Complete Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing

By | June 9, 2019

A step by step complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing that will accelerate your earning potential in the shortest amount of time. By following this proven plan, you’ll have the knowledge to select the best affiliate program for you to begin earning commissions in the first week. It is not rocket science. Anyone can do it.

complete beginners guide to affiliate marketing

A table of Contents that this guide will reveal is as follows:


Deciding If Affiliate Marketing Is Right For You

What Is Niche Marketing?
Where To Start In Affiliate Marketing
The Best Source Of Passive Income

Deciding If Affiliate Marketing Is Right For You

The truth about affiliate marketing: It is the easiest way to earn online income. But, unfortunately, it is not for everyone. Some people just don’t have the drive to continually write articles that will attract buyers to their affiliate links. There are many false claims on the Internet that say no work required to earn easy money. This is just not true. It does take work.

It is just like any other business. You can’t expect to earn an income without doing some kind of work. The idea of building it and forget it is a fallacy. It takes continual work of writing, marketing, and tweaking your website to get the best performance.

Another fallacy I hear all the time is that an online business is free. NO, it isn’t free. Just like any other business, you can’t expect to build a money-making business without expenses. However, the great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can build it on a shoestring budget and still earn an incredible amount of income.

Before I move on, you will want to ask yourself these questions to see if affiliate marketing is something you want to pursue. If you answer YES to these questions then affiliate marketing can be your answer to increasing your income, whether a part-time or full-time income. The questions you need to answer to make your decision on becoming an affiliate marketer are:

  • Are you committed to writing an article for your website at least once a week?
  • Are you able to learn the skills required to get your website ranking in the search engines?
  • Are you willing to join groups in your niche to market your website?
  • Can you learn how to do keyword research for search terms that people use to find products online?
  • Do you have the passion to stay active in marketing your website?

As I said earlier it takes work and skills to achieve success. All the skills that are necessary are easy to learn. Like when you first learned how to walk, you took one step at a time. This complete guide to affiliate marketing will give you a step by step procedure in how to be successful with affiliate marketing.

Once you have a good foundation laid and your website is attracting visitors’, then, and only then, are you able to decelerate your hard work to idle speed and reap the benefits. To take a peek at some successful affiliate marketers please click on this link: How Some Affiliate Marketers Are Finding Success With This Secret.

Are you committed? Building the website is the easy part. It takes less than 30 seconds to build your website. The hard part is the researching on what to write, then write it, engaging with comments from visitors’, marketing your site to the world, and do this five or six days a week. The key to all this writing is to select a niche that you love or are passionate about. What is Affiliate Marketing About? gives you information about the process of starting in affiliate marketing.

This makes the writing so much easier. If you really love living a healthy lifestyle, for example, and want others to know how to live this healthy lifestyle, then creating a website about a healthy lifestyle is a great niche for you. Ideally, the niche that you select will be one that you would do anyway because you love to talk about it and write about it.

This will make the burden of writing quality content for your website so much easier than selecting a niche you don’t like or know anything about. To learn more about this see How To Make Money On Affiliate Programs

Learn the skills required to operate your own online business. There are not very many skills that you must possess before you start your online business. These skills can easily be learned in a short period of time. You can find all the SEO knowledge you will ever need at How To SEO Your Website and Improve Rankings

Marketing your website to the world can be a tedious job. To be a successful marketer you will use the 80/20 rule. 80% marketing, 20% writing and website related duties. What Is Website Marketing will give examples of marketing techniques to follow.

Keyword research. To do this correctly is one of the most important keys to being a successful affiliate marketer. It’s not just selecting the keyword that has a high monthly search volume and low competition. There is an art to correctly selecting the right keyword term to write about. For more information on keywords click on How To Use Keywords For An Article and also How To Search For Keyword

Staying dedicated and know your purpose. Consistency is the name of the game. It doesn’t matter when you publish content on your site, but it does matter whether you do it on a consistent basis. Don’t publish one article each day for three days straight, and then not publish anything for a week. Search engines control the traffic that they send to your website. They prefer a consistent publishing schedule over a random one.


If you have any questions or suggestions about this post I want you to contact me with your comment or suggestion. Bookmark this post for your future reference. My intentions are to help you in making the best decision for you. If I can be of any further help to you I welcome the opportunity in serving you.

What Is Niche Marketing?


Niche Marketing


Getting started. Congratulations on deciding to become an affiliate marketer. Have you decided on a niche to begin your online journey? If you don’t understand my terminology of a niche this article will help you. What is a Niche Market?

Wikipedia defines a niche as “A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment. What does this mean to you?

Niche Marketing is selecting a specific market or group of people that like or consume the products of this niche. No business—particularly a small one—can be all things to all people. The more narrowly you can define your target market, the better. This process is known as creating a niche and is key to success for even the biggest companies.

A niche is basically just a group of people (or market) that all like the same thing. Like baseball, for example, you will find a group of people that love the sport. You won’t be able to attract these people to a website that is dedicated to bowling. So affiliate marketing is really all about selecting a “niche” that you promote.

So too is an affiliate website. Sometimes it is referred to as a “Niche Website”, meaning it focuses on one narrow specific market. If your choice of an affiliate website is Baseball, for example, this market is huge. It is much too broad of a market to have any success with. Baseball can be narrowed down to one specific market, similar to the breakdown example below:

  1. Baseball >> baseball players >> baseball cards
  2. Baseball >> baseball equipment >> baseball bats >> baseball wooden bats
  3. Baseball >> baseball equipment >> baseball caps and jerseys >> baseball little league caps and jerseys

As you can see in the example above, baseball is too broad of a market to have any success with. A website CAN NOT be a Walmart online because when people search for a product online they are specific. They prefer a specialty store (website) over an “anything” store because specialty stores cater to only one target market.

To help you to single out a specific niche, answer these questions:

  • Who is your target market? Is it teenagers ages 13 to 18? Boys or girls? With whom do you want to do business? Be as specific as you can. Identify the geographic range and the types of businesses or customers you want your business to target. If you don’t know whom you want to do business with, you can’t make contact.
  • Focus on this target market. For example, a retail clothing business is not a niche but a field. Your niche isn’t the same as the field. Narrow down to a specific item or product. The narrower you go, the better.
  • Who is your ideal customer? What is their demographics, like yearly salary, age, sex, geographic area, etc?

If you need help in deciding what niche you should choose to start your affiliate marketing website I encourage you to contact me with your questions.

Where To Start In Affiliate Marketing


Congratulations on your choice of a niche market to get started in. Now let us go to the next step.

The next three things you are going to need is a website, a host for your website, and some online tools to help boost your website in the search rankings.

My recommendations for a website is to use WordPress. WordPress is a type of website that is the easiest to use because there is no coding required to create articles. There are over 4100 different themes for WordPress that allows you the choice of the perfect website. Oh yes, the best part about WordPress, it is FREE.

It gives you the option to have a blog for your Post (articles), Pages for your website, like your privacy policy (required), About Me, etc, and allows you to place advertisements such as Google AdSense on your post for revenue.

WordPress uses what is called “plugins”, which are tiny programs that give WordPress the power of any traditional website, without computer coding. Once a WordPress website is installed on a hosts’ server, plugins can be added that automatically enhance the website. In the Online Tools Section, I explain more about plugins.


You can add images and pictures with the click of your mouse which makes creating dynamic articles very easy.


Stay far away from all the website builder programs scattered throughout the search results. For the money spent you are much better off with a responsive WordPress website. A Responsive WordPress website is a website that automatically adjusts its size to the visitors’ device, such as a desktop, Tablet or Smartphone.


Your Website – You are ready to start your online business. Choose a Website Theme that fits your niche. For example, If you have products that you want to sell, a Theme like a Magazine, or Woo eCommerce will be a great fit for your website. If your website will be for affiliate products only hen almost any theme will do just so long as it is easy for the website visitor to navigate to find what they are looking for.

The Theme to this website is the Iconic One. It is a WordPress website. It is the free version of this Theme. There is also a paid version that allows me to have much more control over appearance but for the money (free) I am happy with what I have.


For best results, a website needs to have minimal distractions and easy to follow navigation. You don’t want a website that looks like the image below.


bad website design

The image above is an actual website. Notice how cluttered the page is. It is extremely confusing for a visitor landing on this page to know what to do. More is not better. A simple design that has easy navigation allows a visitor to instantly know where to go to find what they are searching for.



Finding a good host for your website – Another important part of this equation is finding a good “host” for your website. A “HOST” is a company that is connected to the Internet and has a server computer that your website lives in. Not all host are alike nor is their price the same. Most of these hosts’ charge extra for online tools such as SSL certificates, Site Speed, email addresses, support for website down, etc.

Most Hosts today can run your WordPress website on their servers. You download a Theme that you want from, find a host, and then upload your WordPress Theme to their server computer. It isn’t difficult at all. However, there is a better solution to all of this.

My #1 recommendation for selecting, building, and using your website and learning everything about affiliate marketing is by joining Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate or WA for short has two levels of membership: Free and Premium. Everyone joins for free to allow anyone the chance to see what it is like to have your own website.

Another great reference is the post I wrote at Wealthy Affiliate reflecting on the two free websites that WA gives new members of their platform. You may want to read it here: Where To Find The Best Free Website Builder.

You can remain a free member for the rest of your life or, become a Premium member currently at $49/month, or $359/ year. WA gives you many online tools, such as free SSL certificate, free Email addresses, free Keyword Tool, plus over 200 hours of free training on video. There is no doubt, this is the best host with the most.

If you can’t afford the yearly fee I totally understand. If you choose to join another host, like Bluehost or HostGator, you won’t get some above online tools for free.
Some Hosts to consider in your decision which is my top four choices:

If you would like more hosts’ to compare please read the CNet Report on Host.


Affiliate marketing for beginners


Online Tools To consider – Some of the tools you will need when you get your website live online is a Keyword Tool. To learn more about this special tool please refer to my post on What Is Jaaxy About.  Jaaxy is a keyword tool specially built for affiliate marketing. It scours the Internet for the search terms that people are using to find what they are looking for online.

Jaaxy measures three metrics, search volume per month, how much traffic to expect if your website has Page One, Position One of Google, and QSR (Quoted Search Results) or competition. With these three metrics, you can find the perfect keyword term to base your article on to get to Page One, Position One of Google.


I know for a fact that this is true because I already have several posts at that position.


Online tools help you diagnose what is going on online so that you know what to do and when to do it. Some of these tools are plugins, as I mentioned earlier that enhance the power of WordPress. Most of these plugins are free, which I have provided the ones that are essential for your website to operate effectively and correctly.

  • All-In-One SEO
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • Pretty Links
  • SI Captcha Anti-Spam
  • Xml Sitemap
  • WP Super Cache


All-In-One SEO plugin – This plugin helps your website communicate properly with all the major search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It helps the author of the website write articles with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) properties that give your website a boost in the SERPs (search engine results page).

Accelerated Mobile Page – This plugin gives your website the ability to automatically provide a mobile-friendly version of your website for smartphone users. By having this plugin you increase your SE rankings.

Pretty Links – This plugin allows the author of the website the ability to mask the affiliate links into a much better-looking link. This is not a required plugin like the All-In-One SEO, but it is a useful tool that hides your affiliate links from visitors’ and/or competition websites.

SI Captcha Anti-Spam – This plugin is very helpful in guarding your website from robots spamming the comments section of your blog. You want engagement from people, not robots.

Xml Sitemap – This plugin I use to help submission of your posts to the search engines. It gives the search engines a sitemap in the computer code of your new post. In order to get your website and all your data in the search engines so people can find your website, your website must be indexed into the search engines. The All-In-One Plugin also has an XML Sitemap portion, but I use this plugin for my sitemap instead.
WP Super Cache – This plugin is like its name, it helps speed up the loading time of your website to the visitors’ device whether it is a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. The faster your website loads, the more potential your visitor will stay to view your website content.


If you have any questions or suggestions about this post I want you to contact me with your comment or suggestion. My intentions are to help you in making the best decision for you. If I can be of any further help to you I welcome the opportunity in serving you.

The Best Source Of Passive Income


The best source of passive income is an online platform that you build once and reap continual income from for months or years to come. Whether the platform is your own website, someone else website, like eBay, or just a storefront, like Shopify. The objective is to create an online platform and earn online income.

A website never sleeps. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t take off holidays or ever calls in sick. This online platform is the key to earning an income anytime, even when you are sleeping. By creating an affiliate website and joining an affiliate program you are creating an online business that has no limits on income.

Having a website has way more advantages comparing it to a 9 to 5 job. A 9 to 5 job, you are just trading your time for a paycheck, making your employer rich. A website, on the other hand, you are working for yourself making yourself rich. Isn’t that better?


A recap to the above instructions:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Find appropriate affiliate programs to join
  3. Build a website
  4. Get a good Host
  5. Research keywords to write content for your website
  6. Write high-quality content with rich keywords
  7. Start building an audience
  8. Learn on-site SEO for your website
  9. Market your website with Off-Site marketing techniques
  10. Use social media to grow your audience

Exceed Your Vision


12 thoughts on “Complete Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing

  1. Stella

    I totally agree to your points for checking whether a person should do affiliate marketing. It’s not for everyone. Writing reviews, in my opinion, is key to succeeding as well as following the instructions that I have learned at Wealthy Affiliate to the letter.

    I believe that If other people wanting to be successful at affiliate marketing emphasize paying close attention and following each step that you have provided, then they have no choice, but to become successful, that is, if they are committed and determined enough.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Stella, following a proven path to success, is the way to go. As in the old saying, Copy, Rinse, and repeat, is saying just follow the training to succeed. I thank you for your comment.

  2. Tom

    Hi Kenneth,

    This is a really good in-depth insight into affiliate marketing. I have an affiliate marketing website and I understand that it takes a while to make money. Could you give me an indication of how long it usually takes to start making money? I post at least three times per week.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Hello, Tom, thank you for the question. Once you have a website and getting your webpages indexed into the search engines, depending on the niche it will take anywhere from two weeks to six months. I know that is a very big window but a lot of factors are at play. Competition for your keyword term, the popularity of the niche, the quality of your content, how well your webpage ranks in the search engines, these are just four of the many variables that affect how soon you can start earning revenue. If this didn’t answer your question, please resubmit so as I can help you succeed.

  3. Grant

    From what I understand, there are two basic online businesses that are easy to start.  One is an online store, the other is affiliate marketing.  I like the affiliate marketing business model because you don’t have to stock products, deal with complaints or returns, or any of the other hassles that come with dealing with customers and products.  I also like the passive income that affiliate marketing can generate.

    Affiliate marketers help customers find the product that they are looking for, thus providing a valuable service.  Helping people is a good way to build trust, and to grow your business.  Good article.  Thanks.


    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      You are right, Grant, affiliate marketing is providing a link to people wanting to buy something and solving their problem. The customer is happy, the vendor is happy, and you have earned a commission. A win/win situation.

  4. Shubhangi

    Hey Ken,

    An excellent guide for beginners who want to know more about affiliate marketing.  Affiliate Marketing is a good option for anyone who wants to make money online.  Most of the times, newbies do not have proper knowledge and mindset to start an online business.

    You have given the right information and different options as well.  For me, Wealthy Affiliate is a no brainer, since it provides all the tools and training under one roof. They have been a great host and I am thankful for the support and help I have received from the members of their community.

    Thanks for a good read.


    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Thank you, Shubhangi, and you’re right about Wealthy Affiliate for being the host with the most. As far as the training to be an affiliate marketer, their training is unmatched anywhere. Knowledge is a power that will set your free.

  5. Riaz Shah

    Great guide Kenneth,

    I have this passion for games and I’ve been contemplating on building a blog, but seeing that the market is huge and I am very passionate about it, I think it’s high time I get into it, don’t you think? I know the gaming niche is wide to follow your niche marketing strategy, I would focus on games > Strategy Games > Medieval strategy games. Do you think that’s considered niche?

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      Riaz, I see you understand the philosophy of the more narrow your niche, the better the odds are to be successful. Yes, I think you would do very well considering you are passionate about it and that it is also a very popular niche. Go For It!

  6. Dominic

    Hi Kenneth

    This is a really well-researched article, I like that you are not trying to sugar coat Affiliate Marketing, while the skills are not difficult to learn the time commitment to start your own blogging site is huge and I think this is what stops most people. In my own experience picking the right niche is the real key, you don’t want something that is too competitive and impossible to rank in Google for but at the same time it can’t have too small an audience, Keep up the good advice.

    By the way, love the example of Lingscars, that is one busy looking website.

    1. Kenneth Merrick Post author

      I agree with you, Dominic, the Lingscars website is a great example of what NOT to do with a website. The objective of starting an online business is to earn a profit. You don’t pick something you know nothing about, but at the same time don’t launch into a too competitive niche until you have adequate skills. As you say choosing the right niche can make you, or break you.


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