Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing in 2021 – A Complete Guide

Want to Make Money from Affiliate marketing? then continue reading our Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing.

As you already know, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. I am going to cover each step-in detail for you in this post of affiliate marketing tutorial for beginners.

According to a Statista report, the amount of spending on affiliate marketing will reach $8.2 billion in the U.S only by 2022. So, think about how big it is.

Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Okay, let us get into the details. Here I will explain what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and how you can earn passive income from it. But first of all,

What is Affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is where you promote any company products or services to your audience using a unique affiliate link. So, if someone purchases through your affiliate link, you will get a good commission.

You might have heard about Google AdSense or some other PPC (pay per click) ad types that pay based on clicks or views.

But affiliate marketing works on a CPL (cost-per-lead) or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) model. Means, you get a commission whenever the referred user by you takes an action like buying the product or signing up for a free trial.

How Affiliate Link works

Whenever a user clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie gets stored on their browser.

A cookie is nothing but a small file that helps the merchant to identify, which sale is coming from which person. Also, it comes with an expiry date/time, so you can earn a commission even if the user delays a purchase.

i.e., you will get a commission whenever a user landed on amazon through your affiliate link and purchases any product (not only one that you are promoting) immediately or within 24 hours of time.

Why 24 hours, because amazon has a 24-hour cookie duration. Yeah, some merchant cookies duration may have up to 90 days also.

Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Here the key point to remember is, your readers will not be charged any extra amount when they go through your affiliate link, and sometimes they might get a more discounted price than usual.

So, both you and your reader get benefited if you promote good quality products. Of course, soon you will get to know “how to pick the right products” if you keep reading till the end.

Usually, 3 parts are involved in affiliate marketing,

1. Company/Merchant (Ex: Amazon, GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc.)

2. Affiliate Marketing Network (Act as an intermediary between you and the merchant. Ex: Share-a-Sale, Commission Junction, Click Bank, etc.)

3. Affiliate/Publisher/Ambassador (Ex: You / Me)

So, now the big question is who can learn affiliate marketing, and what are the things one must have to start affiliate marketing?

Well no degrees, or technical knowledge required here. All you need is just a good computer with an internet connection, that is it.

Yeah, you heard right!

So now I’m going to teach you How to Find the right niche, and How to Sign up for the right affiliate program, How to generate your affiliate links, and how to promote them for FREE to make money online.

Affiliate Marketing Terminologies.

But before you start, let us have a look at these crucial affiliate marketing terminologies.

  • CPA (Cost Per Action): In this model, you will get a fixed rate in return whenever a user referred by you makes any action. It could be a sale, a sign-up for a newsletter or a download, etc.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): this model works on paid to click basis, which means some portion of the money paid to generate each click. The amount you spend on each click will be based on different factors. For example, using this model if you want to bring 100 users to your blog, you may have to spend something around $20 (i.e., 0.20 per each click).
  • Impression: It will be measured by the no. of times your ad is got displayed. Example: ad is shown for 1000 times = ad got 1000 impressions.
  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand): It is the amount you spent for 1000 impressions. So, if you spent $20 for 200,000 impressions for your website/blog that would be $0.10 CPM.
  • CTR (Click Through Rate): It will be calculated using the number of clicks you received out of the total number of impressions. So, let us assume your blog received 25 clicks from 1000 impressions, which means your CTR rate is 2.5%.
  • Landing Page: It is a web page that is specially created for promoting the product/service. Usually, users will be landed on this page once they click on a link that is promoted online by an affiliate like you.
  • Squeeze Page: It is also a type of landing page, but it is designed to capture visitors’ email addresses by offering some freebies such as free eBook or free courses, etc. You also must use these squeeze pages to grow your email lists. This email list is very useful in promoting your affiliate products and to drive good quality traffic to your blog/website.
  • Cloaking: It means hiding the tracking code in your unique affiliate link.

Okay now you got good overview on what is affiliate marketing.

Now you might be thinking like How much money can I make through affiliate marketing?

Well, my answer is “HUGE” if you do it properly.

You know even big brands such as Amazon, GoDaddy, Uber, Ola, Flipkart, PayPal, etc. also uses affiliate marketing to drive customers to their businesses. Why because it has a better ROI then CPC OR CPM model promotion.

In the beginning affiliate marketing might look difficult because you are new at this, but within few days you will become a pro once you start and scale below the steps that I’m going to teach you now.

Common mistakes that most Affiliate Marketers do,

Just to warn you, avoid these below at any cost

Common mistakes that most Affiliate Marketers do
  • Not implementing things that you have learned
  • Lack of Patience
  • Thinking Affiliate Marketing is a quick rich scheme or becoming too greedy
  • Not focusing or Diversifying efforts on making multiple websites

Avoid these serious mistakes if you really want to become a successful affiliate marketer. Focus only on one WEBSITE/BLOG until you learn all advanced concepts and implemented it on your website to earn a good amount of money.

Once you start earning, then build your team to start working on multiple websites. Also keep asking whatever questions you have in your mind regarding affiliate marketing in our Facebook groups, commenting below, or through mailing me.

If you really love affiliate marketing, you will feel it like fun, exciting, and a bit challenging.

So, to start affiliate marketing, do I really need a Blog or Website?

Not necessary, but it is better to have one. It builds good authority and fan base in long run, and much easier to promote your affiliate links as well. You can also promote using YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram account, etc.

But my sincere suggestion to start affiliate marketing through your own blog/website along with social networking sites.

Many affiliate marketers use their blogs as the main platform to make money online.

Pat Flynn, founder of SmartPassiveIncome earns more than $100,000 from affiliate marketing. His huge part of income comes from the products he promotes through his blog only. Look at his income report:

So, How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Choose your niche
  2. Find affiliate programs to join
  3. Implement proven Methods to get traffic/visitors
  4. Make users to Click on your Affiliate Links
  5. Convert Clicks into Sales

1. Choosing You Niche:

Niche is the main essence of your blog. This means it is the topic or a specific category that you are blog is talking about. This means if you start your blog about the latest Smartphones, then your niche is Smartphones.

Likewise, if you see a website that talks only about weight loss, then weight loss is its niche.

Selecting a niche is not at all difficult, but picking a profitable niche is important here.

Choose a niche that you really love and have good knowledge as well. I have mentioned the top evergreen niches that are doing well online.

If you feel your favorite niche has huge competition, then go for its subcategory niches.

Check-in forums like Quora, Reddit, or merchant sites like Amazon in finding such subcategories information. Pick the right one which has a good number of searches and low competition.

How to Find a Profitable Niche

Because you must create good long quality content and must make the best marketing strategies around it. If you choose the wrong one just because of money, soon you will stop working on it.

Take free tools to help such as Google Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, or best-paid tools like Semrush to decide on your niche.

Note: Below is the list of best categories (niches) you can choose if you want to work for the amazon affiliate program.

Pick the one you like and find the best products in it. Once you got the products list, then write SEO friendly content by creating a blog to generate huge affiliate sales.

Keep these below checklist points in mind before you finalize any product or service in your niche

  • You should try the product first before you promote, then you come to know its quality.
  • The product/service must satisfy your user needs
  • Make sure that your merchant should have a good refund policy, and customer support as well

2. Signing up for Affiliate Programs:

Now another big question is How to decide which affiliate program suits you. If you are targeting normal consumers then go for eCommerce merchant affiliate programs like the Amazon affiliate program.

If you want to target business people, professional Individuals then go for the merchants that are offering such type of services like Web Hosting Companies (Bluehost, HostGator, etc.), Credit Card Offering Organizations (AMEX, VISA, etc.), other High Paying Ticket Programs, etc.

You have many merchants, and affiliate network partners to work with. Some companies allow you to work directly with them, and some through an affiliate network only. Just any of the way you have and get approved.

Things you need while signing up:

  • Your contact information such as email id, phone number for communication.
  • Payment mode information such as PayPal id or bank account details to transfer your earned commission.
  • Your Website address if required.

Once you have an account and got approved by the merchant or affiliate network partner, they will provide you the unique affiliate link that includes affiliate id information.

Signing up for Affiliate Programs

Along with the affiliate link they also provide promotional banner links, codes, and some useful tips guide, etc.

Top Affiliate Networks:

Following are best popular affiliate networks:

Just register with them and apply for your affiliate partnership with corresponding merchants. Some of them may approve you instantly, and some may take time.

In that case just sent a mail to them by mentioning what are your marketing plans, and how well you can promote their products or services.

3. Best Proven Promotional Strategies:

a.) Create great quality content:

Now we entered one of the crucial parts to make money with affiliate marketing. In the above lines, we have already discussed how important is to have a blog/website around your niche. Even to write and share your honest opinion you need a blog. So Create a professional blog first.

Good Quality Content is like the heart of any website, and usually, it will be called KING in the digital marketing world.

Write content around your chosen products such as product/service review, comparing it with its competitors, video reviews, and offer the latest discounts coupons, etc.

Remember, you need to produce unique high-quality content to convince your user and make them buy.

Your content should be SEO Friendly as well. So that it will be ranked high in search engines and helps you to get good targeted organic traffic.

Also, if applicable create a Resource page by mentioning all the list of tools and services you use. You can find these kinds of pages in many famous bloggers and affiliate marketer’s blogs.

b.) PPC (Pay Per Click – Paid Traffic)

So now You have created your own blog and posted great content in it. Now it is time to bring good traffic to your blog.

In PPC, as it is paid marketing, you can get the traffic whenever you want. But optimizing this PPC campaigns takes time need little experience.

If you are a beginner and you are promoting low-commission affiliate offers like amazon products, then this method not good for you.

But if you have experience in digital marketing concepts, like keyword research, ad optimizing, and you are promoting high paying offers, then you can utilize this method and scale it accordingly.

Also, many companies will not allow you to promote their offers through PPC campaigns, but some programs allow it on Bing with specific conditions.

Best Proven Promotional Strategies for Affiliate Marketing
c.) Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Another way of getting the best traffic to your blog is SEO. It will help you in getting the good Free/Organic Traffic to your site from Search Engines like Google, Bing, etc.

What is an SEO first? Well, optimizing your webpages according to Search Engine Guidelines to rank high at Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

Implement the following important steps of SEO to rank high for your targeted keywords. Because as long you rank high on search engines like google, you will get good passive income from your blog.

  • First, you need to understand your target audience needs (What they most likely to buy – Buyer Persona)
  • Find what they most care about and write high-quality SEO Friendly content around those topics. (You can get this information where your target audience mostly involved in, like at Quora, Reddit, FB Groups, etc.)
  • Build some quality backlinks on regular basis and keep sharing articles on different social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Of course, if you write high-quality content, you can rank even with the least number or even without having any backlink at all.

d.) Email Marketing:

Create an eBook or videos like courses or services around your targeted niche and offer it your blog readers for free when they submit your email ids on a signup/opt-in form in your blog.

Scale this process and grow your email list. This is the most famous process that is followed by almost all affiliate markers in the world.

It will help you to reach blog your audience whenever you want and boosts your affiliate sales as well. Mail them whenever you publish your new post or about the latest discount deals on the products you promote, etc.

e.) Banner Ads

The Last and but not least method in promoting your affiliate market products is Banner Ads. Create awesome and attractive banner ads and pick a website where you want to place it.

BuySellAds can help you in this process. In this model you no need to have a website means no need to produce high-quality content. So just create your banner ad optimize it for generating more sales.

4. Make users to Click on your Affiliate Links

Once you start receiving the visitors, now it is time to make them click on your affiliate links. So how you can do it,

  • Place most of your affiliate links on the top section of the post and try to underline them.
  • Write positive clickable words like “Get 60% Off” or “Limited Time Offer, Grab Now”.
  • Create posts on the latest discount deals, coupon codes, and place those wherever required.
  • Design attractive “Call to Action” buttons, Tables, or Charts and place them in between the content.
  • Get special discounts for your readers by contacting your merchants directly.
  • Offer extra benefits whenever a user purchases through your affiliate link. Means try to give more value to your readers than your competitors.
  • Write more informational content both on your blog and on merchant sites as well. This will help in gaining your trust, and that keeps your pocket full for a long time.

Got clicks as well, now learn how you can convert them into sales now.

Convert Clicks into Sales

5. Convert Clicks into Sales

Congrats, if you keep reading till this key section, then you are just a few clicks away to start your affiliate marketing journey and making it hugely successful very soon.

So now see how you can convert your click into sales,

  • As already mentioned earlier always create user-friendly and trustworthy content on your site.
  • Build content around benefits also not just only about product features. Both look similar but actually a bit different, and trust me it gives you immense results.
  • Create relevant Landing / Squeeze Pages with attractive special discounts.
  • Build a brand instead of creating a routine affiliate marketing blog. Increase your brand awareness, collaborate with famous influencers in your niche.
  • Use retargeting/remarketing techniques, which means target the people who came through some referral sites to your blog and not yet made any action (purchase or signing up for your newsletter).
  • Optimize your ads and keep on experimenting with Split Testing or A/B Testing regularly. Split Testing means creating a few different ads for the same promotion, so you can get to know which kind of color, text, images, ads gives you more good results.

So, focus on how you can keep improving your sales percentage and your blog credibility.

Note: As per FTC guidelines your affiliate disclosure needs to be mentioned in simple and easy-to-understand language (words). Means you must mention that you are going to earn some commission on each sale that got generated through your affiliate links to place on your site or somewhere in your social networking profile.

You can observe in below screenshot where I place my affiliate disclosure under a table which consist affiliate links.


I hope I have covered each important point in this Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing. To be frank, I have not created any new formula or process here.

All the above information is very crucial basics of affiliate marketing only, means you must be strong at basics first.

Then soon you will become a pro and your journey may become an inspirational success story to motivate other fellow Affiliate Marketing Beginners.

Have patience and focus on only one niche until you make it more successful later you can start my many by forming your own team.

Hope you like my post, and please free to comment below if I miss any. Also, do not forget to share with your friends who are more interested in affiliate marketing like you.

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