What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Affect Me as a Consumer?
This website helps to earn me money, because I participate in affiliate marketing by using affiliate links in my posts and on social media. I do this so I can contribute financially to my family household.
Affiliate marketing is a very common practice among bloggers and website owners, and there are thousands of shops and businesses that have affiliates out there recommending their products and services to their readers.
As a reader and consumer you should always see that a blogger or website owner has disclosed that they have used affiliate links – on every single blog post, article and social media post that one appears.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where a person earns a commission by recommending the products or services of another business. They may do this on their blog, and also on their social media channels. (You should recognise an affiliate link on a website because the beginning of the post tells you it includes affiliate links, and on social media you should see the hashtag #ad, #affiliate, or something similar).
So for example – I love the TV show Friends. If I was writing a blog post about my love of the show, I may link to a Friends DVD box set on Amazon, using my unique affiliate link that Amazon provides me with. If you clicked on that link and bought yourself the box set (or anything else on Amazon, within a set time-frame) I would earn a very small commission.
This is Amazon’s way of rewarding me and saying “thanks for sending us a sale!”, and there is absolutely no additional cost to you!
It’s the same for many many online stores (‘Merchants’ to us affiliates), that have affiliate programmes.
How Exactly Do Affiliates Earn Money?
Affiliate programmes generally use one of two ways to compensate us.
- Affiliates get paid a tiny amount (usually a couple of pence) for each person who clicks one of their affiliate links, to an online store.
- Affiliates get paid a small commission percentage based on the total products bought by you, after you’ve clicked an affiliate link to an online store.
Does that all make sense?
Some online stores run their own in-house affiliate programme, and some use a third party company to run their affiliate programme. I use a combination of both.
How I Personally Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing
I earn money through the following affiliate programmes:
- CJ Affiliate
- Shopstyle Collective
Of those, Amazon.co.uk is the only one running its own affiliate programme in-house. The others are third parties who manage the affiliate programmes on behalf of the merchants (stores, shops, services).
If I recommend something from Amazon.co.uk, then when you click the link it will straight away direct you to Amazon.co.uk. (Legal Amazon affiliate boomf here – Rebecca Webb is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk).
If I recommend something not on Amazon.co.uk, say for example from John Lewis department store, then when you click the link it may very briefly first show as directing to Awin, before quickly directing you to the actual John Lewis website.
This is simply the affiliate programme I’m using logging that my link is being used, so that I can get any commission should you buy anything.
Nope, not those kind of cookies!!
By now, most people know what computer cookies are. If you don’t, then I recommend this BBC explanation to make it easy for you to understand.
For example, Amazon.co.uk has only 24 hour cookies. This means that if you clicked through to Amazon.co.uk through one of my affiliate links, I could earn a commission for anything you buy from Amazon within that 24 hour period. Other programmes range from 24 hour cookies, to even 90 day cookies.
Is Your Info Safe?
As affiliates, we have no idea who you are; what you specifically bought; where you live; how much you spend; or any other personal details whatsoever! This information remains solely with any websites you buy from.
So there you go. Hopefully an open and honest explanation of affiliate linking and how this blog earns me, and a lot of other bloggers, money.
If you need to know more though, please do get in touch!