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How to Start Affiliate Marketing – With the Best Affiliate Program to join (Full Guide)

This Complete Guide on how to start Affiliate Marketing business will make you become a Super Affiliate, where you discuss Affiliate Marketing deals with merchants on your terms. 

I cannot be shy or mix words to let you know your earning potential when you start affiliate marketing. It is definitely one of the best ways to make sales and create significant online revenue with less stress.

It is a business that is extremely beneficial to both an affiliate marketer and brands. 

Statistics have shown that affiliate marketing payouts alone in the United States have increased from $5.4 billion in 2017 to $8.2 billion in 2022 — which means there’s plenty of room for newbies looking to get a piece of the pie.

Many have wondered and doubted affiliate marketing and its success for many years. 

The truth is, bro, shun distraction, embrace discipline and consistency. Speedily learn how to affiliate marketing and learn all the models in a few weeks and you will be successful like the big shots who have raked in thousands of dollars with affiliate marketing.

Today, not only am I going to give you this step-by-step beginner’s guide that will walk you through how to launch or start affiliating marketing business and what benefits you can expect, but I am also ready to answer all the questions you may have about affiliate marketing.

 I am very much enthusiastic and aware that this post will give someone that desired to kick starts his affiliate marketing business with good background knowledge.

There’s a lot of misinformation that surrounds affiliate marketing — 

So, let’s clear it up –





Table of Contents

Is Affiliate Marketing illegal?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing program, where an affiliate marketer (external partner) who registered to promote products or services is rewarded a commission for delivering a specific result(s) to a merchant or advertiser or product creator.

The myth that affiliate marketing is a scam or offers a low-value source of income is simply not true. This controversial reputation is propagated by those not really in the know.  

Affiliate marketing is a totally legit way to earn an income online. The reality is that affiliate programs can be as high value as those running the affiliate program make it.

On the other hand, there are some merchants with niches that are considered less “wholesome”- The affiliate marketer would have to keep writing and sending emails before the merchant could credit their account after sales, and of course, we stand to recommend promoting only those products and merchants that are trustworthy and ethical.

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What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the practice of promoting the products or services of a company or merchant in exchange for a commission on the resulting sale. 


This is achieved by joining a reputable affiliate program (like the Bluehost affiliate program), finding rewarding affiliate products to promote, and then sharing the links of those products with the audiences you have built across your blog, YouTube channel, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram etc.


Essentially, affiliates perform online marketing on behalf of a merchant, intending to drive traffic and conversions for the merchant’s website and earn a commission for every click or conversion earned

Can affiliate marketing make me rich

Can Affiliate Marketing Make You Rich?

The affiliate marketing industry is of no doubt a multibillion-dollar industry with exciting overwhelming opportunities for content creators and bloggers.

Most eCommerce brands and merchants have adopted the affiliate marketing concept as the fastest way to market their products and services online. 

From the Statista reports published in 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online and e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion dollars worldwide. Both affiliate marketing and eCommerce, in general, are on the upswing, and that’s unlikely to stop anytime soon.

In a nutshell, the short answer to ‘if affiliate marketing can make you rich is of course, YES.

However, it is most important to acknowledge the simple fact that affiliate marketing takes a process and not a get-rich-quick-scheme.

The bigshots who are known as ‘Super affiliates’ raking Tens and thousands of dollars per month often spend months and years developing a workable process and getting to know their audience intimately to earn themselves six-figure salaries from affiliate marketing.

But, the exciting part of this business that has made us successful, which I believe will encourage and convince you as well is that more people than ever are shopping online, and brands will increasingly turn to networks of affiliates to sell their products.

Consequently, more affiliate marketing programs will be available each year.

There are more and more affiliate programs for subscription-based products and services that pay you recurring commissions.

As an affiliate publisher, you’ll have more opportunities to join these in the future. What’s better than earning one commission from a sale?

How about getting recurring payments?

  • Big Secret: When you start affiliate marketing  and become a super affiliate and a big influencer, with trustworthy and reputable knowledge of leads generations and conversions, many merchants and eCommerce brands who wants to reach a wider base of internet users and online shoppers will contact or hire you directly as their affiliate, to take advantage of your position as an online influencer. Imagine how it will be when the merchant agrees to work with you on your own terms and condition.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising business model in which a company pays a commission (for leads that convert to sales) to an affiliate, who is a middle man (e.g., a blogger, a social media influencer etc.) for using his platforms such as his social media page, YouTube channel, blogs to advertise their products and services.

But here’s the quick little tech behind the scenes on how to start affiliate marketing or how affiliate marketing works works:

  1. When you join a Merchant Affiliate Program (Like Amazon Affiliate Program), you are given a unique ID and, a specific URL known as Affiliate Link to use when promoting the company’s product on your blog or social media.
  2. Whenever you create content about the merchant’s product (like Product Review or Product Comparison) in your blog post or social media or email, you simply include (hyperlink) the affiliate link into the post, for the readers or viewers to follow the link to buy or to know more about the product under review.
  1. Whenever a buyer completes the sale process using your affiliate link, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie that identifies the source of the referral. The merchant credits the affiliate with the sale and updates the affiliate via a report.
  1. At each payment period, usually, at the end of the month for most merchants, the corresponding commissions accrued by the affiliate are paid to his bank account.

The below image clearly depicts the entire process of how affiliate marketing works.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing?

I have put a lot of work to ensure that I clearly simplify this section to convey the right information without missing out on any vital steps.

I will walk you through the step-by-step methods you need to follow to start affiliate marketing business online today.


Choose a Niche

Selecting a niche is possibly the most vital step for every beginner who wants to start affiliate marketing. But just because it comes first doesn’t make it easy.
The wrong niche will make it harder to sell, and the right niche will make it easier. 

It Is unfortunate some people don’t want to confine themselves within a niche; they think that leveraging on a wider niche will give them more opportunities for success, but more often than not the opposite occurs.

Your audience base tends to dilute with time when they perceive vague and inconsistency. Don’t be afraid to narrow your affiliate marketing to a viable niche because no matter what you select as your niche, there will always be an audience for it.

Carefully select a niche topic you are passionate about. It needs to be something you don’t think you can get bored with continually talking about; The niche that excites and interests you often will eventually bring more money to you.
Furthermore, you will notice you could create content around those niches effortlessly.

Having said this, the question of whether that audience will spend money on your niche is a separate consideration. 

That is why you need to do some further research on the viability of your chosen niche and a short self-assessment. Below are some of the questions you need to find answers to:

  • How often do people search for my chosen niche?
  • What is the magnitude of the competition I will be facing in my chosen niche?
  • What topics am I passionate about?
  • What are the affiliate networks that work within my niche?
  • What is the viability of my chosen niche; will there be a consistent demand for my niche


Choose a Product

Here comes the bone of contexture. Here you need to be decisive, passionate and profit-minded in selecting the best products to promote.

The products to promote must be the ones that can connect well with your audiences.

It has to be products they genuinely want.

The selection of the wrong products could frustrate your efforts and hinder your success.

It is best to become an affiliate for something that you’ve used yourself, had a good experience with, thoroughly tested and feel-good recommending.

You should be fairly confident that others will get the same results you did (or better), as long as they do the work.
For example, suppose you took a course on Udemy, that has transformed your life; wisdom and kindness demand that as an affiliate, you should spread the good news around.

So, make sure that your campaigns centers around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy.

You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.

If you follow these 5 steps explained below, chances are high that you will definitely make the right choice of products.


Evaluation of Market Demands of the selected product(s)

No matter how good you are in online marketing skills, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one.

Take the time to study the demand for a new product before promoting it.


When you properly evaluate the viability of the product within your niche you want to promote visa a vis your potential audience, you will be able to itemize the products consumers are willing to pay for.


You can use practical tools like google trends to find and analyze what topic people are mostly searching for within and outside your niche on a 0-100 scale.

Google trends help to reveal an in-depth regional breakdown of topics and some suggested topics as well.

Therefore, plug in the topic or products under consideration into such a tool and begin to explore the extent of the market demands of that product.

Secondly, you could rely on Google search engines to look for products alongside their merchants.


With this base knowledge, you can start promoting products that easily convert and earn you commissions.


Having said that, move ahead to analyze the competitiveness of the topic or products under review, and that is


To Analyze the Competition

For real, the ability to determine the degree of the competition within your chosen niche, honestly, will save you a lot of energy and time. And, there are simple workable keyword research tools like Ubersuggest that can help you to see how competitive a particular google search is.

Another free keyword research tool that can help you discover the competition you are up against within your niche is Google Keyword Planner.

Please note that a keyword with plenty of competition and a few demands is an indication of disaster.
It is demanded that you do due diligence in this process. When you combine these approaches, diligently, you should be able to have a clear view of how your niche will perform and you will have decent chances of making money as an affiliate marketer with reduced stress.

Choose the Right Affiliate Program

Upon discovering the right niche and product to promote, the next pretty stage is to find the right affiliate program that has high-paying products within your niche.

Affiliate programs are companies that serve as the middle man between the merchant and the affiliates. It is somewhat difficult for an affiliate to find the desired merchants to promote his products, so these companies serve as a mediator that establishes the relationship between the merchants and the affiliates.

The fact that an affiliate program is popular and high paying doesn’t mean you should jump in and sign up to start promoting their products. 

There are key questions you should answer as a guide to help you pick the right affiliate program. In fact, this stage is where you need to dive a bit deeper into how to launch your affiliate marketing business.

Some of the questions you need to figure out as a wise man concerning choosing the right affiliate program include.

  • What country is the affiliate program located in?
  • What merchants are advertising with the affiliate program
  • How much commission can you be able to make working with that affiliate program
  • What is the responsiveness of their support system?
  • Can you form a better relationship with the program as well as the brands?
  • What are the modular Operandi and the terms and conditions of their affiliate program?

Most importantly, wisdom demands that you explore the option of visiting the websites of the products and services you use and like to see if they have an affiliate program. 

Oftentimes, large companies like Amazon have programs they promote on their sites, such as Amazon Associates or the Shopify Affiliate Program

More so, you can pick the courage to directly visit the merchant of the product you desire to promote to see if they can strike an arrangement with you. 

Even if they don’t run an affiliate program, they might decide to work out something with you and have you become their direct affiliate.

Having answered the above questions with all honesty, I know you might be curious about where to look for products or brands to work with. There are tons of affiliate marketplaces, including:

Please ensure that the product or program you intend to promote aligns perfectly with your audience.

Choose the Right Marketing Platform

Starting with a marketing platform you’re comfortable with helps you create high-quality content. This can result in a stronger, more engaged audience you can turn into sales. 

Video-based platforms like TikTok or YouTube may not work well for you if you are a shy type who isn’t comfortable with cameras.

Again, you also don’t have to be on every platform as this will unnecessarily wear you out. You need a platform that will conveniently enable you to place affiliate links and banners alongside your post or videos within your content.

If you decide to start affiliate marketing, having your own blog website and one or two social media platforms is just fine. You can, of course, do affiliate marketing without your own affiliate website, but a website where you have full autonomy of your contents and audience will certainly help to simplify the process of affiliate marketing.  

To pick a platform and method, ask yourself:

  • What platform can you grow your audience easily
  • What platforms do you use the most? 
  • Which platforms do you understand best? 
  • Which platforms give room for effective affiliate marketing

Common platforms affiliate marketers use are:

  • Blog – With blogging, you explicitly explain in detail the product or service of a merchant by writing a comprehensive review that compellingly promotes the brand, driving traffic back to the seller’s site. Blogging enables the affiliate to excel at increasing a seller’s conversions through content marketing and receive a share of the profits they helped to create. Sincerely, writing a product review or comparisons on a personal blog is undoubtedly the most efficient way to sell to the audience. With your personal blog site, you have total control of your audience.

Tips: Ensure you deliver value regularly so that you can rank organically in search engine queries with persistent content creation through blog posts

  • Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – these platforms can make you stand out in your affiliate marketing business. If you become a big influencer on social media as a content creator, you hold the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population and you stand in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. When you constantly grow your audience base through regular posts, blogs and interactions, you can easily boast an impressive following, and it will be easy for you to direct consumers to the seller’s products and eventually earn high commissions. Outside the platforms listed above other platforms to grow a trusted audience also include, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.


As a matter of urgency, spend quality time growing your audience base online via any of the mentioned marketing channels (Blog, social media etc.). When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. 

No affiliate marketer will have an outstanding success without first building an audience. It is not something you can rush. 

Take time to build a trustworthy relationship with your audience, and engage and interact with them. Don’t flirt over this step. The better you know your audience the easier it is to sell to them. 

Furthermore, by establishing yourself as a king in one area of niche, instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.

  • Running Paid ads – Apart from organically growing your audience, a paid ad is another way to rapidly grow your audience especially when you have the cash to throw in for it. Of course, you can choose to use paid advertising for greater reach and engagement but the connection with your audience is what will lead them to purchase via your affiliate links and in turn, make you money. Paid ads also work well when you want to do affiliate marketing without a website.


  • Email lists. I don’t want my readers to be part of the group that tags Email marketing as an old-wine feeble. Out of the various forms of online marketing, email marketing has the highest conversion rate of 68%. An email list is a collection of emails that have been gathered over time through giving out valuables in exchange for people’s emails. Super affiliates spend time building an email list and integrating it with their existing audience so that they can leverage the email marketing space to reach larger audiences and promote their products.

Therefore, as you publish your content, endeavour to ask your readers to subscribe to your Newsletter in order not to miss out on valuable information or be the first to get a firsthand resource anytime. Rather still, engage in a marketing campaign to collect emails in masse, then send out emails regarding the products you are promoting.

Consistently, leverage the power of quality email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products you are promoting, show value to prospects and earn a commission after the consumer purchases the product. If your audience responds to your email, endeavour to send them feedback. 

Start Creating Top-Notch Valuable Contents

The phrase “Content is King” cannot be overemphasized. Obviously, the only reason you make money with affiliate marketing is the fact that people patronize your affiliate links for the value you provided. In their mind, the belief that you should be rewarded for giving value to their lives.

And, in return, they follow your advice and purchase the product via your affiliate link. Whether you provide value or not, people might still buy whatever they want to buy.

But it is a credit when they buy through you. In fact, this is where a lot of affiliate marketers miss it. They think is by flooding the merchant’s affiliate banners all-around their blog that linking to affiliate products is all they need to do.

For you to make a tangible sale, you need to put your recommendation in front of your audience.

Even more importantly, you need to make your recommendation trustworthy.

When your blog content is all about health care and you are promoting Webhost banners, does that make sense, certainly no?

Again, the big guys (Google and other search engines) who regulate and monitor people’s activities on the internet are watching with a sledgehammer.

Google’s algorithm knows when people stay long reading your content, and they will reward your efforts by promoting your blog or post.

On the other hand, when you constantly deliver scanty and poor content, google will certainly drop your ranking because people will click off your post the seconds, and they notice that you are not giving them value for their time in your blog.

Type of promotional Content to Create

Content can be as simple as video posts, images and blogs. But how you convincingly deliver the content is up to you.

Even if you’ve got the right niche and a flawless website, you need something to build your audience.

We have enlisted and discussed four different kinds of promotional content an affiliate marketer should focus on creating that will guarantee ultimate success.

  • Write Product Reviews
  • Product Comparisons
  • Create Definite Helpful Guides and Product Tutorials


Product Reviews

Writing a product review is one of the most effective strategies for affiliate marketing. Writing product reviews requires you to create content related to the review space and post regularly to draw in an audience

Almost any product or service sold online can be reviewed if there is an affiliate program to it – you can review physical or digital products, courses, and online services (like booking services and web hosting plans) as long as it falls within your niche. 

Then, leveraging the relationship with your audience, you can share your view as to what your reader would benefit from purchasing the product or service you are promoting.

Moreover, brands are looking for outstanding product reviews that can win the heart of their customers. When this is done well, it can yield a massive profit in return. Product reviews can be done using videos or blog

Product/Service Comparison

It is promotionally effective to write distinctive reviews about a product, and compare a line of products against their competitors in the same category or niche.

Product comparisons arguably build more trust, but it also distracts people by giving them a lot of different recommendations. 

Readers could be a little bit confused with making choices, especially on products with similar features. 

But it is a win-win situation for the affiliate marketer because, whichever product your reader opts in for using your affiliate links, you are going to make a commission.

Honestly, consumers like to know the differences between two products under the same categories before they can make up their minds to buy. Only ensure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.

My recommendation: If reviewing multiple products and side-by-side product comparison is your strength, one option is to create a review site, where all the content is simply reviews and affiliate offers. It becomes a “one-stop-shop” for your niche.

Create Helpful Guides and Tutorials

Helpful guides and tutorials on how to use an informational product can be used as a hook to get people interested in more of what you have to say.

Everybody on the internet is looking for solutions. That is why the majority of Google search today is “How to”. 

You can write definitive, comprehensive Guides on your site to educate your readers and “soft sell” your products. 

If you offer a tutorial that clearly showcases the value of the product, thereby, solving the searcher’s problems, your conversions are likely to be huge and you’ll provide the customer with a stronger incentive to purchase the product you’re recommending.

For instance, you could write an ultimate guide to set up a WordPress blog and include your affiliate links to your favourite WordPress plugins and hosting providers.

Guides can include email series, blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, webinars, or any other type of extensive, in-depth content on a particular topic (like how to start affiliate marketing). 

As long as it’s accurate and helpful, you’ll be one step closer to gaining trust and authority in your niche and ultimately lead to increased sales and more money in your pocket. Your guide should not be a sales page.

Note: This requires you to work hard to get your ranking in the search results. Pay huge attention to SEO – Optimizing your content with the right keywords – keep your site fast – Build backlinks to your content to get a constant flow of traffic from Google.


To learn how to start affiliate marketing and becoming a Super Affiliate who earns a high commission is unarguably your destination, I believe. That is why you have read this article to this end.

But, in between, you have to do some underground work by finding merchants to partner with. You have to earn a high commission on other affiliate products and unarguably profit from affiliate marketing jobs.

All of these boils down to building an audience to who you can sell products.

And, no matter what your approach is, the steps and roadmaps highlighted in this article will help you to start affiliate marketing successfully. Let me know in the comment if my guide was helpful as it should be.

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Ojike Cornelius - Spotlessleads Digital Agency

Ojike Cornelius - Spotlessleads Digital Agency

Ojike is one of the top 10 content marketers in Nigeria. He built his first website over 6 years. Since then,
he’s running a marketing agency, developing websites for top organizations, managed content
marketing campaigns for 8 figure brands and grown Spotlessleads
Digital Agency to deliver clean digital services to clients.
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