How To Start Affiliate Marketing For Beginners - 7 Things to Know

Written by M Faiz
Updated on December 12, 2020

Hey, Faiz here. Welcome to my affiliate marketing for beginners guide, plus an important warning now before we jump right in. 

I want you to know that there's no sales pitch coming, there's no webinar for you to register to. I don't even have an affiliate marketing course to sell you. I know people who have been making money online as an affiliate marketer for decades.

In that time, they've made millions of dollars online, and I'm here to share the shady side of our industry. That's the warning, plus I'll tell you the right way to build this out, so you can understand how to do affiliate marketing. So, let's start with that warning. 


Affiliate Marketing Warning

Okay, there are many shady scam artists in this space, and they flock to youtube and youtube ads. You've probably already encountered them. They're always pressuring you to get on their webinars, which are fake, pre-recorded webinars, where they're not actually there. 

They're using money guns to show throw money around. They're sitting and flexing on their Porsches and their Lamborghinis. They're telling you you can make a hundred dollars a day doing this and 400 a day doing that, and you can just type names and make 30 an hour, and it's all lies; thats their entire business.

I call these guys the fake gurus and the greedy gurus, and their entire business model is built around selling you scams. Now there are a few, and I mean a very few affiliate marketing courses that you can trust. 

But, the real truth is that you can learn everything that you need if you're resourceful right here on this site. After spending much time in this market, I've learned a lot. And making this blog is one way of me giving back to society, giving to you. 

Honestly, I love the business, and it's a great business model. Because affiliates fill a very good, solid needed role between the consumer and the vendor. 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing

So let's talk about what affiliate marketing is and how it works at this point in time. 

Now for a business, affiliate marketing is a customer acquisition channel. It's an alternative to advertising, and I'm just going to give you a quick scenario so I can make a clear sense of why this is a valuable channel for business owners. 

Let's say you sell a product, and your product is a hundred dollar product, and it's a digital product by the way, so there's no cost of goods here. We'll talk about it in a minute, but it costs you $60 in Facebook ads to sell one product. That means you make forty dollars in profit for every product that you sell, right? 

Well, what if you built a fifty percent affiliate relationship and affiliates started bringing you customers, and those customers from affiliates only cost you fifty dollars? This actually lowers your cost per customer acquisition by $10, which means you have 10 percent more profit. 

The honest truth is, in this scenario: you're doing both of those things, you're going to get as many customers as you can profitably from your advertising, but you're also going to get as many customers as you can profitably from affiliate marketing. 

So affiliates are essentially commission-only-sales-people and what affiliates do is they go out and create content. They do marketing and promote the products that they represent. Only when they generate a sale through their specific link do they get paid. 

So in that sense, it's like building up a 100 commission-only sales force, and it's all digital and virtual. So let's talk a little tiny bit about the tactics. 

Now I plan to have a deep dive training on affiliate marketing that explains the entire process step by step - to build this all out. We're doing an overview here, and i want you to understand how the game works at this point in time. 

A Practical Example

So let's say you have a big audience of people who are interested in gardening, and there's a certain greenhouse manufacturer. You love their greenhouses, and you just want to share their greenhouses. 

You simply go to their website and scroll down in the footer, and you look to see if they have an affiliate program in the footer. If they do, you click on that, and you just apply there. 

Sometimes you need to google it. You need to type in the business name or the brand name and then type in affiliate to see if they have an affiliate program. 

I will honestly say that many businesses today have active affiliate programs. But, they're not marketing them because too many scammers and spammers are trying to get in and potentially devalue the brand. 

So sometimes you have to email the company, their support and say: Hey. Do you guys have an affiliate program? I've got all this audience. I love your stuff. I want to share your stuff.

Once you've filled out the application and you've gotten approved, what happens? You get access to an affiliate dashboard. You can log in there - and this is where you get your special links now. Your special links are embedded with your referral code, and it uses cookies

About Cookies (Not the ones you eat)

Cookies in Affiliate Marketing

So when you click through one of my affiliate links, what it does is it plants a cookie on your browser, and it starts a clock- there's something called a cookie duration. So on Amazon, this is as short as one day. It's 24 hours, which means you have 24 hours to generate a sale from the initial click, or else you don't get a commission. 

Most affiliate programs are a 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, cookie duration. I would say 60 days is the average, and sometimes they go as far as one or two years. This means the visitor clicks your link, they look at the stuff, and they're interested, or they're not interested. 

Maybe they come back a week later and make a purchase, and then you get the commission, and it's all tracked through this little tracking code called a cookie. Now you don't need to know anything about that. All you do is you get your links, and you get your audience who knows you, likes you, and trusts you to click on your links when they're ready for your recommendation. 

The Right Way To Do Affiliate Marketing

Right way to do Affiliate Marketing

Note that little bit i just dropped there? The know, like, and trust part is what makes affiliate marketing work. When they hear about affiliate marketing, many people think, "Wow, I just go get these links over here, and i just get to go spam them everywhere, I'll spam them on reddit, and I'll spam them on Facebook."

That is not the way to do it. Affiliate marketing is like the original influencer marketing. What it is is we affiliates need to go use content to grow an audience and to build trust with that audience. 

So here, you're witnessing this in action. Right, like this article is one of the pieces of content, and the goal here is not to sell you something; it's not to promote something. It's to connect you and I together and for me to demonstrate that I can help you, for me to maybe be able to potentially build a little bit of trust in your eyes versus all of the other people in this space. 

And then, at some point, when you get into the world of keyword research, maybe you'll find my keyword research articles, you'll be like, "Oh, i remember that Faiz guy. He was super helpful; I'll read his article about keyword research."

Okay, then you read the article. I show how I use a paid premium keyword research tool that i use and love, and you're like, "Wow, that is brilliant. I want that tool." So you click on my link, and you make your purchase. At that moment, I have earned a commission.

So it takes lots and lots of content. It takes growing a relatively large audience in order to truly be successful with affiliate marketing. 

Your Audience & Where You Get Them

Your audience to do Affiliate Marketing

So how do you build your audience, and where do you publish the content? 

These are great questions, and generally, it's going to be one of three places.

Your Blog

Your Blog for Affiliate Marketing

The first place and the top level of what I recommend is on a blog. It's a self-hosted wordpress blog, which is also called If you've been thinking about starting a blog - and you don't know how to get it going, I'll write a detailed article on that shortly. Let me know in the comments if you want a step by step article to build a blog.

So blogging connects to google, like videos connect to youtube, and Google has significantly more people searching on it, substantially more often than youtube does. So what that means is there's greater potential with a blog; there's a greater potential for more traffic, and the law of large numbers is important in the affiliate marketing business. 

You need an audience. 

You need to be connecting with hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of people every single day to get the numbers in your favor to build a truly successful affiliate marketing business online. 

So google has two trillion searches per year, which equates to 6 billion searches every day. That just means the opportunity for you to deliver answers to help people looking for solutions on google through a blog is actually the number one choice. 


Affiliate Marketing with Youtube

Okay, the second place to publish is on youtube. Youtube is the second most used search engine in the world. It's a little bit more difficult because a lot of youtube users don't leave youtube very often. Yet, at the same time, there's a little lower level of competition because you got to get on camera, and this moment of being on camera freaks some people out. 

Being on camera is not required; it's totally an option. 

Paid Ads

Affiliate Marketing using Paid Abs

The third one is using paid ads, and I'm going to just go ahead and say: Facebook ads are kind of the third option right now today because of mainly the opportunity to get your message out in front of really targeted audiences. 

Now, Facebook ads and affiliate marketing are not as simple as some people make. It seems you never want to put an affiliate link directly in a Facebook ad. You always want to send them to your own landing page to get your lead magnet. Then you use email marketing to follow up with them. Ultimately, through email marketing, you present your affiliate links. 

An Example for Paid Ads

So let's say you help people lose weight. You advertise a seven-day fitness challenge they get on your email list. It follows up with them for seven days. In the end, you recommend daily burn for daily workout course. If they click through your link and if they purchase daily burn on your recommendation, voila, you have just made a commission at that moment. 

I hope this all makes sense. It's relatively simple to explain, but it's not exactly easy to put together, and I do want to remind you that you can find great free guides on different topics on The Fortune Blog. If you're a teen looking for tips to save money, I have 16 tips for you here.

So, this was the beginner guide to affiliate marketing, and I hope you have understood it. If not, feel free to re-read it or ask your questions in the comment section below.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Do you feel it was helpful to you? Please let me know in the comment section below.

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