Affiliate types: the differences between an Authority Affiliate and a Scientist Affiliate


Affiliate types: the differences between an Authority Affiliate and a Scientist Affiliate

There are two major types of affiliates. Read on to find out what they are and which one suits your profile the best!


10/07/2022 | By

There are many reasons why people become Affiliates, and, consequently,  digital entrepreneurs: the possibility of having an extra income, dissatisfaction with the job they currently have, and the dream of making a living out of their passions! If you have got this far, you are probably going through some of these situations, and we are happy to say: you have come to the right place! And we are her to let you know that there are two affiliate types, and we will help you find out which one best fits your profile.

In today’s post, we are going to talk a little bit more about the two groups in which these professionals are divided: the Authority Affiliate and the Scientist Affiliate.

This is a macro definition that differentiates the way in which they act in an Affiliate Program. Before we learn more about each one, let’s understand what an Affiliate does and what abilities he or she must develop to enter the world of digital entrepreneurship.

What is an Affiliate?

Affiliates have been around for longer than we can imagine. Even though it seems like it’s a current business model, the first Affiliate Program started in the 90s, soon after the internet was created. Amazon was one of the first ecommerces to notice the potential of scaling their sales through brand promoters. When a website recommended a product found at Amazon, for example, the administrator would get a commission for every sale made.

So, in a word, an Affiliate is an endorser/promoter of products from others. Today, you can be a promoter of digital and physical products. It is also important to remember that, for physical products, the logistics is up to the supplier.

Abilities an Affiliate should possess

Just like a digital producer or an ecommerce business owner, Affiliates are also entrepreneurs. That is why they have to run their own business, developing abilities for sales and productivity.

Even if you decide to work in your free time, which is a big step, you should be committed to your business. See what characteristics are essential for an Affiliate to achieve results:

  • Assiduity: becoming an Affiliate means not having a boss telling you what to do. So, you should schedule a workload program that will keep you focused.
  • Perseverance: one of the biggest problems in becoming an entrepreneur is thinking that results will come out of the blue and won’t require a lot of effort. But this is not true for entrepreneurs at all. That’s why it is important to be completely dedicated and persistent to keep on working even without apparent results.
  • Resilience: even with a lot of studying and putting all the techniques into practice for your business, it is possible that you will find difficulties along the way. Then, it is crucial to take a break, analyze the situation, the numbers you have up to that moment, and try to understand what is going wrong. Maybe it is time to change your strategy. Small changes in your tactics can go a long way and point your business in a new and better direction.
  • Humility: This is an essential characteristic for those who are just starting out and also for those who are very experienced in the entrepreneurship environment. Human beings are intellectually incapable of knowing about everything, and being good at everything there is. For this reason, be humble and ask for help whenever you need and listen to other people’s advice.
  • Be thirsty for knowledge: definitely, studying must go hand in hand in the entrepreneurship journey. And, just between the two of us, this holds true for any journey you intend to take. Develop a reading habit and realize how your decisions will become increasingly insightful and informed.
  • Put it into practice: having theoretical knowledge is not enough, because only practice, and, most of the time, the mistakes you make and learn from, will keep your business in constant motion forward.

We could mention a variety of other abilities to achieve an entrepreneurship mindset, but, for now, worry only about the ones we have numbered, and you will naturally find out, on your own, the other characteristics you need to develop.

Affiliate types

There are many different names for Affiliate types, and you would easily find more than 10 of them online. But even with so many differences, we can divide the types of affiliates into two big categories:

Authority Affiliate

An Authority Affiliate focuses his or her job on building an audience, be it through blogs or social networking sites. It is common (and advisable) that both strategies be used together. With a good volume of traffic in the channels, the Authority Affiliate will be able to build a relationship with the audience, generate an adequate number of leads (business opportunities) and cultivate them up to the moment of conversion – the sale.

Essential characteristics of an Authority Affiliate:

  • Create valuable content with high quality for the audience;
  • Maintain a constant presence online in the most strategic channels for the target niche;
  • Be a specialist in a specific niche;
  • Develop excellent abilities in cultivating leads through email marketing;
  • Be charismatic and having credibility with the audience;
  • Maintain a solid pace in content delivery.
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An Authority Affiliate is recognized by his or her followers, and therefore maintains a high level of credibility when recommending a product. The conversion rate is higher than the one from the Scientist Affiliate because the asset that provides the authority is the valuable content presented.

The larger the contact base who are interested in listening to what you have to say, higher the chances of making sales.

Well-developed SEO strategies can lead to opportunities for a long time because they allow you to be found much more easily in search engines, which in turn attracts more organic visits.

Only a little or no money at all is necessary to start creating content about a certain market.


The work is arduous, continuous, and depends on discipline and study in order to achieve results.

The first sales may take a considerable amount of time to take place.  

Scientist Affiliate

A Scientist Affiliate is totally focused on strategies for immediate conversions. This means that he or she invests money in ads and paid campaigns that direct all the targets for the purchase of a product. A Scientist Affiliate doesn’t have to be recognized or be a specialist in a niche.

Essential characteristics of a Scientist Affiliate:

  • Have knowledge of campaign management tools;
  • Be a good copywriter;
  • Know how to analyze numbers;
  • Measure Return on Investment (ROI);
  • Know how to segment the audience;
  • Always keep up with the trends in the market and new tools.


A Scientist Affiliate achieves results faster, and, as we mentioned, doesn’t have to invest in one niche only. That’s why this type of Affiliate is able to choose from many different products that he or she thinks are more promising.

The more money invested, the higher the reach and more sales could be made.

Many different channels can be used for promotion.


The Scientist Affiliate will only achieve results when promotion campaigns are active. The moment he or she stops investing, the sales drop automatically.

There should be an initial amount of money to invest in order to get a return.

Previous knowledge of strategies and campaign management tools is required.

I want to start from scratch, what type of affiliate am I?

To enter the world of Affiliates, it is necessary to define strategies and targets. By doing so, it will be simpler to choose what type of Affiliate you will be.

If there is no possibility of investing money in ads, the best strategy is to start building an audience to, in the long term, start promoting the products you are affiliated to.

If you need immediate results, you should perform an in-depth research on the platforms and strategies before you start your first campaigns. Don’t take any risks before carrying out this research! Facebook, Google Adwords, and YouTube are excellent channels to promote products. Try to research about Native Ads, a strategy that has been generating a lot of conversions, mostly for those who know about copywriting techniques.

There’s also the possibility of linking both strategies and increasing the chances of achieving results. Of course, building an audience and making good ads will demand even more dedication, learning, and discipline. So it is advisable that you become more experienced before you start managing both types of affiliation.

The advantage is that you will be able to segment your campaigns according to your audience on blogs and social networking sites, measure what actions are generating more results and where you should increase your efforts.

Finally, regardless of the methodology, you are going to use, the first recommendation is that you start researching and putting things into practice while you are learning. Keep a record of your every move and measure the results!


What type of Affiliate are you? Learn How to Become a Successful Affiliate for Free.