Affiliate Marketing Overview For Beginners

Making money online is something that so many people think about doing, but aren’t sure where, or even how, to start. I can completely relate to that feeling, I was in that same place less than 1 year ago.

In all of my searching for ways to make money online I kept finding the same things over and over, and then one day I decided to finally investigate affiliate marketing a little bit deeper. I thought it was just a scam at first, but boy was I wrong!

I’ve learned so much and come such a long way in less than one year that I knew I just had to help others get started.

I sat back and thought about the things I wish I had known from the beginning and came up with this affiliate marketing overview for beginners. I hope you find it useful in getting started!

What Is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing | Blog | Beginner | Intro To Affiliate Marketing | Make Money Online

Lets start at the beginning….what is affiliate marketing?

The answer is actually a very simple. Affiliate marketing is a way to earn money from commission on products that people buy based on your


Pretty much any large company has an affiliate program that you can sign up for, at no cost to you. Once you sign up, you put the affiliate links on your website and start making money.

Here’s a real life example: Lets say that you have a website about camping, and lets say that you are a member of Amazon’s affiliate program.

You write a post about the benefits of a certain kind of tent, and within that post you would put a link (or button) that the user can click to “Buy Now”. They will be taken to the product on and if they buy it then you will earn commission on that sale.

There’s even better news….if the person in the above example buys more than just the tent, you will get commission on all those items too! The person has 24 hours to make the purchase in order for you to earn your commission.

It’s that simple to earn money with affiliate marketing!

Talk The Talk

Before you can begin your journey into affiliate marketing you need to be able to speak the lingo. As with most things related to the internet and computers, you’ll run into a lot of acronyms which can cause some confusion.

Here’s an affiliate marketing dictionary that will help you better understand some of the jargon!

Talk The Talk

Niche A specific segment of a market… is the main topic of your website.
Blog A regularly updated website that is written in an informal or conversational style.
SEO Search Engine Optimization – process of updating your content so that the search engines recognize it and give it a higher ranking.
Keyword The search text that someone enters in the search engine.
Cookie A small file stored on the user’s computer used by the web browser while the user is browsing.
SERP Search Engine Result Page – The list of results shown after a user searches.
CTA Call To Action – A button or link that encourages a user to take an action.

Affiliate Marketing Basics

Now that you have a better understanding of what affiliate marketing is, and now Checklistthat you understand the lingo, lets talk about what you need to do in order for you to get started. There are a lot of steps but I’ve grouped them up for you and we’ll take them one by one, it won’t be that bad I promise!

Get Your Website

The first order of business is for you to decide what your website is going to be about…remember the term niche from above? Once you select your niche, you’ll find a domain name and then get your website up and running.

There are several hosting services that you can choose from, but there is one that stands out above the others as the BEST!

Get your 60% off coupon code and be up and running in 6 simple steps!

Build Your Content

Once your website is live, you will begin the process of filling it with quality content. This is the step that often scares people but it shouldn’t. It can be intimidating to think about all of the writing you have to do, maybe you don’t think you can do it because you’re not an english major or something.

I had that fear too, but the reality is that you should be writing like you speak. It’s ok for it to not be 100% grammatically perfect, in fact, it’s usually better when it isn’t!

Add Your Affiliate Links

At this point you should have a couple of posts on your website, and you can begin thinking of the affiliate program that you would like to join (you need a website in order to apply).

There are many many affiliate programs for pretty much anything and everything under the sun!  It can be very intimidating to find the right one.  When I first started out, I made the mistake of signing up for seven different affiliate programs because I was promoting so many different things.  What wound up happening was that it became nearly impossible to keep up with everything, and knowing which products I had from which program.

That’s when I discovered affiliate networks.  An affiliate network is made up of many affiliate programs so that you have one place to go to manage everything…’s a definite game changer!  There are several to choose from, but one stands out in front of the others because of the companies it has (ETSY, Groupon, Hyatt, and many more), the reporting, and the 24/7 customer support.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Whew, that’s a lot to do! I know that what I just described is just a brief overview, so check out this more detailed guide to getting started that I put together for you.

Path To Success

I know what you are probably thinking, “Wow Matt, this sounds great but it can’t be that simple!”

The concept of affiliate marketing truly is that simple, however I want to make it clear that it is not the kind of thing that happens overnight.

Building a business online does take time and effort, but once you get established and have high quality content, you’ll definitely see the results!


Lets review our plan of action so we can get your online business up and running:

  1. Choose Your Niche
  2. Pick Your Domain Name
  3. Sign Up For Hosting (In 6 Simple Steps)
  4. Start Creating Content – Here Are 11 Pro Tips
  5. Sign Up For An Affiliate Network


Don’t hesitate any longer….get started NOW and you’ll be one step closer to making extra money online!

Want To Learn More?

If you want to learn more about building an online business, blogging, and all that goes into it, then this is the platform for you…

When I first got into affiliate marketing, and getting an online business started, I knew absolutely nothing about how to do it. I had no clue as to where to even start. That all changed when I found an online training program that was REAL and HONEST, and I learned everything I could want and so much more.

There is so much I can say about Wealthy Affiliate and how much you can benefit from joining, and in fact I encourage you to check out my Wealthy Affiliate review so you can see for yourself.

The best part about it is that you get to join a community of people that are more than ready, willing, and able to help you out in any way shape or form.

You get the opportunity to learn from and interact with EXPERTS in the industry that will get you up and running in no time.

Oh, and you get to try it all for FREE…with NO CREDIT CARD required.

If you join via my link then we will instantly be connected and I will be with you every step of the way, as much or as little as you want. Think of me as your go to person for anything that you may need. I love helping others, and I am so excited to help YOU….I’m always just a message away!

I believe in you, and you should too. Take the first step on your path to success!

Wealthy Affiliate Starter

Comments 60

  • Enjoyed the article as a budding entrepreneur. Matt the Family Guy makes me feel comfortable in writing to you.

    The objective of a niche market has energized me in part due to the opportunity to put full time into something that true passion drives. This makes it not work.

    This introduction came after trying to find a Web Host I could trust and fortunately found Wealthy Affiliate. Those who find them have found a good home to hang your hat.

    Your post Matt encouraged me and am certain others with the transparency you demonstrate accompanied with a huge heart. Highly recommend being part of this process.

    • Thank you for the kind words Robert. It can definitely be intimidating for someone to decide to start an online business, so I try very hard to be transparent and truthful….I also like folks to know that they aren’t alone in the process!

      Wealthy Affiliate is a tremendous resource that I can’t talk about enough…anyone with interest in affiliate marketing owes it to themselves to try it out!

  • Matt,
    Thank you for a really interesting article providing an introduction to affiliate marketing for beginners. I especially appreciated the table giving the meaning of commonly used AM jargon. I find your post very encouraging and hope to see for myself some of the results you mention at some point in the future.
    All the best,

    • Hey Fran,

      I’m so glad you liked my article, I hope you got something out of it.

      The table explaining all of the terms came about because I remember being so confused about what everything means….hopefully others won’t have the same confusion!

  • There are so many co called ways to make money online and you go into great detail about many of the ones that I’ve come across. There’s so much competition and scams and people must be thinking to themselves how do I know what’s good and not good bad? From my past experience, I know that you can’t always sit on the fence about what to choose to make money. Sometimes you have to use common sense and go with your gut. Take action once you’ve made your choice. Give it time. Don’t keep switching from one program to another. Find something and do your own personal research on it and then do it.

    • Hey Rob,

      I agree with you on all your points….it can be very difficult for someone to actually get off the fence and buy into a money making method. All the scams out there have made it hard for a newbie to believe that they won’t just get taken for a ride.

      That’s why I love Wealthy Affiliate so much. Any program that gives away what they do for free is something that is definitely worth checking out. Once you’re there, you can’t help but believe the sincerity of everything they have to offer. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

  • This is really helpful – as a complete newbie to the affiliate game, I appreciate the step-by-step directions 🙂

  • Very helpful story line

  • Really nice basic breakdown of how to make money from affiliate marketing. I was actually with Wealthy Affiliate for a while. I found lots of value there as members were all too eager to help each other.

    • Thank you Brian….I hope you were able to learn something about affiliate marketing.

      WA is a wonderful platform. I’m still a member there and am definitely always learning from the amazing people there!

  • great tidbits for even seasoned bloggers, thanks

  • Matt, thank you so much for this useful information! I’m owner of and I’m also think about affiliate marketing. Do you think is good to combine affiliate marketing with Google Adsense?

    • Hey Jane….terrific website! There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t combine affiliate marketing with Adsense….the more ways you can monetize your blog, the better. If you are going to do affiliate marketing, which I think you should, you should definitely go with Awin….I think you’ll enjoy the platform! Sign up easily with my link above 🙂

  • WOW! I had no idea that it would count the other Purchases. Thanks for that info!

  • This was really informative, thank you x

  • Really useful information. Thanks for sharing bookmarked to read again!

  • Great info as I embark on my own affiliate marketing journey!

  • So much good information! Thank you. As a new blogger, I feel like I understand a bit more now.

  • Really useful article, I’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing but have no idea where to start!

  • Really great article especially for a newbie like me. It seems this new world I have dived into has opened up a whole lot of unknown. I began affiliate marketing just waiting for the success of it.

    • Hey Ana….affiliate marketing is a great tool to monetize your blog, but remember that it does take time for it to happen.

      Definitely give Awin a look, I think you will enjoy the platform there and be successful!

  • I am an affiliate for a number of online stores. This post reminds me that I need to go through my sidebar and get rid of some of my affiliates.

  • Great post! Really helpful for beginners. My friend wants to start affiliate marketing business so I will forward you article to her. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is great guidance. I’m so lost in the affiliate space, this was a great way to orient myself!

  • Hey, this was completely a new learning for me being new into blogging. Thanks much for sharing 🙂

  • I would like to try affiliate marketing to concretize my overdue plan to generate income from my blog. I will refer to the links that you shared to know more about affiliate marketing. This simple tips that you shared will truly help anyone who wants to venture into this online business. Thanks for sharing!

  • Matt thank you for this vital
    Information. As a beginner myself I have found it very useful and resourceful! I especially love the step by step directions as I am easily confused .

    • Hey Thomas, I’m so glad that you found this post so helpful. Step by step directions is always helpful for beginners.

      If you need any additional help, please feel free to contact me!

  • This is a great post about affiliate marketing for beginners. When I first started out, I wanted to be a part of them all. I eventually found out what was working best for my site and am now really just a part of Amazon and Share-A-Sale. Those 2 work best for me. It’s a matter of finding out, like you said, your niche and what your readers want.

  • This is a good starting guide for any blogger. I am working on my affiliate marketing now and it can be very overwhelming.

  • As soon as I learned about affiliate marketing many years ago, it changed my blogging game! Great information for beginners.

  • Hey great guide for new bloggers- like us, will use this as a reference as we continue our journey

  • This is a great resource and so useful. I feel like blogging is a minefield at the moment so this will hopefully help me

    • I think we’ve all had that feeling Nicki! Blogging is not always easy, but once you get the hang of it then it becomes much easier. Affiliate marketing will definitely help make it feel like it was all worth it in the end!

  • I’ve done all this stuff, but nobody ever clicks my links. I wish they did. I could use the cash. Honestly, I’m not really in a product niche so oh well. I’ll figure out other ways to make income! Do some people really actually make money from affiliate marketing though?? Do YOU??

    • Hey Elizabeth, I know your frustration because I’ve been there. Affiliate marketing can be difficult, but yes you CAN make money. There are other ways in which you can monetize your blog so maybe try exploring those opportunities in addition to affiliate marketing.

      I do make some money, not thousands a month, but I do make some. You just have to keep a positive mindset and keep on going!

  • I am thankful for the internet and the ability to earn an online income every day!

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