How To Start an Affiliate Marketing Business and Make Money

How To Start an Affiliate Marketing Business and Make Money

affiliate marketing programs


Affiliate marketing is a popular and profitable way to earn money online. It involves promoting someone else’s products or services and earning a commission on each sale made through your unique affiliate link.

Starting an affiliate marketing business can be a great way to earn passive income and work from anywhere in the world. However, it requires strategic planning and execution to become successful.

In this introduction, we’ll provide some basic steps and tips on how to start an affiliate marketing business and make money.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced marketer, these tips will help you create a solid foundation for your affiliate marketing journey.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where an individual or company promotes another person’s or company’s products or services and earns a commission for each sale or conversion made through their unique affiliate link.

Essentially, affiliates act as a middleman between the product owner or service provider and potential customers, driving traffic and sales to the product or service in exchange for a commission.

Affiliates can promote products or services through various channels such as blogs, social media platforms, email marketing, YouTube, and other online platforms.

They earn a commission for each sale made through their unique affiliate link, which tracks the referral from the affiliate to the product or service provider.

Affiliate marketing is a popular way for businesses to increase their sales and for individuals to earn passive income through promoting products or services they believe in.

Why Should I Start an Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re looking for a way to earn extra income online, starting an affiliate marketing business might be the perfect solution for you.

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider starting your own affiliate marketing business:

1. Low Start-Up Costs.

One of the biggest advantages of starting an affiliate marketing business is that it requires very little investment.

Unlike other businesses, you don’t need to create your products, buy inventory, or deal with customer service.

All you need is a website or a blog, social media accounts, and an affiliate marketing network to get started.

2. Passive Income.

Affiliate marketing is a form of passive income, which means that once you’ve set up your affiliate links and created your content, you can earn money without having to do anything else. You can even earn money while you sleep, as your content will be available online 24/7.

3. Flexibility.

With an affiliate marketing business, you have the flexibility to work from anywhere and at any time.

You can work from home, at a coffee shop, or even while travelling. This allows you to work around your schedule and have more control over your time.

4. No Sales Experience is Required.

You don’t need to be a salesperson to succeed in affiliate marketing. You simply need to have a passion for the products or services you’re promoting and the ability to create engaging content that drives traffic to your affiliate links.

5. Unlimited Earning Potential.

With affiliate marketing, your earning potential is virtually unlimited. The more traffic and sales you generate, the more money you can earn.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn with affiliate marketing, which makes it an attractive option for those looking to earn a significant income online.

6. Opportunities to Work with Trusted Brands.

As an affiliate marketer, you have the opportunity to work with some of the most trusted brands in your industry.

This can help build your credibility and increase the chances of generating sales through your affiliate links.

7. You don’t have to create your product.

In a regular business model, you have to own a product to sell one and make money. Still, affiliate marketing abstracts everything because, in affiliate marketing, you make a profit by selling other people’s products.

You don’t have to worry about product quality or packaging; all you need is testimonials as proof and your approval; you are then good to make money.

8. You don’t need to deal with customer support.

One aspect of every business that is crucial is effective customer service; when customers buy from you and don’t have anyone to guide them through a product, they might never come back again; slowly, such a business is gradually dying.

In affiliate marketing, you don’t have to worry about customer support because all will be carried out by the original creator of such a product.

Affiliate marketing gives you peace of mind; if any product guide is needed, such a customer is referred to the direct manufacturer.

9. Affiliate Marketing is Free.

When people hear of affiliate marketing, they find it too hard to believe it is a free business model. However, it does not come at an extra cost to get started; all that is needed is your undiluted attention and effective marketing strategies. The bottom line is affiliate marketing is free.

10. You only get to focus on traffic.

As mentioned above, all you need to scale your affiliate marketing business is traffic; an affiliate marketing business works online, so you have to focus your attention on getting enough traffic to convert the sales you desire. This article will explain the various methods to help you drive traffic as an affiliate marketer.

How do I Start an Affiliate Marketing Business and Make Money?

Starting an affiliate marketing business can be a great way to earn money online. It involves promoting other people’s or companies products or services and earning a commission for each sale made through your unique affiliate link.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to start an affiliate marketing business and make money.

1. Understand How Affiliate Marketing works.

Just before diving into affiliate marketing, you have to understand how this business model works to better achieve so much more in a bit of time.

Affiliate marketing can get rather technical, even for those well-versed in digital marketing. Fortunately, you don’t need to know all the details to get started. The actual engineering behind every affiliate marketing program is the affiliate program software.

To give you a heads-up on how affiliate marketing work, here is a brief explanation. When an affiliate registers for the merchant’s program, they are given a unique ID and a specific URL to use when promoting the company’s product.

The affiliate includes the link in their blog post and via their email marketing efforts and invites readers to click it to find out more.

When a potential buyer clicks on the link to visit the affiliate partner’s site, a cookie identifying the affiliate is placed on the website visitor’s computer.

The cookie guarantees that the publisher is credited with the referral sale even if it occurs days or weeks later.

Whenever a buyer executes the sale process, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral.

If the merchant discovers a cookie with an affiliate ID, the affiliate is credited with the sale. The merchant makes records open so that the companion can see their referrals (clicks) and sales.

The merchant pays the affiliate commission at the end of each payment period (i.e. revenue sharing).

2. Choose Your Niche.

The first step to starting an affiliate marketing business is to choose your niche. Your niche is the specific topic or industry you’ll be focusing on.

It’s important to choose a niche that you’re passionate about and that has a market for the products or services you’ll be promoting. Research different niches to find one that interests you and has the potential for profitability.

3. Research Affiliate Programs.

Once you’ve chosen your niche, the next step is to research affiliate programs. There are many affiliate programs available in different niches, so it’s important to choose ones that align with your niche and the products or services you want to promote.

Look for affiliate programs with competitive commission rates, high-quality products or services, and reliable tracking systems.

You should know that there are so many affiliate programs out there, and it is very wise not to invest your time and energy in them because not all are genuine as they claim to be. Here are very few things to consider  before you join an affiliate network or program,

1. Commission Rate.

The commission rate of any affiliate program is simply the amount entitled to you after an affiliate has completed a sale.

As an affiliate, you should always seek out what you intend to gain from every affiliate program you join. This determines how much you can earn and whether or not such an affiliate program is worth your time.

The percentage of a sale funded by an advertiser to an affiliate for referring a new customer. This percentage can range from the low single digits up to 50% or higher.

2. Earnings per click.

Not all affiliate programs pay you per click, but you can be fortunate to find very few ones ready to compensate you for every click.

The income an affiliate earns for each click to an advertiser’s website from an affiliate link. However, this definition is a little misleading as the true definition of EPC calculates the amount per 100 clicks.

3. Cookie Duration.

A web cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing.

Cookies were designed to be a secure tool for websites to retain stateful information on the user’s browsing activity, such as clicks and other activities performed on a particular online platform.

They can also be used to remember the final pieces of information that the user beforehand entered into form fields on the websites, such as names, addresses, passwords, phone numbers and even credit card numbers, a perfect example where you might have seen cookies in operation is on your Google Chrome browsers.

For example, with a 90-day cookie duration, if a user engages in such an affiliate link and performs a purchase within 90 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.

Standard cookie durations are typically 30 days. However, you can find programs as low as seven days and 90+ days. Longer cookie durations are a common feature of programs I recommend.

4. Join an Affiliate Marketing Program

With Affiliate networks, you have all your earnings stored in one place and not scattered all across various affiliate programs.

I highly recommend you sign up for more affiliate Networks than affiliate programs; even the majority of the affiliate programs are usually signed up on an affiliate network.

I curated a complete list of affiliate networks that you can join; you should make sure to explore all of these after the other, trust me, it would save you a lot of time and stress.

1. Commission Junction.

affiliate marketing programs

Commission Junction is an affiliate marketing network that has existed for over ten years now; presently, as I speak to you, it has over 5,000 affiliate programs hosted on its platform.

When you sign up on Commission Junction, you get easy access to various affiliate programs. All you need do is apply to each of them and await responses from the advertisers. Usually, a reaction takes 24 – 48 hours before a confirmation is sent.

Before requesting advertising access for any advertisers on Commission Junction, you must fill in some critical personal and business info.

This information is usually tax forms, Bank account info, addresses, and so many others. Payment is channelled via direct bank transfer, PayPal and Webmoney.


2. TravelPayout.

affiliate marketing programs

TravelPayout is an affiliate network for travel affiliate programs worldwide; top travel affiliates programs like Bookings, Trip-Visor, and Hotels directly use this platform to reach out to publishers worldwide.

All you need to get started is to go ahead and create an account with TravelPayout and request access from the list of advertisers shown to you, obtain relevant links and promote the hell out of it.

Payment on TravelPayout is made via Paypal, direct bank transfer and Webmoney. Travel Payout is an exclusive travel affiliate network that connects with your major travel affiliate partners to help you make money.

With Travel Payout, you get instant access to the best travel affiliate programs, including flights and hotel car rentals in one place.

Sign-up is free and instant; you need not pay a dime; you also get multiple payment options such as Paypal, Wire bank transfer and many others.


3. Share-a-sale.

affiliate marketing programs

Share-a-sale is another great affiliate network that has been around for a very long time; it is headquartered in the US.

Share-a-sale deals with many affiliate niches such as Home and garden, furniture, businesses, etc. With Share-a-sale, you can access various tools to promote your business, such as product links, video creatives, banners and extensive real-time reporting.

I wouldn’t say I like this affiliate network because they have a too rigorous signup process, and you are not likely to get approved.


4. Rakuten.

affiliate marketing programs

Rakuten was one of the first affiliate networks that I got introduced to back in my early blogging days; It was founded in 1997 and has paid out over $1 Billion in cash back to its 12 million members.

Rakuten deals with major eCommerce merchants, so this affiliate network would be very lucrative if you love to shop regularly.

Unlike every other affiliate marketing network, Rakuten operates in a different dimension, making it easy for anyone with or without a website to join and make money.

Rakuten is currently with major eCommerce brands worldwide, such as Adidas, eBay, Amazon, Micheal kors, etc.

All you need to do is sign up, install the official chrome extension, start shopping via Rakuten partner websites, and start earning cashback.


5. ClickBank.

affiliate marketing programs

ClickBank is an affiliate network that allows you to promote over 10K merchants from various categories; ClickBank is available in over 200+ nations worldwide. Sadly, Clickbank is yet to open its services to major countries like Nigeria and India; So many Africans have been clamouring for this to happen, but it seems like it will not be happening anytime soon.

ClickBank comes with comprehensive education and guides for newbies new to affiliate marketing to help them earn better.

You need to sign up and promote your desired affiliate program and make money. Funds are sent via Check to your email and Paypal; hop in to click bank and check if the service is available in your country.


6. NutriProfit.

affiliate marketing programs

NutriProfit is a health-only affiliate network that has been around for many years and is still going very strong.

If you have a blog in the health niche, then this affiliate network is best for you to help you target potential affiliate programs and great market products.

You get access to health products from weight loss, detoxification, male and female enhancements, hair loss, etc. Payment is made via Bank transfer, ePayment and Paxum.


7. Impact.

affiliate marketing programs

The impact is another great affiliate network that every blogger should look out for. The impact has over 1K affiliate merchants on its platform, including, Bigcommerce, Canva and many others.

Impact also comes with a sleek, unique user interface that makes it very easy for newbies to navigate its website better.

Impact pays out its publishers using PayPal, Wiretransfer and many more. The inbuilt Impact Marketplace makes it very easy to bid for advertisers and instantly get approved. Need to get signed up to Impact today? Click the link to get started now.


8. Expertnaire.

How To Start an Affiliate Marketing Business and Make Money

Expertnanire remains one of the top affiliate networks in Nigeria; It is owned by Toyin Omotoso, who holds the title of one of Nigeria’s top affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs.

Expertnaire is an online marketplace mainly dealing with knowledge-based digital products. It can also be defined as an online marketplace for high-value digital products.

Note the words “ONLINE‘ and “DIGITAL” in those definitions. These digital products are high-value digital products created by top experts in their fields.

The Expertnaire Affiliate Marketing programme allows you to recommend these high-value digital products from top experts and get paid for them.

Getting started as an Expertnaire affiliate remains one f the easiest things to do, just in case you have joined any other affiliate marketing program before.

For example, let’s say a product is N20,000, and the commission for the product is 50%. So when you sell one, you get N10,000 which is half of 50% of the product sale price.

To start earning with Expertnaire, all you need so is

1. go to the Expertnaire product marketplace,

2. Browse through the products

3. Get your product affiliate link (it would look like this

4. Promote this link using any digital channel such as a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.).

5. Also, to remind you that you have to make a special payment when signing up worth just N10,000 ($20), which gives you a year of access to the platform.

And in the end, When someone buys, you get your commission.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can promote your product using Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads and many others.



PartnerStack is an affiliate marketing platform that helps businesses by maximizing the advantages of partnerships with other affiliate marketers, to increase conversions and aid sales.

Thousands of affiliate marketers across the world trust PartnerStack with their campaigns. This makes it easy to recruit and work with top-notch affiliates from the online circle.

PartnerStack combines with content creators in the digital marketing industry to make online marketing efforts easy and effective for businesses. 

As a blogger, you get to choose from various categories of software products to promote and make commissions from.

You also get paid as soon as sales are made via PayPal, which can be accessed using your Partnerstack dashboard.


Other Affiliate Marketing programs you should try out include the Fairmoney Affiliate program.

5. Get The Requirements Needed and Tools.

Getting started as an affiliate marketer does not require any hassle at all; you are just going to need very few things, and they are;

1. website/ Blog.

To promote your affiliate links, you’ll need a website or blog. You can create a website using platforms like WordPress or Wix, or you can use a blogging platform like Blogger or Medium.

Your website or blog should provide valuable content to your audience and include your affiliate links within the content.

2. Active Social Media Account.

Most affiliate networks do not make it mandatory to own a website to be approved into their network. However, an active social media account can do a lot, provided you have a lot of engaging followers on it.

3. Bank account/ Paypal.

Affiliate programs and networks pay you at the end of a specific period after curating your sales, and you must have a medium to receive money – either a PayPal or a bank account.

6. Promote Your Affiliate Links.

Once you’ve created quality content, it’s time to promote your affiliate links. You can do this by adding your affiliate links within your content, creating dedicated landing pages for specific products or services, and using social media to promote your links.

Be sure to disclose that you’re using affiliate links in your content to maintain transparency with your audience.

1. Start a Blog.

A blog that generates traffic is enough to cause money via any affiliate programs. Most times, all you need do is to embed these affiliate links strategically in your blog post to not appear spammy or useless or even write exclusive content to make recommendations; this makes sense, and you can have willing customers.

A strong product and user-focused combined with keyword-optimized titles and subheadings are how you get qualified traffic. Without forgetting link building, of course.

Try to cover everything that a potential customer would like to know about the product. Use examples and screenshots and don’t shy away from pointing out potential weaknesses of the product.

Share your first-hand experience and tips. Transparency goes a long way. Finally, insert at least one CTA on the page using your affiliate link. Here is an article I recommend you read to create your blog.

2. Build an Email Marketing List.

Having an email marketing list is a must for every online entrepreneur if you want to record any success in your online business.

Your email marketing list would contain a more targeted audience interested in what you do and likely to want to hear from you.

Sending out emails to your blog subscribers means that you must already have an audience. Creating an email sign-up form on your website is a good starting point.

Your newsletter serves several functions. It’s a way to build a relationship with your readers, distribute your blog content, and promote your affiliate products. In that order, preferably.

Getting a visitor to sign up for your newsletter means that your emails should at least share useful content.

And if possible, they should also provide perks such as exclusive guides that are not published online or special deals on your affiliate products.

Here is an article I recommend you read to get started with email marketing.

3. Start a YouTube channel.

Youtube is another great platform to promote your affiliate link primarily if your content is closely related to the affiliate product you intend to promote.

Videos are a good way to complement your written blog content. It’s possible to repurpose your old blog articles and turn them into videos. And vice versa, of course.

So, how do you embed affiliate links into your videos? You add them to your video description and also mention them verbally in your video.

I did an article on how you can scale up your YouTube channel, and I suggest you read it.

4. Answer Questions on Quora.

Quora is a question-and-answer website where people go to find information. Every piece of content on the site is generated by users, meaning it is created, edited, and organized by the same people that use the website.

To use Quora, you need to create an account. Then, you can learn the basic functions of the website. Don’t worry, they make account creation and navigation of the website pretty easy for you. Plus, it’s free!

The only reason you should be answering someone’s question on Quora is if you have a high-quality, honest, and accurate answer. Don’t respond to users’ questions with nonsense.

The only way a website like Quora can thrive is if all users respect the requests and answers of others.

Quora can be used to generate sales for your affiliate marketing business without doing too much, however, you should adhere to the guidelines when it comes to sharing links.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can grow your business on Quora, check out the link to the article below to learn more.

5. Medium is one place to promote

Unlike forums and guest post websites, content-publishing communities such as Medium allow direct placement of affiliate links in your posts.

But like all marketing channels, users will ultimately be the ones to decide how much promotion is acceptable.

Stuffing too many links in your Medium articles isn’t going to drive any traffic or sales. But adding your affiliate link at the end of a useful, informative article can be an effective strategy.

7. Analyze Your Results.

As you start promoting your affiliate links, it’s important to track your results. Use analytics tools to monitor your website traffic, click-through rates, and sales.

This will help you identify what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to make adjustments to your strategies as needed.  To begin making money as an affiliate marketing entrepreneur, you might need some valuable tips.

8. How Much Money Can You Make as an Affiliate Marketer?

There are no official figures because profits vary from niche to niche. Certain products are more expensive or in greater demand, while others are more suitable for passive income.

Generally speaking, if you start from scratch without any meaningful internet presence, you will be making absolutely nothing in the first months.

It takes time to build a following and then some more time to make a sizeable audience. It would help if you had vision, determination, persistence, and a pinch of luck to get noticed and start earning well.

Here is my article on starting and building a blog with excellent SEO


Starting an affiliate marketing business can be a great way to earn extra income online. With low start-up costs, the ability to earn passive income, and unlimited earning potential, affiliate marketing is an attractive option for those looking to earn money online.

Plus, the flexibility and freedom that comes with running your own affiliate marketing business make it a great option for those who value their time and independence.

Finally, starting an affiliate marketing business can be a lucrative way to earn money online. By choosing your niche, researching affiliate programs, building your website or blog, creating quality content, promoting your affiliate links, and analyzing your results, you can build a successful affiliate marketing business that generates passive income.

Remember to stay patient, persistent, and committed to creating valuable content for your audience.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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