Affiliate Marketing Beginner’s Guide

Learning affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be more complicated than necessary. And to simplify the process for you here, is the goal of this little guide.

Through it you’ll see exactly what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and the steps you need to take to get started on the right foot.​

After reading it, you’re going to understand the process of affiliate marketing, starting from the customer, the product they purchase, and how you’re going to make a commission from it.

You’ll also have the 4 simple steps you need to follow to get started into that process.

Are you ready for it? Then, let’s begin!


What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing is the procedure of earning commissions by promoting, recommending, or reviewing other people’s products.

All you have to do in short is to find a product (or group of products) that you like or used yourself, give your opinion on them, or recommend it to someone you think it might help, and earn a percentage of the sale each time someone is buying one through your recommendation.

So with affiliate marketing there are three persons or parties involved:

  • You (the affiliate)
  • The merchant or product owner (and their affiliate program )
  • The person buying (the customer)

The process is really simple. As an affiliate, you have to join an affiliate program to have the ability to recommend and promote the list of products included in that affiliate program.

The way it works is that, once you sign up to an affiliate program and get approved, you receive a unique affiliate ID. That ID will be embedded in every product links that you’ll promote and will track every sales you will make through those links.

As an example, if someone see a product that you recommend, click on the link you provided with it, land on the merchant sales page and buy it, you earn a commission from it.

And that commission can vary between 1% to 75% depending which affiliate program you joined.

Let’s say for instance that you join an affiliate network like Clickbank.

Once you are an affiliate there, you can choose between a big list of products inside 22 categories, divided themselves in several sub-categories.

If someone arrived on your website interested in reading a review about one of these Clickbank products like Ben Pakulksi’s Mi40 sold at $77.00, it will mean a commission of $51.98 in your pocket if that someone decide to buy his program through your link at a 75% commission rate.


So, imagine selling an average of just 3 of them each day, this will mean a commission of $155.94 for you.

And at the end of the week you would have made around $1,091.58. And that is for just one product.

That’s a reality for many affiliate marketers who are doing it full time.


Who Can Be An Affiliate Marketer

Absolutely anyone can be an affiliate marketer. It doesn’t matter how old you are and even the knowledge and experience you can have.

Every day I see people of all walk of life and from every group of age starting and evolving in that business.

The only thing you need to do is join an affiliate program or network like Clickbank or Amazon Associates to have products to promote.

An affiliate network is a group of merchants with affiliate programs inside one main platform or website.

Those affiliate networks or programs are usually free to join.

With Clickbank you don’t need to have a website initially to signup and be approved.

But with affiliate programs like Amazon Associates you need to have a website up and running (or at least a social media page).


How And When You Get Paid

When it comes to how and when you get paid, every affiliate program can be different.

With some you are only paid monthly.

With others, like Clickbank, you can choose to be paid every week, every two weeks and so on.

And you also have a threshold on when they can start paying you. That threshold can be something like $50.

This mean that, every time you have more than $50 accumulated when it’s time for you to get paid, you will be. Below that you will not be.

As for the method you get paid, it can vary from one affiliate program to another. The most popular ones are:

  • By check
  • Paypal
  • Directly into your bank account


Where to Start Affiliate Marketing – 4 Simple Steps

So you now have a good idea of what is affiliate marketing, what are the three parties involved (you, the affiliate program, the customer), and what is the process that goes from the customer to the product and a commission to you. 

But now, how do you apply all this? How do you get started? Where do you start?

Essentially, the process that will lead you to earn your first affiliate commissions can be resumed in three parts:

  1. Decide on a specific market to go with
  2. Build a site that will rank
  3. Meet your visitors’ needs
  4. Make money through products you recommend

I personally suggest building a website to do this. But no matter what platform you choose to do this, the process is essentially the same.

You first need to decide on a specific market to go with, build a site that will be seen on Google first page, meet people’s need through your site content, and make money through products you are recommending to them.

And for this of course, you need to research an affiliate program for products in that market (whether Amazon or Clickbank in most cases), and then add your affiliate link in your review posts.

I know many are wondering how you can do this without a website. And the only other ways you can is either through a YouTube channel, social media page, or via emails using paid ads to collect them.

I know that, email marketing, is the strategy that is the most recommended by many affiliate marketing forum members.

But in my opinion, it’s not the best path to take when you are just starting and are still inexperienced with affiliate marketing.

I personally think that, starting with a website, and then adding those other elements as you go, is much better.

Because when you are new at this, there will be a learning process that you will need to go through, and you will make a lot of mistakes as you do. The kind of mistakes that you don’t want to do while sending people emails, but that will have less impact if you have done it on a website.


You Don’t Have To Do This Alone

It can be a good idea also, to have some kind of training by someone who is already experienced in that business.

It can be someone you find inside an internet marketing forum who seems to know what he is doing, or it can be through an affiliate marketing course.

I personally started out with Affilorama and their Affiloblueprint step-by-step course back in 2011.

These days, I am with a platform called Wealthy Affiliate. To me it’s one of the best platform I have seen so far. The training, tools and support you get there is hard to compare with anything I have seen yet.

Many have started out with the free starter option and upgraded to premium one after seeing all they were getting there. There are WA members there, who are now doing affiliate marketing full time as a result (read their stories here)

But no matter what platform you choose, who you decide to follow to help you with this, I think it’s important to have someone and not try to do this alone.

I personally can’t see how I would have been able to manage all this counting only on my own resource.