What Are Affiliate Programs? Affiliate programs are the Internet’s version of a retail company’s commission-based sales program. Simply put, you refer a customer through your affiliate link and get a check. The beauty is that as an affiliate you won’t physically handle products, create marketing tools, set up the sales process or collect the money. It is all handled by the affiliate manager. You just refer a potential customer (via email, social media, website or blog promotion). Nice and simple. It is a perfect way to start developing multiple streams of income which is essential in these economic times.