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Affiliate Marketing: Your Beginners Guide to Making Money Online

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Affiliate marketing is the way many people are able to make a full or part-time income online.

Here is one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me and now it is happening practically daily.

You are sitting with your spouse at dinner at a restaurant and you happen to look at your phone. I try not to look at my phone but will if she goes to the restroom or checks her phone first.

PRO TIP for you guys out there, don’t check your phone if your loved one is at the table if you can.

I see a notification from Etsy or my email. Boom I have made money and whatever I was selling or recommending to people has already been delivered digitally to them.

There is nothing else I need to do to make this money. It was already all done months ago through hard work and effort, but now I can reap those benefits.

I will be honest and say that without some work consistently on it you will no longer see these gains. There are very few things that are passive income.

Let’s cover what is affiliate marketing and how you can use it to make money online.

This post may contain affiliate links which means that I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase from a link found on my site. Please review my privacy policy for further details.

These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

City scape overlayed with a blue holographic pie chart wheel with a gear icon, light bulb icon and security lock icon - text overlay Affiliate Marketing Your Ultimate Guide

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a way for you to earn a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.

You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

It’s a great way to make money online and passive income because you can promote products even while you sleep!

Sounds pretty easy right? It can be once it is all built and running. But there’s also a lot of strategy and effort that goes into being successful at affiliate marketing.

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The benefits of affiliate marketing

If you’re looking to make money online, one of the easiest ways to do so is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a process whereby you promote a company’s products or services on your website, and if someone clicks on these links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.

There are several benefits of affiliate marketing, including:

1. You can make passive income.

Unlike other online income streams, with affiliate marketing, you can earn money even when you’re not actively working. That means you can continue to generate income while you sleep or out on a date.

2. You don’t have to create a product.

If you like a product and can point friends, family, and even strangers to your affiliate link you earn a commission. What is better is that you don’t have to create and test the product first. Nor do you need to hire staff to fulfill the orders. No customer service is needed from you on the product either. I would recommend using the product before pitching it to others.

You want to make sure that whatever you ask people to check out you would feel comfortable recommending to your family members. However, not all products may be a fit for your family. I would feel comfortable recommending tools I use on my Etsy shop, but most of my family wouldn’t use it as they don’t sell on Etsy.

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3. All you need is a link and people to see the link.

This is probably the hardest part of affiliate marketing as you will need to create a reason for people to want to click your affiliate link.

If someone uses that link, then you will be paid. That link has a special code at the end that is connected to your account with the affiliate and that is how they track the action.

4. They don’t always have to buy something.

There are many different ways to be paid in affiliate marketing. Some require a download of a chrome plug-in. Others want the person’s email address, normally after filling out information first. Some are just to get someone to view the website. But the most common is when someone makes a purchase but that isn’t the only way to get paid.

5. You could be paid monthly for the same customer.

Some affiliate marketing programs will pay you a recurring (monthly) payment as long as the person is paying for the product. This allows you to build an audience that is paying you a commission monthly just for recommending a product you love.

This is common in web hosting for example. And yes, that is an affiliate link.

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Getting started with affiliate marketing

Here are the steps I use to find a product to be an affiliate for.

1. Google the name of the product and the word affiliate

If that doesn’t show anything I use the company name and affiliate. If that doesn’t pull up anything I will go to the company’s website and look for the word affiliate in the footer or bottom of the home page.

2. Many but not all products will have an affiliate program you can enroll in

If they don’t have one and you like their competition as well do the same search with them. If you really hate their competition then email the company and ask them if they have an affiliate program. The worst they will tell you is no.

3. Keep doing steps 1 and 2 until you find an affiliate you can endorse

Don’t give up too easily. You should be able to find someone that you can feel good about endorsing. I personally wouldn’t endorse anything that hasn’t helped me or someone I know. If you feel iffy about the endorsement then pass on it and find someone else.

Man in a swimsuit overlooking clear blue water with a boat in the background

4. Apply to be an affiliate

Most companies will want to know that you have experience or where you are planning to share these links and how you are sharing them. Typically you will need a website or a YouTube channel. Don’t be discouraged if you are rejected, it happens. Instead, find another affiliate to use.

5. Apply for Amazon Affiliates

This is the easiest affiliate program to join. They also don’t pay the best because Amazon does need your help to drive traffic (ie people) to their site as they did in 2001.

6. Copy your link and any important info

You will want to copy your unique affiliate link that is provided in the program to a document. Then write down key information about that affiliate so you have everything in one place. If you are blogging you may want to use pretty links to create an easy-to-remember link to the product. I use my website name/product name. I may shorten the product name to one word like

This makes it easier to give out that link in a video or podcast as well if you are doing that medium as well.

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How Can You Succeed Financially?

There is a clear path toward financial success and security.

It isn’t just being a worker for 45 years. Although for some it may involve that.

If you want to know what practical steps are needed to achieve financial freedom read my article on how to achieve financial freedom.

Tips for successful affiliate marketing

You will need to drive traffic to your site.

There are two ways to do this.

Study Google search engine optimization (SEO) to write articles / YouTube videos that you can rank for on the first or second page of search results.

Use YouTube shorts, TikTok, or Instagram Reels to do short videos to bring people to your website about your topic. If you want to learn how to do this for just $1 click here.

Once on your website, you will want to have an email collection page for something free that your audience may like to use concerning your topic.

From there you can give them valuable information and then occasionally pitch them on an affiliate product or a product you created. For more on this read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Chess pieces King and Queen standing on coins on a dark background - From Active to Passive Income Different Types of Income

How The Rich Make Their Money

Have you ever wondered how the rich make their money?

Well they start by working a traditional job (well 80%+ do) and then they build assets over time until they are wealthy.

There are different types of assets that literally anyone can get into. Some are very active. Some are 100% passive. Most are what I call passive-ish. Lots of work at the beginning and then almost none later.

Click here to read From passive to active income.

Building an affiliate marketing website

If you’re looking to make money online, one of the easiest ways to do it is through affiliate marketing. By creating a website dedicated to a particular product or service, you can generate income simply by directing visitors to another company’s site.

It sounds easy enough, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when building your affiliate marketing website:

1. Choose A Profitable Niche

When selecting the topic for your site, be sure to choose something that you’re passionate about and that has a large potential audience. You don’t want to get stuck promoting products that no one is interested in.

2. Create Quality Content

Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to start creating content for your site. This is what will attract visitors and convince them to click on your affiliate links.

3. Build A Great Site

Make sure that your website is the best it can be. The better the site, the more people will like it and want to visit it often. You can get started here with a friend of mine’s blogging 101.

4. Promote Your Site

Promote your site using the methods above (learn how to for just $1) or other social media sites that you may have followers in or enjoy using.

5. Focus

The key here is to pick one niche, one channel, and one focus and grow it to $1k a month in revenue.

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I used to live paycheck to paycheck and after years of paying off debt and maximizing my investments I am now able to save and invest more than 45% of my wife and I’s gross pay.

This allows me to live comfortably (not a crazy rich person) and sleep better at night. If you want this let me know where I can send it to you below.

That is how affiliate marketing works

We covered a lot in this article.

The main advantage of selling a product online is that once it is created it can be sold over and over again with little to no effort on your part.

The advantage of doing affiliate marketing to begin making money online is that customer support and sales are someone else’s job.

Your job is to find the people that would be interested in a particular product because it solves a particular problem for your audience.

Then you hand them your affiliate link and if they do the action (most likely make a purchase) you receive a percentage of the sale.

Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!

If you would like to know more about affiliate marketing please see a video about how it could work for you here.

Picture of Dwight Scull sitting in his gaming chair in his office surrounded by board games and Role Playing Books.
“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard.
Choose your hard.
Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard.
Choose your hard.
Being in debt is hard.
Being financially disciplined is hard.
Choose your hard.
Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard.
Choose your hard.
Life will never be easy. It will always be hard.
But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

About Dwight Scull

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.

I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.

I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.

I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.

I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.

Join my free Facebook group to get a ton of free resources to help you get out of debt, learn how to invest your money and work toward having the option of retiring early.

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