How to Start Affiliate Marketing (The Complete Beginners Guide)

This post about how to start affiliate marketing was updated as of September 2020 to ensure accuracy and relevancy.

It was 11pm on a dreary night in Bangkok.

My (now) good friends Derek and Clay had an apartment across town that they’d just moved into. Despite only knowing them for a brief period of time they let me come crash for a few days while I figured out my next steps.

While all of this was happening, Chris Guillebeau was launching his latest product called the Empire Building Kit. Among other things, it featured an email a day for a year and was designed to help you build a business during that time.

I’d hardly done anything during the previous year to monetize Location Rebel (then Location 180).  But when this was released, I figured “why not?” and wrote a review talking about how cool the program was.

I went down the street to grab a coffee and when I came back and refreshed my inbox it was 11:05 – 5 minutes after the sale began.

I refreshed my email as soon as I got back, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

 

There were 4 emails, each of them saying “Sean Ogle You’ve Just Referred a Sale! You’ve earned a commission of $126.99.”

What is Affiliate Marketing?

This is one of the most common questions we receive, and it’s actually quite simple:

Affiliate marketing is a way for you (the affiliate) to earn a commission for recommending products or services to your friends or readers.

To simplify it, here’s the 5 step process for how to start affiliate marketing:

  1. You find a product you want to promote
  2. Do a search for “product name” affiliate program. If it’s on Amazon, you can also promote it
  3. Sign up for their affiliate program
  4. You get a special link that allows the merchant to track the people who clicked your link
  5. If they buy the product, you get a commission.

Pretty simple, right?

It can get much more advanced, but in this post, we’re just going to start with the fundamentals and get you to the point where you’re ready to make your first commission.

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