How to Start Affiliate Marketing (A Complete Guide for Beginners)

affiliate marketing

Have you met any people in your surroundings who are not interested in a secondary source of income?

Hope, not even you.

What all ideas come to your mind when it comes to the second source of income. There are plenty of ideas available to build wealth. You can become a freelancer, write eBooks, invest in stocks, and many others are there, from which you can add extra money to your wallet.

Here we will discuss the most popular and lucrative money-making idea for passive income. You have already read it in the title. Yes, it’s “Affiliate Marketing.” Without investing more, you can earn a good amount.

This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and how to start it today.

What is Affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way to promote one brand’s product or services and earn a commission when consumers buy the product. It is a way to promote the products or services of a brand using affiliate links. The affiliate, or affiliate marketer, earns a commission from the brand when someone completes their purchase through the affiliate link.

Before knowing in-depth about the topic, let’s understand the key players in affiliate marketing.

There are mainly four key players in affiliate marketing.

  1. Affiliates are those who promote the product and get a commission.
  2. Merchants are Those who sell the product and share commissions.
  3. Networks are those who manage the affiliates.
  4. Consumers are the end-users who purchase the product.

Let’s know about these players in-depth.

What do you mean by an Affiliate?

An affiliate is a person who registers for the affiliate program of a company and promotes and sells its product. It’s not only an individual; it can also be a company. They promote the items and services by creating content like articles or videos on their website or other media channels. Even some affiliates enable users with shopping carts on their websites to facilitate purchases.

They usually promote their content to reach the potential audience in several ways, like setting up ads, SEO for their websites, and running an email marketing campaign.

Whenever any visitor purchases a product through the link, the affiliate gets a commission from the company. The commission depends on the commission structure set by the company as per the product.

Who are the merchants?

Merchants or sellers are the creators of the product or services that an affiliate promotes. They pay commissions to the affiliate after they get visitors to sell their product. Merchants can be a solopreneur or companies who wants to pay a commission to the affiliate for their every sale. But in the case of Amazon or Flipkart affiliate programs, merchants might not be the creator of any product or services.

Affiliate networks: who are they?

Affiliate networks act like an intermediary between the merchants and their affiliates. Some merchants don’t want to take the hectic: tracking, reporting, and handling of the payment to affiliates due to a lack of resources and time. That’s why they deal with networks to take all these responsibilities.

The network handles third-party checks and maintains a relationship between merchants and affiliates. Some of the popular affiliate networks in India are ClickBank, Reseller Club, Cuelinks, vCommission, etc.


No point in explaining about consumers; Of course, they are the one who buys the product and services through the affiliate link.

So this is all about the key players in affiliate marketing. It’s a simple process, but if you are a beginner, you must be confused about its function. Let’s know:

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

There are several merchants or company that provides affiliate or partner program. By joining their program, you will be an “Affiliate.” You will receive a unique affiliate link that you need to use to promote the product.

Whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie gets stored on their browser. It allows Merchants to track every customer you have sent to their platform and let you earn a commission if they purchase the product. The cookies remain on their browser, even if a customer decides not to buy at that moment. Cookies do have an expiry date. You will not get a commission if the consumer doesn’t buy before it gets over. 

It is not like an affiliate gets paid only after a sale. There are other ways where an affiliate receives a commission. Let’s know about that.

What are the ways affiliate marketers get paid?

Ways of payment remain a general doubt among several beginners. There are three ways when an affiliate gets paid. 

Pay-Per-Sale: This is the popular payment model which we all know. Affiliates get paid after consumers purchase a product.
Pay-Per-Click: This is a rare payment model where affiliates get paid for the generated clicks. No matter sale is complete or not.
Pay-Per-Lead: In this payment model, the marketer gets paid for generating a lead.

Now must have got an overall idea about the basics of affiliate marketing. Let’s know how to start with it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Start Affiliate Marketing?

When a topic for a lucrative way of earning comes, people talk about affiliate marketing. 

Although it’s simple, there are necessary steps you should follow if you want to earn and survive in this domain. Plenty of beginners step into this way of marketing and leave without any single income. Several tyros are even successful affiliate marketers at present.

If you are a beginner, you need to follow these steps.

Step:1. Find a Niche

A niche in affiliate marketing indicates which affiliate products you will promote to people segmented by budget, demographics, demand, and preferences.

If you are an individual and want to start with affiliate marketing, then the first step is to select a niche. It becomes an important step and decides your success in the domain. 

Whether you want to concentrate on personal health, gadgets, eCommerce products, or travel, a specified niche blog site or website will help you get an impact and develop an audience.

It’s better to start with a niche you are an expert in. Let’s say you keep more interest in electronic gadgets. It will be better for you to start with an affiliate for the same.

For beginners, it’s good to start with a niche with low competition and high demand. Some of the trending affiliate niches at present are

  • eCommerce
  • Gadgets
  • Health and Wellness
  • Finance
  • Gaming
  • Travel
Step:2. Select your Platform

The next step is selecting your platform or channel. There are plenty of platforms available you need to choose a platform that will be best for your product promotion. 

Apart from a blogging website, there are a few other platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. 

Youtube is one of the great platforms for affiliate marketing. Additionally, it is free, and you can create your channel and upload videos. 

Most people love to watch videos rather than read an article. That is why several affiliates choose this platform. 

Instagram is another platform that you can choose for your marketing. Like Youtube, Instagram has more than one billion active users, and you can attract a good audience through your reels. 

No matter what platform you select, don’t forget to include affiliate link disclaimers with all your links and make it clear while sharing a promotion. If it is your blog, link your affiliate product with an affiliate link. In the case of Youtube, add your affiliate link in your video description. Similarly, for Instagram, use #ad or #sponsored.

Step:3. Select Products and Audience.

Selecting the right product and audience is the core part of affiliate marketing. Make sure that you are promoting the right product to your target audience.

 Here is where affiliates make a mistake. They used to promote a product without any proper survey and proper knowledge.

It’s just advice to affiliates “if you don’t know and are not confident about a product, then do not promote it.” 

Before promoting a product, it’s better to try it on yourself or take reviews from the users. It will give you more clarity about the product. Don’t think it will improve the lives of others if it doesn’t help you.

If everything goes all right, target your audience. You are promoting a product; let’s say it’s a skincare product. And the majority of its users are between the age group of 18 to 24. In that case, if you target to audience group of above 45, sure, you will not get a good result.

So think wisely before promoting and product and selecting the audience.

Step:4. Sign-up for an Affiliate Program.

There are several platforms and networks providing affiliate programs. Before signing up on any platform, it is better to check on certain factors. 

  • Type of commission and amount paid.
  • Lifetime of cookie
  • Conversion rates
  • Payment logistics
  • Competition

Several platforms like Amazon and Flipkart provide affiliate programs where you can register as an affiliate. Else you can join popular affiliate networks like ClickBank, vCommission, and Cuelinks

After getting registered, you can explore a wide variety of products. You can research products that are suitable for your niche. After selecting a product, you will get an affiliate link with a unique ID for every product you desire to promote.

Step:5. Create Amazing Content for your Affiliate Products.

You are ready with your niche, have chosen your platform, and registered for an affiliate program. So what’s next. You are almost ready but wait.

It’s time for Content creation.

Who all agree “Content is the King.”

The same applies to affiliate marketing. Your content will attract the audience to read and watch your product-based blog or video.

Your content will depend on the type of platform you have selected. But still, there are a few types of content you can base.

  • Product Comparision: You can compare your affiliate product with another product of a similar category. It’s trending content you must have gone through. Make sure you are giving honest comparisons that your audience can trust.
  • Product Reviews: This is one of the best ways to start your affiliate marketing career. You can share a review of a product either in articles or videos based on your platform. Note a point you may love or don’t love a product but give an honest review. It’s honesty that will bring more audience to your platforms.
  • Tutorials: Maximum number of people want to know more about a product before buying. Tutorials are the best way to share your knowledge and promote your affiliate products to the audience.
Step:6. Generate Traffic and Track your Ranking.

Once you are ready with the above five steps, get ready to generate traffic and build your audience. Of course, it’s the audience whom you will be promoting your affiliate products, and their purchase will earn you money. Sometimes you may have a user-friendly website with informative content that fails to gain traffic. It is where you need to put your best efforts. There are specific strategies that you need to follow.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Probably, you must have heard this term. SEO is the best way to generate organic traffic. Your product will get sold when it can be visible to the audience. Rank your website to the top of the search engine page based on your content and keywords.

          If you need assistance with this, our SEO services are available to assist you in ranking your website.

  • Email Marketing: This is one of the fastest ways to generate traffic for your business. You can send emails to your subscribers regarding any offers or new arrivals. Make sure you are not spamming and irritating your audiences. 
  • Paid Marketing: This is one of the easiest ways to reach more audiences. Through PPC ads, people can find you quickly, but as a recommendation, invest in paid marketing once you start earning from your website or channel. 

Generating is the frequent step at which you need to stay focused every time. Several competitors are in the same field and are always in the hunt to stay ahead. Probably, you will miss your potential audiences if you miss out on this step.

Wrapping Up:

If you are a beginner, I guess now you have a clear idea about affiliate marketing. There is no doubt that affiliate is the smart way to earn money online. With less effort and time, you can income a good amount of money. Note you have to follow all those steps to be a successful affiliate marketer.