This affiliate marketing checklist covers one specific strategy which I explain in several other tutorials.

If you need a refresher on this strategy, I will include several links to other tutorials within the checklist.

Also, this checklist will help you the most if you have already taken my free course. Get access for free here.

The Full Course: I’ve actually taken this checklist from my full online course which has over 50 hours of video lessons. Learn more about the full course here.

The Checklist for Affiliate Marketing


Understand your new role as an entrepreneur.

Get a crystal clear understanding of what affiliate marketing is.

Choose your platform: A website is the ultimate foundation for your affiliate marketing business. Review this article: Why Beginners Should Start With a Website

Review the strategy you will use with affiliate marketing. Review this article: Affiliate Marketing Strategy for Beginners

You need to use the proper tools: Download my Business Building Toolkit

Find Your Niche

Understand the process of "niching down":

Category > Specific Market > Specific Customer > Specific Pain Points


Find a niche from brainstorming exercises.

Here is a quick brainstorming exercise to help you find niches based on your passion, interest and experience:

  • What do you talk to people about / watch on YouTube?
  • What kind of books do you read?
  • What hobbies do you have?
  • What problems do you currently have?
  • What do you have experience in?
  • What products do you buy?

Find a niche from a list of niches.

Find a niche in affiliate networks.

  • Amazon
  • ShareASale
  • CJ
  • Flex Offers
  • Awin
  • Rakuten

Do a Google search of "list of affiliate niches" and you may find some articles highlighting some trending topics.

Evaluate your niche with these questions:

  • Are people searching for solutions to their problems, online?
  • Are people spending money in this niche, online?
  • Are there products (solutions) you can promote as an affiliate?

Find affiliate programs in your niche:

  • You can search within affiliate networks for programs.
  • You can do a simple Google search: Niche + Affiliate Programs.
  • You can analyze competitor websites in your niche and see what products they promote.

More questions to consider:

  • Is your niche solving a problem?
  • Are you aware of the main pain points in this niche?
  • If your niche doesn't solve a specific problem, are people searching for information in this niche?
  • If it's a hobby that people are passionate about, do they research it online?
  • Do people buy stuff online in this niche?
  • Do you know how much people spend on products in this niche?
  • Do people actually buy products online within this niche?
  • Does your target market actually have money?

Here is an article about finding your niche: How to Find Your Niche

Keyword Research

Understand what a keyword is:

A keyword is any word or phrase that people search for on Google, YouTube and other search engines.

Find keywords manually:

  • Brainstorm topics related to your niche.
  • Ask yourself, what do people in my niche search for?
  • Visit FAQ pages of other websites associated with your niche.
  • Gather questions your customers might ask (
  • Consider creating product reviews.
  • Consider comparing Product X vs. Product Y.
  • Search forums associated with your topic.
  • Search Wikipedia for your topic.
  • Search Reddit for your topic.
  • Use Google suggest, YouTube suggest, Amazon suggest.

Use keyword research tools to gather important metrics:

  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty

Understand search intent: Informational vs. Buyer Intent.

Two keyword search methods when using tools:

  • Using a head (seed) keyword
  • Analyzing competition

Red flags when evaluating your niche:

  • Low search volume.
  • Low # of keywords overall.
  • High keyword difficulty score for the majority of your keywords.
  • Little to no easy long tail keywords.
  • Low # of buyer intent keywords.
  • High Domain Rating (DR) sites ranking for all your keywords.
  • Main keyword is trending downwards.
  • No affiliate programs and products to promote.

Review this article: Keyword Research for Beginners

Build Your Website

There are 3 important components to creating a website. These are:

Quick recap:

  • Buy a domain name at a domain name registrar (NameCheap).
  • Sign up for web hosting (SiteGround).
  • Install WordPress through your web host provider.
  • Update your Name Servers (DNS) at your domain name registrar.
  • Login to your WordPress Dashboard (
  • Add SSL to your site.
  • Contact support if you run into any issues.

Website and WordPress Tutorials:

Install important plugins:

Install a WordPress theme:

Create Content

Understand this: The people earning big money on the Internet are the content producers producing content for people to read, watch and take recommendations from. Become a content producer, not a content consumer.

Keep your blinders on and focus on lining up and producing 50 pieces of content on your website.

Once you have around 50 articles up on your site, Google will notice you, understand what your topic is about, and other websites will start to consider you as an authority.

No one will take your site seriously until you have a good amount of content published, and your site is looking professional.


Choose a site architecture plan:

Every site needs these 3 pages:

  • Contact Page
  • About Us Page
  • Privacy and Disclaimer Page

Basic writing tips to start with:

  • Write in a friendly tone (you’re building relationships).
  • Write your content for your avatar (your ideal customer).
  • Write your content at a grade 8 level (keep your niche in mind).
  • Keep your content consistent (use templates when appropriate).
  • Create a persona and unique voice (should match your avatar).

3 steps to creating your content:

  • Discover content topics (keyword research).
  • Choose type and format.
  • Plan and produce your content.

Create a few templates for some common formats of content on your site, because it will make writing much easier.


Here's the bottom line:

You want to wow your new website visitors with great content that answers their questions, and positions you as the authority in your niche. Then when you make recommendations, they will trust you and you will earn commissions.

In producing amazing content that users love, other websites will recognize you as an authority and link to your website, signalling to the search engines that you are legit, and deserve to be ranked highly on the 1st page of Google.

That’s the secret to ranking a website and earning commissions, and why good content is essential.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

Your website needs to be optimized properly so Google can access it, read it, and rank it. You need to tell Google that the information on your website is worth listing high in their search results.

Understand On Page and Off Page SEO: SEO for Beginners

On Page SEO refers to the things that you can control and change on your actually website:

  • Design (website speed and user experience)
  • URLs
  • Titles
  • Headlines
  • Content (text)
  • Images
  • Links (internal and outbound)

Learn more here: On Page SEO Checklist

Off Page SEO refers to link building.

3 link building strategies to start with:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Creating linkable content
  • Outreach - Guest blogging


For a refresh on the entire strategy, check out this article and video: Step-By-Step Affiliate Marketing System

Here's Your Next Step

If you're interested in taking this checklist to the next level, I would recommend you learn about my full course. It has over 50 hours of video lessons that explain how to implement this checklist. Learn more here.

Tyler Stokes
Tyler Stokes

Hey I'm Tyler Stokes and I'm the creator of Affiliate Marketing That WORKS. I have been doing affiliate marketing for well over 10 years and have built several online businesses. These days my passion is helping others get started through this blog and my YouTube channel. The best way to contact me is on Twitter.