Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Justin Su

Affiliate Marketing is one of the most crucial and profitable business models. It is what most people want to do to earn money online. Affiliate is a business model on its own. In this article, we are going to teach you the basics of Affiliate Marketing.

This is not an easy business but if you know what you are doing then it can be the easiest business you can do. If you have been in an online business for a long time then you might have heard the word “Make Money When You Sleep”. Yes, this word means too. You can earn money while sleeping and many people are earning money while sleeping.

Modern-day affiliate marketing is about Choosing the product and targeting the audience if you can do these two things then you can become a master in Affiliate Marketing but it is not as it seems. You will learn everything

This is why Affiliate Marketing is the most profitable business. Amazon has the most profitable commission rates but after March 2020 this can’t be very profitable for users now. They reduced the commission rates from 9% to 3% and that’s why now affiliate marketers are finding another affiliate company.

Do you know which is the first affiliate program? The first affiliate program was introduced by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts, He introduced the affiliate programs in the year 1989 (some say the affiliate program was started in 1995).

So let us have a look into Affiliate Marketing step by step. Before knowing how to start affiliate marketing, let’s understand what is affiliate marketing in simple words.

What Is An Affiliate Marketing?

Here! What does affiliate mean according to Wikipedia and SmartPassiveIncome?

What Is Affiliate Marketing According to Wikipedia

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

What Is Affiliate Marketing According to SmartPassiveIncome

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s product (or service). You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

If you want to understand affiliate in a sentence then read the definition given by SmartPassiveIncome. affiliate meaning in English.

In simple words, the definition of affiliate marketing, Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning a commission by selling 3rd parties products to 3rd parties.

Generally, Affiliate marketing contains 3 parties are Advertiser, Publishers, and consumers. Or we can call them Seller, Marketer, and Buyer. But in this modern era affiliate marketing added one more party and it is an affiliate marketing platform.

Publishers: Publishers or Seller is the first person involved in this process. This party is the one who owns the product. The product can be physical goods or digital goods.

Marketer: The Second party is a Marketer or Advertiser. You are standing here if you want to make money from affiliate marketing. Marketer promotes affiliate products using their traffic mostly blog traffic social media pages or any other method to promote the product.

Consumer: The last one is Consumer or Buyer. You need to have a buyer or customer who has trust in you and is ready to purchase the product that you shared.

Affiliate Marketing Platform: There are many different platforms, for example, CJ Affiliate and ClickBank. These platforms invite advertisers or product owners to start the campaign on the affiliate marketing platform and publishers choose the product which they want to promote. I mentioned CJ and ClickBank because these both are the best affiliate marketing platform.

How affiliate marketing works

affiliate marketing

Pic Credit: SmartBlogger

Working on affiliate marketing is not as easy as it looks but it can be easy if you know what to do.

What you need to start affiliate marketing

The following things are needed to start affiliate marketing:

  • Internet
  • Computer
  • Patience
  • Customer
  • Power of choosing the product
  • Promoting the product
  • Now you have $$$ in your account

The affiliate working process looks very simple. The product owners join hands with platforms or they have separate pages for affiliate programs. Promoter joins the platform and takes the link to the product which they want to promote.

Amazon affiliate marketing is the best example of it. Once you sign up on you can join amazon affiliates to promote the product. Amazon affiliate is the best affiliate program and they also have varieties of products available.

Start by Step Guide to Start Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing step by step guide

Pic Credit: acceleration partners (Example of affiliate marketing being used to drive a sale)

Learn about Affiliate Marketing

This is the step that most of us don’t follow or we think this is not very important. The more you learn the more you earn. The Internet is full of knowledge that comes to you only when you go there.

There are many things to learn regarding affiliate marketing like what is affiliate marketing, how it works, What strategies I should use, Selecting competitors, Planning why your competitor is earning more, Choosing the product, and many more things. has a vast number of articles published on affiliate marketing to help you.

You can join different forums and learn about affiliate marketing. There are some known affiliate marketing forums like WarriorForum and AffiliateFix. Both forums are the most active affiliate forums. You will learn everything about affiliate marketing.

In such a group many people share their strategies and the product which you should focus on, in short, they are your free teacher.

Build Own Audience

Once you have done with the learning process of affiliate now it’s time to build your own customer or audience. This will decide how much you will earn or how much you can earn. Do you know most bloggers are earning money from affiliate marketing?

The audience is who follows you, for example, if I said “Rakuten is the best alternative to Amazon and you should join Rakuten” then my audience will and should join Rakuten over Amazon.

I will explain here the two easiest ways to make your own affiliate audience.

1. Start A Blog and Build an Audience: Everyone will start loving you and following you once you start helping them. When you start a blog and write “very user-friendly” content then people will start reading your articles and following you. They will be ready to purchase the product using your link.

Building an audience using Blogs or Websites may take some time but they are your long-term customer.

We will divide them into further two sections

  • Permanent Visitors: The permanent blog visitors are those who follow your articles very deeply and read each article published by you. They subscribe to your newsletter and join your Facebook or any other community group. The best way to keep your visitors in one place is by creating a Facebook group. When I say they follow your articles mean they click on the affiliate links added by you on the website.
  • Temporary Visitors: These visitors are less effective but they are worth it too. Because they don’t read your all articles but when they read you’re a single article then they might click on the “affiliate link” which includes in your article. You can add links like hosting affiliate links.


2. Use Social Media to build an audience: Social Media is the platform where strangers get connected, friends share their stuff, people share their thoughts and many more things are done on social media.

And some people earn using social media. They create their audience they build their small empire using social media.

Let me explain to you with an example;

I have a Facebook page with about 1M likes or followers, my page niche is games (niche means topic). And my page has 400K to 500K active monthly followers. Till now they just come on the page like the posts and make comments and sometimes they share posts.

These active followers are your audience.

Now I plan to monetize my page with affiliate marketing and I joined the Amazon Affiliate Program. Now what I will do is select the product, I choose the mobile phone, I will share an affiliate link with my Facebook followers directly or I will use a single-page blog. I will tell followers that I am using this or that mobile phone for playing games and insist on them purchasing the product.

Not every follower is going to purchase a mobile phone now. And sometimes none of them purchase anything. If your percentage on the mobile phone is 3% and you sold out 20 mobile phones worth $1K each then you will get $30 from each sale it means you will get 30×20= 600 USD. This amount is not much worse.

Sometimes you don’t earn anything and sometimes you earn more than you think.

Choose The Best Affiliate Product to Promote

One of the most important steps is choosing the product. You can’t just try to sell the car to poor people. Targeting a proper audience with the proper products can only make money for you unless you are just wasting your time and money.

First of all, you need to know which product is trending and which one is making more profit. Affiliate ROI (rate of Interest) should be more, no one wants to earn less, right? So choose only the highest-paying affiliate product.

You can use WooCommerce for affiliate products. Woocommerce is one of the best platforms for WordPress.

You have to choose the affiliate product related to your audience niche. For example, if I have a blog or social media account and my niche is Gaming then I will choose products like Mobile phones, PC, Motherboards, Computer equipment, and accessories.

Are you stuck in choosing the product?


Ask your visitors and they will help you to choose the product.

Didn’t understand? Let me explain to you with an example.

Assume, I have a Facebook page (game niche) with 100K followers now I decided to promote the affiliate product and I don’t have any idea which product I should promote.

I will create a poll on my Facebook page and ask users questions like You are planning to purchase a mobile? If most of the users say that yes they are planning to purchase a mobile then I will create an affiliate link with the best mobile which can be affordable and best for playing games.

I will share that link with my followers and say that I am using this mobile and you guys should purchase this mobile if you are planning to purchase a new mobile.

Most of the followers will purchase mobile using your link and here are your earnings.

Make a Profit and Repeat the Process

Once you choose the product you can serve it to your followers or audience they will help you to make a profit. Now it is time to repeat the procedure Choosing the product and serving it to your audience. Now it seems easy, right? This is why people call affiliate marketing easy money in the end.

Make Money When You Sleep, this word fits with affiliate marketing very well.

Affiliate marketing for beginners step by step

Best Affiliate Network of 2024

Affiliate Networks work as a middleman, the medium,  which connects publishers and merchants. The best affiliate marketing network doesn’t mean it pays only a high amount. Best affiliate networks that pay on time, have high ROI, good support, and most importantly variety of products.

It doesn’t matter where you are living (UK, USA, India, or Australia) following Affiliate Networks will be the best affiliate marketing companies for you.

I am summarizing some best affiliate networks of all time, you can read the Best Affiliate Network post here for more details and more affiliate networks.


Rakuten affiliate network is one of the oldest affiliate networks. It was founded in the year 1996 they been active for two decades. Rakuten has A+ ratings on BBB. Rakuten has a variety of products but they are limited to merchants.

They pay you using Direct deposit, Check, and PayPal. You can choose which looks good for you.


Amazon affiliate marketing network or Amazon associates is very easy to get access to Amazon Associate. Just sign up, choose the product, and promote it. There are millions of products that are available on Amazon you can promote what you like to do.

Recently amazon’s affiliate commission rate changed from up to 9% to up to 3% (sad news for affiliate marketing). Amazon pays using many different methods which include local payment methods too. It is easy to become an affiliate for amazon


MaxBounty affiliate, Here quality matters, MaxBounty is very strict while accepting users. You need to have a good number of followers to get in. It is also one of the highest-paying networks.

There are many more affiliate networks or affiliate marketing websites but I mentioned only three here if you want more then you can check the list of best affiliate marketing networks here.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Doing Affiliate Marketing


  • Low cost, it is very less expensive, some affiliate marketing network allows you to share the link through different platforms so you don’t need to spend money on a website or create your audience. But this is not recommended.
  • No tension between product quality and quantity.
  • You don’t need to panic about dropshipping or order processing steps.
  • Work from home or anywhere.
  • Don’t need to spend lots of time setting up your plan.


  • High cost, if you want to build your own audience and want to work for the long term then you need to spend money on creating your own audience, learning from affiliate courses, learning new strategies, and maintaining a website, or audience. This is recommended.
  • Targeting the audience is a bit hard and expensive.
  • Much more competition hence you need to choose the product carefully. That’s why we recommend you take online courses.
  • The selection of merchants should be also chosen carefully.


Affiliate marketing forums beginners?

There are many popular forums for affiliate marketing for beginners like affLift, AffiliateFix, Warrior Forum, WickedFire, CPAClub, and more.

Is affiliate marketing hard to do?

I wouldn’t say yes or no. The difficulty depends on you and how you choose the product.

Is affiliate marketing a scam?

It is one of the best ways to make huge money but the question is this is a scam? The affiliate network can be a scam but not its marketing process.

Which is the best Adsense or Affiliate Marketing?

It depends on what niche and which type of blog you gave. News sites are profitable with Adsense but not with an affiliate. Affiliate marketing for bloggers is the best and most effective.


Extra Interesting Information

Here is the step-by-step guide on how Affiliate Marketing works through information.

affiliate marketing infographic Affiliate marketing infographic[Image provided courtesy of the Sugarrae.]