Start Affiliate Marketing

Many people want to make money online and one of the most popular methods is to start affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is when you (the marketer) get to earn a commission on any products / services that are sold and can be traced back to your unique ID or “cookie”.

EASILY the #1 reason why people start affiliate marketing is to make extra money.

The other really great thing about affiliate marketing is that you DO NOT have to purchase any products (inventory) and you do NOT have to deal with any customer complaints or store returns!

Another REALLY great thing about affiliate marketing is that lots and lots of brands NAME companies have affiliate programs and welcome people who are new to affiliate marketing.

Sounds like a great business doesn’t it?  Yes it is, so let’s take a closer look at what’s involved.

Hot Tips To Start Affiliate Marketing

1) Pick a topic that you really like or a topic that you know really well.

The reason for this is that you will have to write about products/ services in this niche. There is nothing worse than struggling along trying to understand a product or industry that you know nothing about.

It’s best to pick topics (niches) that interest you and that you are willing to talk about.

An example would be me talking about how to pick a great hotel to stay at rather than how to buy agricultural tractors and heavy machinery.

Go with the topics that YOU like first and worry about the type of products to focus on later.

2) Create your own website

The easiest way to promote your products is to create a website on the internet. It used to be really hard to create your own website, but now thanks to CMS tools like WordPress and Joomla, it’s now really easy to create your own professional looking website for little / no money.

You have two choices here.

1) You can either purchase a private domain and domain hosting package and create your own website from scratch.

* This is the best way to make sure that you can get a private email that matches your company website name.

If you would like some great tips on how to pick the perfect domain name for your business, please click here.

2) You can create a free WordPress website on a sub-domain from a service such as SiteRubix and then choose from over thousands of free themes to make your site look really professional.

Click here to create your own WordPress website (SiteRubix domain) with a name that you choose.

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3) Create Content For Your Website

The next thing to do is to start creating content for your website.

You will need to do this BEFORE you apply to a company to join their affiliate program. The reason is that most companies are happy to accept new members into their affiliate programs, but some companies like to review your website content to make sure that it is a good match for their brands.

If you need help with how to create content on a WordPress website, please click here.

4) Pick Some Companies or Affiliate Programs That You Want To Join

The easiest way to do this is to simply refine the focus of your website down to one word and then enter that work in your search engine query box and hit plus affiliate marketing.

So if my example website is focused on coffee, then I would type in “coffee + affiliate program”.

Screenshot of search engine result for coffee + affiliate program
Screenshot of search engine result for coffee + affiliate program

As you can see there are over 5 million different sorts of affiliate programs I can join.

Now you simply work your way through the programs and pick the one that you want to work with the best.

If you would like help with my top 7 questions to ask before joining an affiliate program, please click here.

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5) Getting Website Visitors

Just like in the “real world” you will need to figure out a way to get new customers to come and visit your website.

There are three main ways to do this…

1) SEO or FREE Search Engine traffic

This is when you open up your search engine and type in something that you want to do a search on.

The results come back on your screen and you simply start clicking on a few hyperlinks to get access to new information. These clicks are your free or organic SEO traffic.

EVERYONE wants to be on Page #1, Position #1 of Google.

For tips on how to improve your on-page SEO please click here

2) Guest Blogging

Here an established website invites you to submit content that they will publish on their sites. Sometimes you can do this for free, sometimes you have to pay a small fee and sometimes they even pay you to write the article.

It all depends on the niche and how strong your following is in that niche.

3) Pay Per Click or PPC

Pay per click is where you pay a major search engine (usually Google or Bing) a small fee to advertise under specific words. This is best saved for people who already have some experience in affiliate marketing, because you can lose a lot of money very quickly if you don’t know what you are doing.

If you would like some great tips on PPC, please click here.

6) External Affiliate Programs V In-house Affiliate Programs

Some companies have outsourced their programs to large external organizations.

I like outsourced programs where possible. The main advantages are that the external organization only gets paid if they manage your record keeping accurately.

Some in-house programs could be a problem in the case of a dispute. You will be relying on the one company and the one source of data to make sure that you get paid accurately. You need confidence that you will get paid for all the hard work that you do. I got ripped off thousands and thousands of dollars once simply by this poor record keeping.

Some external companies with a great reputation include:


Click Bank has been in the affiliate marketing industry for a very long time. They started out specializing in digital products. The now have some physical products as well.

Digital products have some of the highest commissions around. Typically, anything from 25-75% depending on the author and the niche. So it pays to look around.

CJ (Commission Junction)

CJ is another very large worldwide industry player. They specialize in affiliate programs with big brand name companies. They have a dashboard that is really helpful to affiliate marketers looking to grow there business.

Share A Sale

They specialize in brand name providers and have a wonderful reputation. Their range of companies and products to choose from makes them very popular indeed.

Wealthy Affiliate

They are a digital services business specializing in affiliate marketing training. Their payout is around 40% and they pay out on the first of the month via PayPal. Please click here for more information.

7) Add Your Unique ID or “Cookies” To Your Site

The next thing to do is to create a new post on your site and then add the special URL links or “cookies” to your site.

Now if a website visitor comes to your site and clicks on your special link and then goes off to and purchasing the product based on your recommendation, you will get a commission.

This is called Pay Per Sale (or PPS) and is the most popular way to make money in affiliate marketing online.

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8) Create New Content And Add New Links

As a “blogger” or content marketer, after you have successfully created one post with affiliate links, it’s only natural that you will want to move onto creating more articles and talking about more great products.

OK so there you have it. That is the basics to start affiliate marketing.

Was this article helpful at all. Did you learn anything new? Was it mainly talking about things that you already know? Have you tried affiliate marketing before? What worked well. What did not work well? What would you do differently if you had your time over again?

Please feel free to leave any comments, hints or suggestions in the comments field below.

Thank you for visiting us today.

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10 thoughts on “Start Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Very good information here! Especially for those of us new to website design and online business marketing.  I have only just begun to appreciate the value of having a good, recognizable domain name.

    I couldn’t help but click on the link that took me to the page that describes “cybersquatting”. That is a totally new term for me however, I can see how this would become a “thing”. 

    Domain names are like physical real estate – there is only so much land and only so many domain names.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you for visiting today and for sharing your knowledge and experience with us, I really appreciate that.

      You are right of course having a good, recognizable domain name is a valuable asset to have and it really makes a difference long term.

      Cybersquatting really is a thing, like you pointed out there is only so much physical real estate in the world and only so many domain names to go around as well.

      If you are looking for ways to help get accepted by every affiliate program that you apply to join, please click here Affiliate Marketing Companies: Top 10 Tips To Get Accepted

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for sharing how to make extra money online! I myself have just started this journey a few months ago and it has been great!

    It has been difficult at times but totally worth it! I really like how you lay it out step by step what you need to start doing! How long have you been doing affiliate marketing for and what has your success been so far?? (Doesn’t have to be monetary!)

    All the Best,


    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you for stopping by today and for sharing your knowledge and experience with us, I really appreciate that. Congratulations on starting your own online affiliate marketing website.

      I hope that this grows into something really successful for you.

      I agree that getting step by step instructions really helps you achieve more than if you had to figure everything out solo.

      Affiliate marketing has been fantastic for me. I really enjoy learning new things and meeting new people and learning about new technology and products that are on the market….. and of course the cash is great as well!

      If you are looking for extra hints and tips about how to get a yes from every affiliate marketing company that you apply to join, please click here Affiliate Marketing Companies: Top 10 Tips To Get Accepted

  3. Hi and thanks for the easy to follow and well broken down guide to building an income online through affiliate marketing. You quite rightly tell us the best platform for actually guiding you through step by step and coaching you to be successful. Wealthy Affiliate gives unbeatable value for money. Great work and I hope keep creating more useful content in the future. Thanks, Kenny

    1. HI Kenny,

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your knowledge and experience with us today, I really appreciate that.

      You are right of course, in affiliate marketing having a step by step guide to being successful online is what’s required. Internet marketing is so big and vast that it’s simply too much for anyone to figure out alone.

      You really need help in order to be successful in this game.

      Thanks for stopping by. If you are looking for ways to get a yes from every affiliate marketing program that you apply to, please click here

  4. Hello. I was searching around, and I saw your article. Could you explain how this affiliate marketing works? I didn’t quite get it. What’s the price to start? Looking interesting, and have wanted to do some internet business as well.
    Good post by the way, and thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Stein,

      Thank you for visiting us today and for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate that. Together we all grow and learn faster.

      Affiliate marketing is when you (the marketer) promote products/services and if your website visitor comes along and clicks on your links and purchases the product then you receive a commission on that sale.

      The beautiful thing about affiliate marketing is that YOU get to pick the topic to talk about and on your website and YOU get to pick which products to recommend to your website visitors. 

      The #1 reason why lots of people start an affiliate marketing business is that you can get started for little / no cost.

      In fact we can help you get started with 2 free websites and some free training. That’s a great way to “dip your toe” into the water risk free and see if it is for you or not.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      All the best Top #3 Ideas of How To Improve Your Website Ranking

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing and caring to do so. Most people I know could use a little extra cash for different reasons.

    I especially appreciate you explaining how external companies function, why we should use them and listing a few of the best in the business. I did not completely understand that before reading your post.

    1. Hi Jody,

      Thank you for dropping by today and for sharing some of your knowledge and experience with us, I really appreciate that.

      I agree with you that most people I know could use a little extra cash for different reasons.

      External companies can help you find quality products / services in your niche and also help you independently audit your results to make sure that you are receiving all of the affiliate commission that you are entitled too.

      I mean we all have to eat right?  Knowing that we have commission coming is very important to affiliate marketers – no one wants to work for free forever.

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us today. If you are looking for ways to help improve your website rankings, please click here Top #3 Ideas of How To Improve Your Website Ranking

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