How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners (FREE 2020 Guide)

Welcome!

I’m so glad you are here to read my 2020 Guide, How To: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners. I was originally going to call it the Secrets of Making Money Online to make it sound juicier.

But you know what? There aren’t any secrets.

Instead, there are proven step-by-step formulas that WORK. Are you ready to find out how to start making money online?

About Me

First, let me give you a little bit of my story so you can get to know me better. I grew up in small-town Ohio and now live with my husband, 2 kids and 3 cats and 1 dog outside of Philly. (E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!) I met my husband online on Prodigy (if you’re old enough to remember that) in 1992. We got married 10 years later in 2002.

I have always had an interest in selling things and making money. I think I bought all the Tony Robbins, real estate sales, making money in stock marketing courses and books I could find. But none of those things ever felt quite right.

I was introduced to affiliate marketing way back in the day. I used to code my own websites by hand in HTML. I thought it was fun at the time, but I’m glad we don’t have to do THAT anymore! You have it easy, trust me!

I went back and forth with affiliate marketing until I finally decided that this is RIGHT. There are too many benefits of this business that it just makes sense. 

Why I Created This Guide

I wanted to create a guide that can help you get started on the right foot. I see so many people start down this path, thinking that they’re going to write a couple of articles and then they’ll be rich overnight. I blame the scam marketers out there for this. They promise so much and give you so little.

This guide is meant to lead you down the right path. While it does take effort to get this business going, it’s worth it in the long run. Affiliate marketing is a way to work from the comfort of your home and build up your income. (Even multiple streams of income. Even passive income.)

There's no limit to how much money you can make. The limits are only set by how much time and effort you're willing to invest. 

I also believe in having the right training, and I want to guide you toward that. 

Here's a snapshot of my profile on the training platform that I use. 

Wealthy Affiliate Profile

This training taught me how to properly set up a website so that it would get ranked in Google and get visitors and sales. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of this means. That’s what the training is for. More about it later.)

The reason for this guide is that I want YOU to do it too. This is a DREAM job that ANYONE can do. As long as you get started in the right way. 

My mission here is to help YOU succeed. 

First, Let’s Talk About Expectations

I don’t have any Lamborghinis or fancy houses to show you. As mentioned, I’m a mom of two. I drive a Nissan Pathfinder and I live in a townhouse. I am an affiliate marketer because it gives me the flexibility to be home for my kids when they need me. I can run them to their activities without having to ask permission to leave early. I take vacations when it’s right for me, and not based off of someone else’s schedule.

I am an affiliate marketer because I hate being bored. I don’t know about you, but I can sit in a cubicle and stare at a gray wall all day long. I am an affiliate marketer because I can work outside on my deck on sunny days. I can take walks in between writing. I can eat when I want and not be on someone else’s schedule.

So, no, I don’t have any fancy Lambos. (But, hey, if that’s your thing then go for it. I ain’t judgin’!) I am here for the freedom. I am here so that I can work in a fun and engaging way, help people get their dreams started AND be here for my family. 

But it does not happen overnight.

I really want you to set your expectations. You may be tempted by all those programs that say you can make $1k a day within a week. 

Don’t stray:

Because you’ll just be wasting your time and your money and end up starting over again (assuming that you don’t get so discouraged that you just quit). Trust me. I’ve been there.

Instead, let me walk you through how to do this the right way. And then put your blinders on and focus on making one really great website. (Don’t freak out about that. It’s super easy. I’ll show you in a bit.)

If you do that, and you give it some time, you WILL succeed. All those other programs are just distractions. They will lead you down the wrong path. So, how do we get you going in the right way? Let’s talk about it.

The Process of Making Money Online

Let me take you through the process of how this all works real quick.

  • You think of a topic that you’re interested in and has products you can review, recommend or talk about in some way
  • You create a website focused on this topic
  • You sign up for affiliate programs (there are many, but Amazon is a main one)
  • You write about your topic, give reviews, help people answer questions
  • You link your affiliate link in your content
  • Users click on your links and purchase the items you recommend
  • You get a commission from Amazon (or other affiliate programs)
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

You can see how this is truly a win for all parties.

Companies that have the products get more sales because regular people like us are promoting them. People who are searching for these products get help to determine if the products are good for them based on your content. You get commissions for writing about something that you enjoy!

Win. Win. WIN!

The Best Thing About Affiliate Marketing

As you can see above, the process of affiliate marketing is pretty simple. Do you want to know the BEST part? I'll tell you in a second.

But first:

Have you ever been in an MLM (multi-level marketing) company? Or, do you know someone who has been? Do you know the WORST thing about those companies? 

You have to chase sales.

I was in an MLM. I was annoying.

I would write to people asking them if they would like to join my "opportunity". Not everyone does it quite like this, but many do. In fact, I was invited to a LOT of MLM opportunities.

You would almost give your right arm for a referral!

Affiliate marketing isn't like that.

The BEST part is that you learn how to ATTRACT people to YOU. 

How? It's all in the training. You'll see. 🙂

There are Endless Opportunities

There is so much opportunity to make money online through affiliate marketing. Why? Because billions of people are online every day. And what are those billions of people doing? Besides watching videos of puppies and kittens, they are searching for answers to questions.

Have you ever typed a question into Google?

Just the other day I typed in “how long to boil corn”. I had an answer in mere seconds (about 10 minutes in case you’re wondering). Once you know what people are searching for around your topic, you can be one of the helpful answers that they’re searching for.

Because there are billions of people online, that means there are billions and billions and billions of things that they’re looking for. The opportunities are almost limitless.

This is why you want to have a website – one that is built properly. Because people will come to YOU. And you can add in products and services that can help them. Then you will make commissions on those.

Do you see the incredible income potential here?

Don't Know How to Make a Website?

It's not a problem. The training will teach you absolutely everything, step-by-step. You can have a website up and running in a matter of minutes. And no, you absolutely don’t have to know how to code a thing. Phew! I did that back in the day, and let me tell you, it’s SO much easier now.

You will be completely guided through:

  • Picking a domain name (this is the name of your website)
  • Choosing a theme for your site
  • Getting your site up and running (this is done with a push of a button and takes just seconds to complete)
  • Creating content for your website
  • Finding great keywords
  • Setting up analytics so you can track your visitors
  • And everything else you need to have a successful website!

We’ll talk about this a little more later. Just know that you will be taken through the entire process. You’ll have action items to complete as you move through the lessons so you’ll actually be creating your website at the same time as you are moving through the training.

A Recap of How to Make Money Online

Choose a Topic You Love
Attract visitors to your site
Make a wesbite
Make Money

Are You Worried You Can't Do This?

This is another thing I love about affiliate marketing. Absolutely anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter what background you have, how you grew up, what color your skin is or how old you are. You. Can. Do. This. 

I have seen successful moms, retirees, college students and everyone in between. 

Everyone starts at ground zero.

When I first started, I didn’t know a THING. This is where the training will help you. (I didn’t even have this training back in the HTML coding days, so you’re already starting way ahead of me.)

It’s like someone is holding your hand through every step of the process. It’ll all be so much easier than you thought!

All you have to do is keep taking action

Let's Get You Started

So I’ve been talking a lot about the training that I went through (and still currently use) called Wealthy Affiliate. I started with Wealthy Affiliate in 2009. I did leave for a little as I raised my kids and pursued some other things, but I came back at the end of 2017.

And it was the BEST decision I ever made to come back to it. (I regret ever leaving because it just means I wasted time! I want to help you avoid making that mistake.)

I could have left and stayed away forever. And I would have if it didn't get good results. In fact, my goal is to keep you away from all those other places that will just take your money and run. 

Because I don’t want you to waste your money, and I don’t want you to waste your time.

You don’t need anything outside of Wealthy Affiliate to get your website up and running and making money. 

Everything you need is right inside of Wealthy Affiliate. You can:

  • purchase domain names (if you want. There’s also a free option to building a website.)
  • host your websites
  • get all the training you need to get your site up and running – from start to finish
  • write and publish content right inside the platform
  • ask for help any time of day or night
  • search for answers to questions you have
  • get additional training from members
  • get support or just have a chat with members
  • view live weekly trainings from a top member

Let’s go into even more detail about what’s provided at Wealthy Affiliate.

Create your free account now so you can follow along.

Don’t worry – there’s no credit card required. Wealthy Affiliate is not all about tricking people into purchasing. They do things the RIGHT way. In fact, your membership is a Free Starter Membership. Not a free trial. This means you can stay a free member as long as you wish. 


There is a LOT going on in Wealthy Affiliate, but I’ll just take you through some basic things that will help you get started.

Training

Here is where you’ll start. You’ll go through the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course. The first level (with 10 Lessons) is included with your Free Starter Membership. 

After that, there are an additional 9 levels, each with 10 lessons within them.  

There are action items included within each lesson. Follow the training and build your website as you go!

Wealthy Affiliate Training is the best there is

Getting Started (Level 1) is what’s included with your FREE account. Here are the lessons included in this level.

The task list shows up like this so you always know where you are in the training, and you always know what tasks you still have left to complete.

This is how you become a successful affiliate marketer. You follow the training!

You follow the easy step-by-step tasks as they’re shown to you.

As you can see, as you mark off the tasks, you'll be shown how many you've completed out of how many there are. 

When you're all done, you'll see your list marked as 100% complete at the top right. 

You can always get back to your list to see where you are in the training. 

The task list helps you follow along

A Simple But Powerful Website Builder

Wealthy Affiliate has the most simple website builder ever. In fact, this site that you’re on right now? It took me just seconds to have it live. It just takes a couple pushes of a button!

Let me take you through the steps of how this works.

Choose a domain name. You can choose a FREE domain right through Wealthy Affiliate, or you can use a domain that you already own.

(Want a domain name, but don't have one? You can purchase one right through Wealthy Affiliate.) 

Build a site using a free domain name

Name your site. After you pick a domain, you will give your site a title. Don’t worry. This isn’t set in stone and can be changed later.

Choose a name for your site

Choose a theme. There are thousands of themes to choose from! It can be overwhelming, but pick one that you like and try it out.

If you don’t like it, you can always change it later!

Choose a theme

Click the button to build your site. All you have to do is click the button and your site will be up and live in SECONDS. Easy, right?

Just click the button to build your site

Give it a try yourself!

Secure Domain Purchasing & Website Hosting

Instead of using a free domain, you can purchase your own domain right through Wealthy Affiliate! Domain purchases include SSL certificates and private registration. These are perks that usually cost extra at other registrars.

Hosting at Wealthy Affiliate is also included. You can host 1 free website as a Starter Member.

You can host up to 10 websites as a Premium Member.

You can choose to purchase your domain elsewhere, and you can also choose a different host, if you like. (Just know that using services outside of Wealthy Affiliate will be an additional cost.) They are flexible and will work with YOUR needs.

Also, if you choose the free website option, know that you can easily transfer your site to a paid domain at any time once you become Premium. It’s all done with just a few clicks of a button!

Even More Training

In addition to the Online Certification course, there are a variety of other courses and trainings offered at Wealthy Affiliate for Premium Members.

  • Affiliate Bootcamp. Teaches you how to fully utilize Wealthy Affiliate’s own affiliate program. (There's even an incentive where you can go to Vegas on Wealthy Affiliate's dime!) 
  • Classrooms. A variety of trainings brought to you by the members of Wealthy Affiliate.
  • Weekly Live Trainings. Every Friday night, there’s a weekly live training hosted by a top member of Wealthy Affiliate, Jay (magistudios). These are available to view at any time, and there are some GEMS in here. 
Live training happens weekly

And Even MORE Training

As if all that training wasn't enough, there's even more because many of our members have put together some incredible lessons! 

Do you have a question, or can't figure something out? There's probably a training for that! 

Member Training example
Another example of member training

A Community of Support

At Wealthy Affiliate, you are NEVER alone. There are thousands and thousands of people in our community always willing to lend a hand, answer a question or just simply have a chat with!

You can always find my profile (I’m cld111) and send me a message there. Or you can send me a private message (for Premium Members). There’s also the Help Center where you can put in a ticket for a technical issue, or Live Chat which always has helpful people available to help answer questions.

Live Chat is always open

You can also “Ask a Q