The Comprehensive Guide for How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

A guide to affiliate marketing for beginners. Whether you are an affiliate for ClickBanks, partner with the Amazon affiliate program, CJAffiliates, or any of the other best affiliate programs – including high ticket affiliate marketing, this valuable guide provides what you need for successful affiliate marketing step by step.

Introduction:  You have likely heard of the term, affiliate marketing, especially if you have an interest in an online business. You may even have seen it in action – while some do it right, there are a lot of affialiate marketers who are just plain sleezy! You can see they are soley focused on making money. You know the type?

My goal is to infuse value-based affiliate marketing beginners with the skills and knowledge they need to profitably market with integrity. Affiliate marketing is a lucrative opportunity, but many affiliate marketing websites, and YouTube platforms make us question the truth of what is said – are they being sincere, or are they saying that just to make a buck?

If you are looking for an affiliate marketing for beginners guide, you are in the right place! Better yet, if you want to learn how to market so that you are helping others by providing a helpful needed service to them – that is what this guide delivers.  If you are looking for a get-rich-quick-scheme that takes advantage of others by misleading them, well you may as well close this page now. That is not what you will get here.


In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to get started with affiliate marketing, such as:

What is affiliate marketing?

Simply said, Affiliate Marketing is serving others by sharing your own experiences and knowledge of a brand, product, or service so that consumers can make a timely and informed choice when purchasing a product – and then you earn a commission for your efforts in helping to market and make a sale for them.

circular graphic illustrating affiliate marketing process

Affiliate marketing is an opportunity to be of service to others! It allows you to help others to find the product or service that meets their needs or wants. It saves them research time!


The majority of consumers do not trust the marketing messages that come directly from a brand. Instead, most rely on other people like you and I, and prefer to hear our story and experiences.


An affiliate helps brands to market their product or services, and in return they pay a commission for marketing and then converting interested people into buyers.

Why is affiliate marketing important?

 Affiliate Marketing offers a valuable service to consumers and to business owners. When done ethically/correctly, it has the opportunity to increase the Know, Like and Trust factor. When this type of relationship exists, confidence soars, and sales follow.

visual diagrams of affiliate marketing

Consumers find the products and services they want and need, and feel confident in their purchase.


Affiliate marketing is an economy booster - affiliates help businesses to thrive, while giving consumers needed information to confidently exchange their money.


Affiliate marketing is a win:win! It allows even solopreneurs and small businesses to extend their marketing reach in an affordable and sustainable manner, while also helping the affiliate to make money.

How to make money with affiliate marketing?

This section outlines my perspective of three types of affiliate marketers, and how each of them makes money with affiliate marketing.

visual diagram of what is affiliate marketing

Occasional Marketer:

  1. The affiliate marketer chooses a few brands or an affiliate marketing program to work with that they have heard about from others.
  2. They put affiliate links on their website by creating a Resources page.
  3. They rely on organic traffic to visit their page and access their links.
  4. They occasionally create content (blog posts, YouTube videos, social media posts, etc.) that includes a link to a product or service they recommend, related to the content they create.
  5. They believe in the products and services and want to help others enjoy the same benefits, while also supporting the business owner.


Below I provide a couple examples of how I do this on my Resources page:


ShareASale This is an affiliate marketing group. Affiliates use ShareASale to find products to promote, and earn commission for referrals on those products.

She Bold Stock Photos, Videos and Graphic Design DFY   An example of a solopreneur that I love to support with a passive link on my website. She specializes in stock photos and videos, and DFY marketing content that incorporates images of BIPOC individuals.

 Cricut  This is an example of a company with products that I love and enjoy passively supporting with a link on my website.


Consistent Affiliate Marketer:

  1. Creates consistent content following a content calendar.
  2. Markets consistently (whatever frequency fits their life and interest), but they adhere to a reliable schedule for posting their content and interacting with others.
  3. Diversifies marketing via blog, YouTube, Social Media, etc. to build recognition, know, like and trust. Spend 80% of their time marketing, using platforms where their target market/ideal customer is hanging out.
  4. Enjoys seeing friends and family happy with their purchase following their recommendation, and likes getting that extra consistent supplemental income.
  5. They do everything the occasional marketer does, but do so with consistency and increased frequency – they have a plan and they follow through.

Strategic Affiliate Marketer:

  1. This affiliate strategically plans the products they will promote based on niche, product cost and commission rate to ensure the highest revenue potential.
  2. They research! This affiliate becomes familiar with keywords; they know their volume and competition. This marketer explores the brands and the affiliate marketing programs to assess payout frequency, payout limits, other terms and conditions, etc. 
  3. They strategically choose their preferred methods for marketing, and then they consistently and frequently show up on those platforms, and/or implement those methods.
  4. They only promote products that they have used, experienced, know, like and trust after trialing or purchasing. ie, They are 100% behind the product or service and market with genuine sincerity.
  5. Like the occasional and consistent affiliate types, they market from a position of service – they take pride in marketing with integrity, providing honest reviews, recommendatons, and other feedback helpful to consumers.

Tips/best practices for affiliate marketing success:

 Best practices are key in any industry – including affiliate marketing! Best practices, in my experience, are typically grounded in ethics and simply doing what is right, because it is ‘the right thing to do.’ This section focuses on integrity in marketing, as well as the legal aspects.


tips and values signs for affiliate marketing tips

Market from the heart, with a desire to serve, support and help others.

  • Selling is service when it is done correctly.
  • We do not need to rely on sleezy sales tactics, or to hound our friends and family!
  • If we  are marketing the right products and services that we believe in, and not because they offer the highest rate of commission, our heart and conviction will be obvious.
  • If our goal is to help others by letting them know about the products and services that have helped us and/or made an impact on our lives, then we are sharing life-changing stories – and it won’t feel like selling.

Know the product, service, or coach well! Be available to answer questions and offer support.

  • Example: If you recommend a software or app, perhaps offer a tutorial on how to get started with ease, or answer common and frequently asked quesitons.
  • This extra effort shows you care and are not only focused on making money from their purchase!

Educate yourself to remain legal and compliant.

  • Remain aware of the laws/regulatory standards that govern affiliate marketing. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Follow legal and brand requirements with visible disclosures on your website, in your social media posts, etc. about your relationship as an affiliate marketer as specified by the FTC. Some brands have very specific requirements about disclosures. An example of this is the Amazon Associates Program. You can read specifics about this in the footer of their website.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

This section provides direct links to resources that support an affiliate marketer’s success. Some of these include affiliate links, from which I will earn a commission if you purchase a paid service or product, while some that are listed are free to use. (You do not pay anything more by usng my link, and in some instances, using my link may provide additional perks for you.) A Win:Win!

excited woman face Text headline affiliate marketing tools

Wordstream - Free Keyword Tool

Research is essential for success! Wordstream’s keyword tool is a valuable resource to assess the volume and competition of targeted keywords. This provides an advantage to know what words consumers are entering into search browsers. This insight leads you to creating long-tail keywords and high-intent keywords that are likely to offer improved traffic.


Research What is Trending

Depending up on the niche you choose, taking some time to research current trends may be worth your time. This research may also help you to determine a niche, if you have not selected one. One fast, easy and free way to do this is to use Google Trends.


Targeted Domain

There are numerous avenues you can choose for your methods of marketing, depending on where you are at in your business journey, and/or your preferences. Some affiliate marketers do not have a website, and simply use landing pages available through third-party sources. An example of this is through a Mailerlite Landing Page.

Other affiliate marketers will choose to have a self-hosted website(s). Using their own website, they are able to create blog posts, landing pages, sales pages, etc. to market their affiliate products. If you decide to go that route, (which is what I do) I recommend using a service such as NameCheap. You can research and purchase a domain name inexpensively.


Self-Hosted Website

1. Website Hosting

There are many advantages to having your own website, and that is what I chose to do in 2014 when I started my online business journey. If you decide to have your own website, after purchasing your domain, you will need a service to host the site. You want to choose a reliable host with high uptime, supportive and fast customer service, and cutting edge technoligy to obtain the highest speed as well as security.

A few years back, I moved to Siteground, as they met the criteria listed above. They have been a wonderful choice for me, and others whom I have referred have also expressed being pleased.  Some specific beneifts of working with them are listed below:

They provide outstanding customer service.  The hosting plans offer a substantial reduced rate for the first 3 years; loyalty pays off!

  • 18 years Ultrafast WordPress Hosting
  • Powerful hosting platform recommended by
  • Trusted by the owners of over 2,800,000 domains.
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Free Email, SSL, CDN and Backups
  • From $3.99 /mo.

2. Website Branding, Design and Development

Caution! This is an area that I want you to learn from my mistakes (and many other start-up entrepreneurs). You do NOT need to spend thousands of dollars to a website brander, designer or developer.

So many entrepreneurs spend hours upon hours – then weeks and month – and even years – getting lost in designing a logo, choosing brand colors, and creating website assets. Or, they hire professionals to do this for them, and lose thousands of dollars in the process.

Please, learn from me!   You can avoid ALL of that with the recommendations listed below:

a.  Design your own logo using Canva. The logo that I am currently using on my website was designed by me.  Prior to this, from 2014 through 2021, I had many other logo versions drafted that I paid others to make. Trust me, design your own, or have a loved one help you! As you are just starting out, your business may (is likely!) to change direction, and your logo may quickly become obsolete.

b.  There are many talented professionals who can create and design a website for you. However, as a new online business owner, knowing how to self-manage your website, especially at the beginning is beneficial. Updates to the theme and plug ins need to be made promptly and ongoingly. Edits to your page content also needs to be made to keep your page current. Further, blogging on your website, and/or adding links to your videos on YouTube can increase your traffic, which helps with sales.

I did pay out thousands of hard-earned dollars for a website when I first started online – but then I had absolutely no clue how to update or manage it. It was incredibly ovewhelming! I lost SO much time, completely stalled, and was equally embarrassed and frustrated that I did not know how to proceed. Without a doubt, it was a total waste of my money and time. Learn from my mistakes!

In 2016 I came across No Hassle Website, designed by Neta Talmor.  She changed the trajectory of my knowledge, confidence, and success! This website was self-designed and made by me – and I only paid $99.  To date, I have made and manage 7 websites – most of them are No Hassle products, and all of them were possible because of what I learned for free through Neta’s free video tutorials and the responsive support of Neta and her positive and talented team. Below I provide a few of the benefits she offers:

  • Her mission is to serve as many entrepreneurs as possible, so prices the vast majority of her No Hassle products very affordably – at $99 or less!  Amazing!
  • She offers FREE Hosting for 6 months AND
  • She offers a FREE Mastermind group for support that is priceless.
  • She ALSO maintains a FREE Library of video tutorials that teach you how to manage your Divi website and  hook it up to an email service,  set up a SHOP on your webpage, and SO much more!
  • The premium theme and plugins that she provides would cost you MORE than what she charges for the website!

I love Neta and her kindness, genuine & humble nature, and her patient support and knowledge. If you have ANY questions, I would be honored to share what my experience with Neta has been like these past several years!   You may Contact Me here!

Get started with Affiliate Marketing today!

As an aspiring or new online business owner, you may be feeling confused and overwhelmed (like I was!). Trust me, if someone like me could figure this out (in her 50’s!) and start an online business – so can you! Let’s summarize what we have learned.

woman pointing to text for getting started in affiliate marketing

Affiliate Marketing is an Important Service

As an affiliate marketer, you are taking on an important responsibility to market with integrity. When you market with the intent to provide service to others, your sincerity, honesty and true heart will be evident. Through this process, consumers will grow to like and trust you,. Because of your ethical, helpful service you will save them research time, minimize their frustration with purchasing products and services that do not meet their needs. You will also be supporting our economy, and helping businesses of all sizes to thrive.


How to Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer

The approach you use toward affiliate marketing, as well as what you choose to market, is infintely flexible, and can be tailored to your time, interests, experiences, knowledge and preferences. You can be an occasional marketer, a consistentent marketer, or a  strategic marketer. How you make money as an affiliate marketer is entirely up to you!


Tips and Best Practices for an Affiliate Marketer

An affiliate marketer that wants to build a long-term, sustainable online business will focus on marketing with integrity. A marketer that focuses on building trusted relationships,  and working from a position of intention to serve (versus having the objective of making money as the primary goal) will have a higher level of success long-term.


Recommended Affiliate Marketing Tools for Success

The top tools for a beginner affiliate marketer to begin marketing inexpensively, yet successfully included the following  tools that I use in my own business:


Action Steps to Get Started as an Affiliate Marketer

To support you, and to minimize the overwhelm, I would like to offer you a free Affiliate Marketer’s Workbook and Planner. This printable document will help you define your niche. It will help you to organize the many affiliate groups and brands that you reach out to, and those that accept you as an affiliate.  Further, it helps you with planning out marketing strategy for profitability. In short, it is an excellent resource to get you started! Or, if you have already started with affiliate marketing, it may help you be organized and help you to create a new marketing strategy for increased profits.

This Affiliate Marketer’s Workbook and Planner is available by clicking the link in the button below. I would love to remain connected, and provide you with additional tools and resources to support your journey in affiliate marketing, and running an online business.

If you found this guide helpful, I would love to hear from you! Wishing you great success!

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