HomeAffiliate MarketingAffiliate Marketing for Beginners | Ultimate Guide 2024

    Affiliate Marketing for Beginners | Ultimate Guide 2024


    If you could start a business for under $20 and earn in excess of $1 million per year creating content, would you do it?

    According to the latest affiliate marketing statistics, 15% of people in affiliate marketing can earn between $80,001 to $1 million – and that’s one of the many reasons people get into the affiliate marketing game.

    Although it requires dedication and focus – affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to earn money online, especially if you already have an engaged audience.

    You don’t have any product inventory, don’t need customer service, and everything is out of your hands except creating great content.

    This guide is to help beginners get started and avoid making simple affiliate marketing mistakes on their journey.

    What Is Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is a commission-based model where companies onboard people to promote links to their products or services, receiving income commission as a result. 

    Commission ranges are usually between 1% and 100% (Yes, 100% – Like the AppSumo affiliate program below).

    AppSumo Affiliate Program

    Generally speaking, the more difficult the product is to sell, the higher the commission rates. For example, Amazon has a very low commission rate – as it’s more likely that people will purchase something through your link – even if it’s not what they clicked on. 

    This multi-billion industry is the perfect way to earn passive income through content creation, as a supplement to your existing earnings. In fact, 20% of brand marketers say that affiliate marketing is their number one customer acquisition channel (Pepperjam).

    Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

    Here are some of the reasons you should do affiliate marketing:

    Low Risk & Barrier to Entry

    The only thing you need to get started in affiliate marketing is time. You can be an affiliate marketer directly on social media channels (which are free) requiring no upfront cost or any other risk.

    Even if you decide to create a website, the cost of entry with web hosting and a domain name is relatively minimal compared to other online businesses. 

    This low risk is what makes affiliate marketing such an attractive business venture!

    Earn Passive Income

    If you are using a website for affiliate marketing, you have the opportunity to earn passive income. Once your articles are indexed, start ranking, and remain authoritative, you will consistently get traffic – leading to a steady stream of income from affiliate clicks.

    Of course, it’s not entirely passive as you will want to update the articles every now and then with price updates, new products, fixing broken links, etc. but it’s a relatively small amount of time to invest.

    No Physical Inventory

    One of the many benefits of affiliate marketing is having no stock or inventory. You are simply the middle man and don’t have to worry about orders, customer service, stock, or suppliers. 

    This is also why affiliate marketing is suitable for beginners, as there is limited knowledge required to get started.

    High Earning Potential

    As mentioned previously, it is estimated that 15% of people in affiliate marketing can earn between $80,001 to $1 million per year. 

    Source: Affilimate

    This is higher than most people’s salary and it’s something that can be earned on the side of an existing job – depending on the time dedicated. 

    There’s nothing to say you have to stop at that 30% though, you can start more affiliate sites/sources and create a fully functioning business empire out of it.

    Beginner Friendly

    Aside from the obvious affiliate marketing benefits mentioned, the entire concept is beginner-friendly and requires no professional knowledge. 

    If you love a product or service, you can write/promote it. 

    You can purchase or learn about something and then promote it to an audience.

    Some people just test products and promote the affiliate links.

    The extended knowledge required, such as SEO basics, affiliate marketing basics, content writing, and growing social media channels, can all be learned online and through testing. Making it extremely beginner-friendly.

    Learn more about the benefits of affiliate marketing.

    Drawbacks of Affiliate Marketing

    Of course, as with anything, there are some drawbacks of affiliate marketing:

    Need to Have an Existing Audience or Build One

    If you don’t already have an existing audience (email list, social media followers, readers) then you will need to create one from scratch.

    This doesn’t happen overnight.

    In fact, it can take months or over a year to start building trust with an audience, enough to start suggesting affiliate links to them. 

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that affiliate marketing happens overnight.

    No Control Over User Actions

    You’re ranking number one for an article – receiving thousands of clicks on your article – but the affiliate revenue fluctuates every day…

    That’s because you have no control over the user’s purchase. 

    In fact, you have added a stage in the customer journey, which can actually be a negative thing. 

    You have limited control over where the user clicks on your article, so you have to optimize the placement of affiliate links.

    Once they click that link, you have no control or visibility over where they go and what stage of purchase they go to.

    There is only so much you can do, so optimizing your content to be the best and most helpful content, is the best course of action.

    Not Entirely Passive

    There is a strong debate that passive income doesn’t actually exist, as everything requires some amount of work.

    With affiliate marketing, you have to continuously engage your audience, create content, keep links updated, and stay ahead of trends if you want to become successful.

    Money Is Not Guaranteed

    Affiliate marketing can be unpredictable, as you have no control over the user’s actions as mentioned earlier. 

    Also, you might find that an affiliate marketing program just closes down one day – similar to when Airbnb closed theirs down. People had built entire sites focused on Airbnb affiliate marketing and then it was gone.

    You might find a Google algorithm update shifts your site, causing a decrease in traffic – heavily impacting your revenue.

    The key thing to remember is never to rely on affiliate revenue as a consistent source of income.

    It Takes a Long Time to Get Started

    Growing and nurturing an audience can take several months and years to develop into a trusted source of affiliate revenue.

    You will get out – what you put in.

    So if you invest hours every day connecting and creating value for an audience, you will likely grow an audience much quicker – but remember it can still take time. Focus on the value first before the affiliate push.


    Competition in affiliate marketing is something people don’t talk about. Yet, it’s extremely important.

    Not only will you be competing with millions of other beginners in affiliate marketing, but you also have major authoritative sites such as Forbes, Businesses Insider, Yahoo, MSN, and others. 

    According to Google Trends – the term ‘affiliate marketing’ has also been on the rise in recent years:

    The important thing is to try and focus on building a unique audience and standing out from the crowd, don’t just copy everyone else or you will find it more and more challenging.

    How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

    Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy where affiliates earn commissions by promoting products or services and driving traffic or sales to the merchant’s website.

    1. The user, which is you, will sign up for an affiliate program or network. 
    1. Once approved, you have access to brand assets and trackable links to products, services, and pages of that brand or company.
    1. You create content surrounding what you are promoting and insert these links or assets into the content.
    1. A user will search and find your article (if it ranks on search engines) or check the description of your video/social media, and then click on the link or asset.
    1. Once they click the link, they will be redirected to the brand or company page you have specified with a unique URL link that contains your affiliate ID.
    1. Once they purchase the item, or sometimes any item on the site, you will receive a commission percentage of the eligible products or total order.
    1. Depending on the company/affiliate program, the user will also have a cookie that is valid for 24 hours – 30 days – lifetime (unless erased) which means they can come back and purchase another day and the sale will be attributed to your affiliate ID.
    1. The affiliate network or company will then pay you after a certain threshold is reached and after a certain time period (most of the time it is between 30-90 days)

    How to Get Started in Affiliate Marketing

    These are the steps you can take to start affiliate marketing:

    1. Pick a Niche

    The niche is basically which category you want your content to be focused on.

    This is very important as it will determine the affiliate products you promote or vice versa.

    For example, if you did a blog about laptops, you wouldn’t be promoting affiliate products in beauty. 

    Here are the 10 most profitable blog niches in 2024.

    I recommend the following:

    • Take some time to research different affiliate programs and products/services
    • See what commissions they offer
    • Research what opportunities there are for content
    • Think about how you would promote the products/services
    • Research the competition to understand the landscape

    You will find that most ‘niches’ are heavily competitive, especially in the tech space. 

    That’s why I recommend sticking to something unique and small such as:

    • Swimming Pool Accessories
    • Marathon Accessories
    • AI Image software

    Of course, if you pick a unique and small niche, make sure it’s not too small that there isn’t enough content.

    Avoid competitive niches such as:

    • Headphones
    • Laptops
    • Phones

    That doesn’t mean you should avoid the topic of headphones completely – you just need to segment that niche and find a competitive advantage. 

    For example, you could write or promote content that focuses only on Sony Wireless Headphones, gaming laptops from Lenovo, or phones under $500. 

    You just have to find the right gap where your competition hasn’t entered yet.

    One essential recommendation when picking your niche is – to choose something you enjoy or are passionate about. 

    Remember, you will have to create a huge amount of content on this topic and if you don’t enjoy it, you will likely give up.

    To summarize, when picking your niche in affiliate marketing consider:

    • What you enjoy
    • The size of the niche
    • The competition
    • The revenue possibilities
    • How you will promote the content
    • Think about keywords too

    Don’t rush this affiliate marketing step as it will shape everything you do going forward.

    2. Pick Your Platform for Promotion

    The platform you choose to promote affiliate content will heavily depend on your niche. 

    For example, if your content was focused more on reviewing tech products and how they work – YouTube videos might be a better place to start instead of content.

    Again, you should spend some time researching what other people in your niche are doing and what their audience engages with the most. Try to also identify gaps that haven’t been explored.

    You can eventually branch out into all platforms – but it’s wise to focus on growing one community first.

    Some of the platforms you can promote on include:


    There are an estimated 600+ million blogs on the internet and roughly 77% of internet users read blogs (Social Media Today) – and there’s a good reason why, people love consuming content. 

    If you choose the blogging route, you will need to consider various aspects of content creation, search engine optimization, user experience, and data analytics. 

    Blogging takes a large time investment to get off the ground, including research, planning, updating, and growing. 

    You also have external factors that can impact your blog such as trend shifts, algorithm updates, and technical issues.

    The benefit of promoting affiliate links on a blog is that they can be placed exactly where you want, offering more optimization and opportunities for clicks.

    You can also put several affiliate links in one post – whereas this would look spammy if you chose other methods.


    YouTube is the second most popular social channel worldwide according to data from Statista.

    Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2023, ranked by number of monthly active users

    YouTube has a much easier barrier to entry, you just have to be willing to create high-quality and valuable content.

    Do not create AI-voiced, lazy, in-valuable content, it won’t work.

    You will have to create a video schedule, record, plan, research, and keep up with industry trends, but if you create enough value in your video, you can direct users to affiliate links in your description.

    The downside here is that people come to YouTube for visual content and getting them to move to the description and take action is more difficult than blogging. 

    However, you can still put several different links in your description and even links to software/equipment you use for videos.

    You can also drive viewers to a blog with affiliate content by placing a link in your description.

    Video content is consumed globally for 84 minutes per day on average, so it should definitely be considered in your strategy.

    Social Media

    Social media is used by over 4.7 billion people worldwide and is a great platform for affiliate promotion – if done correctly.

    Hootsuite: Digital Trends Report

    You can choose one platform or create content across multiple, just remember that the intent on each platform is different.

    Pinterest is visual, TikTok is video, Facebook is text/video, Instagram is video/pictures etc. 

    You need to make sure that the platform you use aligns with your content goals and the niche you chose. 

    If you are in the travel niche, Instagram is ideal. If you are in the software niche, something like LinkedIn, Reddit, or Facebook is better suited.

    TikTok is the fastest-growing platform with a staggering 100% user growth rate between 2020 and 2022.

    Source: Target Internet

    Social media communities are fragile though – you can’t just go spamming affiliate links everywhere.

    When using social media, it’s wise to have 1 link per post and make sure you acknowledge the link, what it is, why you recommend it, etc.

    If you just paste an affiliate link on your post with no context, you will create an audience disconnect and potentially lose followers. The same applies if you paste links that have no relevance to your content. 

    You can also use social media content to drive users to your blog post or YouTube channel if you use those for promotion too. 

    Whichever method you decide, ensure it aligns with your niche, audience, and affiliate marketing goals.  

    3. Create Your Website or Social Channels

    The next step is actually creating your website or channel of promotion – if you don’t have one already. 

    As social media pages and accounts are so straightforward, I will only go over the website portion.

    Web Hosting

    The first part of creating your affiliate marketing website is signing up for web hosting.

    Now, there are many different companies out there that offer web hosting and all have different prices depending on the type of web hosting you are looking for.

    I won’t be getting into the technical aspects of hosting, as there are several types and it can become too complicated for an affiliate marketing guide for beginners.

    The cheapest hosting and usually good for beginners is Shared Hosting – this is where multiple users share the same server and it’s managed by the company.

    This a great option for affordability, but you do sacrifice website speed and uptime. It’s not ideal once you start scaling your traffic.

    Then there is cloud-based hosting which offers more scaling options and faster response times. Unfortunately, this comes at a slightly higher price than shared hosting – with that price increasing as you scale.

    The hosting solution that I recommend is Cloudways – they offer managed cloud hosting at an affordable price.

    Cloudways has excellent customer support, incredible uptime, and great speeds.

    Some other options you might want to look at include:

    Domain Name

    Your domain name is your URL and where your website will live. 

    Google has confirmed that it does not look at domain name keywords for SEO purposes.

    keywords in domain names no longer play a role in determining search engine results rankings.

    John Mueller

    However – It is still considered a small ranking factor and you should still pick a name that resonates with your content and that users will understand. 

    Try to keep it short and concise, relevant to your niche, and readable.

    You will find that most domain names are taken and you will need to get creative though.

    For this, you can use domain name generators and search marketplaces.

    You can also try different extensions such as .io .marketing .co – I would only avoid country-based extensions if you are targeting a specific country.

    A domain name can cost anywhere from free, with some hosting deals, to $100,000 if you purchase a domain like which is a highly valuable term.

    For the beginner though, your domain will cost around $8 – $15 per year.

    You can purchase a domain name at the same time you sign up for web hosting – usually, it’s a good idea to keep them in the same platform.

    Wesbite Platorm / CMS

    If you have had no experience with websites before, this will be the most challenging step – but it is a simple process.

    I recommend WordPress as over 43% of the internet uses it and over 60 million people use it for their blog or website.

    It’s simple and efficient, with many plugins and customization options.

    The best way to get started with your WordPress website is through your web hosting platform.

    Usually as part of the signup process they offer Hosting > Domain > WordPress setup. So you can take care of everything in one go.

    For example, Bluehost offers the following:

    Once you have access to your admin dashboard it’s time to start creating your site.

    For this, you can either import free themes from WordPress or external sources.

    Or you can use paid themes from the likes of Envato Theme Forest.

    These both allow you to import templates and have a complete website ready to customize. 

    You can then start using their editors to customize and add in your information, logo, colors, and create the site how you want.

    I will cover the complete setup in a future post.


    Finally, you can add custom plugins to gain extra features on your website.

    There are millions of plugins so you should research the ones that suit you the most. 

    Some I recommend initially for beginner affiliate marketing are:

    • Yoast (SEO)
    • W3 Cache (Speed)
    • Newsletter (Email Capturing)
    • Wordfence (Security)
    • Monster Insights (Analytics)

    These can be found by searching in WP Admin > Plugins > Add New.

    4. Sign up to Affiliate Programs

    Now comes the question, which affiliate program should you join?

    Important: most affiliate programs require traffic and content to be present on the site OR established social channels in order for you to be approved. 

    So keep in mind that your preferred program might not be joinable straight away.

    There are 2 options you have when it comes to affiliate marketing programs:

    • Signing up to a network that looks after multiple companies in one marketplace.
    • Signing up individually to a companies affiliate program (Amazon)

    When you sign up to a marketplace, you then have to join the company or brand affiliate program. Which sometimes has to go through an approval process (traffic, email subscribers, followers, etc.).

    The advantage of marketplaces is that you can keep all your earnings and links in one dashboard. Whereas you have to log into every individual account if you sign up independently.

    Also: Affiliate marketplace companies usually take a small amount off the top to cover their expenses.

    You should consider that affiliate programs are either:

    • Low Paying / High Traffic / High Conversion

    This is generally referred to as low-ticket affiliate marketing. 

    The Amazon Associates program is an example of this. Where they get XXXXX users per month, the commission is obviously low.

    Especially as the commissions might count towards anything the user orders, not only towards the product link the user clicked on. 

    Of course, Amazon has its own commission structure for different types of items.

    Also, here are other low-paying / high-traffic platforms and products. Generally, everything that falls under this category is your everyday essentials and items such as clothing, etc.

    • High Paying / Low Traffic / Low Conversion

    High-paying is generally considered high-ticket affiliate marketing.

    The ones that are high paying with low traffic will usually be products or services that are unique and not regularly purchased.

    They could also be new companies/brands trying to increase their brand awareness by paying affiliates a higher commission to spread the word – as they currently get low traffic.

    These will be harder to convert for affiliates but the rewards will be higher.

    • High Paying / High Traffic / Medium Conversion

    High paying combined with high traffic will include recurring payout affiliate programs, VPN software, and credit cards.

    These products/services will be highly competitive and you will need to be well-established and trusted to compete in this space. 

    I recommend starting out with low-paying / high-traffic programs/items as a beginner in affiliate marketing. 

    Once you become trusted and earn money, you can start to look at the other options. Of course, this will also be dependent on your niche.

    Here are some of the best affiliate programs for beginners:

    Individual brand affiliate programs will depend on your niche, so I won’t list them here.

    The next step is the fun part; building out your content.

    5. Start Building Content

    I will start out by saying – Focus on high-quality, engaging, and informative content first, worry about affiliate links later. 

    There’s nothing worse than reading an article that spams affiliate links in the first sentence without giving the reader value.

    a poorly conceived content strategy that doesn’t deliver authentic value to your target audience can come across as nothing more than self-promotion. And content that seems to make an indirect sales pitch is typically a major turnoff for consumers.

    Source: Forbes

    Similar to videos or social media content, if you create accounts to just spam affiliate links in the hope of making $1 every now and then, your venture will not be successful.

    High-quality content is important for search engines and your rankings which equals more readers.

    It improves your reputation and trust, showing readers or viewers that you put thought into your content to help them.

    It will also increase the chances of a link click as the users trust your content more.

    An example of poor content is creating video reviews or written reviews on products you have never used, this isn’t valuable to the user

    You will have to research and plan your content, using keyword research tools to identify the best keywords to target.

    (It is recommended that you focus on long-tail keywords in the beginning which increase your chances of ranking higher)

    I also recommend that you take a crash course in SEO and content writing, this will help you going forward

    Especially as SEO drives 1,000%+ more traffic than organic social media.

    Types of Content You Can Create:

    • Roundup articles
    • Review articles
    • Opinion articles
    • Tutorials
    • How-to Guides
    • News articles

    These can also be applied to social media and video content too.

    A final useful tip – Use Google Trends to identify trending products or topics around your niche. If you get there first, it can be a goldmine.

    6. Generate Traffic & Build an Audience

    The next step is to start driving traffic and engagement to your content, while building an audience. After all, this is how you are going to get clicks on your affiliate links.

    There are three different areas to cover here, content, social media, and video (YouTube):


    Search engine optimization is essential if you want to receive organic traffic to your written content. 

    Source: ahrefs

    With the right strategy and research, you can find potential content gaps and rank for keywords you didn’t even know existed.

    There are many components to SEO, but on-page optimization and link building are essential when it comes to affiliate marketing.

    You should also have an email popup on your site to collect email addresses from visitors. Now, you won’t utilize this list instantly, but once it starts to grow, you can send your content out to the list and increase traffic to the page.

    Another addition to promoting your content is to use social media channels to post and share your articles. 

    Don’t just share the link – create a unique post and tell users why they should read it.

    Finally, you can also use paid advertising to drive traffic to your site – although this is not usually a popular choice for beginners as it can cost a lot of money.

    Social Media

    Social media can be easy or difficult to grow depending on the platform. If you look at this image below from Datareportal, you can see the potential that social media channels have.

    For example, TikTok is incredibly easy to gain visibility and followers – whereas Facebook pages are not.

    Depending on where you put your focus you should always aim to:

    Post regular content (3-5 times per day) to encourage the algorithm to pick you up.

    Create a mixture of visuals, video, and text-based content.

    Engage with any users that interact with your pages/accounts.

    Use hashtags to get discovered.

    Create authentic content first – affiliate links after.

    You can focus on social media at the same time as a blog – just be sure to utilize each one effectively.


    According to similarweb, YouTube receives over 30B visits per month, which makes it a huge resource for affiliate marketing.

    YouTube can be slightly easier than a blog when it comes to growing a channel and getting subscribers – as long as you do it right.

    You should focus on creating:

    • High-quality content – Nothing driven by AI
    • Catchy titles and descriptions
    • Eye-catching thumbnails
    • Value in your content

    If you choose YouTube as a strategy – be sure to post consistently, on the same day, at the same time in order to encourage the algorithm to push your videos.

    In your videos – encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel, once by voice and once visually.

    Engage with every comment, interact with other videos, collaborate with other videos, and promote your channel across social media, groups, forums, and wherever necessary.

    You can also include the link to your blog and social media in the description if your strategy is multi-channel.

    Overall, you can’t just sit around and wait for the traffic to come to you, it comes down to a number of things:

    • Content quality
    • Keyword research
    • SEO
    • Interaction
    • Visuals
    • Timing
    • Effort

    Most affiliate marketing beginners would spend hours inserting affiliate links into content from day 1. 

    This is ineffective until you start gaining traffic and seeing an increase in traction to your site.

    That’s why this step has come later in this affiliate marketing for beginners guide.

    The first part is to insert your affiliate links strategically into your content. This can be done in different ways:

    If you use straightforward links, be sure to add them in the right places. For example, don’t add affiliate links in the first or last sentences. 

    Place them where it makes sense to the reader; generally where a product description or information about a product is.

    Tip: Read the article over a few times and pinpoint the part where you started to lose interest or considered purchasing, this is a good place to start.

    Be sure to also hyperlink on the correct text too. For example:

    You buy the product here and here and here.

    This incredible gaming laptop deal

    Using a Button

    This is useful if you are creating a product roundup article.

    You can place the buttons at the end of each product with text like “Check Price on Amazon” or “$100 on Amazon”. 

    Here’s an example from Tom’s Guide:

    As the button stands out and its intention is clearer – you don’t need to add text like with the links above.

    Just keep in mind if you use a price – you should ensure this is updated regularly. Whether it’s through automation or manually.

    Using a Banner

    Some affiliate programs will have assets that you can use. 

    The most common is a banner – which is usually given in HTML format.

    You can insert this into your content to break it up visually, and when someone clicks the banner it will be linked to your affiliate ID.

    Like the banner below, which looks like an ad – but it is actually an affiliate link embedded into a banner.

    Using a Table

    If you are creating product roundups again, a table is a great way to place affiliate links.

    You would use either hyperlink on text or add a button into the table to encourage a click.

    Like this example from PCmag:

    Using an Image

    Finally, you can create a custom image or use a product image, then add your affiliate link to make the image clickable.

    Some users actively click on images to take them somewhere, so it’s always a good idea to double down and add the links here too.

    Just be sure to check the T&Cs of your program to make sure you can use images etc.

    Once you are at this point, you can start adding affiliate links before you publish your posts so they are ready from the offset.

    8. Track and Optimize content

    Using metrics and data to understand how your content and affiliate links perform will be essential to growth and earning the most out of your affiliate efforts.

    There are multiple methods and tools out there to track data:

    • Use Google Analytics – This can help you understand pages, users, journeys, interactions, and much more.
    • Use Google Search Console – This helps you submit content for indexing, understand crawl rates, see how content performs, and can identify any major issues with your website.
    • Use Affiliate Platforms – Each platform or marketplace will have its own built-in dashboard with metrics to track your links.
    • Use External Tools – You can use affiliate marketing trackers and external reporting tools when you get to a higher level of affiliate marketing.
    • Use Plugins – WordPress has a library of plugins you can use to support analytics and data tracking.

    Don’t waste time overthinking the analytics part, just look at the areas that are most relevant to you in order to understand where your site/content can be optimized for users.

    For example, you might notice that links across all your content get 50% more clicks when they are highlighted red than when they are green… 

    Amazon analytics for affiliates

    In terms of optimizing your content, you should have a content calendar established. Or at least a sheet where you track your content.

    Why is this important?

    Content can become outdated – giving competitors the opportunity to come in with fresh content and steal your space on the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages).

    Also, if you create ‘Best Product XXXX Year/Month” articles, these will need refreshing every month or year. You could write new ones, but that’s ineffective when it comes to SEO.

    So keep track of what content needs updating and when.

    Also, bear in mind seasonality. 

    For example, don’t post the ‘Best Bikinis for 40F Weather” in December when most of the world is in winter weather…

    9. Experiment

    As you start to feel more comfortable with writing, affiliate links, reporting, and optimizing, you can start testing.

    There are no ‘guides’ to follow for experimenting and testing, you can do anything you think might have an impact on your site.

    You could for example test:

    • Different headlines
    • Different writing style
    • Placement of links
    • Visual elements
    • Shorter/longer copy
    • Different colors

    The possibilities are endless. 

    Just be certain to measure and track the changes you make to understand how effective they are and whether you should move forward with them.

    Do not experiment with everything at once as you could harm your site.

    Try one article or one element at a time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    How Much Money Can You Make As An Affiliate Marketer?

    Affiliate marketers can make over $40,000 per year on the low end and in excess of $100,000 per year on the high end. How much you earn will depend on the niche, authority, and time and effort you put into it.

    Earnings for affiliate marketers are often different depending on the platform you use (YouTube, blog, social media), your traffic, your niche, and even the products you pick to affiliate with.

    According to PayScale:

    The low end of the pay scale for an Affiliate Marketer is US$41k / year

    The high end of the pay scale for an Affiliate Marketer is US$75k / year

    However the actual amount can be much higher; according to STM, in a survey they ran, there are many affiliates earning in excess of $1 million per year. 

    Whereas this image from the Affiliate Marketing Hub shows different numbers.

    Remember, affiliate links can also be supplemented with sponsored ads, brand partnerships, and other forms of income – so it doesn’t just end with affiliate marketing.

    The amount you earn can be much higher than these numbers given depending on what you put into your business.

    Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    Whether you intend to or not, mistakes can happen in affiliate marketing, and they could be the reasons your site isn’t making any money or growing. 

    Here are some common affiliate marketing mistakes:

    • Not tracking performance – The only way you can see what’s working and improve existing content is to track and measure your performance. 
    • Ignoring site issues – Site issues can be anything from broken links to page speed, which can ultimately steer users away from your site. It’s important you regularly check your site for issues and monitor using tools such as Google Search Console.
    • Not improving and updating content – You should be keeping monthly/yearly content up to date for readers to provide the best experience and maintain rankings. You should also take a look over older content (especially evergreen content) and refresh it with current information.
    • Not learning and implementing SEO – SEO basics remain consistent, but new changes and trends are shaping the SEO profession every single week. Not to mention algorithm changes from Google. You should dedicate time to consistently learn and keep up to date with SEO best practices.

    This also includes actually implementing the practices to your content.

    • Poor link placement – As already mentioned, poor link placement can look spammy and discourage readers from your site. This can impact trust and ultimately your earnings. 

    Be sure to strategically place links and ensure they are readable in context.

    • Implementing what you think is good, not your reader – A common mistake with content creation is creating content that you think is great instead of thinking about what your readers want to see.

    Always learn and even ask what your readers like to see, then focus on that content.

    • Spamming affiliate links – If you put hundreds of affiliate links in your articles or put one in every single social media post, you will quickly lose traffic and cause distrust amongst your audience.

    Avoid this when starting out in affiliate marketing.

    • Not supplementing income – In affiliate marketing for beginners, this isn’t a key mistake straight away. But as you start earning money, don’t just rely on affiliate income.

    Instead focus on advertisements, brand partners, sponsored posts, etc. to supplement your revenue.

    • Not disclosing affiliate links – You are required by law to disclose to readers that affiliate links exist in your content.
    • Using one program only – This links to my other point about diversifying income – if you focus on one affiliate program and one day it closes. Your revenue will drop to $0 instantly. 

    Use different programs and links to ensure you have some form of stability if programs crash.

    • Not investing time in content creation – Poor quality content = lack of trust, low traffic, and low rankings.

    You need to focus on value and high-quality content in order to build trust in an audience.

    In the beginning, it might be tempting to fire out hundreds of articles (especially with AI) to make a quick buck, but readers will see straight through it and it will not be sustainable.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips

    Here are some quick Affiliate Marketing Tips to keep in mind:

    • Engage with your audience to build a relationship
    • Focus on content quality over revenue
    • Understand what your audience likes
    • Utilize trends to establish content before the competition
    • Plan, structure, and measure content regularly
    • Never forget old content, refresh and update
    • Diversify your income


    Is affiliate marketing hard for beginners?

    Affiliate marketing is hard for beginners, although it is considered easier than other online business ventures due to the low costs and a low barrier to entry. All resources to learn affiliate marketing can be found online.

    How do I get affiliate links?

    You can obtain affiliate links in the affiliate dashboards of your approved programs. You will either have the option to take a general link directly to the brand or create custom links to any product or page you want.

    How much can a beginner affiliate make?

    A beginner affiliate marketer can make anywhere between $0 – $40,000 per year. How much you make will depend on the time and effort you put into learning and growing your affiliate channel.

    How many people fail at affiliate marketing?

    A large majority of people fail at affiliate marketing as they don’t spend time learning and understanding what is required to succeed. By following this affiliate marketing guide for beginners, you can understand exactly what is expected.

    How fast can I learn affiliate marketing?

    Learning affiliate marketing is an ongoing process and should be a continuous learning process. There are always parts of your strategy that can be improved upon and always new trends emerging.

    What is the hardest part of affiliate marketing?

    The hardest part of affiliate marketing is time dedication. As a beginner, you will have to commit large amounts of time to grow and develop your content, often with no monetary return or achievements in the early stages.

    What exactly does an affiliate marketer do?

    An affiliate marketer is responsible for partnering with brands and implementing affiliate links to content. They will also oversee performance, and content creation, and identify opportunities for affiliate growth. 


    This affiliate marketing for beginners guide should give you everything you need to start your journey into affiliate marketing. Although it takes time to get off the ground, stick with and stay positive, if you are doing everything correctly, the growth will come. Before you know it, you could be in the top 1% of affiliate marketers earning over $2 Million per year!

    Be sure to check out these marketing fails before you go.

    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatt (MBA) is a professional in the digital marketing industry, specializing in content marketing, SEO, and strategic marketing initiatives. With a track record as a 6-figure marketing entrepreneur, Chad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has been recognized by renowned media outlets such as CNN, Business Insider, Yahoo, MSN, Capital One, and AOL, where he has been featured for his industry insights and success stories.


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