The Basics of Affiliate Marketing: A Guide for Publishers and Influencers

affiliate marketing basic guide

If you are publishing content – whether it’s on a blog or on social media – affiliate marketing can be a great way to make some extra money on the side, or even to turn it into a full-time career.

But it can be tricky to get started if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about starting with affiliate marketing!

We’ll cover topics such as what affiliate marketing is, how it works, the different types of affiliate programs out there, and more.

So, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been monetizing with affiliate links for a while and are looking to up your game, keep reading!

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Affiliate marketing is a process by which you can earn a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services.

It can be a great way to make money online, especially if you’re already blogging or have a website with a large audience.

And it can be a great way to monetize your content and add an additional stream of income to your business.

There are two main ways that affiliate marketing works:

The first is by adding affiliate links to your own website or blog. Links could be attached to images, included in comparison tables, or simply added to your article text.

The second way is by promoting affiliate products or services on your social media accounts. This can be done by sharing links to products or sales pages, writing reviews or posts about the products, or simply sharing coupon codes.

When someone clicks on one of your links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.

So those are the basics of affiliate marketing! Now let’s talk about the different types of affiliate programs out there.

The types of affiliate programs available

There are two main types of affiliate programs: pay-per-sale and pay-per-lead.

Pay-per-sale programs are the most common type of affiliate program. With this type of program, you earn a commission every time someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase.

Pay-per-lead programs are less common, but they can still be quite profitable. With this type of program, you earn a commission for every person who clicks on your link and signs up for a free trial or newsletter.

If you’re just starting out, we recommend finding a pay-per-sale program to join, although pay-per-lead programs can be a great option in certain niches as well.

How to find products to promote

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start finding products to promote!

There are a few different ways that you can find products or services you can recommend:

The first is by looking for affiliate programs in your niche. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, you could look for fashion retailers that have affiliate programs.

Another option is to search for affiliate networks. These are websites that connect affiliates with merchants who are looking for people to promote their products.

A third option is to contact companies directly and ask if they are willing to set up an affiliate program for you. You probably need to be able to send them a significant amount of traffic for this to work but if you are successful, you may be the only partner for the brand for while.

Once you’ve found a few potential products or services to promote, it’s time to start promoting them!

The most important thing to remember when recommending affiliate products is that you need to be honest with your audience.

Don’t promote something just because it’s a good deal or because you’re getting a commission. Only mention products that you truly believe in and would recommend to your friends or family.

If you do that, you’ll build trust with your audience and be more likely to succeed in the long run.

The best affiliate programs for beginners

If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, we recommend checking out these programs:

The Amazon Associates Program:

This is the program that most people start with. It’s free to join and easy to use, and you can start promoting products from day one.

You’ll earn a commission of up to 10 percent on anything the buyer buys after you cookie them for just 24 hours.

This is fantastic since Amazon customers frequently purchase a variety of goods unrelated to your product (such as toiletries, home items, and presents). You’ll get a piece of their entire basket!


This is a great affiliate network with a wide variety of products to promote. They also have a good support system for affiliates.

They’ve been operating for over 20 years and they have 4000+ affiliate programs to join.

They provide paid-per-lead, paid-per-click, and paid-per-sale offers.


This is another great affiliate network with a wide range of products, although they don’t have as much support available.

The network has over 12,000 affiliate offers for you to choose from, and even if you’re a small blogger, joining is easy.

How to create effective affiliate links

Now that you have access to products to promote, it’s time to start creating effective affiliate links.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when creating affiliate links:

  • Make sure your links are relevant to your audience. If you’re a fashion blogger, there’s no point in promoting gardening products.
  • Don’t overload your readers with too many affiliate links. A few well-placed links will do the trick.
  • Try to use a mix of text and images when creating affiliate links. This will make your links more visually appealing and easier to click on.
  • Make sure your links are clear and easy to understand. Your readers should be able to tell at a glance what they’ll be getting if they click on your link.
  • Follow the affiliate disclosure guidelines of the program you use. Most networks now require you to give a heads-up to your readers about the sponsored links before they get to them in your content.
  • And finally, don’t forget to test your links! Try clicking on them yourself to make sure they work and that you’re getting the correct product.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating effective affiliate links that will help you earn commission and build trust with your audience.

Tips for promoting your affiliate links

Now that you know how to create effective affiliate links, it’s time to start promoting them!

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Add a banner to your website or blog with your affiliate links. This is a great way to make sure your links are always visible and that your readers can easily find them.
  • Participate in forums and online communities related to your niche. You can include affiliate links in your signature, which is a great way to get exposure for your links without being too pushy.
  • Try ads on newer networks such as Pinterest or TikTok. Google and Facebook ads are often already expensive for lucrative keywords, but many advertisers have not tried ads on smaller or newer social networks yet.
  • Before you run any ads, it’s imperative that you read all the rules from both the platform you are publishing your ads on and the brand you are promoting. Platforms may not allow ads for certain niches and brands will often have restrictions such as not allowing you to bid on their brand name or product keywords.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to generating more traffic and earning more commission from your affiliate links.

Strategies for earning more money with affiliate marketing

Once you’ve got the hang of affiliate marketing, you may be wondering how you can start earning more money from it.

Here are a few strategies to help you out:

Choose higher-priced products to promote. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember that the more expensive the product, the higher the commission will be.

Look for affiliate programs with recurring commissions. This means that you’ll continue to earn commission on any repeat purchases made by your customers.

Promote products that offer bonuses or other perks. This can include things like free shipping, exclusive discounts, or access to special content.

Find affiliate programs that offer tiered commission structures. Tiered offers let you earn a smaller percentage of the commissions earned by other affiliates that you have introduced to the network. This means that you’ll earn a higher commission as you generate more sales.

By following these tips, you can start earning more money from your affiliate marketing efforts. With a little time and effort, you can start to see some serious results.

Happy promoting!


Is affiliate marketing worth it?

Yes, affiliate marketing can be very profitable if done correctly. It takes time and effort to build up a successful campaign, but it can be well worth the effort.

Can you make money with affiliate marketing without a website?

Yes, it is possible to make money with affiliate marketing without a website. You will need to find other ways to promote your affiliate links, such as through social media or online forums.

How much money can you make with affiliate marketing?

There is no set amount of money that you can make with affiliate marketing. Your earnings will depend on several factors, including the niche you’re in, the quality of your content, and the amount of traffic you’re able to generate.

Affiliate earnings can range from just a few pounds to tens of thousands a month.

Which is the best affiliate network?

There is no one “best” affiliate marketing program. Different programs will work better for different people, depending on their niche and audience. It’s important to find an affiliate program that fits your needs and that you’re comfortable promoting.

Are there affiliate marketing courses?

Yes, there are a number of affiliate marketing courses available online. These can be a great way to learn more about how to succeed with affiliate marketing.

Some of the notable ones are offered by Income School, The Affiliate Lab, and Authority Hacker.