The Retired Affiliate

What is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

Mark Apletree

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
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A lot of people ask me What is Affiliate Marketing and even more so those just beginning their journey.

Many short-minute beginner guides to affiliate marketing tutorials can make you really excited about affiliate marketing! But they do not show you the fundamentals of building a solid foundation.

According to Statista, affiliate marketing in the United States reached $6.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to hit $8.2 billion by 2022.

Maybe your goal is to make $10,000 per month with it. Crazy?! Maybe! For example, Agarwal Anil of Bloggers Passion made about $200k in sales from a single affiliate product.

So the question is, What is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

In this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing, I’ll explain what affiliate marketing is: how to build a solid foundation and get you to the point where you are ready to earn your first commission.

Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model that allows Affiliate marketers to make money recommending other people’s products and services.

You’ll get paid only when someone uses the unique link associated with your recommendation.

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Affiliate marketing is also a great way to monetize your web traffic and earn additional income.

This means you find a product or service that you like, promote it to your readers, and make a commission on each subscription or sale.

While that’s a distinct possibility, I’ll not be doing my job if I let you believe that affiliate marketing doesn’t take work.

It can be a bit of a trial-and-error process when you are first starting.

Therefore, it’s necessary to join a reputable worldwide affiliate network, such as Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate helps by providing its members with the proper training, resources, and tools to build a profitable online business.

So, if you’re serious about affiliate marketing, I recommend signing up for Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership.

The free membership provides restricted access to the training materials, the Wealthy Affiliate community (7-day trial period), and website building tools.

As a member, you’ll have access to a bunch of FREE perks — keyword research tool, blog hosting, 24/7 tech support, and so much more!

Need more details? Check out my complete guide on Wealthy Affiliate.

With that said, let’s keep the focus on affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is unquestionably one of the best ways to generate passive income online.

Still, it’s not going to happen if you don’t go about, it the right way.

Fortunately, this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing includes the fundamentals and procedures you need to leverage affiliate marketing.

Why Do Affiliate Marketing?

Imagine all you needed to start earning money online was a website. You are not required to create your own products or services.

Below are my two reasons why you should consider doing affiliate marketing to make extra cash:

Low Ongoing Costs and Low Risk.

Affiliate marketing is somewhat like starting a business but with low ongoing costs.

You have the clear advantage of not holding inventory and typically don’t need to hire workers, pay rent, and so on.

However, you’re still able to set up an online operation — all you need is a website.

Flexible and Easy to Scale.

You can easily make your affiliate business small (typically just you) or bigger at little to no cost.

It also offers a great way to scale up your business without spending a ton of cash.

How Much Can I Make With Affiliate Marketing?

The amount you may earn varies greatly — it really ranges between $0 and millions.

According to PayScale, the average yearly passive revenue from affiliate marketing is $51,000.

Affiliate marketers in the bottom 10% make $37,000, while the top 10% earn $71,000.

Data from Glass door also show that potential profits are even higher.

ZipRecruiter forecast an average monthly revenue of $12,800 and a weekly average income of $2,900.

Whichever estimate you take; one thing is sure: some affiliate marketers are doing quite well.

Your earnings will be directly connected to the kind of offers you promote, how much traffic you drive on-site, and your skill with other aspects of internet marketing such as email marketing and SEO.

What Are The Steps Involved In Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing isn’t difficult, but it takes patience.

  • Create a responsive blog or site.

Starting a blog or building a website today is relatively easy and inexpensive.

There are several tutorials available online that show you how to get started.

The best part? It will almost certainly cost you just a few bucks monthly.

Once your website is up and running, optimize it for search engines to increase your chances of ranking.

Focus on building an utterly mobile-responsive site with a very user-friendly design.

Also, make the buying process as easy as possible for visitors.

  • Choose your niche market wisely.

Let us face it: if you’re considering starting a blog today, you’re up against the stiff competition.

Financesonline estimates around 31.7 million bloggers in the U.S in 2020, up from 28 million in 2015.

  • Narrow your niche down to stand the best chance of success.

Choose a topic that centers on a specific category.

For example, the subject of “Health & Personal Care” is a vast category.

Rather than tackling that, try something more specific, like hair loss.

Narrow down your niche to an area of interest that is under served online.

This will encourage brand loyalty, help you rank higher, and it could even make you an expert in your industry.

Later, as you cover the plurality of this category and build traffic to your website, you can expand into other areas.

Now, if you’re going to be the primary content creator, choose a topic you’re knowledgeable or interested in combined with issues that people are willing to spend money on.

The sweet spot for a profitable niche is the point where low competition and moderate interest meet.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with a few existing niche websites in the area you’re considering, as that typically confirms the existence of a market.

One way to start figuring out the market is with some basic keyword research.

Start the search with Google Trends. Type “topic” to see if it has any interest and how many people are searching for it.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Answer the Public is also a great tool to search phrase analysis.

Understand the Types of Affiliate Marketing.

There are three types of affiliate marketing to choose from: unattached, related, and involved affiliate marketing.

  • Unattached Affiliate Marketing: This kind of advertising in which the Affiliate has no connection to the promoted product or service.

They have no known associated skills or knowledge and authority or make claims concerning its usage.

  • Related affiliate marketing: As the name implies, it entails advertising products or services by an affiliate who has a connection with the offering.

Generally, the Affiliate’s marketer and the product or service are linked.

The affiliate marketer has sufficient influence and skill to drive traffic, and their authority establishes them as a credible source.

However, the Affiliate makes no claims concerning the usage of the product or service.

  • Involved Affiliate Marketing: This type of affiliate marketing builds a deeper bond between the marketer and the product or service they’re offering.

They have used the product and are confident that their positive experiences can be shared.

Their experiences help promote the products and also function as reliable sources of information.

On the other hand, since they make recommendations, any faults connected with the offering may jeopardize their image.

How To Choose Which Affiliate Marketing Programs To Join

This will vary as per your niche and level of skill.

If you’re targeting consumers, you’re more likely to choose the second model, which offers lower commissions and a more significant number of sales.

If you’re targeting a business audience, you’re probably going to choose the first model: high-paying but low volume.

The most popular programs are those linked to software and web hosting.

  • Examples of Affiliate Marketing Program

A perfect example would be Amazon Associates – Amazon’s affiliate marketing program.

Amazon Associates is one of the largest affiliate marketing programs in the world.

Creating an Amazon account is pretty straightforward.

Bloggers, creators, and publishers join up to promote products and services on their sites or apps in exchange for a commission for the sales generated on their sites.

Amazon Associates eliminates most of the work out of affiliate marketing by offering a user-friendly program.

All you’ll need to do is answer some questions, and you’re all set.

Look Into Other Affiliate Programs

Bluehost, GoDaddy, Elementor, ClickBank, and many other sites offer affiliate programs.

Each program offers different commission rates.

The most deciding aspect of affiliate marketing is thorough research.

Look into reviews on numerous affiliate marketing providers and consider which offer will deliver the best experience for your audience.

Another great option is to look for affiliate programs on the websites of products and services you like to use.

Create Quality SEO Content

In the world of affiliate marketing, creating high-quality content is a primary key to success.

Therefore, provide high-quality material that adds value. If possible, over deliver!

As an affiliate marketer, one of your obligations is to educate your audience and encourage them to help promote certain products.

The most efficient approach is to win their trust via well-written, helpful, distinctive, and relevant content.

Work on in-depth blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more content that your readers will love.

Tell your readers specifics about the products or services offered by your affiliate partners, not just the fact that you enjoy them.

Again, one of your best arguments is to demonstrate why the product is of suitable value, not that they are flawless.

If possible, explain your own experiences with the product.

Try to provide your readers with something valuable, such as a solution to a query they may have, helpful information about a product or service, or recommendations that they can use to make their lives easier.

Finally, and perhaps most significant, one of the most critical components of developing SEO-friendly content is determining the best keywords for your topic.

Jaaxy and Google Keyword Planner are two tools that can assist you in narrowing down a list of low competitive and high search keywords relevant to your niche.

Build an Email List

Once you’ve established some traction, try looking for ways to grow your own brand and loyal fan.

Stay connected with subscribers and increase your income by publishing a daily or weekly email.

Provide an incentive for people to opt-in.

There are multiple ways to do this, including sending out “deal of the day” emails and adding value with suggestions on how you or others use the items or services you offer.

You can also provide a free eBook, an email course, and much more.

Create an email marketing approach that allows you to communicate directly with your audience without battling social media algorithms.

Use the strategy to inform followers of fresh content and entice them to return to your site for more.

This results in an increase in affiliate clicks and purchases.

Plus, you can send affiliate email promos straight to your list.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – What Now?

Making money with affiliate marketing may be a lucrative strategy to diversify your earnings without taking on too much risk.

All that’ll be required of you is your time.

By spending the time upfront, you can enjoy the benefits in the future.

And while it is possible to earn big with affiliate marketing, it almost certainly will not happen overnight.

Your outcomes will always be proportional to your efforts.

Make no mistake, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scam.

Sure, it is not as simple as clicking a magic button or plastering Google Adsense all over your website.

You can accomplish it and even convert it into an online business with the proper knowledge and dedication.

You’ll undoubtedly find an in-depth beginner’s guide to Affiliate Marketing over on the internet – but they are not exclusively geared to explaining the ins and outs of getting started and succeeding.

I strongly encourage anybody interested in affiliate marketing to complete the Wealthy Affiliate training program and use the tools and resources to build your first affiliate marketing website.

To put it simply, it’s the best, most user-friendly platform on affiliate marketing that I am aware of.

If, after reading this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing, you think freelancing may be a better fit.

Then snap up a free 7-day Wealthy Affiliate training program that walks you through all the basics of getting started.

If you’re serious? Invest in yourself, and you will be well on your way to success.

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.


CEO and Founder of The Retired Affiliates

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10 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?”

  1. Affiliate Marketing sounds like the way to go. I have no product to sell but I can write pretty well. I’d love to make $20,000 a month just doing affiliate marketing. Is it really possible? What kind of products sell better than others? I suppose the best way to start is to create an account over on Wealthy Affiliate. Is it free to start for anyone? I don’t have much experience with affiliate marketing and selling. Do they teach you ways to get website traffic and sales? I’m going to try it and get started today. Can I get in touch with you if I have questions?

    1. Hi Frank,

      The great thing about Affiliate Marketing is you don’t need any products to sell as you are promoting products for different companies within your niche (Interest).

      If you write well then your are ahead from the start, as you will be writing a lot of content.

      The best products to promote are products you have a good knowledge of, or are passionate about.

      The free trial is available to anyone Frank.

      Regarding website traffic and getting sales, this is all bought to you in easy to follow video and lesson format along with a huge community of fellow members who are all wanting to help you succeed.

      Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me either through direct message, through this site, or you can email me at

      I look forward to helping you make your online business a successful one!


  2. This article came at the right time. I have a lot of friends and family members that do not understand what I am doing. They are always asking me what is affiliate marketing and how do you get paid. I try to explain it to them but I confuse them even more. So this article will definitely help me out 

  3. Hello there, thanks for taking out time to put this awesome article together..I must say it would be of great help to others as it has been of help to me..I am just a few days in and it has been a bit rough for me cause I basically new to the system but this article has made things more clearer to me now .thanks once again.

  4. I spent lots of time and money exploring options for earning money online before I found affiliate marketing.  I wish I had found an article like this one when I was looking around.  You have defined affiliate marketing very well as you described the business model generally and the types specifically.  I have looked at a number of programs and I agree with you.  Wealthy Affiliate seems to be the best program in terms of tools, support, training and community interaction.  I hope that lots of people read this article and look into affiliate marketing.

    1. I think we have all fallen into that trap of exploring different options only to find they are either a waste of money or outright Scams!

      I am glad you found WA.


  5. Great review on affiliate marketing and putting it together with Wealthy Affiliate.  Looks like that is the way to go for breaking into the affiliate marketing world with a blog.  I am curious if you are with them, and for how long?  If so, how long did it take you to start seeing an income?  I would sure like to find something that works for me.  I know that the get rich schemes do not work.  I’ve tried several.

    1. Hi Leahrae,

      I have been with Wealthy Affiliate for about 5 months now and I am just starting to see a passive income through my sites.

      Are you currently with WA? And if so how long have you been a member?

      Looking forward to your reply.


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The Retired Affiliates

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