There are loads of free affiliate marketing guides for beginners online.

But I think that many of them are too overwhelming to make them actionable.

Which is why I’ve written this super-simple 5-step affiliate marketing blueprint.

Where I’ve boiled everything down to what really matters.

So that you can take effective action.

And get started with affiliate marketing today.

Without getting lost.

(There’s a concise, step-by-step summary at the very end of the article).

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing allows you to promote the products or services of a company.

In exchange for a percentage of the profits from each successful sale that you generate.

For example, if you bought a really awesome smartphone – you might tell your friend.

Who may then go ahead and buy the same item – based on your recommendation.

Online affiliate marketing works on the same principle.

Wealthy Affiliate Money Cycle Infographic

Except you’re compensated financially for your efforts.

Affiliate links ensure that you’ll get the credit for each person that clicks through and makes a purchase.

More formally, the product creator is called the vendor.

The buyer is the consumer.

And you’re the affiliate.

Your job as an affiliate is to connect consumers with products that can help solve their problems effectively.

What Are the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?

There are loads of reasons why you should start affiliate marketing today.

For example:

1: The Income Is Passive (And Recurring)

Affiliate marketing allows you to generate an income without having to trade your time for money in a linear fashion.

For example, if you stop showing up to your day-job.

You won’t get paid.

Conversely, once you’ve done the initial work of creating your ‘affiliate funnel’.

You can leave it alone to capture sales over and over again.

Whilst you go and do other things.

This ‘hands off’ approach to making money is the single biggest benefit of affiliate marketing in my opinion.

2: Anyone Can Start Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has an almost invisible barrier to entry.

Because whereas a ‘real’ business may require large upfront costs and ongoing overheads.

You can start affiliate marketing for free.

Plus, you don’t have to employ anyone.

Nor do you need to buy any stock, deal with returns, or even provide customer service.

Because all of that’s handled by the vendor.

3: Create Multiple Streams of Income

The problem with regular jobs is that there’s only so much of your time that you can trade for money.

Which puts a cap on your earning potential.

Conversely, affiliate marketing is ‘performance-based’.

And has the potential to generate revenue on ‘auto-pilot’.

This means that once you’ve set up a successful affiliate funnel, you can leave it alone to make money.

Freeing up your time to work on another funnel.

Thus allowing you to generate multiple streams of income.

Which is always a smart move because you’re not putting all of your financial eggs in one basket.

And could help you prepare for the much feared ‘upcoming’ economic downturn in 2019/2020.

Video credit: The Economist

How Much Money Can You Realistically Make from Affiliate Marketing?

The earning potential from affiliate marketing is subject to a lot of hype.

Yes, there are folks out there earning 7-figures a year from affiliate marketing.

But what’s a realistic amount?

Here’s my own modest example.

+$10,000 From a Hobby Website

In 2017, I set up a website that tested and reviewed betting products.

I wrote about 100 keyword focused blog posts.

And monetised around 10% of the written content with affiliate links.

The outcome?

I made $10,893.77 for the year in affiliate sales:

Clickbank Affiliate Earnings 2017

Not a massive sum of money.

But the point is that I was able to generate a passive income basically out of thin air using affiliate marketing strategies.

How did I do it?

I just followed and implemented the affiliate training course over at Wealthy Affiliate.

$5,195.20 in One Month

Todd followed the same affiliate marketing training course that I did.

And he now makes more than $5,000 each month.

Todd Wealthy Affiliate Success Story

If you’d like to learn more about how Wealthy Affiliate can help you make money from affiliate marketing.

Check out my Wealthy Affiliate review.

How Long Does it Take to Get Results from Affiliate Marketing?

Technically, you can start making money as soon as you have your affiliate links set up.

And an audience that’s willing to click them and make a purchase.

The reality?

In my case, it took me around 3 months to start making my first sales.

This was because I was getting my traffic from Google using SEO (‘search engine optimisation‘) techniques.

(More on SEO shortly).

Which meant that my ‘traffic’ (visitors to my website) didn’t start to really pick up until the 6-8 month mark.

At which point – more sales followed.

How to Speed Up Your Affiliate Marketing Success

For me?

Attempting to learn affiliate marketing by myself was like trying to become a brain surgeon by reading Wikipedia.

Because I wasted YEARS trying to figure out affiliate marketing alone.

With very little to show for it.

But my success accelerated exponentially when I followed the training at Wealthy Affiliate.

This seems to be a common theme.

Because Jerry also spent a lot of time and money on various affiliate training programmes whilst trying to grow his YouTube channel.

But once he started following Wealthy Affiliate’s FREE Entrepreneur Training Programme.

He started to experience amazing success.

Such as earning $7,395 in one WEEK:

Jerry Huang Wealthy Affiliate Success Story

How to Start Affiliate Marketing in 5-Steps Right Now (For Free)

Like I said.

Most affiliate marketing guides are difficult to implement effectively.

Because they’re either too overwhelming.

Or are just randomly stuffed with ‘affiliate marketing tips’ that lack any sort of actionable congruence.


Here are the exact 5 steps that helped me, Todd, and Jerry start making money from affiliate marketing.

Follow these steps in order.

And you’ll be waaay ahead of the average affiliate marketer.

Who’s still trying to buy backlink packages on Fiverr 😉

1: Choose a Niche

This absolutely crucial.

Affiliate marketing may not come with the same expenses as setting up a brick-and-mortar business.

But it’s still a business.

Which means one thing…

You MUST provide value to a specific segment of the market.

Because even though you’re not selling a product directly.

Your purpose as an affiliate marketer is to introduce people to products that can help them overcome a specific problem.

A ‘niche‘ is the name given to a portion of the market that’s looking for solutions to a specific set of problems.

Get Specific

The key to getting results as a novice affiliate marketer is specificity.

Pick a hyper-targeted portion of the market.

For example, ‘weight loss’ is a topic.

Topics contain many niches and many different problems that may be difficult to address concurrently.

So, by picking just ONE ‘niche’ you’ll resonate with your target audience more effectively.

Which will lead to a better ‘conversion rate’ (sales).

Because you’ll become the ‘go to’ solution in peoples’ minds for their specific issue.

For example, ‘women over 40 trying to lose weight’ is a niche that exists inside the ‘weight loss’ topic.

And it’s going to be much easier to create valuable content because it’s going to be anchored around the same core issue.

Get Emotive

Some niches are likely to be more profitable than others.

It’s absolutely possible that your ‘watercolour painting for retirees’ niche website could make you a full-time wage from affiliated products.

But you probably stand to make more money where the core problem is driven by a strong emotive desire to remove pain.

That’s why there’s always money to be made in the following topics:

  • Making money;
  • Health and fitness;
  • Relationships.

Drilling down into those topics to unearth specific niches and demographics is an excellent place to start.

You can learn how to do this properly in Lesson 3 of Wealthy Affiliate’s Entrepreneur Training Course.

Get Personal

It’s always a good idea to choose an ‘evergreen’ (stable) niche that’s well monetised.

But if you’re not genuinely interested in your niche.

Then you’ll probably fail.


Two reasons:

1: You won’t care enough about your target audience to understand their problems.

2: You won’t be driven to create enough content.

For example, I’m able to continually produce content for Online Income Solutions because I’m actively involved in making money online each day.

This means that I really understand the issues that face matched bettors, affiliate marketers, and betting system enthusiasts in this space.

(Yes, I’m actually targeting multiple ‘niches’ – but they’re all linked by the same core problem).

Plus, because I actually use the strategies that I teach.

I’m able to create unique content based on my personal experiences.

Rather than relying exclusively on research alone.

But there’s one thing to keep in mind.

You DON’T Need to Already Be An Expert!

There’s no need to already be an authority in your niche for you to start creating valuable content in it.

Let’s say that you want to start a website that shows newbies how to set up a profitable Amazon Arbitrage online business.

Because you’re genuinely interested in the subject.

But you don’t know a damn thing about Amazon Arbitrage!

No worries.

The solution?

Start a ‘journey’ style niche website.

Where you make it abundantly clear that you’re NOT an expert in Amazon Arbitrage.

But rather a novice who’s trying to find out ‘what works’.

This strategy is effective because your ‘struggle’ will resonate with your target audience (other newbies in your niche).

This will build trust.

Which leads to ‘selling’ power (‘influencer marketing’) once you hit the winning formula and start recommending products.

‘Document – Don’t Create’

This ‘document – don’t create’ strategy is also advocated by hyper-successful entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk:

Video credit: GaryVee

For example, at 3:40 Gary begins to say:

“Don’t front… it’s much smarter to talk to the world about your process of going through this – rather than the advice that you THINK you should be giving them.”

This is why ‘Vlogs’ can really help you connect with your niche.

And build a loyal following that you can sell to over time.

But good old-fashioned blogging can work too.

2: Find Affiliate Products to Recommend

Have you successfully identified the core problem(s) in your niche?

Then you now need to go and find some monetised solutions!

How do you do this?

By joining high-quality affiliate networks.

For example, the audience for my betting system niche website wanted, well… betting products that worked!

And I was able to find most of them on the ClickBank Marketplace.

Where I could set up my affiliate links and pool my earnings in one place.

However, I also joined independent affiliate schemes too.

For more advice on finding the best affiliate programmes.

Check out Lesson 3 of Wealthy Affiliate’s Entrepreneur Training Course.

3: Set Up Your Website

You know who your target audience is.

You’ve identified the problems that they need solving.

And you know which affiliate products will do this.

But how do you connect the dots?


Via your own website.

Why a website?

Because it’s a super-simple way to capture traffic from the search engines without having to spend loads of money on advertising.

Your website is where you’ll build your ‘brand’.

By creating high-quality content that SHOWS your target audience how to fix their problems using your affiliated products.

You can also leverage social media and YouTube to drive more visitors to your website.

And ultimately make sales.

How to Set Up Your First Website for FREE

You don’t need to hire a developer to create your website.

Because you can set one up for FREE with Wealthy Affiliate’s SiteRubix platform.

Their ‘builder’ will do all of the heavy lifting for you.

Without the need to know any coding languages.

And once you’re ready to brand your own domain.

You can take full advantage of Wealthy Affiliate’s managed WordPress hosting environment.

Check out Lesson 4 to get started.

4: Get Targeted Traffic

Ok, so you’ve got your website up and running.

But it’s a ghost town.

So, how do you actually get people to visit your website and buy your affiliated products?

The simple answer:

Keyword focused blog posts.

A keyword is a specific phrase that your ideal customer types into Google to find a solution to their problem.

I use the Jaaxy Keyword Tool to find out how many searches a specific keyword gets each month.

And discover how easy or difficult it is to ‘rank’ on the first page of Google for that term.

(Relative to the number and ‘strength’ of the other websites who are also targeting that same keyword).

For example, using Jaaxy, I can see that the keyword ‘how to make money selling on Amazon‘ gets 354 searches each month:

From which I’d get an estimated 61 visitors if I rank on the first page of Google for that term.

And the likelihood of obtaining this ranking is ‘Great’ based on the number of competing websites.

SEO – How to Get Ranked On the First Page of Google

Every blog post that you write should be focused around ONE keyword.

And you’ll want to structure your blog posts so that they are SEO (‘search engine optimisation‘) friendly.

Following Google’s SEO guidelines gives your blog posts the best possible chance of ranking well in the search engines.

Which is the key to connecting with your niche audience via ‘search’.

Thus making SEO vital to the success of your online affiliate business.

SEO Made Easy

But SEO doesn’t have to be the technical headache that it appears to be.

There’s a really simple hack that will take care of all the geeky stuff in a couple of clicks.

Check it out in Lesson 6 of Wealthy Affiliate’s FREE training course.

(When I did what they said – I started seeing my posts rank higher and faster):

Example of How to Rank on Page 1 Position One of Google in Less than 1 Hour

5: Make Sales

As any experienced affiliate marketer will tell you.

Traffic does NOT automatically mean sales!

The secret?

Understanding ‘buyer intent’.

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

Because all you need to do is take your primary keyword and think about what someone who types that word into Google is REALLY looking for.

Affiliate marketing is the art of ‘selling without selling’.

But there’s one awesome tactic that can massively increase your chances of making money from your content:

Writing Product Reviews!

When someone types in ‘[name of product] review’ into Google (or even YouTube), they are probably thinking about making a purchase.

The same goes for ‘[product X vs product Y]’ searches.

So, by writing product reviews for your affiliated products, you can target folks who are more likely to buy them.

You can also ‘pre-sell’ to people who are in the ‘research’ phase by writing ‘how to solve [niche problem X]‘ articles.

You can then show them how to fix their problem using your affiliated products.

Then link to your review.

Where they’ll be ‘warmed up’ to the sale because they’ll already know how the product can help them.

Conclusion: Your Affiliate Marketing Action Plan

Are you ready to start making money from affiliate marketing?

Then here’s what you need to do to get started today:

1: Choose a niche;

1.1: Identify the core (emotive) problems in your niche;

1.2: Make sure that you’re actually interested in your niche;

1.3 Remember that you DON’T need to already be an expert in your niche.

2: Find high-quality affiliate products to solve your niche’s problems.

3: Build your website.

4: Find at least 20 keywords that you can create content around.

5: Write keyword focused reviews for your affiliate products;

5.1: Create keyword focused ‘how to [solve niche problem]’ articles and link to your product reviews.

How to Get Faster Results

I’ve mentioned Wealthy Affiliate a few times in this post.

And with good reason.

Because they have a FREE training course that will show you how to execute the above steps properly.

Thus ensuring that you speed up the rate at which you’re likely to get results from affiliate marketing.

Click the button below to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate.

And discover how to get started for FREE.