Define: Affiliate

There are several definitions for the word affiliate.  The meaning that we hear most often in the Online Make Money area is the use as an affiliate for someone.  As in affiliate marketing or as an affiliate of an affiliate network.

The easiest way to think of this use of the word is to think of the relationship between a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer.  The company who provides the item(s) is the manufacturer.  The affiliate network is the distributor.   And you are the retailer.  It’s your job to find the best ways to sell the manufacturers product through your “store”.  And of course, your “store” is the internet.  You’ve got many, many “aisles” that you can place your items on.  The main difference in this analogy is that, you as the retailer do not get to set the price of the item.  It’s already set by the manufacturer.  Similar to a MSRP I suppose.

When it’s all said and done, who has made the most profit?  Not the retailer.  And probably not the Manufacturer either.  The distributor in this case is all smoke and mirrors.  A secure website with a small crew to keep it running and handle customer service.  No need for any physical storage of items for “distributing”, just track the clicks and sales and collect your profit.

Next in line is the manufacturer.  The affiliate makes the least of the bunch.  And yet, there are still millions to be made as an affiliate.  But you can easily see that if you want to continually make money, you need to branch out into these other areas.  It’s difficult to begin operations as a distributor.  It’s easy to become the manufacturer.  Write an instructional e-book.  Create a template and sell it.  There are a large number of things that you can create.  Then, just sign up a distributor and let your affiliates sell it for you…

About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. That was a great explanation for the word ‘affiliate’. This is a word that is bandied about way to often and sometimes the actual meaning is lost. So thanks for an instructive post.

  2. I agree with you that affiliate makes the least of the bunch but if you see effort wise then he/she is the one how does less efforts then Manufacturer and distributor. But this method is for sure can give good return.