How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business Step By Step

I want to get very specific on how to start an affiliate marketing business step by step in this article. A lot has been said, both good and bad about affiliate marketing in the past.

As a business model affiliate marketing is approaching 25 years. Although new innovations pop up all of the time the basics of making money with affiliate marketing have been established.

It is very simple. Follow these steps and you have a very good chance of succeeding. Go off on a tangent and try to reinvent the wheel and you do so at your own peril.

I have broken how to start an affiliate marketing business step by step into 7 steps, but before we get to that, let me let you know you can click on the banner working online from home and join me with a community of people and we will teach you to step by step how to start affiliate marketing by joining a platform for FREE. I will personally be your private coach as you go through the lessons.

Let me warn you. I take this business seriously, and I will do whatever it takes to see others have the same success.

Here we go.

1. Who Is Your Target Market?

You are starting a business. A business needs a target market to succeed.

The more targeted the better. In conjunction with this, a market that solves a problem will always be in demand.

This is often referred to as an evergreen market. It will never go out of style so you can feel good knowing the work you do today will benefit you tomorrow.

As you do research you will see this called choosing a niche. That is fine, but do not get hung up on it.

I see people go on and on and on about how critical it is that you choose the right niche. To me, this almost puts people in paralysis by analysis mode. They spend so much time researching they never actually get into the game so to speak.

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Let me give you two big hints on choosing your target market.

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business by choosing a target market

1. Do people spend money on it? You’re starting an affiliate marketing business so you need to be in a niche where people are spending money.

Not everybody that makes money in affiliate marketing is selling something, but the affiliate merchant ultimately is selling something. As an example, you might choose to do display advertising and get into the pay-per-click affiliate business model.

I’ve written extensively about this in the past. Google AdSense is the top affiliate program to join.

You earn money when somebody clicks on an ad Google sold. Therefore you’re not selling, but Google is selling advertising, and the people buying that advertising are looking for customers.

2. Are you excited about it? The second thing when you’re starting in affiliate marketing is to ask yourself if this is a market you are passionate about or excited about.

This seems relatively easy to me, but for some reason, people get hung up here as well. Think about what you like to do in your spare time.

I would be willing to bet you could turn that into an affiliate business fairly easily. I don’t care what it is. If it’s something you enjoy doing in your spare time I can show you how to make an affiliate marketing business out of it.

As you get deeper into affiliate marketing you are going to be more specific and branch out in the niches you choose. You’re also going to be more specific in how you go about finding good niches to be in.

However, to start with just think about things you’re passionate about, or that you do in your spare time. Then consider if people are spending money in that market. If they are you can turn that into an affiliate business.

2. What Affiliate Programs Should You Join?

The way you earn money in affiliate marketing is by performing a specific action for an affiliate merchant. You are the affiliate and the affiliate merchant is the program you join.

I personally think joining the most well-known programs is smart to do when you first get started. That would mean you join…

  • 1. Amazon
  • 2. Clickbank
  • 3. Google Adsense
  • 4. Max Bounty

Google Adsense is a PPC affiliate program. Amazon is a great program for finding physical products to sell.

Clickbank is the leader in digital affiliate products. Max Bounty is a good source for pay-per-lead or cost-per-action affiliate products to promote.

What should you join first?

How about taking an approach where you get your website going before you even join an affiliate program? I have come to this conclusion primarily with Google Adsense in mind.

Google is looking for websites to approve for Google Adsense that shows some commitment. You can give that to them by getting your first 30-40 pages on your site.

The easiest way to do that is to start a blog and use it as your website. Let’s look at that in Step 3 of how to start an affiliate marketing business step by step.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing Business Step By Step Continued…

 how to start an affiliate marketing by blogging3. Start A Blog

This is often referred to as building a website. With all of the great WordPress Themes available, I think it is best to start a blog and use it as your website.

You will be given the choice to set your home page as a static page. You can also choose to show the most recent blog post and have your home page updated constantly as you add new posts.

If you look at my David Bishop Money Making Tips website I am doing a static page that also adds new blog posts as I make them. This is one to take a look at if you getting started online for the first time.

I had to buy a license for the Genesis Theme I am using. There are thousands of free themes you can start with that are not quite as fancy and there is nothing wrong with these.

Eventually, you should consider buying a premium theme and spending around $50 for it. Premium themes will give you many features and benefits that a free theme will not provide.

4. Hosting Your Blog

This is another big decision you will have to face right away in getting your affiliate business going. Most articles I read recommend using Bluehost for your blog hosting.

I like Bluehost because of 2 main things.

1. Price. You can get your price down to less than $3 a month if you buy a 3-year plan.

2. Ease of use. It is easy to set up your blog. If you can click your mouse one time your blog will go live.

5. Choosing A Domain Name

When I think about How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business Step By Step this is a critical step and one that will be with your blog forever.

Unlike choosing a WordPress Theme which you can change at any time, your domain name is the name of your blog and the URL people will see in their browser.

When I picked my domain name my thinking was more along the lines of describing what your business does in your domain name. I wanted to get branding of myself in my domain name as well so I choose…..

Luckily, I was able to get the dot com version of this domain name. It described exactly what my website/blog was all about. I do not regret choosing this name.

Flash forward to today. Now I see more emphasis being put on buying a 2-word domain name. Here is a really good article on the RankXl blog: How to Choose The Perfect, Brandable Blog Name

The writer suggests choosing an easy-to-remember 2-word domain name. One word should be what your blog is about and the other word can be a throw-away word. It does not matter what that word is.

When you look at their blog RankXl you immediately know it is about how to get your website to rank. I can guess they include information on all kinds of different Internet marketing tips, but ranking on Google is the goal.

You might think that only using 2 words would make it impossible to find a good domain name. In reality, finding the one really good word and then adding any throw-away word to it is easier.

Play around with it at It is fun.

6. Start Writing Blog Articles

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business by writing articles for your blog

This may or may not be the fun part for you. If you have chosen a market to get into that you’re passionate about then writing blog articles can be a lot of fun.

If this is something that doesn’t interest you, or maybe you even think you’re too busy to do it, then you can always hire a freelance writer.

Websites such as Upwork and are sources to look at. There are a couple of key things to keep in mind in terms of getting your blog going.

SEO Blog Strategies

1. 30 to 40 articles. This is kind of the magic number you want to get to that will allow you to apply for the Google AdSense affiliate program.

This shows Google that you’re serious. If you’re adding quality content to your blog articles then they’re likely to be approved for the Google AdSense program.

2. Keywords. I want to keep this short. Neil Patel has a free tool at He also recently did a great video that is only 5 minutes long. I found Jaaxy to be my favorite cause it has many features to track my posts.

Building a big keyword list will give you the target ideas for your articles. Using Ubersuggest will help you build that list and even come up with article title ideas.

3. An authority blog. I read an article one time over again in Rank XL where Chris Lee talked about the rush to 200.

Publishing Frequency: How Often Should I Be Posting On My Blog?

Chris says “how fast can you publish 200 articles on your site? This is more important than the frequency of how often you publish.

The other thing he stresses is making quality posts. I would encourage you to really focus on adding 1500-2000 word articles that are of high quality.

This article has some fascinating data on it. Here is how I would summarize this point.

To get to 200 blog posts in 1 year you could publish one 1500-2000 word article 4 times a week for 50 weeks. You can play around with this any way you want.

The bottom line is this. If you believe there is magic in the number of 200 posts as Chris Lee suggests then be ready to write a lot, outsource the writing, or do a combination of both.

How To Start An Affiliate Marketing and learn how to make money7. Making Money

The marketing you are doing focuses mostly on publishing new content. Use SEO to rank articles and get traffic from Google. As people land on your blog, some of them will click on the Google Ads from the Adsense program you are in.

Affiliate Products

You can then begin to add more affiliate products to your blog posts. I suggested Amazon and Clickbank find products to sell. I also suggest Max Bounty if you want to get leads for affiliate merchants.

You will find products to promote for any niche you decide to get into. It would have to be a pretty obscure niche to not have an affiliate product in these days and times.

The great thing about Google AdSense is they sell all of the advertising for you. You put a simple piece of code on your blog and ads begin to show up.

Put your focus on adding content, driving traffic to your blog from this content, and then just playing the numbers game. You’re going to earn 68% of the click. This can go anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars per month as your blog grows.

Of course, selling products will earn you a commission. Generally, with Amazon, that commission runs about 6% for physical products.

Affiliate Programs For You

With Clickbank, you’re promoting digital products. These don’t require any manufacturing or shipping and because of that, the commissions will run in the 50 to 75% range.

If you want to get into lead generation this could be $.50 to $1 per lead. In more minute targeted niches with longer forms required you could earn several hundred dollars performing. Offer Vault is a good place to go and just get an idea of what I’m talking about here.

final thoughts

In summary, let me just say the steps that I’ve covered here on how to start an affiliate marketing business step-by-step are not that difficult to perform. You don’t need a college education to get into affiliate marketing.

You don’t need an office or a big advertising budget either. If you’ll just follow the steps, and put the effort in, you can join millions of us who earn money every month in affiliate marketing!

If you need help choosing the right Affiliate Program, check out my #1 recommendation on building a successful Affiliate business online. You can get access to hundreds of training videos, 24/7 support, professional consultations, private access to training guides, tools, personal private assistance, my personal help, and much more.

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10 thoughts on “How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business Step By Step”

  1. I love how you break down the steps and make it simple for anyone interested in getting started in the affiliate marketing business. I can personally vouch for the benefits of the Wealthy Affiliate community that Kyle and Carson have created. Without it, my online marketing efforts would be far from where they are today! 

    • Thank you for the comment, Tucker. I love to present it in a way so that anyone would be able to grab the concept so that it would be easy to implement. Wealthy Affiliate has brought me this far and all that I have accomplished it I owe all to them. It is great that you felt the same way. All the best.

  2. Thanks to the internet. WE all now can just google the information on how to start something with just a click away and your post is one of the perfect examples on how to start affiliate marketing online. In my opinion, you have to start with 3 things to start affiliate marketing. First, you have to find a niche that you are passionate about, something that you will not get bored because it is going to be a long haul. Second, you need to have a website. Third, get educated on how to start blogging the right way and use SEO. Whoa! With your time and effort, you will be successful in no time.

    • Today with all the technology and tools we have it is easy for anyone to start an affiliate marketing business and be successful. You highlighted the three basic ingredients that one needs to build a successful business, and you are absolutely right. having a passion would give you the encouragement to go the distance and not quit.

      The education at Wealthy Affiliate is what going to prepare you and keep you on course with the help of the community. They are the ones that give me the drive to press forward and to stay focus. Thank you for the feedback and insights.

  3. This is very good information. I just started my own blog, and have nowhere near 200 posts yet! Google Adsense is very nice to start with until a get more traffic going to my site, I am currently an affiliate for Amazon as well but haven’t made any sales yet there. I have heard about Clickbank, I may think about joining them as well. I’ve never heard of Max bounty, is it good for a beginning website? Thank you for the information, I will look into this more! 

    • Great that you decided to start a blog and you are building out your website by writing content on a continuous basis. Amazon is a great place to sell products and their marketplace keeps growing tremendously, so is a good place to start as a  beginner.

      MaxBounty is basically a middleman between you (affiliate marketer/publisher) and the advertiser.  Advertisers put up their offers on MaxBounty’s website; mainly, the advertisers are only interested in rewarding you for your traffic to their offers – but only if the audience from your traffic carries out the required task or action. Thank you for the feedback.

  4. Your step-by-step system is quite complete.  I think you’ve hit a lot of key points.  However, I am going to add some things that I find important in my own business, just as a contrast to your post.

    First of all, I will not use Google AdSense.  The reason is partly personal and partly due to comments I’ve heard from readers.  I do not want to clutter up my website with ads.  I feel that Google AdSense would detract from my website as it would distract my reader.  I would rather have the reader give my content a thorough look.

    Again, my own eccentricity:  I do not like PPC programs.  I used one for a while on an older website and finally asked to be removed from the program because, again, in my eyes, it was too distracting to the reader.

    I use Amazon but do not use ClickBank or Max Bounty.  I use Commission Junction and ShareASale, plus a couple of companies that have a separate affiliate program of their own.  Perhaps other readers would like to consider CJ or ShareASale as affiliate providers.  I have certainly found them useful.

    You have included a good summary of items that folks need to consider in order to become involved in affiliate marketing.  I think your post could be helpful to many.

    • Hey Fran, be my guest, it is always a pleasure when someone can contribute to any of my posts, that is one reason I always tend to ask for feedback. And to be honest, I learn a lot as well, and it gives me ideas for my next or future post.

      Google Adsense is fine the only thing with that, it should not be on the same site as your niche website when starting out in the early stage. Some bloggers have a large audience and have an authority website, in that case, Google Adsense would be a plus. You can build a separate website catered for Google Adsense, so you are right about not placing Google ads on your niche website. 

      Some people get involved in affiliate marketing and eager to get started. The reason I mention Clickbank is that it is much easier and faster to be an affiliate than Amazon. if you have a large audience that likes and trust you, the affiliate program would not be an issue, because you would know what your audience likes.

      The reason for my diversity is just to let them know it bis av available. as a matter of fact two of my team members I got them started with Offervault and they love it. thank you for your insight and feedback. wish you all the best.

  5. Thanks for this excellent and thorough guide on how to start an affiliate marketing business. I like how you went through the process using an easy to follow step-by-step process that makes it easy for anyone to get started. Even someone who has never tried before can follow this.

    You have pointed out some really important points I think that do not get adequate coverage in some of the other articles I have been researching. The target market is so important and needs to be determined early on in the process so you do not waste time, money, and effort.

    The 200 posts idea was also new for me, but I like the rationale behind it. I agree that prior to thinking about monetizing the website and blog, a considerable amount of content needs to be published (content creation comes first). This was a very well presented guide and I have bookmarked it to come back. Thanks again for your effort in putting this together.

    • Hey Dave, thank you for the comment and kind words. Simplicity is what makes this business fun and possible for anyone to join and succeed, so yes, I love showing my audience how simple it is to go through the process if they want results. Many times we tend to complicate things and end up with problems.

      I have known people who have made lost of money with Google Adsense, but their websites had been around for a long time with tons of content. I am not a big fan of it though,  because I think it takes away the focus on one content in the beginning stage of their website. So place ads on your website is a sensitive area that one should consider.

      Thank you for bookmarking this website cause I do update it frequently to show my audience what is working today and the stuff that you should stay away from. Wish you all the best with your business.



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