Currently Reading 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From—UPDATED! 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From—UPDATED! Affiliate marketing is a large part of the Smart Passive Income business. In 2009, I originally published this affiliate marketing types, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From.
In my November 2009 income report, you may have noticed that my affiliate income had surpassed my direct income from the electronic products that I sell online. I received a lot of comments, asking me to explain more about where my affiliate income comes from and how it works. Instead of just breaking down where it all came from—how much this and how much that—I decided to turn this post into something a little bit more useful that would do more than just tell you how much I earned. Again, I’m not here to show you the money I make online, I’m here to show you how I make money online, and what I’ve learned along the way.
When thinking specifically about affiliate income, I determined that I could divide how people earn money as an affiliate into three primary categories: Unattached, Related, and Involved. These terms represent how we are associated with the product or products we may be an affiliate for. Unattached Affiliate Marketing These are your basic pay-per-click affiliate marketing campaigns where you have no presence and no authority in the niche of the product you’re promoting. There’s no connection between you and the end consumer, and all you’re doing is putting an affiliate link in front of someone via Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc.
The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don’t have the time. For many, this is their only option. Personally, I don’t like this business model because to me, this is not a business model. It’s an income generating model, yes, but is it a business model where I can build relationships with the end user? With PPC affiliate marketing, you become a behind-the-scenes middle man.
With this model, there’s pressure to focus more on the potential income rather than the customers you’re serving. That’s the dark side of affiliate marketing. In fact, in early 2009 I tried something similar once. I signed up for an affiliate network and found thousands of potential products I could promote. 250 dollars on Adwords hoping someone would click on the link and I’d get paid. If you dabble in PPC affiliate marketing and it’s working for you in a way that you’re instilling trust in your audience, I applaud you and wish you continued success.
It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds, so props to those of you finding success with it. Related Affiliate Marketing Another form of affiliate marketing is what I like to call Related Affiliate Marketing. This is where you have some sort of presence online, whether it’s through a blog, a podcast, videos, or on social media—and you have affiliate links to products related to your niche, but they’re for products you don’t actually use. 125 x 125 pixel advertisement for Text Link Ads, which was an older advertising model where you could have advertisers pay for having specific terms on your website become links to their products. This was big in the blogosphere when I was just starting out. Most of these sites did not actually use the text link ad service on their own sites.
I doubt that every person who places one of those links on their blog actually uses each of those products and services. Placing affiliate links on your site that are related to your niche is a decent strategy to earn extra income. Whether it’s in the sidebar in banner form, or in a text link at the bottom of your blog post, because you have a website and some authority, people will trust you and your decision to place the ad on your site. I did, however, personally know the owner, which is why I trusted him and decided to place that ad there at the time. Nowadays though, I don’t like to promote anything I haven’t tried and loved myself. How can I honestly say that I support a product if I don’t know everything there is to know about it? If you don’t promote the right products, even if you know the owner or think it might be a great fit, you run the risk of losing the trust you have built with your audience.