What is an Affiliate Marketing Program?

An affiliate marketing program or associate program is an agreement between online merchants and affiliate marketers to help merchants sell their products or services. The affiliate marketer drives traffic and buyers to the merchant’s website or products and gets paid a commission for it. The specific terms of agreement vary from one affiliate program to another.

Types of Affiliate Marketing Programs

Here is a look at the 3 most common types of affiliate programs:

Affiliate Coupon Programs

The affiliate coupon program is one of the most popular types of affiliate programs. The merchant avails coupons and discount codes, and the affiliate marketer distributes them to garner sales. The affiliate marketer is paid a commission for the sales made using their affiliate codes and coupons.

Brand Ambassadors Affiliate Programs

In this kind of affiliate program, merchants may identify specific influencers or websites they want to work with. They then send the influencers or affiliate marketers free sample items and ask them to review them. 

The merchant also provides affiliate links that marketers can share with their audience. The marketer gets a commission for sales that come through their affiliate link. Brand ambassadors affiliate programs are a great option if you are an influencer.

Open Affiliate Programs

Some of the most popular open affiliate programs include Amazon Associates, Click bank, etc. They also include affiliate programs by small or large companies that are open to everyone at no cost. Such programs aim to create a win-win scenario for both the marketer and the merchant. The affiliate program enables merchants to make more sales while the marketers earn a commission for the sales made through their links.

How to Approach Affiliate Marketing

You can approach affiliate marketing in three ways: Attached, unattached, or related.

With the attached approach, you only promote products you have a personal interest in or use. You purchase the products, use them, and provide a detailed review to your audience. You then provide them with your affiliate code for them to buy.

With the unattached approach, you do not need to have any expertise or interest in the products. Join an affiliate program, identify the bestselling products in the program, get affiliate links, and use various advertising strategies such as social media ads to get the products in front of the customers.

Finally, with the related method, you set up a niche site and promote affiliate products relevant to your niche. For instance, you may set up a blog or YouTube channel where you discuss dogs. In the content, you plug in dog products relevant to the topic you are discussing. You can also have dedicated articles or videos to review various dog products.


Affiliate marketing programs offer online entrepreneurs an opportunity to earn a good income. You are up for great success if you master how to set up a niche site and drive traffic to it. We offer done-for-you custom niche sites and Amazon affiliate sites with up to a 96% success rate. Contact us to help you set up your affiliate site.