How To Make Money By Affiliate Marketing – The Step By Step Guide

Welcome to the amazing world of affiliate marketing! It is an exciting opportunity of starting your own online business and helping people find the right product for their needs.

We can certainly talk about how to make money by affiliate marketing, but if you aren’t quite sure what it is, perhaps a brief explanation is in order.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

Some people who are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing confuse it with multi-level-marketing, but they are VERY different.


Multi-level-marketing is a strategy employed by some direct sales companies that rely on recruiting distributors, who in turn recruit more distributors, who in turn…. well you get the idea. Every distributor is paid a percentage of sales by all distributors in their “downline”. More distributors in a downline = more sales. More sales = more commissions, with a percentage of each sale going to the “upline”.

Affiliate marketing is nothing like that! The use of an example might be easiest.

Let’s say you are researching what type of drone to buy. As you know, there all literally dozens of brand names, accessories, and quality to consider. But through your own diligent research you find an online article that provided the perfect review you needed. In the article, it has a picture and description of the drone, which is a link. When you click on that link, you are taken to another website (such as Amazon) where you make your purchase. You pay Amazon and Amazon ships the drone.

The person who wrote the article placed the link in their article which allowed you to make the purchase from Amazon. The person who wrote the article (and provided the link in their article) then receives a commission from Amazon.

The person making the purchase does not pay any additional fees of any type. The price is the same as if they had originally clicked on Amazon.

That, in a nutshell, is affiliate marketing. You guide someone to an online purchase and you receive a portion of the purchase price.

Commission Rates

Let’s take a look at the above drone example. Amazon was used as the affiliate and they can pay up to 10% in commission depending on the category. I used Amazon as the example affiliate since the majority of people immediately think of them first. Without question, Amazon has the widest range of products but they are not the only affiliate to join. There are literally dozens of affiliate programs you can join for drones. Here are a few examples with their commission rates.

  • Share A Sale – 5%
  • Aerial Tech – 4%
  • Hobby Tron – 8%
  • Drone Videos – 20%
  • Parrot – 6%

These are just a few examples of the multiple affiliates offering commissions on drones.


How To Make Money By Affiliate Marketing

There is essentially four steps to the process;

  1. Choose An Interest
  2. Build A Website
  3. Attract Visitors
  4. Earn Revenue

Let’s take a look at each of these.

Choose An Interest/Niche

What hobby or interest piques your interest? It does not necessarily have to be something you are necessarily good at, but something that you can research and become knowledgeable at. Something you enjoy. Not just a little, but a lot. I mean something that you can talk about 24/7. And in this case, can write about ALL the time?

That is the kind of passion you will need to start this process. It might seem overwhelming at first glance, but since there are no limits to the number of topics, the problem might be how do you limit your interests!

Let’s dive in to this just a little deeper. Take the topic of gardening. Sounds like a generic enough topic, right? But you can right about growing crops, how to prepare soil, building planter boxes, the best time to water, herbicide, fungicide, pest control, organic gardening, and the list goes on and on. As Buzz Lightyear says, “To infinity…and beyond!”

Build A Website

Some of you are experts at this and some of you reading this article are saying to yourself, “I don’t even know how to reboot my computer, yet alone build a website.”

For those of you in the latter category, there is no need to worry. There are many platforms available that will show you how to start a website and walk you through the entire process step by step. I personally started with the Wealthy Affiliate platform which not only taught me how to build my first website but also provided lessons in starting my online business.

Attract Visitors

You will attract visitors to your website by writing quality articles on a topic of your choosing. Quality is the key word. My first article was certainly not my best. I look back on it and have changed/updated it since first published.

The point is to just start. The more articles you write, the better your quality will become.

Not only does the quality matter but you also need to determine if the topic you are going to write about will draw attention to those searching the internet.

Hmmm.  How do you determine that?

The simple answer is Jaaxy.  It is a powerful search tool to help you answer that very question.  If you are reading this article and already have a topic in mind, check out Jaaxy for free.  You will get 30 free searches and be amazed at how powerful this tool is!

Earn Revenue

Once you have visitors to your site(s) and producing traffic you will start to earn revenue.

Let’s look back to the example of the drone. As you know, many factors will play into a person’s decision as to which drone to buy. On the first page of Amazon, a drone can range in price from $40 – $885 (US dollars). Let’s just take an example of a $200 model. If your commission average is 8%, then your total commission received would be $16. ($200 x .08 = $16). (This is just an example. Your results will vary depending upon multiple factors). Now it is a matter of how many people you attract to your website and how many sales you make.

Things You Need To Know BEFORE Starting

Sounds simple enough, right? But there are a few items you need to be aware of before you jump right in.

The first item is probably the most important. You are going to need to give this some time. This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. You are going to have to work to build a successful business.

Second, you should NEVER pay to be an affiliate for the privilege of marketing a product.

Lastly you should be in this to help people. If you help others, the money will follow. Keep this in mind as you write quality reviews.


Where To Start

Now that you have all this useful information, where do you start your online business?

Check out my #1 recommendation!


  • Hi there, Great article thank you for sharing the different ways to make money online. I personally was confused with the types of multilevel programs. Your article help me have a better understanding of what an affiliate program is and how it differs from a  multilevel program. I sounds like having full control of your website can make things that much easier when trying to make money online. You are absolutely right that  making a website sounds challenging.  Is the Wealthy Affiliate platform you referenced  really a good source for helping someone with limited experience?  

    Thank you for sharing this great information.  I was confused about affiliate marketing but you showed me where to start.  I think I am on the right path!

    • Glad you enjoyed the article.  My goal is to help everyone understand what a great and rewarding experience affiliate marketing is.  It does take work though!

      In reply to your question about Wealthy Affiliate being a good source for beginners; the answer is a definite yes. Wealthy Affiliate is not only a good source, but a fantastic source, and my number one choice for those wanting to create an online business.  I am including a link (here) to another article I have written regarding Wealthy Affiliate.  

      If you have further questions after reading that article, please don’t hesitate to contact me.



  • Hello Mike,

    Thanks for your article. I am learning about Wealthy Affiliate and would like to take the training. I gathered a little knowledge about it from your article. By reading your post I feel better.  Anyway, you have structured your post very simple and clear. I appreciate how informative your article was. I appreciate how you amazingly explaned the commission rates and how to make money in affiliate marketing. That’s a great opportunity to make money online.  Is there a way to learn how to register to sell items?

    Without any confusion, your post is so important and informative. I will share your article with my friends.

    • Thanks Snigdha.  No greater compliment than to refer friends to this article.  Greatly apreciated!  But please keep in mind that your friends can learn from you.  Some information is better than no information.  If I can assist you in any way, please let me know.

      Remember that you can join Wealthy Affiliate at any time absolutely free.  You have access to approximately 20 different individual lessons.  And if you need additional help you can certainly pose questions to the community or directly to me.  

      Wishing you great success as you start your online business with affiliate marketing!



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