How to Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Hey everyone,

We will be exploring a common subject for those starting out online and that is how to monetise your blog with (mainly) Affiliate Marketing.  If you are going to invest your time and effort into creating an online presence, you might as well be able to make some money at it.

I mention blogging, as there are some that state you do not need a website to do affiliate marketing, but I will disagree a little.  Social Media is very important to your online business, but advertising on only one does restrict your reach and not all social media types are great depending on your niche.

Whilst I explore how to make money online with affiliate marketing for beginners, there are a couple of other routes you could take to monetise your blog.

How do you Make Money Blogging?

Blogging allows you to express your opinions, help your audience and grow your audience. Then you can start earningHow do you start a blog money by:

  • Joining Ad Networks (for example, AdSense). By offering up space on your website, you can earn revenue through interaction from your audience.
  • Sell Physical or Digital Products.
  • Consult & Hold Events

But the most popular is Affiliate Marketing.  One of the key benefits of affiliate marketing is you control what you promote.

You can never really control what adverts are shown on your website. AdSense tries to make it relevant to the user based on their google interactions, but I refuse to use most of them as they could put my audience off.

If you have your own products, then great you could definitely follow this route, but I would typically say most are turning towards Affiliate Marketing.

But What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are 3 parties involved in Affiliate Marketing.  You (the affiliate), the Company (Has the Product) and the Customer (Buyer).

Affiliate MarketingLet’s use Amazon as an example – they have an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. You sign up for a free account and choose a product that is very relevant to your blog.

Let’s say you have a blog on the home.

You write a well-written review on that product (a toaster). You include your affiliate link in that review which when the reader clicks on that link, they are sent to Amazon and Amazon knows you were the one who sent them to that product.

They buy that toaster for $100.  You will have earned 6% commission, earning $6.

Let’s break that down into a simple graphic:

That figure might not seem much but imagine if you had 100 people read your review and buy a toaster through your affiliate link, that is $600 through what is a passive income type.

If you would like to know more about Affiliate Marketing, check out my post “How Does Affiliate Marketing Really Work?”.

How Do I Find Products or Services in Your Niche?

This will depend on the niche you have set your blog up on. To help find products there are 2 ways you could find the right products or services in your niche.

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate Networks have multiple products and services available giving you access to plenty of options with just one account.  I would suggest you be careful with what you pick (depending on your niche) In the Make Money Online niche, there are also a few undesirable products in them, but if you do your research correctly, you can also use the product as a “watch-out” post.

Some of the top Affiliate Networks are:

  2. Shareasale
  3. CJ Affiliates (formerly Commission Junction)
  4. Rakuten (formerly LinkShare)
  5. Click Bank

Awin is the largest in the world and gives you access to a lot of products and services. It also helps give you ideas for content and reviews too.

Affiliate Programs

An alternative way is to sign up with individual companies via affiliate program.  Just type in Google “Product + Affiliate Program” and you will see if they have one and the website details.  You will be surprised how many companies are joining the affiliate program format.

But when searching for products or services, you do need to make sure it is a natural fit for your audience.

On average, 42% of Affiliate Marketers promote between one and 10 products.

Natural Fit to Your Audience

Commission rates differ massively across the affiliate marketing field, but that doesn’t mean we can just go for something that doesn’t fit with your website.  Take this site, it is about affiliate marketing and affiliate marketing tools, imagine if there were banners and posts about stuff that was nothing to do with it, i.e. a toaster.  Do you think I would get any traction from that??  It might actually put readers off, as it looks like I am not taking them seriously.

I’ll go back to the amazon example, it might only be 6% but if the website is right, content is right, I help that person with their questions and then they buy it and I am helping more and more people all the time, then you will earn the same as a 60% commission product where it is only bought once or twice a year?

Keep it Relevant.

How Much Will I Get Paid?

Commission rates vary depending on the type of product and service.

Physical products have a lower commission rate due to the cost of producing it and shipping it, Digital products or services tend to have higher commission rates.

The average would tend to sit around 30-50%.  Amazon has a wide variety of products to use, however their commission rate sits around 6-10%

Will I Always Be Accepted to the Affiliate Programs?

This again depends on the program or network.

A small number will want to see proof of traffic to your blog and others will need you to earn a number of referrals to stay in the program.

I found this with Amazon if you do not earn a referral in 6 months, they do take you out of the program, but you can instantly reapply.

Others will let you join without much hassle, for example Click Bank aren’t particular about who can join their affiliate program.

Top Niches Ideas for Affiliate Marketing

If you are a little stuck on a niche to use, below are the topics people are seeking help in:

  • Health/Fitness Related Niches
    • Losing Weight
    • Health & Beauty
    • Reduce Stress
  • Technology/Gaming
    • Smart Devices (is huge at the moment)
  • Lifestyle/Home/Garden
    • Fashion
    • High-End Luxury
    • Travel
    • Sports & Outdoors
  • Online Jobs/Make Money Online
    • Business
    • Finance & Insurance Advice

Creating Awesome Content to Drive Sales

Awesome Content

Creating content is the key to any blog, let alone with affiliate marketing.  There are plenty of opportunities for creating content that will help you monetise your website:

  • Genuine Product Reviews
  • Blog Posts that:
    • Solve Problems in the given Niche
    • Answer Questions
  • In text Content Links
  • Email Promotions
  • Social Media Promotions
  • Create added value for those using your affiliate links
    • Free eBooks
    • An exclusive Facebook groups
  • Supplementing resources to support with any product you promote

Can I Compete with Established Affiliate Marketers?

Of course, you can! Affiliate Marketing is a major growth area at the moment – with revenue going from $3billion in 2016 to Can I Compete Online?$6billion in 2018 and yet there it is still growing.

Many companies are realising how expensive it is to have massive marketing campaigns, but if they use the affiliate marketing route – they will get more exposure and pay a lot less in commissions.

Some niches are more competitive than others, but again if you target the right keywords with awesome content you can easily benefit from Affiliate Marketing.

Keeping Everything Legit

There are obviously some things to consider when it comes to the legal side of affiliate marketing.

Honesty & Transparency

This is also key to building up a trust with the reader, if they trust you they will consider buying off of you.  Be honest with them about the use of affiliate links. Add a disclaimer – see mine below:


“One of the ways I try to cover the costs of maintaining Best Affiliate Marketing Tools and offer free courses to my audience is via a small number of affiliate partnerships (with tools I genuinely use) where I get a small percentage commission on sales made via referral. You don’t pay any more for purchasing via my affiliate links – in fact in some cases you will even receive a discount. If you click one of my affiliate links, your support is really appreciated!  Learn more here”.

By placing a disclaimer in your website, it helps with your honesty, it also helps with the legal side of affiliate marketing.  There are stringent laws in place. You will need to add an affiliate disclosure page to your website.


There you go, how to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners.  I would be lying it was as simple as that.  I would not have been successful with affiliate marketing if it hadn’t been for the help and support of Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is a training platform, specialising in Affiliate Marketing with Affiliate Marketing Tools, Website Builder and Expert Help & Support.

I joined about 2 years ago and have not looked back. If you do want to start the right way in Affiliate Marketing, I do advise you to read my Wealthy Affiliate Review and make your own decision on whether their platform will help you.

If you have any questions about Affiliate Marketing, getting started or you are struggling with Affiliate Marketing in general – please get in touch, leave me a comment below and I promise to get back to you as soon as.  I am here to help anyone I can.

Thanks for reading


28 thoughts on “How to Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing for Beginners”

  1. Great overview article for someone considering venturing into affiliate marketing. I do tend to not use Google AdSense. Thanks for the information!

    • Hi Lynne,
      thanks for taking the time to visit my site, Google Adsense has its uses, but I wouldn’t really use it until you have a high volume of traffic making it worthwhile. Adding it to a new website could affect the feel of it and put people off.

  2. This is really great information and affiliate marketing does seem a little overwhelming at first. I actually did not know about all the affiliate networks you have listed, so that was helpful for me. My niche is kind of a hard nut to crack as far as getting a nice income from, but I am patient and I know it will come. How long have you been an affiliate marketer?

    • Hi,
      thanks for taking the time to visit my site. I know what you mean, there is a lot to get your head around – especially at first. But having the right kind of support makes it worthwhile. I have been an affiliate marketer for a couple of years now. I wish you luck in your niche, I am sure you will achieve your goals.
      All the best

  3. John,
    Loved your article on how to make money online with affiliate marketing for beginners. Very well written and conveyed a great overview of the entire affiliate marketing realm. I really like the way you break it down in easy to understand sections.
    It’s wild. About a year ago when I found out what affiliate marketing was I was surprised I hadn’t really thought about it before. Now that I have figured out how to build a website and create a blog and promote a few products, I see it everywhere! The WA community is absolutely wonderful, appreciate you mentioning this fine resource.
    Keep up the awesome work,
    Mat A.

    • Hey Mate,

      thanks for taking the time to check out my post – Whilst Affiliate Marketing is growing massively, there are still many who are not aware of it or the benefits it reaps.  Unfortunately there are too many fake promises out there of easy money that make people weary of online businesses.

      Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to to connect with like minded people and I am so glad you are working towards your success!

      Thanks again


  4. A great website on the tools needed to monetize your presence online. The list includes selection of niche which is one of the more critical reasons for failure or success in online marketing.
    They say that any niche will make money but it is also true that certain niches make more money than others.
    Clear concise and very informative site.


    • Hey Joe,

      thanks for your comments and checking out my post.  To a degree you can be successful in any niche, but there needs to be a customer base to be able to get the most of that niche.  The advantage of choosing a niche you know something about is – you will find it easier to build up an authority site.

      But I agree, there do seem to be niches that are more likely to yield better results – and that is because they have more viewers interested (ie. making money online) and they tend to be unsure about the right way to go (and want help).

      I am glad you found it useful, thanks John


  5. As someone who is an affiliate marketer, your post is spot on for all the essentials. I use ShareASale as my affiliate network, but I did not know of the others you mentioned like Rakuten and Awin. 

    Also, I am looking to build another affiliate site and was stumped, but you pointed out some great topics like ‘smart devices’. As you mentioned, this is a huge topic right now and I am extremely intrigued by your suggestion. 

    Great post and great insight into the world of affiliate marketing. I am for sure going to come back to this site when I look to build my next affiliate website!

    • Hey,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments. I appreciate your comments, thanks

      Awin is the largest Affiliate Network and (depending) on your niche can be a great partner.  

      Smart Devices are getting more and more popular, but like most purchases online people want to know more about them before they buy them, if you do decide to venture down that route, it would be a great one as I can only see the smart device market growing and growing.  Amazon has just launched a new range and Google is constantly looking to catch up.  But then there is all the products that go with it, from smart light bulbs to Heating system connections.

      Good Luck with your Affiliate Marketing Business and if you need any help, let me know.



  6. Great article!  You’ve really laid out well what Affiliate Marketing is.  Bringing people great information that can help them decide if AM is for them.  The more I learn the more I like it because of the fact that through your website your providing a service for people that they usually wouldn’t get at a department store.  You’re objective and lead people to the products that are most likely to serve their needs.  A lot more people are doing their research online before making the decision to purchase!  So the need for Affiliate Marketers is still continuing to grow!  Great website and helpful article.  Thank you!

    • Hey Melanie,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.

      Researching products and services online is becoming more common and it is down to people wanting to make sure they are buying into the right thing.  When we take Affiliate Marketing, there are products out there that state they are AM but they are actually scams or MLM products.  If someone gets caught by the flashy ad, they can end up losing their money or personal data and it can affect them trusting anything online.

      My primary goal is to help people learn about Affiliate Marketing in a safe environment and learning about genuine opportunities.  I am glad you like what I am doing and good luck to you.



  7. Yes, I agree that Adsense puts the audience off. Personally when I’m reading anything on any website, I do get irritated when there are too many ads, cos I just want to focus on the reading!

    I love your top niche ideas. I happen to be in one of them – the health niche. And I’m loving it, all the writing and helping people. 

    Thank you for this article, affiliate marketing is the way to go. 

    • Hey Joo,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving your comments.

      Part of having an online business is building trust with the audience and having too many ads on a site is definitely something that puts people off.  There is a point where people will consider adding ads to their sites – but they need to understand that ad placement is key to keeping your audience happy.

      I am glad you are doing well in your niche.


  8. Hi John,

    Wow, you’ve done an excellent job of explaining how to make money with affiliate marketing!

    I’ve been doing this for quite a few years now, but I haven’t heard of the affiliate network, Awin, yet. I’ve heard of the rest of them, and have joined a few of them, although I find some work much better than others for myself anyways.

    I suppose it all depends on the niche you choose, on how well they work or not when it comes to joining affiliate networks. I’ll have to check out Awin and see what they offer.

    Anyways, you’ve definitely laid out the groundwork for starting out as an affiliate marketer! Very well done in my opinion…your post says it all on what it is and what you can do to get started with it.

    It’s very true that it isn’t as easy as so many others say it is, and you’ve shared a lot of great pointers here such as writing to be helpful, and staying relevant to your topic. I see so many websites that have ads pasted all over the place, which makes it hard to even read what you clicked on it for in the first place, so I’m glad you mentioned this.

    Like yourself, I too would have been lost as to how to get started on affiliate marketing without the help of Wealthy Affiliate. Actually, I’d never heard of it before until finding them, and they have an excellent platform to train a person step by step, which is something I sure needed back then, lol. However, I still learn new things every day there as well, which help to keep my sales to my niche sites going.

    Nice to meet another community member, btw! Keep up the awesome work here, John!

    Best wishes ~Sherry

    • Hey Sherry,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.  thanks for your feedback on it.  Really understanding affiliate marketing helps people avoid common scams masked as affiliate marketing.

      Awin is actually one of the largest affiliate networks online, but it is due to a number of mergers.  It is big here in the UK but is definitely growing in the US.  I recently wrote a post about it, check it out.

      I agree with you, Wealthy Affiliate was the reason why I found success online with affiliate marketing. Their training will definitely help people not only understand affiliate marketing but actually build an online business that will be your foundation for success in affiliate marketing.  Wealthy Affiliate will definitely get help you get started.

      Thanks again Sherry,


  9. Nice introduction for people that want to get started in this business. You’ve answered pretty much the first questions one would ask if interested in this.

    Amazon are indeed pretty harsh on newcomers, kicking you out if you don’t make the deadline for the sale, while others, like Shareasale will never ever bother you 🙂

    I remember when I started, I barely maded it before the  Amazon deadline, earning $0.34…

    • Hey Jurgen,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.  Some might think Amazon are quite harsh with 6 months, but I bet they get inundated with requests and most wannabe’s slack off quite soon into their quest.

      So, I do get why they do it.  But in my experience, you shouldn’t really apply for affiliate programs until you build up your traffic anyway.

      You are right about others like shareasale being quite friendly to new affiliate. but it will depend on your niche.



  10. I created my first ever website sometime in January 2018, the problem part is on creation of content and driving traffic. I do blogging as part time because most of the time I am committed to my 9-5 job, so I can only manage to write 1 article per week. I have managed to do that. But I am receiving zero traffic as of now. It seems I will never achieving anything, am confused. Need your advise on how best I can work to achieve greatness considering my situation. 

    Will really appreciate your help.

    • Hey,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.  first thing i will point out, is achieving 1 post a week whilst you have a full time job is an amazing thing.  But in reality, if you are only posting once a week, it will take more time.  

      But there are a few things you need to review, as if you are receiving no traffic, there might be an underlying reason.

      First off, are you targeting a highly competitive niche? Do your keywords follow the low-hanging-fruit. Average searches of over 100, QSR of less than 50?

      Are your posts in-depth, we recommend over 1000 words of high quality content.  

      There may be a number of reasons why you may not be seeing the results you want – traffic.  but it might be worth getting someone you know to read one of your articles and give you some feedback on it.

      that might give you an indicator into why you are still not seeing any traffic.

      If you want to get a better understand or need some guidance with your website and where it could be improved, I recommend you join a community that can help you – they have feedback tools and important engagement tools all designed to improving your rankings – this will lead to better traffic results.  Learn more in my Wealthy Affiliate review.



  11. One thing that has worked for me over the years is joining affiliate programs from Shareasale or CJ.  Once, you start making good money with a program.  Email the affiliate manager and ask to be moved to their in-house affiliate program.  9 times out of 10 they will do it.  What is great is they will give you a raise after that.  

    I have done it with InMotion Hosting and started at $80/sale.  Now, I earn $185/sale.  It was first increased from 100 then 130 then 150 and finally $185.

    • Hey Garen,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.  That is a great way of increasing your referral income.  It all starts somewhere and can lead to better opportunities down the road. Well Done



  12. Great article John.Affiliate marketing is popular these days but it seems to be complicated and overwhelming program. I am trying to start affiliate marketing but i would need to learn much about it. Thank you for detailing how it works and giving hope to the beginners for their future success.

    I believe i will be passing through your site to learn more about affiliate marketing

    • Hey Julienne,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.

      Anything new can seem daunting, especially when it involves a computer or the online world.  Most will give up before even getting started due to it “Sounding Difficult”. But with the right help and guidance, anything can be achieved.  I didn’t even know the term affiliate marketing before I started online and now I am dedicated to helping others achieve their goals.

      Any time I can help, just let me know



  13. Wow great pointers here for beginning affiliate marketers! Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn passive income, which means you can generate income while at another job, on vacation or even asleep! You’ve created a very nice and straightforward explanation of what affiliate marketing is here. Niches and content are really important like you said. You’ve referenced a great product in Wealthy Affiliate, highly recommended for beginners out there.

    • Hey,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments. Affiliate Marketing is a great way for you to get started online.  Regardless of your experience, it is a fantastic starting point as you can literally pick any niche.  Picking your niche is an important step and creating the right content is a major factor in your success.

      But when you have training like that available at Wealthy Affiliate, you will know exactly every step that you need to complete.

      Thanks again


  14. Hi John, interesting overview of affiliate marketing you have done up here and surely, you have succeeded in breaking down the potentials in making money with affiliate marketing. 

    Firstly, I would like to say, this is helpful especially for beginners like me on affiliate marketing and blogging. 

    I’ve been rejected by some platforms from being an affiliate and surely, I will brace up and be more diligent in order to increase traffic to my site as I think that’s been the major reason most have rejected me. Thanks for this

    • Hi RoDarrick,

      thanks for checking out our blog and for writing some comments.  We have to think of it from the affiliate programs point of view too.  They want to promote their products to an audience, they will make money as you will make money. 

      But if you do not have an audience, they will be ruthless and reject you simply because it does not make sound business sense.

      That is why when you look at the steps, monetising your website should be the last step.  Bring the audience and then you can appear more appealing to these affiliate programs and they will accept you.

      I wish you luck, keep going with creating content and you will soon be in a position to get accepted into these affiliate programs.

      All the best



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