Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start Earning Money Online

Affiliate Disclaimer:

In compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, please be aware that some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

In this blog post, you’ll learn about how to get started with affiliate marketing as a beginner.

In today’s digital age, earning passive income with affiliate marketing has become an increasingly popular goal. Luckily, earning money with affiliate marketing is not only popular but realistic.

Affiliate marketing, with its promising potential for generating income, has emerged as a lucrative online business model for beginners and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.

My hope is that after you implement the steps provided, you’ll take action and start your affiliate marketing journey so that you can earn money online.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing benefits the marketer and the product or service owner. Essentially, it’s an online referral program.

You, as the affiliate, earn money when the leads/traffic you send to a business or service provider make a purchase.

Every sale affiliate marketers generate through promotional efforts receives a commission.

With little to no start-up costs and the potential to generate substantial commissions, it’s a great way to earn a few extra bucks or, in some circumstances, a full-time income online.

Let’s dive in and explore affiliate marketing for beginners.

Choosing a Niche

Choosing a niche is a critical step in creating your affiliate marketing strategy.

A niche is a specific market segment that aligns with your interests. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be super specific but it’s good to have a general idea of your target audience and the types of products you’ll promote.

Although you may choose to navigate away or add niches in the future, the importance of choosing a niche at the beginning of your affiliate marketing journey is to establish yourself as an authority in that segment. It gives you a north star to focus on so that you are mindful of the types of products your audience expects from you.

You can then effectively tailor your marketing efforts to a specific target market.

Next Steps:

  • Consider Your Personal Interests
  • Research Popular and Lucrative Niches
    • Will you focus on luxury items? Shoes? Personal Finance or Budgeting?
  • Evaluate Competition
  • Determine your target audience by building a user persona or user story. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • Who’s my target audience?
    • What do they like and want to see?
    • What do they need?
    • How will my affiliate products help solve their problems or improve their lives?
    • How much discretionary income does my target audience have to spend?
    • Are they single? Do they have kids?

Finding Affiliate Programs

Now that you’ve chosen your niche, let’s find suitable affiliate programs.

Choose affiliate networks in alignment with your niche and that offer competitive commissions.

Check out these affiliate networks to get started:

You can also go to a specific company’s site and scroll to the bottom of the page to confirm whether or not there’s an affiliate program you can sign up for directly.

Lastly, conducting a simple Google (or other search engine) inquiry also yields results.

A few popular brands within AWIN’s network include Travelzoo,, Pretty Little Thing, and Lululemon.

You’ll find MyFico, Etsy, and Claire’s within ShareASale’s network.

These are just a few examples of popular brands and products you can access if you sign up and apply to these programs.

Next Steps:

  • Research reputable affiliate programs by visiting the sites I listed above.
  • Go to specific companies and brands that you enjoy, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see if there’s an affiliate link that you can sign up for.
  • Sign up for affiliate programs that align with your brand.
  • Choose an affiliate product you know would make your audience happy or solve one of their problems.

I personally recommend getting started with Benable. It’s a new affiliate program that I signed up for in July of 2023. With Benable, you create shareable lists that you can receive a commission.

I like this app because I’ve created virtually all of my shareable lists from my cell phone and it’s extremely easy to do.

As of date, Benable has partnered with close to 40,000 affiliate brand partners.

Some of those partners include Amazon, Wayfair, Target, Sephora, and Express, among my favorites! With little promotion, I’ve earned almost $30 in less than a month. With virtually no promotion, I’m happy with my earnings so far.

Check out the image below to see proof of my recent earnings using Benable.

As a side note, most of my recommendations are products and services that I’ve used. The other recommendations I make are products or services with strong positive reviews that I would use.

High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

Let’s take a moment to chat about high-ticket affiliate marketing for beginners. High-ticket affiliate marketers promote high-ticket affiliate products to their audience.

Instead of promoting products that may cost $30, you’d promote products that may cost $500 for a larger affiliate commission. What you consider high-ticket may even start at a lower amount; however, I chose a number to use as an example.

Promoting high-ticket affiliate products is where you’ll get more bang for your work! I have yet to promote high-ticket products at this time, but I certainly will do so soon, as it just makes sense.

I’m assuming that the effort is similar, and of course, the reward is bigger, which is a win in itself. Once I dive into high-ticket products, I’ll write about my experience.

Examples of high-ticket affiliate products include tech gadgets and software (i.e., Canva, Grammarly, etc.)

Build an Online Presence

Building an online presence is also critical in getting as many of the right eyeballs as possible on your affiliate products. Research where your target audience hangs out and go there! Are they already following you? It’s important that you do market research so that you’re not wasting your time.

An easy way to do this is to see where your competitors are thriving.

You’ll optimize your online presence for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords, creating engaging and informative content, and ensuring an amazing user experience.

Leverage social media platforms to expand your reach, engage your target market, and drive traffic to your affiliate offers.

A few options in today’s digital age where your ideal customers may include:

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Threads
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn

As social media platforms continue to grow, you can choose the platform where you can make the biggest impact on your affiliate marketing business.

Sprout Social is a great site to check out which demographics use which platforms. This is a site you should at least take a look at to get you started.

Next Steps:

  • Research to understand your target audience hangs out and the type of content they engage with the most.
  • Research your target audience’s pain points, preferences, and interests. (i.e., Plus Size and need help with fashionable styles; love self-care and want to best-curated beauty and health items).
  • You can engage in research by asking your current social media followers what they like and why, Google Searches, reaching out directly to your target market, and creating polls and surveys.
  • If you like something, there’s a group of other people out there that like what you like also.

The important part is just to get started! Even if it’s on your current platform. Start somewhere and pivot from there if you need to.

Create Engaging Content

Whether you’re a beginner in affiliate marketing or not, content is the heart of affiliate marketing. Consider engaging your audience by creating high-quality blog posts, product reviews, tutorials, infographics, and video tutorials.

Consistently creating engaging content builds trust and authority.

Next Steps:

  • Create engaging and visually appealing social media content related to your niche.
    • Engaging content may include short videos of a product or you using a product or modeling your favorite pair of shoes for work.
  • Incorporate storytelling in your social media posts to make them relatable and shareable.
    • Why does your audience need this product? How can it make their lives easier?
  • Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your content, directing viewers to your other social media channels or blog for more information.
    • You’re the boss! Tell your audience how to use your affiliate link, and always disclose your role in the affiliate marketing process. You can reference my disclosure at the top of this blog post.
  • Post regularly (at least once per day) and use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.
    • What hashtags are your competitors using to drive traffic to similar products?
  • Collaborate with influencers or content creators in the home decor and marketing niche to expand your reach.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Driving Traffic to Your Offers

You must drive targeted traffic to your affiliate offers to maximize your earnings.

Explore various traffic generation strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing. If your budget allows, you can also implement paid advertising.

However, I highly recommend utilizing every free marketing resource you have first.

It takes nothing but time, effort, and courage to make TikTok and YouTube videos, create Pins for Pinterest and create and post on an Instagram page.

Each method has its strengths and requires careful planning and execution.

Experiment with different approaches to find the best system for your audience and niche.

Don’t get too caught up, though; as a beginner, you’ll want to remember that progress is better than perfection.

Get started!

My Final Thoughts on Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend products and/or services that I’ve personally used.

If I haven’t used those products or services, I strive to make recommendations that I could see myself using and with favorable reviews.

You certainly don’t have to do this, but I try to be as genuine as possible on the things I’ve used, like, or can see myself using.

It’s just good practice, and I’d like someone I’m purchasing an affiliate product from to do it.

Affiliate marketing presents many opportunities for beginners seeking to earn passive income online.

Understanding the core concepts, selecting the right niche, choosing suitable affiliate programs, building an online presence, creating compelling content, driving targeted traffic, and tracking your results can pave the way for a successful affiliate marketing journey.

Patience, persistence, and continuous learning are key to long-term success in this dynamic field.

So, seize the opportunity, embrace the knowledge gained from this guide, and confidently embark on your affiliate marketing adventure.

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