In this article I’m going to explain EXACTLY how to start affiliate marketing.

I’ve built several successful affiliate marketing businesses, and they all start with these 5 MUST DO steps.

  1. Understand what affiliate marketing is
  2. Pick your platform
  3. Review the ideal strategy
  4. Choose a business topic
  5. Research affiliate programs

Watch or read on:

Bonus: Grab your copy of my 5 Step Blueprint for Beginners which covers all these steps in much more detail. This is the ultimate guide to getting started and it comes with 5 free training videos you can watch right now.

Step 1: Understand What Affiliate Marketing is

Before you can really get started, you need to understand how this business model works.

This way when you set up your overall plan, you will have a much better idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

So here’s how I like to explain what affiliate marketing is:

Affiliate marketing is a business model which allows you to recommend someone else’s products, and earn commissions when they’re sold.

Basically you’re the middleman between a potential customer, and a merchant (online store).

Your job is to presell customers about a product or a service, and tell them where they can buy it.

If they purchase based on your recommendation, then you will be awarded a commission.

So it’s all about making product recommendations.

Step 2: Pick Your Platform

The second step is to pick a platform online where you can make product recommendations.

If you think about it, you probably already do some form of affiliate marketing, you just don’t get paid for it.

Here’s what I mean:

Have you ever recommended a movie to your friends or family?

Have they bought movie tickets and popcorn based on YOUR recommendation?

Well that is how affiliate marketing works, except we want to get paid for it!

So in order to scale your recommendations beyond just your friends and family, you need to choose a platform online and share useful information.

Here’s the truth:

You can become a successful affiliate marketer by using a bunch of different platforms such as:

  • Website and Blog
  • YouTube Videos
  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram
  • Email

These are all viable options where you can leverage the size of the internet.

You can share information on these platforms and make product recommendations to hundreds and thousands of people.

Think about it:

Instead of recommending a new movie to a couple friends, you can use the internet to reach millions of moviegoers all over the world.

That is how powerful an online business can be.

Now in my opinion, there is one platform which is the best to get started with, especially for beginners, and that is a website.

A website is the easiest platform to use, and is the most reliable. Websites are not going anywhere.

It’s the best foundation for your affiliate marketing business, and you can always venture into the other platforms later on.

To actually get started, you should build a website.

Read More: How to make a WordPress website

Step 3: Review Your Strategy

So you might be wondering:

What kind of website do I need to build?

Well let’s quickly review why people use the internet.

The people you want to reach are searching for information.

Millions and millions of people jump on the internet every single day, and search for information.

They’re searching for solutions to their problems.

Their problems can be very basic like “What should I watch on Netflix tonight?”, or they might be searching for more serious answers like “Is Supplement X better than Supplement Y for women over 40?”.

If you want to be successful with this business model, it’s all about solving people’s problems by sharing information.

The more information you share, the more people you help, and the more recommendations you can make. Remember, your job is to recommend products which will make people’s lives better.

So you need to build a website which has useful information, and is trusted by its visitors.

If you do this correctly, you will attract hundreds and thousands of visitors to your website. When you make product recommendations to them, they will buy, and you will receive commissions.

This is your ideal strategy.

Step 4: Choose a Business Topic

A lot of people do this first, before really understanding steps 1, 2 and 3.

Before you pick a “niche”, or topic for your business, you need to know your strategy. You need to know what you will be doing because this can help you choose an appropriate topic.

So one more quick review:

Your strategy is to create a website which becomes an authority on its topic, and is trusted by its visitors. It will share information on how to solve people's problems, and when it recommends various solutions, people will trust those recommendations and buy, and you will get commissions. As your business grows, you can venture into other platforms like YouTube, Facebook and so on.

You need to choose a topic which you can become an authority on.

Now don’t worry, it’s not hard to be seen as an expert in something, especially if you’re passionate or knowledgeable about the subject.

This is why it’s generally recommended that beginners choose a topic about something they’re passionate about.

Back in college I was really into bodybuilding and fitness.

So my very first website was about health supplements.

I was passionate about them, I knew a lot about them, and I really enjoyed building an affiliate business around them.

My second website was about electric shavers.

Again, I knew a lot about them, and I really enjoyed reviewing them and researching them. I enjoyed working on this business because I had an interest in the subject.

Many of my other businesses are on topics that I personally have some interest in. In fact, I’m thinking about starting a new business around a product that I used to use when I was training to become an engineer.

But it’s important to keep this in mind:

Your business topic needs to have the potential to earn you money. You don’t want to spend all your precious time building a business that no one is interested in.

So it’s IDEAL to build a business about something you’re passionate about, or have 1st hand knowledge in, however it MUST have the potential to make money.

These are important considerations.

Read More: How to choose a niche for affiliate marketing

Step 5: Research Affiliate Programs

The final step is to research affiliate networks and programs.

Again, most people like to jump ahead to this step before understanding what their strategy is.

So make sure you have a clear understanding of your strategy.

Also, it’s generally recommended to have your business topic (niche) chosen, before you start to research affiliate programs. This would be the ideal situation.

That being said, sometimes people like to research affiliate programs and networks to help them choose a business topic. Although this can work, I personally would recommend you first pick a niche based on your passion or knowledge and experience, then start to research programs. If you’re a beginner, this advice is more important.

When you are ready to look into affiliate programs to join, I recommend these 3 steps:

  1. Search within affiliate networks for programs to join. You can find 5 popular networks and programs here.
  2. Do a Google search for affiliate programs within your topic: [“Your Niche” + Affiliate Programs ]
  3. Research your competitors and see what affiliate programs they’re promoting.

Those are 3 simple and effective ways to research programs which will reveal products and services you can recommend to your audience.

You can find more details on these steps and various affiliate programs and networks here.

Here’s Your Next Step:

Download the 5 Step Blueprint for Beginners.

This is the ultimate guide on actually getting started.

It takes this article and these 5 steps to the next level. If you want to be successful, I highly recommend you grab a copy right now.

I would also encourage you to join my Private Facebook Group.

You can ask any questions you want and I’ll be happy to help you out there. Join the Affiliate Marketing That WORKS Private Facebook Group here.

download the 5 step blueprint


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 over 10 years and have built several online businesses. These days my passion is helping others get started and showing them what works.