How Do I Become an Affiliate Marketer – 10 Things You Need to Know

Getting started in Affiliate Marketing is relatively easy but making it successful is another matter.  I have come up with 10 tips that any new or potential affiliate marketer need to know to make sure they reach their goals.

1.    Have the Right Expectations

One of the first things you notice when you start getting more experience in affiliate marketing is, the number of new marketers thinking they will be earning a full-time income straightaway… A couple of hours a week will not get you income within a few weeks.

Let me be quite clear with this – Affiliate Marketing is not a quick and easy way to grow a business.  You can definitely achieve your financial goals, but you will need to be realistic with your timescales and the amount of work you will need to invest.  The more time you spend doesn’t always equate to earning quicker too.  There are a number of factors but having expectations around the 6 to 12 months as a minimum is a reasonably sound model.

Many scam products out there will have you believe you will be earning a fortune overnight, sorry I have yet to find one that actually does what it says.

2.    Get Used to WordPress

WordPress is a really popular CMS (Content Management System), with over 50% of the websites out there using it. It isGet Used to WordPressversatile and easy to use, but there is a learning curve with it.  Getting started with WordPress is easy, but you need to get used to using it to give you online business the best chance of success.

Having said all that, compared to other website builders, once you know the basics you will find that it is really easy to use and that gives you time to focus on the key elements of your online business.

Related Post: Create Your Own Blog Website

3.    Keyword Research is Essential

At this point, you might not know what Keyword Research is.  Well, know this it is one of the most integral bits of research you will do in your business.  Posting content without the right keyword research will mean you are not targeting a specific audience.  Not a great way of converting sales.  SEO & Keyword Research go hand in hand.  Getting to the top of the search results means you are more likely to get traffic to your website.

Learning Keyword Research is an integral part of becoming an Affiliate Marketer.  Learn more with my helpful post “What is Keyword Research in SEO?”.

4.    You Need to Learn Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

There are two key aspects you should focus on when creating content for your affiliate marketing business. One is youSEO readers, the second one is the search engines.  If it is a quality article that helps resolve a question or a problem, it will be seen positively by both your readers and Google.  This will help your article get ranked higher up in the search results. Getting to page one is every website owners target, as not many people search past page two.

Learning how to optimise your website for the search engines is crucial to any success you want to achieve.

Related Post: What is SEO & PPC Marketing?

5.    Don’t Focus on Traffic/Conversions Straightaway

I wouldn’t even worry too much about this for at least 3 months.  I often see new affiliate marketers spending all their time on Google Analytics looking at a handful of visitors and wondering why they aren’t buying into your promotions.  New website will not get ranked that well during this period, once you pass the 3-month mark and you are adding regular quality content to your website, you will see that it will start to pay off in the end.

Just focus on creating content, and then you can start building up traffic and sales over time.  Time spent reviewing analytics can always be better spent elsewhere.

6.    Provide Value

Do not just have posts on your site with the sole purpose of selling something.  Offering helpful guides, how-to guides and other useful information posts in your niche will lead to a better experience for someone visiting your site.

Most of us are put off by stuff that is too salesy.  You will also find that too many affiliate links can also lead to poorer rankings in the search engines.

There will of course be posts that have that purpose, all I am saying is do not make every article one.

Remember, most people who are searching for those keywords we talked about are because they are looking for help with something – they are not always in the buying stage of the purchase lifecycle…

7.    Target People Late in the Buying Cycle

Having helpful posts, how-to guides is important for the value side of your website, but they also need to help lead people who are further down the buying cycle to find products that will help too.

You will have people who are just searching, you will have people who want to know more about a product.  You will then have people who are ready to buy but want to make sure it is the right product.

A good Affiliate Marketing website will cover all 3 bases effectively.  That is where reviews come into place.  These can be the posts that have the affiliate links, all of the other posts can be targeting at just generally helping your niche.

8.    Focusing on Digital Products

Depending on your niche, focusing on digital products will give you a better return for your time.  Digital products would be training programs, software, online services (web hosting), etc. The commissions and profit margins are much higher.

I am not saying not to promote physical products but targeting both will do you better in the long-run.

They will both need the same amount of effort, but the digital ones will yield higher profit margins.

9.    Sell Your Own Product

Selling your own products will again have a higher benefit for you, as you are receiving all of the bounty, rather than just a percentage of it.  Depending on your niche, you could easily create an eBook or training program and offer it out.  You can also utilise affiliate marketers to sell it for you.

10. Don’t Give UP!

The most common reason for affiliate marketers failing, is that they give up too soon.  I see people saying affiliate marketing doesn’t work, or why is it not working and then you review their website and they haven’t posted anything on their website for 6 months…

You need to remain consistent and think about the end goal.  One of the things I have noticed is we tend to focus too much on the financial side rather than the benefits that a home business would bring.  Mine is about seeing more of my family, rather than how much it brought in this month.  Having something else to focus one as well as earning money will definitely help.

Affiliate Marketing takes much longer and needs double the effort you think it will need.  An hour a week, will not cut it.  Many have given up just before the point where the search engines were going to take notice.   Go the distance and you will have something that you can be proud of and hits all of your goals – financial and non-financial.

11. It is Ok to Quit…

I know this goes against everything I have just said, but it is entirely true.  Affiliate Marketing is not for everyone and it is ok to say it isn’t and Quit.

The people who succeed are the ones that love learning new skills and techniques, love writing content, love researching stuff in their niche.

But if you find that you hate all of that, then it probably isn’t for you.  I love doing what I do, hence I have seen small success and am building up for the big successes.

It is hard, it is tough.  But it is all worth it.  If you know you have what it takes to be successful, then go and get that success.  It is waiting for the right person to come and do it.

Related Post: Learn Affiliate Marketing & Start Today

There you have 10 tips on How Do I Become an Affiliate Marketer.  I hope you have found them useful, I would love to hear what you think about them below in the comments.  If you have any questions about affiliate marketing or any of the topics we have covered today, then please write them in the comments and I will come back to you as soon as I can.  thanks

18 thoughts on “How Do I Become an Affiliate Marketer – 10 Things You Need to Know”

  1. As an affiliate marketer myself I can say how true these points are.  I don’t think using WordPress is essential, but whatever platform you use, make sure you are comfortable with using it.  Most of my sites are on WordPress and I love it.  When I started out I underestimated the power of keywords.  Now I’m addicted to keyword research.  Some of the tools are expensive but there are some cheaper ones that are OK too.  I actually use a few tools and compare results to figure out my keywords.  Thanks for sharing this really valuable post

    • Hey Alicia,

      thanks for checking out my guide.  Everyone is different and will choose different tools to achieve their success.  But it still comes down to putting in time and effort to ensure you achieve your goals.



  2. Great post and good info. 

    The tips you give are indeed the best ones, never begin with huge expectations, since you need to have time to build up your success, and sometimes you will have fails, this happens. 

    Creating content is also very important, as well as sharing them with social media platforms. 

    Anyway, I’m an affiliate marketer for a while now, and I agree with you. 

    Thanks for sharing it. 

    • Thanks Emmanuel,

      you can have huge goals, but achieve them in increments.  The biggest problem with not breaking it down into smaller chunks is, you will never achieve that primary goal in a reasonable amount of time.  Start small, hit your first target and then move onto the next rung of the ladder.



  3. Hi,  John. I really like your statement “The people who succeed are the ones that love learning new skills and techniques, love writing content, love researching stuff in their niche”. I really love learning,  writing and researching stuff in my niche. You should add “people who commit to be affiliate marketers”. Because we need to focus on it,  just like other job.  What do you think? 

    • Hey Milani,

      thanks for checking out your guide.  It is a great point.  Committing to something is a true way of saying I will do it.  But that also shows that not everyone is ready to commit.  

      But you are right, focusing on it like any career is where you will see success.



  4. Hi John,

    I always enjoy your posts. you seem to be coming from a real position of authority and wanting to help people.

    I especially like the table of contents at the top of the page. Really helps me know what’s coming.

    As you said, keyword research is still essential. The search engines only starting point is a keyword, so choosing the right one to help the search engines best serve you up to the correct searcher is essential.

    Providing value, is probable one of the most undervalued parts of affiliate marketing.

    I see too many marketers just trying to sell, sell, sell and not deliver enough value to help 1st.

    I always remember a great quotation: “A man (or woman) is paid in direct proportion to the service they render mankind”

    If you find you are not making enough money it is because the amount of help you give has gone down too normally.

    And yes it is, finally, ok to quit….

    If something is not working, no point doing it over and over again expecting a different result.

    Try something else!

    Great article


    • Hey Tim,

      thanks for checking out my guide.  Time and effort are something that we all forget at times. We want to earn money, but not everyone is wiling to put the effort in.  It doesn’t work like that.

      Helping people is something Gem and I love to do, and we will help as many people as we can.



  5. John, you’ve written up a very comprehensive list detailing what is needed to become an affiliate marketer. Without guidance, it is hard to know what to do, but I am stuck on #2 in your list.

    I will learn WordPress because I keep playing with it and reading about it.

    If the other items in this list are as difficult to learn as creating with WordPress, it is possible that I am one of those folks that don’t belong in this world.

    Alas, I don’t think that’s the case. I am driven by challenges and I will succeed! I hope that one day all of word press will seem like second nature to me. For now, though, I just keep looking for posts like yours trying to get more information.

    This is a very helpful post that will keep me moving in the right direction!

    Thank you!

    • Hey John,

      we all learn differently and some of the best guides for WordPress are actually in video form.  Don’t get down hearted from it.  Just because you find it a little difficult, doesn’t mean you do not belong here.  If you have the desire, you belong here trust me.

      Check out youtube, if you ever get stuck with WordPress.  Some of us, prefer being shown how to do stuff rather than be told how to do stuff.

      We all start at the same point, it is our desire that dictates how far we progress.

      Good Luck


  6. Some good points you have made here, and the most important one being is that you can’t be successful and make a full time income over night. It takes time and work just like anything, and if you have a full time job like I do, it takes even longer, but if you enjoy what you do, and keep building your website, you will get noticed and you will get sales in time to come.

    I have noticed that although it has taken me a few years, I find I get paid now even in the months where I do very little work. So by the time I retire, I hope to be supplementing my income full time, and I am confident that this will be the case.

    • Hey Michel,

      some great points you add here.  Affiliate Marketing is classed as passive income, as once an article starts earning you money it can go on earning you money for years to come.  It all comes down to the hard work you put in at the beginning to realise this success!

      Good Luck


  7. Affiliate marketing is no easy task. Building a website and then turning it into a profitable business is not a one days job and it is definitely not meant for everyone which is the reason why a lot of people that venture into the online world end up quitting.

    Knowing exactly what to do can be of great help in making you succeed in your online business. It is a task you should never try to do alone because you are going to get stuck a lot and would need help and sometimes you might just need someone to talk to who would give you some form of encouragement. It can get pretty lonely. 

    How many hours do you think one should spend in a day everyday of the week that you would consider ok when building your online business?

    • Hey Jay,

      thanks for checking out my guide.  That is an intriguing question, as not everyone has the same amount of time each week or day to spend on their online business.  So, first off if you can only spend an hour or two  a week on your business, just manage your expectations  – this will take you a lot longer.

      Secondly, when starting out you need to balance the learning aspect and the doing aspect.  If you could spend an hour a day that is a great start.  as you become more efficient at the doing task, you will find that you will achieve more.

      I also try to focus on one task at a time.  Keyword research for an hour, website maintenance for an hour, writing an article or two an hour.

      There is no fixed time as we are all different.  But the more time you put into it, the better you will find the success.



  8. Dear John,

    Thanks a lot for the insightful post and I must say I found your post highly uplifting and educational.

    Being a full-time Affiliate Marketer I realized the mistakes I am making via your helpful post and I got great insights from your post.

    Since I am starting and I am on my budget I am not able to focus on paid traffic so I am promoting my Affiliate products via my blog. So organic traffic is what I am relying on, your related posts on Keyword Research and SEO Search Engine Optimization is very helpful.

    I use to check my Google Analytics daily and really worried seeing my traffic is not growing that’s the first thing I do every morning before starting my work Lol. Thanks a lot for the advice I will forget Google Analytics for 3 Months and focus on my content and will provide value to my visitors.

    Thanks again for the motivating and informative post!

    Wishing you much Success!


    • Hey Paul,

      thanks for checking out my guide.  We can lose hours checking google analytics, then realising I should have been doing some keyword research or writing an article.  

      Analytics is a great tool to focus your campaigns, but only when you really start seeing the traffic you need.

      Good Luck


  9. Hey John,

    Thanks for a very very detailed guide. I will bookmark it and visit it frequently. I always do all the things needed and try to target all stages of the buying process, especially informing and helping people in my niche. My niche consists though mostly of physical products, and not that much of digital products. What would you suggest I should do?

    Thanks for the advice


    • Hey Marios,

      thanks for taking the time to check out my guide.  Remaining focused on physical products is fine if you are just starting out.  But as you flesh out your website, you can definitely check out ways to incorporate digital products.  Not all niches naturally lead to them.




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