Making Money Online – Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

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Thinking of Making Money Online?  Affiliate Marketing for Beginners … and Beyond!
Affiliate Marketing


Affiliate marketing for beginners is not at all difficult.  It’s not a hard process to learn, but to do it right and reap the most benefits from an affiliate site, it’s important to learn the correct actions to take and in the right sequence.

You do that, and “you’re golden”!




So What is Affiliate Marketing?

“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.  Find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”

it is one of the best ways i know to earn real passive income online. period!

The first thing to remember are the 4 major requirements to being successful in affiliate marketing:
desire, commitment, time and the proper platform.  You can read more on this here.

So Let’s Get Started!

The Basics of Affiliate Marketing


The 4 Necessary Components

  1. Finding a Niche or Interest
  2. Building a Website
  3. Attracting Visitors
  4. Finding Affiliate Products

… then – Earn Your Commission from Sales!

And it’s not that hard to do, you just have to learn HOW!


Choosing an Interest (or Niche)

Choose an area you love or are interested in.  Whether it’s fitness, football, knitting or internet marketing, make it enjoyable because you’ll be writing about this subject a lot – so be sure you like it!  This is where your passion comes in.
… and don’t worry about picking what you think is a profitable niche – there are affiliate programs in just about any area you can think of.

You’ll write about things that interest you, and what your readers are looking for.  Answers to their questions, great stories, opinions and reviews – in short, give them what they want!  This gives a pretty good description of choosing niches.

Website vs No Website

If you are really serious about making money as an affiliate, there’s only one way to do it and that’s with a website.  If you’ve heard otherwise, it’s just plain wrong!

Sample Website In order for potential customers to buy, they have to TRUST you first and foremost.

If you want to build something that will truly last you must build a relationship with your visitors, be truthful with them, and letting them know it is them who you are watching out for, and not your bottom line.  If they find out you are merely trying to “sell them” they will likely run like wild cats and not come back.  The ONLY way you can accomplish/establish trust is with a website.  And with good quality information!  People will look to you with authority, guidance and the knowledge that you are there for them and their welfare.

It’s amazing what good things this will do for you and your website.  You will be building the foundation of something really awesome and lasting!




Next, You Need the Platform

I’ve used both Joomla and WordPress for my websites.  I really like them both, but I definitely think WordPress is the Wordpresseasiest to learn and has made some fantastic improvements – they are current and “on the move”.
… and it is the one I encourage you to look into and use.  I highly recommend it!

To make it all happen you will want to find the right Community to “hang” with – to gain knowledge from.  It’s undeniable what you can learn from others, all of which seek the same goal.
You will also Need Training – don’t think you can go it alone from the start.  Get the proper training and spare yourself the heartache of “no results” for all your time and effort.


Learn to do it right from the start!
This will propel you further and in the shortest amount of time!
… and that’s what we’re after!

If you’re serious about building an affiliate business, take a look into the #1 program I recommend (and have used) to start my business. TRAINING – COMMUNITY – WEBSITES 



Attracting Visitors to Your Site

You need traffic!  Your visitors will be the ones that will allow this whole thing to work.  They will see the different “products” you have within your site, click on them and buy.  Nothing will work without the traffic – plain and simple.

How to Get Website Traffic


Use the most current traffic techniques to get “targeted” customers to your website. It’s not difficult to do this and rank on the first page of Google, but you want to follow certain guidelines.
You’ll be ranking in all the major search engines – like Google, Bing & Yahoo.  The more people you direct to your website, the more opportunity you have to make sales and earn $$$.




Finding Affiliate Products

There are all kinds of affiliate networks out there.

…  there are a lot of choices, but here are a just a few to think about just starting out.  The “Blue Book” of Affiliate Networks lists the top companies in the field.  We will be expanding and updating this list with even more choices.

Amazon Associates

Sign up to these networks and search for affiliate partners that will be appropriate for the niche you’ve chosen.


Affiliate Marketing

If all this sounds interesting and something you’d like to try, Wealthy Affiliate offers free training and will give you a good insight into the process of building a strong online business. It’s where I learned much of what I know and would urge anyone to sign-up for free. You’ll also receive 2 free websites.



You’ve Got Sales!

You will get paid for every sale made through an affiliate link on your site.  Most companies will pay you on a monthly basis for any sales generated, although there are some that compensate a little quicker.

CPA and PPC (pay-per-click) are other forms of affiliate marketing, but ones I don’t suggest you begin with – that will come later.

If you follow what’s outlined above, and you stick with it,  YOU WILL SUCCEED!


Any questions or comments just leave them below – Thanks!

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2016-11-19T08:44:02-04:00July 14th, 2015|Affiliate Marketing, Business Building|30 Comments

About the Author:

Thanks for stopping by!I've been online since the late 1980's. I remember my first computer was an Apple IIGS ... hahaha, those were the days!... now I help people to create a successful affiliate business of their own; allowing for more time freedom and financial security. There's nothing more rewarding than working for yourself!


  1. Julian August 24, 2015 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Hey Joanne.

    First off, great post. Really. I wish I read this a few months ago.

    I got a question…

    You said that you should choose a niche that you’re really interested in or passionate about…

    – if someone chose a niche they barely liked, what do you think he or she should do?


    • Joanne August 25, 2015 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Hi Julian

      Don’t even go there!
      – choose something you like or want to learn about; something that will keep you interested is important. This is a long term proposition and it really makes a difference to choose something YOU LIKE.

      Of course you want to do your research and see if there are decent “returns” for the niche you’re thinking about, but beyond that, choose something that you will enjoy writing about.

      Hope that helped.

  2. Angel July 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Dear Joanne,

    I really don’t understand how one can do affiliate marketing if they have no website unless they prefer to go perhaps door to door to sell their products that way. It seems to challenging versus laying out the information on a website head on.

    Oh my! I love WordPress so much! Plugins, Themes, and ease of not dealing with the HTML Code issues too. Attracting Visitors is the challenge for me now. But, then again so is Site Trust as that is said to develop over time. Patience is a virtue.

    Thanks for sharing such a great overview on how affiliate marketing can be fun for a beginner who is just starting out their first online business website. 🙂

    Wishing you all the very best with your online success and futuristic endeavors above and beyond the horizon,


    • Joanne August 1, 2015 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Hi Angel

      Glad you’re having good luck with WordPress. I really like it too and I think it’s the best for ease of use, versatility and growth going into the future – it just keeps getting better and better!

      The main thing is to guide someone new to affiliate marketing in the right direction of building a strong foundation for earning revenue, which begins with building a website. It’s a necessity.

      As far as site trust goes, just continuing to get good quality content out there on a consistent basis will make all the difference in the world. Don’t worry – it will come.

  3. Yuko July 31, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hello Joanne,

    I’ve started off in the online business world very recently. I am convinced that affiliate programs are the best way to earn passive income and we do need to have a website to pursue it. I don’t know anything about Joomla but thus far I found WordPress so easy to use.

    The hardest part for me is writing content. As a newbie, I do not have as much knowledge in the field yet and cannot offer much of valuable information for my readers. I know this part has to come with time as I learn. I would love to hear how you went about things when you first started and how often you wrote your content. Thank you.


    • Joanne July 31, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Yuko

      Welcome to the world of online business and marketing!

      I’m really glad you chose WordPress to use in your business. It is so easy to learn and just keeps getting better and better. They are constantly updating in every respect, so there is never any fear if it will lag behind – just won’t happen! Really versatile too.

      I’ve tried all kinds of ways (and programs) to make money online, but it was affiliate marketing that made the most difference for me. It’s a really great way to make a living. It takes time to build up and you have to be willing to work (duh), but wow, the results can be tremendous – wish I had discovered it long ago. It’s a good idea to get some reliable training though so you speed up the process, making sure you do it correctly. If you haven’t checked out Wealthy Affiliate yet, you might want to look into it – it’s the best training community I’ve found yet.

      As far as writing content goes, just write naturally about the things you like and know; and if you don’t know much about a particular subject, do your research and then put it into your own words. Actually, once you start writing you’d be surprised how easily it will come after a little bit of time. There are a couple of articles on writing content that I refer to now and again: Creating Quality Content If you’re just starting out, it will give you some good ideas moving forward. While you’re there, check out all the free training they have – I think you’ll find it useful.

      How often should you write fresh content?
      If you can write on a daily basis that’s the best. But if you can only get one new post a week, that will be ok. What’s really important is showing Google that your website is being updated on a regular basis. Whatever you choose as a post frequency or schedule, try to stick to it! Google looks at frequency AND consistency.

      You’ll do fine – just keep writing!

      Thanks Yuko!

  4. Jovo July 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Joanne, great to read your text, I landed here because I was in fact searching the Internet about the affiliate marketing.

    I wonder if you have discussed in some other post the differences between those 5 top companies you listed in the text. I have some experience with Amazon and Share-a-sale only.

    You rightly point out WordPress. I remember seeing a video from a Google’s representative saying that by using this platform you have already made a big step toward success. Thank you for the text.

    • Joanne July 28, 2015 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Hi Jovo

      I will have a post soon telling a little bit about each affiliate network listed, and more.
      The five listed above were:
      ClickBank, Amazon Associates, Share-A-Sale, Linkshare and Avantlink.

      ClickBank is definitely the easiest one to join for those starting out, but you really have to check on every product throughly because there are quite a few questionable and scammy looking products – a common complaint. Do not jeopardize your business by trying to “make a buck” on these, you will lose your following and your reputation will fail. You can still find some great things there but be sure to do a little research before promoting.

      Avantlink – I like this one! You can find some great quality products to promote.
      Linkshare is much like CJ and Share-a-Sale which you know.

      Most affiliate networks basically operate in the same fashion, but will differ on the companies listed and their reporting methods used.
      I’ll place a link on this page to my Affiliate Networks post when completed.

      Thanks Jovo!

  5. Brian July 19, 2015 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Great post here making money online as an affiliate is essential. This is the way everyone will be making money in the future. The longer you wait the less you make lol. Stay Blessed. Thanks for sharing this post is fantastic great information. So glad there are people out their spreading the word.

    • Joanne July 19, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

      Hi Brian

      Thanks for the comment!
      One of the best ways to make money, period. I love the fact that you can do it from anywhere – your business travelers with you, even on vacation!
      I highly suggest joining in on some free training from Wealthy Affiliate for starting out on the right foot and building a strong foundation.
      Thanks for stopping by Brian.

  6. Igor July 18, 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Hello Joanne!

    I`m in the same line of business as you. Great article, very well laid and explained!
    By the way, I need to ask you a question. You mentioned these different affiliate
    programs like amazon and clickbank. What is your experience of clickbank?

    I tried with clickbank before but I gave it up cause it looked to me that it is only a bunch of
    worthless products. But, correct me if I am wrong.


    • Joanne July 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Igor!

      Well, Clickbank is a good one to start with because it’s easy to join and simple to implement.
      Having said that,

        I have to agree with you to some extent

      . I also find there are many many programs I would never promote for one reason or another. Either the sales page was completely inferior, the product looked “suspicious”, looked scummy, and on-and-on.
      However, if you take the time to look throughly through the marketplace, you will find some gems – but yes, you have to search and research well.

      Hope that helped!

  7. Leo Emery July 17, 2015 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Hi Joanne,

    First off, great step by step outline of becoming a successful affiliate marketer.

    What I love about affiliate marketing is that the threshold for getting started is very low. You can get going with little to no money, which for some people “money” is a barrier.

    But with what the wealthy affiliate has to offer all those “Well I Can’t” excuses are taken away. They have everything, from the website builder to the training to the support.

    I started online 15 years ago and as of 2005 I have been making a full time income from affiliate marketing. SO I speak from experience it is the best business model in my opinion to follow if you want to build a thriving online business.

    Great info as always, keep it coming.


    • Joanne July 17, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

      Hi Leo!

      Thanks for your comment!
      The fact that you’ve been earning a FULL TIME INCOME for 10 years now is impressive, and just goes to show you, “Yes, it can be done!”. You, I and thousands of others are doing the exact same thing.

      I think most folks believe it’s too hard to get into, but of course they are wrong. As stated, it’s just about using the right process and sticking with it.

      There are “No Excuses” in my mind. Like you mentioned, Wealthy Affiliate makes it so easy to get into this business, and if you take advantage of everything their Premium Membership has to offer you you can make that up very quickly – for me it’s almost a no-brainer and I’ll probably be a member for life.
      But whatever path people choose to take, they have to know just what

        great opportunities

      there are in the world of affiliate marketing.

      Thanks again Leo!

      When I started I had no money at all to put into it – I only had the desire, and as it turns out, that’s the main ingredient for success.

  8. Stephen July 16, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Hi Joanne,
    I’m real glad I found your site. I’ve been thinking about trying to make some money online, but don’t really understand the process. I’ve tried things like pay per click with affiliate products, but I never seem to sell anything no matter how many clicks I get. I see you mentioned in your post that a website is crucial. That’s probably where I went wrong.

    Two free websites? I’m really nervous about making a website. Im not very good with tech stuff. Is it possible for someone like me to build a site with absolutely no experience?

    Anytime I’m thinking of making money online, affiliate marketing comes to mind. Im a definitely a beginner and Wealthy Affiliate sounds like it could help.

    I’m going to check out the site for sure. I’ll let you know what I think.

    Thanks again for writing this. It sounds like it’s just what I’ve been looking for!

    • Joanne July 16, 2015 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Hi Stephen!

      You’re not alone! It’s a relatively simple process, but one that must be followed if you want to get the most out of your efforts in the world of affiliate marketing.
      PPC can definitely work, but you have to be very careful and watch your campaigns “like a hawk”. Your money is on the line! I’ll be going into that a little deeper very soon.

      That’s how you build TRUST Stephen, with a website. There just isn’t any other way to do it effectively, and it can open the doors to so much more success. It’s not a very difficult thing to do either; and the more you work/play on it, the better and better you get – and it’s actually fun and nothing to be nervous about! People who have never done any website building are up and running in no time.
      The 2 free websites mentioned you can get when you sign-up HERE – you just need an email address.

      Check back in and let me know how you’re making out – I’ll be anxious to hear.
      … and let me know if I can ever help!

  9. Megan July 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    This makes so much sense, and sounds way less threatening than other things I’ve read about what it takes to get into affiliate marketing. Breaking it down is helpful in understanding what all is involved, but also the simplicity of the process (combined with lots of hard work and passion, of course!).

    Is there a step that you found most challenging when you were getting into the business?

    • Joanne July 15, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Hi Megan!

      Thanks for the comment!
      Affiliate marketing really is not as difficult as most people think, but there still is a process and a commitment that must be kept.

      It’s not a “step”, but I think the hardest thing for me (and still is) is to keep FOCUS. It’s so easy to get distracted away from the work that should get done. I think probably a lot of people struggle with this but overcome it with a better “work schedule” if you will.

  10. Nicole July 14, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Great information you are providing here on your website. I have just joined Wealthy Affiliate and highly recommend it to anybody that wants to make money online. Wealthy Affiliate is for everybody from every level even if you know a little about marketing I’m sure there is much more you don’t know that they can help you with. I’m so grateful that I joined Wealthy Affiliate, I will be a member forever! So you are absolutely right to recommend them to people!

    • Joanne July 16, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Hi Nicole!

      Glad to hear you joined WA! I run into more people that have joined and are absolutely delighted with Wealthy Affiliate. Nice to know you’re one of them.
      … no more scams to contend with – gotta love it!

  11. Hagop Margossian July 14, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I love this website due to its vast information and capability to really review a product. To whoever wants to create a website and create a business online through it, this is the best place to learn how! Great work! Keep it up 🙂

    • Joanne July 16, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Hi Hagop!

      Hahaha – thanks for the nice words – it’s appreciated!
      … I try.
      There’ll be a lot more posts coming too Hagop.

  12. Esteban July 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Very detailed and very simply explained. I think this should convince pretty much any reader to at least consider joining the affiliate marketing world. I myself joined about a month ago and cannot wait to get tons of traffic and make my first sales. Can’t imagine a better job ! 🙂
    Thanks for this post.

    • Joanne July 16, 2015 at 8:06 am - Reply

      Hi Esteban

      I love your enthusiasm !!!
      … don’t forget this takes time and commitment to achieve, but I have absolutely no doubt that you will achieve your goals.
      And in my opinion you’re right – “there is no better job”!
      Beginners often expect financial reward to come quickly, but it will take a little time to build a strong foundation for your affiliate business.
      Go for it and DON’T GIVE UP!

  13. survival chick July 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hey Joanne,

    I have been looking at your website because I have recently started affiliate marketing. Your points make so much sense!

    Have you any thoughts how to build trust and authority on your website? what has worked for you in the past? I know that the niche I am working in has lots of potential, but it seems like there are some excellent sites already out there.

    • Joanne July 15, 2015 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I think one of the most important things in building trust of course, is to be truthful and honest. Sounds pretty basic doesn’t it? … but absolutely true! You’d be surprised how many are “trying to pull your leg” stating false claims only to line their own pockets. Most people can pick up on this easily, but the scammers are sometimes pretty crafty. If found out, the visitor will NOT be back.

      Secondly, try to become an “expert” in your niche. Research and educate yourself so you can educate others. People go online to find information. Find out what they’re looking for and give it to them.

      There will always be room for you – regardless!

  14. Divican July 14, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    At first I was confused where to go and find more information like what you are talking about. I have been searching online for passive income, and this is not my first time to see this WEALTHY AFFILIATE and I have been having doubts whether to join or not, since spammers have taken more from me not only money but also discouraging me. Today I find it important to test wealthy affiliate and since you have said it is free then I will try it for free.

    Finally thanks for your information that has encouraged me since you have more than 20 years experience over internet marketing you see from 1980s you are not new over this. You understand a lot with a lot of expereince.

    • Joanne July 15, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

      Hi Divican!

      I think everyone I know has been scammed too! – you’re not alone unfortunately. Scam artists are everywhere and I’ve become very cautious over the years.

      I’ve had first hand experience with Wealthy Affiliate though, and you can be at peace knowing they are an A+ outfit. I only wish I had found them years ago. Top notch training along with a terrific community that really can’t be rivaled. I’m glad you’re giving them a try – I think you’ll be thankful you did.

      Let me know how you make out! … and thank you Divican!

  15. Riaz Shah July 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Great steps you’ve laid here Joanne,

    Affiliate marketing is a powerful method for anyone to make money, and it’s the easiest too considering you don’t need to do anything but to promote. Of course it also helps if we try the product ourselves so that whatever we say comes from experiences; it makes everything easier. I once tried to do reviews on products I’ve never tried before and boy was that hard! Took me a few days to figure out what to say lol. Never doing that again! Bookmarked your page and will be coming back for moar 😀

    • Joanne July 15, 2015 at 6:10 am - Reply

      Hi Riaz!

      Affiliate marketing is a great business to be a part of, and fun!
      Of course the ideal is to have “tried” what you are promoting for sure. Depending on what niche you’re in though, trying every single item may be virtually impossible to do. Here you have to do your best to do your product research, seek out other comments from users on the web, compile your results, and be honest with your readers.

      People want honesty and truthfulness. As long as you’re “straight” with them it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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