Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Your Complete 2023 Ultimate Guide. Learn all about affiliate marketing, understand what it is, and learn how to get started.
Ever wondered what affiliate marketing is and how you can benefit?
Affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry that is growing more each year.
So why not get your piece of the action and become an affiliate marketer yourself?
Are you a newbie or someone who recently started with affiliate marketing?
This 2023 ultimate guide will help you learn more about what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and how you can benefit from becoming an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate Marketing is One of The Best Online Businesses for Beginners.
Regardless of where you are in the world, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection then affiliate marketing is for you.
So if you want to learn how to be successful online as an affiliate marketer.
No matter if you have started or are planning to start.
You will learn all the ins and outs of affiliate marketing.
From what it is, along with the many other areas you need to know and learn about.
You will learn the right way, from finding your niche to building a foundation for your website to ways of earning online.
Why not get your share of that multi-billion-dollar piece of the pie with affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme as some of those ” Done For You Systems.”
You are building a long-term investment into your own online business.
As a result, this means you need to put in the hard work along with effort and have a positive mindset and attitude.
If you think you are going to get rich in the next few months or so this is not for you.
If you are ready to invest in having your own online business you are at the right place.
So let’s get started!
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a form of digital or online marketing.
Affiliate marketing is where you, as an affiliate, (also known as a publisher), help promote a product or service on behalf of the company with the actual goods.
This is usually done via your own website based on the content you write for that particular niche product or service.
Once you become an affiliate for the merchant you receive your own unique affiliate link relating to that specific product or service you are promoting.
When the customer clicks your link it will take them directly to the merchant site.
Once they buy the product or service, as an affiliate you receive a commission on the sale.
When your link is clicked, the merchant is notified which identifies the link belonging to you.
This is how they know who to send the commission to, in this case, you.
This article contains affiliate links and as such should you purchase a product or service you have an interest in I may receive a commission as a result at no cost to you.
For full disclosure, you can read it here.
How does affiliate marketing work
For those that are more visual in learning the chart below further explains how it works to what was stated above.
The Basic Structure of How Affiliate Marketing Works
The Basic Structure of How Affiliate Marketing Works
The four players involved in affiliate marketing:
As you can see from the above image there are generally 4 simple steps to the process.
Typically there are four parties involved in affiliate marketing:
• Affiliates (Publisher): This is you who are promoting the product or service.
• Merchant: The original supplier of the product or service.
• Networks: Networks manage many affiliate programs, along with helping manage their affiliates to make it easier for all.
• Customers: When a visitor lands on your website and clicks your affiliate link will take them to the merchant’s site.
When they buy the product or service they are now the customer of the merchant.
You receive a commission as a result of the sale.
The merchant takes care of all the other areas for you.
As an affiliate, you don’t need to worry about shipping the products, billing issues, and more.
The benefits of having a network for a merchant.
Generally, there are four parties involved as shown in the chart above.
Some merchants prefer to have their own affiliate programs.
Others prefer to have an Affiliate Network to handle all the work for them.
Having a network manage your affiliate program comes with benefits for the merchant along with benefits for the affiliate.
Affiliate Networks help manage their affiliate program for them.
The network also ensures that all affiliates receive the right commission.
This is set out in the agreement terms between the network, and the merchant.
There are times when some companies may change the rules of the game and not let you know.
Networks also handle any other technical issues that may occur such as links not working, new banners, or other advertising sections that may need changing or updating.
This way the network monitors any changes and makes sure all is above board.
You will find that this saves the merchant a lot of back-end work when thousands of affiliates promote their products or services.
This is a great cost-effective measure for the merchant involved.
It can also save the need to employ added staff that will need to find who promoted what and who should get paid correctly.
The benefit of a network for you as an affiliate.
For you, the advantage is that at times some merchants may change the rules of the game.
At times this may cause you to lose out on your commission or they may change the commission structure at short notice.
By becoming an affiliate for a company via the network you are safe to know you receive the right commission.
This is set out in the terms of the agreement between the network, company, and what is stated for you.
Getting involved via a network is safer and more reassuring.
Should you feel there may be an issue with the company’s products or services you are promoting?
They can be banners, widgets, links, etc.
You can contact the network which can resolve the issue quickly as they will look deeper into this and let you know the solution.
So now you know what is affiliate marketing and what is the structure let’s get into the most important part of this article.
There are other parts to becoming a successful affiliate that is covered in other articles on this website.
You can find more in-depth lessons with my No1 recommended Program that will teach all the right steps to take.
Before you start thinking of becoming an affiliate there is one stage that is vital to know.
This is where many beginners get confused and one that is vital to your success online.
Still, thinking about how to make money online as an affiliate marketer?
Okay, so now you know more about what affiliate marketing is and how the affiliate process works.
Time to get deeper into areas most don’t tell you about.
Before you start thinking about the money side of affiliate marketing.
You need to know what your website is about.
What are you going to promote and help your readers with?
This is where many starters fail and get it wrong.
Before you create a website and give it a domain name you first need to know what your website is about.
This next part is vital to your success with online marketing.
This will save you a lot of hassle and a lot of headaches later.
Find Your Niche Market
This is the focal point of affiliate marketing.
You need to first know about the niche definition which is what your website will be about.
Starting a successful online business can be tricky if you are not sure of what you want your business to be.
This is why finding your niche is so important and a big factor in why many struggle when building their website.
While there are many interests online selecting a niche is vital and your first step to take.
Not just any niche you need to be more specific about what people are looking for online, as explained below.
Too broad and you will face stiff competition, and you will struggle; this is one of the main reasons people give up and fail with any form of affiliate marketing online.
So you need to look at it differently.
What is a Niche, you ask?
A group of people looking for something specific to their needs, are the two vital parts of selecting a niche.
A niche is something specific that a certain group of people have an interest in.
For beginners wishing to get started in affiliate marketing, this will be your first focus before you think about creating that beautiful website of yours.
Just clarifying regarding your niche, did you notice part of what I said about what a niche is?
When you are creating a website, you will be creating certain pages, and lots of content posts relating to that specific niche in one way, shape, or form.
You will be writing to your audience (a group of people) that relates to what they are looking for (something specific to their needs).
Remember the old saying the customer always comes first?
The same goes for your website; the customer should be the first one you should be thinking of when creating your content.
Ok, so let us break it down as this will give you an idea of how to select your niche.
All this should be thought of before you grab a domain name and before you create a website.
It’s called planning ahead of time and this is vital to your future website success online.
Also, know that it is one niche per website not promoting everything you can think about.
One Niche Per Website.
There are two main reasons why one niche per website.
1. You will be focusing on that particular group of people interested in what you will be writing about.
Otherwise, you will confuse your visitors.
When someone does a Google search on cameras, they expect to learn what they need on the topic.
They visit your website and then find other articles relating to skin care.
They will assume you are not an authority on cameras and would leave your site straight away.
This brings me to the second point.
2. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo want to see if you are helping and not selling to people.
They too expect authority and expertise on the subject in this case cameras.
They want websites that are helpful for the readers, not a sales promotion everywhere.
You can read more here on Google’s Helpful Content to give you an added head start and understand why.
Helping Not Selling
It’s all about the consumer and the same goes for your website.
The aim of an affiliate is to help your visitor find an answer or solution to what they are seeking.
This brings me to the next important factor for beginners starting affiliate marketing.
Commercial or Informational Content? What is the difference?
Commercial Content Definition
When talking about commercial content this relates to your “money ” posts.
This is the content aimed at making money online.
Titles such as “best” or “review” and the “top 5” are your money posts.
Here is where you will find affiliate links for your readers to click and buy the product or service.
You will be using keywords that have buying intent as some of the ones mentioned above.
On the other side of things, you have the opposite.
Informational Content Definition
This is where the helping and not selling part comes in.
When first starting out as a beginner, your content should be informational only.
This means there is no selling intent, no affiliate links, and no promoting of products to sell.
The keywords used here relate to helping answer a question they are seeking.
They are helpful and educational, with titles including how, which, when, why, etc.
At this stage, your visitors are not interested in buying.
All they are looking for is information only they have no buying intent.
So, how many of each type should you have and is there a percentage of each?
This can vary according to different opinions.
A recent study analyzed the content of top-performing sites.
They came up with the following average percentages:
Average informational content: – 67% Average commercial content – 29%
In case you were wondering why this doesn’t add up to 100%, it’s because it doesn’t include certain pages.
These are your About Me, various Disclosures, and Policy pages.
Rounding this up goes back to what most experts agree with which is a 70/30 split.
How many of each type should you have?
We are looking at 70% informational and 30% commercial content.
Another way to look at it is for every 10 posts you write 7 should be informational and 3 can be commercial.
Why is this so?
In other areas such as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) categories.
These are the Health, Financial, Medical, or Legal areas.
The reason for this is that there is a greater need to establish authority and trust.
Again, helping and not selling becomes a critical factor.
The recommendation here is to have less commercial content.
For Beginner Affiliate Marketers
The same suggestion applies to anyone starting out with affiliate marketing.
This would also include those who are already started and are struggling in the early stages.
There are various reasons but here are two main ones which most others fall under.
Trust and Authority with Google and Search Engines
You need to build up trust and authority with Google and other search engines.
By showing you have authority in our niche, you gain the trust of Google and other search engines.
As a result of that trust and authority, your posts can rank higher in the search engines with the aim of being on page 1.
To help you understand further you can read more on Google’s E.E.A.T
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
It will explain what Google is looking for and how relevant your posts are for the readers.
Trust and Authority with your readers
In much the same way as what Google is looking so too are your readers at this stage.
They are not in the buying stage yet they want more information to be able to make an informed decision later.
When people come to your website, they want to know what is best for them not what you want to sell.
They don’t care about you.
The more you help your reader find what they are seeking the more trust and authority you gain with them.
This also builds up your experience and expertise as you create more content along the way.
When you first start my opinion is to have at least 15- 20 informational posts first.
This also depends on point 3, which can determine when you can add commercial content.
Indexing, Ranking, and Traffic
This is a very important and critical factor why you should focus on information content first.
When you first start working in the online world more so with affiliate marketing, no one knows you exist.
Once you have created your website it needs to get indexed first by Google and other search engines.
Indexing means your website has been found on the search engines.
This can take up to two weeks.
In the meantime, while waiting for indexing you continue to create informational content.
The next step is to have Google rank the content you have created, the aim is to be on page 1 in the top 10, the top 3 are the best.
Why no affiliate links?
The reason for this is your website is new, no one knows you exist and you don’t have any traffic.
If you think about it, what is the use of having affiliate links if you have no traffic to your website?
It is as simple as that! No Traffic = no visitors to your site therefore no visitors to your site = no sales.
This is what the informational post will do for you but getting traffic to your website first.
You build trust and authority with your readers along with Google.
Once you have a decent amount of regular monthly traffic then think about monetizing.
This is where the commercial content will benefit you when you have traffic on a regular basis.
Now we understand more about the basic of affiliate marketing let’s talk about your niche.
What niche is best? Popular examples
The best niche to have is one where you have the most passions, interests, or a hobby that you know about and write about.
That way you already have some expertise and some authority on the topic.
This will give you a great head start in gaining further trust and experience with your readers.
With Google and other search engines as mentioned above.
Ok, let us break it down as this will give you an idea of how to select your niche.
Before you think about creating a domain choosing your niche should be the first step.
It’s called planning ahead of time and this is vital to your future website success online.
Pen and Paper
The best way to start is to sit down somewhere quiet and use the old pen and paper.
I prefer writing ideas down on paper compared to sitting in front of the computer.
It might seem old school in today’s age, but if you stay away from the computer and your phone you won’t get distracted.
Plus when you are actually writing you are mentally embedding your physical action in your brain.
Getting distracted can be easy
How many times do you try to do something and an email message pops up, or someone posted something on social media?
Before you know it, you are reading someone’s messages and then replying to that person.
You then look at something while you are there that grabbed your attention.
Next thing you know, you have lost hours on what you should have done before.
This is also known as procrastination.
If you are not sure of what this relates to then you can read further on What is procrastination after you complete what you are supposed to do now.
So with your pen and paper, find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted; the library is a great example.
Ok, all set? Are phones off or on silent?
Write down a list of all the interests, passions, or hobbies you have then once done break them down to say 5 or 10.
Once done there is where you start to do some thinking.
From your final list break it down to 3 at most and finally down to 1 choice.
Remember you will be writing a lot of content which is an ongoing process as your website is never finished (more on content material further below)
Websites are always a work in progress.
Before we look at ideas for a niche, one thing you will need to think about is how broad or narrow your niche is.
There is a difference between a broad vs a narrow niche.
When it’s too broad, the competition you are facing online will be huge, and unless you are already well-seasoned as an authority website, expect some struggles at the start.
You don’t want your niche to be too broad but also not too narrow.
Too narrow, you won’t give yourself the room to grow later.
Yet too broad depending on your niche, you may be competing with high authority sites.
This involves stiff competition and won’t give you much of a chance to rank high enough.
Examples of Broad and Narrow Niches you can write about.
This will cover some that a broad and others that are narrow, others can be too narrow to start.
Let’s say you have an interest in health
As you know, health covers a plethora of ideas and forms far too many to mention in one post on your website.
Health is far too broad of a niche to use, so what you need to work on is brainstorming and breaking it down further.
What type of health are you thinking about writing?
- One option on health about weight loss?
- What about fitness for health?
- Is health about eating certain types of healthy foods?
Even this is still too broad of a niche topic to use. You would need to be broken down further
What type of weight loss do you want to write about with your audience?
- Do you want to lose the fat around your body?
- Is the need to lose weight because you have diabetes or have a particular health issue that requires you to lose weight?
- Do you want to lose weight? (without going on a diet).
- Is the weight loss for a particular age group?
This is the group of people you will be focusing on in your content.
By breaking it down to a particular need, that group of people has an interest in what you have to offer.
This becomes the niche market you will focus on then later as you expand, you can focus on other weight loss ways
Now we are starting to get more specific to the needs of those groups of specific people you will be focusing on in your content.
The same would go with Fitness.
What kind of fitness are you thinking of?
- Do you want to use weight to tone your body?
- Using weights for gaining strength and body mass?
- Are you thinking of using weight for bodybuilding?
You see how this is getting more specific with fitness.
Not everyone uses weights for bodybuilding, some may want to get fit without body mass and more.
The other one I mentioned is about eating healthy foods.
What Type of Food are you thinking of writing about?
- Are you talking about vegan foods and dishes?
- Choose healthy foods related to specific issues such as Diabetes or topics relating to the liver.
- Are you talking about healthy foods that are not processed and are organic?
- Again this is being specific when selecting a niche.
As you see, all these ideas are still related to health in one way, shape, or form.
Again, not everyone is interested in gaining body mass for bodybuilding.
A meat-eating person won’t want to know about vegetarian or vegan-type foods and vice versa.
In fact. you will find more people looking for how to lose weight rather than gaining weight.
Something to think about when choosing this Niche area.
Remember, you are focusing on that particular group of people that are looking for something specific to THEIR needs.
Once you have selected that specific Niche this is the audience target you will be focusing on.
You will be helping them to find solutions, ideas, and options that will benefit them the most.
Let’s look at another popular topic niche ideas.
Is there a particular form of gardening you like to be involved in?
- Perhaps you want to help people with how to maintain a garden
- Best ways to grow fruit
- Best organic ways to grow your garden
- Best plants to grow in the house
- What plant helps to keep insects at bay
There is so much content to write about in the Gardening Niche and is a hugely popular topic.
Just this alone can cover many specific niches you can write about.
The many forms of fishing.
- Beach fishing
- Fly fishing
- Deep-sea fishing
- Rock fishing
- Freshwater fishing
These are all specific niches compared to the broad term of fishing.
As you can see once more Fishing itself is far too broad as there are so many more than mentioned above.
That is just fishing I haven’t even mentioned the types of fish to catch, rods, and reels, along with the best baits to use or hooks, lines, sinkers, or even types of boats.
So you have heaps to choose from fishing alone, for that specific group of people who are interested in what you help them with.
If you have a passion for biking this can be a great niche to help your readers and not just on bikes but also on various gear to wear for biking.
- This can be local biking, cross-country, and Mountain biking and can easily include the following:
- What gear is best to wear for biking both for various reasons?
- Patch kits for bikes
- First-aid kits
- Wet Weather Gear and Equipment
- Hydration packs
- The best Cameras to use while biking such as the Go-Pro Hero Black is just one of many you can write about.
- Best helmets
Do you repair bikes?
Perhaps you could create a website and let people in your local area know about your business.
New-Age, Lifestyle, And Self-Help:
Are you focusing on a particular lifestyle relating to the various forms:
This is a large and very popular profitable Niche but one that needs to be broken down.
- Various forms of healing.
- What are Chakras
- How to use Crystals (after you build some content this can be included and blended with Chakras and Healing)
- Various forms of meditation
- How to meditate which is separate to forms of meditation.
Here you can break this down into specific areas such as
- Yoga for Pregnant Mothers
- Yoga for Women over 50
- Yoga for Men over 50
- Yoga for Children
Here are some areas you can focus on if you have an interest and passion.
Getting the idea?
Selecting your specific Niche
So these are just a small fraction of what you can write content about with your chosen niche.
One of the best ways to select your niche is to write down all your interests, it could be 15, or it could be 50, no matter what it is, write it down regardless of how irrelevant it may seem to you.
Once you have created your list, then you start to break it down using some of the sample ideas mentioned above.
That way, you select that specific niche for that specific group of people truly interested in that product or service.
These are the people you want to focus on not a general group.
This is where you will become successful online when you focus on the specific and not promote everything under the sun.
Breaking it down
Now you need to select say five from your list of the most compelling interests you have.
More so if you have good knowledge or experience in (don’t forget your work experience for a particular job).
You may have accounting experience, perhaps you wish to create a business.
Your niche could be in Tax preparation or giving financial advice provided you are qualified) this could become your own business.
Your website will enhance and attract those people wanting financial information or to have their tax returns completed.
That can be a huge niche to have if you have that form of experience.
From those five niches, bring it down to three and then select the best of the three and work out how this niche will relate to your future prospective audience that will come to your website.
Congratulations, you have found your niche.
You are now ready to take the next step and get your domain name.
You can read more on domain names here, but briefly, your domain name should be related to the niche you have selected.
It can be slightly broader than your specific niche as it allows for some expansion later down the track as your website develops but not the other way around.
The importance of proper training.
As you can see there is much to cover this is only the start.
The best way to learn and gain more knowledge is to get the right support and training.
Learning the right way to affiliate marketing is crucial to your success online.
With proper training, you learn more about how to build a solid foundation for your website.
You will also learn in more detail about your niche and how to monetize your website.
You will learn how to build a solid foundation for your website and learn how to earn money online, all this while you grow your website along the way.
This training is the best I have seen, and you can even start for free to give it a go and see if this is for you.
To visit, you can look here and make up your mind on how successful you want to be with affiliate marketing, be it a beginner or someone with some further skills.
Want to Create a Full-Time Income Online?
Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam?
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business and many have made money online and do quite well at it.
Understand that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick money-making scheme.
If you want to be successful in life, regardless of what it is. The best way forward is to put in the hard work and effort and you will get there.
Having a positive mindset and attitude are also essential.
Do that and with constant effort, you can earn a good living.
Yet, some have tainted affiliate marketing over the years.
Some still do but that is not affiliate marketing.
They are better known as scams.
Types of scams to avoid and be aware of.
1) The Quick get rich scams
Beware of Scammers or Wolves in Sheep’s Clothes.
Have you seen those ads with fancy cars, yachts, and mansions?
They tell you how they got there with simple quick and easy methods.
They will let you know that you can do the same as they did.
These are total lies; I call them “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing.”
Scammers love to play on people’s emotions.
They know you want to find that financial opportunity and freedom for a better life.
Unfortunately, many are good at that and many have fallen prey to such scams.
They have managed over the years to rip people into billions of dollars worldwide.
They will tell you to buy this or join that, and within a week or month, you will make thousands.
Many will even say you can earn on Autopilot, only with the push of a button and earn thousands by the end of the month.
If you see these, stay away, DO NOT click, join, or even give your email, especially any banking details.
They will con you and try to convince you into buying more opportunities in the form of upsells and then some more.
In the meantime, you pay for their offers to spend thousands and get nothing in return.
When I first started online, I fell for many such scams in the past.
This is why I am telling you that, I don’t want you to fall into the same trap as I did many years ago.
I found a dependable platform that will teach you the right way to earn online (more on that later).
2) Pyramid Schemes
What Pyramid Schemes and Scams are like
Once very popular; yet those at the top were making money; you will find many MLM groups who operated like this.
Note not all MLM are rip-offs some are fine, but most are borderline scams in the way they operate.
Also, note that Affiliate marketing is not MLM as some competitors would lead you to believe.
While some others were illegal and shut down by the FTA.
There are still some who try to deceive you through fake pretenses or fake testimonials.
This way they make it sound so easy and how well you can do it.
Then they get you to recruit others under you, and form a downline.
In the meantime, any commissions are then split up the chain while you get little in return.
You can read more on a review I did with affiliate marketing vs MLM and see for yourself.
3) Fake or misleading training programs
Some Fake Training Programs Love to Offer Free Money Online Opportunities.
Often known as the Get-Rich Quick mentality.
There have been many so-called online training programs over the years.
They are of poor quality and their lessons are incomplete and teach you very little.
Quite a few give misleading or outdated methods to make money fast.
Many not all, are borderline scams and most will cost thousands of dollars to join.
Sometimes they will offer you a free PDF to download, loaded with the same rubbish again.
Many times they can be old and outdated which does not teach you anything new.
You will find many on YouTube, where they state how to make $500 a day by doing this.
One huge trap is the promise of making huge amounts of money by doing nothing.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a very long time and is a genuine way to make passive income.
Sure, many have failed either because they fell for some wrong teaching.
While others did not want to put in the work and effort needed to make it happen.
Those that do put in the hard work and effort have now created affiliate marketing as a full-time passion. I said passion not a full-time job.
Because if you love what you do then you will never have to work a day in your life as it is a passion.
It is not a forced job you have to take and don’t like.
Like any business online or offline, you need to put in the effort to make it happen.
Some of what you should learn with the proper training in affiliate marketing.
- Understanding how Affiliate Marketing truly works.
- Learn new skills.
- How to Choose a Niche.
- Creating your first website based on the niche you selected.
- Understanding how to create content for your reader
- Learning the meaning of Keywords and how to do keyword research in the right way.
- Understand what long-tail keywords are and how to use them.
- Learning how to help your readers and not sell to them.
This last point may sound strange to some, but helping, not selling, is one of the keys to success online.
If you want to be a true affiliate marketer, don’t think about making money.
Instead, think about how you can help your readers find what they are looking for.
If you feel you are only looking for overnight success, then you might as well stop reading, as this is not for you.
Continue working for someone else, and put up with what your boss tells you to do.
But, if you want to be successful in the long term, please continue.
I will show you the best and most effective way to become a successful affiliate marketer.
There is No fluff, No BS, just authentic ways to learn online.
You will find out how to earn while still learning and growing along the way.
Remember, you are building a long-term business with your website.
it is your investment now and well into the future.
I do hope this has given you some further insights regarding affiliate marketing for beginners.
Please feel free to check out Part Two here on Affiliate Marketing for Beginners How to get started Now
Do you have any questions about the article above?
Please leave a comment and I will be only too willing to help you out further. I will see you on the other side of success.
I will see you on the other side of success.