How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business

Affiliate Marketing Business

Alright, I am going to simplify this process as much as I can for you because there is so much misinformation, outdated, and confusing information as to how affiliate marketing works.  It isn’t complicated at all, and you are just as capable as I of creating an affiliate marketing business (if you have fingers, and a drive to succed).

So if you have a few minutes, I am going to show you how I have built successful affiliate marketing businesses over the years and helped literally 100,000’s of people do the same through the platform that I co-founded in 2005.

So let’s have a look at the process of affiliate marketing, and how that works…and then I am going to be jumping directly into the process on what and how to start an affiliate marketing business looks like and how you can get started TODAY (no joke), with your own business online.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

There is a plethora of information out there on affiliate marketing, but the problem is with so much information there is going to be bad information, really good information, confusing information, and information that lies somewhere in between.

I have been running successful businesses within the affiliate marketing space for the last 20 years, and during this time not a lot has changed to be honest.  The same “simple formula” that worked back then, continues to work to this day.  You have a product, and you have a customer.  Your job as an affiliate marketer is to align these two things.  That’s it!

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Here is a diagram outling how affiliate marketing works:

Now I am oversimplifying this a tad, but I am doing this for a reason.  I don’t want you to be scared of the word “affiliate marketing”, becuase you are just as capable of creating a full-time and very successful affiliate marketing business as me.  All you need is the right training, the right guidance, and the tools necessary to get you there.

The thing is, affilaite marketing at it’s core is very simple.  There are a few terms that you will want to become familar wth.

Affiliate (YOU).  You are the affiliate, this means that you can join companies like Etsy, eBay, Walmart, Amazon (and 10,000’s of others) and promote their products and services.  When you join these companies Affiliate Programs, they will give you a special “affiliate link” that is exclusive to you, and allows you to track all of the sales you generate.

Affiliate Program (company like Amazon).   Most companies have an affiliate program, 99% of all of the brands in the world in fact can be promoted online and you, as an affiliate, can earn a commission.   Amazon is one of the biggest affiliate programs in the world and will allow you to promote 100’s of MILLIONS of products, with a single account.  Pretty awesome right?

Earning Affiliate Commissions. Affiliate programs will give you a kick back if you can send people to their website, and they end up buying something. Say you send someone to Amazon through your affiliate link, and they end up buying a fridge, Amazon will pay you a % of the total sale.  Amazon offers around 3-6% commissions, so a transaction like this may yield you $50-100 (depending on the price of the fridge).    Depending on the company and affiliate program, they will typically pay between 2% and 75% in commisisons.

Unlimited Potential.  As an affiliate marketer, your potential has no limit.  The more people you can get buying through your affiliate links, the more money you make.  Many affiliate marketers make several million dollar per year, and this can be a reality for anyone that is willing to put forth the effort to build an affiliate marketing business.  But HOW do you build an affiliate marketing business?  I am going to cover that in the next section.

The 4-Steps to a Starting a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

4 Steps to Creating a Business

So how can YOU create your own successful affiliate marketing start-up?   There are actually only 4-steps to creating a successful affiliate marketing business, and if you can follow these and have access to the training, tools and support necesseary to run your business (which I will be helping you with), you are going to be off and running!So I am not only going to be giving you the exact steps, but helping you understand how you can accomplish these steps.

Step 1: Choose an Idea.

The first thing you are going to need to do before you start the build out of any business, is come up with an idea for your buisness.  This is also called the “niche” stage of your business, where you get to choose the audience and the category of your business.  This could be anything, from training a puppy, to basketball sports betting, to video games, etc.  There are literally millions of potential directions that you can head with your business.  This is the exciting part.

I tend to recommend to people to choose a passion/interest as their niche.  This way, you will truly love your business and when you love what you do, you never have to “work” a day in your life.  The Internet and the affiliate marketing industry has afforded us all this very opportunity.

How to Choose Your Idea: 
Choose a niche or a passion.  There are close to 5 BILLION people online now, so even the most obscure niches have vast audiences.  If you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you have direct video classes walking you through the niche selection process along with direct help from the community (and myself) who can give you feedback on your niche.

Step 2: Build a Website. 

Your website is your foundation of your business.  Think of it like a shop within the offline world.  If you have no “storefront”, you don’t have the ability to attract and help customers, or the ability to sell anything.  Your website is in essence your storefront, where you are able to help your audience, communicate with your audience, and promote products/services to your audience.

If you don’t have a website, you don’t stand a hope of running an online business.  It is the first and key neccesity you need to creating a long term business.

How to Accomplish:  You can build high performing and profit-ready websites with ease, at Wealthy Affiliate.  You can even get up and running with one for completely free, within the Starter account.  Another perk to using the website platform over at Wealthy Affiliate is that their hosting (where your website lives) is high speed and ranks better than other providers.  This can give you a competitive advantage and can lead to a lot more opportunity as you build out your website.

Step 3: Get an Audience.

In the Internet world, your website is also the place where your “traffic” will arrive.  Without people coming to your website, there is no way to make money. So it is important to understand how to attract traffic to your website.

Traffic can come in many forms, but one of the most sustainable and long term traffic methods is through search engine optimization.  This means, getting ranked in search engines like Google, and as a result getting all sorts of FREE traffic to your website.  Once you have traffic, you have opportunity.

So this is the next focus, once you have your website up and running.  Building out your website in a way that leads to traffic.

How to Accomplish:
You need proper “traffic” training, along with a website that is set-up to rank well within search engines.  These are both things that are provided within Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to elite SEO training, along with classes and access to experts that will personally hepl you with your traffic campaigns.

Plus, there are many other ways you can get traffic to your website as you build it out.  Social media channels, Yotuube and video blogging, podcasts, and paid traffic channels.  These are all covered in detail within the training at Wealthy Affiliate.

Step 4: Make Money. 

Last but no least, the “make money” part of your business.  This is where you earn money through affiliate programs.  Basically there are over 550 MILLION products/services that you can promote as an affiliate marketer, in exchange for a commission.  You will be adding these special links on your website from companies like Amazon, Etsy, Nike, Apple, eBay, etc…and you will then earn a “kickback” if someone goes from your website to theirs and ends up buying something.

The affiliate marketing industry is growing at the fastest pace ever, and affiliates stand to earn $12 BILLION online this year…with this growing even more next year. You can get your chunk of this pie.

How to Accomplish: 
 Finding affiliate programs can be an inefficient task at the best of times. You typically have to go through a bunch of Google searches, just to find what you are looking for.  Within Wealthy Affiliate, you have instant access to an Affiliate Program search where you can search through 10,000+ affiliate programs, across some of the top affiliate networks online.

Not to mention, the training you will be getting on how to properly integrate affiliate promotions into your website to maximize conversions….along with some insight into the customer purchase lifecycle, critical information if you want to become a high performing, and successful affiliate marketers online.

So there you have it, how to effectively start an affiliate marketing business in a nutshell.  If you are interested in creating your own affiliate marketing business and have no experience, or you are currently trying to build out or scale an affiliate marketing business and you are not getting ther results you want, I CAN PERSONALLY HELP.

Support Testimonial Wealthy Affiliate

Again, I have been at this 20 years full-time and you can immediately connect with me within my home base,  Upon creating your account, you will get access to the training, websites, hosting, research tools, networking, mentorship and direct support.

It’s also free to try, you can get a “test drive” Starter account for no cost…no credit card required.  I highly recommend if you are even the slightest bit interested in becoming an elite affiliate marketer, you get rolling right now with your account.  I will be reaching out to you within 30 minutes or so, of you joining. 😉

And if you have any questions you want to leave here for me, feel free to do so.  I will make sure I get back to you as soon as I can (usually within a few hours).


Founder of
Co-founder of

9 thoughts on “How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business”

  1. What I love about affiliate marketing is that there is a product for everyone out there to sell, and you can base a website on what you know and love and sell products that you have experience with. So no longer are you forced to sell beauty products or supplements if you have not interest in them. Now if you love dogs you can sell a range of doggy goods or whatever tickles your fancy. And even better you have a worldwide audience.

    I understand though that it does take time to build this type of business?

    • Exactly the case Michel.  You can build a business based on a passion or interest, and that is always what I have recommended to folks as the starting point of an online business.  As the old cliche goes, if you do something you love you never have to work a day in your life.  The Internet affords us all of this opportunity, and the opportunity to promote over 550 MILLION products/services as an affiliate marketer. 

      It takes time, but the process is much more efficient than ever.  When I started out, building a website took 30 days just to get it live, the same thing that can be accomplished in 30 seconds now through platforms like that available to you at Wealthy Affiliate.  

  2. Affiliate marketing is truly a great option for people who want to take control of their income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in collaboration with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer can earn a passive income from the comfort of their own home without having to produce their own product or service.

    Very informative. Thank you for sharing this!

    • That is the thing about affiliate marketing and why the model is so widely used by pretty much every company imaginable.  They only pay you, when you drive their business revenue.  And for affiliates it is a brilliant model because you can leverage your traffic to promote over 550 million products/services across any niche/vertical. 

      Glad you enjoyed this Martina and thanks for your feedback!

  3. Wealthy Affiliates has given me the opportunity to become an Affiliates with other companies and franchises. Given that I completely agree and understand what I doing to promote my business, and how to properly build a business online.

    • Success online all starts with a fundamental understanding of the “core” foundation, and then once you have that in place the sky is the limit. Really glad you are enjoying your experience at WA and it sounds like you are really gaining a new skill set within the affiliate marketing world Edwin.

  4. Thank you Kyle and Carson for this great opportunity..
    I just joined last month and currently going through the training and I really appreciate all the effort put into all the lessons. I wished that I found this 15 years ago. Wealthy Affiliate is a true leader in educating those who want to be successful with Affiliate Marketing. Whoever reading this and if you are still in doubt, please do yourself a favor and take the test drive. Create your free account with Wealthy Affiliate to test the platform. Refer links to the training in the post.


Leave a Comment