Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Affiliate marketing is a seriously effective method of making passive income.

You can literally make money while you sleep.

Yes, it’s possible. Thousands of people have already done it. Now, it’s your turn.

Over the years, affiliate marketing has evolved into a billion-dollar industry.

And it’s still growing.

This is your chance to get your share of the fortune. Go through this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing from and see what it has got in store for you.

This Beginner’s Guide is Different!

That’s right. This is not your average affiliate marketing guide for beginners that just gives you a bird’s eye view of different components of affiliate marketing.

Rather, this guide shows you the basics of affiliate marketing and then dives straight into how you can make a successful start with affiliate marketing. Ready? Let’s rock and roll!

What is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting a merchant’s products or services on your website or blog or app.

The merchant gives you some products. You choose the ones that you think you can effectively market to your users.

Then, you give your users enough reasons to buy that product by showing its benefits. If you successfully catch your users’ attention, they end up buying that product through you. And when they do, you get a commission.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing is driven by the following three parties: sellers, affiliates, and consumers.

#1: The seller gives you an ad or a link for a product.

The seller is a merchant or vendor who has some products or services to sell. A seller could be a solo entrepreneur or a large business. Regardless of their size, they have just one goal: to get more sales.

To get more sales, businesses need to reach out to new customers. And this is where they need you, the affiliate.

On signing up for an affiliate program, you get your unique affiliate link, a URL that differentiates you from other affiliates. This link also helps the merchant calculate your referrals.

#2: You show that ad or link on your website.

You advertise the seller’s products on your website or blog through your special affiliate link.

You then do your best to attract new customers. You show product benefits to your customers and persuade them to buy it through you.

If your “sales pitch” is right, people will click through your links and end up buying the products you want them to, eventually getting you a commission.

#3: The customer clicks the ad or link and ends up buying the product on the merchant website.

When a customer clicks through your link to the merchant website, a cookie is stored on their computer. This cookie helps the merchant identify that you’re the one who brought in the sale. The cookie stays on the consumer’s computer for some time before it expires.

#4: You earn a commission for every successful purchase.

On every successful purchase, the transaction is credited to you, and you receive the commission. You must do your best to put your users in the right frame of mind to buy the products before they click your links.

How much Money can you Make with Affiliate Marketing

As much as you want!

There is no limit. You can make hundreds of thousands of rupees every month with affiliate marketing.

But that won’t happen on day one.

As a matter of fact, it could take months of careful planning and execution before you start making any money at all.

So, stay positive and get inspired from the success stories of others. Use the affiliate marketing information presented in this article to make the right start. Eventually, you will reach their level or even beyond that, and start making fabulous profits even while you sleep.

How are Affiliate Marketers Paid

The following are the three common methods businesses use to pay affiliate marketers.

Pay per Sale

This is the most popular method of affiliate payments. You get paid for driving more sales to the business owner.

In a Pay per Sale setup, the user reaches the merchant website by clicking on one of the product links displayed on your website. Once the user completes the purchase, you become eligible to get a commission. Sometimes you get commission for all the items bought by a customer regardless of whether you promote all of those products on your website or not.

Pay per Click

This is a classic method used by merchants to increase website traffic. They pay you based on the number of redirected users they receive from your website. When a user reaches your website, you convince them to the extent that they end up visiting the merchant’s website. The merchant’s website traffic gets increased. And, you get paid.

Pay per Lead

In this category, you get paid for the conversion of leads. Websites like magazines, tutorials, newspapers use this particular structure. They need subscribers. And, you send them leads in the form of your users. Once a user finishes registering on the destination website, your lead has converted. You get paid.

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing in 5 Simple Steps

Getting started with affiliate marketing is demanding yet simple. To make your job easier, here are 5 simple steps to get started.

Step 1: Find a Profitable Niche

Before you start making any money with affiliate marketing, you need to find a profitable niche. Simply put, your passion is your niche.

So, what are you passionate about? Cars? Video games? Fashion? Accessories? Software? Laptops? Mobiles? TVs? Music? Video? The list is endless.

All of these niches can help you make tons of money. You just need to strum the right chords. Pick a niche that you can handle well. You must be able to write regular content on topics related to your niche.

Once you decide a niche, answer the following questions.

  • How profitable is this niche?
    If a niche can’t bring you profits, look for another niche.
  • Is this niche very competitive?
    It’s a fact that there are hundreds of successful affiliate marketers in almost all niches out there. However, as a beginner, you should focus on a niche with less competition.
  • Are people interested in buying products in this niche?
    This is important. If people don’t frequently buy products in a niche, there is no point in putting your time and effort into it. 
  • Are there any affiliate programs available in this niche?
    Always check the availability of affiliate programs before you select a niche. You can easily consult online affiliate networks to find that out.

Step 2: Get a Website

Once you have selected a niche, get yourself a website, if you don’t already have one. Follow these simple steps to get a website.

  • Buy a domain
    You need to buy a domain for your website. Choose a domain name that reflects your niche or area of expertise.

    You can buy a domain from GoDaddy or Bluehost because millions of people around the world trust these two companies with their domains.
  • Purchase hosting for your domain
    After buying a domain for your website, you need to purchase and set up hosting for it.

    To start, choose shared web hosting as it is ideal for small websites. Plus, it is not expensive. As your site grows, you could upgrade your hosting plan easily.

    Buy hosting from Bluehost as it offers fast and secure web hosting. You can also trust Hostinger for secure web hosting. A2Hosting is also recommended if speed is your prime requirement as they have 20x faster hosting servers than others.
  • Install WordPress
    You need a content management system (CMS) for your website. And, WordPress is an ideal choice. It’s easy to install and easy to use. It’s safe. Plus, it offers you a ton of plugins and tools for building and managing your website.
  • Install a theme
    Choose a theme that looks great and works great. You can find millions of free and premium themes online.

    Give your website a professional look with beautifully-crafted premium themes from MyThemeShop. All their themes come with a variety of features and easy customization options.
    If you don’t have the budget for a premium theme, choose from thousands of free WordPress themes. These themes may not be at par with premium themes, but they will surely help you make the right start.
  • Start creating engaging content
    With your theme installed, start creating content. Create engaging content that attracts new and existing customers.

    Write articles. Shoot videos. Create infographics. Find out the type of content your users love and then focus on creating such content.

    If you write valuable content, your users will keep coming back to your website. They will even share your content online with their friends, getting you new users, and helping you build your audience.

Step 3: Build Your Audience

With your website up and running, you now need to build your audience. These are the people who are looking for the products that you are promoting on your website. But, you need to bring them to your website because they don’t know that you exist. Here’s how you can do it.

  • Use social media
    The best way to attract new users for your website is by promoting it on social media. For beginners, Facebook is an ideal choice as it is used by people from all age groups. Create a Facebook page and then use it to share meaningful content with your fans. Interact with them. Keep them engaged. Answer their queries promptly. Reply to their comments.

    Depending on your niche, you can use other social media platforms, too. For example, if you want to market apparel and fashion accessories, you must focus on images and videos. And Instagram and Pinterest can turn out to be very, very effective for marketing visual content.
  • Get organic traffic using SEO
    SEO is by far the most effective method of increasing web traffic. Use the right keywords in your content to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
  • Get paid traffic if your budget allows
    Organic traffic is free but it takes a lot of time to receive enough of it. If you have the budget, you can buy instant traffic to your website through paid advertising on search engines and social media.
  • Give email marketing a chance
    Email marketing is also an effective method of engaging with your users. Build an email list by offering valuable content for free. Ask users to share their email address to access such content like free PDF guides, lessons, videos, etc.

    Once you build a list of 500+ email addresses, you will have an effective resource to help you with your affiliate marketing goals.

Please remember that building an audience is not a one time process. You would need to put in great efforts to keep and grow your audience. A bigger audience improves the odds of executing successful affiliate marketing campaigns.

Step 4: Join an Affiliate Program

To make money with affiliate marketing, you need to first join an affiliate program. For that, you can get in touch with a merchant directly or join an affiliate network to find affiliate programs related to your niche. Most vendors outsource their affiliate programs to affiliate networks so that’s a good place to start.

When you join an affiliate program, you get your unique affiliate id, a URL which is also known as affiliate link that uniquely identifies you.

Step 5: Start Promoting Products

Once you get your affiliate link, start promoting products on your website.

You must be very careful about how to promote products. You need to write honest reviews of the products. You need to tell your users the benefits of using your product.

Most people fail at affiliate marketing because they don’t promote products well. They just pick banner ads or links and place them on their website, without engaging users with the right content about the products they are selling.

Don’t be like them. Write honest product reviews and your users will definitely get you commissions through their purchases.

That’s all folks!

That’s all you need to begin with affiliate marketing. Follow the steps above to start making money. Keep amazing your customers and you will reach a level where money will just keep coming your way.

Affiliate Marketing Glossary of Terms

Here’s a glossary of the most common affiliate marketing terms. Have a look.


An affiliate is a person who promotes a vendor’s products or services and gets a commission for every sale.

Affiliate Agreement

The official document containing stuff like rules, responsibilities of both the parties, commission details, fair practices, etc.

Affiliate Link

The unique URL a merchant gives you to identify you.

Affiliate Network

An online platform where vendors list their products and affiliates find those products to sell. Most merchants offer their affiliate programs through affiliate networks.

Affiliate Program

A formal program created by merchants to pay commission to affiliates for promoting their products.


A portion of the total sale value paid to the affiliate for referrals.


A cookie is a specific piece of information stored on the buyer’s computer to identify an affiliate. Cookies have a lifespan predetermined by the merchant. When a customer buys a product, this cookie helps the merchant identify the affiliate.


Also known as a customer, a consumer is a person who ultimately buys a product. Consumers are the backbone of affiliate marketing.


Also known as vendor, a merchant is a party that wants you to sell its products or services through your website.


The credit given to the affiliate for sending users to the merchant website.

It’s Time to Become an Affiliate Marketer Today!

Affiliate marketing has become a very promising industry over the years.

Gone are the days when affiliate marketing partners used to starve. This is the age of digital marketing. The chances are literally endless.

If you are passionate about something, and you have got the right set of resources with you, affiliate marketing can help you make huge amounts of money. Even while you sleep!

Don’t wait anymore. Start now, and let affiliate marketing help you earn attractive profits at your convenience. All the best!