A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Are interested in making some easy money with affiliate marketing business? If yes, then this guide is for you.

I have carefully written this guide considering beginner's mindset, if you are just beginning, then this guide is absolutely for you.

If you are deciding to start an affiliate marketing business as a full-time career then we have some positive stats to share as per Digita Global affiliate industry is worth $6.8 Billion in the US alone.

In this article I'll be covering some basics to more advanced pieces of training:

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning a commission by selling someone else’s product.

You have an affiliate marketer who doesn’t own any product; rather, just sign-up for an affiliate marketing program from a particular brand and start selling their products to earn a commission.

These can be physical or digital products. When you sign up for the affiliate marketing program from their website they will provide unique affiliate links which you will use to sell their affiliate products.

You can track all relevant metrics like your earnings and visits from their dedicated affiliate dashboard.

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Types of Affiliate Marketing

Well, there are different methods, platforms & payment methods when it comes to affiliate marketing.

Well, let's group them into methods first, so as per popular internet blogger Flynn, affiliate marketing can be broadly classified into 3 method types -

  1. Unattached Affiliate Marketing: Pay-per-click, search engine marketing, Facebook ads, etc campaigns are the most common ways to conduct unattached affiliate marketing. It's an attractive form of affiliate marketing because it does not require web development or content creation (except for ad copy). Many digital marketers act as middlemen, directing the end-user to a business where they can purchase a product or service.

  2. Related Affiliate Marketing: Related affiliate marketers are those who build an audience to their affiliate links by providing good quality content. They provide content from their blog, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. Even though they don't personally use the affiliate products that they sell, they just recommend them to their audience for a commission.

  3. Involved Affiliate Marketing: Then there are involved affiliate marketers who sell those affiliate products that they truly believe in. All products that they intend to sell are the products that they use daily. They recommend products to their audiences by making detailed blog posts, videos, or podcasts just about the product that they are selling to their loyal customers.

Neither of these method types is necessarily superior to the other; it comes down to which one suits your strengths the best.

PPC or SEM might be the best way for you to earn affiliate revenue if you're an experienced media buyer.

Running banner ads can be a great way to earn money if you enjoy blogging or creating videos.

Alternatively, if you enjoy writing reviews about products or services that you use, Involved affiliate marketing may be the best way for you to grow your affiliate earnings.

Different Categories

Affiliate Marketing platforms can be broadly classified into 2 parts Physical Products and Digital Products.

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Physical Products: Physical Products involve selling a physical product, for example, fashion products, apparel, health supplements, cosmetics, books, etc.

Digital Products: Digital products that are PC or Mobile driven are digital in nature for example software, store coupons, online software services, premium images, etc.

Different Platforms:

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Direct Affiliate: Direct Affiliate marketing is where a business allows users to register to their affiliate marketing programs directly from their website. Example: Amazon Affiliates, Clickfunnels, Canva Affiliate Program, etc.

Marketplace Affiliate: Marketplace is where you can find multiple affiliate programs from different companies under one roof. Example: CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, Clickbank, etc.

Different Payment Payouts

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

This is important for you to know when you choose an affiliate program. Well, Payouts can be classified into 5 types as mentioned below –

  • Cost Per Sale: You will be paid a commission when a user clicks your affiliate link and buys something.

  • Pay-Per-Click: You will be paid when the user just clicks the link irrespective of purchase.

  • Cost Per Lead: You will be paid a commission when the user signs up or fills in an online form.

  • Cost Per Action: You will be paid a commission when a user attempts to take certain actions; for example download the app or play the game, etc.

  • Recurring Income: You will be paid a commission every month when the user subscribes to certain online services.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Now that you are familiar with all the details, it's time to start affiliate marketing by picking up the right niche and applying for the relevant program.

Pick a Niche

Well, there are tons of affiliate products available to sell we need to do in-depth market research before you choose the right product to sell. There are 3 important factors while choosing the Right Niche –

  • Your Passion: Choose the product which you are passionate about, You can’t be selling dog foods while your primary knowledge lies in smartphones. This is important and you are most likely to enjoy selling the niche that you already enjoy.

  • Low Competition High Demand: Choose the niche that has low competition and good demand in the market. The best way to do this is by any keyword research tool such as ahref.com and type in your niche keyword then choose your country click Find Keyword. For example, let’s say you selected your niche as “Face Mask” you get the following result as shown.

Please read my in-depth article for keyword research here.

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

You need to focus on 2 columns Keyword Competition (KD) and Keyword Volume. Higher the keyword volume or search and lower the competition or KD means you have a perfect niche to start with. Another tool I would recommend is Google Trends you can find the latest trending products in the market.

  • In-Depth Research: You need to do In-depth market research to succeed in the affiliate marketing business. After the research list down all your niches and sort them as per the market popularity, high-profit margin, and easiness to promote the product.

Choose an Affiliate Program

After the detailed research in the previous steps, the next step is to choose the right affiliate program. Well, there may be plenty of affiliate programs in your niche but you need to choose ones that are low in competition, easy to sell, and pay a high commission. So head on to Google Search and type “join affiliate program” <your niche name> Ex: “join affiliate program” keto. Results will show all the keto diet-related affiliate programs available to join.

Some of the Popular Affiliate Programs Involves the following –

Note: Most of the affiliate marketing programs need approval, you may have to explain to them how would you help their product sell, etc.

Best practices for Affiliate Marketing

  • The best practice to sell Affiliate marketing products is by helping others by solving their problems or pain points with your products.  

  • Never sell affiliate marketing links directly to the consumers and spam their inboxes or social networking channels.

  • The best way to sell affiliate marketing products is by making valuable content around the product you want to sell it can be a blog post, video, webinar, or podcast.

  • Your content should involve detailed steps that solve their problem, affiliate products should help to solve it.

  • Always monitor your incoming traffic to your affiliate links by using link shortener tools to monitor the traffic that you are getting on your links. Also, note the key details where is this traffic coming from which platform.

  • If you are using paid ads to draw traffic to your affiliate links then always remember to collect any form of personal details like their emails or phone before your re-direct to their affiliate product so that you can at least get a contact lead if they don't choose to buy, to re-target the customer next.

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Promote Affiliate Marketing Products

Well now you have applied for an affiliate program next comes the most crucial step to promote your product and get your first sale.

A Free Beginners Guide: Start & Grow Affiliate Marketing Business

Content is Important: Never spam people’s email and social network with your affiliate link this methodology never works trust me. You cannot force someone to buy without giving some value to the consumer.

Example: If you are selling Coffee Machine you may have to create good written content that tells the user why is this coffee machine is so unique to buy. You can also make a good comparison video on youtube to advise your subscribers with the best coffee machine to buy. Content can be written on your blog, youtube, social media platform, or even send an email.

Best sources of Traffic to your Affiliate Site –

  • Create Website: One of the best and traditional ways is to create a website and start blogging about your affiliate niche. Blog contents should be related to your niche selected and affiliate links can be embedded in between your article. Make sure your blog follows all SEO guidelines in order to list it on the top page of google. You start your own blog for free using wordpress.com, blogger.com.

  • YouTube Channel: Another popular way to sell your affiliate marketing products to your niche is to start a YouTube channel. First, create valuable content for your subscribers then promote your affiliate product at the end of the video you can also put your affiliate links in the description. This method has proved a huge success to most affiliate marketers.

  • Instagram Influencer: If you are the type of person you can establish credibility and audience to believe in you, trust you, follow you, engage with you then congratulations you can influence people to make a buying decision. You can promote your followers with your affiliate products but of course, you first need to try out yourself or you may break that trust bond between your followers.

  • E-mail Marketing: Old is Gold and emails are since the dawn of the internet. Till to date, emails are one of the most official and trusted forms of communication. Potentially Millions of people check their emails almost every day. Almost all affiliate marketers today consider email building as their primary goal for success. Due to the high volume of spam emails these days people think twice before opening any mail and also the email providers have become too strict in checking the email content before delivering it to the user's inbox. Always remember while writing an email prepare good content a sort of value to the reader on whatever you are promoting and stick your affiliate link at the end. Make sure you write a perfect catchy subject line because the subject is the first thing people see and decide to open.

  • Social Groups: You can also create a group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram, etc for any niche and invite members to join the group. The best part of groups is that you are creating your own ecosystem of users then you can think of promoting 100’s of affiliate programs to your niche there but of course by sending posting valuable content daily.

  • Quora: Quora is a platform where people ask questions and other people attempt to answer their questions. You can use this platform to search the question related to your niche and then answer their question faithfully the if possible link to your affiliate product in your answers.

  • Paid Advertisements: If you think the above free strategies are hard and need a lot of time and effort then you can invest some money in paid ads like Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Quora ads, etc.


Well, you have now learned all the basic foundations to become a successful affiliate marketer but you need to do good research online before you become a professional marketer.