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How To Start A Blog About Music And Make A Living Online

Easily Learn About Affiliate Marketing Basics

Learn about affiliate marketing basics in this post. Affiliate marketing is usually the starting point to earn money as a beginner blogger.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work - Beginner

There are four members of an affiliate marketing business model.

1. The Merchant (seller, brand, retailer, creator, vendor)

2. The Affiliates (affiliate marketer, publisher, promoters, people who don’t own the product)

3. The Consumers (buyers, subscribers – without them, there’s no income)

4. The Network (in between the merchant and the affiliate, like Amazon Associate Program)

My lessons will be about #2: The Affiliates.

Here's how Pat Flynn, one of the greatest Affiliate Marketers I've been following since 2015, defines it...

"Affiliate marketing is the process of earning 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."

Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commissions or incentives by helping companies promote their products and services.

Most of the time, you do not have to have the products on hand, and you need not be a part of the company to make a profit from the products or services they offer.

You just need to introduce them to your readers or viewers.

How Much Does It Cost To Start Affiliate Marketing?

There are a lot of things for sale online. There are also many companies that offer a variety of online services.

One of the usual requirements of companies to allow you to help promote their products or services is a blog.

There are companies that would accept you even if you don’t have a blog as long as you have an active social media channel, like Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, which has a lot of followers.

You just need a platform that has an audience, like a blog.

affiliate marketing for beginners

Learn About Affiliate Marketing Basics

My lessons will focus on affiliate marketing since it is one of the most cost-efficient and newbie-friendly ways to start making money through blogging.

Our role in the “money-making” process is somewhere in the middle.

How Do Affiliate Links Make Money?

Affiliate links are simply links that go to the webpages of the products and services you are promoting.

In the links are "tracking codes" that are used by companies to make sure that you get credit for your referrals.

Affiliate links have a "cookie" life.  These cookies can expire in 24 hours (such as Amazon) or don't expire at all (such as Wealthy Affiliate).

How To Earn Commissions From Amazon Affiliate Links

Scenario 1

Your reader clicks on an Amazon affiliate link on your site and they end up buying the product within 24 hours.

Depending on the product, you can earn different percentages on commission. Baby products, as of updating this post, pay a 3% commission. 

Scenario 2

Your blog visitor clicks on any of your affiliate links but wasn’t convinced to purchase the product you mentioned. They left your site and ended up shopping on Amazon.

They bought unrelated items – shopped for gadgets, groceries, availed a service, etc. They checked out the orders in 24 hours. YOU EARN THE COMMISSION from their purchase.


YES. The commission is still yours.

See the image below for an example:

Amazon affiliate marketing

These sales came from my firsttimeparentguide.com blog. I do not own these products but I wrote reviews about them. Some of them, like the training cup and protective mask, are just bonuses (I didn't mention them at all!)

Scenario 3

A visitor reads your blog post from his laptop. He clicked one or more of your affiliate links to check the product, but he wasn’t really planning to buy yet.

He was just there to research and read your product reviews and blog posts (that contain your affiliate links).

His friend borrowed his laptop and wanted to buy something from Amazon. The friend checks out his order in 24 hours.

You get the commission from his friend’s purchases.

Scenario 4

The Native Shopping Ads – it looks something like this:

is affiliate marketing for beginners

You can customize what product categories to show and how many rows and products are going to show up.

Can You Really Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

My first ever Amazon commission happened on my 3rd month of blogging. It was whopping… USD 5! Haha!

But as any beginner can relate to, the feeling of excitement was real! It reassured me I had finally done something right. LOL.

I can still remember what I bought with my first few Amazon commissions back in 2016…a space-saving rack! LOL.

what is affiliate marketing a beginners

As you build your blog, commissions from different companies will come… and you’ll learn to appreciate them for every cent because they represent your progress…

what is affiliate marketing a beginners guide

My first commissions from Wealthy Affiliate

what is affiliate marketing for a beginner

My first commission from Grammarly

What Is Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

My first commission from Amazon US

what is affiliate marketing for beginners guide

My first commission from Amazon UK

My first commission from Amazon Canada

what is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners

My first commission from ASA2

Airbnb commission

My first Airbnb Commission

first commission thrive suite

My first Thrive Themes (Suite) Commission

conversion ai commission

My first commission from Conversion.ai (now called Jasper.ai)

I remember giving my Payoneer referral link to a friend when he asked what I use to receive my Amazon commissions. He signed up (it’s free) and we both got a $25 bonus. Cool, right?

A friend also sent me a personal message one time to ask me what I used for making my graphics and videos.

Instead of simply pointing her to Canva and Screencast-O-matic, I gave her my affiliate links (and told her of course that they were affiliate links).

If she ends up being a paying member of those two platforms, I can get commissions. 

Simple enough?

The process is the same when you do affiliate marketing in your blog.

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

There are many ways to make profits by blogging and affiliate marketing is only one of them. Amazon is just one of the many companies you can point your readers to.

If your blog is about dog training, just Google, “dog training” affiliate program. If it’s about gardening, Google “gardening” then affiliate program. And so on. 

Some people would concentrate on promoting high commission programs. It can be as high as 50% of the price of the product/service - on a recurring basis.

Such platforms exist, and if you can clearly convey to your audience the value of the product and services, you can end up with recurring commissions.

On the other hand, platforms like Amazon will pay you for ANY purchase. That means a certain percentage (from 1% to 10%) of any products bought thru your affiliate links (tracking links) that you will put in your blog (or other platforms).

Different companies have different terms and conditions. It is best to find platforms that you love (and use) and promote them instead since "involved" affiliate marketing is most often more effective.

Here are some examples of Wealthy Affiliate members' affiliate marketing income (including mine)...

amazon affiliate marketing

my Amazon Affiliate blog's income

wealthy affiliate success story
wealthy affiliate success story
wealthy affiliate success story
wealthy affiliate success story
wealthy affiliate success story

Check out Wealthy Affiliate!

How Can I Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?

Most online companies right now have an affiliate program, and it’s free to join most of the time. 

Be warned that if you do not use your own blog to promote products/services (that is if you use free platforms like social media platforms), they can anytime close down your account should you violate any of their terms and conditions.

To be on the safe side, have a budget for a basic hosting package. That is the only way you can protect your efforts and income.

How Can I Succeed In Affiliate Marketing?

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that, you do not have to be a salesman. You also do not have to learn how to sell anything or be good at it, since we will be using several techniques for us to make a sale.

First, we will create targeted contents using keywords. In such contents, the people you are interacting with, are the people that have an interest in what you have.

We will aim to reach out to this audience through free traffic, or those who use search engines, like Google, Bing, and the likes.

It’s hard to sell products and services to people who aren’t interested, especially if you don’t know how to sell well. Right?

But when we use “free traffic,” more often than not, the possibility that these people will buy the products or avail of the services are higher. How can I say that?

In using “free traffic,” we will use what we call “keyword research.” We will use keywords in your contents to reach people who are looking for the products or services you promote.

We will not blog about random topics, though. We need specific topics or what we call a “niche” if we want to make money faster. 

With so many online stores and blogs, how can we be sure that our website will reach the top search results of search engines like Google?

We will use a technique called “search engine optimization” or SEO. Unlike paying for Ads just to be seen, SEO is free.

And finally, how do we make your blog profitable through affiliate marketing?

If this is something you are interested in doing, welcome aboard. Step by step, let’s build a blog from scratch until your website earns money. Stay with me, okay?

Let’s do this!



Additional Reading:

The fastest way to earn money is to target the people in the "buying stage." Learn it from this lesson:

Should I Start A Blog

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  1. Oh really perfect blog, I recently came across your blog post and must say that you have given awesome material on affiliate marketing.

    Your instructions and suggestions are awesome. I think we should follow this instruction to gain excellent results quickly. The topic has been completely covered. It answered all of my questions and issues. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      You’re welcome and thank you for your kind words. 🙂 If you need any help at all, I’m just a message/comment away.


    1. Glad it is. 🙂 Let me know anytime if you have any questions about any of the lessons.


  2. One thing I love about the affiliate marketing model is that the cost of starting up your own business is so low that anyone who is prepared to put some work in can do it.

    Also, one can pick and choose what to sell, according to your interests, so this makes the work so much more enjoyable, as you do research on a topic you are already passionate about.

    This is my second income and it can become quite addictive. And the best part is that I know I am building an online business that can serve me well into my old age and carry on earning for me for many years to come.

    1. Hi Michel,

      This is my 3rd affiliate marketing blog, haha. You are right about building sites that can give you some sort of retirement funds. Once you build them, they are yours forever, and you can take a break for as long as you want while reaping the benefits (income) from your past works. 🙂



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