C.1 Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other companies' products and services.

You can view yourself like a:

  • sales person talking about a company's product or service in hopes that your reader will buy it
  • or a middle man connecting your reader and a company's product or service.

Note: For the purposes of this module, anytime you hear me say "product", you can assume I mean "product or service".

How affiliate marketing basically works is:

  1. You sign up for an affiliate program either through a company's own affiliate program (i.e. Amazon) or apply to that company within an ad network (i.e. Shareasale).
  2. Once you get accepted, you get a special tracking link for the company's product to put in your blog post.
  3. You write an SEO blog post about the product and put the link in.
  4. When a reader comes to your blog posts, reads about the product, clicks on that special tracking link and purchases the product, the company pays you a small commission for marketing it.

Cookie Duration

Even if your reader clicks on your link and goes to the site days later, you can still get affiliate commission from this purchase because of a cookie.

A cookie is a small file stored on the user's computer. It's used to identify the site's visitors. 

Here's an example of how it works. My affiliate program for this course has a 30-day cookie window meaning if one of your readers

  • clicks on your link to buy my course,
  • decides they don't want to buy it that day
  • and comes back 29 days later to my generic Teachable checkout page,

you will still get commission from them.

This is because of the cookie or information stored on the reader's computer about the sites they visited.

You ideally want as long as a cookie duration as possible. Most affiliate programs offer 30-days whereas some like Booking.com or Amazon only offer a 24-hour window.

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