Affiliate: what it is and how to become one

If you’ve ever searched Google for tips on how to make money on the internet, you’ve certainly come across the term “affiliate”. However, it is not always clear what affiliates are and what they do. In this article, I’m going to explain the right to you what this profession is.

What is an affiliate?

Imagine you bought a ticket to a concert. But, due to a family problem, he had to make an emergency trip. So you ask a friend of yours to sell this ticket, and if he sells it, you can keep half the money. The example may sound silly, but that’s basically what an affiliate is all about.

In a very simple definition, we can say that a digital affiliate is an agent that indicates third-party products on the internet and earns a commission per sale. In other words, a good affiliate is one that can develop mechanisms to sell as many units as possible.

The digital affiliate doesn’t just sell infoproducts, he can also sell physical products. Many people don’t know, but stores like and Magazine Luiza have an affiliate program. Maybe you’ve already purchased a vacuum cleaner without knowing you were generating commission for an affiliate.

And there is also the possibility of selling things that are neither physical products nor info-products. It may seem unlikely to sell something that isn’t tangible, but companies like HostGator and AWeber also have an affiliate program and are website hosting and email marketing companies, respectively. In other words, those who work in this area also sell services.

Many are not used to the term affiliate marketing and therefore think it is a novelty. However, affiliates are not only in the digital environment, as in the example cited. Realtors are an affiliate of sorts and have been in the market long before the advent of the internet.

But the term “digital affiliate” came up in 1996 when Amazon created its affiliate program. At that time, the electronics company realized that it could leverage its sales through internet ads. That’s how Amazon Associates, one of the first affiliation platforms, came about.

Affiliate Types

Arbitrator or Investor Affiliate

The affiliate investor has a single objective: to generate traffic. Here the focus is not on content production or approaching the audience. In this modality, it is necessary to invest in advertising to attract people to a purchase page for a particular product.

Specialists in this area work a lot with Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Bing Ads and also buying banners and advertising spaces in media with a large audience. For example, social networks and websites of people who are already established in the field.

The great tip for anyone who wants to become an affiliated referee is to choose a product that is not in decline, but also not in trend. As already mentioned, here there is no contact with an audience, the idea is that a person clicks on a banner and buys a product.

So if the product is down, you won’t have time to convince someone to buy it. On the other hand, if the product is on the rise, there will be several other people trying to sell it with more arguments than you.

Another valuable tip is to pay attention to the prices of the products you will be choosing to sell. Hardly a person will click on a Facebook banner and buy a product for R$1000.00. Do you agree?

Also, keep an eye out for commissions! It doesn’t pay you to spend on paid advertising and, by the time you complete the sale, you realize that your commission barely pays the ad you made. The commission varies depending on the platform and the product chosen, we’ll talk about it later.

Affiliate authority

In this modality, the affiliate needs to be concerned with generating content to educate an audience that, in the future, will become customers. It takes creating a solid audience that needs to be fed quality content.

As the name suggests, the affiliate needs to be an authority in the chosen niche. Furthermore, a means is needed to disseminate all this knowledge. It can be a blog, through social media or word of mouth.

As an authority affiliate, you will have time to talk to your audience and show them that the product you work with can solve their problems. Hence the importance of valuable content. People who follow you will see you as an expert and will therefore trust you.

Referee x Authority – which is better?

There is no one that is better or worse. However, it is possible to say that one will be more viable for a given moment, while the other will be more useful for another. I’ll explain this better.

It’s already been said that the authority affiliate needs to produce content for a certain audience, right?

But if you’re starting from scratch, you probably won’t have an audience. Therefore, at this moment, the form of affiliate authority is not very interesting for your business. In the beginning, you will need a little push to start selling, ie investing in advertisements.

The great advantage of the investor affiliate is that he does not need to generate content and does not need an audience. However, you need to invest a lot in advertising. The downside is that, from the moment the financial investment ends, sales start to drop. For the authority affiliate, the downside is the time it can take to get an audience.

In short, the best option is to be both types of affiliates at the same time. As an arbitrator, the return will come quickly and in parallel, you will create an audience as an authority affiliate. Don’t despair if you can’t make sales in the first few weeks, this is normal.

Advantages of working as an affiliate

I’ve already explained what an affiliate’s job is and what the affiliation modalities are. However, you might be wondering what the advantage of working as an affiliate is, right?

No need to create a product

At the beginning of the text, the affiliate was defined as “an agent that indicates third-party products”, remember? And that’s a big advantage because you won’t need to create a product from scratch. This will save you time and money, mostly.

Low initial investment

It is possible to say that the initial investment is practically zero. First, you won’t need to spend creating a product, as mentioned above. Furthermore, to work as an affiliate there is no need to hire employees, just as there is no need to pay rent for a commercial room or worry about inventory.

All you need to become an affiliate is a computer connected to the internet and a lot of determination. Most information and tips on this profession are available for free on the internet. There are even many online courses in this area!

As soon as you have a product to sell, you can start promoting it through your social networks. And, even if you choose to use a blog or website, there are several tools that do this at no cost. WordPress is a platform that allows you to create websites for free, for example.


To be an affiliate you don’t need specialization or higher-level courses. As already mentioned in this article, most of the necessary information is available on the internet for free. If you invest a little time studying digital marketing, traffic, and advertising, you are ready to become an affiliate.

Dealing with customers

Affiliates do not directly relate to buyers. That is, they can focus all their efforts on attracting new customers. Whether generating content or studying new advertising methods. Your only responsibility is to prepare the public so that they can make the purchase and, from that moment, the task passes to the affiliation platform.

And the biggest advantage

You will be your own boss! Will you go to work selling something made by someone else? Yes. However, this person has several other affiliates working for him. The producer will not be charging you for results or then “fire” if your sales are not satisfactory. Your gain will be proportional to your effort.

HeroSpark is conducting a survey of Affiliates and Digital Content Producers to understand the pains of this audience and, most importantly, develop techniques to help Affiliates and Producers grow and sell more! To participate in the survey, simply access the link below:

How to become an affiliate?

“Okay, this affiliate business is really good, but how do I go about becoming one?”

I imagine you are wondering this right now. The first step has already been taken: which was your interest in seeking out about this subject. That’s a lot! But now I’m going to tell you what you need to do to become an affiliate.

Choose a product

The first step in selling something is knowing what to sell, that’s for sure. But before choosing a product, you need to know what area you will be working in. In digital marketing, we call this niche.

The niche is directly linked to the audience you want to impact. In other words, you need to be very clear about what topic you are going to talk about.

First, when choosing a product, you have to believe in it! You’ll create content to convince an audience to make a purchase. But how are you going to convince someone if you don’t even trust what you’re selling?

In addition to trusting, you need to know the product. Many producers give the affiliate the opportunity to request a sample of the product in order to try it out. What makes it possible for you to even review it.

Join an affiliate program

A person who works with a formal contract receives his salary through a bank, correct? The affiliate will receive his salary, that is, his commissions through the affiliate platform chosen by him.

In short, affiliate programs are the platforms where the negotiation between advertiser and affiliate takes place. The first commits to providing an affiliation link and sales commissions, while the second commit to publicize this link in their networks. When choosing a good affiliate program, it is important to consider the following factors:

Products offered

Some platforms are known to work with products of dubious provenance. If possible, run away from them! It is important that there are several products from your niche being offered on the chosen platform.


As an affiliate you do not deal directly with buyers, this is one of the functions of the platform. That’s why it’s very important to know if customers are treated well during and after the purchase process. If the service is not satisfactory, you will be the one with the dirty name and, hardly, that person will buy another product indicated by you.


Make sure that the chosen platform pays its affiliates on time. And, mainly, how are the commissions.

The commission varies from product to product, but there are platforms that offer more than one commission model.


Now that you know what you’re going to sell and you’ve chosen an affiliate program that fits your business, it’s time to get down to business. You will see which advertising method best fits your business based on the type of affiliate you are.

If you are an authorized affiliate, your flagship will be the chosen network to post your articles. It is essential to know what your consumers’ pains are and how to solve them. Then you will focus on creating quality content for that audience and guide them to purchase.

It’s also very important that you be active on your social networks. They can also serve as an excellent form of outreach. Facebook, for example, allows you to create groups and communicate with all participants at the same time.

The HeroSpark helps you automate your marketing processes and distribute your digital product.


In any business, be it physical or digital, getting started is always more difficult. You may have seen several videos all over the internet saying “how to earn 20 thousand in just one month”, right? I guarantee you that yes, it is possible to earn 20 grand in a month. However, it might be a little difficult mission for the first month.

So be patient, hero. Study hard, dedicate yourself, and don’t give up. The job of an affiliate is a little ant job that takes time for results to start to show. However, when the results arrive, it will be worth it!

If you still don’t know how to earn money from home, for sure becoming an affiliate is a way to go! If you have any questions or have something to add, leave a comment below.