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What is an Affiliate Link? A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Affiliate Marketing

You've undoubtedly come across a few ways to make money when scrolling online. Many of these ways are shady or involve you spending a lot of money on a product or service to sell. 

A proven way that really works to pull in income is affiliate marketing, a marketing strategy that allows companies or individuals to reach a larger audience while rewarding affiliates who promote their products or services. An affiliate marketer earns a commission by promoting the company's products through their website or social media accounts.

In today's digital age, affiliate marketing is becoming increasingly popular as a way to earn passive income from the comfort of your home. But how exactly does affiliate marketing work? One of the methods used in affiliate marketing is affiliate links.

In this guide, we'll dive into what an affiliate link is, how it works, and how to use them effectively.

Since we're throwing a lot of terms at you, you might be wondering what exactly an affiliate link is. Simply put, an affiliate link is a unique URL created specifically for the affiliate marketer, such as a blogger or social media personality, to promote a product or service. This link includes a code that tracks any clicks or purchases made through the link.

There are two main types of affiliate marketing links: direct links and cloaked links.

Direct links are the most straightforward affiliate link used by affiliate marketers. When using direct links, the affiliate marketer shares the unique URL to a specific product or service with their audience. This link has the affiliate's unique referral code attached to it, allowing the company to track the traffic and sales generated by the affiliate marketer.

Direct links are often used by affiliate marketers who have a specific product or service in mind that they want to promote. They can use these links in blog posts, social media posts, or emails, making it easy to promote the product or service to their audience. 

The simplicity of direct links means that affiliate marketers can easily track the number of clicks and sales generated through each direct link, helping them to fine-tune their marketing strategies for maximum profitability.

A cloaked link is a disguised affiliate link used to make the link look more appealing to potential buyers. These links often use a redirect to take the user to the product page. Cloaking the link can also prevent users from removing the affiliate code from the link and stealing the commission.

Affiliate marketing links work by tracking clicks and sales made through the link. When someone clicks on an affiliate link, cloaked or direct, and makes a purchase, the affiliate marketer earns a commission on the sale. The affiliate program determines the commission amount and payment threshold.

To use an affiliate marketing link, an affiliate marketer must join an affiliate program and obtain their unique affiliate link(s). Once they have the link, they can promote the product or service using the link on their website or social media accounts. The affiliate marketer earns a commission when users click the link and purchase.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program

Choosing the right affiliate program is essential for an affiliate marketer's success. When choosing an affiliate program, it's essential to consider the following factors:

  • Commission percentage: How much commission will the affiliate earn on each sale?
  • Payment threshold: What is the minimum amount an affiliate must earn before receiving payment?
  • Product or service quality: Are the products or services high quality and in demand?
  • Affiliate tracking system: Is the tracking system reliable and accurate?

One recommended affiliate marketplace is Reditus, a reputable B2B SaaS affiliate marketing platform that offers competitive compensation and reliable tracking accessible through an effortless UX and marketplace.

Reditus's affiliate marketplace makes it easy to see what percentage you'll earn from sales, commission length, average deal size per customer, and more. This takes the mystery out of choosing the right affiliate marketing opportunity for you.

The platform also offers reliable tracking, ensuring you can accurately track your campaigns and optimize them for maximum profitability.

Reditus offers an effortless UX and marketplace, making finding high-quality offers and products to promote easy. Geared for everyone from seasoned affiliate marketers to those that are just starting out, Reditus has everything you need to start earning money.

Promoting affiliate links requires a little bit of creativity and work. Here are some tips on how to promote affiliate links effectively:

  • Create valuable content: Build a loyal audience by creating valuable and engaging content that organically incorporates your affiliate links.
  • Use social media: Share your affiliate links on social media platforms where your target audience is most active.
  • Use paid advertising: Use paid advertising on social media platforms or Google Adwords to reach a larger audience.
  • Engage in email marketing: Use email marketing to promote products or services to your subscribers.

Tracking affiliate links is essential for optimizing and improving your affiliate marketing efforts. Reditus makes it easy for affiliate marketers to monitor impressions, clicks, and conversions. This data can help you identify the best-performing campaigns, adjust your strategies, and maximize earnings.

Affiliate marketing offers benefits for both advertisers and affiliate marketers.

Benefits for Advertisers

  • Cost-effective: Affiliate marketing allows advertisers to pay commission only for successful conversions.
  • Increased reach: Affiliate marketing can help advertisers reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
  • Targeted marketing: Affiliate marketing allows advertisers to target specific audiences and measure the ROI effectively.

Benefits for Affiliate Marketers

  • Unlimited earning potential: Affiliate marketing has an unlimited earning potential, with the possibility of earning passive income through recurring commission.
  • Flexibility: Affiliate marketing offers flexible work hours and the option to work from anywhere.
  • Low risk: Affiliate marketing is low risk since affiliate marketers don't have to invest in creating their products or services.


Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money by promoting products or services to audiences interested in those products or services. Affiliate links are the core of affiliate marketing. Through proper use and promotion, they can have a significant impact on your earnings. 
By choosing the right affiliate program, like the one offered by Reditus, creating valuable content, and engaging in email marketing, an affiliate marketer can earn significant commission and enjoy the flexibility of earning from anywhere.

Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
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