The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

While affiliate marketing for beginners seems quite daunting, getting started with it is not as difficult as you think it is. In fact, it is simple and inexpensive. 

Everyone’s aspiring to build a stream of passive income while working a 9 to 5 job😴. And with how digitalization makes everything convenient—particularly with business and communication—starting an online side hustle is pretty straightforward. And as mentioned, affiliate marketing is one of them. 

Affiliate marketing is among the top ways to generate money online these days. Mainly, it involves promotional activities like sharing and suggesting products and services of different online merchants.

Having said that, dipping your toes into affiliate advertising is quite simple.✅

If you are looking to start an online gig through promoting physical and digital products, I can help you learn its ins and outs through this beginner-friendly guide.

Let’s dive in?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising technique in which online sellers get to partner with webmasters, marketers, and bloggers to sell their products or services indirectly via sharing and promoting.

For every successful promotional activity—a customer purchased the featured product, for instance—the retailer will have to pay the site owner with the commission they agreed on. Simply put, the blogger/webmaster will get paid only when the promotion follows a successful transaction. 

Furthermore, affiliate marketing is built with four vital components that work together. They are merchantsaffiliatesnetworks, and consumers.

That being said, below are brief of explanations of each component to give you a full grasp:


Also known as product creators, merchants are the individuals who sell product or services they designed and produced. These retailers then offer commission-based revenue to affiliates or partner companies which contributed a significant and positive impact on their brands. 

Apart from that, a merchant can also be anything from solopreneurs to huge companies. Say, you are a digital marketing consultant and you offer services related to your profession, you can look for affiliates that can help you advertise your services. 

In the case of using the Amazon Associates Program, on the one hand, merchants do not need to design and produce their merchandise to sell. 


Typically, affiliates are bloggers, content creators, or marketers who help online sellers when it comes to sharing and promoting their goods or services. And just like merchants, they can be individual entrepreneurs or huge corporations too. 

Mainly, they share and advertise products through content marketing. They create materials such as blog postsinformational articlesinfographicsvideos, and other media available. Their work also involves running digital adssearch engine optimization, and collecting leads and building email lists.

For every successful transaction, they will get paid based on the commission the merchant and the affiliate agreed on. Affiliates often work or popular in the same niche of the merchandise or services they are promoting. 

These individuals earn money every time, say a customer, makes a transaction such as submitting a lead form or purchasing a product through a unique affiliate link provided by the affiliates. 

Affiliate Networks

Although in most cases affiliate networks are not necessary, some merchants opt to work with these people as intermediaries. Essentially, they act as a mediator between online sellers and affiliates to strengthen the trust between the two. A few of the popular networks are ClickBank and JVZoo.

Merchants who choose to work with these people often are too busy to track, record, report, and manage the payments. What these individuals do is that they handle the relationship between the two. They check and render third-party check and balances as well in case fraud rates arise. 

Merchants who choose to work with these people often are too busy to track, record, report, and manage the payments. What these individuals do is that they handle the relationship between the two. They check and render third-party check and balances as well in case fraud rates arise. 


Also known as buyers and customers, consumers are those who make the transactions. Simply put, they are those who consume and purchase the products or services the merchants sell. 

How does Affiliate Marketing works?

More often than not, beginners think earning money through affiliate marketing is made through one method only: every time a customer purchases the affiliate product. That, on the one hand, is a misconception many should forget.

To give you an overview concerning its system, below is a simple step-by-step explanation on how the whole process works.

Step 1: Look for a niche and a product (that is marketable) to promote.

Step 2: Search and join an affiliate program.

Step 3: Produce materials (articles, infographics, videos) that you can use as means to advertise affiliate products.

Step 4: Insert the affiliate link provided by the merchant somewhere in the content.  It serves as a tool to track the number of people who clicked on it.

Step 5: If the consumer purchases the product or avails the service, you get a commission.

But that’s not all. The truth is affiliates generate money each time a lead or a customer takes an action within the website. These transactions vary from merchants to merchants as well. But the most commonly used marketing models are per clickper sale, and lead

Here’s how they vary from each other:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC). As clear as its name suggests, pay-per-click lets you earn money every time a visitor clicked on the affiliate link you provided. I find this setup lucrative as generating clicks is far simpler compared to making sales.

    The only downside is that it is slightly risky and somehow unfair for online sellers. Hence, they rarely offer a pay-per-click model to affiliates.


  • Pay-per-sale (PPS). In pay-per-sale, affiliates get paid each time a sale is made. And unlike the pay-per-click model, this one is a popular method most retailers offer. The catch is the burden lies on the affiliate mostly. Hence, if you want to earn money through PPS, you must leverage your marketing efforts.


  • Pay-per-lead (PPL). Pay-per-lead is a marketing model wherein affiliates get to earn for all leads they can generate. Primarily, the transaction is made every time a potential client submitted, say, submitted an online form containing his contact information. Pre-purchases and trial subscriptions are included as well.

Earn money through Affiliate Marketing

As a beginner, your initial steps into the world of affiliate marketing are the most vital parts of your journey. Essentially, they are your foundation. And how you will execute this part—whether it is strong or weak—will affect significantly the entire process of your business.

It is why learning beforehand is critical as you dip your toes into it. Having that said, I enumerated the best practices one needs to be a successful affiliate marketer.

Look for the right niche

Your chosen niche or topic is among the most crucial aspects of your online business. It serves as the base which will affect and determine the other parts of the process. The size of your target market, for instance, is dependent on what your niche is. The same goes for the affiliate products and services that you wish to promote.

The catch is there are thousands of niches you can choose from and not all of it yields long-term lucrative revenue. Each niche varies in the audience as well. It is why, to be a successful affiliate marketer, you have to consider the topic you want to use for your page.

That being said, I listed down a few questions below to help you pick which niche to use.

  • What are the things/topics you are passionate about? Choosing a topic that you are passionate about yields a lot of advantages. A niche that you are interested with can make things more convenient for you, particularly when it comes to creating content.

    Say, your passion or hobby is physical fitness, then you are most likely knowledgeable about it like its benefits, how and where to start, etc. Hence, writing blog posts about it much simpler if you opt it compared to a topic that you know nothing about. 

  • What topics can bring you to write 30 – 100 blog posts? Affiliate marketing won’t work without content. As such, choosing a niche with a broad topic is essential to produce content regularly.

    Frequent posting of content like articles, infographics, and videos help you build your domain’s authority. In return, it enhances your search engine visibility and increases your chance to rank in Google’s first page as well as other search platforms.

  • Is your chosen niche marketable? As I have mentioned earlier, not all niche is profitable and can serve you long-term. Things change and so do the trends too. And if that’s is the case, it is crucial that you pick a niche that is marketable and has long-term value.

    It is where you put the balance between your passion and running a business. Admit it or not, being passionate about your chosen niche is not enough to succeed. You also need to recognize which aspects can help you make money—and that includes a marketable niche.

  • Is there enough demand and interest in this topic?  Let’s say your niche is broad enough to produce content regularly. The thing is, does it draw enough interest to build a large audience?

    Remember that in affiliate marketing, your goal is to attract customers and persuade them to purchase the products you promote. And without consumer interest, your chance to generate sales is most likely low.

Build a website

Dipping your toes into affiliate marketing will require you to build a professional website. Your domain or your website, just like a physical address, serves as your virtual address where your readers and customers can find you. It also acts as a digital space where you can share, display, and store your insights through posting content.

To help you get started, I enumerated below the step-by-step process on how to set up a page.

Step 1: Buy a domain and create an address for your page

Building a webpage requires a domain address. When deciding what domain name to use, put in mind that, as much as possible, it will reflect or is related to your blog’s theme. There are millions of websites on the internet as well. As such, make sure to pick one that is unique yet will ring a bell to your target market.

Here’s an example of a domain address:

The only downside I find is that domains are not free. You have to purchase one through domain service platforms such as GoDaddy, WordPress, or NameCheap. The price varies depending on the type of domain as well. However, if you are in a tight budget, numerous cheap sites offer affordable domains that you can check out too.

Step 2: Purchase and set up hosting

Your virtual address is useless without a house or space. So, for the next step, you have to purchase a web hosting where you can display and store all your content.

Select a reliable and trustworthy web hosting service that can provide your chosen niche’s requirements. Numerous sites offer an excellent hosting service. But since you are a beginner, I listed down my top platforms that are great for professional, personal, and business sites.

  • WordPress
  • HostGator
  • GoDaddy
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • SiteGround
  • Bluehost

Most website builders offer both hosting and domain services. As such, you can purchase the two from one place only. On a good note, it is possible to link the two in case you bought them from two different sites.

Step 3: Pick a content management system platform to install

Once you are done with the first two steps, the next step is you need to install a content management system or CMS. It is a marketing tool used to create, modify, and manage content. There are several content management platforms available today. However, for starters like you, I suggest you opt WordPress over other applications.

WordPress has been in the industry for years and is one of the oldest CMS. It is easy to use, beginner-friendly and comes with a wide range of features that you can utilize to maximise your content marketing strategy.

Furthermore, the installation process is straightforward as well as most hosting providers come with WordPress installation tool. All you have to do is click the button, follow the process, and that’s it! 

Step 4: Make your website look professional and presentable

Once you are done building your digital space, it is time to decorate and polish it. As an affiliate marketer, you also need to put in your mind that your website’s style, design, as well as structure will affect how your visitors perceive you and your business’ brand. That is why you have to make sure you build your website with your target audience in mind. 

For starters like you, simply scroll through WordPress’ massive gallery of web themes. You can use all designs as-is or—if you know how to code using HTML and CSS—you can tweak it according to your preferences.

Step 5: Create content to share

Lastly, fill up your webpage with valuable and useful content. When coming up with concepts and titles for your materials (articles, for example) I advise you prioritize your readers’ demands.

So, ask yourself: what do they want to read? how do they want to read it? what types of blog posts do they like to consume? Take note of how you structure and convey your message too. Is it too salesy? Or is it better if you recommend the merchandise rather than pushing them to purchase it?

Having that said, here are a few things to remember when writing blog posts:

  • Write relevant and useful content
  • Write clear and compelling CTA
  • Integrate visual aids such as photos, videos, memes, or GIFs
  • Don’t overwhelm your readers with very complicated sentence structure technical words

Another thing to consider is how you present your materials. Provide them not just articles, but insightful yet engaging and easy-to-read content. 

Choose the right merchant and product 

It is understandable that the primary objective of affiliate marketing is to ‘generate sales’. And in order to reach that goal, you need to have products or services to promote. If possible, everything under the sun. That is a reckless move that affiliate marketers need to be wary of, unfortunately.

As an online entrepreneur and marketer, you have to consider your reputation as well. Not all merchants offer excellent customer service. If a potential customer is treated poorly, the merchant’s credibility will be reflected on you too. So, examine the merchant and how he handles his business first before recommending their products.

The same goes for products you will advertise. Opt for merchandise that is related to your niche. Don’t just pick anything! Another thing is you have to see if the product is salable and in-demand. Otherwise, your chance to sell it is low. 

Build a strong audience

If you want affiliate marketing to become your first successful online biz, you need to prioritize your lead generation practices. Simply put, you need to ensure that you can drive a high amount of web traffic to your site.

That said, here are a few lead generation strategies that you can utilize: 

  1. Drive quality web traffic through social media. Social media marketing is an excellent way to leverage your leads and sales. What you have to do is choose and create an account on one or two social media networks that you think can help your target market. From that, start building your audience.

    If you think this task is not something you could execute, I suggest you get a mentor to teach you or a social media manager to help you do the job. Either or, both can help you generate web traffic.

  2. Use the power of content. As mentioned, blogging without content is useless. The only way for you to capture your target market’s attention is by providing them materials they would want to read, watch, and listen to. You can do that through content marketing

Here’s how you can maximize your content:

  • Post frequently.

    Build your audience by posting frequently. Folks love free stuff, so keep them hooked all the time. You will earn new readers by posting regularly, as well. Particularly, if your content’s topics are always on-trend.

  • Provide informational and valuable content. There are thousands of websites on the internet today. And whether you like it or not, you will compete with most of them. As such, to stand out, you have to outrank them. 

How, you ask?

Simple. Provide your readers with meaningful, informational, and engaging materials. Always put your audience in mind when creating content. Talk about things they are interested in an engaging and lively approach. Most importantly, be genuine, and don’t be afraid to use and put your voice into the blog.

Putting it all together

Dipping your toes into affiliate marketing seems a good idea these days. With the continuous rise of digital stores and solopreneurs, the demand for influential individuals to promote products and services increases as well.

It is a perfect side hustle for most as it does not require a large amount of money to start. It lets people work at the comfort of their homes, which is apt for stay-at-home moms who wish to earn money online. And while it may take some time to see the results, affiliate marketing is indeed a lucrative online biz especially if you know how to run and execute it properly.

The only downside is that for starters, it will surely not be a smooth journey. It is why I wrote this article: to help aspiring online entrepreneurs in their first step towards affiliate marketing.There are numerous ways to earn online and affiliate marketing is one of them , follow this link to learn other methods