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Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Guide for Beginners

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Do you want to learn how to start affiliate marketing as a beginner?

Affiliate marketing is a popular way to make money online and can be a great addition to your blog's monetization strategy.

In full transparency – some of the links on Webqo Blog are affiliate links, and if you use them to make a purchase, we will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

In this affiliate marketing guide for beginners, we will explain how affiliate marketing works and how you can get started immediately.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission when a person purchases after clicking your unique referral link.

Unlike other ad types, which pay based on clicks or views, affiliate marketing works on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) or CPL (cost-per-lead) basis. In other words, you only earn a commission when someone takes action, such as buying a product or signing up for a free trial.

Because there is less risk for the advertiser, affiliate programs pay more commissions to publishers than Google AdSense or other ads.

Affiliate marketing requires a more hands-on approach. First, you must find a product or service that you believe will be helpful to your users. Then, you must strategically add it to your blog posts and other site areas so your users can purchase the product using your referral link.

Popular Affiliate Marketing Blog

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Here are some popular affiliate marketing blog examples to give you a better idea.


New Product Reviews, Deals, and Buying Advice

Wirecutter is a well-known product recommendation website from the New York Times. It publishes product reviews and “best of” lists for all affiliate products, including kitchen tools, home decor, pet supplies, software, and more.


NerdWallet - Affiliate Website Example
Affiliate Website Example – NerdWallet

NerdWallet is another popular website that earns money by promoting financial products to its audience. It publishes reviews on the best credit cards, mortgages, and banking services.

Lucie's List

Lucies List - Affiliate Website Example
Affiliate Website Example – Lucie's List

Lucie's List is an affiliate marketing blog for new and expectant parents. The blog provides buying guides with affiliate links for strollers, car seats, bottles, high chairs, and other baby products.

How Does Affiliate Marketing / Tracking Work?

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

First, you must find a company or product you want to promote. You need to select a product or service that you believe will be relevant to your blog's topic and useful for your audience. The product or company you choose is often called a ‘Merchant.'

Next, you must partner with the company by joining its partner program. This makes you their ‘Affiliate'. Some companies also use the terms associates or partners.

Once you join their partner program (also called an Affiliate Program), you will receive a unique affiliate ID. You must use this affiliate ID in all affiliate links you add to your website to promote the product.

You can promote the product by adding in-depth product reviews, recommending it in your articles, displaying banner ads, sending an email newsletter, and more. All traffic you send to the merchant website with your unique ID will be tracked.

Once a user makes a purchase. You will earn a commission. Your payment is issued once your earnings reach a threshold, typically 45-60 days.

How Affiliate Marketers Get Paid

There are different metrics that affiliate marketers can get paid for.

  • Pay-per-sale (PPS) is the most common method of affiliate marketing. This method pays a commission or an agreed-upon amount whenever an affiliate successfully converts a sale.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): The merchant and affiliate agree on an amount. For every click they receive, the affiliate is credited. It's important to note that this is regardless of whether a sale occurs.
  • Pay-per-lead (PPL): The merchant and affiliate agree on what qualifies as a lead and an amount. The affiliate is credited for every qualified lead they receive. As we mentioned above, this occurs regardless of whether a sale occurs.

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

First, you need to ensure that you are using the right blogging platform and that you are allowed to run affiliate marketing campaigns on your website.

For example, if you are using, then there are some restrictions regarding the products and services you can link to.

On the other hand, if you are on a self-hosted website, you can add any affiliate link you want and efficiently manage your affiliate campaigns.

Next, you must let your users know how you make money from your website by adding a disclosure page.

You must also add a privacy policy and terms of service page to your blog.

These are among the must-have pages for every WordPress blog. They not only prevent future legal issues, but they also help you build trust with your audience.

Finding Affiliate Products and Services to Promote

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

There are many ways to find products and companies that you can partner up with as an affiliate. Here are some of the easiest ways to find the products you can promote.

Check this Affiliate Programs Database (Updated)

Become an Affiliate for Products You Already Use

First, you must look at the products and services you already use and find useful. This makes convincing your users about the product easy since you know the pros and cons.

Next, search the product's website for terms like ‘Affiliate program,' ‘Partners,' or ‘Affiliates.' Many companies actively seek affiliate marketers to promote their products, so they often add a link to their affiliate page in their website's footer.

OptinMonster Affiliate Page
OptinMonster Affiliate Page

Look for Products Other Blogs are Recommending

Another way to find products is to look at similar blogs. Many similar blogs use affiliate marketing to make money.

But how do you know that they are promoting affiliate products?

First, look for the obvious and easily noticeable banner ads on their website. Take your mouse to the banner ad, and you will see a link in your browser's status bar.

This link usually has an affiliate ID. The affiliate ID helps merchants track which affiliate partner sends them traffic and sales.

Sometimes, these links may look like internal links, but when you click on them, they will take you to a product website with the affiliate marketer's ID in the link. You will also find similar affiliate links throughout their content.

Join Bigger Affiliate Networks

Another way to find products to promote is by joining affiliate networks. These websites act as a middleman between affiliate marketers and merchants.

You will notice that many products and companies you want to partner with already use an affiliate network. This helps you quickly find many products you can promote on your website.

The next section will share more about affiliate networks and our top recommendations.

Reach out to Companies

If you want to promote a product but can't find any information about their affiliate program, you can simply email them.

Some companies may not be actively promoting their affiliate program. They can invite you to join if they have an affiliate program.

What are Affiliate Networks? Why You Should Join Them

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Affiliate networks act as a middleman between you (the affiliate marketer) and merchants (companies that want to sell their products).

Merchants. They provide their platform as a service to list their products, track affiliate traffic, manage affiliates, and send payments.

For affiliate marketers, they offer an easy-to-use platform to search for products, sign up as an affiliate, and track your campaign performance and earnings.

Following are some of the most popular affiliate networks that you can join.

  • Impact – Whether you're a creator monetizing your content or an established publisher building new revenue streams, can help you discover new brand partnerships and scale your commerce content and sponsored content programs.
  • ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks, with many high-paying affiliate products for almost every category imaginable. For example, the popular WordPress hosting company WP Engine uses ShareASale to manage its affiliates.
  • CJ Affiliate (Formerly Commission Junction) – Another top affiliate network with many merchants and products neatly organized in categories and easily searchable. Companies like GoDaddy, Expedia, and many others use CJ.
  • ClickBank – This is a large online marketplace for selling digital products in various categories from different vendors. It is easy to use and has many learning resources for new affiliate marketers.
  • Amazon Associates – Amazon is the world's largest e-commerce store, selling millions of products. You can sign up for their affiliate program and start earning by sending people to a website they already use for online shopping.

Which Affiliate Networks Should You Join

You should join affiliate networks that have the products you want to promote. You can join multiple affiliate networks for different products. We use all the above networks and a few others.

Make sure that you always check the network program policies. You also need to review the program policies of individual products and merchants. This will give you an idea of your earnings, payments, additional incentives, and more.

Affiliate Marketing Tips to Increase Earnings

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Now that we have covered the basics let's dive into some more tips for making money from affiliate marketing.

Choose Good Products and Companies to Promote

As an affiliate marketer, you don't have control over the future of the products you recommend. That's why you need to make sure you recommend the best products from reputable companies.

The best way to do this is by recommending the products and services that you have used. Contact them to learn more if you want to recommend a useful product.

Most companies will gladly offer you a free account or copy to test their product or service if you ask nicely.

Keep Your Audience in Mind

Keep your website's audience and interests in mind when choosing the product. For example, if you run a fashion blog, you would want to promote fashion accessories, clothing, and similar products your audience would want to buy.

You also need to ensure that you are not just recommending products because they offer higher commissions. If a user buys a product that isn't useful based on your recommendation, they will never trust it again.

Offer Highly Useful and Valuable Content

You can add affiliate links and banners anywhere on your WordPress site. However, adding links will not convince your users to buy those products.

It would be best to convince your users by offering useful and valuable information about the product. Many affiliate marketers do that by writing in-depth product reviews, video reviews, product comparisons with pros and cons, and more.

Start an Email Newsletter

Promoting affiliate products in your email newsletter is another powerful way to boost your affiliate income.

That's because email marketing is direct and ongoing. Once people sign up for your newsletter, they'll regularly receive awesome deals and product recommendations directly in their inboxes.

To convince people to subscribe to your newsletter, you can use a tool like GetResponse.

GetResponse - Professional Email Marketing for Everyone
GetResponse – Professional Email Marketing for Everyone

GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers a suite of tools designed to help businesses grow. It provides email marketing, landing pages, webinars, and CRM to create a comprehensive marketing solution.

GetResonse also helps you automate your marketing processes by offering features such as autoresponders, lead capture forms, contact management, detailed analytics, and more.

The best part? You can use GetResponse for FREE today! (No credit card is required)

Sell Dropshipping Products

Aside from promoting affiliate products on your website, you can diversify your income with dropshipping.

Dropshipping is accepting customer orders without keeping any products in stock. When a customer purchases a product from your site, you place the order with the original vendor, who will ship the product directly to the customer.

Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

As your blog grows, you will be recommending many different products. This will make it difficult for you to manage all the affiliate links, banners, and ads spread over your website.

Luckily, there are excellent affiliate marketing tools and plugins for WordPress that can help with the management.


Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

ThirstyAffiliates – The Best Affiliate Link Cloaking Plugin for WordPress

Manually adding links to your content becomes quite difficult as your site grows. You must copy the URL with your affiliate ID every time you mention the product and paste it into WordPress.

This is where ThirstyAffiliates can help. It is an affiliate link management plugin that allows you to add affiliate links easily in WordPress.

It also lets you change lengthy affiliate links into cloaked, more user-friendly links.

ThirstyAffiliates can automatically replace keywords with affiliate links, which can significantly help you boost your affiliate revenue.

Pretty Links

Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

Pretty Links
Pretty Links – The All-In-One Affiliate Link Management Plugin for WordPress

Pretty Links is an excellent affiliate marketing plugin that turns your long affiliate links into something readable and easy to remember. Shorter links do make bigger impressions on your audience.

In addition to providing better affiliate links, Pretty Links also makes it easier to manage server-side redirects, brand and advertise your links, and monitor your links' activity.

There's also a cloaking feature to keep your affiliate links more secure. Sometimes, hackers find your raw affiliate links and replace them, which means the profits from all your hard work will go into someone else's pocket. Link cloaking prevents this.

Pretty Links is a must-have plugin for any serious affiliate marketer using WordPress.


Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

AdSanity – Simplified Ad Management For WordPress

AdSanity is the best WordPress ad management plugin and a must-have for every affiliate marketer's toolbox. It allows you to create banner ads from your WordPress site and manage them from a single dashboard.

AdSanity also makes inserting ads into your WordPress posts, pages, and sidebar widgets easy. It can also manage third-party ads like Google AdSense and banners.


Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

MonsterInsights – The Best WordPress Analytics Plugin

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It lets you see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website.

It also helps you track your outbound affiliate links using Google Analytics. This lets you discover which affiliate links are clicked more often and helps you find missed opportunities.

You can see this important data in a single, easy-to-read report from your WordPress dashboard.

MonsterInsights can also detect if you use ThirstyAffiliates to manage your affiliate links. That means it can automatically track all your affiliate links, no matter what link prefix you use.

Other powerful MonsterInsights features include eCommerce, file download, and form tracking.

We hope this ultimate affiliate marketing guide for beginners helped you learn how to become an affiliate marketer.

FAQs about Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Let me answer some frequently asked questions about Affiliate Marketing.

Is affiliate marketing legal?

Of course! As the affiliate marketing industry has continued to grow, the legal frameworks surrounding it have done their best to keep up.

While it depends on which country your affiliate marketing efforts occur or where your business is based, you MUST disclose your relationship with a merchant when promoting their offer.

Why become an affiliate marketer?

If you like making extra income, you should become an affiliate marketer. This extra income can be anything from beer money to replacing your full-time job.

It's up to you to decide how to go about it.

How much can affiliate marketers make?

Like any performance-based income stream, the sky is the limit. Take it from WireCutter, one of the largest affiliate websites in the world that pulled in over $150 million in affiliate income from 2011 to 2016. It was then acquired by the New York Times in 2016 for around $30 million. Not bad!

Are affiliate networks pyramid schemes?

No, not at all. While some pyramid schemes may use tactics that resemble affiliate marketing, that does not make affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme. We explained the affiliate ecosystem above, and it's clear where all the money comes from.

Does joining an affiliate program cost money?

In most cases, no, we haven't seen anything like that. The one example we may say is an exception is the affiliate network Awin. When getting your account verified on the platform, they will charge you $5. This amount is fully refunded, assuming your account passes their verification. We can think of no major or popular affiliate program that costs money to sign up for. They will make you money, not cost you money!

Quick Links

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, you might want to check out these other resources:

Final Thoughts

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

After all, you must invest money in affiliate marketing before making any money from it. So, spending a few bucks on the best affiliate tools is always a good investment. Do you have any more questions? Let us know in the comments.


Webqo Blog is a trusted source for technology news and information covering artificial intelligence, monetization, reviews, and guides.

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