content creator (aka Influencer), I try to write these posts from both sides of the story, the creator and the brand they’re representing. If you like these posts, please like, comment, or share with others!

On this week’s edition of Spill-the-Tea, let’s chat about Affiliate Marketing!

Folks often wonder how content creators make money online and the fact is, there are a number of ways! One way, is through Affiliate Marketing where creators:

  • align themselves with a brand,
  • share posts on their website/blog, social media or email marketing,
  • earn a percentage (commission) from the generated sales.

In some cases you apply to be an affiliate with a brand and work directly with the company. However, there are also Affiliate Networks you can apply to work with and those networks work with multiple brands. Within the network, you can choose which of the brands you’d like to promote.

When an influencer becomes an affiliate with a brand (also known as a referral program or partner program), they may choose to place an ad on their website and all clicks from that ad will redirect to the brand’s website using a special tracking link – tracking the amount of commission the influencer will be paid if a purchase is made. Influencers can also market through their newsletters or on social media where they either share trackable links to products they recommend, or they may offer a discount code to their readership.

Affiliate marketing is beneficial for both the brand and the creator.

From the Brand’s perspective, they’re able to reach a broader audience and take advantage of the content creator’s marketing ideas. The hope is that the creator has a great amount of influence and that their audience is interested in the products that are being presented. Even more, that they become an active customer and continue to purchase from the brand long after the initial introduction.

From the Influencers perspective, it’s another way to make money. Passive income at that!

The trick for the Influencer is to align themselves with brands that they authentically wish to promote and to promote them in such a way that it doesn’t feel pushy or salesy. A website with too many advertisements and links can seem inauthentic or spammy and while affiliate marketing helps generate income, there’s a fine balance with not wanting to lose followers or even bigger, the trust you’ve worked hard to build.

Affiliate Marketing falls under the Canadian Ad Standards in that you MUST DISCLOSE that the the links you’re providing are affiliate links that may result in your receiving a commission from a sale.

As an example, I work with Incandescent Clothing. I love their products and am happy to promote them on my site when it works as they authentically fit with my own personal brand and it’s a company I truly believe in. When promoting Incandescent products, I sometimes provide a link or a code (ColleenTake10) and if someone uses that code, I receive a commission for the sale (which I in turn, basically just use to buy more clothing from their shop!) Oh also…if you click on that link and make a purchase…I’ll get a commission as it’s an affiliate link!

If you have any questions on how it works…ask away!


What are your thoughts on Affiliate Marketing?