Who is an indie hacker?
This I believe was coined by Courtland Allen who runs Indiehackers.com. So I won’t stress myself to come up with a definition, I will just quote the about section of the site.
You’re an indie hacker if you’ve set out to make money independently. That means you’re generating revenue directly from your customers, not indirectly through an employer. Other than that, there are no requirements!
What is an affiliate program?
This is basically a program set up to reward people known as affiliates who bring in new customers or sales. These individuals are usually rewarded only when a sale is made. Think of it as a salesperson on commission only.
Why might this benefit an Indie Hacker?
As an Indie hacker, you already have a lot to do ie: product development, marketing, legal, sales, etc.
Also, sales might not be your strongest skill, more soo for the many developers who decide to go the Indie hacker route. By having an affiliate program in place, you might only have to pitch to get affiliates to join the program and sell through them.
This is a good strategy to boost your sales without having to be the only salesperson for your product.
With that being said I believe doing the initial sales yourself and continuing to do some sales even with affiliates, is important if your product is to be loved by your users. Not only do you get to understand what your users want, but you also get to become better at selling.