The Retired Affiliate

The How to of Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2022

Mark Apletree

The How to of Affiliate Marketing standing in front of seated students
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In this How to of Affiliate Marketing for beginners we will show you exactly how to succeed in this beginners guide for 2022 and beyond.

Wouldn’t it be great if all you needed to make money online was a website.

Then imagine a business where you don’t have to create your own products or services.

Sounds interesting?

Welcome you to Affiliate Marketing, and how as a beginner how this could work for you.

I want you to think about the title of this article, The How to of Affiliate Marketing for Beginners for a moment.

We were all Affiliate Marketing beginners at some stage and those of us that have put in the time and effort it requires are now the experts.

Statista recently stated that business spending on Affiliate Marketing will hit $8.2 billion in the U.S alone by 2022!

In this guide today I am going explain to you what it is + how to succeed.

Are you ready?

What is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

In a nutshell affiliate marketing is where you promote other companies products and/or services.

In return for doing this they will pay you a commission which can range from a few cents to a few thousand dollars.

Those commissions are usually based on a percentage of the sales price.


With Affiliate Marketing there is no need to hold any inventory or stock.

Why do affiliate marketing?

I will give you two reasons on why I think you should consider doing Affiliate Marketing.

1. Low Cost and Low Risk

Starting an online business can be costly.

Many businesses will require you to purchase products, pay employees, buy equipment, pay rent and the list goes on.

These kinds of businesses can make it a very risky and expensive.

With Affiliate Marketing all you will need is a connection to the internet and a website.

We are currently offering a Free 7-day training program and website which you can have a look at here.

At least if you are starting your journey as an Affiliate Marketing beginner our way, and it doesn’t work for you it hasn’t cost you anything except your time.

2. Very Easy to Scale (Grow)

I would like you to think of a salesperson that works for Chevrolet for example.

This person typically sells only one product, and that would be Chevrolet cars.

Now, you as an affiliate marketer have the choice of literally thousands of different products from multiple different companies all paying you commissions.

As I mentioned earlier these commissions could be a few cents up into the thousands of dollars.

Once you have found your specific niche, scaling your business to grow is the next step and that is where The Retired Affiliates will guide you for free.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

It really is very simple.

The merchant (Company you are selling for) will give you the affiliate a unique link so as they can track who has made that sale.

Typically an affiliate link will look like this.

Now when someone clicks on that link a small file which is known as a cookie will be stored on their computer.

What this affiliate cookie will do is help the merchant identify who made that sale.

And secondly, it also holds an expiration date which means you get paid even if the buyer delays their purchase.

Let’s take at quick look at how this works shall we?

So, a person who is searching the internet for What Is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners visits your website.

They then click on one of your affiliate links within your blog or post leading them to a product on Wealthy Affiliate.

Soon after they have done this they realize that they had a doctor’s appointment.

They rush off to the doctor’s appointment, pick up the kids from school, get home and make dinner for the family sit down to watch a little TV, and eventually go back to the Wealthy Affiliate website again.

Since they are already shopping for products on Wealthy Affiliate they decide to also purchase the Jaaxy Keyword Research tool as well.

The best part is because they clicked on your affiliate link earlier that cookie we talked about was stored on their computer.

Due to the cookie duration with Wealthy Affiliate you will now get paid for the first product you bought before realizing about your doctor’s appointment and the Jaaxy purchase.

Even though you didn’t actually promote the Jaaxy product your cookie ID was noted and you get compensated!

How Much Money Can I Make With Affiliate Marketing?

The best answer I can give you for this is the Sky is the Limit.

How much you earn will depend on the niche you have chosen and the amount of time and work you are willing to put into your business.

I personally known some Affiliate Marketers that are making 6 and 7 figure incomes.

  • A well-known affiliate, Pat Flynn grew his affiliate business from $8000 to over $100,000 PER MONTH!
  • Doug Cunnington, another well-known super affiliate went from $20,000 to $150,000 annually from just one product.
  • Tom Dupuis from Online Media Masters went from $20,000 to $150,000 of annual income within 2 years of starting up.

And there are many more examples of people earning a lot more than this.

What you do need to keep in mind as someone who is thinking if affiliate marketing is for them is that these people have done an amazing job at marketing their brand.

It has taken them years of hard work to reach this stage.

When I first started out with Affiliate Marketing I remember my first check was all of $2.50.

I wanted to point that out just in case you were thinking that Affiliate Marketing is a get-rich-quick scheme.

Despite what many will tell you on the internet it most definitely is not.

In fact there is no such thing, it takes hard work, time and a desire to be your own boss.

As a beginner in Affiliate Marketing you need to set realistic expectations and goals.

I can guarantee you won’t earn the big bucks right away but don’t let that put you off your dream!

An internet search of the success stories of others will tell you that with hard work, spending time developing your brand and business, and the right knowledge and training that you too can achieve what they have!

How Can I Get Started with Affiliate Marketing?

As a beginner to Affiliate Marketing I known that the first thing that comes into your mind is how and where do I start Affiliate Marketing?

I will show you this in the following 7 simple steps.

Step 1. Choose your Platform

A platform is where you will do your Affiliate Marketing.

Some examples of platforms affiliates use are:

  • Websites
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Blogs
  • Keen

There are many more platforms to choose from, but from the list above my top 2 for building my affiliate audience and sales is my website, and Facebook page.

Starting a blogging website today is relatively easy and cheap.

There are plenty of tutorials and videos online that will show you how to get started.

The greatest part with this is that it will probably cost you a few dollars per month.

There’s even some great training and videos you can start with for FREE.

Once you get your website up and live you will need to make sure that you optimize it for search engines this is what will get you rankings.

A ranking is where you sit on the 3 major search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Once you have done that you are then good to start inserting your affiliate links into your content.

Inserting affiliate links into your content is an art in itself and I will cover this a little later in this guide.

The other easy platform for Affiliate Marketing Beginners is Facebook.

You simply start a Facebook group or page incorporating your website name or niche and begin posting.

Creating and uploading content here is free and even better than that so is the advertising of your business.

According to Statista, Facebook currently has nearly 2.9 Billion (YES BILLION) users worldwide in 2021.

You have the opportunity to reach these for free using your Facebook page.

Once you get yourself established you may also decide to run paid Ad campaigns to reach that audience.

It really is endless and just depends on how much you want to scale your business.

An important note to mention when you begin to become an affiliate marketer and including your affiliate link into your articles is transparency.

The Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) requires you to tell all your customer’s/visitors that you will be gaining some form of endorsement (Usually a commission) from the links within your marketing posts.

From my experience in Affiliate Marketing you will more than likely get a lot more clicks from your website/blogs than you will from Facebook.

With that in mind most of the steps moving forward will be for a website/blog.

Step 2. How to Choose Your Niche

I want to be upfront and honest with you here.

If you are just starting a website and/or blog today you are facing a ton of competition.

According to Finances Online

In 2020, there are around 31.7 million bloggers in the US according to estimates, up from approximately 28 million bloggers in 2015. That accounts for over 10% of the country’s population. Despite the fact that social networking sites have gained tremendous popularity over the years, blogging is still one of the most popular activities as 77% of Internet users still read blogs every day.

As a beginner getting started with affiliate marketing those are some scary looking numbers!

However you still have a very good chance of success by doing what I call Nicheing Down.

So, what you do is choose a topic that you are knowledgeable and passionate about.

In this example, I will use one of my own experiences.

Besides teaching and educating people about Affiliate Marketing my other great passion is Dogs.

So one of my many other websites focused on the specific category of dogs.

If you do a search on dogs you would soon see that it is an GIANT of a category!

So rather than tackling that on the website I have very Niched Down sites within that category.

As an example Dog Gifts for Christmas is a Niched Down site in the Dogs niche.

Keeping your topics drilled down rather than broad will greatly help you get a focused audience that will help you rank on the search engines.

As you build out your audience (visitors to your website) you can then expand into other areas, which is what we call scaling your business.

I mentioned earlier that if you are going to be the main writer of content then you need to make sure it is going to be about something you are interested in.

There are so many websites out there where you can tell that the person running this business has no interest in the niche they have chosen.

They are simply looking for a way to scam people into buying a product.

So many Affiliate websites fail due to a lack of consistent content development (Articles Written).

That is why it is so important to be passionate about your topic.

This way you will find it so much easier to write and keep writing even when the going gets tough.

If content writing isn’t your strongest point you can always out-source that part and just focus on the building of your brand.

If you do decide to go that route, you need to make sure you find seasoned experts within your niche.

Experts will help you create high quality, SEO friendly, trustworthy content that will lead to more traffic, visitors, and affiliate sales.

One outsourcing business I use a lot is Fiverr who have experts in every field of Affiliate Marketing.

Step 3. How to Find Affiliate Programs to Join

There are basically 3 main types of Affiliate Programs that you can choose from which I will list below.

1. High Paying but Low Volume Affiliate Programs

These types of Affiliate Programs are for niche products with very high payouts.

One example is Bright Data’s Affiliate Program which pays up to $5000 per customer if that business decides to take up one of their data collection or proxy solutions for their business.

The biggest challenge with this type of Affiliate Program is the competition.

You will be competing with skilled marketers with years of experience and a huge bankroll for promoting and advertising.

As this is about Affiliate Marketing for Beginners I wouldn’t recommend this type of Affilite Program.

2. Low Paying but High Volume Affiliate Programs

These types of Affiliate Programs focus on the masses and the appeal they have for certain products.

Let’s use X-Box games for this example.

Loads of people play X-Box, however a quick search will show you these games average about $40.00 – $50.00 meaning that your commission would be about $3.00 – $4.00 at best.

These types of programs offer thousands of products to sell.

If you check out the Amazon Associates program you can earn up to 10% commission.

Another plus with Amazon is you regularly get the commission on all the purchases your visitor bought not just the one you recommended through your Affiliate Links.

To earn a decent income from these types of programs you will need traffic and LOTS of it!

3. High Paying and High Volume Affiliate Programs

These types of programs have huge appeal to everyone and also pay high commissions.

The best example of this is credit cards.

Everyone needs a credit card these days, even more so now as we head into a cash-less society.

If you are like me, once you find a credit card that works for you, that’s it, you become their loyal customer.

While High Paying and High Volume Affiliate Products sound awesome, they do have a downside.

These programs attract Affiliate Marketers who are often in the expert zone and more often than not have lots of money to spend on their advertising campaigns.

Due to them being experts with deep pockets they will often use spammy methods to get customer’s and as a Beginner in Affiliate Marketing you simply won’t be able to compete.

I strongly recommend you stay well way from this Affiliate Program as a beginner.

Which Affiliate Programs Should I Join?

How to choose which Affiliate programs to join really will depend on your chosen niche and level of experience.

As this is a guide for Beginners to Affiliate Marketing I would recommend starting your business on model 2, Low Paying but High Volume Affiliate Programs.

There are several ways to find good Affiliate Programs.

One of those ways is to simply type a Google Search of Affiliate + Programs and it will spit out thousands of companies.

It will also take you to articles written by Affiliate Marketers with titles like “10 Best Affiliate Marketing Companies” or “What are the 20 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs in 2022”

The thing with this method is, that you don’t really known if they are being promoted simply so that affiliate makes money, or it really is one of the best in 2022.

However, a company like Wealthy Affiliate who you can join for free have an area within their platform where they have searched for and partnered with 1000’s of reliable, trustworthy and honest Affiliate Programs.

4. How to Write Content for a Website

The fastest way to fail as an Affiliate Marketer is putting Affiliate Links everywhere throughout your website that make no sense to the customer.

When you are writing your content and inserting your Affiliate Links you want them to fit naturally and be part of the piece you are writing.

I have seen so many people grab any old products from Amazon and just blindly throw them into articles.

As an Affiliate Marketer you are a customer’s problem solver, so make sure that you go the extra yard to ensure you solve a customer’s needs and problems.

How can I do that?

I always buy the product I review and test it first before I write my reviews.

I mean how can I honestly give you an honest opinion if I don’t known what that products does or offers?

It is what I do here at The Retired Affiliates and what has bought me success online.

You are welcome to check my review ideas and layout I recently did on the Free Wealthy Affiliate membership.

I known what you are thinking, it will cost me a small fortune to buy and test all these products!

You don’t have to buy every product in your niche.

For example, I said earlier that one of my passions was dogs and I own two of them.

When I first started in that niche I would review products I already owned and as my customer base grew, so did my income.

Once you start growing an income the investment you make on purchasing products to review is easy, and many companies will actually provide you with these products free for you to review

5. How to Drive Traffic to my Website

Great work if you have gotten to the stage of building your FREE website .

Now the next step is to get more and more people to read your articles so they will see and click on your Affiliate Links.

Some ways you can get that traffic are:

1. Paid Traffic

Paid traffic is exactly as it sounds, and is done using PPC (Pay Per Click) ads.

One of the biggest advantages of this type of traffic is the moment you start paying you get traffic.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

There are down sides to this method especially as a beginner.

The biggest of those is that it will quickly eat into your profits.

It is not out of the norm to see beginners lose money using this method before they make money… That’s if they ever do!

For example, you won’t be able to optimize a Google Ads campaign in the first week or so.

It will take time and more than likely cost you money for the first few months.

Once you stop paying for the ads your traffic comes to an abrupt STOP!

If you are just starting out and are new to paid marketing I would strongly suggest that you stay away from this type of advertising.

This is even more important if you are part of a lower paying commission program like Amazon.

2. SEO or Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the practice of taking steps to get a website or part of your content to rank higher on Google.

It is what every Affiliate Marketer wants!

The longer you can rank high in the search engines for your targeted keywords the more traffic you will get and with more traffic comes more opportunities for people to click your Affiliate Link.

I cover more about SEO in my training however on a very basic level SEO is about;

  • Knowing and understanding what your targeted customer’s are searching for.
  • Create blogs, product pages etc. around those topics
  • It looks after all the technical mumbo jumbo to help rank your pages higher.

3. Build Out an Email List

Email lists are a great way to communicate with your readers anytime.

I use email lists to tell all my readers about new blogs and content I have put on my websites which keeps them coming back.

And all the time they keep coming back it leads to more affiliate clicks and sales for me.

The way to build your email list is top offer your readers something when they sign up.

It could be a free E-book, some Free 1 on 1 training, the possibilities and ideas are endless.

The boundary for this type of marketing is your imagination and creativity!

6. Click, Click, Click on your Affiliate Links

Just because you have a rocking website and some out of this world content it doesn’t mean that people will automatically click your Affiliate Links.

Before you go plastering your Affiliate Links all over your site there are a few things you need to think about first.

A. Where Do I Put my Links

You never want to put all your Affiliate links right at the bottom of your page as very few people will ever scroll down that far.

On the other side of that you don’t want every 2nd word in your opening introduction to be a link as this will look spammy.

The idea is to find a perfect balance throughout your post along with the other points that I mention below.

B. The Context or Content

For this example, I will use writing an article on the best dog beds for under $200.

Don’t use this kind of introduction:

Today, I’m reviewing the best dog beds for under $100.

That’s the kind of introduction that looks spammy and completely out of context.

What I put in an opening introduction on one of my dog websites was;

Outdoor doggie beds need to be inviting and most of all comfortable for your dog.

Below I have given you my review on what I think are the 5 best outdoor doggie beds in 2021 under $200,

These focus on comfort, size, durability and for us humans, ease of cleaning.

C. CTA’s or Call To Action Buttons

The use of call-out buttons, boxes, tables or images really can attract your customer’s to take action.

free starter membership today red button

These are visual and make the customer’s browsing experience not only educational with the information you are giving but also great for the visual experience.

Just like the context links don’t spam the hell out of your customer’s within the first paragraph and also don’t leave them to the end of the page.

Again, it’s all about balance with CTA’s.

7. Converting Those Clicks into Sales

With Affiliate Marketing there is usually two steps in the conversion process to ultimately make you money.

This part of the process is 100% yours and you control this action and by using the steps we have gone through you will improve the chances of getting those clicks.

The second part of this process lies with the merchant and happens when the visitor clicks your Affiliate Link to purchase your product.

So the second conversion, after your conversion, lies with the merchant at the checkout.

From experience, I can tell you that their conversion rates are out of control and not necessarily in a good way.

My tip here is to add a landing page in between the 1st and 2nd conversions.


What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is the follow up to the article or review that your potential customer first visited.

Basically, this page is a follow up on any promises you made in your original content.

This is the next step towards your visitor becoming a customer.

Your landing page will go into some more detail, possibly mentioning some special offer or some information in return for providing contact information.

There are too many types of landing pages to go through in this article, but it is something that is critical to understand with Affiliate Marketing.

Please feel free to have a look and get some ideas from one of my landing pages if you like which you are welcome to check out here.

It is part of the Building a Free Website conversion process and is the page in between the 1st and 2nd conversions I mentioned above.

Final Words – The How to of Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2022

Affiliate Marketing doesn’t have to be hard and I haven’t reinvented the wheels in this article.

What I have given you here are the basics and if you apply them I can guarantee that you will at least start your online business off on the right foot.

Don’t expect Affiliate Marketing to make you rich overnight, it most definitely isn’t a Get Rich Quick Scheme.

Affiliate Marketing takes time, it’s not a sprint it’s more like a marathon.

Go the long distance, do the work, and follow this guide and you will get there.

Your sole focus when first starting out should be to make your first Affiliate Sale no matter what that amount is.

As your site grows set goals for yourself and never stop trying new ideas.

This is how I have built multiple successful income earning sites that generate me a decent income every month.

Any/all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of them, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full affiliate disclosure here.

If you have any questions let me known in the comments or you can hit me up on email at and I will be more than happy to help.


CEO and Founder of The Retired Affiliates.

the retired affiliate black and white logo


20 thoughts on “The How to of Affiliate Marketing for Beginners in 2022”

  1. Yeah, I think that’s, indeed, one of the absolute best aspects of affiliate marketing just in general. I mean, you’re essentially risking nothing but your time. And there are essentially no arrangements to be made. No worries about paying employees or covering rent. Sit at a coffee shop if you need to and work away. And then, rent and hire if it gets somewhere.

    I think you broke down the whole process as to how it works very nicely. And those examples of people really doing it are properly inspiring. And absolutely, I definitely agree with the fact that the sky is the limit, especially because it’s very straightforward to scale. Cheers. 🙂

  2. A great breakdown of affiliate marketing for all the newbies out there!

    There is next to no downside to this type of work in my opinion, as long as you don’t mind doing a lot of mental work, in the beginning, to learn how to set yourself up for success with affiliate marketing. It has a bit of a learning curve, but it isn’t hard to figure out at all! I find myself attempting to convince people to give it a shot almost like a habit, just because I know that almost everyone out there could make a living this way! 

    The areas you can cover are so broad, or hyperfocused, that you are sure to find an approach that turns a revenue, but you may have to get a little creative at times. If you can type on a computer in any capacity, I recommend doing a little research, and if you think it might be a good path for you to take, take the plunge! The worst thing that can happen, is you end up exactly where you are now! There’s nothing to lose except a short amount of time!

    1. Great comment Jerromy.

      Any successful business is measured by the time and effort you are willing to put in, and Affiliate Marketing is no different.


  3. Hello Mark, what a great, in-depth review on affiliate marketing for beginners! You seemed to cover all the bases on what it is and how to get started with a lot of resources for someone to research in more detail. How long have you done affiliate marketing for? I have just started into the area this year and have learned so much already. I am excited to check out your resources on your website!

  4. Daniel Tshiyole

    I have a few people who want to join market affiliating next year, specifically wealthy affiliate. This article is a good guide for them. They will know what to expect and how to tackle certain situations. I will be sure to share this article with them. Thank you so much for this 

  5. This website is a good example of free information to the reader who will hopefully click on one of the several links to get more information or possibly further engage (take action).  The retired affiliate title adds value to the presentation so a reader will trust the author when a recommendation is made.

  6. I know businesses spend a lot of money, but wow $8.2 billion by 2022 in US alone is a very large number and more than I could have ever imagine. This gives me motivation to keep going because I am a part of the Wealthy Affiliate family and the platform is awesome, I have been learning so much since I officially started back in August 2021. They have made it so easy and pretty much walk you through each step and everyone in the community are so helpful because I have definitely asked a good number of questions. I have been learning so much, my only regret is that I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity sooner. Thank you for sharing this and keeping my motivation alive!

  7. You have explained the concept of affiliate marketing and the cookie duration really well, so anybody new to affiliate marketing, will be able to easily grasp it. Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but as you say, there are many affiliate marketers who earn very good commissions, but it didn’t happen overnight. 

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t cost you anything to start in terms of carrying stock or shipping. So it is the time and effort you put into affiliate marketing and creating content, that will help you succeed.

  8. I believe that affiliate marketing is one of the best business models there is because you get to learn so much in your niche as you also help educate your readers helping them to solve a problem along with recommending products and making great commission as well. This line of work requires a lot but the benefits are so great. Thanks for sharing,

  9. As I start out on my affiliate marketing journey I love learn as much information as possible.  Thanks for the breakdown on some of the more imprtatn parts of getting started.  I think making it clear that the internet, even though instantaneous at times, can take a while to catch up to expectations.  Indexing a website will take some time, it doesn’t just pop up on google immediately!

  10. Hi there Mark. I’ve recently become obsessed with your website. 🙂 Your information on affiliate marketing is on point and although I’m not a beginner, I couldn’t help but tread the entire post to see if there some nuggets I can pick and apply to my affiliate business. I’ll be sure to share this post for more beginners to access it and make use of. Keep up the good work here!

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The Retired Affiliates

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