How To Start With Affiliate Marketing In 2020 And Beyond

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How To Start With Affiliate Marketing

Have you been wondering how to start with Affiliate Marketing, that fantastic multi-billion business of unlimited opportunity for everyone?

This article will give you the steps to help you to get started.

According to Statista, the U.S. affiliate marketing spending will be 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion the sum in 2017.

Can you get your piece of the cake? How to benefit from Affiliate Marketing? How can you get guidance if you are an absolute beginner?

In this article, I will share with you what is the best way to start. And the steps to follow to succeed with Affiliate Marketing, and I will share some of the best-paying Affiliate Marketing programs.

The basic steps are:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Create a website
  3. Attract traffic, and the fourth step resulting from the three prior is to make money.

From these 3 necessary steps and the 4th as a result, this is a more detailed road-map to follow:

  1. Choose a Platform
  2. Select Your Target Audience Or Niche
  3. Join Affiliate Programs
  4. Create Relevant Content, SEO optimized
  5. Attract Visitors
  6. Get Clicks And Sales
how to start with affiliate marketing and succeed - infographic

Before we dive into these steps, here is the first very basic knowledge you need. If you already have this knowledge, then skip to the steps.

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Know The Basics Of Affiliate Marketing

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the method of promoting other companies’ or individuals’ products. You earn commissions when somebody makes a purchase of any of those products through your links.

What you are doing as an affiliate is being a Sales Person for the various companies. Your part is to help them to sell, and they pay you commissions in exchange.

You can scale Affiliate Marketing because you do not have to stick only to products from one single company, like ordinary salespeople. And, you can promote products from many affiliate programs and earn money from all of them.

How Does It Work?

The company will provide you with affiliate links.

One example of Affiliate Link

They are used to validate you as the referrer of potential clients by recording a cookie in their devices.

Cookies also help keep that potential customer yours to earn the commission for any purchase made. Even when the purchase is made on another visit to the vendor’s site. Or even if the customer buys something else than your recommendation.

One example of the many Affiliate Marketing Networks is Amazon. I will use Amazon to illustrate how cookies work.

The Amazon cookie duration is 24 hours. Let’s imagine you promote a product through an Amazon Associates link, and that product is purchased, not on your link’s first visit. Still, on another visit to Amazon during the 24 hours, you will get the commission even if the second visit is not from your link.

If the same customer buys another product during that period, you also get a commission for that purchase, even when it is not the product you recommended with your links.

The cookie storage duration varies among affiliate programs, from a day to very long-lasting cookies or even life-time cookies.

Click on the below image to better understand how to make money online; this is one of the 10 Lessons of the Online Entrepreneur Certification. It is free and includes a great set of tools to apply these fundaments.

How to start with affiliate marketing and how you will make money online

Something that you need to know is that you need to disclaim the use of Affiliate Links.

These are requirements from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect consumers. You must be very transparent in disclosing the use of links to endorse products or services.

These disclosures can be on a standalone page of your website or at your site’s footer.

Some programs have specific needs for these disclosures like Amazon requires a particular disclosure text. Other programs require the disclaimers to be close to the links and to be clear and conspicuous.

How Much Money Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?

It is what most people want to know. And I answer that question with another one: How hard are you willing to work for it?

How much time will you invest if you know that you will trade your 9-5 for financial freedom and time freedom?

What you can earn with Affiliate Marketing is unlimited; there is no cap. But you need to know that it will not happen from the night to the morning or in a brief period, without any effort.

That is the other question many people ask: How long does it take?

The most successful Affiliate Marketers work their way through and invest a lot of time, mostly, in growing their businesses, with results that can be incredible, but they are possible.

Anyone can succeed when doing the right things.
Read This Post From Jerry Huang. A 21-Year-Old Successful Entrepreneur

Money investment is also necessary, free means to build an online business are not exactly abundant, and they are not offering all that you need.

A small budget is necessary to start, but it can be minimal (read on, as I will tell more about this in just a bit), and then as your sales start to spike, you can invest more in keeping scaling it.

It will take time for the most, and honestly is not hard if you discipline yourself to use your time better. It would be best if you traded free time for the fun to build your Affiliate Marketing business. No success is guaranteed unless you put in the effort and commitment to it.

The fact is that the more time and the more effort you invest in the beginning, the faster you will see results. That is like in any other thing in life, but there is an exception: With Affiliate Marketing, the growth can be exponential rather than linear, and you can create passive income. Money coming to you in auto-pilot.

For which the time and effort invested well worth it. Don’t you agree?

Can You Discipline Yourself?

One of the funniest things is that most people say: “I don’t have time to invest every day in online business.” Really? But to scroll Social Media posts, they have all day (or all their free-time). It’s fun, I do not deny it, but it consumes people’s time, most of the time, unproductively.

Think about it for a moment; how much more can anyone do with that time to be successful?

So yes, the money that you can earn with Affiliate Marketing is unlimited. But it is limited the people who are willing to put in the work to reap the benefits.

Now that you know the basics, you are ready to start your journey. Here are the steps to succeed.

Step 1: Choose A Platform

Your platform to launch your affiliate marketing campaigns can be anyone—even social media (Facebook, Instagram). Many programs and systems show you how you can promote products and earn commissions by using social media paid-ads.

If you already have a big audience in social media or a big list of subscribers to an email list, then you can promote your campaigns through them without spending money on advertising.

You may even do Affiliate Marketing without any platform of your own, by doing Paid Advertising in Search Networks like Bing, Google, or Yelp. In this case, you will direct the traffic to the products or service sales page by promoting your affiliate links.

Another platform to consider for Affiliate Marketing success is a YouTube Channel.

However, the best way to grow an audience, thus having a consistent increase in your sales over time, is by creating your website and start blogging.

If you are not like most people, then listen carefully:

It is possible to start an online business at this time, especially with all the restrictions happening these days.

Websites are not anymore reserved only for tech-savvy people or coders. New technologies such as CMS (Content Management Systems), make the task a “children game.”

It does not matter your knowledge or background; you can start from zero.

If you make the wise decision of starting your website as a platform, then you will need a few things:

1. Training

To be successful with affiliate marketing, you need to know what you are doing. It is essential to get the necessary knowledge to succeed. (Or pay for the understanding of others, and honestly, you may be an easy target for scams too).

There are many ways to get free training online for Affiliate Marketing. However, you need to jump from one page to the next to get different resources.

Some programs completely organize knowledge in a systematic way of learning.

2. Specific Tools

To build your website and your Affiliate Marketing business, you need to have specific tools and assets.

You need a domain, hosting, security, speed tools, publishing tools, and marketing tools.

It is vital to have the right set of tools to perform and drive traffic for your website.

3. Help and Support

Without help and support, you may be finding yourself adrift. It is imperative that you can rely on the best motivation, execution, and technical channels of assistance.

What is the best platform to start your website?

Without a doubt, one of the best, if not the best platform to start an Affiliate Marketing business, is Wealthy Affiliate.

How To Start With Affiliate Marketing - PabloWA Profile
My Profile At WA: All My Tools And Resources In One Place

This program offers the most comprehensive and easy-to-follow training and industry-leading tools.

The most important: the program is a membership to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and aspirants. You will have the help of this great community and the top-notch technical support.

So when choosing Wealthy Affiliate as your website platform, you have all that you need for you and your audience, in one place, for a very affordable fee.

Wealthy Affiliate is free to test. So there is also no risk; thus, this is my number one recommendation on starting with Affiliate Marketing.

You will learn the skills to optimize your website’s content for higher rankings in the Search Engines. That is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

And independently of where you build your website or blog, you need to do SEO to achieve the exposure necessary to drive traffic and sales.

Read more about tools to help with Keywords, SEO, and rankings.

My websites and businesses in Affiliate Marketing are built on Wealthy Affiliate’s foundations, like those of many others.

Here you have some reference testimonials directly from fellow members’ profiles.

  1. I Made Over $1 Million With Affiliate Marketing.
  2. What Does $1000 Per Day Look Like?
  3. $40,000 In One Weekend
  4. A Very Humbling $12,803.26 Month – August Progress Report
  5. My First $3.75K Month, 2.5 Years Later! (Patience Pays Off)
  6. Newbies Pay Attention! $5,195.20 Affiliate Check for June: Thanks, WA!
  7. How To Start Your 4-Figure Affiliate Marketing Business (Watch The Video Below by Jerry Huang, a very young and successful entrepreneur.)

Step 2: Select Your Target Audience Or Niche

A Niche is an audience.

It is a group of people or communities that share a common interest. They also share the problems or issues related to that interest. It can also be defined as a topic, whether it is broad or more specific.

So, ideally, you want to create a site and content that will help people interested in your topic.

That is one of the SEO principles. The more helpful and problem-solving-aimed your content is, the more it will reach high ranks to attract lots of free traffic.

The most important of choosing your niche is not if you are an expert at it or not. For instance, it can be something that you love. You will become an expert just by researching information on that niche and sharing it with others.

So what is most important? It can be resumed in two words: narrow down.

Let’s say you are passionate or interested in Dance, and thus you want it to be your niche. The problem is that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Dance websites.

So it would be best if you narrowed down your topic. For instance, if your site is about Ballroom Dance, you started narrowing down; moreover, if your site is about Tango Dance, you focus on a much more specific discipline.

Do you see the picture? The purpose is that now, you have better chances to attract a much more focused audience and to rank higher in Search Engines.

You can learn precisely how to choose your niche in the Online Entrepreneur Certification Free Lessons at Wealthy Affiliate (Lesson 3). If you decide to start with Affiliate Marketing, this is the training I recommend you. It is a part of the All-In-One platform above-mentioned.

Choose A Niche

And if you are not sure about the whole thing, know this training level is free, all ten lessons.

Step 3: Join Affiliate Programs Or Networks

Joining Affiliate Programs is free. Same as joining big affiliate networks.

The process is quite simple; you will need to fill some applications and wait for them to accept you as a partner. In some cases, acceptance is immediate and automatic.

You need to think in terms of your niche to select your Affiliate offers to promote.

In other words, your offers need to be relevant.

If your niche is sports and fitness, you will probably want to join affiliate programs or networks that offer products or services.

Promoting Software as a Service, for instance, will not be precisely related to that niche, unless it is a software to keep track of your fitness progress.

To make it very simple to understand, if your niche is health, you don’t want to promote unrelated products.

Search In Google
Affiliate Programs: A Quick-Search-In-Google Away

What Type Of Affiliate Program To Join?

Again, think about your audience.

Your affiliate links are an integral part of your content. If you want to help people solve their problems, your offers should offer some solutions.

There are high-volume and low-volume programs. The first are products that sell massively, such as food supplements or small home appliances.

More people are looking for them, but there is also more competition, and the commissions are lower.

Low-volume programs generally pay higher commissions. Such is the case of Email Marketing SaaS or Web Hosting. But the demand is limited mostly to businesses, making the volume of sales lower.

Then there are high-volume and high-payments affiliate programs such as Credit Cards, but those programs are more reserved to experienced marketers with a vast following.

If you are a beginner, think of your niche; if you are after businesses, better to try low-volume, high-paying programs.

But let’s say your niche is for consumers. Then it is better that you join networks and affiliate programs to sell products massively, even at a lower commission rate.

Again, it all depends on your selected niche and your level of experience, and your site’s authority.

Back to Wealthy Affiliate, the platform also incorporates Affiliate Programs organized in different categories, payment levels, popularity, etc. Remember that I mentioned this is an All-In-One platform for your Affiliate Marketing Business.

Affiliate Marketing Programs  at Wealthy Affiliate Platform

So now you have the training, the support, the website, and the Affiliate offers in one place.

Here I also want to share with you some great Affiliate Marketing Programs and Affiliate Marketing Networks to join.

Step 4: Create Relevant Content That Is Engaging and SEO optimized

Writing content for a niche blog may seem too difficult at first. It is not so. Granted, it is not easy, but if you keep the following aspects in mind, it becomes easier.

  1. First and foremost, remember that your mission is to help. If your content is not written, thinking of what your audience wants, it won’t be easy to engage with.
  2. You have to optimize your content first for your audience, and then also for Search Engines, which means you need to use Keywords in the right way, give your articles an optimized structure, and be grammatically correct.
  3. You need to place references and citations, facilitating even more resources for your readers’ needs. Link to other related internal and external content helps your visitors even more.
  4. You need to include your Affiliate Offers that solve your visitors’ problems in context and not in excess.
  5. If you want to reach more people, not only helpful content but also the quality and lengthy content are appreciated by search engines to put it in front of those eyeballs.

Following and giving attention to these points is crucial for the success of your Affiliate Marketing Business.

Acquiring the necessary knowledge and learning the techniques to create great content that ranks doesn’t take too long, and you can learn it as you build your business.

The good news is that anyone can start with zero knowledge and do it, as long as you desire to learn, work, and succeed.

The Wealthy Affiliate platform also includes a Content Creation And Publishing Tool: “SiteContent.” And all the lessons are aimed to step-by-step guide you through the creative process.

How To Start With Affiliate Marketing

So at each step of your Affiliate Marketing Business, the tools required are available.

I know I may sound biased, but it’s true, I know it because I use this platform to create the content that you are reading right now. I went from an absolute beginner without any knowledge in creating an online business to an expert.

What is best about it for me is that it is affordable, and the value I get is much more than the minimal cost, and for you, the fact that you can start without investing a cent (just like I did).

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links, to products or services that I recommend, after thorough testing or research. By following these links, you will not have any extra cost in the event of a purchase or service acquired, and these affiliate links support the mission of my blog. For more information, you can read my Disclosures Page.

Step 5: Attract Visitors

There are two main ways to attract visitors to your site.

Paid Traffic and SEO.

1. Paid Traffic

You can use different methods of paid advertising. The best and most reliable is Pay Per Click (PPC). Keep in mind the following:

  • PPC brings traffic as soon as you start paying
  • It takes time and experience to optimize and scale PPC campaigns
  • You need to understand concepts such as ROI (Return On Investment) for paid-advertising to be effective
  • It is not convenient to use it for promoting low-earning offers
  • Try to collect leads out of your PPC cost and effort and build an email list, that you can engage with more content and even other offers in the future.
  • Traffic stops when your campaign ends.
  • Ranking for popular searches may be expensive and not cost-effective

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In simple terms, SEO is optimizing your content to rank high in the Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

  • It would be best if you focused on creating content that is appealing to your target audience or niche.
  • It is necessary to understand what your visitors are looking for; then you can create blog posts in the form of reviews, articles, lists, tutorials, etc., to help them with their needs.
  • For as long as you have a high ranking for your target keywords, your site will receive a constant free traffic flow.
  • You don’t have to pay for this traffic.
  • It is necessary to learn SEO on-page and off-page practices and apply them consistently. This knowledge is relatively easy and quick to acquire.
  • SEO takes time and effort, but it gives results, as your site gains authority over time and your quality content and engagement.

I recommend the second method. Learn as you build is the new norm. And you can start as soon as you want, mastering SEO and creating your site that will attract tons of visitors for free.

You already know my recommended platform to start, acquire the knowledge, and build your Affiliate Marketing Business. If Affiliate Marketing is not your thing, you will not pay a cent, and you will learn a lot anyway (Worst-case-scenario).

Step 6: Make People Click On Your Affiliate Links To Make Sales

So now comes the final step: to make money.

This step is the prize for learning and doing all the previous five steps tasks consistently.

To make money, you need to get clicks on your affiliate links, leading your visitors to your affiliate offers. Then if they decide to buy, you will earn your commission.

When you have created a steady flow of visitors and a loyal audience to your site, these sales will happen a lot.

And they will continue to happen whether you are working on your content or a trip.

And that is passive affiliate marketing earnings, and when that passive income grows, it does it exponentially, as we discussed before.

This last step will happen, and you will only see it happening when you learn, understand, and put into practice this post’s actions and efforts. And if you do it with the right set of training, tools, and support from my recommendation, even better.

Although your affiliate sales will naturally grow, you will use some tactics to boost your sales even more until that happens.

Especially when you start attracting your first visitors, your content may be unique and terrific, but it doesn’t mean your audience will click on your affiliate links.

These are simple but effective tactics to help increase the chances of people clicking your affiliate links, thus increasing sales chances (no clicks, no sales).

1. Place your links where people can click them.

Don’t place your links too far into your articles. Most people will not scroll all the way through, and you will miss opportunities for clicks.

Place them closer to the start, but not exactly where you begin, neither place too many of them in a short part of the text.

2. Use Links In Context

Try that your links make sense to how they are distributed in your text, so they don’t look spammy. 

3. Use Callouts, Tables, And Other Creatives

Creatives well positioned on your site may bring fantastic results in terms of clicks, make sure they are correctly affiliate-linked.

Final Words: How You Can Be Succesful

If you follow these steps right, and you put enough effort into them, the chances are that you can be a successful Affiliate Marketer and Online Entrepreneur.

Now you know how to start with Affiliate Marketing, and you know the steps and even the best place to start and build a bright future.

The fact is there is enough opportunity in Affiliate Marketing for every individual that will do the needful, to unlimited success, now and for the next decade.

I cannot promise you that you will be one of them, and your success will depend on many other factors, such as the dedication and quality of your work, the time invested in doing the right things, and even your personality.

All I can assure you is that you will be on your way to success if you learn and follow these steps, and never quit until you reach your goals.

That is why most people fail in Affiliate Marketing (like in many other things in life). They quit too soon, and all the work and effort vanish. They were so close to the “Gold Mine.” But they stopped and never made it.

Why Wealthy Affiliate Is The Right Platform?

I have already shared with you some testimonials of ordinary people that achieved extraordinary success. By following the same steps and using the same platform, and these are just a few.

There are thousands of success stories and hundreds of thousands of people building them at Wealthy Affiliate.

And this is the most helpful community for you if you want to succeed online because you will need those hands.

Anyway, whatever is your platform choice, the steps to succeed in Affiliate Marketing are straightforward, and I tried to make them as comprehensive as possible.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and it helps you make the right choices through your online journey.

Speaking about that, one excellent choice I made, and I encourage you to make too, is to start without delay and to start in the right place.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can offer you more information about Affiliate Marketing. I would love to connect with you and be of more help!

And definitely it is of great help for me and others that you share this article with those you may know have or may have an interest in.

Thank you for being here!

If you think others will benefit or enjoy, share! Thank You!

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12 Responses

  1. Anyone who is a beginner will have learnt a lot from this article on how to start with affiliate marketing. You have covered every major aspect someone who’s starting out needs to know. I also love the video of Jerry Huang explaining his success which is very motivating.

    I totally agree that most people can find some free time to work on their business by just cutting back on unproductive time. Wealthy Affiliate is definitely the best platform for achieving long term success:) Thank you for sharing

  2. How to start with affiliate marketing? This is the question asked by many. I feel you have covered each aspect of it in real detail in this post. I have learned so much about what affiliate marketing is. How you can start planning and what areas you need to consider to make it a success in the online world.

    I personally feel it’s really good to have all the planning but you also need the right platform and support that can be a game-changer.

    I enjoyed reading your post. You are helping many of us who are new to affiliate marketing.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Hi Pablo,

    That was a fantastic read and a very honest article about how to start with affiliate marketing.

    I must admit what particularly caught my eye is how you’ve explained that “free” isn’t so much of an option nowadays when it comes to affiliate marketing.

    Personally, I remember the days of online marketing where you could get away with earning money without spending a penny, but this is typically because the internet was awash with lots of low quality.

    However, it’s very different now.

    I believe this is about building a business and your thorough and informative outline as to how to start with affiliate marketing is the perfect platform for anyone to follow.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this and I appreciate your honesty.


    1. Thank you Partha for your kind comments, I am glad my article is a good source of information for you and everybody on how to start with Affiliate Marketing.

  4. Thanks for your explanation, Pablo, really great tips you give here. Especially that you emphasize that although we can make passive income, we’ll have to put in the effort first.
    There are always 2 things that pain me when I see them on the internet. One is the get rich quick scams that suggest we can earn our money hanging around in a chair with our fingers in our nose. And the other one complaints from people that think this is a true scenario and that they haven’t earned anything yet after 2 months of hanging around.
    I hope your post gets the attention it deserves. 🙂

    1. Hello Hannie,

      Thank you for your comments. Indeed, Affiliate Marketing is for those who are ready to endurance the though start and build up with passion. They will enjoy the benefits after with passive income flow, and if they do not do enough, I hope they read my article and at least do not moan about it 🙂

  5. Hello, Pablo, thank you for your tips and post, that let us know how to start in Affiliate Marketing, especially for beginners don’t know where and how to start like me. I will let my friends to take a look on your website, and let them know how does it work, plus your prove of real person how they make real money online. I think it will help my friends to understand and learn more about Affiliate Marketing through your website.

    1. Hi Ling,
      Definitely, please feel free to share. I am happy that this post is of help to you, and I appreciate the comments.
      At Wealthy Affiliate, there are great testimonials of success based on the steps in this article. So thank you for highlighting this too!

  6. Dear Pablo
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website that shows the most effective approach to start up your own online marketing business which can grow gradually. I hope more people will know about your website and follow your guidance.

    Kind regards,

    1. Thank you very much Andrey for your kind comments.
      Indeed I hope more people will learn how to start with Affiliate Marketing and use the right platform to it.

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