Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: Your Ultimate Guide

affiliate marketing for beginners how to make money with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model you can use to afford your dream lifestyle once you master it. Anyone can start affiliate marketing for beginners and become a successful affiliate marketer in time.

Developing an affiliate marketing business that brings thousands of dollars in monthly revenue takes time and effort. However, promoting products or services for commissions will pay off in the end:

By all means, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to build a passive income stream. In other words, earning affiliate commissions will make you money while you sleep.

More importantly, it’s possible to start affiliate marketing with no money. After all, the best affiliate programs are free to join.

Nowadays, affiliate marketing offers many money-making opportunities. Before you launch an affiliate marketing business, you’ll have to learn the fundamentals.

Today, I’ll cover everything you must know about affiliate marketing to create a winning strategy and avoid the most common mistakes in the business.

This post may contain affiliate links – read my affiliate disclosure for more info.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

what is affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is promoting a company’s products or services for commissions. Marketers use unique affiliate links people can click on to purchase products. You’ll receive an affiliate commission when a person buys something through your affiliate link.

There is no need to be a product creator to make money with affiliate marketing. Your job as an affiliate is to implement a marketing strategy that works and reaches as many potential customers as possible.

Thousands of people choose to make money online by promoting services because affiliate marketing works better than expected.

Affiliate Marketing Participants

  • Merchant: A merchant can be anyone who creates a product others will promote, such as companies, brands, vendors, and retailers.
  • An Affiliate: Marketers (publishers) can be individuals or companies. As you already know, the affiliates promote products and earn commissions when someone purchases through their unique link.
  • Consumer: Customers are the ones that make any affiliate marketing business work. They buy products or services after discovering them on social media platforms, blog posts, etc.
  • Affiliate Network: Basically, an affiliate network is a platform that displays products available for promotions. Feel free to see it as a third-party platform where an affiliate program operates.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Say what you will, but all beginner affiliate marketers must understand the fundamentals before they try to implement it. Promoting products without knowing how to do it efficiently is one of the most common mistakes newbie affiliates make.

Here is a breakdown of how affiliate marketing works:

  • Choose the right products to promote.
  • Find different affiliate programs to join.
  • Get your unique referral link.
  • Promote the product to the target audience.
  • A member of that audience clicks your affiliate link.
  • That link leads the person to the product, and they make the purchase.
  • The affiliate network or company records the transaction.
  • You get a commission once the purchase receives confirmation.

Now, how would the affiliate network know that the sale comes from you?

Each time a person clicks on your unique link, a small file known as a cookie will be stored on that person’s device. That cookie will help the merchant attribute the affiliate sale to the responsible marketer.

Another function a cookie has is to determine for what period a click or purchase can be attributed to you.

For example, the Amazon Affiliate Program has a 24-hour cookie duration. Meanwhile, other affiliate marketing networks come with different cookie duration periods.

Click-Through Attribution

  • First Click: A first-click attribution model will reward you if a person visits a merchant’s website for the first time through your affiliate links.  That person may visit the website on many occasions later through the affiliate links of other marketers.  If the cookie has a first-click attribution, you’ll receive the commission, even if your reader completes a purchase six months after their first visit.  Keep in mind, that the longer the cookie duration, the better chance you’ll have for affiliate sales.
  • Last Click: Such an attribution model is the most common nowadays. In case your blog is the last one a person visits before purchasing a product from the merchant’s website, you’ll earn the commission.

Why Should You Do Affiliate Marketing?

We can’t keep talking about affiliate marketing for beginners until I give you a valid reason to start using the business model in the first place.

So, how does affiliate marketing stand out from all the other ways to earn online?

Firstly, the affiliate marketing business suits people from all walks of life. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live – you can become a successful affiliate marketer if you don’t mind the hard work.

Secondly, you don’t need a degree or formal education to develop a profitable affiliate marketing business. Even people with no previous experience can conquer the world of affiliate marketing if they try hard enough.

Ultimately, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to create a sustainable passive income source. Once your marketing campaigns begin bringing results, you’ll be able to make money without actively working for it.

What Are The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing?

Doing affiliate marketing has many benefits. Shall we take a closer look at them?

Low Risk & Low Cost

Unfortunately, most businesses come with high-risk factors when you’re starting them. Businesses with large upfront costs will put you in a position where you might lose a lot.

Unlike these businesses, affiliate marketing requires a laptop, access to the internet, and not much money to invest. Subsequently, getting into the affiliate marketing industry is a low-risk business move.

Easy To Scale

Typically, a salesperson promotes the products or services of one company. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote the products and services of as many companies as you wish.

Nowadays, there are hundreds of lucrative affiliate programs you can join. Many of them offer the opportunity to earn recurring commissions, and that will allow you to profit repeatedly from a single affiliate sale.


One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you can do it in many ways. Each affiliate marketer might use one or multiple ways to promote products and services.

Email marketing, influencer marketing, and search engine optimization are some marketing channels you can rely on to earn affiliate commissions.

Recommended Read:

How Much Money Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

According to statistics, the affiliate marketing industry is worth over 17 billion dollars. There is no shortage of affiliate revenue (in case you’re worried)!

If we take a closer look at these stats, most marketers bring home an affiliate income of $8,000 a month. Of course, you can’t expect to make that amount of money at the beginning.

New affiliate marketers will earn less than that. After all, building a profitable affiliate marketing business takes time and effort. Plus, everyone’s affiliate marketing journey is different.

The most important thing to remember is that you can give your small business a better chance if it has a successful start and implements the right affiliate marketing strategies.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get started with affiliate marketing:

1) Choose A Niche

how to start affiliate marketing for beginners choose a niche first

Picking a niche is the first step to becoming a successful affiliate. A niche is a segment of a larger market that has unique characteristics, such as shared interests or demographics.

But why should your affiliate marketing business have a specific niche? Targeting a small market segment is way more effective than going after a broad one.

When you work within a specific niche, it will help you become an expert, build brand awareness, and establish authority faster.

I suggest answering the following questions to find your niche:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • Am I good at the topic I want to cover?
  • Is there an area I want to learn more about?

Don’t underestimate the importance of picking a niche that interests you. Building an affiliate marketing business takes a long time, so your niche must excite you and keep you going when you have no desire to create content.

Other essential factors to consider are the niche’s difficulty (low or high competition) and market demand (profitability).

2) Decide On A Content Platform

It might be hard to believe, but you can do affiliate marketing on any platform. Your platform may be any of the following:

  • Affiliate site
  • Podcast
  • YouTube
  • Social Media Platforms (TikTok, Instagram, etc.)

How do you make that choice? Each affiliate marketer chooses a different content platform, and the choice depends on their preferences and niche.

For instance, if you pick a food niche, you most likely would want to create tutorials that show your audience how to make meals by following your recipes.

Then, using a YouTube video to reach your target audience will make sense for your business. Subsequently, you’ll have to launch a YouTube channel and upload great content consistently.

With that said, there is one content platform that will always work regardless of your niche, and that is the website. Once you launch a blog, use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to rank your content high on the search engines.

Assuming you keep posting valuable content that ranks, your affiliate website will start generating organic traffic passively. That will translate into clicks on your referral links and affiliate commissions.

Disclosing the usage of affiliate links is mandatory. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) clearly states that you must be transparent if you receive any income from endorsements.

These days, starting a blog is easier than ever. All you have to do is purchase a domain name and get a reliable web hosting provider. BigScoots offers affordable plans and the best customer support in the business.

3) Find The Best Affiliate Programs To Join

find the best affiliate programs to join

Nowadays, you can find all kinds of affiliate programs relevant to your niche and target audience.

All affiliate programs fall into one of these categories:

  • High-Paying Affiliate Programs, Low Volume: Such programs will allow you to generate more revenue with fewer affiliate sales.
  • Low-Paying Programs, High Volume: Here, we’re talking about affiliate programs that pay little per sale. However, the physical or digital products available for promotion have a mass appeal and attract a large audience.
  • High-Paying Programs, High Volume: As you can guess, these are the best affiliate programs you can join due to their higher income potential. Expect to face stiff competition if you choose to work with such affiliate programs.

One of the basics of affiliate marketing for beginners is choosing the right affiliate programs that will serve your business and are relevant to your niche. Factors to consider when picking affiliate programs are cookie duration and brand reputation.

Ultimately, choose affiliate programs that offer excellent customer support. Many referral programs employ affiliate managers and tech specialists who assist newbie affiliates.

Some of the top affiliate programs to promote are Amazon Associates, CJ, ShareASale, and eBay Partner Network.

Related Read:

4) Create Valuable Content

After choosing the right affiliate programs to promote, the next step is getting into content creation.

Chances are, you have already heard that high-quality content is kind. And all successful content creators will back up that statement:

Publishing valuable content that answers questions or solves problems is the fundamentals of affiliate marketing for beginners. Whether you work with YouTube videos, blog articles, or social media posts, the content you offer has to be of the highest quality.

You can’t publish poor content, spam it with many referral links, and expect to make affiliate sales. No member of your audience will invest in your affiliate products if you fail to establish trust and prioritize their experience.

Your success as an affiliate marketer doesn’t depend on how many affiliate links you place within a piece of content. Instead, the most important factor to consider in your online business is converting readers into potential buyers.

Types Of Content To Create For Your Affiliate Site

  • Product Reviews & Comparisons: According to statistics, over 90% of consumers check the reviews before they purchase a product. Comparison articles help the readers to choose one product instead of another and make informed buying decisions.
  • Roundups: Similarly to product comparisons, roundups cover the advantages and disadvantages of many products at once.
  • Tutorials: Teaching your readers how to use a specific product will help them understand the benefits of that product first-hand.
  • eBooks: Sometimes, blog posts don’t provide enough space to go in-depth on certain topics. You can create eBooks that offer plenty of valuable information. Besides, eBooks can operate as lead magnets to attract new subscribers to your email list. Plus, you can use high-quality eBooks as your own products to sell (if that makes sense for your marketing strategy).

5) Drive Traffic To Your Affiliate Site

you must drive traffic to your referral links once you start affiliate marketing for beginners

Assuming you already have plenty of valuable content on your website, your next step is to bring as many people as possible to read it.

Driving traffic to your offers is unavoidable – you need people to click on your affiliate links and purchase the right products for them. SEO is one of the best ways to get organic traffic to your blog posts.

However, you can use other traffic generation methods too, such as:

Social Media

Having an active presence on social media is a must for your affiliate marketing business. Social media networks can help you reach a new audience and boost brand awareness.

Start with one social media account on a platform where most of your target audience spends time. You’ll need to factor in the audience’s demographics and interests when choosing a social media platform to build a following and engagement.

For instance, if the products you promote target the younger population, you should take your business on TikTok (most TikTok users are between 10-18 years old).

Tip: If you have some budget, contact a social media influencer with a large following on the platform you use. Influencer marketing can be an effective strategy to boost your affiliate commissions further.

To be able to earn affiliate commissions from your content, you need as many people to see it as possible.

Build An Email List

Email marketing and affiliate marketing for beginners go hand-in-hand, and it has been that way for many years. An email list will allow you to connect with your audience at any time, and that’s invaluable for any affiliate marketer:

Carefully crafted email campaigns will constantly bring visitors to your content. More importantly, strategically placing affiliate links in your weekly emails will increase your conversion rates and help you make more affiliate sales.

Think about it – if a person gives you access to their email address, that person already enjoys the content you provide and wants more. Sending emails about your new article will most likely bring that person back to your affiliate site.

If you don’t have an email autoresponder yet, get one as soon as possible. I suggest ConvertKit since that email service provider is beginner-friendly and comes at an affordable price.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising

Nowadays, you can read many success stories of marketers using PPC campaigns to earn thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions. A PPC campaign can be quite effective if you create it properly.

With that said, using paid traffic to increase your affiliate sales works best if your business is already making money. Even the best affiliate marketing tips protect your investment if you get into PPC advertising without having in-depth knowledge of how to navigate it.

6) Get Clicks On Your Affiliate Links

Unfortunately, most newbie affiliate marketers believe that getting tons of organic traffic is enough to earn affiliate commissions, but that’s not true.

While many people may read your content, it doesn’t mean that each of them will click on your referral links. So, how do you get those clicks?

Here are a few things to consider to improve your click-through rate:


By all means, you should never place affiliate links to products not relevant to your audience or the type of content you publish on your site.

Promoting products that offer huge payouts might seem tempting, but that strategy won’t bring you any results.

Link Placement

How many clicks do you think you’ll get if you place all your affiliate links at the end of your article? As you probably already know, most people tend to skim through blog posts and rarely read your last paragraph.

Meanwhile, implementing ten affiliate links in the first 200 words of a blog post will make your content look spammy.

Place your affiliate links strategically and always keep a balance while doing so.


Callouts (boxes, buttons, tables, and even banner ads) can prompt more readers to act on your affiliate offers.

Also, they’ll make your content less skimmable, so don’t forget to use them where it makes sense.

7) Convert Clicks Into Affiliate Sales

convert clicks into affiliate sales

Every affiliate marketing for beginners guide will tell you that click conversion is one of the most essential factors to determine your success.

With that said, what can you use to increase your conversion rates?

Reading blog income reports is a great way to find which affiliate programs and strategies work best for other marketers.

Another thing you can do is to ask the affiliate partner you want to work with many questions during the application process. Don’t hesitate to demand information about the average conversion rate of the product you want to promote.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

Since I’m covering the topic of affiliate marketing for beginners, this article won’t be complete unless I mention some valuable affiliate marketing tools:

  • Google Search Console (submit sitemaps, check your backlinks, and discover technical errors on your website that need fixing)
  • Thirsty Affiliates (cloak your affiliate links and keep track of them)
  • Affiliate Bots (a marketing system that contains 37 pieces of software you can use to take your affiliate campaigns to the next level)
  • Niche Marketing Kit (all-in-one toolbox every professional affiliate marketer should have)
  • ConversioBot ( a chatbot tool that will triple your conversion rate by engaging your visitors in conversation and offering assistance)
  • Thrive Landing Pages (a landing pages set that will help you create a highly-converting marketing funnel)

See Also: Affiliate Titan X

Top Affiliate Marketing Channels

1) Blogging

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize a website.

Launching a blog and SEO-optimizing it helps affiliate marketers drive traffic to their offers and earn affiliate commissions. The affiliate links you add to your content must lead the visitors to relevant and high-quality products.

2) Influencer Marketing

You don’t have to become a celebrity to take advantage of influencer marketing.

Assuming some of you have businesses with a dedicated following on social media, you can monetize your business’s influence on your own.

3) Email Lists

If you do email marketing the right way, your email list will become one of the most precious business assets.

Nurturing your email subscribers and offering them extra value is the best way to monetize your email list.

4) Microsites

First and foremost, a paid search micro site operates differently than a pre-made affiliate site.

Microsites are branded pages that currently don’t reside on your main blog. Marketers use them to reach a more targeted audience than the one they already have.

5) Mass Media Sites

Mass media sites are large websites that attract an incredible amount of traffic daily.

They post reviews and comparisons between different affiliate products.

Usually, the promotions happen via banner ads and contextual affiliate links.

6) Coupons

Coupon sites might not be the hottest thing you can read about in this affiliate marketing for beginners guide. Be that as it may, they are hugely popular among affiliate marketers.

Posting affiliate links on coupon sites will increase your chance of making more money from affiliate sales.

Types Of Payment In Affiliate Marketing

As you already know, affiliates earn money when a consumer completes an action.

But what kind of consumer action can bring you affiliate revenue? In other words, what are the payment methods in affiliate marketing for beginners?


Pay-per-sale is probably the most common payment method in affiliate marketing. With that method, affiliates earn a percentage of the product’s price each time a person buys through their affiliate link.


The pay-per-click payment structure will result in earnings from clicks rather than sales. Likewise, the more people click on your affiliate link, the more money you can make.


Lastly, the pay-per-lead payment method will calculate your earnings based on lead conversion.

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Best Practices

  • Disclose Affiliate Links: Not letting your visitors know that the links in your article are affiliate ones is not an option. Adding an affiliate disclosure is not only about being transparent with your audience but about following the law as well.
  • Avoid Affiliate Theft: Unfortunately, some promoters do affiliate marketing the wrong way. Do your best to stay away from affiliate theft to avoid consequences to your business.
  • Don’t Sell Out: Promoting products for the sole reason of earning as much money as possible is a decision you’ll regret. Selling out and losing the trust of your audience won’t get you anywhere in the long run.
  • Learn To Be Patient: Driving thousands of visitors to your offers and increasing your conversion rate is a marathon, not a sprint.

Mistakes To Avoid As An Affiliate Marketer

Do we have time for a couple more affiliate marketing tips? I think we do:

Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid once you start affiliate marketing for beginners:

  • Creating low-quality content that doesn’t answer questions or solve problems
  • Working with only one affiliate program
  • Underestimating the importance of SEO
  • Lacking in-depth knowledge of the product or service you promote
  • Neglecting to include both the pros and cons of the product you’re reviewing

See Also: 10 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Do You Need An Affiliate Marketing Course?

Quite frankly, going through an affiliate marketing course is always something I would recommend:

Mastering the craft of affiliate marketing without the proper guidance and professional help will take you twice as long (or even longer).

These days, many affiliate marketing courses exist. Since you’re just starting, investing thousands of dollars in affiliate marketing training might not be possible.

So, I suggest starting your affiliate marketing education with an online course that won’t empty your bank account.

Popular Affiliate Marketing Courses:

How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money

Can you start affiliate marketing with no money? It turns out you can:

Anyone can create a free account on Wealthy Affiliate and launch an affiliate marketing business without paying anything.

Right now, Wealthy Affiliate provides free affiliate marketing training, a keyword research tool, a website, a web hosting service, and many other perks.

Again, you’ll receive all that without using your credit card – you can stay a free Wealthy Affiliate member for as long as you wish.

See Also: How To Make Money On Wealthy Affiliate

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners FAQs

How Do I Start Affiliate Marketing With No Experience?

Step-By-Step Guide To Starting Affiliate Marketing:

  • Pick a niche
  • Choose a content platform
  • Join high-paying affiliate programs
  • Create valuable content
  • Drive traffic to your affiliate site
  • Get clicks on your affiliate links
  • Convert clicks into sales

Can You Make $100 A Day With Affiliate Marketing?

You can make $100 a day with affiliate marketing if you choose a niche with a lot of product potential (digital products).

As a full-time affiliate marketer, your goal should be to work with affiliate networks that offer lucrative partnerships in your field.

Is Affiliate Marketing Good For Beginners?

Affiliate marketing is a beginner-friendly business model since it doesn’t require creating your own products or services.

Moreover, anyone can start affiliate marketing with no money, so such a business doesn’t come with start-up costs.

What Are The Three Types Of Affiliates?

Generally, there are three types of affiliate marketing:

  • Unattached affiliate marketing
  • Related affiliate marketing
  • Involved affiliate marketing

My Closing

OK, this is all I have for you today. Still, the topic of affiliate marketing for beginners is never over!

I’ll keep updating this article with more relevant information in the future.

Until then, what do you think about the affiliate marketing business model?

Do you plan to start an affiliate marketing business any time soon?

Let me know in the comments section below. Also, don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have about this topic.

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