Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Step by Step Guide 2021

Free affiliate marketing guide - HOW TO BECOME AFFILIATE MARKETER  STEP BY STEP 

If you want to make money online, Affiliate Marketing is the best choice. 

Believe it or not, it is the brutal fact that you can make a full-time income with Affiliate Marketing alone!

Most of the people quit before they get the actual results. Because they are not patient and want to earn quickly. You can make a regular passive income only if you are willing to take effort and work consistently for a long time.

This step by step guide to affiliate marketing will show you how to start and grow profitable affiliate marketing website and make money.

If you build a business spending your time and energy for once, you get paid over and over for a longer period.

I was overjoyed and jumped out of excitement when I made my first income online as an Amazon affiliate. I received $3 for a bounty sign up. This encouraged me to move forward and take further steps in growing my affiliate marketing site. 

Amazon Affiliate commission
Affiliate commission

I started my affiliate journey with a parenting website, later built this site to share my experience and help everyone to start a side hustle.

I am able to make a good amount of money only because of the training I received from Wealthy Affiliate. It is the all-in-one platform helps many people to start online business and make passive income online.

If you are a beginner, learn affiliate marketing step by step to build and grow successful affiliate website.

If you are already into affiliate marketing and haven't made any money online, don't worry. This guide will help you progress and you will make money over a period.

Let's get started..

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we get a small commission if you make a purchase from this link. This doesn’t cost you more than the actual cost. – thanks for your support!

What is Affiliate Marketing ?

Affiliate marketing is, you recommend a product to your website visitors and when they buy that product from your affiliate link you receive a commission.

The commission you receive will vary from $1 to $1000 depending on the products you recommend.

How does Affiliate Marketing works?

Affiliate marketing process

The process is simple. You have an affiliate website.

Step 1: The online shopper or user visits your website.

Step 2: They decides to buy the product you recommend and clicks the affiliate link.

Step 3: They will be redirected to the company's or merchant's website.

Step 4: After the user buys the product you will receive a commission for the sale.

The companies or merchant tracks the user using the unique link to pay commission for you. When you sign up for an affiliate program of any company, they give a unique tracking URL called affiliate link. 

You will get the paycheck after 20th of every month or at the end of the month.

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how can I make money from Affiliate Marketing

How much money can you really make from Affiliate Marketing?

How much can you earn with Affiliate Marketing?

The answer might surprise you!

Literally, there is no limit to the amount of money you can earn with Affiliate Marketing!

You can earn more than $10,000 per month from affiliate marketing. This will not happen overnight. You must have a long-term goal and work towards that. 

Let's see a simple example. If you are selling products which give you a commission of $60,$30 and $100 per sales. If you have an average sales of 5 for each product per day, then 60x5, 30x5, 100x5 will give you $950 per day. Per month you will get $11,400.

That's amazing right?!

People who do Affiliate Marketing for more 10 years seems to earn more than $50,000 per month.

The money you earn depends on what product you choose to promote and how many sales you make. When you choose the right affiliate programs and recommend useful products you can make a great amount of money.

Affiliate Marketing beginners step by step guide 2020

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Free affiliate marketing guide - HOW TO BECOME AFFILIATE MARKETER  STEP BY STEP 

Step by Step Guide to Affiliate Marketing

These 8  step process will teach you how to make passive income online with affiliate marketing.

Step 1: Choose an Appropriate Niche

The first step is to choose the topic or niche for your affiliate website. You need to recommend products which belongs to specific category.

For example, you are interested in make up you choose beauty products to promote.

It is better to choose the topic based on your interest or hobby.

It is pretty easy when you convert your passion or hobby into a niche. If you are interested in cooking, fashion, music or reading books, make that as your niche.

Niche is defined as a "group of people interested in a particular topic".

Choose the broader topic and narrow it down to finalize your niche. This makes you focus on a specific topic.

Let's say, you decide to write on 'parenting'. It is a broader topic which includes baby, toddlers, kids education, kids clothing, teen, etc. You need to narrow it down to one topic.

Suppose if you wish to choose 'baby' as your topic, you can still narrow it down to baby care or baby food. It is good to start with a more specific topic. Once you establish authority on your niche you can expand it.

Pick your niche wisely. If you have interest and considerable knowledge on the topic definitely you can choose that topic as your niche.

You can also select what you are interested in or what you are doing in daily routine. If you love to read books, you can write reviews on the books you have read and also suggest good books to read.

Read my post on how to choose your blog niche wisely.

Step 2: Decide a name for your website

Naming your website is very important. Pick the website name relevant to the niche. It will sound more professional and appropriate.

This will be your domain name which you need to register with a hosting service.

For instance, if your niche is online video games, your domain name can be "Gamereviews" or "Onlinevideogames" something related to the niche.

Next is the most exciting part of the process, building a website!

Step 3: Build your own website

A website is the base for any online business. You are going to build a strong foundation for your business over the years.

It is completely easy and simple to build a WordPress website. You need not to be a techie or should have knowledge of coding to create a website.

By following these three simple steps you can build your own website less than 30 seconds.

  1. Sign up SiteRubix and set up your account for free
  2. Go to Website--> Site builder
  3. Choose free domain name, title and design your WordPress website.

If you want your own domain, you can register domain name with Wealthy Affiliate.

Now your beautiful, mobile-friendly and revenue ready website is ready!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Tip: After creating a new website, take free Online Entrepreneur Certification course from Wealthy Affiliate. (10 lessons for free starter membership)

It has totally 5 phase (50 lesson) series of courses walking you through the process of creating and growing a business absolutely for any niche that you want. 

Free affiliate marketing guide - HOW TO BECOME AFFILIATE MARKETER  STEP BY STEP 

Step 4: Prepare a Content Plan

You must Consider the following points before you write blog posts

Know your audience

Find out who is your target audience. You are going to provide information for a specific group of people. For example, if you are writing about teen fashion, your target audience would be teenage girls.

Find Age and gender:

Women would be your target audience if your niche is 'women clothing'.  If you are writing about teen fashion your audience would be teenagers.

Have an update:

Get updated on current and trending topics. Know what your visitors are looking for. You are writing to help your readers. Identify what information they look for and provide useful information.

If you are writing about healthy recipes, get the latest information on that topic.

Use Google alert to get information on the latest topics on your niche.

Decide on what to write:

Decide what type of post you are going to write about.

  • Product Reviews
  • Product Comparison
  • Tutorial
  • Top 10 List
  • 'How to' Topics
  • Question and Answer Type
  • Trending topics
  • Useful tips

Set a goal and make a content plan. Keyword research plays the significant role in content marketing. When you choose the right keywords, your page gets ranked and drive more free traffic from search engines.

Step 5: Join Affiliate Programs

Many online companies offer affiliate programs. These programs are free to join. Sign up with affiliate programs related to your niche and get affiliate links.

Most affiliate programs provide text links and banner to add to your website. When you recommend a product, add the affiliate link of that product in your content.

You will earn a commission when the visitor buys that product using your affiliate link.

Amazon affiliate program is a popular and best program to join for beginners in affiliate marketing. They have more than 10,000 products in almost every niche. Sign up to get the product affiliate links related to your niche and use in your content.

There are Affiliate networks consists of many merchants or companies providing products in the various category.

Popular Affiliate networks like ShareAShare, Clickbank, CJ, Flex offers, Viglink, etc have many companies on various niche. You need to sign up with these affiliate networks to join the affiliate programs.

Every affiliate program offers a cookie period. If a product has a cookie period of 30 days and the visitor buys that product within the next 30 days, you will earn the sale commission.

The commission percentages vary for each program. Some affiliate programs provide recurring commission which gives lifetime income.

Step 6: Create social network accounts

Create a social network accounts exclusively for your website to promote your content.

There are many social network platforms available to promote the website. Initially it is good to focus on Facebook,Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

Almost everyone has a Facebook account. Create a Facebook business page with your website name. After sharing few posts, invite your Facebook friends to your page. This will get you immediate traffic to your website.

When you share your post on Twitter and Instagram, use hashtags and write few words related to your post.

If your niche is related to parenting, fashion or travel, it is good to create Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

Sharing posts on baby care or about dog food in Linkedin is not relevant. Hence choose the social platforms suitable to your niche.

Other social accounts:

Once you create more content you can use other social platforms and forums to get more traffic. 

  1. Quora
  2. Reddit
  3. Yahoo answers
  4. Tumbler
  5. Slideshare
  6. Path
  7. Mix
  8. Forums related to your niche

Step 7: Drive Traffic to your Website

Getting traffic for a website is important. The more traffic you get more chance of sale and obviously, you will get more money!

There are 2 types of traffics you can get for your website.

  • Free Traffic
    • Organic search
    • Social media
    • Referral
    • Direct
    • Other referral sources
  • Paid Traffic
    • Social network ads
    • Search engine ads
    • Banner ads etc

Using paid ads in search engines and social network you can get the target audience to your website.

As a beginner, try free traffic sources. If you have a budget, you can invest in paid traffic to get visitors to your website.

check out my post on how to boost website traffic.

Affiliate Marketing Step by Step Guide for Beginners to Make Money Online

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Step 8: Make Money with your website

Once you start getting visitors for your website, it is time to make money. When you have potential visitors for your website there are a lot of chances to earn.

When your audience trust you they obviously going to buy the recommended products. To gain trust you need to provide the correct and useful information for your visitors.

There are best affiliate programs to make money as a beginner. Join affiliate marketing programs relevant to your niche and promote products that are helpful for your visitors.

It is good to suggest products which are personally used by you. This will help you to share your opinion honestly. This obviously build trust and therefore leads to making more money.

There are many top earning affiliate marketers who make regular income online. It is important to choose the right affiliate products to promote.

How to find an affiliate program for your niche?

Some companies provide affiliate programs through networks like Shareasale, CJ, etc. Some companies provide an affiliate program directly like iTunes.

To find an affiliate program for your niche you can search in Google like

 "Your niche" + Affiliate programs

This will give the result of affiliate programs related to your niche.

I am searching for kitchen gadgets niche on google as  "Kitchen gadgets"+ affiliate program.

List of affiliate programs appears in the search result.

Similarly, search for your niche and choose the affiliate programs which seems more relevant to your niche and sign up.

affiliate programs

Another option to get an affiliate program is, you can visit the company website and get the affiliate program link from the footer of their website.

Suppose if you wish to write any product review which you have tried, you can join that company's affiliate program directly by going to their website.

Let's see an example. I wish to join the Bosch mixers affiliate program. To find the affiliate program I go to their website and get the affiliate program link from the footer of their website.

I sign up the program and get the affiliate link of their product.

Best Free Affiliate Programs For Beginners


Shareasale is an affiliate network been in business for 18 years. They have popular merchants almost in every niche. After signing up with them you can apply any number of affiliate programs based on your niche.

Some affiliate programs will approve your application and provide their product links right away.

Some programs will take time to verify and approve your application.

You will receive email notification of the applied affiliate programs. Commission percentage varies for each program.

Amazon Associate Program

This is the most popular affiliate program for every beginner to join.

They have millions of products to promote but they provide less commission for each sale. This affiliate program is good for beginners.

Everyone has an Amazon account. They are the most trusted merchant around the world. Your audience will trust and buy products from your link.

There are several ways to link the Amazon products

  1. Use product linking you can search any individual product and get the link to promote the product.
  2. Banners are present for each categories like for music, for books and many more, are available.
  3. Native ads are like widget where you can select relevant products to your content and place it at the end or between the post.
  4. Mobile popover for mobile ads
  5. You have Amazon Bounty programs for music, videos, baby registry etc. You will earn the commission when someone signs up the Bounty program from your website.
  6. With OneLink you can create Amazon account for many countries and get the international sale commission.

Genius link helps to create a single link for any product. International visitors click the product from your website and buy Amazon products from their local site. This way you can earn commission from international traffic.

Genius link gives 14 days free trial for unlimited clicks. After the free trial, you get 1000 clicks for $2 per month. 


This is one of the beginner-friendly affiliate programs. This Affiliate Program provides a way to link iTunes, apps, iBooks, podcasts to your website. Signing up to be an affiliate is quick, easy, and free.

As an affiliate, you can earn a commission of 7% for  Movies, TV, and Books and commission rate for iTunes Music is 2.5%. Commissions are eligible on sales for up to 24 hours after a user clicks on your iTunes link.

They have a recent update that starting from October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from their affiliate program.

Genius link is available for iTunes too. Boost your international income with Genius link.

Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate (WA) community is one of the best online platform where you can learn and earn. WA is an online training course where you can learn how to build an online business, especially “Affiliate Marketing”.

They provide bootcamp training (70 lessons) to train you how to promote their product. This is the most exciting affiliate program available where you can earn consistent revenue by referring others to the community.

For every Premium sign up you earn $200+

You get a recurring commissions as

  1.  $8 for the first month - when your affiliate goes for $19 special offer
  2. $23.50 - Monthly sign up 
  3.  $117.50 - Yearly sign up.
  4. Starter Members earn $4 for special offer referrals, then $11.75 monthly

 The Premium Yearly commission would be $235/year recurring 

Affiliates get invited to Las Vegas Conference if the affiliate reaches 300 sales in 1 year!

They offer a 7-day free trial for everyone to try their beginner course.

If you truly interested to earn more money with affiliate marketing by building a successful online business, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate.

Read my Wealthy Affiliate Review.

There are other popular affiliate programs you can sign up and find the relevant affiliate programs.

There are many more affiliate programs available for various niches.

Do not join too many programs and promote different products.

You need to join the affiliate programs related to your niche and recommend useful products to the user. This helps you to get more sales and commission.

How to be a successful Affiliate marketer? 

Like many people, you can also make a regular income with affiliate marketing and enjoy your life as you wish.

But remember this: Whether you are a beginner or in the intermediate level struggling to earn in Affiliate Marketing, make sure you DO NOT quit!

The key for successful Affiliate Marketing is persistence and patience. If you are willing to work hard and learn, you can become a successful affiliate marketer.

These qualities help you to succeed in Affiliate Marketing business.

  1. Always provide useful, helpful information to your website visitors.
  2. Strive to give genuine and correct data and information.
  3. Write high-quality content.
  4. Work consistently.
  5. Develop interest to learn about your niche and create authority over the years on your website.
  6. Being patient and do not give up.
  7. Not to go in wrong techniques like using Blackhat SEO.
  8. Do not create many websites thinking that existing niche will not make money.

The key to successful Affiliate Marketing is persistence and patience!

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Terms associated with Affiliate Marketing

  • Affiliates: Person who use affiliate program links to promote products and make sales.
  • Affiliate networks: Networks like Shareasale, CJ, and Clickbank who work as a central place for affiliate programs in various niches.
  • Commission percentage: The commission percentage is the income affiliates receive from every sale.
  • Affiliate link: Unique tracking link offered by the affiliate program to track the affiliate promotion in the website.
  • Affiliate ID: Similar to the affiliate link, some affiliate programs offer a unique ID to track affiliate sales.
  • Payment mode: Affiliate programs offer different methods of payments such as PayPal, Check, wire transfer and others.
  • Affiliate Manager: Many companies have dedicated Affiliate Managers to help affiliates to earn more by giving them tips for sale. They also provide special discount coupons to affiliates to promote on their website.
  • 2-tier affiliate marketing: When you recommend others to join affiliate programs you receive a commission when a sub-affiliate makes a sale. This income is called a sub-affiliate commission
  • Link Clocking: Usually, affiliate tracking links are long and look bad. Using a link clocking plugin like  Thirsty Affiliates you can make the long links into readable links.
  • Final Word

    In short, if you are targeting regular passive income from online, Affiliate Marketing is the best choice.

    This is not a quick get-rich system where you make millions overnight. You need a proper training, right direction and a mentor. 

    It takes time & effort to grow your business and make a lot of money. 

    Have a right mind set, get trained and work consistently.

    7 Responses to “Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Step by Step Guide 2021

    • Tammy kuppinger
      2 years ago

      Wow! It sounds too good to be true! You have broken it down so it is easy to understand and follow. I don’t know very much about the subject of affiliate marketing, so this really helped me understand it better! I’m a bit nervous about getting started but this helps me gives me confidence that I can try it! Thank you!

    • Hi, I want to thank you for sharing this wonderful content. I’ve been doing some research on affiliate marketing after my sister suggested I try it but there are so many programs claiming to help and they cost a ton of money. I like that you’ve created such clear information on the topic and give me an idea of what I need to do and how I can achieve my goal. Thanks again for sharing this, it was a huge help.

    • “The key for successful Affiliate Marketing is persistence and patience”, I will always remember these words. Indeed affiliate marketing is the way to go in achieving your dreams.

      I am pleased for your thorough insight into affiliate marketing and looking forward to the greener side of life with it.


    • “The key for successful Affiliate Marketing is persistence and patience”, I will always remember these words. Indeed the way to acheiving your dreams is going affiliate marketing.

      Thanks for the thorough insight and looking forward to the greener side of life with affiliate marketing.


      • Kavitha
        2 years ago

        Hey Brian,
        To achieve goals in any business we need patience and work hard. This applies to affiliate marketing too! I wish you all the best to achieve greater heights in your life and business.

    • Excellent information about affiliate marketing. Your suggestion sare really helpful and I’ve opened up some of the suggested sites you mentioned, including Wealthy Affiliate. I am a member there and I will agree that the training, tools, and the community are amazing. I’ve never checked out the courses at Udemy or Skillshare so will be checking those out.

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