What are Affiliate Links and How to Use Them Correctly


One of the easiest ways to begin generating an income online is through the use of affiliate marketing.

However, how do you get paid for your marketing efforts?

Simple, by sending prospective clients and buyers to your affiliate link.

What is an affiliate link? An affiliate link is a unique URL assigned to a specific affiliate. The affiliate link contains and records the affiliate's ID or username, allowing the affiliate to get credit for the traffic sent to the advertiser's website. If a visitor clicks the affiliate link and performs the action that an advertiser pays a commission for, the affiliate gets paid.

As a fulltime affiliate marketer, I've made decent living sending traffic to several affiliate links over the years. Affiliate marketing is still one of the easiest ways for anyone to start generating revenue online. If you would like to learn how to refer traffic to products and services through your affiliate links and get paid, keep reading.

One of the biggest struggles for most new affiliates is finding affiliate offers to promote.

Here is a simple 5 step process for getting an affiliate link:

  1. Find a product to promote
  2. Determine if the product has an affiliate program
  3. Signup for the affiliate program
  4. Get assigned an affiliate link to promote the product
  5. When visitors click the affiliate link, the affiliate gets paid

If you're not sure the best way to go about this, I suggest reading my guide: How To Create A Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

An affiliate link looks like any other URL or hyperlink, except the URL, has extra information at to the end of the URL through the use of URL parameters. (e.g., the individual affiliates ID, offer or landing page ID, and customer tracking information usually added to the link from the affiliate for tracking purposes.

A URL parameter is any text after the ? on a web link.

For example: ?affiliate=280

To help make it a bit more clear, here is a quick illustration on how an affiliate link may look:

Popular Affiliate Programs Tracking Parameters

Affiliate Network Tracking Parameter
Amazon Associates Program tag
ClickBank hop
eBay customid

Popular Affiliate Programs Link Examples

Affiliate Network Example Affiliate Link
Amazon Associates Program https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B07FCMKK5X/?&tag=example

Most major retailers have an affiliate network these days, which makes it extremely easy to get an affiliate link for almost any product.

1. Amazon Associates If you're in the US or plan on promoting e-commerce products, Amazon is a great place to get access to millions (billions?) of products and be able to build an affiliate link for each one. At the time of this writing Affiliate, commissions range between 2-8% depending on the product promoted.

2. Clickbank Another popular place to get affiliates links is Clickbank. Unlike Amazon, Clickbank has mostly digital products, such as ebooks, courses, and software. Due to there being zero cost to reproduce these products at scale, commissions paid to affiliates are usually much higher sometimes as high as 75%.

3. eBay Although not as popular as it once was, due to Amazon taking the lions to share of the e-commerce market, eBay still is an excellent program for affiliates.

Putting affiliate links inside of emails is known as email marketing. Not all affiliate programs allow email promotion; this includes affiliate links manually pasted into emails. It is best to read the affiliate programs terms to verify if email traffic is allowed.

Yes, working with multiple affiliate companies and promoting multiple affiliates offers to site visitors is completely fine. Products promoted via affiliate marketing should be relevant to the site's visitors. Avoid having a website riddled with useless affiliate links.

In the US, if affiliate links are used on a website, the website owner is required by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to disclose this. Affiliate link disclosures are an FTC-mandated practice. Primarily, any link or promotion that results in a commission must be disclosed to site visitors.