How to Start an Online Affiliate Marketing Business

With the worldwide shut down of 2020 and the many people who have lost their jobs, more people moved to the internet to make purchases, find work, entertainment, and generally meet their daily needs.

This means that the time has never been better to learn how to start an Affiliate Marketing Business.

Are you a single parent? Are you looking for a change of pace? Would you like to get away from your 9-5? Are you interested in working from home? Would you like to own your own online business?

If you answered yes to any of these questions the online affiliate market business may be right for you.


This post was updated on February 12, 2021.

What is an Online Affiliate Marketing Business?

affiliate marketingAn Online Affiliate Marketing business is a business that earns commission by promoting products belonging to other businesses.

An online affiliate marketer does not create any product. An affiliate marketer finds a product that he likes, join the related affiliate marketing program and promote their products.

The affiliate marketer earns a commission on sales made through his promotion.

Still, Wondering – What is affiliate marketing business about?

Think of your online affiliate marketing business as a policeman standing in the middle of the road giving directions to road users (that’s you).

Each time he gives direction if the person finds their stop and makes a purchase he is paid a commission.

However, in this instance, unlike the policeman, you give your directions through your website, social media, or email so it is done once and all users get the same message.

Your business continues to generate income even when you are asleep. This, in a capsule, is what the online affiliate marketing business is about.

Please note, this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. However, with patience and consistently working smart, it can prove quite lucrative.

8 Tips On How to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer

Becoming an affiliate marketer is not as difficult as you might think. There are many sites online offering affiliate marketing coaching programs that would help you to start your own online business. The services offered on these platforms however differ.

In This Article I Will Share Eight Tips For Becoming A Successful Affiliate Marketer

  1. Find the Platform
  2. Find the Correct Niche
  3. Develop A Blue Print For Your Site
  4. Choose A Business And Domain Name
  5. Write Valuable Content For Your Site
  6. Generate Traffic For Your Site
  7. Apply To Affiliate Marketing Programs
  8. Add Affiliate Products To Your Site
  9. Interact With Your Site Visitors And Your Products

Find The Right Platform

Every Affiliate Marketer needs to first decide what platform he will use for his business.

Affiliate Marketers use a variety of Platforms to market products. You simply need to have an online presence and following to work as an affiliate marketer.

However, Affiliate Marketers predominantly use a YouTube Channel or a Website, or both to market products.

Find The Correct Niche

Every Affiliate Marketer knows that it is imperative to choose a niche (area of specialization) before starting their business.

In choosing a niche a marketer should try as far as possible to choose an area that he knows a lot about.

In this way, he will be able to provide better, more accurate information to the persons who visit his website/YouTube Channel.

Develop A Blue Print For Site

Have a vision for your business. Create a blueprint to show what you expect your site to look like as it grows. You should read 9 Practical Steps In Planning And Developing A Website to see what a website blueprint should look like.

This will help you to build out your business faster while avoiding too many changes later.

Choosing A Business And Domain Name

When starting in Affiliate Marketing As With Any Other Business you will want to establish a definite identity for your business early.

You will want to choose a business name that stands out from the competition but to which customers will still be able to relate.

To do this you will want to search the internet to ensure you are not choosing a name that is already taken.

Ensure that the name encompasses the vision for your site while at the same time allowing room for growth.

Limiting your name to a particular type of product can box you in and make it difficult to expand later.

Why Choose A Domain Name That Matches Your Business Name

It is also important to, as far as possible, chose a domain name that matches your business name. While this is not a definite rule it makes it easier for returning users to find your site and prevents confusion.

Why Choose A Dot Com Site

Dotcom sites are more popular and are typically used for business. As such using a .com site also makes it easier for returning visitors to find your site again.

The thing is .com is just more popular. When a user wishes to find your site, if you are using a .org or .co for instance, if they cannot remember the extension, because the .com is more popular they are more likely to type that in.

Unfortunately, this will in turn negatively impact your site traffic.

Write Valuable Content For Your Site

Content is King is what Affiliate Marketers say. This means that the most important thing you can do as an affiliate marketer is providing valuable content to your website visitors.

When writing content for your site it is imperative that you write information that is accurate and as detailed as possible so that your site visitors will find value in it.

When Visitors come to your site they are there to satisfy a need. This is usually a need to be informed about a particular topic.

A good content creator ensures that he meets his visitors’ needs.

It is this traffic that will help you to rank on the first page with the search engines after all.

As such giving value to your site visitors mean they will stay longer and return to your site the next time they need information and it is, therefore, good for your business.

Generate Traffic For Your Site

As with any other type of business it is not enough to just establish your business. If no one knows how to find you you will have no customers.

It is therefore important that you make it possible for persons on the internet to find your site.

To do this we employ several tools:

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • SEO
  • By Using A YouTube Channel
  • Paid Ads

Apply To Affiliate Marketing Programs

Once you have at least fifteen published articles and a reasonable amount of steady traffic it is time to find related affiliate marketing programs.

To do this you can simply type the type of program you are looking for + affiliate program. For instance, if you are in the book review niche you may search “book+affiliate” program.

Ensure that you read the rules carefully of the affiliate program you intend to join.

They are important because failure to adhere to them may result in you being evicted from the program and loss of revenue.

Add Affiliate Products To Your Site

Once you have been accepted into an affiliate marketing program it is time to add affiliate products to your site.

Always ensure you add an affiliate disclosure page. See an example here.

Find the links for the affiliate products provided by the program and add them to your site.

Interact With Your Site Visitors And Your Products

As with any brick and mortar business, your visitors will have questions. It is your duty to satisfy their need for information by responding to their questions.

Additionally, even though you typically choose products that you are familiar with for your affiliate program it is imperative that you stay up to date on information related to all products you promote.

You do this by using the products and reading all you can about changes.

In Closing

I learned everything about building an online business here.

They provide step by step training at a very affordable cost, web hosting, access to online business owners with years of experience under their belt, a great keyword research tool, site support, a website builder, and much more.

All of this is available 24/7.

Added to this the first 10 courses are free so you are able to try it before buying.

If you choose to give it a try I will be there to guide you along the way. What are you waiting for? Come on in and try it for free.


Starting an affiliate marketing business is quite low on cost compared to other types of businesses.

It is easy and regardless of your background, you can actually get into this business.

However, be aware that the real cost in this business is in your time. It also requires know-how.

Before You Go

If you have any questions about starting an Affiliate Marketing business be sure to leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Candy Benn

52 thoughts on “How to Start an Online Affiliate Marketing Business”

  1. I really like the no strings attached 7 days free trial that Wealthy Affiliate offers, as if thats not enough the $19 dollars first month really gives one ample time to decide if the program is suitable for them . Amongst what you mentioned about the must haves of a good affiliate a community of the like minded. Then that is something that money can’t buy.

    • Hi Bogadi, So true. I think that likeminded people are crucial to success, don’t you? Those who are failing or can’t catch the vision just tend to kill the vibe and reduce your energy level.

      Candy Benn.

  2. I really enjoyed your style of writing. Very clean and collected, very down to earth with great readability. Well done.

    I absolutely agree with the criteria for a proper program. Low start-up cost truly feels paramount given the global economic situation. Likeminded people are definitely crucial for the long-term, toxic environment tends to not generate great results. A place to learn and mentors, without them it’s impossible to learn (or will take considerably more time). Also, definitely agree that WA fits that criteria. The way I see it, it’s a great place for both beginners and experienced affiliate marketers.

    Not a get-rich-quick scheme, indeed. Cheers.

  3. Hi Candy,

    This is a great introduction for anyone looking to start in affiliate marketing. Most people do not realize the complete package that is called Affiliate marketing. A lot of information is required to become a business person that wears many hats. I am an affiliate marketer and the CEO an Boss of my own business. But, I also need to know good SEO (search engine optimization) skills, as well as being a writer that is capable of writing good quality content that is enjoyed and helps people. And we maintain a website, and update it constantly to the new rules required by governments around the world. 

    It is a challenge for sure! But, I also learned how to do everything necessary to run my business from Wealthy Affiliates. It is the best deal on the web for learning and acquiring all the tools(and there are quite a few) you need to run your own business. As you said, it takes time, but the reward is worth it.

    You learn to create your own website, using wordpress. Unlike a Shopify store, where you are basically paying a monthly fee for each store and you need to pay a monthly fee for apps for each store. Wealthy Affiliate offers free hosting for up to 5 websites! And many wordpress themes and apps are free! Plus you own the site. 

    If you want to leave WA, you can move your site. With Shopify, they can shut down your site at anytime, and if you want to move, where do you go? You lose everything. 

    You own your site at Wealthy Affiliate. And, the support is outstanding.

    They have the biggest bang for the buck anywhere on the web. I can’t agree more on your choice for using Wealthy Affiliates!

    • Hi Chas, thank you very much for visiting and sharing your knowledge of Wealthy Affiliates and Shopify, Personally I have never used Shopify so your insight is welcome and timely. I’ll be looking into Shopify further.


      Candy Benn

  4. This is what I like from an online business, that you get out of the 9 to 5 mentality and turn into the entrepreneur mindset. Many people are afraid to start an online business because they’re putting the money part first and then they lose sight of the real goal. Wealthy Affiliate in my humble opinion is the only platform that gives you the real truth on what it takes to build an online affiliate business. They actually provide you with all the tools and training. It’s like a one stop shop. 

  5. Wow! These are some very invaluable tips on how to start an online affiliate marketing business, thank you Candy. Wealthy Affiliate really seems like a reliable and steadfast platform for a person to grow as an online affiliate marketer and your introduction and explanation seems to cover that point well, as you very well mentioned, it is not a get rich quickly scheme but rather involves hard work and dedication 

  6. Thanks, Candy. 

    Nice read. I like your style of writing. Informative and direct. 

    I learn more about Affiliate Marketing and Wealthy Affiliate. But if I would like to join the membership, I am not sure how to. Cause I am not tech-savvy. 

    Thanks and all the best, my dear.

    • Hi Rick, thanks for dropping by and for your comments. To join the Wealthy Affiliates program simply click any of the links on this page and follow the instructions. The instructions are quite straight forward. Once you are in WA you will have all the help you need. If you do encounter any problems signing up just email me at and I’ll get back to you.

      Cheers, Candy Benn.

  7. I completely agree with Matiss! I enjoyed your style of writing this article, I was thinking that as I read through it. It’s sort of low key but very informative and not in-your-face or pushy so I really appreciate that. 

    I like the idea of my business generating income while I sleep and the fact that Wealthy Affiliate let’s you sort of try before you buy. I am always scared to make a big money commitment up front and I think a lot of people are. 

    It sounds like you are a member. Do you feel like people in the Wealthy Affiliate program are very supportive and you get the help that you need?

    • Hi Allison,

      Absolutely. I love the support I get as a member of WA. Everyone is so willing to share their knowledge. It’s like one big, happy family. There is always someone there to help, night or day.

      Candy Benn

  8. Hi Candy,
    Love the ingenuity and simplicity about your post. You truly detailed everything one need to know or use as a startup guide to affiliate marketing. Looking at all the benefits most importantly the free starter and the low cost, is no brainer.
    Thanks for sharing the post. I look forward to learning more from you website.

  9. This is very amazing. If there is a better place for novice to start an Online business, the place is WEALTHY affiliate. They have helped me start building my business without spending a cent as a beginner- and this is what make WEALTHY affiliate a better place for everyone who want to start and Online business.

    I recommend.

  10. I agree with you, Affiliate Marketing is “not a get-rich-quick scheme”, “with patience and consistently working smart, it can prove quite lucrative.”. You will need to build it up asap if you are willing to make money through Affiliate Marketing online. It’s a long term passive income, and that’s what I like about Affiliate Marketing. Keep going and looking forward to see more of your quality posts. Don’t waste such writing skill, because I think you can write more quality contents and become success!

    • Hi Ling,
      Thank you for stopping by and for your comments.

      I know it. I am already successful. Just finding something I love to do and getting paid to do it is my definition of success.

      Candy Benn

  11. I have been heard of affiliate marketing a couple years ago. When I decided to start affiliate marketing business, I’m searching for a great mentor to guide me and this is exactly the moment I came across Wealthy Affiliate. One thing amazing about Wealthy Affiliate is, it provides free version of their program. Therefore, I’m able to try it for free at the beginning. Then, I become a member of Wealthy Affiliate. It’s definitely a great program to join. It is more than an online course, it is also a community that help each other to achieve success in a long run.

    Thanks for sharing such informative article.

  12. You explained clearly how to start affiliate marketing. I like the analogy of the policemen who gets paid for giving directions. It makes it so easy to understand. I now understand Wealthy Affiliate is not one of those scams from the internet. You can build a genuine online business with Wealthy Affiliate. Who doesnt want to work from home these days considering the risk of Covid-19 out there. Thank you for explaining how to get into this program

    • Hi Energy,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment. Good luck with starting you own business.


      Candy Benn

  13. Very informative and thorough. Indeed, starting an online business takes time and effort, but when you hit success it’s definitely worth that effort you put into. Finding the right program to build a business online is hard these days because there’s alot of scams which only take your money. 

    WA is the best community that offer alot of training to help you succeed. And if you don’t understand something, you can ask and help is on the way.

    And surrounding yourself with positive people not only in business but in life too, will give a boost and self confidence. Take care.

  14. Hi candy,

    Some great comments here and love the way you put the comment of an affiliate as a policeman. It is very apt to mention safe ways of making money on line is the No.1 priority for anyone looking into generating an income on line.

    The article is very clear and highlights all the key points of consideration and your recommendation for wealthy affiliate is articulated especially well.

    Did you try many other online businesses before you found wealthy Affilliate?

    I am looking forward to next weeks suggestion.


    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Yes, I actually tried many different ways to make money. Most were jobs, however.

      What I hated the most about those ‘jobs’ was the meager wage. I felt they were more a waste of time than anything else. I cannot see my self spending three hours on a task that only pays ten dollars. Sometimes the actual job may only take an hour but the hoops one needs to jump through before landing the job is also time-consuming.

      WA was my first affiliate program and there I found a great program that worked very well with a high success rate. I am very happy with what that program has offered me.


      Candy Benn

  15. helllooo Candy Benn, thanks alot for sharing such an educative post with us all, i was actually doing some research online when i saw these post, first of all i really want to commend your effort in bringing up such an amazing site most  sites will tell you to pay to get such quality information,i believe these is exactly what i need to take my business to the next level so as to get more people on my channel thanks alot for the info ill surely do some recommendations

    • Hello, 

      Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I’m happy that you found this information useful. Thank you for sharing.


      Candy Benn

  16. Well this is actually a very good post that I value a lot and I think that a lot more can be done through affiliate marketing if we actually understand the full rudiments of the business. What you shared here is really helpful and well worthy a lot. Getting started with affiliate marketing is a process and figuring out what we want to base on and knowing it all along will make everything well worthy in the end. Thanks

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I always say write about what you love. There is always a wealth of knowledge in that and when you focus on your passion it really isn’t work anymore.

      Candy Benn

  17. Affiliate marketing is really going far and there have been a really great number of people who are looking forward to getting involved in it and the truth is, we all have to go through really good training to avoid wasting out times on one thing that wouldn’t go well. I love the fact that you need no capital to start and it’s really nice 

    • Hi Justin, thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I agree with you the fact that it is free to start was a great selling point for me. I came for that but stayed because the platform is just so wonderful. The support is great, the training is straight forward and offered in different forms to suit everyone’s needs. Plus there is the free website to start and the package has so much to offer, it’s excellent. What’s not to like.

      Candy Benn

  18. This is one great way to introduce Affiliate Marketing to people who don’t have a lot of ideas on how it works, nice work! As someone like me who just entered in this business, it gave me a good insight on some things to get me going. Looking forward to similar great content from you soon!

    • Hi Abegail, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Just as long as you treat this is any other type of business, you will do fine. Understand that the first five years are the fundamental years. Don’t expect an overnight miracle. Hard work and perseverance wins the race.

  19. A very good post you have written here on how to become and online affiliate Marketer. I feel this is a very possible way for me to be able to make money online. I do not see many other ways as effective and passive enough for me as affiliate marketing really ticks on all my wants.

    • Hi Jay.Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Affiliate marketing truly is a great way to start your own business. The selling point for me with Wealthy Affiliates is the really low-cost startup, the step by step learning tools, and lastly the fact that it has loads of mentors available 24/7.


      Candy Benn

  20. The most important part of starting an online business is your mindset, you have to believe you can make it in the businesses you’re trying to build, understand that it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Affiliate marketing is very lucrative if you have a bit of background knowledge to help you go around. This article is very helpful

  21. I have always wanted to make money from home and I every review on uncle Google suggests that Affiliate Marketing is a way to go since the start up cost is very little and also it will help with my SEO skills. I agree that having a mentor can guide me when I encounter some hurdles. Thanks for your review on Wealthy Affiliate. I am sold! I am going to check out the free trial and take it from there. 

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      Thank you for stopping by and for your comments. I know you will find Wealthy Affiliate an amazing place to learn and work.

      Candy Benn

  22. Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I would like to make some extra money and my friend suggest me to pursue affiliate marketing. I think about this for a while now, but never take time to do the research.

    Here comes your article, which has a lot of info on affiliate marketing. I particularly like your description on what should the right affiliate marketing coaching program have? I agree with you that mentor is critical for affiliate marketing success. Mentor will save your time, efforts, and money. I am doing this task first and try to find a mentor for my affiliate marketing business.

    • Hello,

      Thank you very much for stopping by and for your comments.

      You need not look further with Wealthy Affiliate mentors are plentiful, always available and there is no added cost. I hope that helps.


      Candy Benn

  23. You make a good point about checking out affiliate marketing as an alternative for single parents and folks that just want to get away from their 9-5.  Your article also explains clearly what affiliate marketing is.  Wealthy Affiliate has been around for a long time and seems to meet all the criteria you have outlined for a good affiliate marketing program.  Your article would lead almost anyone to consider looking into affiliate marketing.  I have been in affiliate marketing for awhile.  I wish I had seen an article like this years ago.

    • Hi Anastasja,

      I’m happy that this post meets your approval.

      Affiliate marketing is a great way for all of us who seek to do things differently.

      I also wished I’d had things explained to me clearly 11 years ago when I started to look into the online marketplace as a way to start a business. I stumbled on lots of cons and people promising that there was a pot of gold around every other bend. Things I learnt to be wary of.

      I don’t consider my time wasted though. What it thought me is how to spot scams and the importance of being upfront with people with whom I wish to associate.


      Candy Benn

  24. I’ve seen a few make money online type sites but you really lay it out there in a straightforward way. I appreciate that. Thanks for the review of Wealthy Affiliate. And explaining affiliate marketing in a way that I could easily understand. I will definitely check out Wealthy Affiliate since you’ve had good experience there. I appreciate the information. 

    • Hi Paula,

      I am so happy that you found my information useful. I know you will find Wealthy Affiliates just as useful.

      I wish you great success in the online marketplace.


      Candy Benn

  25. I think starting an affiliate marketing business can be a very easy process just as long as you have the technical know how and the proper knowledge on how to go about it. This article provides exactly just that and I think anyone who is interested in building an affiliate marketing business would do well to read and learn from it. 

    • Hi Beesean,

      That’s just it at WA you start even without the technical know-how. That’s what makes this a one size fit all sort of program. No matter your level of experience WA has something for everyone.


      Candy Benn

  26. I answered all the questions with yes. I am a single parent, looking for a change of pace and work from home and my own online business. So I joined WA a month ago, and I warmly recommend it to anyone who would like to get started but doesn’t know where and how. Here you will build your website, define a niche market, go through a step-by-step program, and have the constant support of other members.



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