Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Free Guide

Affiliate marketing for beginners can be overwhelming! It is a great way to make money, but knowing where to start takes a lot of work. The internet is full of opportunities for making money, and affiliate marketing are one of the most popular ways.

But if you're new to this world, it can be hard to know what affiliate marketing is or how it works.

We've created an article just for you that will help answer your questions on what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and some types of products best suited for new affiliates like yourself.

I'll also relate to how I make money using affiliate marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing promotes other people's products or services in exchange for monetary compensation. Whether you're a blogger, Instagrammer, Youtuber, small business owner, or just someone who wants to make some extra money, affiliate marketing is an excellent opportunity for earning passive income while doing what you love.

Affiliate marketing is just a quick way to offer products and services without having to create your products and services. For bloggers, that means you find a product or service you like, promote it to your readers, and earn part of the profit on each sale you make.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

When someone purchases something from the merchant's site using your link and email address, you get a commission as compensation. You need to add your affiliate link to something for people to click on. This can be a product you recommend in an article or review, or it could just be the affiliate link itself when you're ready to start promoting products. Affiliate links are usually generated by a company with relationships with different merchants, so you don't have to do all the hard work yourself!

How To Start Affiliate Marketing Is Five Easy Steps.

Here's the key thing to understand as an affiliate marketer.

You are earning commissions for valuable insights and information about things people were already thinking about buying anyway.

  • This means you should be able to answer all their questions about the product: what it does, how it works, how much it costs if it's any good, and who the target audience is.
  •  If you want to make affiliate marketing work for you, focus on providing value in terms of what people are looking for, and you'll have no problem finding success.

How can you help them make a better product decision than they would alone? How can you make it less overwhelming?

Believe it or not, as an influencer, you are providing value to your audience by saving them time and, in some cases, money too.

Systemize this via your blog or niche site; you can provide value to thousands of people worldwide!

Choose Products You Love and Trust.

It is crucial that when you are choosing products to promote as an affiliate, you only choose products that you love and trust. This way, you'll be more likely to be successful.

Think of it like this:

Are you comfortable recommending it to your mom?

There are two ways to do this:

1. Promote products you've used, and believe to be successful.

2. Promote products you can access by buying them at full price or getting a free trial.

Either way, you must ensure they are a good fit and valuable for your audience.

Set Yourself up as an Affiliate

Every affiliate program will ask you to register with them. They usually check that your stats, for example, the traffic you are getting to your site, match their criteria. If you qualify for membership to the program, then they may give you access to the following: 

Every affiliate program will ask you to register with them. They usually check that your stats, for example, the amount of traffic you are getting to your site, match their criteria. If you qualify for membership to the program, then they may give you access to the following: 

  • An affiliate portal
  •  Your affiliate link

Affiliate portals will give you an idea of the following:

  • how many people have clicked on your link
  •  How many people have bought the product through your link
  •  How much commission you have made from your affiliate link.

Ana from SheApproach has an outstanding affiliate program list to get you started. 

Promote Your Chosen Affiliate Offers and Products

You can do this in a few ways, but two main ways work for me personally. 

  1. Through educational content like this
  2.  Via my email list

Other options you can try are social media, word of mouth, and ads. If you are on a budget, it's best to avoid ads, but that's just my opinion.

Ideas for Promoting Your Offers

Create a Resources Page

This is an excellent way to recommend products, courses, and tools that genuinely work for you. Read my resources page. It will save people time because everything is listed in one place!

Review Posts

This is the primary way I promote affiliate products. This could be my journey using one product, such as Stupid Simple SEO, or it may involve comparing two or more products, like my post on Filthy Rich Writer's copywriting course. 

It gives people an idea of the value of the products and real scenarios because I love and use these products to build on my success.

Educational Content on The Topic – Soft Sell

You can also write related content – which, to be honest, I have only done with income reports so far. You are mentioning the product in passing. It's almost like a soft sell because the product is instrumental in the success of my blog. Does that make sense? 

So I will mention that Stupid Simple SEO has helped me grow my traffic, so my blog income has increased. But I won't go into great detail and become salesy because that puts people off and makes them wonder whether I am genuine. 

You could write an ultimate guide post and then provide a link to a great resource that you use.

Bonus Content

Bonus content can be anything from a free checklist when they sign up for a course. Or it could even be an ebook on the topic. 

Bonus content ideas:

  • Ebook on the topic
  •  Free planner 
  •  Checklist for Success 
  •  Quick start guides 
  •  Video demos
  •  Coaching time 

Comply With Legal Requirements

The FTC in the US expects you to tell your audience that you will earn a commission from your affiliate link. But it's good practice anyway to let people know that you will profit from the sale, even though it won't affect the price the person pays. 

You need to be transparent. 

Here are three examples of affiliate disclosure I put on my sites

Affiliate Disclosure 1

an affiliate disclosure is really important so you are transparent with your website audience
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Free Guide 5

Affiliate Disclosure 2

an affiliate disclosure is mandatory so you are transparent with your website audience

Amazon Disclosure in My Site Footer

an affiliate disclosure if you are recommending products via amazon is part of the terms and conditions.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Free Guide 6

Including a disclosure statement is essential because you can easily get kicked out of affiliate programs for not disclosing this information.

Examples of Affiliate Products You Can Promote


Think about it – have you bought an online course that helped you succeed? They usually have an affiliate program you can join.

What We Like

  • The commissions tend to be among the highest and can average at around 40%. Which is incredible when you think some courses are around the $497 price mark. 
  •  You usually need a website to post a review, and you're good to go. 
  •  You can supplement the offer with your bonus content.

What We Don't Like

  • Nothing to say – it's a win-win

Digital Downloads

Digital downloads are great because the possibilities are endless. My preferred way is to upload them to Sendowl, and the platform handles it easily. 

Examples of digital downloads:

  1. Audio or video files 
  2.  PDFs
  3.  Ebooks
  4.  Links to webpages where the content is online.
  5.  Software – games, apps, plugins, games, cloud services. 
  6.  Music, TV, movies.

What We Like

  • You only need to make a digital product once, and then you can sell to many people. 
  •  You don't need to worry about shipping costs/ shipping jobs. 
  •  A download can be one page to a whole bundle. 
  •  Your audience gets instant access to the download.

What We Don't Like

  • You need to build traffic to your website and your email list to sell more digital products and make enough money.

Online, Hosted, and Professional Services

  • Designers – 99 Designs, Fiverr, Designmodo

Examples of professional services:

  • Social media management or content marketing platforms, for example, SEMrush, Sprout Social, HootsuiteSendibleand StoryChief.
  •  Media or creative businesses Music Radio Creative 
  • Masterminds and membership sites like Serious Bloggers Only, Freelance Writer's Den, and Digital Marketer.

Research or consulting services Touchstone Research Group, or Snow Consulting

Examples of services online or hosted:

  • Website hosting (Wix, Squarespace)
  •  Website platforms – Squarespace
  •  Page builders – Thrive themes

Email service providers – AWeber, Constant ContactConvertKit

What We Like

  • You can make more commissions because the products usually have a higher price point. 
  •  You don't need to worry about shipping costs/ shipping jobs. 
  •  A download can be one page to a whole bundle. 
  •  Your audience gets instant access to the download.

What We Don't Like

  • You need to build traffic to your website and your email list to sell more digital products and make enough money.

FAQs Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

What Is The Best Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Some of the best programs include:

  • Amazon Associates. 
  •  ShareASale
  •  Commission Junction
  •  Rakuten
  •  Flexoffers
  •  Shopify
  •  Buzzsprout
  •  ClickBank (for small businesses)

In her affiliate program master list, Ana details the best programs to apply to first, with top tips on how.

Is Affiliate Marketing Easy

It's the same with everything – you get better results over time the more you learn and refine your process and build your website traffic. You also need to consider whether the products you recommend would work with your audience and whether you would use them yourself. 

Affiliate marketing is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. It will take time, just as SEO does.

Can You Make a Living off Affiliate Marketing

Yes, you can, but it takes time and effort. I was often about to jack it all in, and I'm glad I didn't. 

I'm making, on average, $2000 a month, and I'm working on generating different income streams. So if, for example, my earnings are lower because of the holidays, I can still pay crucial bills.

Affiliate Marketing – Is It Achievable To Make Decent Money

In short, it is possible to make a decent amount of money from affiliate marketing!

Read my blog income reports.

Affiliate Marketing is an excellent way to make extra money, especially when you are passionate about something. We hope this article has helped introduce the basics of affiliate marketing and how it can work for your small business or blog. 

As a beginner in affiliate marketing, we recommend choosing products that align with what you're already blogging or writing about so that they match up well with other content on your site.

You need to be transparent and honest – it's easy to spot someone recommending a product for the sake of it. You've seen through it yourself probably many times. Share your journey with people about products you genuinely love and trust, and provided you get enough traffic to your site, you should start to see results. 

 If there's anything else you want to ask us about getting started as an affiliate marketer, don't hesitate to reach out!