How to Start Affiliate Marketing: Beginner’s Guide 2023

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Azizi Katepa

After discussing in depth how to make a website, let’s discuss How to start Affiliate Marketing. After making a website, the next is to generate an income through the website.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which individuals or entities, known as affiliates, promote products or services on behalf of a company. Here’s a concise explanation about the Affiliate Marketing:

  • Definition: Affiliate marketing is a scheme in which a company compensates partners for business generated through the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
  • Process: Affiliates earn marketing commissions and drive sales for another person or company’s products or services. This is typically achieved through various online channels.
  • Participants: Affiliates can include content creators, bloggers, YouTubers, influencers, and anyone interested in promoting products.
  • Compensation: Affiliates are compensated based on performance, often receiving a small commission for each sale or action generated through their affiliate links or marketing efforts.

Typically, affiliates are rewarded for a sale. However, some affiliate marketing programs can reward you for leads, free-trial user clicks to a website, or getting downloads for an app. 

An affiliate network is a website that connects creators or influencers with different brands’ affiliate programs.

Many affiliate programs are free to join. An effective affiliate marketing strategy can go from a side hustle to a profitable online business idea generating passive income.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. Extremely beneficial to brands and affiliate marketers, the new push toward less traditional marketing tactics has undoubtedly paid off.

Also Read: How to Make a WordPress Website In 2023

What Are the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?

Individuals with a robust online community, either in follower counts or high engagement, are perfect for affiliate marketing partnerships.

An established website or blog is also a great foundation, as social media can be a fickle platform. Businesses aren’t the only ones benefiting from the boom in affiliate marketing. Affiliates find the following reasons to be highly motivating:

  • Low cost and low risk: Besides time, there is zero start-up cost or investment to become an affiliate marketer. You work as a salesperson, promoting and sharing the product or service for a brand while the company manages the business responsibility, customer service needs, and risk. 
  • Scaling your influence and audience can be easy: Once you start an affiliate partnership, For example, if a kitchen company has you promote their cookware, you can easily guide customers to purchase their cooking utensils, linens, and more. 
  • Passive income: Once you’ve done the initial work of setting up affiliate links or advertisements on your website, blog, newsletter, or social media, you can enjoy the benefits of passive income. Every time a follower from your platform uses that link or ad to visit or purchase from your partner company, you make money. 
  • Convenient and flexible: A significant benefit of affiliate marketing is that you aren’t tied to a desk or office. You can work remotely and not have to request time off from your work for vacation or sick leave. 

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate programs allow individuals or businesses (affiliates) to promote and sell products or services of a company in exchange for a commission on each sale.

The affiliate earns a commission each time someone purchases through the unique affiliate link associated with their recommendation.

The infrastructure of affiliate marketing is quite simple:

The affiliate shares an ad or link on their platform of choice. The customer clicks on the ad or link, initiating the conversion.

That conversion is tracked, and the affiliate is paid a commission. Commission percentages and payment structures vary depending on the brand and industry.

Commission rates for affiliate sales vary depending on the company and the offer. You might earn about 5% of the sale on the low end, but with some arrangements, you can earn as much as 50% with high-ticket affiliate programs. Some affiliate marketing programs provide a flat rate per sale instead of a percentage.


Special Considerations

This model aims to increase sales and create a win-win solution for merchants and affiliates. The system is unique and profitable and is becoming increasingly popular.

The internet and improving technologies are making the model more straightforward to implement. Companies have improved how they track and pay commissions on qualified leads.

Being better able to track leads and sales contributes to how they can improve or better position their products.

Those interested in pursuing affiliate marketing will benefit from understanding what’s involved and its advantages and disadvantages.

Companies seeking affiliates will benefit from adequately vetting and qualifying their partners. Overall, it is a low-cost, effective way to advertise products and services, increase brand awareness, and expand a consumer base.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are three main types of affiliate marketing: unattached, related, and involved affiliate marketing.

1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing:

This is an advertising model in which the affiliate has no connection to the product or service they promote. They have no related skills or expertise and do not serve as an authority on or make claims about its use.

This is the most uninvolved form of affiliate marketing. The lack of attachment to the potential customer and product absolves the affiliate from the duty to recommend or advise.

As the name suggests, related affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services by an affiliate with some relationship to the offering.

Generally, the connection is between the affiliate’s niche and the product or service. The affiliate has enough influence and expertise to generate traffic, and their level of authority makes them a trusted source. The affiliate makes no claims about using the product or service.

3. Involved Affiliate Marketing:

This type of marketing establishes a deeper connection between the affiliate and the product or service they’re promoting. They have used or currently use the product and are confident others can share their positive experiences. Their experiences are the advertisements, and they serve as trusted sources of information. On the other hand, because they’re providing recommendations, their reputation may be compromised by any problems arising from the offering.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can yield great rewards for the advertising company and the affiliate marketer. The company benefits from low-cost advertising and the creative marketing efforts of its affiliates, and the affiliate benefits by earning additional income and incentives. The return on investment for affiliate marketing is high as the company only pays on traffic converted to sales. The cost of advertising, if any, is borne by the affiliate.

The advertising company sets the terms of an affiliate marketing program. Early on, companies essentially paid the cost per click (traffic) or per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.

Now, most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions for generating leads. There are also specific banned methods, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate’s page. Some affiliate marketing programs outline how a product or service should be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.

So, an effective affiliate marketing program requires some forethought. The terms and conditions must be spelled out, especially if the contract agreement pays for traffic rather than sales. The potential for fraud in affiliate marketing is possible.

Unscrupulous affiliates can squat on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect. They can populate online registration forms with fake or stolen information, purchase AdWords on search terms the company already ranks high on, and so on. Even if the terms and conditions are clear, an affiliate marketing program requires that someone monitor affiliates and enforce rules.

In exchange, however, a company can access motivated, creative people to help sell their products or services to the world.

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How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

There are a variety of ways affiliate marketers gain commission. Each method depends on the product or service a business is marketing, but most affiliates build an income with a mix of the following:

  • Pay per sale: This is the standard payment structure for affiliates. Within this structure, an affiliate makes a percentage from each sale for a specific product or service they promote. For example, suppose a beauty blogger fosters the release of a new skincare line and encourages readers to purchase the products via their affiliate link. In that case, they will make a percentage from each sale tracked from their blog or social media page to the company’s website. 
  • Pay per action: This is a more complex compensation structure. Affiliates are compensated when a customer visits a company’s website via their affiliate link and takes a specific action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or filling out a contact form. The challenge here is being persuasive enough to encourage a follower or reader to engage directly with the company, leading to notable conversions. 
  • Pay per install: In this structure, when a customer is directed from the affiliate’s link to a company’s website and installs a product, such as a mobile app or software, the affiliate is compensated. For instance, an affiliate could make $.10 for every install of a brand’s new app in the first 90 days after its launch. 
  • Pay per lead: This structure is excellent for beginners who are still building a following. It’s often easier to generate a lead than a sale. Here, an affiliate gets paid a commission every time a customer signs up for something, like a sweepstake or a class. 
  • Pay per click: This is the rarest structure, where an affiliate earns a commission for every click on their unique link. Customers aren’t required to buy anything or take action; they must visit the company’s site. Big retailers and merchants mainly use this structure to build brand awareness.

Also Read: All You Need to Know about WordPress Theme 2023

How Can I Become an Affiliate Marketer?

  • Choose a Niche: The most successful affiliate marketers have a niche they are known for. Since the internet is filled with content, you’ll get farther and be more successful the more specific you can be. For instance, instead of choosing “food” as an area to focus on, selecting a particular style or cuisine will help you make a mark.   
  • Evaluate Market Demand: Along with choosing a niche, knowing what interests people is essential. Is there a new trend or topic that’s getting a lot of views? If so, see if there is a way to position yourself in the conversation. 
  • Analyze the Competition: The best affiliates know other affiliate marketers in their field. Taking the time to analyze the competition can help you improve your skills and strategy and reveal areas that need improvement. 
  • Research Affiliate Programs: Different affiliate programs will generate different outcomes depending on your audience and the products or services you promote. It’s essential to research, understand the expectations and payment structures, and determine which programs work best for you.
  • Pick Your Affiliate Marketing Methods: Affiliate marketing works with any platform, from a blog to a YouTube channel to Instagram. It’s essential to focus on building a solid marketing strategy with the platform where most of your followers are and to know how to maximize the amount of views on your content. 
  • Create and Publish Top-Notch Content: Creating and publishing content that resonates with followers and encourages them to take a specific action, whether that’s making a sale, downloading a file, or signing up for a newsletter, takes up the majority of an affiliate marketer’s time. Those affiliates who have a strong understanding of consumer psychology and can evolve with the ever-changing marketing world thrive the most.

Also Read: How To Register a Domain Name

How to Pick the Right Affiliate Marketing Strategy

To pick the right affiliate marketing strategy, follow these steps:

  1. Research the Product or Service: Research the product or service you plan to promote. Understand its quality, relevance, and demand in the market. This is vital for your credibility and success in affiliate marketing.
  2. Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience’s needs and preferences. Tailor your affiliate products or services to match their interests, ensuring better engagement and conversion rates.
  3. Select the Right Affiliates: Choose affiliates or partners who align with your niche and have a solid reputation. Their audience should closely match yours for effective marketing collaboration.
  4. Consider Commission Rates: Evaluate the commission rates offered by affiliate programs. Higher rates can be more lucrative, but consider the product’s price and conversion potential.
  5. Optimize Your Platforms: Utilize various marketing platforms such as websites, social media, or email marketing to reach a wider audience. Optimize these platforms to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts.
  6. Diversify Your Affiliate Program: Don’t rely solely on one affiliate program. Diversify your partnerships to reduce risk and expand your income streams.
  7. Believe in the Products: Promote products you believe in. Your authenticity will resonate with your audience, increasing trust and conversions.
  8. Seek High-Quality Products: Focus on promoting high-quality products or services. This will enhance your reputation and credibility as an affiliate marketer.
  9. Partner with Influencers: Consider partnering with influencers with a strong following in your niche. Collaborating with them can help you reach a larger, more engaged audience.

By following these steps, you can select the right affiliate marketing strategy that aligns with your goals and maximizes your success in the affiliate marketing industry.

Also Read: The Complete List of the Best Free WordPress Themes 2023

How to Join an Affiliate Marketing Network

To join an affiliate marketing network, follow these steps:

  1. Understand Affiliate Marketing: Familiarize yourself with affiliate marketing basics. You promote products or services and earn commissions on sales or leads generated through your unique affiliate links.
  2. Choose a Niche: Select a niche or industry you are passionate about or have expertise in. This will make creating content and promoting products related to that niche easier.
  3. Research Affiliate Networks: Explore different affiliate networks like AWIN, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and others. Each network has its own set of advertisers and products, so choose one that aligns with your niche and goals.
  4. Sign Up: Visit the website of your chosen affiliate network and sign up as an affiliate marketer. You may need to provide information about your website or promotional methods.
  5. Choose Products: Browse the available products or services within the network and select those you want to promote.
  6. Generate Affiliate Links: Generate unique affiliate links for the selected products. These links will track your referrals and sales.
  7. Promote Products: Promote the products using various methods such as a blog, social media, email marketing, or YouTube. Ensure your promotional content is valuable and relevant to your audience.
  8. Track Performance: Most affiliate networks provide tracking tools to monitor your performance, including clicks, conversions, and commissions earned.
  9. Optimize and Scale: Analyze your results and adjust your strategies as needed. Over time, you can scale your affiliate marketing efforts by adding more products and expanding your promotional channels.
  10. Comply with Regulations: Be aware of any legal and ethical regulations related to affiliate marketing, such as disclosing affiliate relationships in your content.
  11. Earn Commissions: As you drive sales or leads through your affiliate links, you’ll earn commissions typically paid out on a regular schedule by the affiliate network.

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The following networks provide opportunities for marketers and businesses to engage in affiliate marketing programs to promote products and earn commissions.

  • ShareASale: ShareASale is a popular affiliate network known for its diverse partners, including BuzzFeed, Honey, and Etsy.
  • Amazon Associates: Amazon Associates is one of the most well-known affiliate networks, offering access to millions of products on the Amazon platform.
  • TerraLeads: TerraLeads is a prominent affiliate network offering a range of affiliate marketing opportunities.
  • OpenAFF: OpenAFF is another affiliate network known for its affiliate marketing platforms.
  • Magic Click: Magic Click is a reputable affiliate network offering affiliate marketing solutions.
  • Rainmaker: Rainmaker is an affiliate network worth considering for affiliate marketers.
  • dr. cash is another affiliate network on the list of top affiliate networks.
  • Offerrum: Offerrum is a part of the list of top affiliate networks and marketing platforms.
  • Adsterra: Adsterra is known as a reputable affiliate network and marketing platform.
  • CPALead: CPALead is an affiliate network offering various marketing opportunities for affiliates.
  • Fiverr: is like the Amazon of digital services.
  • is a leading partnership automation platform that helps discover, manage, protect, and optimize partnership channels.
  •  Bluehost: The affiliate program is super popular as a web hosting service.
  • Elementor: is a dynamic drag-and-drop website-building platform. Elementor helps web creators build stunning, comprehensive WordPress websites without needing code.
  • Augusta Precious Metals: Their affiliate program pays $165-$200 per qualified lead so that you can earn while helping others make sound investments.
  • Clickbank: is an e-commerce platform and affiliate marketplace that serves as an intermediary between product owners, digital content creators (sellers), and affiliate marketers.
  • Content At Scale is one of the best content automation platforms.
  • Tailor Brands: A top-quality logo marker is critical to success, and Tailor Brands offers a wide range of logo design options for businesses of all sizes.
  • Hostinger is another popular web hosting platform that can offer affiliates up to $150 per sale on a tiered pricing structure.
Hostinger for affiliate marketing

…And Many More.!

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