Home Marketing Affiliate Marketing What Is Affiliate Marketing For Beginners (Overview)

What Is Affiliate Marketing For Beginners (Overview)

Wondering what is affiliate marketing for beginners?

You’ve heard of affiliate marketing and wondering if this is something suitable for you.

Perhaps you are just looking to read on the topic and educate yourself for now.

To all of you, we’ve got what you need!

In this article, we will look at what is affiliate marketing for beginners. We will understand what is affiliate marketing, how you can get paid, why you should become an affiliate marketer, the different types of affiliate marketing programs, how to select a product to promote and more.

We have divided this article into the following sections to help you navigate to the part you are interested in:

Let’s get started!

What is affiliate marketing?

The most appropriate question to ask to start an affiliate marketing for beginners article: what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of generating sales and revenue online marketing someone else’s product or services.

Essentially, with affiliate marketing, you will promote the product or service of another company and get a commission for the sale without having to directly get involved with that customer.

Typically, you will put an affiliate marketing link on your web page directing the prospect to the company who’s product you are promoting.

The seller will handle the sale from start to finish and at the end and you get a commission if a sale is done.

The concept of affiliate marketing is quite simple.

You are sort of an intermediary between the buyer and the seller where you influence the buyer to make a purchase from the seller.

That’s about it!

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing is the relationship of three parties in the sale process, the brand or the seller, the affiliate marketer or publisher and the buyer or consumer.

An affiliate marketer is typically a person, a company or an influencer online who has a large following in a niche segment.

For example, someone can have a blog or a website about law firm software products with thousands of visitors on a monthly basis.

This person can become an affiliate marketer of legal software by promoting a third party software product.

The third-party software product is the software seller.

The seller is a software development company looking to sell its software to law firms for instance.

The affiliate marketing relationship works quite well here as the publisher has a niche audience in the legal software segment, promotes the legal software to its audience and that audience can be more inclined to consider or even buy that legal software.

If they do, the software company will provide the affiliate marketer a commission for that sale.

So the affiliate marketer is sort of the marketing extension of the seller’s product.

How do you get paid with affiliate marketing?

Another good question appropriate for this affiliate marketing for beginners is about how you are paid by sellers.

So you decided to act as an affiliate marketer, you’ve been promoting the products and services of another company, and now how do you get paid?

In the case where a customer buys a product and pays for the product in full, you will get your commission based on the terms of the seller’s affiliate marketing program.

So if the seller offers you 20% commission for the sale, then at the end of the month or for every transaction, you’ll get your 20% commission.

What happens if the seller does not collect all the money upfront from the buyer?

How would you measure your sales?

There are different ways of getting paid: pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead and pay-per-click.

Let’s look into each.


Pay-per-sale is the standard type of how affiliate marketing programs pay out.

Promote the product, get a sale, get your commission.


On a pay-per-sale affiliate marketing program, the seller will give you a predetermined percentage of the sale if the buyer came through your affiliate link.

In this affiliate marketing structure, you get paid once the client pays for the product or service.


Pay-per-lead is another type of affiliate marketing structure where your compensation is based on how many leads you convert for the seller.

A conversion can be anything the seller considers to be a conversion.

If the seller wants the lead register for a newsletter, then that’s a conversion.

If the seller wants the lead to submit an online form, then that’s a conversion.

If the seller wants the lead to download a free trial of the software, then that’s a conversion.

With the pay-per-lead affiliate marketing structure, you will be paid every time a lead performs the desired action the seller is hoping for them to achieve.


The other affiliate marketing structure is the pay-per-click type.

Under this program, you are essentially getting paid for directing online traffic to the seller’s website.

Every time a user clicks on the affiliate marketing link, you get a commission.

This is similar to search engine advertising like Google AdWords where for every click, the advertiser will pay.

Why become an affiliate marketer?

There are many reasons why affiliate marketing is an attractive way to earn money.

Affiliate marketing for beginners will require hard work and dedication but it can be highly rewarding.

Through affiliate marketing, you can earn money without having to create a product, render a service deal with customers.

If you are a beginner, we have to caution you that affiliate marketing takes time and a lot of effort to succeed.

Make sure you understand what you are getting into it and be ready to put in the time and effort.

Having said that, fundamentally, all you have to do is to promote a product or a service, have others deal with the clients and you can earn a good stream of income.

By becoming an affiliate marketer, you can earn a passive income without dealing with customers, you can work from home in a cost-effective way and get paid based on your performance and not how many hours you work in a week.

Let’s look at some of the main benefits of becoming an affiliate marketer.

Passive income

Affiliate marketing is an amazing way for you to earn passive income.

Passive income is the ability to make money without having to exchange time for that income on a one-for-one basis.

Initially, you’ll need to spend time building a website, writing promotional content and doing what’s necessary for your affiliate marketing to earn your income.

Once you start earning income and getting traffic to your website, you no longer need to spend many hours working on that affiliate marketing program anymore. 

The pages, the videos and content are created and they will start working for you online.

Now you can take a step back and watch your site visitors click on your affiliate link, engage with sellers, buy the product and you collect the commission.

You can technically make money as you sleep!

What is amazing here is that the work you’ll initially put in creating your online marketing strategy for affiliate marketing will work for you online 24/7.

You have the possibility of earning a continuous stream of income over time.

No direct customers

Another important factor to consider in becoming an affiliate marketer is that you do not have to deal with customers directly.

Any business selling a product or service must cater to their customers.

Some customers are happy, some are not, some want more, some want less, some are nice and some are crazy!

You don’t have any of that.

As an affiliate marketer, you are the intermediary between the seller and the buyer.

You’re sort of a ‘broker’.

You are uniting a buyer who has a need with a seller who has an offering to cater to the need of the buyer.

Once you put them together, they will do their thing together.

You are out of the picture.

You did the match-making, you collect your commission and you are out for the next match-making opportunity.

Not having to deal with customers can be quite interesting if you do not have the patience for it, you do not have the organizational capacity to manage it and so on.

Flexible lifestyle

Imagine being able to earn your living while traveling the world.

This sounds too good to be true or even a scam.

My friends, that’s what you can get with affiliate marketing.

You are not tied down anywhere, unless you choose to stay somewhere.

Your work consists of working online and all you may need is a good laptop and some equipment depending on if you do video, podcats or other things.

If you run a blog, your affiliate marketing job consists of writing content, that’s it!

You can do that from home, from a hotel, while on vacation and from anywhere.

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that since you can earn your income online and not from one specific employer, you are free to design your work schedule the way that you like.

You are not tied to an office or an employer.

You call your own shots.

Now that’s pretty cool!

Earn money based on performance

Another reason why you may want to become an affiliate marketer is that you can earn money based on your performance not based on how many hours you put in.

This means that if you know what you are doing, if you understand SEO and digital marketing and if you build the right affiliate marketing promotional material, you can make serious money.

The flip side can be true however.

If you don’t have a plan and work haphazardly, you may put a lot of time and effort and get little results.

You’ll need to be strategic, you’ll need to do your homework and you’ll need to work hard at first.

Once your setup starts generating results, then you can focus your time and energy on making this better as opposed to just putting in a lot of time.

Types of affiliate marketers

There are many types of affiliate marketing programs out there.

You can do affiliate marketing and advertising products as an influencer, as a blogger, by developing niche microsites, with email lists and by building a website generating a lot of traffic.


Influencers in most cases have a larger audience and in most cases they are focused on a particular subject.

You can have influencers in fashion, in online business, for blenders! 

You have influencers for everything.

Influencers can have a lot of success in affiliate marketing as they can influence their audience to buy or not a specific product or a service.

Influencers have already built a level of trust with their audience.

This puts them in a position of authority when they advertise or promote a product or service.


A blogger also stands to gain with affiliate marketing.

The blogger’s success is in their ability to write content that their audience loves to read about.

Just like an influencer, the blogger has the ability to write a compelling piece of content that will impact their user’s buying decision.

They can promote a product in a way that speaks to their audience.

Bloggers can write reviews, they can compare different products, they can write about their own experience using the product.

They can present the product or service in a number of ways and successfully drive sales.


Microsites are smaller sites having a much greater focus on a particular topic.

You can have a main site about a product or a service, you can create a microsite speaking about a unique element of what you do.

Doing affiliate marketing through your microsite can be quite effective as the traffic on that site will be highly targeted and focused.

The chances of conversion are much higher.

Microsites are typically quite simple and straightforward so it makes it easy for users to understand the material and take a positive action. 

How to select products to promote?

The next topic in our affiliate marketing for beginners article is how to select the product to promote.

It’s one thing to say that you can promote products online but it’s another thing to decide what to promote online.

There are some ways you can select the product or service to promote.

You can promote products you already use, look for other products to promote or join affiliate marketing networks.

Promote products you use

If you already use a product that you believe in, you can first look at promoting these products online.

You’ll be able to talk about your experience and really provide your audience with a genuine perspective of what to expect.

There are many companies out there looking to sell their products and services through affiliate marketers, so you may be able to find a few products you can advertise this way.

Look at other blogs

Another way you can make up your mind as to what to promote is by looking at other blogs out there or affiliate marketers.

What are they selling through their blog?

What products appear to be popular to sell?

By looking at what’s being promoted by other affiliate marketers on their blogs, how they are marketing the products and services and what type of affiliate program they are linking to, you’ll be able to know what product to sell with your own affiliate marketing efforts.

Joint affiliate marketing networks

Affiliate marketing networks are another great way for finding products to promote through your affiliate marketing efforts.

The affiliate marketing networks act as the intermediary between affiliate marketers and the sellers.

You can navigate the affiliate marketing network’s website and find products and services you can relate to and promote.

There are many products out there, so you’ll need to take some time to look at what’s out there to make a good choice.

Affiliate marketing strategies

Different affiliate marketing strategies can be employed to succeed and earn a good income online.

You’ll need to have a hands-on approach when doing affiliate marketing.

It’s important to find the product that you truly believe in yourself and that you believe will provide value to your audience.

By strategically designing your webpages, writing your blog posts, creating videos or employing other marketing strategies, you can increase your chances of converting customers.

If you choose the right product to promote, understand your audience so you can offer valuable content to them, your affiliate marketing strategies will be more successful. 

Choose a good product

One strategy to succeed in your affiliate marketing is to promote products and services that you personally have used and you can attest that it is a good product.

If you promote a good product to your audience, your audience will most likely share their experience and views with other members of your audience.

If you are not promoting good products, the word will spread fast.

That can just affect your credibility.

You want to ensure you provide your users with products that you are comfortable with.

If you say that a product is good, you should genuinely believe that yourself so you can defend your decision in case your audience challenges you.

Understand your audience

To succeed in affiliate marketing means that you must succeed at providing convincing material to your users.

To provide convincing material to your users, you must understand them in the first place.

When you have a product in mind, try to understand who can be interested in that product.

What is the customer persona?

By having the typical customer persona in mind, you can create digital marketing content and employ digital marketing strategies to convince them to buy the product.

Offer value to your audience

If you offer valuable content to your audience, you will have a much greater chance to succeed in your affiliate marketing strategy while at the same time truly helping out your audience.

What does your audience want?

What is the interest of your audience?

What do they care about?

By providing valuable content to your audience along with promoting relevant products and services, your audience will surely appreciate it.

If you offer products and services proving real value to your audience, they will trust you and rely on your advice in the future.

If you sell them whatever product you can find without thinking of your audience, you can quickly lose credibility and lose their trust.

Without that base level of trust with your audience, you will adversely impact the success of your affiliate marketing efforts.


Here you have it.

What is affiliate marketing for beginners?

We’ve looked at what is affiliate marketing, why it’s an interesting way to earn money online, how you are paid and the different types of affiliate marketing programs out there and more.

It will take a lot of effort if you are just starting out.

This is not a type of scheme where you put in a little effort and make a quick buck.

You will need to work hard, put in the time and effort and continually persist in your efforts.

With time and constant effort, you can achieve good success in affiliate marketing.

We hope you like our article on what is affiliate marketing for beginners.

Do you have any additional points to share on the topic of affiliate marketing for beginners? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment.

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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