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How to Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business in 6 Simple Steps – Complete Beginner’s Guide

Imagine this: You can earn money without having to have an own product or service to offer.

And the best about it: you can start from the comfort of your sofa!

Now let me tell you that you can make this reality with affiliate marketing!

In this post we will look at every step necessary to get started with your affiliate marketing business.

Apart from Affiliate Marketing there are other ways to make money from the comfort of your sofa! Just click here to know more.

Table of Contents

How to Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business

Understanding affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model where you promote other people’s products or services you do not own. This is done through a unique link- the affiliate link- you will get.

Each and every time when someone purchases a product or service through your link you will earn a commission. The commission is usually a percentage of the product’s price.  

And why do companies do this? Why don’t they just sell the products theirselves without having to cut their profits?

See it like a win-win situation: Companies can sell a higher amount of products and you are getting paid a commission for it. 

Without affiliates many companies would not be able to get enough traffic to their product. 

Therefore, companies work with affiliates to bring more traffic to their shop. 

As affiliates usually get paid for each sell through their affiliate link, it is every affiliate’s goal to get a lot of traffic to their links.

To help you understanding the affiliate ecosystem better, I created the following info chart for you. 

The whole concept of affiliate marketing won’t get more complicated than this. Quite simple, right?

Reasons why you should start your affiliate marketing business

Similarly to any other business model, affiliate marketing has a plethora of reasons why you should start your affiliate marketing business. Especially, concerning affiliate marketing there are several reasons making this model particularly interesting for beginners.  

1. Low-costs

When starting a business you usually have an amount of upfront costs including, for example, product creation costs, inventory, rent, etc. With affiliate marketing the only thing you need to get started is a platform to promote on (own Website or Social Media), an affiliate program and a bit of time.

To make this even more cost-efficient for you, I have created a whole overview on the best and highest paying affiliate programs. Each and every program of these are 100% FREE. Click here to read more.

2. Low-Risk

What can be the worst thing to happen?

Hundreds of dollars lost?


The worst-case scenario is that you loose a bit of your time and probably a small amount of money for your website creation. That’s its!

Compared to other business models, affiliate marketing offers low-risks while still having the opportunity to make a good amount of money off of affiliate marketing.  

3. Flexibility

Similarly to other online business models, affiliate marketing comes with the huge benefit of flexibility: Work where and whenever you want!

Example: You still working in a 9-5 job? No problem. With affiliate marketing you can schedule your day on your own. Accordingly, it would be possible for you to “affiliate” in the evening after having worked in your 9-5 job. 

How to Start Your Affiliate Marketing Business: Step by Step

Now that you have a better idea about the concept of affiliate marketing, let us get to the point of today’s blog post. Follow these simple steps to get your affiliate marketing business started:

1. Define your niche

Definition: A blogger usually dedicates his or her posts to one overall topic or field. With ProfitPursuers, for instance, I’m in the finance field. This field is also called your niche.

The very first step of your affiliate marketing journey is to identify your niche. Here are simple questions that can help finding your personal niche: 

  • What are my passions? -> What activities or topics make me genuinely excited and engaged?
  • What Are My Skills? -> What skills do I possess, and which ones do I enjoy using the most?
  • What Am I Curious About? -> What topics or industries am I curious about and eager to learn more about?
  • What Do People Seek My Advice on? -> What topics do friends, family, or colleagues often come to me for advice or assistance?

This step is probably the most important of any steps following. Being successful in affiliate marketing will require you to create tons of content, making it beneficial for you to choose a niche that you are genuinely passionate about. 

Otherwise, you will get yourself barely motivated to create new content consistently.

As there are countless other websites nowadays, it is my advice to you, to be more precise with your niche. Choosing a more specific niche, such as plant-based cooking instead of a general food blog, makes it easier for you to stand out amongst others.

As I have experienced it myself how challenging it is to find the ONE niche for oneself, I will give you some examples. Maybe it will help you to broaden your horizon.

 Food and Wellness:

  • Plant-Based Cooking
  • Elderly Nutrition and Fitness
  • Urban Gardening

Finance and Career:

  • Real Estate
  • Personal Branding 
  • Personal Finance for Millennials


  • Positive Psychology and Happiness Hacks
  • Minimalist Living
  • Digital Nomad Lifestyle

2. Conduct Market Research

Definition: Market research is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market, including information about potential customers, competitors, and the overall niche.

Understanding your niche and competitors is the foundation of a successful affiliate marketing business. 

Conducting thorough market research is extremely important, as it can show you whether a niche is lucrative or not. 

Example: Imagine you’re planning to start an affiliate business in the fitness niche, promoting fitness products and supplements.

Without conducting market research, you might choose products based on your personal preferences, right?

However, through market research, you discover that there is a growing trend among your target audience for sustainable and plant-based fitness supplements.

This insight not only influences your product selection but also shapes your content strategy. In this example, you should start creating content dedicated to sustainable and plant-based fitness supplements.

Now you probably wonder how you can do your researches. 

That’s not that hard.

At the beginning it is useful to just type your desired niche or topic into Google to have an overview of competitors and related topics. 

For a more in-depth research you can then use specific tools to, for instance, get more clarity about the relevancy and popularity of the topic.

Useful tools are, for instance, Google Trends and industry reports.

3. Decide on a platform

Among the first questions you should ask yourself in the process of establishing an affiliate marketing business, is on which platform you want to promote your products to your audience.

There are a plethora of different platforms you can choose from. Let us have a look at the most popular platforms for affiliate marketing: 

  •  Social Media (Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok)
  •  YouTube
  • Website (e.g. blog)
  • Email Marketing (Newsletter)

Advice: The decision on your platform should not be an either/or one. A combination of two or three platforms is also possible and mostly more efficient and success-bringing than having one single platform.

You can, for instance, have a blog and additionally an email-list or a social media account on which you promote your affiliate products.

Having more than one marketing platform can be great for complementing your online presence.

Your decision can also depend on your niche you have chosen to start your affiliate business. There are some niches or products that are better understandable in videos than in blog posts, for instance.

Example: People who want to learn how to play the piano will most likely prefer YouTube tutorials to blog posts. 

In this example, running a YouTube channel will probably bring  you more success than having an own blog.

4. Choose Affiliate Programs

Definition: Affiliate programs are partnerships between merchants or product creators and individuals (affiliates) who promote the merchant’s products or services. In this arrangement, affiliates earn commissions for every sale, generated through their unique affiliate link.

You cannot start with your affiliate marketing business without having joined affiliate programs. Only through affiliate programs you can promote products to your audience.

When choosing affiliate programs, it is vital to consider several criteria including, for instance, your audience’s interests, the commission structure, the so-called cookie duration and whether or not the program is reputable.

To make you the the importance of these criteria more vivid, the following example is supposed to show what can happen when choosing an affiliate program that is not reputable at all:

Example: You’ve decided to start your affiliate business in the technology niche. In your enthusiasm to generate quick commissions, you decide to promote a tech product through an affiliate program that promises exceptionally high commission rates but has a questionable reputation.

As you promote the product, you notice that customers who followed your affiliate link are reporting issues with the product quality, poor customer service, and delayed shipping. These negative experiences reflect poorly on your reputation as an affiliate marketer, leading to a loss of trust from your audience. 

That’s kind of the worst-case scenario!

To provide you more in-depth knowledge on this crucial topic, I recommend you to read this post about the best and highest paying affiliate programs for your business. 

5. Create High-Quality Content

High-quality content is king in the world of affiliate marketing. Try to create valuable content that aligns with your audience’s interests and that truly helps your audience. 

Affiliate marketing is not just about slapping affiliate links from any beststellers in your post and hoping that someone purchases.

Go the extra mile and create content that is profound and complement it with great products you can promote to your audience.

Trust me when I tell you that this will mean greater success for you in the long term.


6. Drive traffic to your site and links

Without people consuming your content you can create the best content of all time, you won’t make any money. 

Accordingly, bringing people to your site who follow your affiliate links is the last step in order to get started with your affiliate marketing business as well as making it a sustainable income source. 

But how can you actually drive a good amount of traffic to your website?

As you might guessed, there is not Justine way to do so. Here are the top ways to drive traffic to your affiliate links:


SEO stands for search engine optimization and describes the practice of optimizing websites so that search engines can find them more easily.

Thus, having your website perfectly optimized will result in your website being ranked higher in search engines such as Google.

Advice: Regularly create high-quality and engaging content that provides value to your audience, as this not only enhances your SEO but also encourages repeat visits.

Once you succeed in ranking high in search engines like Google for your target keywords, you will be rewarded with a consistent and passive traffic. So better do the extra work of SEO right at the beginning of your affiliate journey as your future you will thank you for it. 

To support you in optimizing your site for SEO, there a several valuable tools. One tool that I’m using since months now is RankMath. Especially for beginners this tool is great (even the best – in my opinion) to get your site ranked better in Google. Just click here to get to RankMath.

B: Social Media

In the world of online marketing social media platforms are an extremely powerful tool you should definitely make use of.

With billions of users across various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, social media provides a vast audience ready to discover and engage with your content. 

The best about it?

It is completely FREE four you!

By strategically sharing your website links, you tap into a network of potential visitors interested in your niche.

Try to present yourself and your brand as professional as possible to make sure visitors gains trust in you and follow you all the way to your website.

C: Paid Traffic 

Another option to drive traffic to your website is to pay for this traffic. 
The good things about paid traffic: you will receive instant traffic once you paid.
However, there are also some downsides to paid traffic: 

First of all, you should be aware that once you stop paying you will no longer receive any traffic.

The tricky thing about paid traffic is the fact that your traffic campaign has to be optimized in the first place. In other words, you will initially loose (a lot of) money before making any … and that’s not guaranteed.

Also, especially for beginners it is hard to calculate the ROI (Return of Investment): 

For instance, let’s say you promote a product that pays you $10 per successful purchase. Spending $100 per day and still having to optimize your campaign in the first days, makes it pretty hard to get this money back. 

Accordingly, there is a huge risk of loosing a lot of money when miscalculating  your campaigns.

I would not really recommend you to start your affiliate business with paying for traffic. 


The traffic is not sustainable at all and there is a huge risk of losing your money.

Final Thoughts

Long story short: The information provided here are the absolute fundamentals to start out with your affiliate business. Try to follow my step-by-step plan to make sure your affiliate marketing business will thrive!

The most important thing for people wanting to start their own business is to finally make the first step. Do not overthink too much and better start right away.

I’m sure, you will make it!!!

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