Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate Marketing Programs

You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing by now, 84% of companies use an affiliate marketing program (Mediakix). You might be looking into affiliate marketing to see if it is right for you.

This article will discuss the various types of affiliate marketing programs and how to choose the best ones for your needs. I will also provide some best practices for you to follow in the affiliate marketing community.

There are three main types of affiliate marketing programs:

  1. Unattached affiliate marketing.
  2. Related affiliate marketing.
  3. Involved in affiliate marketing.

Each program has its unique pros and cons, let’s get into the specifics of each one.

Unattached Affiliate Marketing

Unattached affiliate marketing is the most popular program since it requires no direct interaction between the affiliate and the merchant. The affiliate marketer doesn’t have to establish any relationship with the company they are promoting.

Instead, they sign up for the affiliate program, receive unique tracking links, and use these links to promote the products on their platforms. Unattached affiliate marketing is used in companies like Amazon, Clickbank, and CJ Affiliate. Once your affiliate marketing program grows big enough, it gets exponentially harder to manage all the affiliates and they opt for this approach.

Some of the advantages of unattached affiliate marketing include:

  • Minimal effort: Affiliates can sign up for an affiliate program and start promoting products without direct interaction with the merchant. Affiliate marketers can easily promote a wide range of products without investing significant time or effort into building relationships with the merchants.
  • Flexibility: Unattached affiliate marketing offers a lot of flexibility to affiliates. They can promote products from different merchants, choose their marketing channels, and create promotional strategies.
  • Passive income: Once an affiliate has set up their affiliate links and promotional strategies, they can continue to earn commissions without much additional work. Unattached affiliate marketing is an attractive option for those looking to earn passive income (although it’s not passive).

These programs offer a wide range of products and services that affiliates can promote on their platforms. However, it’s important to note that unattached affiliate marketing also has some limitations. For example, affiliates may not have access to exclusive discounts or promotions only available to merchants' partners. Additionally, they may not have direct access to the merchants' customer support teams.

Unattached affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn income without investing significant time or effort into building relationships with merchants.

If you want a more personal approach to affiliate marketing, maybe related affiliate marketing is for you.

Related affiliate marketing involves promoting products that relate to the content you already post. The affiliate, therefore, has a better understanding of the product, its features, and its benefits, which makes it easier to create content that resonates with its audience and promotes the product more naturally.

This type of marketing can be particularly effective because the affiliate’s audience is already interested in the topic, and the affiliate can provide valuable information about products that can help them achieve their goals.

For example, someone who runs a blog about coffee will find success selling coffee beans since they already know the ins and outs of the industry.

Some benefits of related affiliate marketing include:

  • Increased trust: Because the product is related to the affiliate’s content and niche, their audience will trust their recommendations.
  • Higher conversion rates: When the affiliate promotes products closely related to their content, their audience is more likely to be interested in the product and will likely make a purchase
  • Improved engagement: Related affiliate marketing can help the affiliate to create engaging content that provides value to their audience while promoting products that can help them achieve their goals.

Examples of related affiliate marketing programs include Bluehost for web hosting services and ConvertKit for email marketing tools.

By promoting products related to their content, affiliates can provide valuable information to their audience while also earning commissions on the products they promote.

If you are looking for something even more personal, you should consider involved affiliate marketing

Involved Affiliate Marketing

Involved affiliate marketing takes a more personalized approach to promote products. The affiliate has used the product themselves, experienced its benefits, and has a long-term relationship with the merchant.

The affiliate will promote the product with genuine enthusiasm and firsthand knowledge. The following are some of the benefits of involved affiliate marketing:

  • Better quality promotions: When an affiliate has used the product, they can provide more detailed and accurate information about it. This can help potential customers make more informed decisions about whether or not to purchase the product.
  • Higher conversion rates: Customers are more likely to trust and take the recommendations of someone they know has used and benefited from a product. This can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue for both the affiliate and the merchant.
  • Stronger relationships with merchants: Involved affiliate marketing requires a long-term relationship between the affiliate and the merchant. A strong relationship leads to more opportunities for collaboration in the future.
  • Authority and credibility: By using and promoting a product, an affiliate can establish themselves as an authority in their niche, helping build credibility and trust with their audience, leading to increased influence and revenue in the long run.

Overall, Involved affiliate marketing is the most beneficial for both parties, but with less freedom. Program Comparison

Other Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are other types of affiliate marketing programs based on the compensation model:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): Affiliates earn money whenever a user clicks on their unique affiliate link. This model doesn’t require the user to purchase but the affiliate has to have lots of traffic to be profitable.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): Affiliates get paid when a user signs up for a free trial, fills out a form, or performs some other action that generates a lead for the merchant.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): Affiliates earn a commission for every sale through their unique affiliate link, this is the most common type of affiliate marketing program.
  • Two-Tier Programs: Affiliates earn commissions on their sales while also receiving a percentage of the commissions earned by the affiliates they refer to the program.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Marketing Program

To choose the right affiliate marketing program, consider the following factors:

  1. Product relevance: The product should be relevant to your audience and the content you create.
  2. Commission rate: Look for programs with competitive commission rates since it will impact your potential earnings.
  3. Merchant’s reputation: Research the merchant and ensure they have a positive reputation and a track record of paying affiliates on time.
  4. Program terms and conditions: Read the terms and conditions of the program to ensure you can comply with their requirements.

Follow these tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Research: Look for online reviews and testimonials to get a sense of the product’s quality and the merchant’s reliability.
  • Compare programs: Look for similar products and compare their affiliate programs to find the best fit for you.
  • Test the product: If possible, try the product yourself to ensure it lives up to its claims and is something you can genuinely endorse.

Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing

To succeed in affiliate marketing, follow these best practices:

  • Promote high-quality products: Your reputation is on the line, so make sure you’re promoting products that are valuable, reliable, and beneficial to your audience.
  • Provide valuable content: Create engaging and informative content that helps your audience solve problems, answer questions, or learn new skills. This will help build trust and make your affiliate promotions more effective.
  • Build trust with your audience: Be transparent about your affiliate relationships, and always prioritize your audience’s needs over making a quick commission.
  • Disclose your affiliate relationships: To comply with regulations and maintain trust with your audience, clearly disclose your affiliate relationships within your content.
  • Avoid promoting too many products: Promoting a large number of products can make your content feel cluttered and spammy, leading to a loss of trust from your audience.
  • Avoid using misleading tactics: Don’t use clickbait or deceptive marketing techniques to drive clicks and sales. This can damage your credibility and long-term success.
  • Focus on your audience’s needs: Always consider what your audience wants and needs, and recommend products that genuinely meet those needs.


Choosing the correct type of affiliate marketing program is crucial for your success as an affiliate marketer. By understanding the differences between unattached, related, and involved affiliate marketing, as well as other compensation models like PPC, PPL, PPS, and two-tier programs, you can make an informed decision about which program best fits your needs.

Remember to research the product, the merchant, and the program terms and conditions before making a decision. Once you’ve chosen the right program, follow best practices to promote high-quality products, provide valuable content, and build trust with your audience. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your earnings and providing value to your audience through affiliate marketing.