Optimizing your content

How to get started in affiliation? - Updated March 27, 2024

What is affiliation and how does it work? Affiliation or affiliate marketing refers to the practice of identifying products or services on your media, with links to the merchant sites that offer them, and earning a commission for specific actions (product sales, leads or registrations).

In concrete terms, this means that a media outlet, influencer or prescriber can receive remuneration based on the subjects they freely evoke in their content. Logically, these revenues are directly linked to the audiences generated, to readers' trust and to their purchasing actions.

How does affiliation work?

Technically, affiliation analyzes browsing patterns. When an Internet user performs the desired action on the merchant's website, the latter checks its origin to determine whether it should remunerate one of its affiliates.

Affiliate marketing is a commercial agreement between two parties. One pays the other as a business contributor. In concrete terms, if part of your audience becomes a customer for a merchant via your website, blog or social networks, the merchant pays you a portion of their earnings. 

Typically, an affiliate platform takes care of verifying the attribution of product sales. Affiliation platforms bring together a diverse pool of advertisers looking for affiliates to acquire traffic.

Affiliates who manage to build up a large audience thanks to their content, and thus generate a lot of traffic that converts into sales on partner sites, can earn a lot of money: several thousand euros every month, or even hundreds of thousands for the most successful. There are a number of different affiliate remuneration models, see our dedicated article on the subject.

Example of affiliation between merchant and publisher
Example of affiliation between 01net.com and AliExpress

The different players in this ecosystem

An affiliate (media, prescriber...) generally starts by applying to the affiliate programs of the various merchants he or she is interested in.

For example, a Tech YouTuber might want to open an affiliate program with Amazon, Fnac, CDiscount, Leclerc... You need to find out who's centralizing the program, apply and be accepted. Here's the classic diagram:

The 4 strata: media/promoter -> affiliate meta-platform such as Affilizz if you want to centralize -> affiliate platforms (Awin, CJ...) -> Brands / shops

In general, there are three or four players involved in affiliation: the affiliate, the advertiser and the affiliation platform. The 4th available is the metaplatform, such as Affilizz, which brings together all affiliation tools and programs in one place.

By registering with an affiliation platform, you gain access to a catalog of advertisers with whom you can apply to participate in their affiliate program. Here you'll find terms and conditions of remuneration, remuneration models and special conditions.

By choosing an affiliate meta-platform (such as Affilizz), you have immediate access, without having to apply, to over 1,000 directly accessible and functional affiliate programs, as well as tools such as on-the-fly affiliate link creation, price comparison tables, revenue tracking, unified billing, a Deals area, and Magic Match AI for automatic widget insertion.

💡 Among the special conditions, it is often forbidden to buy keywords containing the brand name, to prevent advertisers from competing with their affiliates in their advertising campaigns. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in the termination of a partnership.

The affiliate metaplatform (or platform) provides you with affiliate links or banners associated with an advertiser. When an Internet user clicks on one of these elements placed on your media, an identifier is associated with the path and the sale, attached to your affiliate identifier. On the advertiser's site, after the transaction, a platform script allocates product sales according to the visitor's website of origin.

Finally, on your affiliate tracking dashboard(s), you'll find a report section that shows you all the statistics linked to your partnerships: number of clicks on affiliate links, number of banner displays, number of sales or leads, advertiser sales and your commission. These are all performance indicators that tell you about your results, and are interesting to analyze in order toimprove your content.

The Affilizz Dashboard brings together all the commissions generated, across all platforms and shops, in a single place.

Some players have their own technology for tracking sales, as in the case of two types of player:

  1. Those with significant human and financial resources, such as Amazon.
  2. Small players who don't want to work with intermediaries. (They generally rely on turnkey software).

Here are a few examples of affiliate platforms where you can sign up to get started:

  • Affilizz 🇫🇷
  • Affilae 🇫🇷
  • Amazon France 🇫🇷
  • Awin 🇫🇷 (formerly Zanox & Affili-net)
  • Cleverbridge 🇬🇧
  • CJ 🇫🇷 (formerly Conversant & Commission Junction)
  • Effinity 🇫🇷 (formerly Affilies)
  • Impact 🇬🇧
  • Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkSynergy)
  • Net-affiliation 🇫🇷
  • TimeOne 🇫🇷 (formerly Public-idées)
  • TradeDoubler 🇫🇷
  • Webgains 🇫🇷
List of dealers
Example of a panel of advertisers available on the Awin platform

What tools do you need to get started in affiliation?

To start generating affiliate revenue, you need to drive traffic to partner websites. To do this, you need a medium on which to communicate, be it a website or blog, an e-mail database, a YouTube/Twitch channel or a social networking account.

In the case of a website, many turnkey sites exist. Some web hosts even offer one-click installation. The best-known is probably WordPress. If you're an experienced user, you can buy a domain name and set up your site in a matter of hours. Otherwise, there are many tutorials available online that explain step-by-step how to buy a domain name, install WordPress and configure it.

To do affiliate marketing on video platforms, you need video editing skills and/or streaming equipment.

Finally, for social networking, video editing skills are also desirable, although you can start with a simple telephone.

Of all these models, the website is currently the most flexible. It's tried and tested, requires some technical investment to set up, but is relatively inexpensive to create. It also has the advantage of constituting a lasting asset that you may be able to resell one day.

💡 In the case of video platforms (YouTube, Twitch) and social networks (Instagram, TikTok, Twitter), the market is less permissive than a website, but it allows anyone to generate affiliate income with a basic smartphone: a simple video post with an affiliate link can earn you money.

For the video model, the strategy is pretty much the same whatever the platform: an introductory message introducing a partner, and a reminder to your followers that they just need to go below the video to find the offer or product featured.

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Key points to remember
  • Becoming a business contributor is a legal way to earn money
  • Affiliate platforms and meta platforms make it easy to find partners
  • Developing your own website is within everyone's reach thanks to existing technologies
  • Conclusion

    The Internet has become a huge opportunity for people who want to become business contributors and supplement their income through affiliation. Affiliate marketing platforms provide a framework for relationships between affiliates and advertisers. All you have to do is find the theme you want to create content around, and get started.

    About the author
    Vincent Alzieu
    General Manager

    After successfully managing several companies in the tech world (Les Numériques, Doctissimo, Au Féminin...), Vincent Alzieu joined Affilizz as late co-founder in 2022 to bring his experience of media and affiliation.‍

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