How Profitable is Affiliate Marketing? A Content Marketing Writer Shares Her Experiences

Angela Tague
7 min readSep 23, 2021

There are many ways to make a living online. Each week I have businesses pop into my inbox offering me stakes in their affiliate partnership programs. I also field oodles of reader questions asking me how to get involved in affiliate marketing opportunities — and if they’re worth it.

So, let’s chat.

In this candid explainer post, I’ll dig into my experiences with affiliate marketing over the past 12 years of being a full-time self-employed writer. I focus on marketing, but also have a background in journalism, so I occasionally pick up magazine and newspaper work every now and again. This is solely my perspective as a gal who makes a living writing and taking photos.

In this post I’ll explore:

  • What is Affiliate Marketing?
  • What is Passive Income?
  • How Do Writers Participate in Affiliate Marketing?
  • Can You Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

From my perspective as a content marketing writer, affiliate marketing is when a company pays you a commission or percentage of a sale that you help them generate by promoting their products or services. Affiliate marketing may be present on a social media feed, in an online group, on a website as an ad in the margin or on a blog.

I like to refer to affiliate marketing as “maybe money”. You do the marketing, and maybe you’ll earn a commission. The only guarantee of getting a cut of the company’s revenue is if you drive the sale for them and the purchase isn’t returned within a specific window of time.

I also turned to some pros for their definitions of affiliate marketing and here’s what I found:

“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money (commissions) every time you promote a company’s products or services and drive a sale. You only get paid every time you drive a sale, just like a commission-only sales representative.”~ Neil Patel, NP Digital

“Affiliate marketing involves earning a commission by promoting a product or service made by another retailer or advertiser. It is a

Angela Tague

Angela Tague writes marketing content for businesses and feature articles for magazines. Learn more at