I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing, I walk you through the process of getting the most out of affiliate marketing, propelling your blog, website + business success. I’m so excited to have you here, and I know this will be very helpful for you.

Over the last 20 years, affiliate marketing has grown from its original version to the enormous web of merchants + affiliates all over the internet today.

In this beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing, you’re going to learn to generate profits through various types of affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of a blog, business, or website marketing the product or service of another business for a commission.

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based method of marketing in which businesses + affiliates work together to create profit.

In this marketing method, a business rewards affiliates for every customer or visitor brought in by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. In other words, when an affiliate partners with a business, that affiliate can earn money every time their marketing also brings visitors to the parent business.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way for a business to generate sales + increase revenue. It is performance-based, which means that affiliates promote a product or service + reward affiliates for each click, lead, or sale. ‘

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Let’s talk about some eye-opening facts to help you understand why affiliate marketing can add unlimited value to your marketing efforts:

  • 93% of advertisers support affiliate marketing as an effective marketing channel
  • $20 billion in sales have been generated from affiliate marketing + lead generation
  • Companies spend up to $150,000 a month on affiliate commissions
  • Over 6o% of blogs use affiliate offers to generate revenue from affiliate programs
  • Affiliate marketing has grown nearly 150% since the year 2000
  • 79% of affiliate marketing traffic is generated by SEO
  •  40% of Amazon revenue comes from affiliate marketing
  • 23% of total online sales are from affiliate marketing
  • 75 out of 100 online retailers have an affiliate program
  • Amazon Associates Program is one of the largest + most successful online affiliate programs, with over 900,000 members worldwide

With data like this, it’s hard to argue that money cannot be made from affiliate marketing.

Are Businesses Using Affiliate Marketing?

In a word: yes.

Thousands of businesses are using affiliate marketing + the number is growing every day. Businesses have discovered what a boost it gives their products + services. Affiliates have discovered how easy it is to make money partnering with these merchants.

Here are some examples of companies that offer an affiliate program:


The most famous affiliate program is the Amazon Associates Program, which offers its affiliates the opportunity to earn up to 15% per sale. Amazon is but one example of many affiliate programs.

To illustrate how powerful affiliate marketing can be, Amazon generates 40% of its revenue from affiliate marketing.

2. AWeber

AWeber is an email marketing platform that also has an affiliate program. It pays a 30% commission for each AWeber sign-up that comes from the unique affiliate link.

3. Siteground

Siteground is a web hosting company that runs affiliate programs to promote its business + increase its revenue. Affiliates can earn commissions for any customers that signup for hosting services.

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the world’s leading vacation home rental companies. It also runs an affiliate program for referrals that book vacation rentals through Airbnb affiliate links.

This is nowhere near an exhaustive list of companies that offer affiliate programs. It does, however, show that there is money to be made as an affiliate marketer.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing

Once you understand how to use affiliate marketing, you have the potential to earn a lot of money.

Here are 10 ways you can use affiliate marketing to achieve success:

1. Use an online presence.

Most affiliate networks require an online presence. This can be a website, a blog, or even a great Facebook page/group.

If the idea of having to create a website seems daunting, don’t worry, there are all sorts of easy-to-use programs + site builders out there, from WordPress, to Web.com, to Wix.com + more.

Most will allow you to create a site for free, but for a small fee, you can purchase your own domain. Once you have started your site, blog, or page/group, you are ready to begin looking for products + services to promote.

2. Consider the Resource Site Model.

A resource site usually consists of helpful content such as how-to articles or do-it-yourself tips. When you regularly add fresh content, it keeps visitors coming to your site.

You can use content marketing to promote the products + services. You can add affiliate links to the content that directs readers to the merchant site where they can purchase products (or services).

3. Promote your products with a review site.

Once you’ve researched +/or tried the products/services you’re promoting, write reviews about your experiences. This affiliate marketing model is less labor-intensive because you are strictly writing about the product/service.

Much like the resource site, the affiliate earns commissions when visitors click on a referral link in your review to make a purchase.

4. Blog your way to big business.

Blogging is another way to use content marketing as part of your affiliate marketing. Blogging allows for creativity + product/service-rich writing.

If you already have a blog that is relevant to the product/service niche, such as photography, travel, childrearing, or fitness, you are already set up for success in affiliate marketing.

Simply find high-quality, trending products/services that are relevant to your niche, and include them in your blog posts, along with links to related products/services.

5. Dominate with downloads.

The download site is one of the most lucrative ways to make money as an affiliate. In this case, you can create a content upgrade in your blog post or in exchange for a visitor joining your email list.

In the PDF download you can include links to affiliate products + services. When readers click on the digital PDF, they are taken directly to the business site where they can buy the products or book services + you earn a commission for the sale.

6. Affiliate marketing is the means to sales.

One of the biggest mistakes that affiliate marketers make in the beginning is becoming too focused on the word “marketing.” An affiliate marketer is not a salesperson; he or she is a guide who matches the potential customer to the business selling the product or service.

The business sells the product or books the service; you simply direct the traffic + get paid for it.

Instead of sleazy sales tactics, all affiliate marketing is about is providing readers with helpful information + directing them to the product or service that can help them.

7. Use “socially aware” social networking.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…the list of social networking platforms continues to grow. As they do, the door opens wider for affiliate marketers.

Imagine it: Judy is worried about her teenage daughter’s mood swings. Then she finds a great book, How to Deal with a Problem Teen.

She clicks “like” on Facebook.

Next thing she knows, her mother is calling her with parenting tips, her husband asks if there is something going on + her teenage daughter is so embarrassed she unfriends Mom.

All because Mom’s newsfeed says “Judy liked How to Deal with a Problem Teen.”

As people become aware of just how much they may inadvertently be sharing, advertisers have to get savvier.

The modern social networker shares things that are helpful, that reflect what is important to them + that is entertaining.

Instead of promoting a book about teen drama, create an article about using Facebook to connect with your teen. The article can be on social media (again, you’re using content marketing as an affiliate marketer).

The article can contain a link to the bookseller’s website so THEY can sell the book.

8. Work WordPress to your advantage.

WordPress is one of the easiest to use platforms for websites + blogs. With countless themes + plug-ins, it’s easy to create + maintain a site that can help you as an affiliate.

9. You’ve got mail + money.

Use autoresponder emails to promote niche products or services. The key to making this method a success is good writing, an intelligent soft-sell approach + a subject line that captures interest.

Include a link in several places within the email message.

10. Launch a coupon coup.

Everyone loves to save money. Whether it be a coupon, a promotional discount, or a loyalty reward, people take notice when a product they need has a discount attached.

Include coupons, promotions + loyalty discounts within the other affiliate marketing methods, such as websites, blogs, social media + emails.

One of the great perks of this approach is the opportunity to gather information + garner repeat buyers. If you have visitors subscribe or sign up for discounts or a loyalty program, then not only do they have an investment in the information they receive, they have also given you contact information so you can stay connected with them.

These ten approaches to affiliate marketing can help you to succeed as an affiliate marketer + earn more revenue. If you employ more than one of them, your chances of success skyrocket.

Take advantage of all of the avenues affiliate marketing offers to watch your business grow.

Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to manage + can bring outstanding results to your business at the same time. Get the most out of affiliate marketing by accessing a complete beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing with the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

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