How Do You Use Affiliate Links and How Do They Work?
November 23, 2022

Are you looking for a way to generate a passive income online? If so, affiliate marketing might be an excellent fit for you. Affiliate marketing, which can be casually defined as an affiliate earning a commission for marketing products from another company or individual, has become a rapidly growing practice. 

Arguably, the most crucial element of affiliate marketing is the affiliate link. But what are they? And how do affiliate links work? In the following sections, we’ll cover the basics of affiliate links, including what they are and a few tips on how to handle affiliate links effectively.

What Are Affiliate Links and How Do They Work?

These unique URLs both contain and record an affiliate’s username or ID. An affiliate program or brand can then use this information to track the number of sales, leads, or clicks being driven by individual marketers. 

Having this information allows brands to transfer the appropriate commission later on. Whenever someone clicks on an affiliate link and then actually buys whatever the affiliate link was advertising, the person who owns the link will usually earn a commission. 

However, you should be aware that this isn’t always how it works—sometimes, other conditions control when payments are made. For instance, you can also receive a commission for things like registrations, clicks, or traffic. Regardless of the exact details surrounding payment, the commission has usually been decided beforehand.

At this point, you may be wondering what makes the affiliate link so important to affiliate marketing. The answer to that question is that affiliate links, not only track sales (which is already a significant benefit), but they can also serve as a significant source of revenue.

So, how does this all work in practice? It’s actually pretty simple. If you’re working with an affiliate link, you’ll need to promote the link online. This promotion might involve anything from putting it on your website to putting it on your social media platforms or even a tutorial.

Tracking of Affiliate Links

To track how well your affiliate links are doing, you’ll have to monitor your numbers. Some programs offer a dashboard or a platform that features the ability to check your metrics whenever you want. 

However, not all programs do this, so it really depends on the program. That said, if you are involved with a program that does offer a dashboard or a platform with the ability to track metrics, there are a couple of specific things you’ll want to keep an eye on.  

Your conversion rate, which can be defined as the number of users who did whatever you wanted them to do (such as buying the product) divided by the number of users who clicked, is one of those things. 

Ideally, your conversion rates should be high—at least in the 3-5% range. However, you should also keep in mind that the average conversion rate is subject to some variation across industries. 

We would similarly advise watching your clicks (the number of times that someone clicked on your link) and your earnings per click (EPC). The EPC is the average amount of money you will get when somebody clicks on one of your affiliate links. 

Other relevant metrics include your revenue, which refers to the amount of money you’ve earned through the program overall rather than the amount earned through an individual affiliate link. Your actions, or the number of leads or sales you successfully drive from your affiliate link, are also worth monitoring.

Even if you don’t work with a program that offers you the ability to track your metrics, you can still do so by using tools like Hotjar or Clarity. Similarly, Google Analytics can help you keep an eye on traffic. 

Ways to Use Affiliate Links

Promoting affiliate links requires a certain degree of strategy. As we mentioned earlier, the basic idea is to promote your affiliate links online. However, there’s a lot more to promotion than it might seem at first glance. 

The thing that you want to keep in mind is the importance of creativity. While we do encourage taking advantage of popular methods of affiliate marketing such as product reviews, a blog post, and even Twitter, it never hurts to put in a little extra effort.

For example, you might consider including an affiliate link in the description of a video on your YouTube channel. Another idea well worth considering is including your affiliate link in emails. This is technically known as email marketing. 

However, you should be aware that some programs do object to email marketing, so it’s best to check your program’s policy on email marketing before actually trying this method out. If possible, you could also try incorporating your links into digital products like eBooks or online classes. 

Affiliate Advice - Pitfalls to Avoid 

Regardless of how you opt to approach trying to promote affiliate links, there are a few tactics that we’d recommend that you try to avoid. For instance, one mistake you can easily stumble into is failing to diversify your link placement strategies. 

Once you find a successful strategy, you may be tempted to rely primarily on the strategy you’ve already proven works for you. However, this is a riskier approach than it might first appear. Using a diverse range of placement types is an essential part of optimizing the full potential of affiliate links. 

On the other hand, you’ll also want to avoid overloading your audience with a small mountain of links. After all, if you overwhelm people, they won’t be likely to follow up on any of those links. Beyond even that, it’s incredibly important to ensure that you’re placing links that offer value to the audience.


The effective placement of affiliate links can be something of an art form. However, it’s still something you absolutely can master with a little practice. Even if you’re an old hand in the world of affiliate marketing, there’s always room for improvement.

If you think that placing affiliate links sounds like something you might be interested in, you might want to consider trying it out yourself. Luckily, you can do that easily by registering with a program like the NutriProfits affiliate program.

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