Affiliate marketing has a great draw to individuals wanting to earn an online income. For most, affiliate marketing is a secondary source of revenue but many individuals, and businesses, have taken their usage of affiliate marketing to a whole new level by turning it into their main earnings.

In this article, you’ll be learning about the merchants that have effectively put affiliate marketing into use within their business model.

Three Great Examples

Many businesses start out with a product or build a brand through content. Over time, the affiliate earnings become more lucrative. Here are three great examples of affiliate marketing become the main source of income.

Vivid (Vivid Entertainment Group)

Vivid Entertainment Group may not be a name you instantly recognize but they’re a prime example of a business that earns the majority of their income through affiliate marketing., the adult website, scores more than 100,000 visitors a day, 60% of these visitors are from their affiliates according to the Wall Street Journal. Exact numbers for their profits aren’t entirely disclosed but Vivid is shelling out thousands in bonuses to their best affiliates. In all, the adult industry is fueled by affiliate marketing due to the restrictions placed on the subject matter; it hasn’t stopped companies like Vivid from creating an incredible source of revenue.

TopTenReviews (TechMedia Network)

If you’ve ever done research for a product online than you’ve more than likely stumbled across the website: TopTenReviews. Behind this website is TechMedia Network. In fact, TechMedia Network has dozens of online brands that cover a wide array of industries including gadgets, health, security, space, and more. The business focuses heavily on news which is a large driving force for their traffic. With each new successful brand TechMedia Network launches, it creates a new affiliate revenue stream due to their reviews and coverage of the products that fall under each website brand.


Envato is a company behind many web design websites that fall under the ‘Tuts’ brand (NetTuts, AudioTuts, etc). However, it’s not their websites that should garner your attention but their marketplaces and premium courses they’ve created. Specifically, their marketplace such as ThemeForest and the Tuts+ network is powered by affiliate marketing. Web designers sell their designs on the marketplaces, Envato takes a cut, but each account also comes with an affiliate link which boosts the leads coming to the website. Overall, Envato has done a very innovative thing in which they’ve capture the design market by introducing a website for each of the main design industries but then also having a marketplace for each. Combined with affiliate marketing, Envato is a major player online.

Replicating the Success

What does each of these businesses have in common? They leverage their community to become their sales force. These online businesses started small but were able to grow to their size due to affiliate marketing.

For your business, start with the community members that are most passionate, that understand what you represent, and are audible about your brand. Reach out to these individuals and offer them a chance to promote your products through affiliate marketing. Educate each individual and explain the benefits. Chances are, if they’re already active and vocal about your brand, allowing them to earn money while naturally promoting is a kick back. They’ll love you for it.

In time, create an affiliate training section for your website including banners, ad copy, and any other resource that will aid your affiliates. Create new, exciting offers for affiliates to promote. Like the merchants mentioned in the examples, branch your brand into new horizontal and vertical markets.

Use the success of your brand to create a network.