Are you interested in joining the multi billion-dollar affiliate marketing industry? This information will help you get started.

Business spending on affiliate marketing in the United States will reach $8.2 billion by 2022, according to Statista.

affiliate marketing

Start today, and you’ll be well on your way to reaping the rewards.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to get started with affiliate marketing in seven simple steps:

  • Select a platform.
  • Make a decision on a niche for yourself.
  • Participate in affiliate programmes that you are interested in.
  • Create amazing content.
  • Boost the number of people who visit your affiliate website.
  • Increase the number of people who click on your affiliate links by increasing the number of people who click on your affiliate links.

It’s critical to convert clicks into sales.

But first, let’s review some basic concepts.

How does affiliate marketing work and what exactly is it?

When you use affiliate marketing, you promote the products of other businesses. When someone buys something through your affiliate link, you get paid.

As an affiliate, you are a salesperson for the company. The company rewards you for assisting in the closing of a sale.

Affiliate marketing’s best feature is that it can be done in large quantities. A typical salesperson only represents one product brand. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote products from a variety of companies and earn commissions from each one.

The merchant assigns each affiliate a unique link so that they can track who is responsible for a sale. The link will usually look like this:

When someone clicks on that link, their device saves a cookie, which is a small text file.

An affiliate cookie serves two purposes:

It aids the merchant in correctly identifying the customer who made the purchase.

It (usually) has an expiration date, ensuring that you are compensated even if the buyer decides to postpone their purchase.

This is an example of how it works.

Let’s pretend a reader finds your article on the best winter jackets. They go to an Amazon product after clicking on one of your affiliate links.

However, they quickly realized that they needed to pick up their daughter from school. So they leave their house, pick up their daughter, eat dinner, and then go back to Amazon, where the product is available once more.

affiliate marketing

Because they’re already shopping on Amazon, they decide to buy ski equipment.

The good news goes like this: They previously clicked on your affiliate link, causing a cookie to be placed on their device. You get paid for both the winter jacket and the ski equipment, even though you didn’t promote the latter, because Amazon’s cookie lasts for 24 hours.

How much money can I make as an affiliate marketer?

There is no such thing as a limit, to put it bluntly. Your niche and the amount of effort you put in determine this.

Successful affiliate marketers can earn six or seven figures per month.

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, for example, earned over $100,000 in affiliate commissions in December 2017.

Ryan Robinson, another affiliate marketer, reported over $19,000 in affiliate revenue in October 2019. Another successful affiliate website, The Wirecutter, made an estimated $10 million in revenue before being sold for $30 million to the New York Times.

Keep in mind, though, that these people have done a fantastic job building their brand. They’ve put in years of effort to get to this point.

You must control your expectations. Don’t let the fact that you won’t make a lot of money right away deter you.

Others’ success demonstrates that with hard work, time, and the right knowledge, you, too, can achieve those levels.

Simply follow the seven simple steps below.

Select a platform.

Make a decision on a niche for yourself.

Participate in affiliate programmes that you are interested in.

Create amazing content.

Boost the number of people who visit your affiliate website.

Increase the number of people who click on your affiliate links by increasing the number of people who click on your affiliate links.


The first step is to choose a platform.

Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing that can theoretically be done on any platform. Even Instagram is usable.

Using one of two channels to build an audience and increase affiliate sales is much easier: a blog or a YouTube channel.

Starting a blog today is relatively easy and inexpensive. There are a plethora of tutorials available online to help you get started. What is the most enjoyable aspect? It’ll most likely only cost you a few dollars per month.

To improve your chances of ranking, optimise your site for search engines once it’s up and running. Then you can include affiliate links in your content. (There’s an art to it, which we’ll get into later in this guide.)

The other platform is YouTube. YouTube appeals to a wide range of people because creating and uploading content is free. Include affiliate links in the description of your videos to make them SEO-friendly.

You’ll have to disclose that you’re using affiliate links. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires you to be transparent when you receive money from an endorsement.

If you’re using a blog, create a standalone page or include it in the footer of your website. If you’re doing it on YouTube, put it in the description.

A blog now has a higher click-through rate than a YouTube video. As a result, the vast majority of future examples will be for a blog.

Step 2: Choose a niche.

Let’s face it: if you’re starting a blog today, there’s a lot of competition. The number of bloggers in the United States is expected to rise to 31.7 million by 2020, according to Statista.

To increase your chances of success, narrow your focus.

Choose a topic that is narrowly focused on one category. For example, the term “food” covers a wide range of topics. Rather than tackling that, try tackling something more specific, like grilling food.

Maintaining a narrow focus on your topics can help you attract a more targeted audience and, as a result, improve your search engine rankings.

When I built my first website, I did exactly that. Rather than talking about “dance” or “hip hop,” I decided to concentrate solely on breakdancing. I was able to rank for a few key terms and generate approximately 3,000 organic visits per month despite having no prior knowledge of SEO.

After you’ve covered the majority of this category and built traffic to these pages, you can branch out into other areas.

NOTE: Do you need some quick start-up ideas? This is a fun list to peruse.

Choose something you’re passionate about if you’re going to be the primary content creator.

For many affiliate sites, a lack of consistency is the death knell. If you’re passionate about a subject, you’ll find it much easier to stick with it when things get tough.

Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert in the field. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, “document, not create.” Documenting your progress can assist you in creating valuable content and attracting people who want to follow your progress.

If you’re outsourcing content, it’s best to work with seasoned experts in the field. Experts can help you create high-quality, dependable work, which can lead to more traffic, engaged visitors, and affiliate sales.

Step 3: Participate in affiliate programmes that you are interested in.

You can choose between three different types of affiliate programmes.

A. High-paying affiliate programmes with low volume

These are niche affiliate programmes with high payouts.

For example, ConvertKit’s affiliate programme pays nearly $700 per month if you send them only 80 customers. The market is limited, however, because they sell CRM software to small business owners.

There is also more competition for programmes with high commissions. Making a significant amount of money when competing against experienced marketers with deep pockets will be difficult because you’re probably just getting started.

B. Low-payout affiliate programmes with high volume

These are affiliate programmes for products that appeal to a large number of people but pay out a small amount.

Take, for instance, PlayStation 4 games. Despite the fact that the PlayStation 4 is popular, the average game costs around $50, and affiliate commissions are typically in the single digits. This means that if you’re lucky, each sale will net you $2–3.

The fact that these programmes usually have a large number of products to sell is a redeeming feature. Take Amazon’s affiliate programme, for example. You can earn up to 10% commission on almost everything Amazon sells.

Another benefit is that you are often paid commissions on the total purchase price, not just the product you recommended.

To make these affiliate programmes profitable, you’ll need a lot of traffic.

C. Affiliate programmes that pay out a lot of money and have a lot of traffic

These are commission-based affiliate programmes that pay out a lot of money for products that have a lot of interest.

One example is credit cards.

A credit card is required for everyone, and the majority of customers stay with the company for years (if not decades!) at a time.

These products have the disadvantage of attracting affiliate marketers with a lot of experience and a lot of money. Some use spammy tactics that you won’t be able to compete with.

I won’t go any further because this is a beginner’s tutorial.

All you have to do is be aware of the existence of these programmes.

When deciding which affiliate programmes to join, what factors should you consider?

This is determined by your area of expertise and specialty.

If you’re targeting consumers, the second model of low commissions and higher sales volume is likely to be the best option.

If you’re targeting a business audience, the first model will almost certainly be chosen: high-paying and low volume. The most popular programmes are software and web hosting-related products.

The best way to find these affiliate programmes is to do a Google search.

Pat Flynn’s website, Smart Passive Income, for example, promotes a number of software products. According to the Linked domains report, Pat frequently links to Aweber.

When you click the “Links from target” caret, Pat becomes an affiliate.

This program’s application form can be found by doing a simple Google search.

If you want to promote a product that doesn’t have a public affiliate programme, contact the company to see if they’d be willing to build an affiliate relationship with you.

Step 4: Create high-quality content

You must write high-quality content with affiliate links if you want your affiliate site to be successful.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Tim Ferriss conducted interviews with over a hundred celebrities and posed the following question to them:

In the last six months (or recent memory), what $100 or less purchase has had the most positive impact on your life?

He published the following blog post with affiliate links to the products mentioned in the answers:

According to the comments, his fans seemed to enjoy it.

When writing content for your affiliate website, you should follow this model.

Don’t just choose items from Amazon’s best-selling list at random. Make an extra effort to make sure your content responds to the visitor’s problem.

How? If you’re writing a review, you should first purchase the item and put it to the test. The Wirecutter did exactly that, and it’s why they were so successful.

You can always start with what you already have if you don’t have the funds to purchase all of the items. You could write reviews on the gadgets you own if you had a tech blog, for example.

Step 5: Attract visitors to your affiliate website.

You’ve created some fantastic content. Increase the number of people who read it and click on your affiliate links.

Take a look at the three traffic strategies below:

Traffic that has been purchased (A)

This is where you pay for traffic to your website. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a good way to do this.

Paid traffic has the advantage of providing traffic as soon as you begin paying.

However, there are some disadvantages.

  • To begin with, advertising takes a bite out of your profits. Advertisers frequently lose money before turning a profit… if they ever do.

You must be realistic about how long it will take to optimise a paid traffic campaign.

  • Second, if you stop paying for advertisements, you will lose traffic.

Ads are a great traffic strategy if you’re part of a high-paying affiliate programme and can make the numbers work.

  • It might not be the best idea if you’re new to paid marketing and don’t have a marketing budget (or are using lower commission programmes like Amazon Associates).

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term that refers to the process of optimising (SEO)

SEO is the practise of optimising pages to rank highly in search engines like Google.

As long as you can rank high in the search engines for your target keywords, you’ll get consistent and passive traffic.

SEO entails the following at its most basic level:

  • determining what your target customers want to buy;
  • Creating content around those topics (blog posts, product pages, etc. );

Taking care of the “technical” aspects of these pages in order to improve their search engine rankings (which includes link building).

Learn the basics of SEO, or read our beginner’s guide to SEO:

Affiliate Marketing

C. Establish a mailing list.

Using email lists, you can communicate with your readers at any time.

Use them to keep fans informed about new content and to entice them to return to your site for more. As a result, more affiliate clicks and sales are generated.

You can also send affiliate email promotions to your email list directly:

To build an email list, you must persuade visitors to your website to sign up. This necessitates the provision of something of value.

There are, however, numerous options. You could also offer a free eBook, an email course, or something similar in exchange for your email address.

All you’ll need is a little creativity.

(Step 6). Increase the number of people who click on your affiliate links 

People aren’t going to click on your affiliate links just because you wrote a great article.

There are a few points to consider.

A. The hyperlinks’ location

If all of your affiliate links are at the bottom of the page, where people rarely scroll, you’ll get very few clicks.

In your introduction, however, make every other word a link, and your content will appear spammy.

You’ll need to strike a balance between link placement and the other considerations listed below.

B. The Predicament

Assume you’re researching the best kitchen knives under $50.

It’s unlikely that you’ll begin with something like this:

Today, I’m going over the best chef knives.

The links appear to be spammy and unrelated to the topic at hand.

It would be more logical to say:

Today, I’m going to talk about three different chef knives that you can get on Amazon for under $50. The product names are product name 1, product name 2, and product name 3.

Calls to action (C)

Adding callouts to your post, such as buttons, tables, and boxes, can help draw attention to it and make it easier to skim.

The Wirecutter, for example, uses eye-catching boxes with product links when sharing a top pick.

PC Mag takes a different approach, using a comparison table with buttons:

Step 7: Convert clicks into sales

You must complete two conversions in affiliate marketing to make money.

The first conversion occurs when a user visits a product page.

You are in complete command of the situation. Use the strategies listed above to improve your chances of getting that click.

The second conversion occurs when a visitor purchases a product. In affiliate marketing, the merchant is in charge of the checkout, and their conversion rates are beyond your control.

The key is to take advantage of the game and seek out merchants with high-converting programmes.

Here are a few places to look for them:


A. The financial statements have been made public.

It’s safe to assume that if affiliates are making a good living off of a product, it converts well.

How do you know if people are making money?

Examine public income reports to see how much money bloggers make from affiliate partnerships.

These reports are available on Google.

You can find a few blog posts detailing how bloggers have profited from Amazon Affiliates by searching for “income report amazon affiliate.”

In a single month, one blogger appears to have made $7,300 in Amazon commissions.

You can also look at her other affiliate income and possibly promote the same products if you’re in the same industry as her.

B. Inquire about it.

If there isn’t much information available about an affiliate programme, sign up for it and ask questions.

For example, you might be interested in learning about their average conversion rates or a rough estimate of their top earners’ monthly commissions.

This can help you decide whether or not the affiliate programme is worthwhile to promote.

C. Trust your gut feelings.

It’s sometimes best to go with your gut.

Don’t promote a programme or product if something about it feels “off,” or if you wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or family member.

Last but not least, some thoughts

In this article, no affiliate marketing wheels were reinvented. These are the basics, and mastering them will put you on the path to success.

Simply put, don’t expect to make a fortune or be able to quit your 9–5 job in a single day. Affiliate marketing takes a long time to master.

Concentrate first and foremost on making your first affiliate sale. As your site grows, set new goals for it and keep experimenting.