A Complete Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

For those who want to make money on the internet, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and most inexpensive means of creating wealth. This is because with affiliate marketing, you are selling other people’s products and pocketing a commission. There is nothing to buy upfront, you only earn money when you make a sale, you can add or subtract products to your heart’s content.

To better understand how to get started in this exciting field, here is a complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing. The following information provides a platform for you to be successful, including tips on how to expand your business.

A Complete Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Choosing a Niche

Now that you’ve decided to become an affiliate marketer, the first step is not building a website, but instead figuring out your niche market.

The mistake that many people make at the beginning of the process is not focusing on a niche first to sell a product or line of similar products. Remember, you are not competing with large department stores. Instead, you are trying to create a niche site that offers products that reach a specific audience.

This means that the niche comes first. It is the essence of what your website will be that also provides products from proven sources. While many people will choose a niche that they are comfortable with, such as movies or fishing for example, you are usually better off doing some research first to find what niches are in-demand.

Remember, you are not trying to sell products, but rather finding products that sell. So, you’ll want to be in a niche that appeals to a specific market which already has an interest in what you offer.

Research Affiliate Programs

Now that you know what niche you want to exploit the next step is finding the right affiliate programs and products from established retailers. You should narrow the list by focusing on trusted, reliable sources that provide confidence to your potential customers. After all, it is a lot easier to have someone purchase their products from Amazon compared to an online store they’ve never heard of before.

The next step is looking for a good commission percentage which will help make each sale more profitable. One thing to keep in mind is that expensive products, particularly in electronics or digital technology often have excellent commissions. You may not sell very many, but what you do sell will provide a tidy profit.

Conversely, low commission rates on inexpensive products may not be worth the effort. So, shoot for around 10% minimum on reasonably priced items.

Create Your Website

Now that you have discovered your niche and found the right affiliate program and products, you can now build your website. The most successful affiliate marketing sites are not built around sales, but rather they are constructed towards appealing to a target audience by becoming an authority on a specific subject. For example, if your niche is horror movies, then you might build your site around history of horror films, what gems may be little seen, or posting the latest news about the horror genre.

You’ll want your website to be simple, clean, and easy to navigate. The more user-friendly you can make your website, the better. Also, you will need to infuse the website with search engine optimization (SEO), which means the right keywords to attract your target audience. This will require some research and diligence on your part, but the results will be well worth it in building up an audience.

Create Interesting Content

The linchpin of the complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing is creating interesting content on a consistent basis. You will need to decide how often you want to post new content and stick to that schedule. While daily content is preferred, your niche may only require new content once per week or perhaps twice per month.

Regardless, the content you post should be interesting, informative, and keeps visitors coming back for more. By posting good, solid content, you are enticing those who have an inherent interest in your niche to visit regularly.


In addition to pulling people into your site through SEO, you will need to reach out as well. This can take several forms from traditional advertising to participating in social media and more. Promoting can take the form of offering content for other sites to help bring visitors to your website, interacting on social media, or even creating a viral video which draws attention from those who otherwise would never hear about your site.

Whatever promotional efforts you choose, it will need to be consistent and fit within your budget to be successful.

Augment Your Efforts

While many people earn a significant amount from their efforts in affiliate marketing, they also augment their sales with their own products. By selling something that you create alongside your affiliate marketing products, you can vastly improve your sales potential.

For example, if your niche is movies and you offer a certain genre of DVDs as your affiliate marketing products. It is possible to augment that with your own product, such as a movie guide for example that you can sell alongside the products on your site. Information products such as eBooks or reports can really help boost your sales.

Know When to Change Directions

If there is one element that is essential for the complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing, it is being persistent. Without persistence, you will not be able to stick around long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, being persistent does not mean staying the course no matter what. It does mean that when something is obviously not working, you should know when to make a course correction.

Conversely, you should also be aware that doubling down may be the right course of action as well. This means that as you progress in your affiliate marketing efforts, you should analyze the data, look at your budget, and make the decision to proceed or change based on the available information. Understanding when to change can make all the difference in your effort to become successful online with the right affiliate marketing programs.

Want an excellent resource for a plethora of training materials on affiliate marketing that you can access for free please click HERE.

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  1. I’m impressed that you’ve managed to explain affiliate marketing to a monkey like me haha.

    Reading your guide I now have a fairly good picture of what I need to do to make money with affiliate marketing. I am still new though so I still dont get the parts like augmenting my efforts or changing direction yet.

    Maybe with experience i’ll get what you mean.

    • Hi Lucas,

      Yes stick with the training and with experience it will all start to come together.

  2. I really like your beginners guide on affiliate marketing. You break it down on what to do from the get go such as choosing a niche, how to find affiliate programs in your niche, creating a website, producing content, and more. I think a very important thing to mention is the willingness to change course when something isn’t working as I don’t think a lot of people don’t always do that. What’s been your experience with Affiliate Marketing so far?

    • Thanks for adding.  I have found affiliate marketing to be enjoyable as well as very profitable.  

  3. Thanks for the quick overview of what affiliate marketing is and how to start. Just wondering how well the business model is working for you so far? I’m in the beginning stages and I know, or at least have been taught, that the time I put in now is an investment and I won’t see the profits for a while. Makes sense when you see how the process works. I just hope I DO someday see the profit side! Only time will tell I guess?

    • Hi Anna,

      Yes that statement is so true,  “the time you put in now is an investment”.  You will begin to see progress and profits if you are diligent and continue to learn and take action every day following the training at Wealthy Affiliate.  Stay the course and it will pay off. All the Best!

  4. would you suggest finding a niche with as many great keywords as possible in Jaaxy?I think using Jaaxy and doing research on your keyword titles before choosing the niche is the best way to do it, do you agree? Or do you have another way around? Ive picked a niche in the past then struggled to find good keywords with high average.

    • Hi Jayde,

      I would suggest picking a niche with high demand products that you are interested in.  You can always find good keywords for any niche using Jaaxy.

  5. Great article! I am still a beginner myself – I just hit my 6 month mark with Wealthy Affiliate – so this information is really helpful.

    When it comes to SEO, do you have any helpful articles you could recommend? I’m still trying to learn as much as I can about that. And do you have any helpful hints for better understanding Google Analytics? You mention the importance of analyzing data, but I still feel a bit lost there as well.


  6. This is some really great information!  I love affiliate marketing and you gave me some good ideas to implement with mine as well 🙂  Like selling something I create alongside the affiliates.  

    I like affiliate marketing because it’s providing me with the opportunity to stay home and work and provide for my family 🙂

    Thank you for your information 🙂

  7. I appreciate you really getting down to the basics in your article.  Honest information is hard to come by, and I think you have given new folks a good idea of the steps needed to build an online affiliate marketing business.

    I think one of the most under-rated parts of the process is creating a website that is filled will compelling and unique website that shows your “brand”.  There are a lot of people who slap together some stuff on a site and try to drive traffic…only to fail.  they fail because they can’t convert people…mainly because their content stinks.

    Great insight…and keep up the great job helping us to avoid scams.

  8. OK Bryan,

    I actually printed out your article.  In fact, when I got into WA just a couple of weeks ago, I really wasn’t sure what Affiliate Marketing was all about.  Here in just a few paragraphs you have succinctly outlined the process, steps and outcomes to follow to avoid internet affiliate scams.  

    Now with your beginner’s guide in hand, I can continue on with my WA training with a much clearer understanding of the end game and how to arrive at the ultimate goal of making money.  While I’m absolutely sure the information you presented was explained at the beginning of my training, your explanation of the process was clear enough to resonate with my thought patterns.  Now I feel like I’m not so lost in the forest.

    Thank you for your insightful review!

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you found the article informative.

  9. Hi and thanks for a very detailed yet easy to follow explanation of what affiliate marketing is and how to get started. Quite rightly you point out all the process in clear and concise ways do visitors to your site can understand it. Your visuals are excellent and help to understand what your writing about. Thanks Kenny

  10. Thank you for this, you really went into detail about affiliate marketing and how to get started. You also wrote out the details you need to take care of before diving into affiliate marketing. When starting a blog how many blog posts do you suggest having up on the blog when it first launches?

    • Hi Victor,

      When starting a blog I would suggest having a minimum of 5 posts so your traffic will keep coming back.

  11. I love your article about the guide on affiliate marketing for beginners. Those brief explanation is great and easy to understand even for newbie. Well, me myself not really a newbie in affiliate marketing anymore. But, all the things you talks about are true and easy to understand. 

    I have 1 question, how to determine the best niche to get started with? And how profitable is affiliate marketing? This is because I want to know how much I can create with affiliate marketing.

    • Hi Amer,

      Choosing the best niche to start with comes down to doing research on what products are in demand coupled with what your interests are.  Yes affiliate marketing can be very lucrative and can be your full time income if done right.

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