how to start affiliate marketing

All About: How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

(A free guide on Affiliate Marketing)

It’s great that you are curious about “Affiliate Marketing” and “How to start affiliate marketing?”

In fact you are dreaming about it and are damn serious to start it out and that’s the reason you are here. 

Isn’t it?

My friend let me tell you then that you are in good company and in the right place.

Only reason for me to write this article is to help YOU, so in this post, I am going to guide you about everything affiliate marketing is, even if you’ve never made any income online before, or even if you haven’t your website.

Affiliate marketing even though not so easy is not too difficult also. 

I also need to make one DISCLAIMER before starting out. This is no quick money or get rich overnight thing. 

Affiliate Marketing is a real business and like any other business out there, it requires considerable time, energy, efforts and resources.

And generally also, to achieve anything in life you need to give required efforts. Do you Agree?

It may be a long and arduous journey but it is worth it. Afterall, the real joy, satisfaction and worth of success is only because of its journey.


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”” -Lao-tzu

how to start affiliate marketing in india

Happy learning & Let’s now get started! 

In a nutshell, by the end of this you will be able to know or learn:

  • Affiliate marketing Terms
  • Affiliate marketing methods
  • Affiliate marketing examples
  • List of best affiliate marketing programs
  • List of affiliate marketing forums

What is affiliate marketing? & How do I become an affiliate Marketer?

What is Affiliate Marketing

In layman’s language, it is a process in which you are paid a commission for the sale of any product or service, or software as a result of your recommendation.

You can become an affiliate marketer by promoting any of promotable products after joining its affiliate program.

And if we convert this process into steps (for understanding how does affiliate marketing work?) then it will be like:

  1. You find a good product (or service or software) which can be promoted as an affiliate
  2. You join its affiliate program
  3. Once you become an affiliate you can promote the product in multiple ways through your unique link known as affiliate link.
  4. You get paid when the sales happen. (Here, an affiliate marketer is tracked with the help of a unique affiliate link. Every time this link is clicked, the business or affiliate program can see who had referred their product. And once the sales happen, boom you get your commission)

Sounds pretty simple right? Well as i said earlier it is not too easy and not too difficult.

But here the way I have mentioned it, is really simple (for understanding its concept) which can get more difficult but we will discuss that later or next time. Lets now also understand a few important affiliate marketing terms..

Affiliate Marketing Terms (Terminologies):

how to start affiliate marketing for beginners

The most important affiliate marketing terms are:

  1. Performance Marketing:

It is a synonym for affiliate marketing. As the name suggests we are paid mostly only for our performance (sales) hence the name performance marketing.

  1. Affiliate: 

Affiliates means affiliate marketers. People like us who engages in affiliate marketing

  1. Business/ Merchant / Advertiser:

These terms are interchangeably used for the business that is actually selling the product.

  1. Customer: 

I think you know about customers. They are the ones who buy the products.

  1. Affiliate link / Tracking Link:

It is a unique link assigned to every affiliate marketer. We have to use this link to promote the products. It is with the help of these links we are tracked and paid on the basis of sales.

  1. Affiliate Manager:

They are the key person responsible for the managing the affiliate marketing for the sellers (Merchants / Business / Advertiser)

  1. Affiliate network/ Program/ Platform:

It is a setup where businesses and affiliate marketers meet and engage with each other for carrying out affiliate marketing business.

  1. Cloaking/ URL shortening /  Custom branded Links:

I think you must have heard of or used personally a service: 

In this service a long url is hidden for a short one. 

  1. Commission:

It is the amount of money given by the seller to an affiliate marketer. It is generally predefined and is usually disclosed as a percentage of selling price of the product.

  1. Conversion: 

It is an event where a visitor (prospective customer) converts to buyer / subscriber as per the intention of the visiting landing page. When this event is measured in percentage it is known as  Conversion rate.

  1. Landing Page:

It is an independent page where a user (prospective customer) lands after clicking on its link.

  1. Funnels:

It is a model where a prospective customer’s buying journey is mapped and all barriers to purchase are addressed as far as possible. In other words, it is a process where efforts are made for converting a broad target audience to customers.

  1. Impression:

It is a metric used to measure the number of views or user engagements of a digital content. Digital content can be anything like a blog post, social media post, Youtube videos, ads on any social media or search media.

  1. Click through rate:

It is the number of clicks publishers (affiliate marketer’s) receive on their ads or SERPs as a percentage of number of impressions.

  1. CPC(Cost Per Click):

This concept is used in advertisements which denotes an amount paid by an advertiser on every click on its advertised asset.

  1. CPA (Cost per Action):

It denotes an amount to be paid for a predefined action.

  1.  Front End URL / Offer URL / Landing Page URL:

It is the URL of the Landing Page where the user first lands after clicking the link.

  1. Creative: 

It usually denotes graphics design. It may be in the form of Logo, Blog Posts, Banners or Ads.

  1. Niche: 

It is a segment of the market at large for a particular product or service.It is also known as Vertical.

  1. Ad blocker:

It is a technology which stops ads from displaying on a website.

  1. Attribution:

It is a process of determining which affiliates are contributing to sales or conversions.

  1. Lead:

A user or visitor (viz. Affiliate marketing)  who has a potential to become a customer.

  1. SERP (Search Engine Result Pages):

Whenever a user searches for any keyword on any search engine the results that are displayed to the user are known as Search Engine Result Pages.

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): 

It is a process where a website or a blog is optimised so that it can rank higher in Search Engine Result pages with an ultimate aim of ranking in top 10, i.e. on the first page of search results.

  1. PPL (Pay Per Lead):

It is the money given to an affiliate per lead sent to the seller.

  1. PPC: (Pay Per Click)

The amount of money given to an affiliate per click on the affiliate link. Nowadays very few affiliate programs utilise this method.

  1. ROI (Return on investments):

It is measurement of returns earned (Net Profit) as a percentage of investments made.

It’s formula is: Net Profit / Investments * 100

  1. A/b Testing or Split testing:

It is a test where a variable is changed to check which one performs better than the other. Example: a variable can be a blog post headline in case of blog post or it can be an email subject in case of an email. 

What are affiliate programs and how do they work?

How does affiliate marketing work?

In a simple affiliate marketing setup there are three parties involved namely: business (product seller), an affiliate (you or me) and the customer. 

And as per the steps mentioned above we have seen that you have to find a promotable product & then join its affiliate program. What is it?

So Affiliate program is a platform or network where businesses and affiliate marketers can engage with each other and conduct their business (selling products) through affiliate marketing

Now this program can be independent or dependent.

When a business engages with affiliate marketers directly it is an independent affiliate program.

But not all businesses engage directly with affiliate marketers, they join other independent affiliate program 

For example we all know about Amazon. Amazon has its own affiliate program. It is an Independent affiliate program (for Amazon). 

Now we also know that mostly amazon sells products through multiple sellers listed on its platforms. These sellers cannot directly engage with affiliate marketers for selling their products listed on amazon. Amazon on behalf of sellers engages with affiliate marketers (if approved by seller) which is an example of dependent affiliate marketing program (arrangement) for sellers listed on amazon platform.

You may be thinking that “ should I join all affiliate programs”. But in my opinion,  it is a very bad idea. 

You should join affiliate programs one at a time.

Join one of the programs in your niche, start it out, learn new things, keep on implementing it and repeat it continuously. 

You can remember it as:

Learn    >    Do     >    Repeat.

There are also certain points to check before joining an affiliate program and selecting a product to be promoted. Let’s see it.    

Points to check out before joining an affiliate program or promoting an affiliate product:

  1. Reputation: 

Reputation of the program as a whole and the product you wish to sell is very important. 

You will never wish to sell any product with a bad reputation. Will You?

  1. Payout consistency, payout methods: 

Does it make sense to promote any product whose payout is not given at time or sometimes not given at all? I don’t think so.

  1. Minimum payout threshold: 

Every affiliate program has a certain amount of payment threshold. 

In International markets generally this threshold is about $ 50 which means that you will be paid only when your earnings are greater than or equal to $50.

  1. Cookie expiry limits: 

Cookies are small text files with certain data stored in them every time a user visits a website. These cookies help in tracking affiliate links. 

So it is very important for an affiliate marketer to check cookie expiry limits. 

It can be from 1 day to a lifetime which means for example if cookie expiry limit is of 1 day then once a user clicks the affiliate link and buys that product within 1 day from clicking it only then the affiliate marketer will get paid for it. 

On the other hand lifetime cookie means that whenever the user buys the product after once clicking the affiliate link the affiliate marketer will be paid for the sale.

  1. Commission rates: 

You need to check the commission rates for the products you want to promote. Depending on the type of products, commission ranges from 1% to 80 %. 

You need to decide whether the product promotion is profitable to you or not for your efforts depending on the commission it is giving.

  1. New versus returning customer: 

Some of the affiliate programs only give commission on sales made to new customers and no commission is paid for sales to their existing customers. 

It is a huge deal breaker for many because as an affiliate marketer we can not know who are already the customers of the affiliate program.

  1. Affiliate Program Terms & conditions: 

Generally no one bothers to read any terms and conditions one needs to agree before signing up the program. 

But it is extremely important because it mentions various do’s and don’t about the program and its non-compliance may in some extreme cases lead to your account getting banned.

List of best affiliate programs:

  1. Amazon affiliate
  2. CJ
  3. JVZoo
  4. Clickbank
  5. Shareasale
  6. Flipkart

You can also check our article on List of Best Affiliate Marketing Programs in India

How to earn from affiliate marketing? & How much do affiliate marketers make?

Affiliate marketing even though an easy business as compared to other traditional businesses is highly competitive. 

In order to be successful, i.e. to earn from affiliate marketing, first you have to look out for a promotable affiliate product then join its affiliate program and once approved start promoting the products. 

Here are a few tips for you to be successful:

  1. Research about the demand for products in your niche, reputation of the products and vendors.
  1. Always have learning mindset, Learn all old and new methods/ techniques
  1. Test a lot: 

It means that at each stage whether it is product selection or product promotion, test each and every thing that you do because even the most successful affiliate marketer also can’t tell you everything. 

Some things can be learned only when you do it. Also what will work for someone may not work for you. So test a lot.

  1. While promoting affiliate products don’t depend on a single traffic source. Use multiple traffic sources. 

For example if you are promoting a product by writing a review article on your blog post then you can optimise it for SEO, run search & social media ads for your post. 

This way you will attract traffic from multiple sources.

  1. Be Patient:

Most of the new affiliate marketers lose their patience very early. 

You have to be very much patient in this phase.

Just think how much energy a plane needs while taking off from the runway as compared to the one required for it to remain in the air at that certain altitude while flying? 

I think you will agree that it is similar in affiliate marketing also. 

Now, as far as the question “How much do affiliate marketers make?” is concerned I will say possibilities are unlimited. But saying that I would also like to emphasize that results in this field are not typical or standard for everyone. Briefly, an affiliate marketer can make any amount of money from $10 to thousands of dollars per month. It completely depends on the affiliate marketer.

You can also check this link of Income Report of “Smart Passive Income”. Even though this report is of the year 2017, it can really guide you broadly. SPI December 2017 Report

Affiliate Marketing Methods:

  1. Content based promotion:

This method utilizes content for driving sales or conversions . Content can be in the form of social media posts, articles( blog posts), videos or podcasts. 

Blogging is one of the most successful methods for affiliate marketing. In fact it is the basis for all below mentioned methods.

Following types of affiliate product specific content can be created:

  1. “How to” articles
  2. Comparison Blogs
  3. Product Review Articles
  4. Discount Articles
  5. Product Listicles

You may choose other platforms like creating a YouTube channel for example but I suggest that a blogging site is extremely important as it can increase your probability to succeed to a great extent. 

You can complement blogging with all other methods.

  1. SEO based promotion:

We have learned about SEO. This method primarily uses websites  Here you can write review articles, comparison articles, listicles or a resources page for promoting your affiliate products.

  1. Search ads based promotion:

It involves running ads in search engine platforms. The aim is to get more clicks from search engine traffic and getting more and more users to your landing page.

  1. Social Media:

Here social media is used for promotion of affiliate products. You can promote the product by sharing a post about it or through direct message to the people (your friends on the platform only if they to belong to your target audience) or to its relevant groups on the platform (in accordance with the group rules, terms & condition ) or your business specific page / account

  1. Social media Ads based promotion:

In this method social media ads platform is used to drive more traffic to your landing page. This is one of the most effective ways for promoting affiliate products. 

  1. Banner Ads promotion:

Banner ads is a method of promotions where graphical banners are displayed as ads in various high traffic websites.

You can find high traffic websites to display banner ads at buysellads. It is a marketplace for buying and selling ad spaces.

Examples of Affiliate Marketing:

Following are the examples of Affiliate Marketing:

  1. Saumil Shah:

( )

It is my review website. Currently this is an example of smartphone list based articles.

  1. Blogging Cage:

( )

It is a blogging website on blogging and affiliate marketing by Mr. Kulwant Nagi

  1. 91 mobiles:

( )

It is mobile comparison website leading users to ecommerce sites like amazon

  1. NDTV Gadgets:

( )

NDTV is a leading media house in India. This subdomain of NDTV is an affiliate marketing website focussing on gadgets as the name suggests.

  1. Rishi Jain:

( )

It is a lifetime deal focused landing page by Mr.Rishi Jain.

Affiliate Marketing Forums:

You may also join affiliate marketing forums:

  1. Affiliate Tribe
  2. STM forum
  3. Warrior Forum

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to start affiliate marketing in india?

All the above-mentioned steps are similar for starting affiliate marketing in India. To brief it up: 
1. Decide your Niche
2. Create your website
3. Sign up for affiliate program (Initially for learning you may sign up with Amazon or Flipkart but you will need a certain amount of regular traffic to your website)
4. Research & select the products you want to promote.
5. Create product-specific content
6. Promote your affiliate product-specific content.

How to start affiliate marketing with Amazon?

For becoming an amazon affiliate please visit: 
Sign up there by submitting your details. Once approved you can start promoting products in your niche based on your research.

How to start affiliate marketing on youtube? Or How to start affiliate marketing on facebook ?

We assume that this question is for organic or free promotion in above mentioned respective platforms. 

Well in case of both the platforms first of all you need to have signed up to an affiliate program. 

Once your affiliate account is live now you can set up a Youtube channel or Facebook page or a group.

Start creating content around your affiliate products and promote them with your affiliate links.

Final Thoughts

I think I have covered all the points about affiliate marketing for beginners. 

How did you find the article?

Please do leave your opinion regarding it or even if you have still more questions you may post it in the comment box below.

I will try to answer as soon as possible.

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