How to Make Money Online With Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

If you want to learn how to make money online with affiliate marketing as a beginner, congratulations because it's the best online business you can do as someone new to online marketing.

Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money online and it's also the easiest to start up. In this article I am going to show you how you can get started with this business model and set you up for the greatest success. 

It might even enable you to quit that job you hate!

How Much Can You Make in Affiliate Marketing?

The sky's the limit pretty much. It all depends how much work you are willing to put into it. Your first goal is to make that first dollar online. That's the best money you will ever make and you'll never forget it. Once you make that first sale, you're motivated to do more and more.

The key to success in affiliate marketing is of a mindset one.

You're going to fail a few times but once you find your groove in either promoting a physical or information product, there's nothing stopping you.

Never giving up is so critical when it comes to this business model. The ones that succeeded have failed many times.

However, some of you will come out of the gate swinging and can even start making money with your first promotion. If you choose your offer correctly, do your research, etc., there's no reason why you can't succeed right away.

So What is This Article Going to be About?

Look, i'm not going to tell you that after reading this article you can go out there and start crushing it with affiliate marketing. I don't want to mislead you. To learn it properly it's going to take a whole lot more than one article.

I will however tell you how you can get started for free or under $100, how to find/choose offers and give you some ideas on how you can succeed with the best chance possible.

If this sounds cool, let's get started.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

So if you know this already, just skip to the next section but let's start with the basics. 

Essentially, affiliate marketing works like this:

  1. You choose a product to promote
  2. Sign up for the affiliate program (free) for the product
  3. Get your unique link from the vendor
  4. Post your link on your blog, video description or elsewhere
  5. If a customer clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you get a commission from the sale.

It's that easy! Well, in theory it is yes. You will need to know how to get targeted traffic from hungry buyers to click on your link. That is the secret sauce to making money with affiliate marketing.

How to Find Products to Promote

Many internet marketing guru's will tell you to promote a product you are interested in already.

The reason for this is that you will need to write about it and if you're writing about something you have no interest or knowledge in, it will be difficult and you'll get bored AF.

However, your interest also has to have an audience. If you're the only freak that likes one thing that no one else does (ok that's a bit extreme but you know what I mean lol) then chances are there won't be an affiliate product for that.

Eventually you could branch off to other products that you know nothing about and could have someone do the content for you, or research it yourself.

As a beginner, please choose something you are interested in first - it will be much easier on you, trust me.

Click here to see what the best affiliate marketing niches are.

Let's Talk Platforms

There are many different platforms out there where you can find products to promote. Some of the popular ones are: Clickbank, Amazon Associates, JVzoo, Share-a-sale & Market Health.

Take a look at all these platforms and look for a product you are interested in. Pick only one, you don't want to overwhelm yourself. You'll also get a "feel" for the products on each site - choose the site that you find speaks to you the most.

For example if you want to market products in the health & beauty niche, MarketHealth might be an option for you.

If you prefer to promote digital products like software, JVzoo might be more for you. Of all, Clickbank is the easiest because you don't need approval to promote any of the products.

For other platforms it might be a little more difficult to get accepted if you are new so Clickbank is definitely the easiest - and there's tons of categories too.

Start a Youtube Channel or Build a Website?

As mentioned earlier,  you can either get started in affiliate marketing for zero dollars or just under $100.

But did you know you can do affiliate marketing on YouTube?

Let's start with the free option - Youtube. One of my favorite Youtubers that helps you make great videos is "Owen Video". Check out his intro video below and be sure to see his channel for video making tips.

So now that you have picked your product, got your link and ready to go, you'll need to set up your channel. If your product is for example a product that promotes weight loss - more specifically a flat belly, your channel should be themed something around weight loss & fitness.

This way you can sell more related products rather than just naming your channel "Flat Belly Channel" or something like that. Know what I mean?

Let's use an existing offer on Clickbank as an example. The product is called "Flat Belly Fix". 

When choosing an offer on Clickbank, be sure that it's something that is currently doing well with consumers. To check that, look at the "Grav" or gravity score as it's called. This means how many affiliates are currently getting sales from the product.

If it's 0, then no one is currently getting sales so stay away! The higher number means the more successful the product, but it also means more competition.

So now that we have our product, you need to click on promote. Assuming you have already signed up for Clickbank then it will allow you to grab your link. If not, just follow the steps to set up an account.

Once you have the link after clicking promote, you will need to shorten the link. Now, a word of caution - a lot of sites tend to frown on shortened links. On Youtube you can get away with it most of the time.

This is where having your own website helps because you'd send your traffic to a "bridge" page where you "pre-sell" to your customer. But here, we are doing something very simple and directing the customer to the offer. Your video will pre-sell them anyway.

Creating Your Video

This will be the most challenging part of the process. You have to decide what format your video is going to be in.

 I will tell you that the most effective way to get your message across is to go on camera and do a video testimonial for your product.

In this case, you could do a review of the "Flat Belly Fix" by talking about it, mention why it's great and why your potential customer should buy it.

Now, granted you don't have the product but what you can do is ask the vendor if you can have review access. Worse case scenario is you could just buy the product and after a couple of sales it should be paid off already. 

I'm not going to go into great detail on how to create videos because there's tons of Youtubers that can help with this. I just wanted you to understand the mechanics of it all and what steps to take. 

Your other option if you are camera shy is to do a slide presentation. You would do slides in point form format and just talk about it as if you were on camera.

There are other ways to make money on YouTube without showing your face

I personally use Camtasia for this, but it's not cheap - It was about $250 when I bought it. There are some free versions available for editing software but again, just do a bit of research to see what is the best fit for you.

Ok, so Now You've Got Your Video Done, What is Next?

Make sure you Title your video based on the keyword that you want to rank. You can also check out my article on YouTube SEO for help on this. If you go in Youtube search, start typing some keywords and see what comes up.

You can see what people are searching for. In this case, you might want to target - "how to get a flat belly for people over 30" or something like that.

If you're too broad, like = get a flat belly, you'll be swallowed up by large channels all going for that term.

In your description, the first two sentences should include your keywords and an introduction to your video along with your link. 

For your link - you'll need to shorten it as previously mentioned. You can use any of these:

It's easy to use, just drop your clickbank ID in and it will shorten it. You can also customize it with your own text if it's available. This way it's not some ugly link and looks more professional.

Make sure your link is visible in the descrption in your video. You should write a description of the product as well - try for at least 200 words.

The Better Option - Build a Website

You can still do Youtube, but building a website is going to be a better option. The reason for this is that you will own this asset. With Youtube, your content can be taken down at anytime, or maybe your shortened link could stop working.

Not saying this will ever happen, but it has.

I created a video that shows just how easy it is to set up a blog or website:

The reason for building a website for your affiliate business is simple - you have full control of it and can build it up for years to come. It can become quite the beast.

The format for building your site is similar to Youtube in some respects. If your niche is weight loss and fitness, then you should name your site with those keywords in it somehow.

Drill down. For example don't build a general theme around Fitness. You'll get swallowed up by large authority sites and it will take years to rank. Try something like "Fitness for men over 40" or something like that. You'll have a better chance of success this way.

Be sure to include the keyword(s) of your niche in the domain. This is a massive ranking factor in Google. Avoid this and you'll have a lot of trouble ranking - if SEO is your route.

I have a separate article that shows you how to create a blog/website found here, so take a break from this and check it out - the instructions make it easy.

So assuming you have set up your blog already, your first few posts will be around the topic of your niche. In this case, we'd write some articles about the benefits of fitness, benefits of weight loss, etc. Research topics effectively. A good course will show you how.

There are a couple of ways you can promote the "Flat Belly Fix" product. One is to casually mention it in your posts where you include the link, or, you could write a review about the product.

If choosing the latter, you would name the article "Flat Belly Fix Review". You can expand on the title if you wish, but make sure it starts off like that and that is exactly how it will be in the url - SEO tip there!

Landing Page Builders

These are an option if you really want to make attractive and well converting pages. They are not free, but definitely something you can explore down the road.

A Landing page is essentially an attractive looking salespage that gets people to opt into an offer (where you would promote through email) or promote a product for sale right on the page. 

There's a few ways this can be done and the first one is something you probably heard about - Clickfunnels. I did a full review on Clickfunnels that you can read here.

There are alternatives to Clickfunnels that are cheaper. One of my favorites ones (and the one I am using right now) is Thrive Themes. There are other alternates and you can see them all in my article on alternatives to Clickfunnels.

Social Accounts

Along with your website, you will want to create your social accounts.

At minimal, you should have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account. You can also include others like Instagram, Pinterest. etc.

Make sure these all point to the URL of your website and are themed appropriately for your niche.

You don't need to post to these every day, but it would be a good idea to post your articles and possibly other news within your niche.

Selling on Amazon as an Affiliate

Some people think that you have to sell your own products on Amazon to make money but that is simply not true.

With an Amazon Associates account (free to sign up) you can promote just about any product on Amazon.

If someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you get a commission. Amazon commissions vary from 2%-10% - depending on the product. 

Although this may seem low, everyone knows Amazon so the trust is high. Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world for a reason - people love to shop on Amazon.

Not only that, if someone makes an additional purchase other than the product you are promoting, you still get commission for that product so it can really multiply. You'll need to check the specifics with Amazon Associates directly when you sign up to fully understand their commission payouts and rules.

You can get a free associates account with Amazon here.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

One of my favorite topics is SEO. Once you understand how it works, you should be able to see your rankings increase over time. 

The traffic converts extremely well and is higher quality than paid traffic. However, it's not an easy game to play.

Advantages of SEO:

The advantage Seach Engine Optimization has is that the traffic is VERY targeted. For example, if you rank for the key term "How to build a boat" and your website is based on boats with an affiliate program on boat building - you could do very well. 

You don't need to convince someone that they should build a boat - they already want to and you are providing the solution to their problem.

Providing a solution to any problem is the key to affiliate marketing.

Disadvantages of SEO:

The biggest one is time. SEO takes time to rank. Sure if you already have a high authority blog and try to rank for something with hardly any competition, you could be on the first page in a day.

But typically this is not so in the affiliate marketing space. It's very competitive but can be done as I have many times.

At the Very Least Do This

In short, at the very least your page needs to be search engine friendly so that spiders can crawl your site (think of a Google bot scanning your page) and index it accordingly. If there are problems with your site you won't rank very well.

Having your site (or article within a site) shared on social media can help, along with backlinks to your site. Without other sites, blogs, socials mentioning your site on theirs, you aren't going to rank very well.

SEO is a complicated game but once you understand it, it's quite simple. It's too much information for the purposes of this article but perhaps in the future I may put together a course on SEO.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic is an option for those that want instant results. It's a great way to get eyeballs on your site in a very short time and also an opportunity for sales. It does come at a price though.

However, if targeted properly, your ads could definitely be profitable. For affiliate marketing, the main sources of paid traffic are Facebook, Google Adwords and Solo Ads.

Facebook Ads

With Facebook Ads, you can target customers that are interested in what you have to offer.

 In our "Flat Belly Fix" example, you would create an ad (best would be a man or woman with a toned belly and emotion enticing headline) then choose your audience based on sex, location an interests.

For interests, you could choose things around weight loss, fitness help, etc. You could also target people that have an interest in fat loss products, etc.

The idea behind this is if they are interested in losing weight and they see your ad, there's a greater chance of them clicking on it. Makes sense?

For costs, you'll need to test your ad and possibly a few different versions of that ad. Whichever one works best, you can ditch the others then look in your ads account to see where the traffic is coming from.

You can further drill down to that audience and scale from there.

Google Ads

With Google Ads, you will need a Google Adwords account and it's free to sign up. Essentially here you are bidding on keywords. 

For example, if you have a review on our test product, you would bid on the keyword "Flat Belly Fix Review"

So you can see from here, (sorry it's a bit blurry) our search term gets about 480 searches a month and the cost per click is $2.84. That is an average cost and what people are currently paying, every time someone clicks on their ad.

This will vary with competition, you could find keywords that cost more, or even less. For these, you should be making a decent commission, 

Using our case example, if you get a sale after 5 clicks, your commission is $36.83 - average sale minus 5 clicks at $2.84 which is $14.20. So your profit here would be $22.63.

Do this 5x a day and you'd be making just over $100 a day. This is hypothetical of course - you could do better or worse. It's all about testing and scaling.

Once you find a campaign that works, increase your budget incrementaly - don't go crazy with this. Start off slow and watch your results carefully.

By the way, the tool I used is called Keysearch. I mostly use it for SEO purposes so you wouldn't really need it for paid ads but still ca- Google Ads will give you that information.

Use my discount code KSDISC and get 20% off if you're thinking about getting it. It's great for keyword research and analyzing competition. You can also check out my Keysearch review of this amazing tool.

So this wraps up the paid ads section. There's a lot more to it that I mentioned - that's a whole course! Keep in mind though as mentioned I will suggest some resources for you at the end of the article that I would recommend you get to learn all this down to specifics.

Email Marketing

You probably have heard the term "the money is in the list" from somewhere at some point. Email marketing is something you should definitely not ignore.

There is some truth to this. If you have a list of 50,000 people that was generated from a blog on finance and you try to market our offer on the "Flat Belly Fix" you aren't going to get many sales.

In fact you might annoy your audience with something unrelated and get a ton of unsubscribes. Don't do that!

However, if you have a health and fitness blog and built your list from that, then this offer makes perfect sense and is laser targeted to your audience. See the difference? It's not about having a list - it's about having a targeted list.

In this case, a list of just 1000 people would be much more effective than the 50,000+ list in a different niche.

To build your list you're going to need an autoresponder. I strongly suggest Get Response but you can use any of your choosing. However, you need to be aware that some platforms don't allow affiliate marketing such as Mailchimp and a few others. Get Response is affiliate marketing friendly and I use them myself on most of my sites.

Of course you won't need this until you set up your blog, but when you do you get a 30 day free trial to test it out anyway. It's a no brainer.

Get Response will have optin forms that you can use on your site and there's a live chat option for support if you ever get stuck. They make it easy. You can use this platform or many others to segment your list which will help with conversions.

Another reason why you should be creating an email list is to capture your customers before they leave. Once they leave your site, chances are they will never return. With a list, you can market to them for as long as you like.

The main thing to understand is you need to provide value. If you just email offer after offer, they are going to unsubscribe from your list. Provide value and suggest a product that might help with the issue you are addressing. That's the best approach and your readers will appreciate your suggestions!

The best part is that you will make $ from your suggestions. How cool is that? If you have that approach with your marketing, you will do well.

Conclusion and Next Steps

I know this was a lot to read but I do hope you enjoyed my overview of affiliate marketing and understand how it now works.

If you want to avoid trial and error and wasting money on unecessary programs that don't deliver, I have a solution for you. 

I have invested a lot of money in affiliate marketing courses over the years and can spot the good ones from the bad. I created a list of the best affiliate marketing courses on the market today. I suggest taking a look at these and see which one is for you. You can see my individual review for each of them as well.

Drew Mann

35 thoughts on “How to Make Money Online With Affiliate Marketing For Beginners”

  1. Hello! I’ve been reading your reviews & have learned a lot from them. I see you have reviews of several affiliate programs. Do you have a review of Legendary Marketer? I’d like to compare the review to 2 others I’ve narrowed down to. Thank you for the great work you do!

    • Thanks for your positive feedback Maria! Yes I did one on that product. Just enter it in the search box on my site and you’ll find it there. Regards, Drew.

    • Hi Allan, I would say getting a client to pay you for a service, such as Facebook Ads, SEO, email marketing or anything to help them with their business is the quickest way. The problem though is that it’s not easy to do – unless you are really good at sales – and of course know how to offer this service. The other way would be to offer a gig on something like fiverr or upwork. Non service type businesses such as starting a blog and using affiliate marketing/ads to make money or a dropshipping business take time to build.

  2. Hi Drew, I found your reviews online while considering the best Affiliate Marketing programme out there for myself. I think you have given a lot of Info and have done an Amazing Work here. I think you are a kind of person who can be trusted with the information you have provided and based on the kind of Heavy work that you have put in, so i have a couple of questions for you Drew.
    I am very new to Affiliate Marketing never built a website but I Understand the Concept and I am sure I can build a normal website ( Domain+Hosting+Wordpress) using youtube videos and some other Blogs.
    1) Now my first Concern is Should i Select the “Savage Affiliates” programme and save some money as i at least know 10% to 20% of how to build a Website ( thats what i think – Could be wrong ) OR Should I Join ” The Authority Site System” ( which as per your Review focuses more on Authority Site building first ) . Basically I am Asking you this question because I dont want to miss something in building a proper website, as that will be my Asset and I wanted my Foundation to be well Build. But at the same time I Dont want to pay more ( around $ 300, thats a Big money from where I come from ) and learn similar things About website building, which is available in Savage Affiliate programme as well.
    Note :- About my Next Question i Understand if you are Unable to Answer very Precisely. Any kind of Information will be Appreciated.
    2) I am From India, So i wanted to know if Affiliate Programmes could work for me in regards With the Terms and conditions of the Affiliate websites ( Like ClickBank, Jvzoo, Shareasale Etc. ) and also in regards to the Methods of Payments that they Use to pay someone from Asia India. Again I am Asking you these Questions because i found a very little or No information about these Topics on any other websites or Nobody has explained these things very well for Someone who is interested to be an Affiliate from India.
    I request you to give me your best answer, as my Decision to Select the best suitable programme for myself is going to depend on your crucial suggestion, and i am sure this comment is also going to help someone like me who is interested in Affiliate Marketing but is from a country which has a little access on these topics. Thank you Drew.

  3. Hi Drew just dropping by to say my hello and inform you that although I am still working on SA basic I decided to avail of Franklin”s 4th of July course using your link just awhile ago. Many thanks and all the best to you and loved ones.

  4. so sick of all the hype stuff out there because I got caught up in it & feel like a chump. I like your reviews, honest & you don’t push hard. I’m scratching my head on where to go from where I’m at which is lost. spent money that apparently I really didn’t need to & paid too much. There is something to be said for research but with everything out there it gets confusing at times. I’m from the corded phones & playing outside so all this trying to make money on line is so foreign to me.
    I have my domain name, paid too much for that too, but have not gotten anything on my website yet. Thanks for all the info you put out there.

    • Thanks for the kind words Jill and you’re not alone, many people have gone through that – myself included. The key to remember is that there is no magic pill for affiliate marketing. There will be many courses popping up on a continuous cycle, all claiming to be the next best thing. The truth is affiliate marketing is simple. Find a niche/product, keyword research, determine if you’re going to do paid or organic traffic, build an email list, write content, etc. Sure there are many complicated steps in between but that is basically it. Hard work is what gets you to where you want to be – that’s essentially it.

  5. Hello Drew as I informed you last June 15, just subscribed to SA standard using your link at 10:55 am today June 20, 2020 our time. This is a new challenge to me. Keep up your good reviews you are helping people. Best regards from the Philippines

  6. Hey Drew am planning to do affiliate marketing. Been engaged to MLM (food supplements) for quite sometime as my main source which entails me to travel a lot to do lectures but with the pandemic to play safe I will focus on line. Have read and watch reviews on Savage Affiliates, so much for me to learn as a newbie. Intend to start with SA 1.0 (basic) anytime this week using your link I believe you can be of help if I need someday. I let you know when I am subscribed to Savage 1.0. Your reviews are helpful much thanks. Cheers from the Philippines !

    • Hey Leonardo, yes I can hardly wait till conferences are open again as I like attending them myself. Great place to network. As for Savage Affiliates it’s one of the best courses to learn affiliate marketing so you can’t go wrong. Happy to help with any questions as well. Cheers! Drew

  7. Hey Drew, you seem very honest, considering everything thats happening with the global pandemic , what business model do you suggest could still work? Im looking to start something from scratch to not depend on the company I currently work at…and I know that while there are many businesses breaking down…money has to go somewhere.. So other areas are booming…I know it , just dont have enough knowledge as to where specifically, any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Hi Cinthia, I think affiliate marketing has the edge over anything else right now. Lead generation is dead due to so many businesses closing and while ecom still is a good model because everyone is shopping online now, there seems to be some delays with shipping but on the other hand that is the expectation anyway. So both ecom and affiliate marketing are viable to get into due to many people being online more than ever. I also predict that habits will change and people will shop more than before online because they kinda have been “forced” to do that during this pandemic. For now, take a look at this article here on affiliate marketing, it might help –

  8. He Drew

    Before your articles I have seen many others offering courses after providing free training course of 20-30 minutes duration and thereafter asking to do their full training at an enormous cost. There are many such training providers in affiliate marketing and all of them begin to entice one with their tall claims and concocted stories. They also start asking to purchase softwares and other tools. On reading reviews about few of them such as Paolo Bringuel and Fred Lem I came across your article, which seems to me to carry some weight wherein you have made the concept of affiliate marketing easily understood by a complete beginners like me. I want to do now work from home. I know that it takes time to establish any business whether it be of any kind and there is no guarantee of success. But I am afraid of scammers which are in abundance on the internet to dupe the innocent people. Please suggest the right roadmap containing the sequence of steps to be followed which are vitally necessary to initiate into this business.

    • Hi Perwaiz, Thanks for your comment. Your story is all too familiar as I have been there myself and hear similar from other people today. The one thing to understand with affiliate marketing is that there is no magic button, this stuff takes work. For those that are willing to put in the time and not give up after a couple of months, it will pay off. The reality is, many people need instant gratification and if it doesn’t happen, they just stop. With that being said, if you jump in without any training or just follow some free Youtube advice, you aren’t going to get very far. You will also end up wasting your money on stuff you think you need but you don’t. You need to understand this business from the ground up. You need a good course – that’s the reality. Since I have bought many affiliate marketing programs in the past, I can spot the good ones from the bad. You may have seen that I suggest Savage Affiliates to my readers and there’s a reason for that. It’s VERY affordable and it’s some of the best affiliate marketing training I have seen. It’s also taught by a proven and successful marketer. The other option is The Authority Site System by Authority Hacker. I do suggest a blog on something you feel confident to write about and grow it out. If you want to see how this works, check out this free webinar that shows how to do this. This webinar gives out so much info they should really charge for it. I hope that helps and also others reading this in the same situation. Although these are two different options, check out my reviews on both so you can get a better idea of what you are getting. I’m a member of both. Cheers!

  9. Hi Drew came across your site in passing & as I am wanting to get into Affiliate Marketing I decided to check it out. Very well done & informative. well done mate.

  10. This was fantastic and I now understand affiliate marketing. The recommendations that you gave are a big help, thank you. I am now ready to start.

  11. Hi Drew, thank you very much!

    Could you advise where to look for info regarding SEO? Not just for affiliate marketing thing, but mostly for e-commerce. Paid courses are fine as well.
    PS Does E-Com Elites cover it well?

    Thank you once again, your articles are great and super helpful.

    • You’re welcome Anzh. If you are looking to get into ecommerce, then yes eCom Elites will teach you how to do SEO related to ecom. There’s a whole module on it actually. He does a pretty good job at explaining what to do, just don’t go crazy with it – everything has to look natural. Hope that helps!

    • Thanks a lot Drew!
      PS Is it possible to write to you on email if I have more questions regarding SEO and e-com in general? Your help would be fantastic to get my head around all this new information. I saw in your “Contact me” section that you welcome emails from readers. And if so, what email can I use?
      Thank you very much again.

    • Hi Balki,
      There’s been updates on the course since it was introduced. Franklin doesn’t let his courses go stagnant and he keeps up on new strategies. Not only that, a new big update is coming soon. Those that jump in now will get those updates for free. There might be a price increase with the new update once it releases but not 100% sure.

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